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Alan Waters: Theory and Practice in ELT Methodology - Retrospect and Prospect

Date: 13 June 2012 Time: 03.30-05.00 pm

Venue: BNSR (tbc)

SLLAT Research Group Talk by Alan Waters, Dept. of Linguistics and English Language, Lancaster University


There are two main levels at which trends in ELT methods and methodology can be identified. One is in terms of the theoretical pronouncements of the 'professional discourse', as manifested by major publications, conference presentations, and so on. This talk therefore begins by briefly summarising the nature of developments of this kind from 1995 onwards. In this respect, the period as a whole is seen to be characterised primarily by increased advocacy of a 'communicating to learn' approach. However, methods and methodology also exist, of course, and to a much greater extent, in the form of actual classroom practice. The attempt is therefore made to characterise developments since 1995 at this level as well, by comparing earlier and more recent editions of a unit from a widely-used international ELT coursebook. Their methodology is seen to have remained relatively similar, and, in contrast to the theoretical level, to have taken a mainly 'learning to communicate' orientation. The talk concludes by also considering whether future developments in the area are likely to continue to present a similar, contradictory picture, and why.


Who can attend: Anyone


Further information

Associated staff: Alan Waters

Organising departments and research centres: Linguistics and English Language, Second Language Learning and Teaching Research Group (SLLAT)


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Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Lancaster University
Lancaster LA1 4YD
United Kingdom

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