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Teaching English Using Eclectic Approach

Even generative grammar focuses on form at the expense of meaning: it is concerned with membership in sets of grammatical sentences (cfr Chomsky). It took the communicative shift of the 1980s in Europe and North America, with its emphasis on the cognitive-code approach, to reject behaviorism and the audiolingual and direct methods. Thus, structuralism, with its exclusive concern with form, gave way to the communicative methods, with their stress on meaning negotiation.

"In response to the perceived weaknesses of both structural and notional/functional syllabuses in producing communicatively competent speakers, the current literature stresses the importance of providing language learners with more opportunities to interact directly with the target language and to acquire it by using it rather than to learn it by studying it" (Taylor 1987, p. 45). The Council of Europe Languages Projects, initiated in 1971, concentrated on the needs of learners, and provided contents for syllabi intended to serve as bases for a Europe-wide scheme (notional/functional approach). In this scheme, some items were to be learned productively, some receptively. Language, it stated, should center on the learner, be relevant to the learner's life, not remote academic goals, be part of permanent education, be based on participatory democracy, and be communicative. As is often the case with grandiose projects (particularly, of course, political ones), ideals turn somewhat sour when practice shows them to be at loggerheads with vested interests or ingrained traditions. Furthermore, to express themselves in terms of certain notions and functions was to limit learners to threshold levels of a watered-down structural approach, but structural all the same. In this case, the tradition of structural linguistics has been hard to displace, with mixed results in applying a communicative and fully functional approach. It seems as if there is no way out: to learn a language...

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Teaching English Using Eclectic Approach. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 00:02, August 20, 2017, from
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