Monthly Archives: November 2018

Evidence for the Bilingual Option: Re-Thinking European Principles in Foreign Language Teaching

by Wolfgang Butzkamm (RWTH Aachen) & Michael Lynch (University of Edinburgh)

In Europe and the western world in general, the monolingual approach has persisted in the guise of the communicative approach—clearly a direct method derivative—until the present day. This paper calls for a drastic revision of a methodology where the learners’ mother tongue is only a stopgap device. It presents different groups of learners who testify to the effectiveness of a bilingual approach. The evidence is in: For beginners, L1 [first language] support is an immediate solution, not a last resort. Detailed proposals are made to improve courses for immigrants with native languages unrelated to conventional European school languages. At the same time, this paper calls for a bringing together of foreign languages teachers and teacher educators to conduct combined research on what works best for foreign language learners. Please click here to read more.

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