Messaging: beyond a lexical approach in ELT
This is a methodology book for language teachers that aims to stimulate reflection and new thinking. It argues that languages can be taught and learned more directly and efficiently by (i) designing learning materials around the approach that structures the traditional holiday phrasebook, and (ii) allowing some forms of translation to play a role in the learning process. More
In Chapter 1, I outline why the message should be the central focus around which the learning of grammar and vocabulary takes place. I will suggest that this helps the learner to produce more actual language and less possible language.
In Chapter 2, I explore the difference between language that is produced consciously and language that is produced spontaneously. I will argue for a massive increase in memory-based learning activities that involve matching meaning directly with messages or chunks of language.
In Chapter 3, I present a case for the constructive use of translation or ‘own-language use’ as the most efficient means of providing comprehensible input for learning. I will also outline how ‘own language use’ enables the teaching of grammar and vocabulary to proceed on a ‘Needs Only Analysis’ basis, allowing greater flexibility and efficiency of learning.
In Chapter 4, I consider how the above considerations impact on teaching materials and the structure of a lesson. A new type of coursebook structure called a textSbook will be proposed. I will describe in detail an approach to teaching and learning that provides the level of (i) memory-based learning and (ii) practice activities needed to develop real-time language comprehension and production.
In Chapter 5, I turn to self-directed learning, and outline some of the resources, strategies and techniques learners should use to manage their own learning outside the classroom.