Friday, January 15, 2010

A Couple of Good Resources for Language Teaching and Education

from Stephen Krashen. Thanks for letting me know about these. I like your idea that we be much more inquiry based about these things than we often are. Seems we're always looking for new orthodoxies rather than taking stock of existing knowledge, particularly in an area that is so sensitive and deeply personal as language learning.


Letter published in Language Magazine, December 2009

Not Just the Ivory Tower

Doug Evans ("Methodology is dead," November 2009) argues that we
should not blindly adhere to the tenets of any single language
teaching methodology. Agreed. I have argued that we should also
consider theory, attempts to explain why some practices work and
others do not, based on research, observation, and personal

I have also argued that we should not blindly adhere to the tenets of
any single theory, but should consider the progress of language
acquisition theory in general, continuing attempts to make sense of
language acquisition and language education.

This is, however, hard to do. Journal papers and technical books are
typically unnecessarily long and unnecessarily dense, and usually
expensive and inaccessible. The good news is that there are
publications contributing to a solution to this serious problem. The
International Journal of Foreign Language Teaching ( is a
free, on-line journal that encourages short, clearly written reports
of research and practice, and, of course, Language Magazine helps keep
language educators and enthusiasts up to date in all areas of language

These publications make it easier to keep up with progress in theory
and practice, and make it easier for a wider group of experts
(teachers, experienced language acquirers) to contribute to this
progress. Reading and writing about language acquisition and language
education should not be limited to ivory-tower researchers like me.

Stephen Krashen

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