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New Insights into Foreign Language Learning and Teaching


Kees van Esch and Oliver St. John

This book aims to offer insights into cognitive, sociocultural and pedagogical aspects of foreign language learning and teaching. It focuses on different competences, such as communicative competence, intercultural competence and the autonomy of the language learner. A significant feature of this volume is that it bears the fruit of collaboration between researchers and practitioners on both sides of the Atlantic and, therefore, offers a variety of perspectives. The book is divided into four parts, focusing on the following four areas of research: sociocultural theory, communicative language teaching, intercultural competence and learner autonomy. The first chapter of each part covers theoretical issues by outlining the origins and development of a theory and explaining its core concepts. In the second chapter, theoretical, empirical and applied research is reviewed, and the implications for foreign language learning and teaching are discussed. The third chapter of each part is devoted to the application of the theories in focus. It presents either an example of a research project or an application of the theory in terms of developing materials and/or giving suggestions for good practice in the foreign language classroom.
Contents: James P. Lantolf: An Overview of Sociocultural Theory – Howard Grabois: What Does SCT Research Reveal about Second Language Learning? – Steven L. Thorne: Cultural historical activity theory and the object of innovation – Sandra J. Savignon: Language, Identity, and Curriculum Design: Communicative Language Teaching in the 21st Century – Diane Musumeci: Research Insights and Communicative Language Teaching – Celeste Kinginger: Communicative Foreign Language Teaching Through Telecollaboration – Lies Sercu: Intercultural communicative competence in foreign language education. Integrating theory and practice – Lies Sercu: Researching the acquisition of intercultural communicative competence in a foreign language. Setting the agenda for a research area – Lieve de Wachter/Annemie Decavele: The acquisition of intercultural communicative competence. Some guidelines for better results on the ‘intercultural competence’ level – Eus Schalkwijk/Kees van Esch/Adri Elsen/Wim Setz: Learner Autonomy in Foreign Language Learning and Teaching – Kees van Esch/Adri Elsen: Effecting Change: research into Learner Autonomy in Foreign Language Learning and Teaching – Socrates Lingua Learner Autonomy Group: Learner Autonomy in Initial Foreign Language Teacher Education.