ESL TeachingTraining

Social ConstructivismWorkshop

The Past Rediscovered in a Constructivist Context

Steve Hirschhorn

The purpose of this paper is to present an overview of current ELT methodology, to briefly trace its history, and to suggest that it is currently wandering in no particular direction. Even the Communicative Approach, while in possession of a language theory, has no discernible learning theory and so it may be that Constructivism could provide that framework if we can identify the salient features of our practice and relocate them.

Part of this talk will re-assess Humanistic Approaches in the light of a Constructivist pedagogy in an attempt to identify features which might be viewed sympathetically and thus be available as part of a teacher’s eclectic tool box. The four approaches to be examined are:

This paper, aimed at teachers, students of ELT and pedagogic researchers, will offer an insight into the Humanistic Approaches, their procedures and claimed outcomes and will attempt to position them within a constructivist philosophy to demonstrate that while their techniques may seem outlandish, their principles are not only relevant in today’s world of ELT but even attractive and accessible.

Next workshop:
The Brain in Language Learning