By Michael Byram
Written through the winner of the 1987 BAAL ebook prize, this booklet bargains with the purchase of figuring out of international cultures and peoples. it's also a learn of the philosophy and objective of language instructing in all its elements, within the context of overseas language instructing in secondary schooling. The e-book is written for language lecturers and, notwithstanding it attracts on disciplines no longer frequently integrated of their schooling education, it does so from in the profession's personal standpoint. it truly is an try and increase academics' and novices' information of the complete academic price of international language studying.
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The four areas of enquiry designated above are not all dealt with equally and not always directly in the terms used in this introduction. Where possible, links will be made and relationships investigated, but if there is one single purpose to this book it is not to provide a complete and neat account of a closely defined issue but rather to essay a number of independent approaches to an important and complex topic. Page 8 1 Foreign Language Teaching and Education Foreign language competence has since ancient times been a sign of `the educated man', and it is not necessary to seek beyond the `man in the street' to find evidence of admiration for and acceptance of the principle that being educated includes being able to `speak' a foreign language.
First of all, let me say more precisely what I include under the label `Cultural Studies'. Every foreign language lesson includes some spoken or written text and usually some visual image which refer to a particular foreign way of life. The reference may be ignored by teacher and learner, as they attempt to describe their own world using the foreign language for example using `le pain' to refer to an English loaf of bread, but the implicit reference, to a French baguette, cannot be avoided. Some foreign language lessons include description of a scene in the foreign country in which the text might figure.
Even the countries noted for their language learning, for example Denmark (Byram, 1982), do not escape the danger of in-built failure. Let us therefore retrace a few steps and take another look at the notion of needs. We must look at the education of pupils, at their needs as the Page 12 teacher perceives them, at the contribution to their whole educational development that language teaching can offer. When questions are put in these terms, most language teachers will find answers, and indeed such answers have been articulated in the English `National Criteria' for the General Certificate of Secondary Education: French, where it is implicitly claimed that such a contribution is not incompatible with the approach through communicative needs.