Aspects of Modern Language Teaching in Europe

By Wolf Gewehr; Georgia Catsimali et al. | Go to book overview

6

SIMULATED LIVING ABROAD

A new way of modern language acquisition

Lothar Bunn

Introduction

The demand that foreign language curricula should be kept open to revision is not a new one. 1 It takes into account that not only changes of parameters in FLT research but also changes in the anthropogenic and socio-cultural background of learners as well as in their individual learner biographies necessitate new concepts of foreign language teaching. 2 The increasing role which foreign language contacts are playing for many people in their work has in the German-speaking countries increased the call for the teaching of languages for specific purposes. A consequence for both LSP and general language teaching has been that learners need more skills-oriented language instruction. 3 With respect to oral skills, the teacher is called upon to provide situations for oral communication and possibilities for autonomous learning.

Against this background, this chapter presents a classroom project which helps the learners to cope with the communicative requirements of situations from everyday life. The learners are confronted with a real-life situation: they are living together in a high-rise block of flats and have to communicate with their flat-mates and neighbours. The main focus of this chapter is to show how learners can be helped to cope with the language requirements of these situations, and one particular feature of the classroom project will be emphasized—the systematic alternation of different types of interactive classroom activities.

Following a general description of the project, I will thus first of all describe the classroom interaction forms that determined this language course and explain the methodological concept. The alternation of classroom interaction forms involving the variation of the learning and studying activities will then be presented. Finally, the topics dealt with will be introduced in order to illustrate the aspect of course content.

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