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September 20, 2004

Students Not Learning? Give Them a Drink!

In his regular Daily Yomiuri column The Practical Linguist, Marshall R. Childs looks at changes in English language teaching methodologies and examines whether the "human equation" is equally important as method. He looks at grammar-translation, audiolingualism and the communicative approach, and then beyond method to explore what physiological process accompany second-language learning, even mentioning an old study which showed that "students' pronunciation of a previously unknown language is improved by hypnosis and alcohol" and that test performance is also affected by Valium, in an unexpected way. He suggests that perhaps teachers affect the learning experience in much the same way as scientists "contaminate" the objects and processes they observe.
Method vs the personal equation (link will expire)

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