By Hans Heinrich Stern

Professor Stern places utilized linguistics study into its historic and interdisciplinary standpoint. He offers an authoritative survey of previous advancements around the globe and establishes a collection of guidance for the long run. There are six components: Clearing the floor, ancient views, suggestions of Language, suggestions of Society, recommendations of Language studying, and ideas of Language educating.

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Ingram (1980:42) once again offers a similar list of disciplines and allocates the tasks of theoretician, applied linguist, and practitioner in much the same way as Campbell does. This model shows in greater detail the functions of the applied linguist and, the relative distribution of tasks among applied linguist and class teacher. Feedback from practice is acknowledged. However, we might be inclined to question the limited role that is allocated to the practitioner in comparison to the applied linguist, and the notion that methodology and practice are ultimately and exclusively derived from theoretical sciences is also open to question.

However, much of this theorizing has not been very productive. Witness the perennial complaints about the unsatisfactory state of language teaching, about its ineffectiveness, about the waste of money and energy on something that does not produce commensurate results. The need for constructive theorizing is revealed by the restlessness in the language teaching profession, the vain search for a panacea, the impatience with language instruction among parent groups, and the disappointment and resentment expressed by unsuccessful learners.

Likewise, the supporting activities, such as the preparation of teaching materials, teaching grammars, or dictionaries, or the training of teachers, as well as making the necessary administrative provision inside or outside an educational system-they all fall under the concept of teaching. Sometimes it is argued that informal methods of ‘deschooling’ (Illich 1971), using the language in unplanned situations, ‘teach’ languages more effectively than formal classroom instruction. Even in these cases, although a teacher is not much in evidence, we are still within the range of what legitimately can be described as teaching, as long as such informal approaches are planned for the purpose of language learning.

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