December 4, 2011

INTRODUCTION

Second language (L2) learning involves a gradual advancement from the learner’s first language (L1) towards the target language (TL). During this process of learning, the learner naturally develops an intermediate language between his L1 and L2. It is neither L1 nor L2, rather a separate language having its own grammar or linguistic system. This learner system is widely referred to as Interlanguage (IL). The emergence of Interlanguage evinced the shift in psychological perspectives of second language learning from a behaviourist approach to a mentalist one. In fact, the concept of Interlanguage, in many ways, borrowed some of its major assumptions directly from the mentalist theories. This psycholinguistic concept was first introduced by the well-known SLA theorist Larry Selinker (1969, 1972). Since then, Interlanguage has become a major subject of scrutiny in the field of second language learning theories. Although Selinker was the chief begetter of the theory, subsequently, a few other theorists came forward to explain the same notion under different terms, such as Approximative System (Nemser 1971), Transitional Competence (Corder 1967), and Idiosyncratic Dialect (Corder 1973).

DEFINITION

In a general sense, Interlanguage is defined as the interim grammars constructed by the learner of a second language on his way to the target language.

In a narrower sense, Interlanguage refers to the intermediate status of the second language learner’s system between his mother tongue and the target language.

In a broader sense, Interlanguage is defined as the second language learner’s present knowledge of the language he is learning.

THEORETICAL ASSUMPTIONS

The core assumptions underlying Interlanguage are as follows:

• Second language learning is a gradual progression form L1/NL/MT towards the L2/TL/FL.
• At every stage of learning the learner develops a system of rules that is neither the system of L1/NL/MT nor the system of L2/TL/FL, but instead falls between the two.
• The process of learning consists of rule formation or hypothesis-testing.
• The mistakes made by the learner are a natural procedure of language learning.
• There is a psychological structure latent in the brain, which is activated when one attempts to learn a second language.
• Many learners do not achieve the full L2/TL/FL competence.

DISCUSSION

Here follows a detailed discussion on Interlanguage theory based on the assumptions mentioned hereinabove:

INTERLANGUAGE CONTINUUM

During L2 acquisition, the learner formulates the hypotheses about the system/rules of TL. The rules are viewed as mental grammars that construct the Interlanguage system. These grammars are permeable. They are exposed to influences both from outside the learner, and form the learner’s internal processing. This suggests that the learner’s performance is variable. These grammars are transitional. The learner changes his grammar from one time to another by adding rules, deleting rules, and restructuring the whole system. Thus, in every stage of learning there is an Interlanguage. Through the gradual process of checking and rechecking hypotheses, the learner keeps changing his Interlanguage until the target language system is fully acquired/ shaped. This gradual progression naturally implies to an Interlanguage Continuum.


The above figure suggests that Interlanguage is a dynamic phenomenon which can be illustrated with a continuum, of which one end is L1 and the other end is L2. The learner constantly moves along the Interlanguage continuum of which the destination is the complete mastery of the TL.

LANGUAGE DEVICES

Interlanguage can proceed by adopting two types of mechanisms:

1. L1 Mechanisms: L2 learners can utilize the same mechanisms as L1 learners adopt during language acquisition:

(a) Universal Grammar (UG): This device is postulated by Avram Noam Chomsky (1959). Chomsky asserts that there are certain principles that all possible natural human languages have. These principles are biologically determined and specialized for language learning.
(b) Latent Language Structure: This device is a counterpart to UG. It was proposed by Eric Heinz Lenneberg (1967), a contemporary of Chomsky. The proponent assumes that the child’s brain has an innate propensity for language acquisition and that this propensity is lost as maturation takes place.

Originally, both the theories were associated with L1 acquisition. Their principles were adopted by the second language researchers in order to provide explanations for the existence of developmental sequences in Interlanguage and to view L2 acquisition as a natural process.

2. Alternative Mechanisms: L2 learner can use other mechanisms too:

(a) Latent Psychological Structure: This device is postulated by Larry Selinker. He argues that 5% of L2 learners attain mastery in their TL by using the Latent Language Structure. On the other hand, 95% of L2 learners achieve competence in their TL by using the Latent Psychological Structure. The Latent psychological Structure is different from that of the Latent Language Structure with respect to the following facts:

(i) It has no direct genetic time table (i.e. not subject to a critical period)
(ii) It has no direct connection with any grammatical concept (e.g. Universal Grammar)
(iii) It has no guarantee of activation or realization into particular grammar structures of the L2.
(iv) Although this device is considered independent, possible overlapping may occur between this structure and other areas of the brain.

Within the Latent Psychological Structure there exist several important notions:

1. Fossilization

Selinker recognized Fossilization as an important mechanism of the Latent Psychological Structure. He assumes that many learner will not achieve the total mastery of L2, but will stop somewhere in the middle with their language still affected by errors. Fossilization can take place at any stage of the learning process, even at a very early age. According to him, out of all the L2 learners, only 5% of them are thoroughly successful as to be able to reach the end of the Interlanguage Continuum. And when the learners stop progressing any further, their Interlanguage is said to have fossilized. However, the successful learner doesn’t fossilize, rather constantly moves along the Interlanguage continuum.

2. Psycholinguistic Processes

Selinker points out five psycholinguistic processes which determine the fossilized forms:

i) Overgeneralization: fossilization due to the use of an L2 rule in contexts where it is not required.
ii) Transfer of Training: fossilization due to certain features found in the instruction via which the learner is taught the second language.
iii) Strategies of Second Language Learning: fossilization due to some approach to the learning of L2 material adopted by the learner.
iv) Strategies of Second Language Communication: fossilization due to some approach used by the learner when communicating with L2 native speakers.
v) Language Transfer: fossilization due to L1 influence.

The above processes can be visualized through a diagram in the following way:

LEARNING/TEACHING METHOD

From the above discussion it is apparent that the interpretation of Interlanguage is partially undertaken by investigating and interpreting the errors produced by the L2 learner. Hence, Error Analysis (EA) has become a prevailing learning method in Interlanguage development. The notion of EA was proposed by Pit Corder (1967).

STRENGTHS

The theory of Interlanguage is significant for a number of reasons:

1. The study of Interlanguage is systematic and universal by nature. Like the Innate Theory of L1 acquisition, Interlanguage theory considers the learner as an active participator, since he is capable of constructing rules from the data he encounters.
2. The study of Interlanguage can help to determine what the learner already knows at a certain point of time and what he has to be taught when and how in a particular second language teaching programme.
3. The concept of Interlanguage has liberated language teaching methods. It has paved the way for Communicative Teaching Approach. Since errors are considered a natural part of the learning process, teachers now tend to use teaching activities which do not require constant supervision of the learner‘s language. Consequently, group work and pair work has become suitable means for language learning these days.

WEAKNESSES

Despite many positive sides, some of the assumptions of Interlanguage have been criticized for their weaknesses:

1. A major Interlanguage criticism relates to its limited explanatory power. The theory assumes that the linguistic stage that a learner is at can be predicted by analyzing his errors. However, Error Analysis as a mode of inquiry is limited in its scope as it concentrates on what the learner did wrong rather than on what made him successful. It is often impossible to identify the unitary source of an error.
2. Error Analysis gives the learner base for improvements of his Interlanguage rules. But researches confirm that too much correction can lead to a lack of motivation and thereby leading many correct utterances unnoticed. Thus the learner needs to be restricted to important errors only.
3. The theories of Interlanguage cannot determine how the exact position of the learner in between L1 and L2 will be interpreted.

CONCLUSION

Interlanguage is, by far the strongest contender amongst the second language learning theories. The theory of Interlanguage was the first major attempt to explain the process of second language learning in terms of mentalist perspectives. After its introduction by Selinker, it has been gradually developed by the hands of numerous researchers. At this time, it has become much refined and also contributed a lot in developing many other theories. Although vague in many points, it has been able to provide significant suggestions for the theories of second language learning.

References

Crystal, David. A Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics. 6th ed. Oxford: Blackwell, 2008

“Error Analysis.” Glottopedia. 2011. Glottopedia. 2 September 2011
< http://www.glottopedia.de/index.php/Error_analysis >

Ellis, R. Second language acquisition. Oxford: OUP, 1997.

“Interlanguage.” Urs Dürmüller. 2011. Urs Dürmüller. 2 September 2011
<http://duermueller.tripod.com/interlanguage.html>.

“Interlanguage.” Wikipedia. 2011. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 2 September 2011
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/interlanguage>.

“Interlanguage.” Sciaga.pl. 1998-2011. Sciaga.pl. 2 September 2011
< http://www.sciaga.pl>.

Richards, J. C. , ed. Error Analysis: Perspectives on Second Language Acquisition.
Essex: Longman, 1992. 31-54.

Spolsky, B. Conditions for Second Language Learning. Oxford: OUP, 1989.

Yule, George. The Study of Language. 2nd ed. Cambridge: CUP, 1996. 95



NB: This article has also been published in Journal of Language and Literature, Vol. 4. No. 2, November 2013

October 7, 2011

Introductory Comment

English has spread across the globe to such a vast extent that it won’t be an overstatement to call it an omnipresent language. It has been adopted as the medium of communication in numerous multilingual countries. Globally it is confirming its place as the language of education, commerce, politics, mass media, and many other fields.

Even though there are many positive aspects of having a global language, there are negative aspects as well. A number of commentators have talked about some possible dangers of global language. One such commentator is David Crystal, who, in his book English as a Global Language expresses his concern about the possibilities that this global language will have a negative effect on itself and also on other languages which do not have all the power that English, being the global language has. He points out that English should not be the language spoken worldwide and therefore being the cause for the disappearance of other languages. The points Crystal talks about are of a big importance, and with them he is encouraging his readers to learn other languages.
1. Linguistic Power
The first danger he talks about is linguistic power. Crystal says that people who don't have English as their mother tongue, but have it instead as their second or foreign language, will have a disadvantage in front of those, who do have it as a mother tongue. Crystal tried to say that a global language might cultivate an elite class with native speakers, who take advantage of the possibility to think and work quickly in their mother tongue. If this was the case they might manipulate it to their advantage at the expense of those who has another language as their mother tongue and in this way create a linguistic gap between people.
2. Linguistic Complacency
There is a possibility that a global language may make people lazy about learning other languages, or reduce their opportunities to do so. This type of attitude has brought some disadvantages to them. Whereas a nonnative person can speak two languages, the natives can speak only one language. But nowadays their rigid attitude is changing. There are clear signs of growing awareness, within English-speaking communities, of the need to break away from the tradition of monolingual bias. They have realized that boosting exports and attracting foreign investment involves learning foreign languages. The UK-based Centre for Information on Language Teaching found that a third of British experts miss opportunities because of poor language skills. To solve this problem some measures have been taken. For example, Australian schools now teach Japanese as the first foreign language, and both the USA and UK are now paying more attention to Spanish.
3. Linguistic Demise
An introduction of a global language might lead to discrimination of other languages. Losing a language equals losing identity. The language is much more than just a tool for communication. According to Trudgill there is an intimate relation between language and culture and a large homogenisation of culture might lead to a shift in language where native people adopt another language and eventually the old language may die out. There is a difference between “language death” and “language murder”. Language death is when a language disappears naturally; its speakers are leaving it voluntarily, but “language murder” means that the killer language actively discourages use of other languages. Minority languages may be removed from the media and educational systems. English is referred to as a “killer language”, which means that it is a dominant language learned subtractive, at the cost of the mother tongues, rather than additively.
4. Threat of future dominance: English has a history, sometimes cruel and violent with colonialism and war, and introducing English as the global language might be seen as a threat of future dominance.
5. Linguistic Bankruptcy
One of the risks having only one language is that the chosen language may become very technical and impoverished for nonnative speakers, e.g. the Eskimos, who have several words for “snow”, because they need it. They would probably not be able to express themselves properly if they only had one word for snow. And Swedish people would not be able to use the word “lagom”, a word which says a lot about the Swedish society and people.
6. A Feeling of Loss
Many of the people who answered the question about “English as a Global Language”, expressed a worry that if we only had one language, they would feel “poor” when it comes to expressing feelings and emotions in a language that is not their mother tongue, that they would not know enough words to be able to really express how and what they feel.
7. Threat of Losing Identity
It is important for people to remember their roots, and language is a very integral part of one's identity. English is closely linked to the British and the American cultures and history and is therefore not a “neutral” language. People whose languages are being lost because of the dominance of the English language, may lose their identities.
8. Threat of Social Clash
The use of one single language in a community is no guarantee for social harmony or mutual understanding. This has been proven several times during the history, e.g. American Civil War, Spanish Civil War, and former Yugoslavia.

Concluding Comment

Our discussion has shown that the creation of a global language has numerous advantages and disadvantages. We are in need of an international language for communication, politics, trade and security, but at the same time we are worried about language death, linguistic gap, and cultural decay.

Dangers of Global Language


References

Crystal, David. English as a Global Language. Cambridge: CUP, 1997

“English as global language: problems, dangers, opportunities.” AccessMyLibrary. 2008.
Gale. 29 June 2008 < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aurora_(mythology)>.

Zelander, Emilie.“English as a Global Language- Good or Bad?.” Mittuniversitete. 2005.
Mittuniversitete.29 June 2008 < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aurora_(mythology)>.





May 8, 2011

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Nathaniel Hawthorne

19th century American novelist and short story writer
  • Full Name: Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • Birth: July 4, 1804
  • Death: May 19, 1864
  • Place of Birth: 27 Hardy Street in Salem, Massachusetts
  • Buried at: Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord, Massachusetts
  • Father: Nathaniel Hathorne
  • Mother: Elizabeth Clarke Manning
  • Number of sisters: 2 (Elizabeth and Maria Louisa)
  • Marriage: 1842
  • Spouse: Sophia Peabody
  • Number of Children: 3 (Una, Julian and Rose)
  • Education: Bowdoin College (graduated in 1825)
  • Known for: symbolic and allegorical exploration of a variety of complex moral and psychological issues, especially those related to transgression, sense of guilt, retribution and redemption usually set against the sombre backdrop of the Puritan New England
  • Criticised for: his detachment from major political issues of his days
  • Influenced: Henry David Thoreau, Herman Melville, Henry James, and William Dean Howells

Quote:

“What other dungeon is so dark as one's own heart! What jailer so inexorable as one's self!”
“The House of the Seven Gables” (1851) Chapter XI : The Arched Window

Major Themes:

  • Social discrepancies
  • Human sorrow
  • Alienation
  • Pride
  • Evil
  • Sin/crime
  • Punishment/retribution
  • Problem of guilt
  • Regeneration/salvation/ redemption
  • Puritan New England
  • Italian background

Notable Works:

Novels
  • Fanshawe (1828)
  • The Scarlet Letter (1850)
  • The House of Seven Gables (1851)
  • The Blithedale Romance (1852)
  • The Marble Faun (1860)
  • The Dolliver Romance (1863) (fragmentary)
  • Septimius Felton [or, the Elixir of Life] (Published in the Atlantic Monthly, 1872)
  • Doctor Grimshawe's Secret (1882) (fragmentary)
Short Story Collections
  • Twice-Told Tales (1837)
  • Grandfather's Chair (1840)
  • Mosses from an Old Manse (1846)
  • The Snow-Image, and Other Twice-Told Tales (1852)
  • A Wonder-Book for Girls and Boys (1852)
  • Tanglewood Tales (1853)
  • The Dolliver Romance and Other Pieces (1876)
  • The Great Stone Face and Other Tales of the White Mountains (1889)
  • The Celestial Railroad and Other Short Stories
Selected Short Stories
  • "Roger Malvin's Burial" (1832)
  • "My Kinsman, Major Molineux" (1832)
  • "Young Goodman Brown" (1835)
  • "The Gray Champion" (1835)
  • "The White Old Maid" (1835)
  • "Wakefield" (1835)
  • "The Ambitious Guest" (1835)
  • "The Minister's Black Veil" (1836)
  • "The Man of Adamant" (1837)
  • "The Maypole of Merry Mount" (1837)
  • "The Great Carbuncle" (1837)
  • "Dr. Heidegger's Experiment" (1837)
  • "A Virtuoso's Collection" (May 1842)
  • "The Birth-Mark" (March 1843)
  • "Egotism; or, The Bosom-Serpent" (1843)
  • "The Artist of the Beautiful" (1844)
  • "Rappaccini's Daughter" (1844)
  • "P.'s Correspondence" (1845)

Did You Know?

  • His precursors were Puritans, they included businessmen, judges, and seamen.
  • His earliest ancestor William Hathorne, a magistrate in Salem was involved in religious harassment, likewise his eldest son John Hathorne, also a magistrate, inherited the same persecuting spirit and displayed it by playing a disputed role in the notorious Salem Witch Trials in 1962.
  • His father was a ship captain who died of yellow fever on board in 1808 when Hawthorne was only four years old.
  • In practical life Hawthorne was essentially reclusive.
  • Hawthorne’s shy and bookish childhood engendered his aspiration for becoming a writer.
  • Hawthorne was a fair scholar, during graduation he ranked eighteenth in a class of thirty-eight students.
  • Amongst Hawthorne’s fellow students at Bowdoin College was the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow , Franklin Pierce, the 14th president of the United states of America, and Horatio Bridge who served in the Navy with distinction.
  • After graduation, he changed his last name from “Hathorne” to “Hawthorne”, presumably to isolate himself from his ancestry (but no strong claim cannot be made to support it).
  • Hawthorne had always been a loyal member of the Democratic Party.
  • Hawthorne always had a fear that involvement in any job other than writing would hamper the normal flow of his authorship.
  • Hawthorne published his first novel Fanshawe anonymously at his own expense in 1828 but the attempt was largely unsuccessful and out of frustration he sought to retrieve and burn all copies of the book.
  • He wrote his famous novel The Scarlet Letter being tormented by his mother’s death.
  • His last fully finished work was Marble Faun.
  • Many of his fragmentary works were published posthumously.
  • The majority of Hawthorne's early stories were first published in various periodicals and subsequently collected in book form.
  • Hawthorne was an Anti-transcendentalist writer although his friends included a number of contemporary Transcendentalists like Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Ellery Channing.
  • Hawthorne was the first writer to apply artistic judgment to Puritan society.
  • Hawthorne’s theme of sin, punishment, and redemption was essentially moulded by a sense of guilt, which he traced to his ancestor's actions.
  • He died at the age of 60 (allegedly in his sleep), in Plymouth, New Hampshire, after suffering a long-term illness from severe dementia.
  • After Hawthorne’s demise Emerson described his life as “painful solitude”.
  • Soon after Hawthorne’s death, Longfellow wrote the poem entitled Hawthorne to pay homage to his friend’s creative power.



References


“Nathaniel Hawthorne.” Wikipedia. 2011. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 4 May 2011
< http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nathaniel_Hawthorne >.

“Nathaniel Hawthorne.” eNotes. 2011. eNotes.com, Inc. 4 May 2011
< http://www.enotes.com/authors/nathaniel-hawthorne >.

“Nathaniel Hawthorne Quick Facts.” Microsoft Encarta. DVD-ROM. Redmond: Microsoft, 2005.

April 22, 2011

Eos

Eos by Evelyn Pickering de Morgan
In Greek mythology, Eos (Roman equivalent: Aurora) is the goddess of the dawn. She was the daughter of the Titans, Hyperion and Theia (also called: Euryphassa; alternative spellings: Thea, Thia). She was the sister of Helios (Roman equivalent: Sol), the god of the sun, and of Selene (Roman equivalent: Luna), the goddess of the moon.

Eos was believed to rise up into the sky each day from her island on the shores of Okeanos (a fresh-water stream in ancient Greece) dispersing the shadows of night with her rays of light. Her presence announced the arrival of the sun. In art, Eos is represented as a charming deity often driving a golden chariot drawn by two winged horses, Lampos and Phaithon. In some other portrayals she is shown ascending towards the sky by her own pair of wings.

Dawn by Giovanni Francesco Barbieri

Eos is known best for her inconstant love affairs. She had an uncontrollable desire for good-looking youths. These affairs allegedly resulted from a curse called down to her by Aphrodite (also called: Cytherea; Roman equivalent: Venus). It is assumed that once Aphrodite discovered Eos’ illicit affair with Ares (Roman equivalent: Mars), the god of war and then out of jealousy she punished Eos to be perpetually in illicit love affairs.

Eos pursuing Tithonus by Sebastiano Ricci
The effect of the curse is evident in her tragic love affair with the Trojan prince Tithonus, the son of Laomedon, the king of Troy, and of Strymo, the daughter of the river Scamander. After falling in love with Tithonus, she kidnapped him and took him to Ethiopia. With him Eos had two sons, Memnon, the king of Ethiopia and Emathion. Eos was so deeply in love with the mortal that she decided to adopt him as her official husband. Therefore, she asked Zeus (Roman equivalent: Jupiter, also called: Jove), the ruler of the gods to grant Tithonus eternal life. Zeus granted her request instantly. However, because of the curse, she forgot to obtain eternal youth along with it. As a result, in his old age Tithonus transformed into a feeble and shrunken old man. Eos locked him in her palace, since she could not watch his misery any longer. A later account related his final transformation into a grasshopper. Alfred Tennyson, the famous English poet recounts a partially altered story in his famous dramatic monologue Tthonus. In the poem Eos herself confers Tithonus the gift of immortality. The poem begins in a melancholic vein expressing the grief of an ailing male psyche over his gradual decrepitude being trapped into perpetual old age:
"The woods decay, the woods decay and fall,
The vapours weep their burthen to the ground,
Man comes and tills the field and lies beneath,
And after many a summer dies the swan.
Me only cruel immortality
Consumes: I wither slowly in thine arms,"
Aurora and Cephalus by Pierre Narcisse Guerin
Eos could not resist her predilection to illicit love even when she was with the dearest of her lovers, that is, Thithonus. Her affection agitated the peaceful conjugal life of Cephalus and Procris. Eos told him to elope with her, but Cephalus, who truly loved his wife, denied doing so. Finding no other alternatives, Eos then sought to prove Procris’ inconstancy to her husband. To materialize her conspiracy, she changed Cephalus’ appearance and told him to try to seduce Procris. Cephalus then went to his wife and managed to seduce her without disclosing his true identity. After the incident Procris felt humiliated and thus ran away far from Cephalus. Eos then kidnapped Cephalus and took him to Syria, where they had a son named Phaeton. But Cephalus left her very soon and returned to his beloved wife.

Eos’ irrepressible obsession with love engendered the tragic tale of the handsome giant and mighty hunter Orion, the son of Poseidon (Roman equivalent: Neptune), the god of the sea, and Euryale, the Gorgon. When Eos fell in love with Orion she kidnapped him as usual. But when Artemis (Roman equivalent: Diana), the goddess of hunting, wilderness and wild animals, discovered his affection for Eos, she got envious and consequently killed him.

Astraeus (also spelt: Astraeos), the Titan god of the dusk, was also Eos’ husband. She had several offspring with Astraeus, who are also identified as the parts of the earth’s atmosphere as well as of the celestial bodies. They include Zephyrus, the god of west wind, Boreas, the god of north wind, Notos, the god of south wind, Eosphoros (also called: Hesperos; Venus), Stilbon (Mercury), Phosphorus (morning star) and all other Stars.

Eos carrying Memnon

Apart from her promiscuous standard of living, Eos is also remembered for her association with the Trojan War. Her son Memnon brought his army to the aid of Troy in the 10th year of the Trojan War. He fought bravely but was eventually killed by the Greek hero Achilles. Since then Eos used to shed tears lamenting over her son’s demise during announcing the starting of the day. Her tears are now known to us as dew drops that we see at early in the morning on the grass.

Aurora by John Gibson
The Gates of Dawn by Herbert Draper
Songs of the Morning by Henrietta Rae
Day and the Dawnstar by Herbert James Draper
Dawn by Sir Frank Dicksee
Dawn by William Adolphe Bouguereau

References

Khan, Farhad. An Encyclopedia of Classical Literature. Dhaka: Protik, 1996.

“Eos.” Wikipedia. 2011. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 3 April 2011
< http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eos >.

“Aurora (mythology).” Wikipedia. 2011. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 3 April 2011
< http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aurora_(mythology)>.

January 7, 2011

The current educational climate is essentially driven by an overriding interest in preparing students to become effective teachers. Therefore, some teacher education programmes have been developed in order to enhance this process. These programmes explore the possible approaches which could encourage student-teachers or teachers-in-service towards learning-focused teaching activities. Although teacher education programmes have been in existence for a long time, ESL teacher education is a relatively recent development. Numerous educational theorists and practitioners have handed down different opinions on the possible models for teacher education from their personal point of views. However, most of the researchers shared three common views. Subsequently these three concepts attained worldwide critical acclamation as teaching models. The latest models of teacher education have been put forward by, Michael J. Wallace in 1991. Wallace moulded his models after the existing concepts of his precursors, but in a more convenient or transparent way.

1. The Applied Science Model

The Applied Science Model is the traditional and perhaps still the most prevalent model underlying most ESL teacher education programmes. It was put forward by Michael J. Wallace in 1991 based on the Technical Rationality of Donald A. Schön. The model derives its authority from the achievements of emperical science, particularly in the 19th and the 20th centuries. The Applied Science Model emerges on the following assumptions:
  • Teaching is a science and as such can be examined rationally and objectively.
  • Teachers learn to be teachers by being taught research-based theories.
  • These theories are being conveyed to the students only by those who are considered to be the experts in the particular field.
  • Teachers are said to be educated when they become proficient enough to apply these theories in practice.
Merits: The Applied Science Model has the following plus points:
  • This model takes into account the crucial element of the explosive growth of relevant scientific knowledge in recent times.
  • Its theory oriented study provides much opportunity for the learner to achieve received knowledge.
Demerits: In spite of its wide-spread usage, it has some shortcomings:
  • Changes at the practical level applied by practitioners are not taken into account; therefore, their value is underestimated, thereby creating a separation between research and professional practice.
  • The most serious problem occurs when the students are asked to apply on their own the scientific theories they have learned in classroom.
  • Another shortcoming is the Applied Science Model’s failure to address adequately many of the important issues in teaching English. There has been relatively little research that directly concerns the teaching and learning of English in the classroom.
  • Many researchers claim that trainees who take courses based on the Applied Science Model feel that such courses do not help them develop professionally, that is, the theoretical studies are of no help.
  • Here the learner is passive, he cannot ask any question. He just follows the instructions of the expert.
  • The Applied Science Model is somewhat limited in scope as it does not take care of student- teachers’ self-development or awareness of their role not only as teachers but as teacher-researchers in their classrooms.
  • In Applied Science Model teaching is based on external knowledge, because it is essentially depended on rules and principles derived from preexisting knowledge sources.
  • The Applied Science Model is prescriptive since it advocates teachers to follow some proven teaching method instead of relying upon individual or intuitive theories of teaching and learning.
  • The Applied Science Model is a product oriented model. It slavishly follows various established methods and theories to improve teaching ability. In this model there is no scope for expressing one’s creativity.
  • Its major shortcoming is that it has not been able to deliver a relevant “scientific” solution to the various professional dilemmas that the teacher faces in real-life classroom situations.

2. The Craft Model

The Craft Model is the oldest form of professional education and is still used today in ESL teacher education, albeit rather limitedly. Its conceptual basis, however, is widely utilized in practicum courses in which students work with classroom teachers, often called cooperating teachers. Its use in one course in a programme of ESL teacher education cannot be regarded as a model for an entire programme. The basic assumptions underlying this model are as follows:
  • In its most basic form, Craft Model consists of the trainee or beginner working closely with the expert teacher.
  • The practitioner is supposed to learn by imitating all the teaching techniques used by the experienced teacher.
  • Knowledge is acquired as a result of observation, instruction, and practice.
Merits: The positive sides of this model are as follows:
  • The Craft Model of second language teacher education allows the learner to develop experiential knowledge, since the primary responsibilities of the learner are in the classroom.
  • It is one of the quickest models of ESL teacher education. Researches proved that students can imitate their teacher very quickly.
Demerits: This model of ESL teacher education programme suffers from several shortcomings:
  • The most relevant strategies of training are provided by experts, thus the student-teachers play a passive role.
  • The Craft Model is essentially conservative. It does not account for any kind of change. It depends merely on imitation.
  • It does not handle the relevant scientific knowledge.
  • In this model there is no scope for developing one’s creativity since it does not allow suggesting new theories.

3. The Reflective Model

The reflective practice has become a dominant paradigm in language teacher education research and programmes worldwide. But it is not an innovation in teaching. It has its roots in the work of a number of educational theorists and practitioners. Most definitions on reflective thinking found in the literature of teacher educatin are based on Dewey’s inquiry oriented concepts. In the 1980s, Dewey’s foundational aspects on reflection were further extended by the American sociologist Donald A. Schön. Later on, in 1991 Michael J. Wallace described Schön’s critique in a more explicit way.

The Reflective Model is based on the assumption that teachers develop professional competence through reflecting on their own practice. In other words, a teaching experience is recalled and considered to reach an evaluation and to provide input into future planning and action.

For Wallace a teacher education course should include two kinds of knowledge for it to be professionally structured:
  • Received knowledge: It is related to all the theories, concepts and skills that are studied during the student-teacher’s ELT methodology lessons.
  • Experiential knowledge: It is that knowledge which is developed by the trainees throughout their teaching practice.
Wallace’s Reflective Model is applicable to both pre-service and in-service education. The model is separated it into three stages:
  1. The pre-training: It is believed that the person who has decided to embark on professional education does not enter the progamme with blank mind. He has, at least, some pre-training knowledge about teaching.
  2. The professional development: It is the stage of professional education or development through theory and practice.
  3. The professional competence: The ultimate goal of this model is to increase professional competence.
Wallace presents the Reflective Model as a cyclical process in which the trainees are involved throughout their teaching experience. Such a cycle aims for continuous improvement and the development of personal theories of action. There is an assumption that the student-teachers already have some knowledge that they acquired as students and during the development of their English programme. Once the student-teachers have the opportunity to enter the classroom environment, they discover the actual framework of teaching and become aware of the different classroom situations. Thus, they start recalling about their performance during the teaching practice, how some experienced teachers deal with those situations, and also, how they themselves could manage them. So, they make some decisions and think about possible actions they could apply to their context. Or sometimes they simply reflect upon their classroom activities to evaluate their professional performance. Such a study helps them to figure out both the positive as well as the negative side of their teaching strategy. That means reflection helps them to avoid various future professional dilemmas by recalling and evaluating past experiences. The following illustration is a graphical representation of Wallace’s Reflective Model of professional education or development:


This is a very common way in which professional competence is developed, and in it the process of reflective practice is clearly taking place, even though the practice element occurs outside the formal framework of the course. The use of reflective practice is obviously valid, but it should be noted that this sort of practice for professional education carries certain disadvantages:
  • The main disadvantage is that the experience is private, not shared.
  • The second disadvantage is the potential lack of focus in the discussion.
  • The third problem could well be the lack of structure in the mode of articulating reflection.
  • Ultimately, its flexibility and stress on participant initiative and input may cause lack of organisation and a pooling of ignorance, at the expense of genuine professional or personal progress.
Merits: Reflective teaching is very much beneficial for teacher development. It offers more advantages than disadvantages:
  • Reflective practice helps the novice teachers become more aware of decision-making processes to help them determine the effect their decisions have in the context in which they are implemented.
  • Reflective Model is broad in scope since it enables teachers to investigate, and clarify their own classroom processes, and their individual theories of teaching and learning, instead of relying on some specific method of teaching.
  • The Reflective Model is a process oriented teaching approach since it provides an opportunity for the teacher to reveal his creative sides.
  • Reflective practice provides an opportunity for the teacher to find a self-defined solution for a particular classroom problem.
  • With a sharp contrast to the other models of teacher education, the Reflective Model does not treat the student-teacher as a passive participant. Here he works with his educator as a co-participant.
  • This is the only model that fulfills almost all the requirements for teacher development.

References

Day, Richard. “Models and the Knowledge Base of Second Language Teacher Education.”
University of Hawaii System. 2008. University of Hawai‘i. 20 September 2008
< http://www.hawaii.edu/sls/uhwpesl/112/day112.pdf>.

“Tasting Teaching Flavors: A Group of Student-Teachers’ Experiences in their Practicum.”
Scielo. 2008. Universidad Nacional de Colombia. 20 September 2008
< http://www.scielo.org.co >.

Wallace, M.J. Training Foreign Language Teachers: A Reflective Approach. Cambridge: CUP,
1991.

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