Scholarly Articles June 09

Abstracts of three scholarly are provided are here. Please go to source to read entire texts.

1. Kumaravadivelu, B. (2006). TESOL methods, changing tracks, challenging trends. TESOL Quarterly, 40, 59-81. Abstract This article traces the major trends in TESOL methods in the past 15 years. It focuses on the TESOL profession’s evolving perspectives on language teaching methods in terms of three perceptible shifts: (a) from communicative language teaching to task-based language teaching, (b) from method-based pedagogy to postmethod pedagogy, and (c) from systemic discovery to critical discourse. It is evident that during this transitional period, the profession has witnessed a heightened awareness about communicative and task-based language teaching, about the limitations of the concept of method, about possible postmethod pedagogies that seek to address some of the limitations of method, about the complexity of teacher beliefs that inform the practice of everyday teaching, and about the vitality of the macrostructures— social, cultural, political, and historical—that shape the microstructures of the language classroom. This article deals briefly with the changes and challenges the trend-setting transition seems to be bringing about in the profession’s collective thought and action. Read more…

2. Pennycook, A. (1989). The concept of method, interested knowledge, and the politics of language. TESOL Quarterly 23, 589-618. Abstract Examining the concept of Method in second language education, this paper argues that both a historical analysis and an investigation of its current use reveal little conceptual coherence. Ultimately, the term seems to obfuscate more than to clarify our understanding of language teaching. While this may seem at first a minor quibble over terminology, there are in fact far more serious implications. By relating the role of teaching theory to more general concerns about the production of interested knowledge and the politics of language teaching, this paper argues that Method is a prescriptive concept that articulates a positivist, progressivist, and patriarchal understanding of teaching and plays an important role in maintaining inequities between, on the one hand, predominantly male academics and, on the other, female teachers and language classrooms on the international power periphery. (Please find this article in Nelta Mail archive).

3. Akbari, R. (2008) Postmethod discourse and practice. TESOL Quarterly, 42, 641-652. Introduction The second language (L2) teaching profession has gone through a number of dramatic changes during the last two decades. A look at journal articles and topics included in teacher development books shows a broadening of scope in terms of the number and the depth of the topics addressed. Language teaching, one can conclude, has become more inclusive in the sense that more of the reality of the lives of students, and at times those of teachers, are taken on board as significant in affecting the outcomes of teaching and learning (Tudor, 2003). Topics such as World Englishes (Kachru, 1986, 2005), critical applied linguistics (Carlson, 2004; Pennycook 2001; Toolan, 2002), critical discourse analysis (Kumaravadivelu, 1999; Riggins, 1997), ethnography of communication (Harklau, 2005; Hymes, 1996), qualitative research (Davis, 1995; Richards, 2003), and linguistic imperialism (Phillipson, 1992, 2003) have turned into common themes of discussion and research. The social/political consciousness one observes in the profession was certainly lacking during most of the 1980s. Language teaching, in a sense, has parted with its quest for metanarratives and grand theories and instead has become involved in “the messy practice of crossing boundaries” (Canagarajah, 2006, p. 30, emphasis in original). Read more…

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