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November 21, 2005

Is Teaching Conversation a Myth?

Mike Guest has a problem with standard ELT terminology. In his latest Indirectly Speaking column in last Friday's Daily Yomiuri, Guest asked whether teaching conversation is in fact "a myth." His reasoning is that much of what is taught in so-called English conversation classes should be more correctly termed "discourse," with conversation ability being more correctly used to describe an individual's communicative and interactional skills. He points out that what is usually taught in these classes is usually focused on or built around specific grammar and vocabulary, with students usually following the PPP (presentation-practice-production) model, rather than having real, meaningful conversations. Guest points to the common result: learners subjecting native speakers to the "textbook question" attack.
Is Teaching Conversation a Myth? (link will expire)
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