On authorSTREAM: English Language Teaching in the late 19th and in the 20th Century (Sue Swift)

posted by Jürgen Kurtz, Karlsruhe University of Education, Germany

In order to understand recent developments in teaching English as a foreign or second language, including task-based instruction (TBI), content-based instruction (CBI) as well as content and language integrated learning (CLIL), it is important to know about the history of foreign language education.

The following three audio-supported presentations take you on a journey through the past, beginning just before the (European) Modern Language Reform Movement in the late nineteenth century. The history of foreign language education goes back much further than that, of course, (see, for instance, Hüllen 2005), and it needs to be looked at from a more global perspective that is not reduced to developments in Britain and in the United States. Nevertheless, these presentations are well-worth a view, especially for ‘TEFL-novices’ (as a ‘springboard’ into the literature):

Language teaching before 1940

Language teaching 1940-1980

Language teaching from the 1970s onwards

Hüllen, Werner (2005). Kleine Geschichte des Fremdsprachenlernens. Berlin: Schmidt.


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