Implementing Vygotsky’s socio-cultural approach in the foreign language classroom

With his work on the role of social constructivism to learning, Vygotsky (1934) and his ‘socio-cultural’ theory have become the foundation of much research not only in the field of cognitive development but also in that of language learning. A brief study of key notions that underlie his major theories, such as the Zone ofContinue reading “Implementing Vygotsky’s socio-cultural approach in the foreign language classroom”

Equivalence and skopos: ‘transferring’ these key concepts of translation theory to SLA and foreign language learning

    Translation theory: focusing on the notions of equivalence and skopos and how they can be ‘associated’ with second language learning and teaching.     For Bassnett (2002:27), translation is not only a ‘form of communication’, but also a ‘continuity’, ensuring the ‘survival of a text’, by ‘effectively becoming its after-life, a new original in anotherContinue reading “Equivalence and skopos: ‘transferring’ these key concepts of translation theory to SLA and foreign language learning”

The role of noticing in foreign language learning and teaching

How can we encourage our learners to notice new language structures in the TL and discover their role and function? Here are some key points on the role of deductive learning and consciousness raising tasks in promoting language acquisition. According to Batstone (1994:54) noticing activities are those which “encourage a more introspective engagement with language,Continue reading “The role of noticing in foreign language learning and teaching”

Consciousness raising and the foreign language learner

    In their book on second language teaching (1988:51) , W. Rutherford and S. Sharwood Smith talk about the notions of “explicit” and “implicit” knowledge and the impact these have had on second language acquisition. They argue that helping our learners achieve the much desired goal of “spontaneous, unreflecting language use” will depend on manyContinue reading “Consciousness raising and the foreign language learner”

Listening skills and strategies for the foreign language classroom

How can we turn listening from a passive skill to an active and engaging process for our learners?Here are 7 points to consider when designing listening tasks for the foreign language classroom. By Joanna Nifli (MA TEFL/CELTA certified EFL instructor)     Listening may be one of the passive skills in language teaching and learningContinue reading “Listening skills and strategies for the foreign language classroom”

Selecting listening tasks for the EFL classroom

What makes a good listening activity? How can we make sure that our listening tasks foster language comprehension and acquisition? Here are some tips on designing and choosing effective listening activities for our foreign language learners.     In many EFL contexts learners do not get enough exposure to the L2 outside the language classroom. UsingContinue reading “Selecting listening tasks for the EFL classroom”

Designing reading activities for the foreign language classroom: some key points to consider

Instilling the ‘reading bug’ to our learners may be one of the greatest achievements of a language teacher. We need to make our students want to read in the TL not because they have to but because they want to. This starts in the language classroom by choosing interesting texts, relevant to their age, levelContinue reading “Designing reading activities for the foreign language classroom: some key points to consider”


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