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Current Perspectives on English Teaching 复旦大学 邱东林. 1. 课程建设 2. 教学手段 3. 教学方法 4. 教学内容 5. 教材建设. 2. 教学手段 : 网络教学

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current perspectives on english teaching

Current Perspectives on English Teaching复旦大学邱东林

1. 课程建设
  • 2. 教学手段
  • 3. 教学方法
  • 4. 教学内容
  • 5. 教材建设
2. 教学手段:网络教学

It is this feature, the combination of writing and speech, which led one prominent cognitive scientist to describe the Internet as bring about “ the fourth revolution in the means of production of knowledge,” on a par with the “ three prior revolution in the evolution of human communication and cognition: language, writing and print.” ( Harnad, 1992, p.1)

What is the principal role of computer? ( Warschauer , 2000)

1. Structural

To provide unlimited drill, practice, tutorial explanation and corrective feedback. (as tutor)

2. Cognitive

To provide language input and analytical and inferential tasks.( as pupil)

3. Sociocognitive

To provide alternative contexts for social interaction; to facilitate access to existing discourse communities and the creation of new ones. ( as tool)

  • Krashen (i+1): meaningful and comprehensible input of linguistic

competence and the purpose of interaction is to provide input

  • Schaefer (1981): meaningful and comprehensible input when we design

the activities with the aid of a computer

  • Higgins, Johns (1984): four learning paradigms: 1. instructional ( computer

can increase input through teacher and textbook)

  • Doughty (1991): compared 3 kinds of computerized instruction, presented

the same reading texts on the computer

1. rule-oriented instruction

2. meaning-oriented instruction ( perform best in comprehending)

3. control group

Q: How to measure “input”?

  • Kelm (1992); Chun (1994); Kern (1995)

First language is minimized in electronic discussion

  • Kern (1995): compared web discussion with oral one, found that students

had from 2-3 times more turns and produced 2-4 times more sentences

and more words

  • Wang (1993): more questions; more answers; complicated structures after email communication
  • Schultz (1996): complex structures; longer sentences; correct word order;

more natural (after 6 month email exchange between a German learner and


  • Nagata (1998): 2 computer programs were developed

1. an input-focused program with explicit grammatical instruction

2. an output-focused program with explicit grammatical instruction

conclusion: there are rules for output in SLA that are independent of input

interaction collaboration
Interaction (Collaboration)
  • Computer-mediated interaction provides a useful mechanism for helping learners achieve high levels of metalinguistic awareness.

(Jill Pelletierri)

  • CMC (Mark Warschauer, 1997) has the following 5 features:

1. text-based and computer-mediated

2. many-to-many communication:

the differences between CMC and face-to face communication: turn- taking; interruption, balance; agreement; decision-making

Kiesler, Siegel (1987): online: women made the first proposal as often as


face-to- face: men made the first proposal

  • Weisband (1992): FTF: opinion tending to agreement

CMC: opinion tending to disagreement

  • CMC: equal communication

1) Reducing social context clues (Sproull, Kiesler, 1991)

2) Reducing non-verbal clues ( Finholt, Kiesler, Sproull, 1986)

3) Allowing individual to contribute at their own time and space

  • All studies found a great amount of student participation in three measures:

1) percentage of student talk vs. teacher talk ( 85%-92%:35%-60%)

2) directional focus of student talk

3) equality of student participation

3. Time and place independent communication

1) It allows for more in-depth analysis and critical reflection

2) It allows students to initiate communication with each other or with the

teacher outside the classroom

4. Long distance exchange

Tella (1991; 1992) conducted investigation of a semester-long exchange

between high school students in Finland and England:

1) teacher-centered, large-group---learner-centered, individualized

2) a shift from form to content

3) the whole writing process changed

4) the quality of writing improved

5) the modes of writing became more versatile

6) reading became more public and collaborative

5. Hypermedia information and student publishing

1) It provides access to up-to-date authentic information

2) It makes use of technologies to construct new knowledge

  • Feedback is an essential component of the instructional process. Its most common mode is through teacher-student interaction in a classroom setting.
  • The student teacher ratio is often 25:1, or higher, which therefore limits the frequency and quality of the feedback the student will receive. (Ross, 1993)
  • Feedback in CAI: 1. knowledge of response ( right; wrong; do it again)

2. knowledge of correct response

3. answer until correct

4. elaborated

5. adapted

6. adaptive

  • Feedback in CALL:

Bationo (1992): the combination of written and spoken feedback was more effective for the immediate recall of the learning material. Subjects in the treatment group used significantly greater amount of conversational fillers, self-repair, hesitations and pauses than those in the control group.


Egbert (1996) : ideal language learning environment:

1. opportunities for learners to interact and negotiate

meaning with authentic audience

2. learners involved in authentic tasks which promote

exposure to and production of varied and creative


3. learners have opportunities to formulate ideas and

thought and intentional cognition is promoted

4. an atmosphere with ideal stress/ anxiety

Chaudron ( 1988) :

It would not be unreasonable to argue that a strict separation of behaviorist and constructivist interface is pedagogically unhelpful and that an effective CALL environment needs to offer different combination of interfaces to accommodate different learning styles as appropriate to different skills.

making call work towards normalisation andrea chambers stephen bax
Making CALL work: Towards normalisationAndrea Chambers, Stephen Bax
  • How can CALL become normalised and therefore fully effective?

A. Logistics

For normalisation to take place, CALL facilities will ideally not be separated from ‘normal’ teaching space….the classroom will ideally be organised so as to allow for an easy move from CALL activities to non-CALL activities.

B. Stakeholders’ conceptions, knowledge an abilities

If CALL is to be normalised, teachers and managers need to avoid the ‘technical fallacy’, namely the view that the main determinant of success or failure is the hardware and software, or any other single factor.

C. Syllabus and software integration

If asked to identify one crucial factor, we would emphasise syllabus integration. This for us means the need to integrate CALL into the syllabus in such a way that teachers are expected, as often as the facilities allow, to use computers in their teaching.

D. Training, developing and support

How do learners construct meaning via online communication?
  • How do learners attend to content and form in online communication?
  • How does participation in CMC affect learners’ motivation and identity?
  • What is the teachers’ role in the CMC?
  • How can teachers make the effective transition from “ sage on the stage” to “ guide on the side”? (Tella, 1996, p.6)
  • How do gender, linguistic and cultural differences reproduce themselves online?
  • What areas have been best served and which areas can be better served?
  • To what extent has computer technology served language pedagogy?
3. 教学方法: TBI and Lexical Approach

Recognition of the essential roles of the teacher and the learner and of the need for situationally relevant language pedagogy has brought about the decline of methods, with their specific philosophies and prescribed sets of classroom procedures.

The centrality of key learner variables, such as learning needs and goals, as well as cognitive processing and resources has been widely recognized in research and pedagogy. Investigations into the social, cultural, economic, and political contexts of L2 learning have provide much insight into populations of learners and their specific learning goals. (Eli Hinkel)


While TBI may successfully develop learners’ command of what is known, it is considerably less effective for the systematic teaching of new language. This is especially so where time is limited and out-of-class exposure unavailable, thus making heavily task-based programmes inappropriate for most of the world’s language learners.

Countless people seem to have learnt languages over the centuries through the kind of instruction currently condemned in the TBI literature. ( Michael Swan )

R. Ellis says: “ the rationale for task-based syllabuses is largely theoretical in nature, there being little empirical evidence to demonstrate that they are superior to linguistic syllabuses.”

TBI is of obvious value to learners who do not need much new input from their language classes, and whose main concern is to improve the accuracy, fluency and complexity of their output.

The claim that traditional approaches have failed is not well founded… the naturalistic communication-driven pedagogy characteristic of TBI has serious limitations, esp. as regards the systematic teaching of new linguistic material. Its exclusive use is particularly unsuitable for exposure-poor contexts where time is limited. ( Michael Swan )

Currently, task-based and content-based instruction are probably among the most widely adopted integrated models. However, some leading specialists in L2 teaching and applied linguistics have maintained that the superiority of, for example, task-based instruction over traditional teaching has not been demonstrated empirically and that to date research has had little to say about its effectiveness. (Eli Hinkel)

task based language teaching sorting out the misunderstandings rod ellis
Task-based language teaching: sorting out the misunderstandings Rod Ellis
  • Task-based teaching need not be seen as an alternative to more traditional, form-focused approaches but can be used alongside them.
  • Task must satisfy the following criteria:

1. The primary focus should be on ‘meaning’

2. There should be some kind of ‘gap’( a need to convey information, to

express meaning of utterances)

3. Learners should largely have to rely on their own resources (linguistic

and non-linguistic) in order to complete the activity

4. There is a clearly defined outcome other than the use of language ( the

language serves as the means for achieving the outcome, not as an end

in its own right)

  • Tasks can be ‘unfocused’ or ‘focused’. Unfocused tasks are tasks designed to provide learners with opportunities for using language in general communication. Focused tasks are those designed to provide opportunities for communicating using some specific linguistic features ( typically a grammatical structure)
Task-based and task-supported: the former requires a syllabus consisting of unfocused tasks; that is, the content of the instructional programme is specified in terms of the tasks to be completed. The latter utilizes a structural syllabus and typically involves ‘ppp’, with the final stage taken up with what is often referred to as a ‘task’ but more correctly constitutes a ‘ situational grammar exercise’.
  • Tasks can also be ‘input-providing’ or ‘output-prompting’. Input-providing tasks engage learners in listening and reading, while output-prompting tasks engage them in speaking or writing.
  • The nature of the interactions that take place in TBLT will depend on three factors: the proficiency level of the students, the design features of the task, and the method of implementation.
  • Critics frequently make the mistake of assuming that a task is invariably a speaking task, it can involve listening and reading.
The term ‘focus on form’ was coined by Long (1991) to stand in contrast to ‘focus on forms’. The latter refers to traditional language teaching based on a structural syllabus. ‘Focus on form’ refers to teaching where learners’ attention is focused on form in the context of communicative activities.
  • ‘Form’ does not merely refer to grammar, it can also refers to vocabulary and pronunciation. Extensive reading activities can be viewed as tasks.
  • There is now a rich literature documenting how teachers respond to learners errors in TBLT. This shows that they adopt both implicit and explicit corrective strategies, at times intervening very directly to ‘teach’ about some item of language…TBLT can be both learner-and teacher-centred.
  • TBLT aims to create a context in which grammar can be acquired gradually and dynamically while at the same time fostering the ability to use this grammar in communication. It is ideally suited to ‘acquisition-poor’ environments.
Principles of TBLT:

1. The tasks must be tailored to the proficiency levels of the students.

2. Tasks need to be trialled to ensure that they result in appropriate L2 use

and revised in the light of experience.

3. For TBLT to work, teachers need a clear understanding of what a task is.

4. Teachers and students need to be made aware of the purpose and rationale for performing tasks.

5. Ideally, the teachers involved in teaching a task-based course must be

involved in the development of the task materials.


1. TBLT offers the opportunities for ‘natural’ learning inside the classroom.

2. It emphasizes meaning over form but also cater for learning form.

3. It affords learners a rich input of target language.

4. It is intrinsically motivating.

5. It is compatible with a learner-centred educational philosophy but also

allows for teacher input and direction.

6. It caters to the development of communicative fluency while not

neglecting accuracy.

7. It can be used alongside a more traditional approach.

Lexical Approach
  • Chomskyan notions of infinite, creative utterances are half-truth: prefabricated items form a significant part of the output, minority of utterances are novel, creative. Speakers need both a refabricated, automatized element as well as a creative, generative one. (Now he has adopted a “lexicon-is-prime” position).
  • Language is grammaticalised lexis, not lexicalised grammar (Lewis 1993). In other words, lexis is central in creating meaning, grammar plays a subservient managerial role.
The bottom-up processing of reading involves a broad array of distinct cognitive subskills, such as word recognition, spelling and phonological processing, morphosyntactic parsing, and lexical recognition and access.
  • In general terms, a vocabulary of about 2,000 words may serve as an essential base needed for daily interaction and speaking, whereas 5,000 base words are typically considered to be minimal L2 learning goal to comprehend texts intended for a general, nonspecialist audience.
  • In the past two decades, a vast body of research has established that explicit teaching represents the most effective and efficient means of vocabulary teaching. Researchers have also voiced caution that incidental learning leads to lower rates of vocabulary retention and that a word needs to be encountered 12-20 times to be learned from context. According to Nation and Hulstijin, research has not supported the connection that meaning-focused use and encounters with new words in context are the best way to learn vocabulary.
the effects of repetition of vocabulary knowledge stuart webb
The effects of repetition of vocabulary knowledgeStuart Webb
  • This article discusses the effects of repetition ( 1, 3, 7, and 10 encounters) on word knowledge in a carefully controlled study of 121 Japanese students learning English. The study is innovative and original in several aspects. (1) the study uses 10 tests to measure knowledge of orthography, association, grammatical functions, syntax, and meaning and form. (2) the study controls for several different numbers of repetition. (3) the study controls for type of context in which the world occurs. (4) the study makes use of nonsense words to replace frequently used words in authentic text. (5) the study examines word knowledge acquisition at different levels. The results showed that greater gains in knowledge were found for at least one aspect of knowledge each time repetitions increased. If learners encounter unknown words ten times in context, sizable learning gains may occur. However, to develop full knowledge of a word more than ten repetitions may be needed.
3. 教学内容: Reading


* 朝多学科综合的趋势发展










Eye movement
  • Reading rate
  • Reading strategies
  • Reading processes
  • Silent reading (from form to meaning)
  • The information in the peripheral areas
  • Fast reading
  • Reading difficulties
3. 教学内容: Speaking

* 语法正确, 语域恰当, 内容丰富, 表达自然

* communicative act (loop)

invitation (extending, accepting, refusing)

stating likes/dislikes (disagreeing, agreeing)

3. 教学内容: Listening

*In L2 listening pedagogy, two complementary approaches reflect current perspectives. One emphasizes the integrates teaching of listening for communication and in conjunction with other L2 skills, such as speaking, sociopragmatics, grammar, and vocabulary. The other moves to the foreground the learners’ use of metacognitive and cognitive strategies to booster the listening process. (Eli Hinkel)

metacognitive strategies: self management, self-monitoring, self-evaluation, selective attention, advance preparation

cognitive strategies: repetition, deduction, note-taking, translation, grouping, recombination

The findings have led L2 listening experts to advocate the teaching of metacognitive and cognitive strategies specifically for L2 listening comprehension.
  • The key metacognitive strategies widely adopted in L2 listening instruction include planning for listening, self-monitoring the comprehension processes, evaluating comprehension, and identifying comprehension difficulties.
  • For more advanced learners, an addition of cognitive strategies, such as discourse organization, inferencing, elaboration, and summation, also represent an effective approach to teaching listening.
Novice-level learners tend to rely on prior knowledge, while intermediate-level students, with their larger linguistic base and therefore larger information processing capacity are able to use more metacognitive strategies. (Suzanne Graham et al.)
  • when native listeners make an incorrect segmentation, they seem able to resolve the problem relatively quickly; but non-natives seem far less flexible, tending to persist with their original word boundary allocation in spite of evidence that it is inappropriate---perseveration effect.

One reason may be that a lack of confidence in their decoding skills makes L2 listeners cautious about using incoming perceptual information to overrule interpretations already established. (John Field )

an experiment
An Experiment
  • Subjects: 44 of Advanced English; 4hpw;
  • Course books: College English (New Edition)

integrated course: book 4 , 5; listening and speaking : book 4, 5…

  • The materials I used for listening and speaking: What a Story

(altogether 5 times)


authentic : naturalness of language : false starts,

hesitation, stuttering, self correction,

loose sentences; filler…

real life experience


manageable (6 m)

  • Pre-listening (45 m)

1. to present the title together with three questions: What is it

about, when did it happen, What does the word “lucky” imply?

The Lucky Story of the Holiday Money (for brainstorming and


Purposes: to use top-down strategy; to create motivation

2. to provide critical words: without which any understanding of

the text would be impossible:

camping, border, folder, garage, traveler’s check, police

station, British consol, steal, window-ledge, mat, swing round

a corner, flow, change the note, split, half

3. to ask students to write a composition about 250 words, using as much as possible the key words ( check with the peer)

Listening (30 m )
  • Initial period of extensive listening: main idea

1. Why did the speaker stop at a garage?

2. Where did the speaker find that she lost the folder?

3. How much money was involved?

4. When did the story happen?

5. Why did the speaker think the woman sitting on a window-ledge stole her folder?

6. Why did the speaker worry when she was told that somebody

had found her folder?

7. How did the speaker thank the shop keeper?

8. How did the speaker lose the folder

  • Intensive listening: for specific information :blank filling
post listening 15 m speaking
Post—Listening (15 m) (speaking)
  • Draw students’ attention to functions such as inviting, refusing, surprise,…

Good heavens! (from the tape)

I was caught unaware.

It drops from the clouds.

It came from out of the blue.

You could have knocked me over with a feather.

It was a bolt from the blue.

  • Raise students’ awareness of features of real-world listening ( from spoken text to written text )

“ On holiday one summer, we were camping, of course, er, and had been to Italy and, er, back into France, and, at the border, we had an awful lot trouble finding the passport and this and that…”

  • Ask students to infer the meaning of key words from the context

But you felt rich, because you’d got everything back.

  • Put listening, speaking, writing together
  • Stimulate students’ motivation
  • Increase students’ participation and use variant strategies
  • facilitate students’ access to authentic English


  • Materials hard to find
  • Time constraint
  • Test requirements must be met
  • Results are unclear
5. 教材建设

新编研究生英语系列教材 基础综合英语

Comprehensive English for Graduates

  • 综合性。听说读写
  • 针对性。交际能力的培养
  • 真实性。尤其是听力材料
Unit One Education (Love, Health, Technology, Plagiarism…)

Lesson A Listening and Speaking

Part One Problems with US Education

Speaking: Spoken English vs. Written English;

Persuasion Skills…

Speaking Tips

Part Two Arts Education

Part Three Graduate Education

Lesson B Reading and Writing

Text A In Praise of the F Word

Translation Skills

Writing Skills

Text B Essence of Education

  • You will hear an excerpt of an interview with Professor Howard Gardner. Before listening, read what Professor Gardner said in the interview and guess the questions raised by the interviewer. Compare your guesses with a partner’s.

Question 1: Professor Gardner, what did you find in your studies to be the biggest difference between arts education in the United States and China? What struck you most, then?

Professor Gardner : I was so struck by the differences between arts education in the United States and arts education in China.

Speaking: spoken English vs. written English; negotiation skills; debate skills,…
  • Speaking Tips Arguing
  • Stating that sb. is wrong

You don’t know what you’re talking about.

You don’t have a leg to stand on.

You don’t know the first thing about it.

You’re the way off the base.

You can lay that notion to rest.

  • Arguing about the facts

You’ve got the facts wrong.

I don’t think you’ve got the facts straight.

Don’t jump to conclusion.

  • When sb. argues too much

You see everything in black and white. (= in simple yes/ no terms)

That’s as different as day and night.

You’re just disagreeing to disagree.

You’re just playing the devil’s advocate.

Rewrite the following sentences by using the words given. Keep the original meaning and do not alter the words in any way.

Tens of thousands of 18-yeat-olds will graduate this year and be handed meaningless diplomas.

granted ( v.)

Tens of thousands of 18-yeat-olds will graduate this year and be granted meaningless diplomas.

  • 翻译点评
  • Translation skills: 删减;引申; 语境选词,…
  • Writing skills: memo; summary; abstract; report; resume…