Language Teaching Through the Ages  book cover
1st Edition

Language Teaching Through the Ages

ISBN 9780415657891
Published February 19, 2013 by Routledge
250 Pages

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Book Description

Konrad Koerner, a leading historian of linguistics, has long said that an academic field cannot be considered to have matured until it has history as one of its subfields. The history of linguistics is a growing area, having come into its own in the 1960s, especially after Noam Chomsky looked for historical roots for his work. In contrast, the history of language teaching has been neglected, reflecting the insecurity and youth of the field. Most works on the subject have been written by linguists for other linguists, and typically focus on a specific period or aspect of history. This volume concentrates on the basic issues, events, and threads of the history of the field - from Mesopotamia to the present - showing how a knowledge of this history can inform the practice of language teaching in the present.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Why Study the History of Language Teaching? Part I: In the Beginning  1. In the Beginning?  2. Mesopotamia: The First Records  3. Egypt: The Effect of Language Change  4. The Greeks: The Foundations of Western Education  5. The Romans: Refining the System  6. The Middle Ages: A Few Bright Spots Part II: The Early Modern World 7. William Lily's Famous Grammar 8. Erasmus’s Ideas on Education  9. Roger Ascham and His Double Translation Technique  10. Claudius Holyband: "A Frenchman Which Doth His Dutie"  11. Michel de Montaigne: The Last Native Speaker of Latin?  12. John Brinsley’s Advice to Teachers  13. Eilhard Lubinus: A Call for Change  14. Jan Comenius Creates a Full-Scale Science of Education  15. The Port-Royal Community  16. John Wilkins and His Rational Language  17. John Locke: Who Needs Latin?  18. César Chesneau du Marsais, Philosophy, and Grammar  19. Robert Lowth’s Prescriptivist Grammar  20. Lindley Murray: "The Father of English Grammar"  21. The Grammar-Translation Method: It’s Not What You Think  22. Two Diversions: Prendergast and Gouin  23. Esperanto: A Successful Created Language  24. Natural Methods: Learning Like Children  Part III: Modern Times  25. The Reform Movement: The Start of Modern Times  26. Two Reports on the State of Language Teaching  27. Harold Palmer: A Modern Teacher  28. The Controversy of Basic English  29. World War II and the "Army Specialized Training Program"  30. After the War  31. The 1970s and Beyond 32. Conclusion


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Garon Wheeler is Campus Dean at the New York Institute of Technology, Abu Dhabi, UAE.


"this book is a very useful addition to the literature on second-language teaching, as it goes a long way to fulfilling the goals Wheeler set out for himself in the introduction. It shows that the development of language was not linear, and presents history as a place where a teacher can trawl. It tactifully implies that a teacher attracted by certain techniques of the past should assess how they fit his own capabilities."- L.G. Kelly, Darwin College, University of Cambridge, Language and History, Vol. 57, No.1, May 2014, 96-106