Understanding Language Teaching: From Method to Postmethod, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Understanding Language Teaching

From Method to Postmethod, 1st Edition

By B. Kumaravadivelu


276 pages

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pub: 2005-09-07
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This book traces the historical development of major language teaching methods in terms of theoretical principles and classroom procedures, and provides a critical evaluation of each. Drawing from seminal, foundational texts and from critical commentaries made by various scholars, Kumaravadivelu examines the profession's current transition from method to postmethod and, in the process, elucidates the relationship between theory, research, and practice. The chief objective is to help readers see the pattern that connects language, learning, teaching methods, and postmethod perspectives.

In this book, Kumaravadivelu:

*brings together a critical vision of L2 learning and teaching--a vision founded at once on historical development and contemporary thought;

*connects findings of up-to-date research in L2 learning with issues in L2 teaching thus making the reader aware of the relationship between theory, research and practice;

*presents language teaching methods within a coherent framework of language-, learner-, and learning-centered pedagogies, thus helping the reader to see how they are related to each other;

*shows how the three categories of methods evolved historically leading ultimately (and inevitably) to the emergence of a postmethod condition; and

*provides the reader with a solid background in several interconnected areas of L2 pedagogy, such as concepts of competence, input factors, intake processes, interactional modifications, and instructional design.

Understanding Language Teaching: From Method to Postmethod is intended for an international audience of teacher educators, practicing teachers and graduate students, researchers, curriculum planners, and materials designers in the field of second and foreign language teaching.


"As a teacher, I found Kumaravadivelu's book insightful, unique, and at times inspiring."

--TESL-EJ; December 2007

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface: The Pattern Which Connects. Part I: Language, Learning, and Teaching. Language: Concepts and Precepts. Learning: Factors and Processes. Teaching: Input and Interaction. Part II: Language Teaching Methods. Constituents and Categories of Methods. Language-Centered Methods. Learner-Centered Methods. Learning-Centered Methods. Part III: Postmethod Perspectives. Postmethod Condition. Postmethod Pedagogy. Postmethod Predicament. Postscript: The Pattern Which Comforts.

About the Series

ESL & Applied Linguistics Professional Series

This series provides essential texts on teaching English as a second language and applied linguistics. It includes authored and edited volumes to be used as primary or supplementary texts in graduate-level and teacher training courses to enhance students’ and practicing teachers’ professional qualifications and knowledge. Each text is designed to promote the current and growing body of knowledge in applied linguistics and second language teaching, including advances in teacher education and the study of language.

Specifically, the series includes, but is not limited to, current uses of applied linguistics research in teaching a variety of second language skills, such as reading, writing, speaking and listening; materials and curriculum design; literacy; English for academic purposes; and research methods.

The texts also deal with broad domains of professional preparation related to socio-cultural perspectives and current issues/topics in teaching and learning a second language.

Books in the series benefit not only students, but experienced teachers, curriculum developers, teacher trainers, program administrators, and other second and foreign language professionals seeking to advance and update their knowledge and expertise.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Teaching Methods & Materials / General