Whereas research in L1 reading processes is concerning itself increasingly with basic reading skills and stressing the dependence on data, the didactics of reading for non-natives is still mainly concerned with those processes which are determined by knowledge and expectations. This article proposes that we should differentiate more clearly between the general cognitive processes involved and those processes specific to reading. It is necessary that there should be a different theoretical evaluation of these two types of process. Apart from metacognitive strategies, the paper also deals with inferences. In contrast to the constructivist viewpoint, it is suggested here that it is rather the basic automatic inferential processes that are determining and that the higher level processes of understanding are dependent upon them. The aim of this paper is to determine the characteristics of these processes and their implications for practical foreign language teaching.
Exercises or tasks play a major role in foreign language learning, but research in this area is rare, except for exercise typologies. The paper discusses briefly some shortcomings of the typological approach and argues for a more comprehensive analysis of exercises focussing on the relation between task structure and learner activities. An empirical study of task solving activities of 22 adult foreign language learners in 5 languages is presented which forms the basis of a model of the task-solving process followed by an inventory of different task-solving strategies. Data show a great variety of emotional and motivational attitudes, of formal solving strategies and of activation of linguistic knowledge. The analysis attempts to define some basic solving strategies and establishes a series of compensatory strategies. It seems that many adult learners tend to overuse formal solving strategies at the expense of content based language processing. As a consequence of this overrepresentation, they miss the learning potentials which functional and cultural task goals can offer. These findings raise questions about the utility of combined grammatical and communicative tasks as well as the need for systematic training of content-based solving strategies.
The short story is one of the most popular genres in EFL classrooms. Short story readers and collections sell well and are favourite reading materials in literary teaching units. However, little thought is ever given to the combination of texts belonging to the same genre and the impact of such text combinations in the reception process. What is the genre conception underlying a particular selection of texts? Is the formation of generic schemes in the reaching process an intended or an unnoticed side-effect? This article is an attempt to integrate recent developments and approaches in the fields of literary and discourse theory, of the New Historicism and of the psychology of learning into a genre-oriented intertextual conception of teaching literature in the advanced EFL classroom.
This paper looks at ways of training students in correct pronunciation with the help of computers, using programs presently available fort he teaching of German and English as foreign languages (DaF, ESL/EFL). For this purpose criteria are developed from the point of view of foreign language teaching by which the merits of individual multimedia pronunciation programs may be judged. Six pronunciation programs are evaluated and the effectiveness of the programs hitherto developed discussed. The contribution concludes with recommendations how presently available programs might usefully be utilized by teachers and also shows, extrapolating from present tendencies, what further developments in this area are to be expected in the future.
Criticism of intercultural concepts in education and language instruction has worked out important problematic aspects associated with interculturalism and has thus necessitated a conceptual, critical differentiation of these concepts. In this article I will first of all provide an overall view of the criticism of intercultural concepts from the perspective of educational science and foreign language teaching research and trace the line of argument of these negative statements. In the second part I will deal with several arguments that are important to me. In the third section I will make some differentiations, against the background of the new conception of culture and identity which arose in consequence of the linguistic turn and with particular consideration of the latest Anglo-American multiculturalism debate. I consider a change in views especially necessary for the foreign language teaching research context: narrative-constructivist concepts of culture, intercultural communication and intercultural learning should replace origin-related and essentialistic concepts.