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teaching speaking


Subject Linguistics

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631214823.1999.x


Whether or not speech is viewed as the primary medium of communication, its centrality to language use is undeniable. In language teaching, this centrality is reflected in the wide range of approaches which involve the active production of language. Over the decades, and under the influence of different teaching approaches, the role of oral production has varied from that of a means to an end, the end being mastery of the target language items of product syllabuses, to that of an end in itself, a skill to be developed in its own right. In the sections below, these different perspectives on oral production are briefly reviewed, focusing on a fundamental tension in language teaching between structural and communicative approaches. Within an orthodox communicative teaching context, the nature of the learner's experience of oral production in the light of various factors, such as choice of task and type of interaction, will be examined. Focus on form (see form-focus ), based on the view that language is a system to be mastered, has a long tradition in language teaching. In structural, system-based approaches such as those popular from the mid-point of this century, the content of teaching is seen as a set of structures or patterns, which through repetition and practice are to be internalized by the learner. Materials such as Hornby's (1954) pedagogical grammar Guide to Patterns and ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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