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Agree or disagree with these statements. Explain why.


a. Teaching is a very boring job.

b. The attitudes to the subject and to learning in general depend on the teacher.

c. A good atmosphere at the lesson is provided by the teacher's respect for the pupils.

d. The only responsibility of a teacher is to give good knowledge.

e. It is always difficult to choose the right attitude to pupils.


Text 1. History of foreign language education

Although the need to learn foreign languages is almost as old as human history itself, the origins of modern language education has its roots in the study and teaching of Latin. 500 years ago Latin was the dominant language of education, commerce, religion and government in much of the Western world. However, by the end of the 16th century, French, Italian and English displaced Latin as the languages of spoken and written communication. The study of Latin diminished from the study of a living language to be used in the real world to a subject in the school curriculum. Such decline brought about a new justification for its study. It was then claimed that its study developed intellectual abilities and the study of Latin grammar became an end in an of itself. "Grammar schools" from the 16th to 18th centuries focused on teaching the grammatical aspects of Classical Latin. Advanced students continued grammar study with the addition of rhetoric.

The study of modern languages did not become part of the curriculum of European schools until the 18th century. Based on the purely academic study of Latin, students of modern languages did much of the same exercises, studying grammatical rules and translating abstract sentences. Oral work was a minimum with focus on memorization of grammatical rules and possibly the ability to read in the target language.

Innovation in foreign language teaching began in the 19th century and, very rapidly, in the 20th century, leading to a number of different methodologies, sometimes conflicting, each trying to be a major improvement over the last or other contemporary methods. Unfortunately, those looking at the history of foreign language education in the 20th century and the methods of teaching (such as those related below) might be tempted to think that it is a history of failure. In addition, very few American researchers can read and assess information written in languages other than English and even a number famous linguists are monolingual.

However, anecdotal evidence for successful second or foreign language learning is easy to find, leading to a discrepancy between these cases and the failure of most language programs to help make second language acquisition research emotionally-charged. Older methods and approaches such as the grammar translation method or the direct method are disposed of and even ridiculed as newer methods and approaches are invented and promoted as the only and complete solution to the problem of the high failure rates of foreign language students. Most books on language teaching list the various methods that have been used in the past, often ending with the author's new method. These new methods seem to be created full-blown from the authors' minds, as they generally give no credence to what was done before and how it relates to the new method. For example, descriptive linguists seem to claim unhesitantly that before their work, which lead to the audio-lingual method developed for the U.S. Army in World War II, there were no scientifically-based language teaching methods. However, there is significant evidence to the contrary. It is also often inferred or even stated that older methods were completely ineffective or have died out completely when even the oldest methods are still used (e.g. the Berlitz version of the direct method). Much of the reason for this is that proponents of new methods have been so sure that their ideas are so new and so correct that they could not conceive that the older ones have enough validity to cause controversy and emphasis on new scientific advances has tended to blind researchers to precedents in older work.

The development of foreign language teaching does not have a linear development. There have been two major branches in the field, empirical and theoretical, which have almost completely-separate histories, with each gaining ground over the other at one point in time or another. Examples of researchers on the empiricist side are Jesperson, Palmer, Leonard Bloomfield who promote mimicry and memorization with pattern drills. These methods follow from the basic empiricist position that language acquisition is basically habits formed by conditioning and drill. In its most extreme form, language learning is basically the same as any other learning in any other species, human language being essentially the same as communication behaviors seen in other species. On the other, are Francois Gouin, M.D. Berlitz, Elime de Sauzé, whose rationalist theories of language acquisition dovetail with linguistic work done by Noam Chomsky and others. These have led to a wider variety of teaching methods from grammar-translation, to Gouin's "series method" or the direct methods of Berlitz and de Sauzé. With these methods, students generate original and meaningful sentences to gain a functional knowledge of the rules of grammar. This follows from the rationalist position that man is born to think and language use is a uniquely human trait impossible in other species. Given that human languages share many common traits, the idea is that human share a universal grammar which is built into our brain structure. This allows us to create sentences that have never been heard before, but can still be immediately understood by anyone who understands the specific language being spoken. The rivalry of the two camps is intense, with little communication or cooperation between them.

Render the texts.

Text 2. Education

The first major milestone in the history of education occurred in prehistoric times when man invented language. Language enabled man to communicate more precisely than he could by signs and gestures. But early man had only a spoken language. He had no system of writing or numbering and no schools.

Young people in prehistoric societies were educated through apprenticeship, imitation and rituals. Through apprenticeship a young man learned, for example, how to build a shelter by working with an older, experienced master builder. Through imitation, young people acquired the language and customs of their parents and other adults in their society. Through the performance of rituals, they learned about the meaning of life and the ties that bound them to their group. The rituals consisted of dancing or other activities. They were performed at times of emotional stress, such as death, warfare, or drought. The rituals usually involved myths, which dealt with such things as the group's history and its gods and heroes.

Today, in all societies, young people still learn through apprenticeship, imitation and ritual. But as a society grows increasingly complicated, teachers and schools take on more and more responsibility for educating the young.

2.1. The Beginning of Formal Education

About 3000 ΒΡ, the Sumerians, who lived in Tigris-Euphrates Valley, and the Egyptians each invented a system of writing. Both systems included a method of writing numbers as well as language. The invention of writing was the second major milestone in the history of education. It made possible the beginning of schools as we know them today.

Before man developed writing, teachers had to repeat orally what was to be learned until the young had memorized it. A child could thus learn only what his teacher already knew, and had memorized. But by teaching the child to read, a teacher could make available the knowledge of many men, not only his own, yet reading and writing could not be learned while the child served as an apprentice, imitated the behaviour of his elders, or took part in rituals. In addition, the first writing systems, which were a kind of picture writing, were awkward* and hard to learn. As a result, special schools arose in which teachers taught reading, writing, and calculation.


2.2. Sumerian and Egyptian Education

Shortly after 3000 ΒΡ, both0 the Sumerians and the Egyptians established schools to teach boys the newly invented arts of reading and writing. The schools were taught by temple priests. Only exceptionally talented boys could attend the schools. Girls were not allowed to attend school, but some girls learned reading and writing in their homes.

A boy's training, which lasted from about the age of 5 to 17, was strict and monotonous. He learned to write by copying the same literary selections again and again. He learned arithmetic by copying business accounts. Boys who completed their education formed a separate social class called "scribes." Scribes were hired for any task that required a knowledge of reading, writing, or arithmetic.


2.3. Other Middle Eastern Education

Civilization spread from Sumer and Egypt to the eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Certain tribes in this region each spoke one of the closely related Semitic languages. Between about 1500 ΒΡ and 1000 ΒΡ, these tribes developed the world's first alphabet and so gave education another valuable tool. Alphabetic systems make writing easier than picture systems because they require far fewer symbols.

Certain HebrewSemitic tribes developed a remarkably democratic educational system. Other educational systems had been designed mainly for the sons of upper-class families. But the Hebrews required boys of every social class to attend school. The Hebrew schools were religious -schools conducted by priests called scribes. They taught boys to read the sacred writings of the Hebrew people, which were collected in a volume called the Tarah. Hebrew girls did not attend school but were taught at home by their mothers.


Date: 2015-04-20; view: 1526

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