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The teaching of Italian in British Columbia : theories, methods, computers and MAE Stokovac, Jo-Anna G. M. 2000

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THE TEACHING OF ITALIAN IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: THEORIES, METHODS, COMPUTERS AND M A E by JO-ANNA G.M. STOKOVAC B.A., The University of British Columbia, 1993 B.Ed., The University of British Columbia, 1997 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE F A C U L T Y OF G R A D U A T E STUDIES (Department of French, Hispanic, and Italian Studies) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standards THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA March 2000 © Jo-Anna G.M. Stokovac, 2000 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of W€™CA t H(SPfrtU(C % TWUm S>TUbl€^> The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada DE-6 (2/88) ABSTRACT The teaching of a foreign language involves the use of methods, rooted in an approach to language teaching, and often incorporates the use of technology such as computers and multimedia. In order to examine the approach, method, and use of multimedia technology in the teaching of Italian in British Columbia at the elementary and secondary levels, it is important to first define these critical elements. The first chapter examines the global shift from using a Grammar-Translation Approach to teaching foreign languages towards using a Communicative Approach. It is interesting to note that this shift spans numerous centuries and develops gradually through a series of innovative foreign language teaching approaches and methods. The second chapter provides an in-depth look at this Communicative Approach. It examines the theories it is based on, the components a Communicative Language Teaching or C L T syllabus incorporates, as well as the classroom manifestations of CLT, including the types of activities used, the role of grammar, the learning resources used, the teacher's role, and the student's role. The chapter also reviews criticism levied against CLT. The third chapter examines the role of computer technology in foreign language teaching. As computers become ubiquitous, it is important to highlight the reason why computers go hand in hand with CLT; computer technology incorporates aspects of the theories which Communicative Approach is based upon. As such, computer technology should be part of the C L T classroom but only after the most effective Computer Assisted Language Learning or C A L L program has been chosen. This chapter identifies criteria for the selection of effective C A L L as well as identifying how to implement C A L L in the classroom setting. In trying to examine CALL's overall value to CLT, the chapter also highlights some of the positive and negative attributes of C A L L . The final chapter uses the terminology and approaches introduced in previous chapters and relates them to the actual panorama of Italian taught at the elementary and secondary levels in British Columbia. The driving force behind the use of the Communicative Approach and the use of computer technology in the local teaching of Italian comes from the Italian Ministero degli affari esteri, or M A E . This can be seen through MAE's foreign policy, their financial assistance, their trained personnel sent to assist local teachers of Italian, and their ongoing commitment to the teaching of Italian abroad. The chapter, through a questionnaire completed by local teachers of Italian, also tries to ascertain whether the resources offered by M A E are being used to their fullest. - ii i -T A B L E O F C O N T E N T S Abstract ii Table of Contents iv List of Tables vi Chapter One: The Rise and Fall of Grammar-Translation: Turning Towards New Language Teaching Methodologies 1 Historical Foundations 1 Early Criticism 5 The 19th Century Reforms 7 The United States of America: The Reading Method 13 US Theory and World War II 16 American Theoretical Research and The Methods of the 60' s and 70' s 19 A Complete Expulsion of Grammar-Translation? 24 Movement Towards the Communicative Approach 25 Chapter Two: The Communicative Approach to Language Teaching 27 Terminology 27 Theories Encompassed by Communicative Language Teaching 32 Syllabus Design in Communicative Language Teaching 41 A Classroom Vision of C L T 48 Communicative Classroom Activities 48 The Role of Grammar 50 Motivation 52 Learning Resources 53 The Teacher's Role 55 The Student's Role 57 Criticisms of CLT 60 Chapter Three: Computer Technology and Foreign Language Teaching 65 Terminology 65 Computer Technology and the Communicative Approach 69 Choosing an Effective C A L L Program: Buyer Beware! 71 Technical Formatting Considerations 74 User Considerations 75 Pedagogical Considerations 76 - iv -Activity Considerations 77 C A L L Implementations 79 C A L L and the Teacher 84 Positive and Negative Attributes of C A L L 88 CALL'S Overall Value 92 Chapter Four: The Status of Italian Elementary and Secondary Level Language Courses in British Columbia 94 M A E : The Ministry of Foreign Affairs 94 Italian in British Columbia 103 Works Cited 128 Appendix A 145 Appendix B 161 Appendix C 171 LIST O F T A B L E S Table 1: Comparison of Characteristics Defining C L T 30 Table 2: North American and Western European Models for C L T Syllabi Construction 46 Table 3: Recommended Criteria for Choosing Effective C A L L Software 73 Table 4: 1996 Funding for Linguistic-cultural Initiatives Carried Out by M A E 101 Table 5 North American M A E Embassies, Consulates General, Consulates, and Vice-Consulates and the Italian Populations They Serve 105 Table 6 Number of Integrated Courses at the Elementary and Secondary Levels in British Columbia 1994-2000 108 Table 7 Funding Received by Italian-Canadian Non-profit Organizations in BC Under Legislation 297/94 to Sustain Italian Language Courses at the Elementary and Secondary Levels 109 V I -The Rise and Fall of Grammar-Translation: Turning Towards New Language Teaching Methodologies Historically, the oldest methodology for learning a language is one based on translation, which finds its roots in Hellenistic Greece. In order to understand the popularity of the Grammar-Translation method, as it came to be known, one must return to the inception of this type of pedagogical technique to examine how it evolved and why it faced criticism as far back as the 1600's. In the mid to late 1800's, criticism of the Grammar-Translation method was so severe that it directly led to the development of new teaching methodologies which were unfortunately as widely disputed as the previous. The dawn of the 1900's saw the birth of new methodologies in both Europe and North America, with each developing distinct methodologies in language teaching based on their approaches to language learning in general. Interestingly, methods which were accepted in Europe faced serious reproach in North America and vice-versa. It would appear instead that the modern age has brought with it the development of a new language teaching methodology accepted and used on both continents. Undeniably, however, elements of the Grammar-Translation method still remain in use today for various significant reasons. Historical Foundations The Greek civilization attached little importance to any other language than its own. Hellenistic monarchs insisted that foreigners learn Greek as a second language, stressing Greek as a lingua scholastica (Kahane 1991). Hence, Greek was taught to the foreigners in an extremely purist fashion which stressed the written importance of the language and not the spoken. Students were expected to imitate the materials studied and any attempts at creativity were discouraged, if not directly rejected. The oldest surviving foreign language textbooks date from this period, and use accents and stressed symbols to aide a foreign student in developing correct pronunciation of Greek. These texts help to demonstrate a distinction between a language being taught as a first (Ll) or second (L2) language (Bell 1981). During the initial period of the Roman Empire, the Romans studied Greek as a second language by engaging Greek tutors, or surrounding themselves with Greek speaking slaves and servants. With the expansion and domination of the Roman Empire, Latin became the international language of the Western world; Latin was effectively the language of the state, the Church, and the sole language of learning. Long after the collapse of Roman political power, Latin remained the language of philosophy and religion with a rich patrimony of significant works. But as the vernacular Latin developed independently of the rigid forms of classical Latin, governments attempted to enforce decrees which insisted that the classical form was to take the place of the vernacular (Mackey 1971). Unfortunately, such government intervention was largely responsible for converting Latin into a dead language while the Latin vernacular gradually developed into the national languages of Europe. The invention of the printing press, contemporary to the rise of Humanism, ushered in a new dilemma. While Latin was still spoken in academic circles, classical Latin, which was exemplified by the reproduced classical works, was several centuries older than the spoken form. Moreover, Humanists advocated that the language of the classics, both Greek and Latin, was the original and correct form of the language and their movement was facilitated by the fact that the printing press could mass produce classical works in these languages allowing for greater access to authentic sources of language use. As a direct result, Humanists looked towards developing grammars not only of classical Latin and Greek, but also of the languages currently spoken, such as Italian. However, the Latin and Greek grammars based on the classics became longer and more complicated. This posed a problem because the study of these grammars was becoming a task in itself, rather than as a preparation for reading the classics. Furthermore, the study of Latin and Greek became a study of the written form with no relation to the spoken form. These were not languages of communication, but rather languages of the elite, and the teaching and application of such a complex set of rules had become formalized into a sort of intellectual exercise. Latin and Greek were no longer languages of socialization, but languages of cultural ization. As trade and commerce expanded in Europe, training in Latin and Greek insufficiently met the needs of the future businessman and industrialist. The demand was for modern languages. By the end of the 18th Century, any modern language which was introduced into the school system was taught using the same methods as had been applied to the study of Latin and Greek. In order for the teaching of modern languages to be accepted, they had to be taught on par with the academic subjects, and hence had to be justified by the same arguments of mental discipline. However, these modern languages were not dead languages, as Latin and Greek had become. The main impetus for learning these languages was not to be able to read classical works, but was to be able to communicate with native speakers of these languages. Hector Hammerly (1985:14) summarizes this predicament succinctly: "While in classical languages like Latin and Greek the written form is all that's available, it is quite incorrect to assume that the written form of modern languages is generally more important, prevalent, or useful than the spoken form." The inadequacies of the Grammar-Translation method can perhaps best be seen by examining what this method entails and what it presupposes. The procedures involved in the Grammar-Translation method include: emphasizing reading and writing while listening and speaking are usually absent; ignoring or basing pronunciation on the spelling and pronunciation pattern of the learner's first language; teaching grammar through the memorization of rules; emphasizing vocabulary from the beginning, teaching it by means of bilingual word lists and practicing it by means of exercises with isolated sentences; spending time noting the differences between the language being learned and the learner's first language; and using the learner's first language during most of the instruction time. These procedures, however, are based on certain assumptions about the language being learned as well as the learner: the communication afforded by language is primarily a graphic form of communication and the written form of the language to be mastered is a form pertaining to an earlier period of time; the main purpose of learning the language is either for literary research or for the development of logical powers; the description of the language emphasizes morphology rather than syntax and, hence, by highlighting word-building rather than sentence-building, the learner does not receive the knowledge needed to create meaningful sentences. There is a great difficulty in applying the Grammar-Translation method of learning Latin and Greek to the modern, living languages; with such a method the learners lack the ability to understand fluently spoken language; the learners lack the ability to communicate effectively in the language for their attempt to produce a meaningful utterance is very slow and is in essence a word-for-word translation; the language of Latin or Greek being taught are not contemporary languages but are obsolete and not related to the environment of the learners; the emphasis is on transcoding the words rather than decoding the message; the emphasis placed on highlighting the differences between the learners' first language and the language being used would be more beneficial to the learners if redirected towards highlighting the similarities between the two languages; the importance of contemporary writers or contemporary written material is overlooked; and the learners feel trapped by the pressure to find the one right way of rendering any phrase (Newmark 1979). Early Criticism In the Medieval period, few challenged either the practical or cultural value of knowing Latin and Greek. The Renaissance thrived upon the study of classical writings and helped to establish classical Latin and Greek in a position of pre-eminence above all other languages. There were, however, a few individuals who as early as the Sixteenth Century voiced their criticism, among which were Montaigne, Di Marinis, Comenius, and Locke. In 1521, the French humanist and essayist Montaigne voiced his dissatisfaction with the teaching methodology of his day. Mackey reports Montaigne's disgruntlement as follows: In one of his essays Montaigne makes the point that he learned Latin without rules because his father made everyone in the household, including a German tutor engaged for the purpose, speak to him only in Latin - in the - 5 -case of children, even before they started learning their mother tongue. But once Montaigne entered the College de Guyenne, he quickly began to forget the Latin he knew so fluently. (141-142) In 1532, Di Marinis saw as his mission to assist learners to become "Latinists" and not "grammarians" (Mackey 1971:141). He published his own Latin Grammar which consisted of only 67 pages. Unfortunately, neither his views nor his grammar text was given much attention by his contemporaries. It was not until 1631 when Jan Comenius, a Czech educator, began his publishing career that an alternative method for teaching languages was proposed. His new method of language teaching was based on the principles that rules should not be emphasized, but rather that learners require plenty of practise in both the reading and the speaking of a language through the use of imitation and repetition (Mackey 1971). Comenius published four works, the first in 1631, Ianua linguarum reserata (The Gate of Languages Unlocked), which described his new methodology, Didactica magna in 1632, which went beyond grammar and created the foundation for modern pedagogy, Linguarum methodus novissima, which expounded on how to teach grammar inductively, and Orbis pictus in 1658, which invited teachers to teach language through pictures. Unfortunately, most of his work was forgotten soon after his death, with only the occasional revival from time to time by persons interested in language teaching. The English philosopher John Locke also examines the teaching of languages in his 1693 work Some Thoughts Concerning Education. In this work he states: " ...languages were not made by Rules of Art, but by Accident, and the Common Use of the People. And he that will speak them well, has no other Rule but that; nor anything to trust to, but his Memory, and the Habit of speaking after the Fashion learned from those, that are allowed to speak properly..." (Mackey 1971:142). The 19 th Century Reforms By the mid 1800's, all modern language textbooks followed the method prescribed by the German textbook writer, Karl Plotz (1819-1881). His method was divided into two parts: a series of grammatical rules which were explained by using paradigms and examples and a large number of exercises making the learner translate sentences from the learner's first language into the foreign language being learned. This type of learning was based on the Grammar-Translation method as it included rote learning of grammatical rules and then applied these rules by translating sentences, ignoring the possibility of spontaneous learning without translation. As a direct response to Plotz's techniques, Claude Marcel, in his treatise of 1867 on the study of language, called for the abolition of translation and grammar rules in language learning and proposed the teaching of language at first through the comprehension of texts, then through abundant listening, and then through the reading of simple and familiar material. These were to be followed by speaking and writing. In 1874, Saveur advocated a similar principle while adding some grammar and translation only when the learners were able to understand the language. However, it was the writings and work of Gouin (France) and Vietor (Germany) that started a long and voluminous controversy. In 1880, Gouin published, Art d'enseigner et d'ttudier les langues in France. He proposed a new method for teaching languages, the Direct Method, which incorporated principles from the growing science of modern psychology. These principles included associating similar ideas, visualization, learning through the senses, identifying centres of interest, and using activities and role-playing in familiar everyday situations. Building upon these principles, Gouin's Direct Method was based on the following: a foreign language should be learned in the same way that a child learns his/her mother tongue; language should be firstly introduced through the sense of hearing, and then reinforced by the senses of sight and touch by means of reading and writing; the learner was to develop his/her fluency by becoming familiar with a series of actions which were accompanied by statements, through which the basic utterances of the language were to be acquired; the sentence is the basic unit of speech and each sentence is to be associated with another to form a chain; and these chains of sentences deal with everyday actions and activities based on the interests of the learner and not the teacher. Goiun's methodology was dubbed the "Reform Method" as it attempted to rectify the inadequacies of the Grammar-Translation method by formulating a methodology based on scientific principles. Two years later, in Germany, Vietor published a pamphlet entitled Der Sprachuntericht mus umkehren anonymously. He analyzed and criticized the Grammar-Translation method of the Plotz's school and textbooks. He agreed with Gouin that language must not be analyzed too greatly at the level of words but should be taught in complete utterances, and that language was firstly to be learned through speech. Vietor also insisted that the pupil should not be presented with rules about language, but that he/she should discover the facts for himself/herself by experience in the language so that any knowledge of grammar was to be acquired inductively through the study of texts. He believed that reading was to be introduced later and only through graded reading-materials which lead to a knowledge of the foreign country and its culture. The new methodology found immediate support in Germany, Scandinavia, at the turn of the century in France, England, and later in the United States of America. David Harding (1967) as well as William Mackey (1971), among others, documents the gradual acceptance of this method and of the integration of the study of modern languages into the core curriculum. The French and German were at the forefront of promoting this new Reform or Direct Method. In 1882 the Societe Nationale des Profeseurs de Francais en Angleterre was formed. At its first conference it passed the following resolutions: French should be taught as a living language, and it should be taught by native speakers. In 1884, in Germany, Franke in his book Die Praktische Sprachlernung reviewed and amplified the work of Vietor. In 1886, Paul Passy founded Le Maitre Phonetique in France. This journal, published monthly, supported the new method of language teaching. The term "Direct Method" seems to have been taken from a 1901 publication by the French Ministry of Public Instruction. In 1902, the Minister at that time decreed that the "methode directe" was the only officially approved method for teaching foreign languages in France (Mackey 1971: 146). Germany followed suit that same year by also declaring the Reform/Direct Method as the official method to be used in the instruction of foreign languages. The British were reluctant to embrace the study of modern languages in their school system and showed little acceptnce for the new Reform Method. The Clarendon Commissioners, in their report of 1864, had invited the headmasters of the great public schools to form a "Modern Side" of study. Most of them did so, but with great reluctance. In 1879, the Headmasters' Conference met to discuss the teaching of modern languages and agreed on three principles: the study of French and German was of high value mostly as mental gymnastics but could not rival or equal that of the classics; philosophy was a valuable school subject; and it was impossible to teach oral French in schools. At this time, those who most firmly advocated the study of modern languages viewed them only as grammatical and literary studies (Harding, 1967). They did not feel that any benefit could result from studying contemporary spoken language. The situation remained stagnant until 1890, when a conference of modern language teachers was held in Cheltenham at which Vietor and Passy participated as speakers. At this conference, resolutions were passed making phonetics the basis of language teaching and the reading book the centre of instruction. The study of modern languages as an academic subject was slowly gaining ground, but the struggle for status and recognition was a tedious one. These were finally achieved in 1918 with the Leathes Committee report entitled "Modern Studies" (Kehoe 1968). On the position of modern languages in the educational system of Great Britain, it stated that modern languages learning fitted clearly into the educational system, recommending the study of languages and their accompanying cultures for pupils at the age of eleven. The dawn of the Direct Method had broken across Europe. In the years following 1880 and as publications about the new method abounded, there arose a great deal of controversy about the merits and demerits of the new method. Although there were some differences among the Direct Methodists such as Gouin, Vietor and Passy, among others, they were united in their outlook regarding - 1 0 -particular aspects of language teaching: they strongly opposed the Grammar-Translation method of the day; they generally opposed all translation into the target language; they believed in learning the language in and through the language itself avoiding the use of the mother tongue within the classroom; they believed that priority must be given to speech and the spoken language; they felt that grammar was to be learned inductively and by use of the language; they advocated that word meanings were to be learned as much as possible by the direct association of the new word with the thing or concept it designated and not by translating it into the mother tongue; they saw the significant unit of language as being the sentence rather than the word; and they used the reading book as the central text in the classroom. Although the Direct Method had spread rapidly, there arose difficulties in its implementation. The method needed to be adapted to the conditions found in the schools. This involved creating textbooks and other materials suited to the various level of language learners as well as creating detailed programmes to be followed which indicated what could and could not be achieved in a given school year. Furthermore, new teachers needed to be trained in the method, and the method itself had to be clearly outlined so that it could be used by the average or less than average teacher. In 1917, H.E. Palmer, an enthusiastic supporter of most of the principles of the Direct Method, tried to give them a more realistic and scientific form in his book, The Scientific Study and Teaching of Languages. He exposed what he termed the "fallacy" of the Direct Method (Harding 1967). He felt that some methods which were used to convey meaning were more confusing and far less direct than a simple translation into the mother tongue, which, however, was to be avoided at all cost. In addition, the student -11 -usually mentally guessed as to the equivalent of the new phrase in the mother tongue, so that translation does in fact take place. Palmer also indicated that to learn all meaning by context and hence mirroring the acquisition of the L l , would take an extremely long time. More criticism amounted, some of which focused on the role of the teacher. If the teacher took the place of the guided textbook and had no clearly developed technique of teaching through actions, then the teacher ended up doing whatever he/she wanted. The Direct Method also required a teacher with a fluent command of the language to be taught and with plenty of energy and resourcefulness to teach it, a combination difficult to find at times. There were concerns about the learner as well. During the early stages of language acquisition, the learner is inundated by the new language and can only understand a fraction of what is actually said. Some reference to the learner's mother tongue could offer the learner security. If the learner was presented with too many difficulties at once, this could lead to frustration, confusion, error, inaccuracy, and a waste of time. Furthermore, if the learner made nothing but mistakes when he/she spoke, yes a familiarity with the language would be gained, but how would the learner be able to identify his/her mistakes and be able to correct them? Even as late as 1934, the value of the Direct Method was still being questioned. In that year, H.F. Collins who had produced a widely used course book based on the Direct Method in 1929, entitled A French Course for Schools, explained the difficulties of completely using the Direct Method, in Year Book of Education (Harding 1967). He pointed out that teaching everything in the target language becomes cumbersome and difficult when items such as grammatical explanations could be best given in the - 12-students' mother tongue. The method also placed enormous strain on the teacher, who could not continue teaching by means of this method due to the amount of energy and time it demands. Furthermore, with so much focus placed on the oral aspect, there was a danger of neglecting the written. In essence, the decision of whether or not to use the Direct Method in the language classroom remained with the teacher. The new method in the hands of a poor teacher could be a hopeless failure. The new method also required highly competent and energetic individuals. If teachers felt that they were not able to meet these requirements, they reverted back to the Grammar-Translation method or looked towards other methods such as the Reading Method. The United States of America: The Reading Method In 1881, the Modern Languages Association, which still exists today, was formed as an organization in the United States of America. At that time, the Association's main goal was simply to gain academic respectability for the study of modern languages. In order to achieve this, it felt compelled to adopt the methods and objectives associated with the highly regarded classical languages, primarily grammar and translation. There was little known about the direct method in the United States until the publication of the "Report of the Committee of Twelve" in 1899 (Grittner 1969). This committee of twelve prominent American language teachers was appointed in 1892 by the Modern Languages Association to advise the National Educational Association on a curriculum and methods to be used in language teaching. The Report de-valued the importance of the Direct Method for various reasons: the method, due to the exclusive - 1 3 -use of the foreign language in the classroom, required native speakers as teachers who also possessed great energy, enthusiasm, and skill, a combination difficult to find in a country remote from Europe; the method did not approach grammar by means of the written word but by oral-aural means which hindered the students' understanding of grammatical concepts; the method was too time-consuming; the method did not encourage depth in language study; and the method treated adolescents and adults as if they were children, which was an insult to their mental capacity. The Report, which was extremely influential, recommended the use of the Grammar-Translation Method which included the teaching of grammar, the translation of simple prose, and the practise of hearing and pronouncing foreign words. According to the Committee, the main purpose of learning a foreign language was to be able to translate at sight from the foreign language to the mother language in order to eventually be able to read works of literature: 'the ability to converse should not be regarded as a thing of primary importance for its own sake but as an auxiliary to the higher ends of linguistic scholarship and literary culture' (in Mackey 1971:147). As a direct result of the findings of this Committee, the United States saw a boom between 1900 and 1914 in the publication of textbooks which endorsed the Grammar-Translation Method. Grandgent's Italian Grammar was focussed on preparing students to read Dante's Divine Comedy, a 13th century text and practically the first work of literature written in the Italian vernacular. American and Canadian teachers were still not fully convinced that the Grammar-Translation Method was the most beneficial to their students. They had experimented with the Reform Method from Europe but had been left disillusioned. They felt that the - 14-grammar method had neglected the practical and correct use of the spoken language but the Reform Method had promoted oral skills to an extreme. If mastery of the spoken language was made the chief objective, they felt that the nature and the function of the secondary schools was overlooked as such an objective under the conditions of mass education was only partially attainable. Furthermore, the abilities and ambitions of the average pupil did not justify the demands made by the extensive oral use of the language. They also were intimidated by the perfect fluency and high levels of physical energy which were required by the teacher. Hence, a joint committee of American and Canadian teachers formed the Modern Foreign Language Study which began in 1923 in the United States, and ended in 1927 in Toronto. This was the largest and most systematic study of its kind and its purpose was to solve the methods problem by means of experiments. The results were recorded in seventeen volumes and were examined under headings such as enrolment, achievement, testing, reading, vocabulary, control, and bibliography. The findings of the Study noted that since most students do not want to waste their time trying to achieve the impossible, especially in a two-year program of study, it is better to strive for something attainable such as a limited reading knowledge of a second language rather than oral fluency in that language. The Study also encouraged teachers to make use of word counts, syntax and idiom lists, better methods, and well-defined standards of achievement (Mackey 1971). The effect of the Modern Foreign Language Study was the spread of the Reading Method. The Reading Method was centered around texts based on a controlled and limited vocabulary. It's main goal was comprehension of written text by stressing plenty of - 1 5 -practice in rapid, silent reading. And since most silent reading is an individual activity and not a group one, classroom time was used to talk in the learner's mother language about the foreign language and the people who used it. The conclusions of the Modern Foreign Languages Study and the creation of the Reading Method are the two factors which shaped foreign or modern language teaching in North America between the two world wars. US Theory and World War II In 1929, after a thorough examination of the Modern Foreign Languages Study, the most extensive survey of language teaching every made, Fife concluded the following: New ideas seem to germinate and take root with exasperating slowness. An outworn methodology and threadbare dogmas continue to hold the centre of the stage, with no support except constant iteration, and the same old songs are sung in tones of special propaganda an a priori conviction that long ago ceased to thrill audiences. (Mackey 1971:138) Fife embodies the sentiment of language teachers at the time. Neither the Grammar-Translation Method nor the Direct Method nor the Reading Method were viable methodologies for teaching foreign languages, the first because it treated the modern languages as if they were dead languages, the second was ineffective because the United States' remoteness from Europe created a lack of motivation for a competent knowledge of two spoken languages, and the third because it produced students unable to communicate effectively in the foreign language. An impetus for a new methodology was necessary. The stimulus needed came from American linguists. -16-The driving force behind these American linguists was the United States government. As the United States entered WW II, it found itself incapable of supplying the language needs of its huge military forces which were being sent to all parts of the globe. The government recognized this problem and invested large amounts of money into research to better enable their service men to deal with the challenges of communicating with individuals on the European front. Two great American linguists, Edward Sapir and Leonard Bloomfield, were working on first nations languages and had related their new knowledge to traditional European philology. They felt that the Grammar-Translation method was largely responsible for the failure of students to acquire a working knowledge of a second language. They emphasized that abundant contact with the spoken language was needed to gain proficiency in that language. Frank Boas, another noted linguist, also felt that the bulk of the students' time should be spent listening and accurately imitating native speakers engaged in natural conversation. However, these linguists were encountering difficulties in their attempt to reform the teaching of foreign languages. The turning point came in 1941 when the American Council of Learned Societies established an Intensive Language program for studying languages and for providing materials for teaching them. The American Army became the key player in reforming the language teaching methodologies currently in use. As worldwide political power struggles began taking centre stage, the Army needed to train its personnel to be able to communicate in various modern languages. They turned to the universities for assistance. The result was the development of an intensive language teaching course at the University of Michigan with a linguistic - 17-scientist directing the classroom teaching process. This signaled the birth of the Army Specialized Training Program (ASTP). This language course was extensively developed and gained worldwide publicity. The ASTP was specifically geared towards army personnel who undertook an intensive nine month study of a language before being posted to a country where the language was spoken. The program emphasized the spoken language, in particular colloquial language, through extensive oral work focussing on maximizing the contact the student had with the spoken language while examining only the essentials of grammar with a minimum of reading and writing. Students, in small classes, met frequently with an "informant" or a native speaker, with the purpose of imitating the informant's speech through drill exercises. The whole process was conducted under the direct supervision of a linguist. The program produced astonishing results. There possibly was another method to learn languages with better results! After the war, this type of instruction, widely known as the Army Method, was modified and adapted for use in schools. At the school level, a teacher who was a native speaker replaced the informant, reading and writing were added in larger doses, grammar was regularly used to summarize what had been learned, and a greater emphasis was placed on memory work, which was to be assisted by the use of pictures, charts, tapes, and film strips in the classroom setting. In most cases, it was difficult for schools and colleges to duplicate the Army Method and to meet with success. Students were not able to dedicate themselves to the study of a foreign language on a full time basis, nor was the motivation for the students as urgent as it had been for the army personnel, and classes were far too big. In an - 18-attempt to increase the students' exposure time to the language, language laboratories were introduced. These consisted of individual recording booths with tapes and recording devices in which the student was guided by a tape recording to listen to a native speaker engage in conversation, to imitate the native speaker, and then to listen to their own results and to note what improvements were needed. Even with these adaptations, the results were not equivalent to those which had been seen with the ASTP. At this point, it was the United States government who recognized and considered the need for improving the nation's foreign language teaching methodologies. In 1958, under the National Defense Education Act, the US government allocated funds specifically for research leading to better methodologies for language teaching. This much needed infusion of funds lead to vast research and the "designer" methods of the 1960's and 1970's. American Theoretical Research and The Methods of the 60's and 70's As the American government began pouring funds into research that would enhance language teaching methodologies, three fields in particular, technology, linguistics and psychology, emerged at the fore-front of second language acquisition research. Technologists looked toward improvements in the practicality of recording the human voice which led to the international phenomenon of language laboratories. They also focussed on improving visual projection technology so that it could be easily used in the classroom. Linguists delved into understanding the structure of languages and how they operated. Psychologists noted the role of behaviour, stimuli and responses, word counts, and studied the comparative ease with which young children were able to learn -19-oral languages. The methodic investigation of how children learn and use languages was underway. Although not specifically linked to second-language acquisition and teaching, these general language theories greatly impacted these fields. Skinner developed a behavioristic theory in Behavior of Organisms (1938), which he extended to encompass language acquisition in Verbal Behavior (1957). The premise of Skinner's theory is that learning is an operant conditioning. A human emits a response, without a necessarily observable stimulus, and the response is then maintained by an external reinforcement. In this way, the response becomes conditioned. Skinner conceded that language can be learned by humans in the same way as any other behavior: via a system of stimulus, response, and reinforcement. This theory was defended by some, such as Kenneth MacCorquodale, modified by others, such as Osgood, Jenkins, and Palermo, and refuted by still others, such as Chomsky. In 1965, Chomsky proposed his own theory on language acquisition. It centered around what he believed was a language acquisition device which all human beings possessed. It is this language acquisition device which provides us with an innate knowledge of language and predisposes children towards learning a language. Eric Lenneberg, in 1967, further proposed that language is a species-specific behavior and that there are language related mechanisms, such as perception and categorizing properties. These properties were linked to the ability to distinguish speech sounds from other sounds, the ability to classify linguistic events, the knowledge that there can only exist a certain type of linguistic system, and the ability of the learner to constantly evaluate their developing linguistic system. - 20-In the 1970's, Lois Bloom examined the cognitive prerequisites of language development. Her theory was categorized by the assumption that whatever a child learns about language is determined by what that child already knows about the world. Therefore, the use of language is intrinsically linked to the cognitive domain. She further stated that children learn the underlying structure or function of language rather than the superficial word order. Beginning in the 1970's, Stephen Krashen developed theories which related to the means of internalizing a second or target language. He defined these means as either a process of acquisition, being subconscious and intuitive, or a process of learning, being conscious and with the learner actively engaged in trying to figure out the rules of the language, placing the responsibility of the process on the learner. Krashen saw the learning process linked to an internal "monitor" which was a mental device that edited or corrected all that was acquired. In the particular case of adults as second language learners, he emphasized that more focus should be placed on acquiring as much as possible, rather than getting bogged down with the conscious attention to the forms of language or "monitoring" their own progress. In order for the language learners to keep their focus on the acquisition of language, the learners should be presented with understandable input that contains language structures which may be a bit beyond their level of competence. Barry McLaughlin and his colleagues developed a theory in response to Krashen's. They believed that learning a second language was either a controlled or automatic process, in which the controlled process had a limited capacity and was temporary, and the automatic process had an unlimited capacity and was somewhat - 21 -permanent in that the brain reconstructed old information according to the new information which was received. Furthermore, both of these processes occurred with either the focal attention of the learner, indicating conscious or intentional attention, or the peripheral attention of the learner, indicating incidental attention. Ellen Bialystok offered still another theory in understanding the process of second language learning. Her original theory from 1978 stated that when a second language learner was exposed to the target language, all linguistic knowledge was either categorized as explicit or implicit. She later expanded her theory and factored in an analysis of mental representations which could be either analyzed or unanalyzed. She also distinguished between automatic and non-automatic access to the knowledge which had been stored. Automatic knowledge can be retrieved easily and quickly, whereas non-automatic knowledge takes more time and effort to retrieve. As greater efforts were made to understand the process involved with the acquisition of a second language, there was movement towards establishing a standard model or theory for second language acquisition. But just as the process of language acquisition is a complex one, so is the process of reaching universal agreement on such a theory: Linguists need language teachers and language teachers need linguists. In order to develop explanatory theories of language, which by definition must account for how language learning is made possible, one must make reference to the second language learning process. At the same time, on order to teach effectively, one must have an adequate theory of the language to be taught, and the best developed theories have been those developed by linguists. (Flynn: 548) - 22-What resulted from the frenzy of research was numerous custom made or "designer" methods of second language instruction, each based on a particular stream of research and each developing distinct guidelines for instruction. Structural Behaviorist Theory, such as that of Skinner, gave rise to the Reformed Army Method, The Aural-oral Method, and the Structural Method. These methods focused on the verbal rote learning of language structures as a means of communication. They created students capable of rattling off dialogues and drills but incapable of conversing spontaneously within the language of instruction. Naturalistic Theory, such as that of Krashen, gave rise to the Natural Method, the Series Method, and the Direct Method. These methods focused on the natural acquisition of language through constant use of the language even though the learner, comparable to an infant learning a first language, would be incapable of complete comprehension. The main problem arising from these methods is that the conditions that make natural language acquisition possible cannot be adequately recreated in the second language classroom. Generative-cognitivist Theory, such as that of Chomsky and the Jakobovits, gave rise to the Cognitivist Approach which emphasized syntax to the exclusion of almost everything else. Gethin and Gunnemark describe the inadequacies of such a theoretical basis as follows: " transformational-generative grammar and cognitive psychology are inherently unsuitable for application to language teaching, since they are concerned with hypotheses about abstract mental processes rather than facts about concrete performance" and that they also tend to emphasize the written language (17). Sociopsychological Theory is another stream that developed as a more humanistic response to language learning which stressed the learner's feelings in the - 23 -social context of the classroom. Gattegno in 1972 with Teaching Foreign Languages in Schools: The Silent Way, perceived the teacher's role was that of a stimulator, remaining silent most of the time, while the learners were expected to work independently and to cooperate with one another to solve language problems. Curran's model of language learning, found in his 1976 work Counseling-Learning in Second Languages, is termed Community Language Learning and views the teacher as a counselor and makes the learners responsible for their own learning, including the sequence and content of the course. Lozanov, having reviewed Soviet psychological research, in 1979 published Suggestology and Outlines of Suggestopedy. Through this method, the teacher attempts to break down students' psychological barriers to language learning through the use of music, yoga, and other relaxation techniques. The Silent Way, Community Language Learning, and Suggestopedia methods were definitively unique. In their focus on the learner in second language acquisition, they placed a certain extent of responsibility on the student as to the overall success of the second language learning process. However, their incomplete attention to the actual second language learning process caused them to be, for the most part, ineffective. A Complete Expulsion of Grammar-Translation? The Grammar-Translation method is still used in second-language instruction even when methods developed in the 1960's and 1970's have long ceased to be used. As far back as the Hellenistic times, this method which is largely based on developing reading and writing skills, was seen as an effective way to learn a second language. Swell (1996: 139) provides some suggestions as to why language courses using this type of methodology continue to attract students: - 24-Firstly, translation holds fascination because it gives the chance to verbalize differences in the way two languages and cultures express the world. Secondly, translation operates on other people's texts; it does not require emotional commitment and investment that authorship involves, and therefore leaves the translator's persona unchallenged. Thirdly, it is a strictly defined, self-contained exercise, which absorbs one and encompasses concentration completely; one enters, sometimes obsessively, into a world where worries and hang-ups have no purchase. It would seem that very many lovers of languages love to translate, it is a very motivating activity, more so perhaps than some other language learning activities conducted exclusively in the target language. This feature is perhaps something teachers can capitalize on. Beyond the personal gratification, as proposed above, the Grammar-Translation Method continues to be used due to certain practical advantages. Teachers with less than fluent knowledge of the language or without proper training in language teaching techniques can use this method of instruction as it is easy to administer, apply, and control, and teaching does not become overly physically or emotionally tiring. It is also easy to verify the extent of student learning through testing. Furthermore, it is an inexpensive form of integrating second-language courses which have become mandated by governments because class sizes can be large and class periods can be few. Movement Towards the Communicative Approach There has never been one universally agreed-upon method of second-language instruction which seems to meet the needs of all language learners. Language teaching methods and the teaching of them depend ultimately on what the teacher or method maker thinks a language is. If a method is based on the assumption that a language is a collection of words - and - 25 -there are many such methods - it will differ considerably from one based on the assumption that a language is a system; language considered as traditional grammar will be taught differently from language as current usage. The basis may be an unconscious assumption influenced by popular traditional notions about language, or it may be a conscious assumption forming part of one or more theories of language . . . whether conscious or unconscious, such theories decide the ultimate outcome of language-teaching methods and the descriptions on which they are based. (Mackey: 3) In recent years, greater focus has been placed on the individual teacher's concept of what constitutes language. On the international scene, attention has been drawn to the Communicative Approach to language learning as a methodology which incorporates the best aspects of previously used methodologies which I have reviewed, and revisits the suggestions of 18th Century critics that language teaching should be geared towards producing individuals who can communicate, that the mother tongue should be avoided in class whenever possible, and that learners should be assisted in deducting the rules of a second language by examining L2 texts rather than be given the rules and then be expected to learn them. A great amount of focus has also been given to motivating the learner to participate actively in the language learning process and creating incentives to fuel this motivation. Contemporary learning institutions and regulating bodies have also become more active in examining pedagogical theory and practice, setting objectives for the learner, examining techniques used within the classroom, and defining the role of the teacher, learner, and learning resources. With this emphasis on accountability, a second-language learning methodology cannot be used without a thorough investigation of its proven effectiveness and its solid foundation in theory. - 26-The Communicative Approach to Language Teaching The Communicative Approach to language teaching, also known as Communicative Language Teaching, has revolutionized the pedagogy of language teaching. As scholars focused on trying to understand the role of language and the acquisition of language, their theoretical insights provided an impetus to the changing face of second language teaching. This chapter embarks upon the task of understanding the basic terms associated with Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) and the theories which underlie them, as well as identifying practical recommendations for the design of C L T syllabi and its classroom implications. And since it is not unlike a perfect panacea to second language learning researchers and instructors both crave, some energy must be afforded to examining criticism attached to CLT. Terminology The nucleus of C L T is language. As the previous chapter showed, the 20th century brought with it an urgent need to re-define the nature of language in society and to examine how and why languages are constructed. The essence of language, which incorporates a system of sounds, vocabulary, and rules which govern its use, is its use as a means of communication by two or more individuals (Littlewood, 1994: 53, Yalden, 1981:6). This implies that the individuals will share a common language of communication, and that the individuals will have the skill to use this communication tool in a wide range of situations, for a variety of purposes, and in real time (Littlewood, 1981:1, Yalden, 1981: 6, Savignon, 1983:8). Once the main purpose of language is seen - 2 7 -as that of allowing the possessor to communicate with others, it only followed that the focus of teaching language was to impart to the learner these communicative skills. This view of language is the foundation of the Communicative Approach, in as much as an approach can be regarded as "theoretical positions and beliefs about the nature of language, the nature of language learning, and the application of both to pedagogical settings" (Brown, 1994:51). A greater understanding of the theory encompassed by C L T will be discussed shortly. It is important, however, to identify C L T as an approach rather than a method. One should keep in mind that a method is the strategic classroom plan for the presentation of language in conjunction with an approach and that a technique refers to the specific language activities used in the classroom to implement the method (Brown 1994:48-51, Canale and Swain, 1979:3). Methods and techniques may vary according to whether language is taught as a second language in which the language being taught is spoken in the community where it is taught, or it is taught as a foreign language (Cohen, 1998:4). Italian in British Columbia can be referred to as a foreign language, whereas in Val d'Aosta, in the Piedmont region of Italy, where French is regarded as the first language, Italian may be taught as a second language. Most literature, however, refers to the language being taught as the target language, regardless of whether it is a second or foreign language. It is easy to accept the scope of C L T as helping the student learn both the target language structures and functions and allowing the student to gain proficiency with these in order to communicate effectively in the target language. However, even though C L T has been influential in foreign language teaching since the early 1970s, "there is no single text or authority on it [CLT] nor any single model that is universally accepted as - 28-authoritative" (Richards and Rogers, 1986:66). Perhaps the safest course to follow is to identify the guiding tenets of CLT according to some notable scholars and researchers in this field. Table 1 compares the characteristics defining CLT as identified by 4 such researchers: Douglas Brown (1993:245), Finocchario and Brumfit (reproduced in Brown, 1994:79), David Nunan (also in Brown 1994:78), and Sandra Savignon (1983: 23-24). From reviewing the information gathered in Table 1, the key elements of C L T can be identified as follows: 1) communicative competence is the main goal which can only be developed through active use of the target language from the beginning in numerous and varying authentic communicative situations which emphasise effective communication of meaning without overemphasizing the perfection of linguistic form; 2) the learners' needs and interests provide the basis for materials development, which will also reflect the learners' own personal experiences as well as assist them in helping to become better learners; and 3) teachers play various roles in assisting the student in obtaining communicative competence, including integrating activities congruent with 1, and creating a course syllabus reflecting 2, while maintaining motivation in the learners and extending the learning experience beyond the classroom perameters. There is much more consensus as to what the end result of C L T should be: communicative competence. Antonella Benucci defines communicative competence as "la capacita di interagire, di operare con la lingua per raggiungere un obiettivo prefisso"1 (1994:47). Most advocates of communicative competence extend the term to include reading and writing (Grittner, 1990:36). Dell Hymes was the first to coin the term "communicative competence" (1971) and a detailed explanation of his intended meaning - 29-T A B L E 1: Comparison of Characteristics Defining CLT Douglas Brown Finocchario and Brumfit 2 David Nunan Sandra Savignon 1) Classroom goals are 1) Meaning is paramount 1) an emphasis on 1) Language use is focused on all of the 2) Dialogs, if used, learning to creative. Learners use component of center around communicate through whatever knowledge communicative communicative interaction in the they have of a competence and not functions and are not target language language system to restricted to normally memorized. 2) the introduction of express their meaning grammatical or 3) Contextualization is a authentic texts into the in an infinite variety linguistic competence basic premise. learning situation of ways. 2) Language techniques 4) Language learning is 3) the provision of 2) Language use consists are designed to learning to opportunities for of many abilities in a engage learners in the communicate. learners to focus, not broad communicative pragmatic, authentic, 5) Effective only on language, but framework. The functional use of communication is also on the learning nature of the language for sought. Drilling may process itself particular abilities meaningful purposes. occur, but 4) an enhancement of the needed is dependent Organizational peripherally. learner's own on the roles of the language forms are Comprehensible personal experiences participants, the not the central focus pronunciation is as important situation, and the goal but rather aspects of sought. contributing elements of the interaction. language that enable 6) Any device which to classroom learning 3) L2 [second language] the learner to helps the learners is 5) an attempt to link learning, like Ll [first accomplish those accepted -varying classroom language language] learning, purposes. according to their age, learning with begins with the needs 3) Fluency and accuracy interests, etc. language activation and interests of the are seen as 7) Attempts to outside the classroom learner. complementary communicate may be 4) An analysis of learner principles underlying encouraged from the needs and interests communicative very beginning. provides the most techniques. At times 8) Judicious use of effective basis for fluency may have to native language is materials take on more accepted were development. importance than feasible. 5) The basic unit of accuracy in order to 9) Translation may be practice should keep learners used where students always be a text or a meaningfully engaged need or benefit from it chunk of discourse. in language use. 10) Reading and writing Production should 4) In the communicative can start from the first begin with the classroom, students day, if desired. conveyance of ultimately have to use 11) The target linguistic meaning. Formal the language system will be learned accuracy in the productively and best through the beginning stages receptively, in process of struggling should be neither 1 "the capacity to interact and operate with a language in order to attain a pre-fixed objective" (my translation) 2 Originally found in the author's 1983 volume The functional-Notional Approach: From Theory to Practice, the information reproduced here was offered as a side-by-side comparison of the Audiolingual Method and Communicative Language Teaching. - 30-L unrehearsed contexts. to communicate required nor expected. 12) Communicative 6) The teacher assumes a competence is the variety of roles to desired goal. permit learner 13) Linguistic variation is participation in a wide a central concept in range of materials and communicative methods. situations. 14) Sequencing is determined by any consideration of content function, or meaning which maintains interest. 15) Teachers help learners in any way that motivates them to work with the language. 16) Language is created by the individual often through trial and-' error. 17) Fluency and acceptable language is the primary goal: accuracy is judged not in the abstract but in context. 18) Students are expected to interact with other people; either in the flesh, through pair and group work, or in their writing. 19) The teacher cannot know exactly what language the students will use. 20) Intrinsic motivation will spring from an interest in what is being communicated by the language. TABLE 1 will be reviewed later in relation to the theories he developed later. But this term has come to mean much more than Hymes' original definition, which was intended as a - 31 -response to theories developed by Noam Chomsky. Sandra Savignon identifies the characteristics of competence in communication as follows: 1) Communicative competence is a dynamic rather than a static concept. It depends on the negotiation of meaning between two or more persons who share to some degree the same symbolic system. In this sense, then, communicative competence can be said to be an interpersonal rather than an intrapersonal trait. 2) Communicative competence applies to both written and spoken language, as well as to many other symbolic systems. 3) Communicative competence is context specific. Communication takes place in an infinite variety of situations, and success in a particular role depends on one's understanding of the context and on prior experience of a similar kind. It requires making appropriate choices of register and style, in terms of the situation and the other participants. 4) There is a theoretical difference between competence and performance. Competence is defined as a presumed underlying ability, and performance as the overt manifestation of that ability. Competence is what one knows. Performance is what one does. Only performance is observable, however, and it is only through performance that competence can be developed, maintained, and evaluated. 5) Communicative competence is relative, not absolute, and depends on the cooperation of all the participants involved. It makes sense, then, to speak of degrees of communicative competence. (1983: 8-9) Savignon conducted extensive research with her own students in order to elaborate these characteristics. However, each one of these aspects of communicative competence is directly related to the theories developed by Chomsky, Hymes, Halliday, Krashen, and others. Theories Encompassed by Communicative Language Teaching One of the main criticisms of the Grammar-Translation Method of language teaching was its lack of theoretical foundation. Because "there is no single agreed-upon - 3 2 -theory to explain how one best learns (or acquires) a second language," (Grittner, 1990:38), CLT incorporates theories developed by philosophers, linguists, sociolinguists, and psycholinguists. These scholars and researchers did not specifically work on the problem of second language teaching and learning. Their theories revolved around language and language acquisition in general. Language teachers, displeased with the results of Grammar-Translation, Audiolingual, and other Designer Methods of language instruction, divorced themselves from the theoreticians and researchers, claiming that they had been misguided and discouraged by their influence on second language teaching; teachers experimented within their own classrooms to find solutions to their teaching dilemmas, discovering what worked best for them (Krashen, 1983: 53; Hymes, 1979:5). In reality, scholars were reaching the same conclusions as the classroom teachers. It then became the task of second and foreign language educators to examine theories being developed in different sectors and apply them to second language teaching. II glottodidatta deve trarre dalle teorie elaborate da linguisti, psicologici (sic), ecc. cio che gli serve, a suo insindacabile giudizio, per studiare e risolvere il problema dell'educazione linguistica. 3 (Balboni 1994:49) Only through this union of practical experience and theoretical research and development could a second language teaching approach be developed which was grounded, functional, and effective. The language teaching expert must extract from the theories elaborated by linguists and psychologists that which assists him/her, in his/her unquestionable judgement, to studying and resolving the problem of language education, (my translation) - 33 -The first innovative language theory related to CLT was formulated by John Austin, a philosopher, in 1962 and was referred to as Speech Act Theory (Shirai, 1997; Danesi, 1993; Savignon, 1983). This theory highlighted the fact that when individuals say something they are not merely uttering a sentence but are involved in a pragmatic act. This "speech act" has a purpose and involves not only linguistic knowledge but also procedural knowledge, in that the speaker unconsciously uses verbal and non-verbal language in a social interaction with another speaker for a specific purpose. Although gaining a large following in 1965 for his innovative theories on language, Noam Chomsky, a linguist, did not base his research on second language teaching. Nonetheless, his theories on language, the structure of language, and language acquisition greatly reverberated within the realm of second language teaching (Hymes, 1979; Canale and Swain, 1979; Littlewood, 1981; Rivers, 1983; Savignon, 1983; Richards and Rogers, 1986; Shirai, 1997). Through his research, Chomsky demonstrated that the current structural theories of language inadequately accounted for the creativity and uniqueness of individual sentences, one of the fundamental characteristics of language. He moved away from structural linguistics, with its emphasis on phonology and morphology, and towards the acknowledgement that there are "deep" semantic structures which influence the way sentences are created and understood. Chomsky introduced generative transformational grammar which was his response to why language has the form it has and how humans acquire it. This theory proposed a more adequate model of describing language which was formed through using non-observable elements such as "deep structure" and "transformation." He felt that all native speakers had this underlying grammatical competence and was the first to refer to - 34-an individual's language "competence". For Chomsky, competence referred to "the linguistic system (or grammar) that an ideal native speaker of a given language has internalized" (Canale and Swain, 1979:4). The way to competence then was for the language learner to internalize the grammar or linguistic rules of a language. Chomsky further believed children were born with innate language learning abilities. Children acquire a language by hypothesizing about the grammar of the language surrounding them and comparing their hypotheses against this innate knowledge of grammar. The manifestation of this language competence is seen as "performance" and includes the production of speech and the acceptability of sentences in speech perception and production. Dell Hymes, a sociolinguist, felt that Chomsky's "linguistic competence" was an inadequate description of an individual's language competence and that Chomsky's transformational grammar failed to account for an utterance's appropriateness. Within the developmental matrix in which knowledge of the sentences of a language is acquired, children also acquire knowledge of a set of ways in which sentences are used. From a finite experience of speech acts and their interdependence with sociocultural features, they develop a general theory of the speaking appropriate in their community, which they employ, like other forms of tacit cultural knowledge (competence) in conducting and interpreting social life. (Hymes, 1979: 16) An utterance could be grammatically correct (such as My sister eats chocolate, elephants, and soiled diapers.) but is it appropriate? In 1972, Hymes coined the term "communicative competence" in direct opposition to Chomsky's "linguistic competence" which seemed to reflect the idea that language existed within a social vacuum. Hymes' communicative competence encompassed various factors: grammatical competence, - 3 5 -referring to whether or not an utterance is structurally possible; feasibility, referring to whether or not an utterance that is grammatically possible is feasible; appropriateness, referring to whether or not an utterance is appropriate in a given context, and; accepted usage, referring to whether or not an utterance is accepted by the norms of a society because utterances may be possible, feasible, appropriate, and still not occur (Hymes, 1979: 14). Michael Canale and Merill Swain further refined and expanded Hymes' notion of communicative competence to include the following: Grammatical competence. This type of competence will be understood to include knowledge of lexical items and of rules of morphology, syntax, sentence-grammar semantics, and phonology. Sociolinguistic competence. This component is made up of two sets of rules: sociocultural rules of use and rules of discourse. Knowledge of these rules will be crucial in interpreting utterances for social meaning, particularly when there is a low level of transparency between the literal meaning of an utterance and the speaker's intention. Sociocultural rules of use will specify the ways in which utterances are produced and understood appropriately with respect to the components of communicative events outlined by Hymes. Strategic competence. This component will be made up of verbal and nonverbal communication strategies that may be called into action to compensate for breakdowns in communication due to performance variables or to insufficient competence. (Canale and Swain, 1979:54-56, their emphasis) Hymes also proposed that an individual's performance in any context involves the interaction between that person's communicative competence, the communicative competence of others, and the nature of the interaction itself as it unfolds. With Chomsky focussing on language structure, Hymes on language meaning, M.A.K. Halliday, a British linguist, focussed his attention on language function (Halliday, 1979; Littlewood, 1981; Savignon, 1983; Balboni, 1994; Shirai 1997). Halliday pointed out that language had evolved to serve social functions and only by - 3 6 -looking at language use in context or situation would one be able to understand the functions served by a particular grammatical structure. Halliday defined three basic functions of language which correspond to the general categories of needs met by language. 1) Language serves for the expression of 'content': that is, of the speaker's experience of the real world, including the inner world of his own consciousness. We may call this the ideational function.... In serving this function, language also gives structure to experience, and helps to determine our way of looking at things, so that it requires some intellectual effort to see them in any other way than that which our language suggests to us. 2) Language serves to establish and maintain social relations...through this function, which we may refer to as interpersonal, social groups are delimited, and the individual is identified and reinforced, since by enabling him to interact with others language also serves in the expression and development of his own personality. 3) Finally, language has to provide for making links with itself and with features of the situation in which it is used. We may call this the textual function, since this is what enables the speaker or writer to 'construct' texts, or connected passages of discourse that is situationally relevant; and enables the listener or reader to distinguish a text from a random set of sentences. (reproduced in Savignon, 1984:14-15) Halliday views language as a functional link from the self to others, both of which are suspended in the matrix of a situation. If the form of language is associated with its function and cannot be predicted outside of specific situations, then the ideal language learning situation would allow the language learner to develop strategies in using language form and language function in a variety of situations. This theory lies at the heart of CLT. Stephen Krashen, although not directly associated with CLT, developed theories regarding language acquisition which are compatible with the principles of C L T - 3 7 -(Krashen 1983; Richards and Rogers, 1986; Scarcella 1990; Balboni 1994). In particular, Krashen proposed five hypotheses about language acquisition: the Acquisition/Learning hypothesis; the Natural Order hypothesis; the Monitor hypothesis; the Input hypothesis; and the Affective Filter hypothesis. The first major proposal made by Krashen is to distinguish between language acquisition and language learning. He refers to acquisition as the process by which children acquire a first language. This acquisition process is a subconscious one in that the child is not usually aware that they are acquiring language while they are acquiring it, and the child is not always aware they have actually acquired something. This subconscious process of acquisition helps to explain why native speakers are not always consciously aware of the rules of their native language. Learning, however, is seen as a conscious process and is developed only through explicit or formal instruction. Learning is also thought to be aided by practicing the structures being learned and through error correction. Second language learning becomes more effective when it emulates the native language acquisition process. Secondly, there is a natural order in which grammar is acquired in the first language; simple structures are acquired earlier, more complex structures later. The first language learner passes through a series of transitional forms of grammar in their progression from using simple forms to mastering complex ones. The same should be expected from second language learners. Not only must simpler forms be acquired before complex ones, but there are various stages on this journey in which the second language learner experiments with forms. Teachers should not be over-eager to correct every error a student makes on this journey to mastery of complex forms, as this may - 3 8 -stifle the learner's willingness to experiment and try out new forms, which inhibits the learner's ability to progress towards using complex forms. Krashen's third hypothesis refers back to language acquisition and language learning. Krashen believes that language acquisition and not language learning is responsible for fluency in second language performance and the learner's ability to use the language easily and comfortably. Language learning, which is conscious, can be used to edit or 'Monitor' the language being produced. The learner uses language learning to make corrections to the spoken or written forms of language produced. However, the use of the Monitor requires three specific conditions: that the learner have the time to consult and use the conscious rules learned, which is not always possible in normal conversation; that the learner focus on the grammatical correctness of the language produced, which means that the meaning may be of secondary importance; and that the learner know the grammatical and structure rules relevant to the language produced. This Monitor theory does lend some validity to the role of formal learning of grammatical rules in CLT. The Input hypothesis has three interrelated aspects and is related to how we acquire language. Krashen proposes that we acquire language by understanding input which contains structures that are a bit beyond our current competence. He refers to this input as / (our current level) + 1. This is how we move from our current level to the next. By trying to understand the message, the structure is acquired and we move to the next level. Krashen then highlights that speech emerges when the learner feels that they have acquired enough skills, and that early speech may not be grammatically accurate. Accuracy will develop according to Natural Order and as the learner acquires more - 39-comprehensible input. Perhaps the most important aspect of the input is that it is not grammatically sequenced. The learner must receive comprehensible input which contains grammatical structures beyond them (/ + 1) in situations which involve genuine communication. These structures must be constantly provided and automatically reviewed. Krashen's last hypothesis, the Affective Filter, is directly related to successful second language acquisition. He identifies three affective variables possessed by the learner that dictate successful language acquisition: anxiety, motivation, self-confidence. The less anxiety surrounding the second language learner, the higher the language acquisition will be. This is why Krashen stresses the importance of the teacher not correcting every single error made by the language learner, especially in the initial stages. The greater the motivation within the learner, the better the level of acquisition. Motivation can be increased if the comprehensible language input follows the i + I formula. The '+1' aspect of the input motivates the learner to acquire more language. Lastly, the learner with higher self-confidence will do better in second language acquisition. Self-confidence can be developed through allowing the student to communicate in meaningful and authentic communicative situations, and also by their increasing language acquisition as they surpass / + 1. Krashen's theories regarding language acquisition are incorporated into C L T through the methods and techniques used in class as will be soon seen. It is the theories developed by Austin, Chomsky, Hymes, and Halliday, representing the fields of philosophy, linguistics, and sociolinguistics, which form the theoretical base to C L T and allow it to be justly regarded as an approach rather than simply a method or technique. - 4 0 -Syllabus Design in Communicative Language Teaching If the impetus for changes to second language teaching came from researchers and the theories they developed, the real force behind the wide-spread precursor to C L T came from the Council of Europe. With the introduction of VanEk's "Threshhold Level" which was published by the Council, Functional-Notional Syllabi were created as a tangible outline for language teachers to follow, shifting the focus of language learning from form to function. Classroom teachers had begun supplementing communicative techniques to standard, grammar-based instruction in language teaching courses revolving around grammar-based textbooks. Such techniques were seen as ways in which students could make meaningful and communicative use of what they had learned in a grammar based unit (Savignon, 1983). Moreover, it wasn't until 1971 when a group of experts were called together by the Committee for Out-of School Education and Cultural Development of the Council for Cultural Co-operation of the Council of Europe that significant changes were made to the second-language teaching scene (Trim 1973; VanEk 1975; Wilkins 1979; Yalden 1981; Rivers 1983; Szymanski 1983; Richards and Rogers 1986; Grittner 1990; Brown 1994; Kettemann 1997; Shirai 1997). This group of experts was given a very specific task by the Council of Europe, namely to establish "a framework for adult language learning based upon the language needs of the learner and the linguistic operations required of them in order to function effectively as a member of the language community for the purposes, and in the situations, revealed by those needs" (Trim 1973;102). The Council felt this urgency to - 41 -focus on language learners because it recognized the changing facets of European political national units and acknowledged that many of the adults who were lacking any second language skills might encounter difficulties when moving through Europe on account of work, business, or pleasure. The experts rejected the grammar-translation method of teaching languages. They indicated that, for such a method, speaking the target language was not the end goal as oral practice with the language was limited to reading sentences which had been translated. Furthermore, these sentences were constructed solely for the purpose of illustrating and gaining proficiency in the grammatical system of the language, and quite often were disassociated from the target language as a tool for real communication (Richards and Rogers, 1986). A grammatical syllabus also reduces motivation because it proceeds systematically through the grammar system which does not necessarily prove useful to the language learner who needs to see immediate practical returns of their learning. It was acknowledged that a "grammatical syllabus fails to provide the necessary conditions for the acquisition of communicative competence" (Wilkins, 1979; 83) Instead, the European experts, which included R. Richterich, J. Trim, D. Wilkins, J. VanEk and others, referred to the advances in language theory and language learning theory as developed by Chomsky, Hymes, and Halliday. Their model for language teaching was, therefore, based on language as a means of communication, creating a model of language-learning objectives with very specific components which are as follows. 1. the situations in which the foreign language will be used, including the topics which will be dealt with; 2. the language activities in which the learner will engage; 3. the language functions which the learner will fulfil; - 42-4. what the learner will be able to do with respect to each topic; 5. the general notions which the learner will be able to handle; 6. the specific (topic-related) notions which the learner will be able to handle; 7. the language forms which the learner will be able to use; 8. the degree of skill with which the learner will be able to perform. (VanEk, 1975:105) This model was incorporated into VanEk's 'Threshold Level' which provided a first specification of the minimum second language material a foreign language learner should be able to use for communicating in a variety of everyday authentic situations. The pragmatic twist to syllabus design was termed the Notional Functional Syllabus, a precursor to the C L T Syllabus. The basis of the Notional Functional Syllabus is to identify the notions that a language learner will want to communicate and to consider the situations in which these notions will be used. Hence this Syllabus stresses the use of language which is essential to the learner's communicative needs while marrying these needs to the socio-cultural situations of language use. Any given communicative situation may involve the use of numerous grammatical structures; however, mastery of the linguistic forms is not stressed, but rather the development of communicative competence is. The Threshold Levels and Functional Notional Syllabus had a strong influence on the design of communicative language programs and textbooks in Europe. Since 1975 these specifications have been translated into twelve European languages and have been greatly used in Europe as the basis for course design, curricular guidelines, and exam syllabuses (Johnstone 1989). - 4 3 -The Notional Functional Syllabus, the precursor to CLT, is seen as a syllabus, indicating what is to be taught, rather than a method, indicating how something is to be taught. Its main value is that it highlights the communicative value of everything being taught, while the language being taught is of greater practical value to the learner than the simple mastery of grammatical forms. Brown rightly refers to this syllabus design as providing "a link between a dynasty of methods that was now perishing and a new era of language teaching" (1994: 68). Prior to examining the practical classroom aspects of CLT, it is necessary to highlight the aspects of a CLT Syllabus which dictate its classroom effectiveness. But before such a syllabus can be designed, there are two key aspects which need to be examined: the learner and the target culture (Canale and Swain 1979; Rivers 1983; Savignon 1983, 1993; Brumfit 1984; Yalden 1984; Paulston 1990; O'Connor Di Vitol993; Benucci 1994). In direct opposition to other teaching methods which were mostly teacher-centered, which indicates that it is the teacher who dictates what will be taught, when it will be taught, and how it will be taught, CLT centers around the student. In ogni caso e pero importante che sia sempre tenuto presente quali sono le motivazioni ed i bisogni degli studenti, il punto di vista dei quali deve diventare il focus della grammatica pedagogica loro indirizzata.4 (Benucci, 1994:43) In examining the target learners for any given course, we must define these learners according to the situations in which they will be using the target language, the roles 4 In every situation it is important that it is always taken into consideration what the motivation and needs of the students are. It is these points of view which must become the focus of grammar which it taught to them, (my translation) - 4 4 -within the target language which they will need to assume, the settings in which they will carry out these roles, the topics they will need to deal with in these settings, and what they need to be able to accomplish in these situations. Only after examining the needs and motivations of the learners can a syllabus be developed which will guide these learners to achieve the communicative competence that they require. The second item which needs to be defined before an appropriate C L T syllabus can be designed is the target culture. In order to acquire the tool of communication used by a specific cultural group, the learner needs to understand the culture which underlines that group and which shapes the social, functional, and communicative uses of language within that cultural group. Obviously, if we hope to guide learners to acquire native-like mastery of another language, we cannot ignore the issue of cultural acquisition, nor can we afford to postpone dealing with this issue until the advanced language levels. First, even those target language structures generally taught at the beginning language level are used by native speakers according to culture-specific norms .. . the acquisition of target cultural norms must be viewed as essential to each and every step of the language acquisition process. (O'Connor Di Vito, 1993: 325) The intrinsic link between language and culture can no longer be denied. A language learner can achieve linguistic competence but, without cultural competence, the learner will never attain communicative competence in that target language. In reference to developing a complete CLT Syllabus, we need to identify other important principles which it needs to encompass. Two models of guiding principles can be offered, one developed in North America by Canale and Swain (1979: 49-52) which is supported by well-known and influential North American scholars such as Sandra Savignon (1983) and Christopher Brumfit (1984), the other is seen as a Western - 45 -European consensus of didactic principles governing CLT Syllabus design (Kettemann, 1997:180) and which is supported be well-known and influential Italian scholars such as Paolo Balboni (1994) and Antonella Benucci (1994) who both teach at the University of Sienna, organizing teacher training courses specifically oriented towards teaching Italian as a foreign language. These two models, which are complementary, can be seen in Table 2. T A B L E 2: North American and Western European Models for CLT Syllabi Construction North America Western Europe 1. Communicative competence is composed minimally of grammatical competence, sociolinguistic competence, and communication strategies, or what we will refer to as strategic competence. ... The primary goal of a communicative approach must be to facilitate the integration of these types of knowledge for the learner, an outcome that is not likely to result from overemphasis on one form of competence over the others throughout a second language program. 2. A communicative approach must be based on and respond to the learner's communication needs. These needs must be specified with respect to grammatical competence (e.g. the levels of grammatical accuracy that are required in oral and written communication), sociolinguistic competence (e.g. needs relating to setting, topic, communicative functions), and strategic competence (e.g. the compensatory communicative strategies to be used when there is a breakdown in on of the other competencies). It is particularly important to base a communicative approach on the varieties of the second language that the learner is most likely to be in contact with in a genuine communicative situation, and on the minimum levels of grammatical competence and sociolinguistic competence that native speakers expect of second language learners in such a situation and that the majority of second language learners may be expected to attain. 3. The second language learner must have the opportunity to take part in meaningful communicative interaction with highly competent speakers of the language, i.e. to respond to genuine communicative needs in realistic second language situations. This principle is a challenging one to 1. Motivate pupils and arouse their interest and curiosity, e.g. by authentic and topical material and an inductive approach 2. refers to things that pupils already know before presenting new materials 3. use a variety of techniques and methods in single, partner, group and class work 4. use a variety of media and materials, including multi-/hypermedia 5. enhance input variety, opportunity for exploration, appropriacy and authenticity 6. motivate pupils to perform well be positive feed-back 7. reserve enough time for cyclic repetition 8. establish links between subject matter and aim at interdisciplinary teaching 9. include project work, practical work 10. train pupils to work independently to gather information and to work co-operatively to share information 11. prepare students for life-long learning -46-teachers and program designers, but is motivated strongly by the theoretical distinction between communicative competence and communicative performance. 4. Particularly at the early stages of second language learning, optimal use must be made of those aspects of communicative competence that the learner has developed through acquisition and use of the native language and that are common to those communication skills required in the second language. 5. The primary objective of a communication-oriented second language program must be to provide the learners with the information, practice, and much of the experience needed to meet their communicative needs in the second language. In addition, the learners should be taught about language primarily (although not exclusively) in the first language program, i.e. taught, for example, about grammatical categories, communicative functions, appropriateness conditions, rules of discourse, and registers. The learners should also be taught about second language culture ... through the social studies program.... It is felt that such a curricular-wide approach to the development of communicative competence in the second language may also facilitate continued study of this language. TABLE 2 One of the main differences between these two models of guiding principles for CLT syllabus design, is the Western European focus on practical classroom implications, while the North American model operates on a more general plain. This difference can also be noted in their teacher education programs. While studying for a DITALS certificate ( Certificato di competenza in didattica dell'insegnemento dell'italiano a stranieri - Certificate of Didactic Competence in Teaching Italian to Foreigners) from the University of Siena, I noted that courses were oriented towards helping teachers design syllabi in conjunction with the principles outlined in Table 2, and their implication in classroom instruction. In comparison, while enrolled in courses leading to a Bachelor or Education Degree from the University of British Columbia, I noted that second - 4 7 -language theory courses focused on the more general theories behind C L T in conjunction with following a provincially enforced curriculum which lists general objectives of the target language course, while providing specific recommended instructional strategies (classroom activities) as well as recommended assessment strategies. A closer look at the provincially mandated Integrated Resource Package will be provided in Chapter 4 of this work. For now, our attention will turn to examining the practical classroom aspects of CLT. A classroom vision of CLT After viewing the comparative table of Western European and North American principles behind CLT, six aspects can be identified which are crucial to the CLT classroom: the use of communicative classroom activities, the role of grammar, the importance of motivation, the quality of resources, the teacher's role, and the student's role. Communicative Classroom Activities The objective of CLT classroom activities is to allow learners to engage in activities which reflect authentic communicative use of the target language (Canale and Swain 1979; Johnson 1979; Littlewood 1981; Yalden 1981; Savignon 1983; Ashwood 1985; Lewis and Hill 1985; Scarcella 1990; Celce-Murcia 1993). This implies steering away from artificial and stilted language exercises which afford little creativity and authentic use of the target language. Learners need to be actively engaged in activities which require authentic dialogue, communication between two or more individuals. However, a word of caution needs to be heeded. Communicative language teaching has sometimes been misunderstood and teachers have thought that, for example, - 4 8 -any pair work is communicative. This is not the case. It is not the activity, but the task and the purpose for which the language is used, which makes the activity authentically communicative. (Lewis and Hill, 1985:23, their emphasis) Such an activity involves getting the learner to engage all communicative skills, which encompasses using linguistic forms of the target language, selecting the linguistic forms that convey the learner's intended message, using the socially and culturally appropriate forms to match the current situation, all to obtain a desired communicative result. This is certainly not an easy accomplishment. In order for students to participate satisfactorily in such activities, it is important that the learner be presented with samples which model the communicative use of language which the learner is expected to acquire and use. These samples should model successful communicative situations in the target language, and take the form of natural dialogues from videotapes, audiotapes, films, or television programs. Furthermore, these samples and learner activities should focus on situations and topics the learner is likely to encounter in the real world: seeking information, making requests, describing, giving orders, apologizing, informing, etc. Littlewood (1981: 20) further analyses communicative activities and classifies them according to two categories: functional communicative activities and social interaction activities. This first category should allow students to practice the language which they know with a focus on getting their intended meaning across as effectively as possible. Such an activity, however, does not require the learner to choose language which is appropriate to any particular situation. The activities categorized as social interaction activities force the learner to choose and use language which is not only - 49-functionally effective, but also appropriate to the social situation which the activity re-creates. The aspects of these C L T activities which need to be highlighted in order for them to be effective are that they allow students to practice with the whole language, not just a particular skill (which is characteristic of grammar exercises), that they re-create real-life situations that the learner may find himself/herself in, and that the learner is able to use the target language authentically to communicate their own unique ideas and point of view - not those of a textbook writer. The Role Of Grammar No scholar and/or teacher maintains the fact that grammar and linguistic competence is not a part of CLT. However, the way in which grammar is presented, exercised, and integrated into the classroom varies considerably in C L T from other language teaching methods (Canale and Swain 1979; Widdowson 1979; Wilkins 1979; Savignon 1983, 1993; Brumfit 1984; Brown 1993; Celce-Murcia 1993). Whatever the method, it has been assumed that units of learning should be defined in grammatical terms, although the precise sequence in which they occurred would be influenced by pedagogic considerations. The theory that such an approach is based on, whether it is explicit or not, holds that splitting the language into parts determined by grammatical categories of the language has psycho-linguistic validity. That is, the task of learning a language is made easier if one is exposed to one part of the grammatical system at a time. Mutatis mutandis traditional grammar, audio-lingual, and structural methods, for example, are all applications of this principle. (Wilkins, 1979: 82) Grammatical knowledge or the knowledge of how a language works is seen as but one competence to be acquired through CLT. Learners need to be exposed to samples of - 50-target language communication and become active participants in authentic communicative activities which employ a variety of grammatical structures (Krashen's / + 1). This steers away from organizing a course around the introduction of grammatical forms and ensures that, "ogni struttura grammaticale doveva essere introdotta solo quando fosse stato richiesto dalle esigenze comunicative"5 (Benucci, 1994: 47). It is, however, important that learners actively use these structures before being given any grammatical explanation of how these structures work. This type of exposure refers directly to Krashen's Acquisition vs. Learning hypothesis. Learners should acquire these structures before consciously learning about them. An introduction of grammatical classifications and categories must simply be a means of achieving the primary objective of the language course, communicating in the target language. The grammar taught must also be communicatively useful. I contenuti grammatical i di un corso devono pero essere al servizio delle attivita e di compiti che si svolgono nella vita di tutti i giorni e quindi anche del parlato e avere un fine pragmatico, anche se non si e indagato ancora sufficientemente sul rapporto consapevolezza delle regole/loro applicazione.6 (Benucci, 1994: 50) The reason behind teaching grammar in the C L T classroom is no longer so that the student can read classical literary texts. The reason behind teaching grammar is so that the student will acquire the fundamental linguistic competence to actively and authentically communicate in the target language on day-to-day real situations. 5 "every grammatical structure needed to be introduced only when it was requested by communicative needs" (my translation) 6 The grammatical contents of a course must, however, be at the service of the activities and tasks that occur in everyday life and, therefore, also in speech and have a pragmatic end, even if a sufficient discovery of the relationship between a knowledge of the rules, and their application has not occurred yet. (my translation) - 51 -Motivation Keeping the learner motivated towards acquiring the target language is a key aspect of CLT. Learners who embark on a journey of acquiring a second language are seriously impeded if their primary reason for the venture lies in "because I have to." Perhaps the most challenging aspect of the teacher's role is to motivate the learner to acquire the target language through CLT. (Littlewood 1984; Brumfit 1984; Johnstone 1989; Scarcella 1990; Brown 1993; Balboni 1994). Motivation will effect a learner's participation in an activity and in the language acquisition process. It will also dictate how much energy the learner devotes to this process and how long he/she will persist at the learning process. Motivation also includes many components such as the individual's drive, his/her need for achievement, curiosity, and desire for achieving a new skill. Hence it is important to remember that communicative activities should actively involve the learner, provide comprehensible input which satisfies the i + 1 model, and reflect the learner-centered focus of the course syllabus. Scarcella offers six excellent guidelines on how to improve motivation. 1. Stress the advantages of conversing like a native speaker. Demonstrate how interesting and worthwhile it can be to converse with native speakers. 2. Stress that it is not necessary to converse perfectly to communicate in the second language. If learners believe that they must converse perfectly to communicate, they may stop talking to native speakers altogether. 3. Impress upon learners that they should not be overly concerned with communication difficulties. If in the course of a conversation learners concentrate on the communication difficulties that occur, their speech is likely to become self-conscious, hesitant, and stilted. 4. Help students accept communication difficulties as normal. If learners realize that communication difficulties are a natural - 52-part of communicating and affect everyone, their importance will probably not be blown out of proportion. 5. Provide students with information about communication difficulties. While information about interactional features will not improve the learner's second language proficiency, it may reduce student anxiety and increase cultural understanding. 6. Do not expect students to develop the conversational skills needed to overcome all communication difficulties. Instructors who expect their students to develop conversational competence in the course of a quarter or semester may only cause their students and themselves frustration. (1990:346-7, author's emphasis) These recommendations provide a practical starting point for keeping students motivated towards learning the target language. Learning Resources There are various requirements for the learning resources necessary in the C L T classroom. These resources can be categorized into textbooks, authentic materials, and multimedia resources. In all instances, it is important that target language learning resources reflect the communicative functions of language within a cultural and social matrix that satisfies the needs of the target language learner (Canale and Swain 1979; Yalden 1981; Rivers 1983; Szymanski 1983; Brumfit 1985; Grittner 1990; Shelly 1995; Rounds and Schachter 1996). The target language textbook was the primary focus of classroom instruction in traditional grammar-translation based courses. These textbooks were organized sequentially according to grammar units. With the introduction of Functional-Notional Syllabi, these texts were re-arranged to introduce grammar according to functional or situational units. If a textbook is to be used within the CLT classroom, it is important to adopt a text that is based on this Communicative Approach, an item which may be difficult, although not impossible, to find. - 5 3 -This difficulty can be exemplified by Shelley who conducted a study examining eight elementary French texts used by different courses which identified functional proficiency in the target language as their primary goal (1995:207). What she encountered was that, "Grammar is presented as the only rule-governed domain of L2, and is often divorced from all communicative context." In Chapter 4 of this work, various Italian textbooks that are used within Italian classes in British Columbia will be examined to see if these texts support CLT or rather exhibit characteristics more congruent to a grammar-translation or functional-notional based classroom. Authentic resources play an important role in the C L T classroom. These resources, also referred to as realia, are actual "artifacts" of the target language. The idea behind this being that if learners are to acquire the competence to communicate effectively with native speakers, they need to be exposed to resources which use the target language in authentic or real situations, and not in contexts that are contrived and intended for language learners. Teachers realized that if students were to understand native speakers they would need much practice in listening to authentic materials recorded in natural situations, rather than to the stilted, artificially concocted laboratory materials that accompanied many textbooks. (Rivers, 1983:19) It makes only sense to examine how native-speakers make use of the target language for communication in order to acquire communicative competence. And with the changing face of technology, these authentic material have become readily available to the language teacher. In the not so distant past, teachers encountered great difficulty when wanting to acquire authentic materials in the target language, especially if the target language was a - 5 4 -foreign language, and were limited to using film clips which were dated. Now through satellite systems, computers, the Internet, and the World Wide Web, it is easy to acquire up-to-date, and in some instances up-to-the-minute, samples of target language culture news, radio, and television clips. The impact of the computer as a technological tool which has added to C L T in foreign language situations will be further examined in the next chapter. The Teacher's Role The teacher's role from the grammar based classroom to the C L T classroom has undergone a dramatic change. The role of the teacher is no longer to impart knowledge to the students, which sometimes involved lecturing students on the virtues of hard work. Emphasis has shifted upon the teacher as a facilitator of learning rather than an instructor, as whatever occurs in the CLT classroom does not revolve around the teacher but around the learners and their needs and abilities (Littlewood 1981; Yalden 1981; Rivers 1983; Brumfit 1985; Lewis and Hill 1985; Paulston 1990; Brown 1993, 1994; Schachter 1997). Teachers are responsible for overseeing the learner's language acquisition through the way they coordinate activities to form a coherent progression that leads towards greater communicative competence, through the way they select and present target language samples from authentic resources, and through the way they themselves model the target language in the classroom. This does not completely negate the previous model of the teacher as a language instructor, as they are still required to present new language forms and to exercise direct control over the learner's performance through evaluation and correction. However, teachers do need to be aware of negative feedback and the effect of over-correction. - 55 -The goal of CLT is communicative competence and it is important for teachers to be aware of negative effects they can have on learners if they attempt to correct every utterance. Over-correction can lead to the learner loosing motivation and self-confidence and experiencing increasing anxiety. These three elements are directly related to Krashen's Affective Filter Hypothesis. Furthermore, classroom research as conducted by Schacter (1997:15-16) demonstrates that if the goal of the learner is conversational communication "negative feedback is difficult for the learner to incorporate." The teacher needs to select which mistakes are worth correcting and must keep in mind that if the learners are exhibiting too many errors, it may indicate that the material has not been adequately prepared and presented by the teacher. In such an instance the teacher may need to suspend the activity and re-present the material. It is also important to note that as Krashen indicated in his Natural-Order theory, even children make numerous errors when they are acquiring their first language as they experiment and progress from using simple linguistical structures to using complex ones. It is natural for individuals to make mistakes when they are acquiring a new skill of any kind. However, individuals can learn from their mistakes if they receive periodic feedback which is supportive and doesn't make them feel inadequate. The teacher also continues to be a classroom manager by organizing and monitoring classroom activities. In this way, the teacher is able to monitor the strengths and weaknesses of the learners which he/she may wish to address in general with the whole class if the mistakes are ubiquitous or which may be addressed with an individual learner. The teacher's constant presence in the classroom is also a source of guidance and assistance to the students. Although teachers are discouraged from directly - 5 6 -intervening in independent learning activities, they remain available to the learners who may which to consult them for assistance. As learning facilitators, perhaps the most influential role the language teacher embodies is to teach students strategies of how to become better students. As Brown succinctly states, "we are concerned with how to facilitate lifelong language learning among our students, not just with the immediate classroom task" (Brown 1994: 77). The Student's Role There has also been a great change from the traditional role of the student as a learner, which was a rather passive role, to the student as the center of the learning process. Students - whether young or mature - need to understand that they will have a newly responsible role in helping to define their own goals and purposes and in helping their teachers to identify the most suitable and enjoyable types of learning. (Yalden 1981:36) The students or learners have become an active cooperative partner in the language learning process. This partnership begins with indicating their particular needs to the teacher in order to be incorporated into the syllabus design, and continues in the classroom in the role of being willing and active participants in inter- and intra- personal activities which involve the students in sharing information, negotiating meanings, and interacting with the other student in various roles and situations. (Littlewood 1981; Yalden 1981; Meyer 1990; Brown 1994; Cohen 1998). This new role of the learners can be seen as contributing to an increased motivation while reducing Krashen's Affective Filter. The learners now have more opportunities to express their own individuality, helping to integrate the foreign language - 57-with their personality which leads to greater self-confidence and emotional security. Through this active role in accomplishing competence, the language learner exercises more control over the language acquisition process while also enabling themselves to progress at their own speed. Another area in which the student's role has broadened is in the development of strategic competence. As has been earlier indicated, Canale and Swain's understanding of communicative competence also included strategic competence (see page 36 of this chapter). Their definition of strategic competence was limited to "verbal and nonverbal communication strategies that may be called into action to compensate for breakdowns in communication due to performance variable or to insufficient competence." Bachman and Palmer (1996) have suggested a broader definition of strategic competence, defining this term as a "set of metacognitive components or strategies" which include the following: 1. a goal-setting component, wherein the respondents identify the tasks and decide what they are going to do 2. an assessment component, whereby the speakers (listeners, readers, or writers) determine what is needed, what one has to work with, and how well one has done; and 3. a planning component, whereby the respondents decide how to use their knowledge of the topic and their language knowledge (reproduced in Cohen 1998: 14-15, their emphasis) This expanded version of strategic competence forces the learner to examine what knowledge they need to acquire, how they are going to use the knowledge that they are to acquire, and how well they have actually acquired the knowledge. This not only makes the learners active partners in the learning process, but it forces them to evaluate their learning strategies. - 58-But the question arises as to whether or not the students are capable of using these strategies and whether or not they benefit from this self-evaluation. Cohen (1998) makes reference to two research projects on this subject. The first project ran for three years and asked various students of either Japanese, French, or Spanish in an immersion program to record and describe the strategies they learned in acquiring this second language. The researchers found that "pupils could not only indicate the strategies that they were using, but showed improvement in their performance in the immersion programs as a result of the training they received" (11). The second project involved 45 students who participated in a listening diary program conducted in Fujiwara, Japan, with students learning English as a foreign language. In their diaries, the students reported that they: 1. learned new listening strategies and adopted for their own continued use those that they found most helpful; 2. became aware of what and how to learn; 3. improved their ability to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses as listeners in the foreign language; 4. began to set learning goals for themselves; and 5. developed a (more) positive attitude towards learning through listening. (Cohen 1998:110) As the results from these two projects show, not only is it important to indicate to students what they should learn, but also how they should learn it, enabling students to become better learners and increasing motivation and self-confidence. Therefore, the CLT teacher needs to discuss strategies that students may already use for specific learning tasks, while presenting students with new strategies, modeling the use of these strategies, providing activities for students to practice these strategies, and having the student reflect on their success in using and acquiring these strategies. The student becomes a co-operative partner in the learning process and an effective learner. - 59-Criticisms of CLT CLT was offered as the long awaited solution to second language acquisition difficulties which were being encountered by teachers and learners. Perhaps this was because, for the first time in history, this field actually had an approach founded on widely-accepted language and language acquisition theories. But there has been some criticism levied towards CLT, in particular its stress on fluency at the expense of accuracy, the many expectations surrounding the role of the teacher, the propagation of dominant languages, the problem of student classroom competence, and the nature of language assessment. Since grammar and error correction have taken a backseat to the development of communicative competency in the second language learner, scholars have put forth the question of whether of not the learners will acquire an accurate and linguistically correct form of the target language (Hughes 1983; James 1983; Yalden 1984; Grittner 1990; Bloor 1993; Brown 1994). A question of concern is that, as learner's experiment with simple to complex forms of linguistic structures, if their errors are not promptly corrected, will "grammatical accuracy develop automatically or must it be systematically taught as a means of preventing the fossilization of incorrect forms?" (Grittner 1990: 36). This linguistic inaccuracy may hinder the learner's ability to communicate their intended meaning, which may lead to frustration and anger. Bloor also indicates that reading and writing had been given very little emphasis in the Functional-Notional Syllabus created by the Council of Europe, and that "no consideration is taken of the widely held view that reading supports all language learning" (1993: 22). She also indicates that the successful (her personal evaluation of these programs) Austrian and German primary curriculum - 60-introduces reading in foreign language classes from the age of five or six. In all fairness, no scholar has ever negated that reading and writing have a place within CLT. However, the stress of oral communicative activities over these other skills has been called into question. There are also problems with the widely expanded role of the teacher (Yalden 1981; Richards and Rogers 1986; Mitchell 1988; Paulston 1990; Brown 1993, 1994). It requires that teachers have a native or near-native fluency in the target language as well as a social and cultural competence of target language communities. It, therefore, becomes difficult for a non-native speaking teacher to teach effectively. It also places the onus on the teacher to impart to the student social and cultural rules of communicative competence. This may be problematic for teachers lacking native-fluency in the target language, as well as for native-speakers who may encounter difficulties in consciously explaining unconscious rules. If the non-native teachers feel that their own communicative competence may be lacking, the teacher may turn from using the target language as the language of instruction to using the shared native language. Still other teachers who have been using more traditional teaching methods for numerous years may be hesitant to turn their teacher-centered classroom into a learner-centered one. When forced by government legislated curricula to do so, these teachers may incorporate some token gesture CLT techniques without truly grounding their classroom teaching in a communicative approach. Johnson (1998) brings up another factor which can hinder the learner's progress in the CLT classroom. What happens when students do not possess a "classroom communicative competence"? - 61 -Classroom communicative competence is essential in order for second language students to participate in and learn from their classroom experiences. For teachers to define classroom communicative competence, they must recognize the structural and functional norms that govern classroom communication, the social and interactional norms that regulate participation in classroom events, and the sociocultural contexts within which classrooms exist. (Johnson, 1995: 161) The lack of classroom communicative competence can be a serious disadvantage to learners from cultural and social backgrounds that strongly reinforce the concept of the teacher-centered classroom. Such a learner's hesitant performance in authentic communicative activities may be mistaken as an unwillingness to cooperate, when in fact what is expected of them is not an accepted behaviour in that learner's social and/or cultural background. How then does the CLT classroom meet the learning needs and styles of these learners? Another concern which arises is that due to their widespread use, some languages are better suited to CLT at an expense to others (Mitchell 1988: Hasebet-Ludt 1995; Willinsky 1995). Languages such as English, for which communicative approach textbooks are readily available, authentic resources are easily attainable, and native-speaker teachers are easily accessible, lend themselves to a communicative approach. Ethnic languages, and Willinsky makes reference to Polish and Yiddish (133), which lack the availability of these items as well as the necessary funding for their development, may continue to be taught using traditional methods such as grammar-translation. Students may consciously choose which language to study based on the classroom methods used by teachers. In this way, certain languages may fail to "attract" learners - 62-which may be' lost to other more socially, culturally, politically, and economically "dominant" languages. And finally, programs which promote CLT need to develop means of student assessment which are actually assessing communicative competence. However, the most time efficient and resource efficient means of learner assessment continues to be in written form. This causes a problem because written tests generally assess linguistic competence. Marcel Danesi rightly questions, "how can it [CLT] be adopted in situations where students must continue to take grammar-based tests?" (1993: 25). It cannot be denied that CLT, grounded in revolutionary language and language acquisition theories, has changed the face of the second and foreign language classroom. Changes in language teaching methods throughout history have reflected recognition of changes in the kind of proficiency learners need, such as more towards oral proficiency rather than reading comprehension as the goal of language study. (Richards and Rogers, 1986:1) The majority of students outside the realms of higher academia no longer study a foreign language in order to read classical works written in that language, but in order to travel to countries where that language is spoken and communicate with individuals who culturally and socially embody that language. Furthermore, with the widespread global movement of individuals for business, pleasure, or economic and political reasons, governments have recognized the need for foreign language education at all levels of schooling, not only as a means to communicate with others, but as a means to promote greater cultural tolerance. In Italy, students in the government mandated education system must, according to the Syllabus approved in 1985, study one foreign language beginning in grade 1, or at least grade 3 until Junior High School (scuola media - ages - 6 3 -11-14), after which they may study even two or three foreign languages (Titone,1993: 85). In Canada, according to the Statistics Canada 1992 Census, the most common mother tongues apart from English and French, remain Micmac in the Maritimes, Italian in Central Canada, German on the Prairies, Chinese in British Columbia, and Inuktitut in the Northwest Territories (Mayfield, 1995: 21). This means that, in many cases, English is being taught as a second language, and that these mother tongues continue to be of central social and cultural importance. Second and foreign language education continues to be an important aspect of education. As the image of the global community proliferates, foreign language skills are becoming the norm. With the introduction of technological advances such as the Internet and the World Wide Web, the farthest reaches of the world are at our fingertips, a phenomenon which cannot be overlooked by the language teaching field. - 64-Computer Technology and Foreign Language Teaching Computer technology has introduced a new dimension to foreign language teaching. The traditional assumption has been that technological innovation leads to progress. However, before being able to examine whether or not this assumption holds true in the field of foreign language teaching, it is important to identify the components of computer technology relevant to foreign language teaching. It will then be easier to evaluate whether computer technology is complementary to the Communicative Approach. Computer Technology also has various requirements as well as various ways in which it can be integrated into language teaching and both aspects need to be examined. And even though we may propose various ways of integrating computer technology into the foreign language classroom, the teacher ultimately dictates how it will be integrated and whether it will be integrated at all. As has been seen in the past with audio language labs, classroom teachers were rarely consulted as to their willingness to adopt a new technological gadget. Is this oversight duplicated with computer technology? Only after examining these elements, as well as identifying some positive and negative aspects of computer technology in foreign language teaching, will we be in a position to validate the importance of this new media to this educational field. Terminology Computer technology is a widely encompassing term for various computer components. Going beyond computer hardware and reaching into the computer's central processing unit, we encounter the powerful components of multimedia, hypertext, and hypermedia. In identifying the practical applications of computer technology, we focus - 6 5 -on word processing, CD-Rom interfacing, and the Internet, which is comprised of both electronic mail as well as the World Wide Web. All of these elements are integral to Computer Assisted Language Learning, or C A L L . The physical computer which takes up tangible space is referred to as hardware. This may consist of the monitor or screen, the keyboard, the mouse, the printer, the cables, the modem, the CD-Rom reader, the speakers and the actual central processing unit which is the heart of the computer. The central processing unit incorporates the drives, a hard drive onto which increasingly more information can be saved or a disk drive into which the user can place a disk and then save items on it or read items off of it, and all the components which actually make the computer run. Multimedia, hypertext, and hypermedia are all inter-related components of the computer (Jung 1997:131; Coleman 1991: 147-150). The computer can produce video images as well as text images and graphics, all in combination with sound. This physical combination of multiple media (text, image, sound) which may use other electronic media such as the monitor, speakers, CD-Rom disks, and speech and audio synthesizers is referred to as multimedia. When the computer user reads a computer file, perhaps on a CD-Rom or on the Internet, and has the capability of using the mouse to "click" on a word or phrase or picture, or what is termed a "hot spot," to make the computer follow a specified route to another piece of text, this is referred to as hypertext. If the computer user, after clicking on a hot-spot, is brought to an audio or video message instead of just another piece of text, then it is referred to as hypermedia. The question which arises is how are multimedia, hypertext, and hypermedia relevant to foreign language teaching? They are of phenomenal importance. Multimedia - 6 6 -stimulate various senses at the same time. Not only can the students see the target language on the monitor, but they may have the possibility to hear the language or perhaps may themselves record and practise the target language. The students may also have the possibility of viewing a video clip in which the target language is used in a communicative situation. The inter-linking of information through hypertext and hypermedia presents information in a form that is under the control of the user who can access or interact with the information as required or needed. For foreign language students, the ability to receive more information on a target language word, phrase, or concept through hypertext and hypermedia allows them more control over their language acquisition and may be a security blanket upon which to fall back. But perhaps more familiar are the terms of word processing, CD-Rom, and the Internet. Word processing programs and CD-Roms are referred to as software. These are programs which can be run on a computer to facilitate different activities. Word processing programs are used to create text (this document has been produced using a word processor). CD-Roms are discs which possess a large amount of saved information and which integrate multimedia, hypertext, and hypermedia. A more complete discussion of CD-Roms will be provided later on. The Internet is truly a tool of the 21st Century, and encompasses both e-mail, or electronic mail, and the World Wide Web of information. Perhaps the key to the popularity and overwhelming influence of the Internet is that it affords a wide range of types of communication such as, "Web page information, transfer of data, mailing lists, direct video images transmission, video conferencing, etc." (Beaudoin 1998: 62). - 6 7 -E-mail incorporates a word processor on which notes and letters can be written and the Internet which is used to send and receive these notes and letters to electronic addresses. E-mail can be used to connect teachers and students and functions as an optimal way to inform one another, without attracting the attention of other students, of problems or difficulties with the language acquisition process. Teachers may use it to communicate with other teachers in order to exchange ideas, strategies, and observations. It can also be used as a learning tool for students to communicate with other students, such as pen pals, in the target language or to do collaborative course work. The World Wide Web, or Web for short, is hypermedia based and offers exciting possibilities to the foreign language teacher. The Web is officially described as a, "wide-area hypermedia information retrieval initiative aiming to give universal access to a large universe of documents" (Allodi 1998: 125). This allows the user to receive information on any subject from virtually any site in the world within a relatively short time. Students can gather information from authentic sources, sites based in a country where the target language is spoken, which can be up-to-date and authentic. They can also communicate with native speakers of the target language via chat rooms. Students can even enroll in target language courses via the Web, and can complete these courses completely on line (Allodi 1998: 123: Rothenberg 1998: 147). Teachers are also reaping the benefits of the Web (Gauthier 1998: 142). Before coming to class, they can use the Web to gather information on a specific topic or even view sample lesson plans or download worksheets and activities. (See Appendix A) During class, teachers can guide their students to specific web sites to review authentic materials with them. And after class, the teacher may wish to communicate with the -68-students in reference to the activities completed or begun in class via e-mail, chat rooms, or in a class forum. Therefore, there are many ways in which computer technology can be used to teach and learn foreign languages. This is referred to CAI, Computer Assisted Instruction, and in particular the already mentioned C A L L , Computer Assisted Language Learning. These various aspects of computer technology have effected the teaching and learning of foreign languages by allowing access to enormous amounts of information which are easily accessible, current and easy to store and retrieve. Computer technology has made possible the global classroom: the world is within reach of the classroom. Furthermore, "When students are using tools of the real world, such as the computer, Internet, and e-mail, to communicate in the new language, the communication takes on a new level of realism, authenticity, and purpose" (Gauthier 1998: 144). Computer Technology and the Communicative Approach Computer technology may be a wonderful new dimension to the realm of communication and information, but is it compatible with the communicative approach to language teaching? Numerous language education scholars feel that it is. Computers help to lower a student's affective barrier (Davies & Williamson 1998: 10; Mydlarski 1985:76). In general, students tend to be more relaxed in front of a computer than in a classroom situation because the computer offers the student a private setting in which to explore roles and experiment with the target language. The student can make errors without being made to feel bad, because the computer's feedback is -69-impersonal and non-threatening. As most computer programs allow for trial and error before discovery in language exercises, students can learn from their errors. Students also have some control over the computer program and can choose their itinerary. It is precisely this constant interaction of responding or initiating which makes the program run. Hence, students take on a more active responsibility for their learning and may then become more motivated. All of these elements assist in developing self-confidence in the language learner. The computer can free up class time (Roche 1997: 337; Palmberg 1993: 258; Mydlarski 1985: 76). Many computer programs focus on assisting the student in gaining a greater understanding and acquisition of language forms. If the computer can be utilized to help students with the target language forms, then more class time can be used for communicative activities. The computer can also introduce expert knowledge which the teacher may not fully possess. This knowledge, once introduced, can be integrated into classroom communicative activities. Computer technology is also based in multimedia which accommodate the needs of visual learners as well as students with other types of learning needs (Borchardt 1998: 220; Coleman 1991: 89; Mydlarski 1985: 76). Computer programs may cater to students who need to practise their oral production of the target language, while others may need to review forms, or usage. Through a multimedia presentation, a particular item may be presented in a way that may help a student better understand and acquire it. With extensive and meaningful exposure to the target language linked to intensive interaction with the target language, successful learning takes place. - 7 0 -Computer technology also allows for greater access to and integration of authentic learning resources (Palmberg 1993: 258; Mydlarski 1985: 77). This allows the students to see the target language being used in communicative contexts by real people in the real world. Students can see these materials in their socio-cultural context, adding dimension to language use and making them feel that their studies are meaningful, relevant, and rewarding. As seen, there are various ways in which computer technology is complementary to the Communicative Approach. However, the introduction of C A L L into the language classroom changes the dimensions of the class. The ability to use C A L L effectively is linked to choosing an effective C A L L program. Choosing an effective C A L L program: Buyer beware! Using C A L L is not as simple as buying a computer, assembling it, turning it on, and voila! Aside from purchasing the appropriate hardware, the real dilemma lies in finding effective software that is suitable to one's language classroom. After reviewing some basic hardware requirements, focus will be placed on how to choose the software best suited to the communicative language classroom. In the 1990's, computer technology advanced to a point where it is fairly easy to integrate the available computer technology into a convenient and manageable bundle (Jung 1997: 131; Coleman 1991: 94). Furthermore, in North America most schools are outfitted with one or more computer labs and an on-site computer specialist teacher. This is reflective of the growing place of computers and computer technology within our society. In general, each computer workstation has four elements: a monitor which -71 -displays the information generated by the computer, a central processing unit with hard and floppy disk drives, a keyboard, mouse, headphones, and microphone through which to communicate with the computer, and a network system linked to a central CD-Rom player and which also provides Internet access to each terminal. The problem of finding suitable and effective software, mostly CD-Roms, continues to be an issue. In a 1990 survey of computers in education it was found that in North America the two major barriers to the use of C A L [Computer Assisted Learning] were the lack of software and the feeling that what was available was not adaptable enough (Plomp 1990). Other obstacles cited have been the poor quality of many of the programs and the adherence to outdated pedagogical approaches in programs (Stoks 1993). Furthermore, many of the programs were just a lesson or two, not a complete course, and were difficult to integrate in a meaningful way into the curriculum. These criticisms do reflect certain realities about the state of computer software past and present. (Kidd 1997: 193) Perhaps one of the largest problems is that unlike other computer "games" or informational software, it is not the brilliant use of the computer's multimedia potential or the amount of computer feedback available that defines the quality of C A L L software. Rather it is whether or not the activities proposed by the software are communicative and target-culture based. What criteria does effective C A L L software possess? There are numerous recommendations on what to look for. Giardini and Vergano (1998:190) simply indicate three while Warschauer (1998:165-5) extends the list to four. Davies and Williamson (1998: 10-16) propose eight while Roche (1997: 109) proposes thirteen. Palmberg - 7 2 -(1993: 263) tops the checklist with twenty-eight criteria! Table 3 records these varied recommendations. T A B L E 3: Recommended Criteria for Choosing Effective C A L L Software Giardini and Vergano Warshauer Davies and Williamson Roche Palmberg 1. coherence and 1. people learn 1. The setting or 1. learner 1. Is the program efficacy with best through environment: autonomy meaningful from an respect to their own language 2. immediate, educational point of specific experiences so instruction is interactive view? learning goals, that software different in the response 2. Is it motivating? both intrinsic which assists school or the 3. enhanced 3. Does it state its purpose (set by the the students in learners PC, each interaction and target group? software identifying environment should between user 4. How long does it take designers) and errors be taken into and target to finish the program? extrinsic (what themselves is account and language 5. Can learners save and students might more effective exploited content resume saved positions want from the than simply 2. The background 4. intensive target or levels? software - giving the and habits of the language work 6. To what extent does it learned through students the learner need to be 5. more present, practise or test participant correct answer considered personalized specific language observation) - 2. "You're 3. the strategies attention than a areas? in other words, wrong" is applied by the busy classroom 7. Does it utilize the the immediate generally more learner are varied teacher can computer's internal perceived remembered so get students to offer capabilities congruity and than "You're recognize and 6. unpredictability sufficiently? usefulness of right" so overcome their 7. consistency 8. To what extent is it the software emphasize the learning problems 8. elimination of textbook-dependent? 2. suitability of positive aspects 4. focus at any the chronically 9. To what extent is it the learning of moment should be ineffective or teacher-dependent? strategies communication on one or more of temporarily 10. Is it simple to use? employed with attempts rather the language skills hung-over 11. Does it contain respect to than to be developed: trainer instructions? modern discouraging listening, speaking, 9. handy 12. Are 'Help' or 'Clues' language the learner reading, writing, reference facilities included? learning 3. In charge or in and thinking in the sources 13. Are there constant theory- in other control? Being target language (grammar, "What to do next" words, the long prematurely in 5. the level and pace lexis, culture of instructions? term formative charge can of the learner needs target country) 14. Is the screen clear and benefits of the mean being out to be considered - 10. elimination of well organized? software of control - some will bring "lowest 15. How long is info 3. user-friendli- combine background common displayed on the ness - that is, elements of knowledge so denominator" screen? how intuitive student control starting with the response to 16. Is it possible to undo an the commands with elements basics may loose uneven entered answer? and how of programmed the attention of competence 17. Does it contain bugs? motivating (or help. some students levels, which 18. Does it contain distracting) the 4. Once is not 6. the reasons for can sabotage language errors? interface, the enough? learning the classwork 19. Can it be used to special effects, Language language - learners 11. real task-based individualize teaching? and the lesson learners also come with different activities with 20. Is it linear, or can presentations need multiple reasons and real outcomes learners choose were opportunities to motivations 12. striking alternative routes? practise similar 7. language variety or audiovisual 21. What types of feedback materials in dialect, style and content that, does it provide? order to register: not a through learner 22. Does it provide develop learner language salad but motivation, solutions to tasks and - 7 3 -control and include different disguises the tests? achieve versions of the necessary 23. Does it contain mastery. target language drudgery graphics and sound 8. evolving content: 13. self- effects? should be designed assessment, 24. Is it possible for so that they can evaluation and students to get a grow and be updated feedback printout of their results? 25. Is it possible to exit or quit the program at any time? 26. Is it possible for the teacher to modify or make additions to the it? 27. Is there a teacher's handbook? 28. How much does it cost? In examining these recommendations, there are four different areas of the software which are being considered for evaluation: technical formatting considerations, user considerations, pedagogical considerations, and activity considerations. For each of these four areas, I would like to propose, based on the information represented in Table 3, five criteria essential in evaluating the effectiveness of software as part of C A L L . Technical formatting considerations: 1. Is user-friendly 2. Provides interactive and immediate response 3. Is both flexible and unpredictable 4. Utilizes the multimedia features and capabilities of the computer 5. Can be updated. A term readily used by manufactures to describe technological gadgets is "user-friendly." My use of this word indicates that a software program should provide clear, easy-to-follow instructions which are supported by quick and readily available "help" features, and which should allow the user to exit the program at any time while giving the user the option for the software to save the user's current position or level, like a bookmark. The software should also display all information for as long a period of time - 7 4 -as the user requires to read or interact with the information and also allow the user to print the information on screen so that it can be reviewed at a later time. Finally, the software manufacturer should provide simple and easy to use handbooks for both the teacher and the student. The software should also be highly interactive so that the user becomes an active agent in the language learning process. Furthermore, when the computer responds to the user's input, the response should be immediate and allow the user to interact with the response, for instance, by questioning why a particular expression is acceptable while another is not. Software proposing a rigid, linear, pre-set course for the user to follow should definitely be avoided. Flexibility is needed in order to allow the students to focus on an area in which their may be experiencing difficulty. It becomes a misuse of time and resources to practice a grammatical form which has long been mastered. The students should be able to choose a course specific to their needs and interests while still being challenged with some unpredictable activities which fully utilize the computer's multimedia capabilities. User considerations: 1. Designed for the intended user 2. Designed for the intended place of use 3. Reflects the user's needs 4. Compatible with the intended mode of implementation 5. Cost effective The software should be designed with the intended user in mind. This means that it is geared to a user of a specific age level and appropriate to the user's language level. It should also be designed for use either in a classroom where it may be used by a student individually or at a group work station, or on the student's home personal computer -75-where it may be used to review and support information which was introduced in class. The software also needs to reflect the user's needs, which means understanding why the student is motivated to study the target language. Students studying for business, pleasure, or because they have to will all have different needs and motivations which the software needs to reflect. The software must also be compatible with the intended mode of implementation. Will it be used as a stand alone course with little textual or teacher support? Or will the software be used alongside a textbook? Still yet, the software may be used not in relation to a specific textbook but to complement an entire course. Perhaps one of the most important considerations is whether or not the software is cost effective. If the price range is well beyond the reach of school budgets or students' personal budgets, there is little chance it will be used, no matter how wonderful it may be! Pedagogical considerations: 1. It must incorporate a variety of learning styles and methods 2. It must provide a meaningful learning experience 3. It must maintain motivation 4. It must allow students to learn by discovery 5. It must provide repetitive practise As individuals vary, so does the way they learn and acquire information. Some students are dominantly visual learners, while others are oral learners. The software should be complementary to a number of different learning styles and methods while allowing students to reflect upon their own learning process, to assess which learning styles and methods are better suited to them. The software must also provide a meaningful learning experience from a pedagogical point of view, but also from a student's point of view. The student should be able to acknowledge that they are -76-"getting something out of it." As student motivation is essential to the learning process, the software should seek to maintain the students' motivation and interest in continuing to use the software itself and also in continuing to study the target language. The software should not necessarily spoon-feed information to the student. The students will be able to retain more of what it teaches if they are able to discover individually what the correct answer to a question is, for example. At the same time, the software must build new knowledge while providing continuous and newly stimulating practice of previous knowledge. Activity considerations: 1. Incorporates a wide range of activities 2. Incorporates real task-based activities with real outcomes 3. Activities should focus, at all times, on the skills wanting to be developed 4. Activities should provide interactive yet non-overbearing intensive target language work 5. Activities should incorporate authentic materials as well as cultural ones The software should incorporate a wide spectrum of different types of activities. There are generally five types of activities which C A L L programs integrate (Palmberg 1993: 258; Ariew 1987: 179-181; Pusack 1987: 15-16). There are drill and practice activities which ask the user to manipulate words or sentences. These are similar to textbook exercises. There are contextualized activities, which require greater involvement by the student because they stress understanding and creative use of the target language and emphasize language content as well as its structure. There are tutorials which present new information and then question the students about it, usually in the form of a follow-up activity which also verifies comprehension. There are simulations in which the student must interact with what is happening on the screen by making key decisions. - 7 7 -And finally there are game type activities which require the student to make decisions while promoting comprehension through evoking responses. These stimulate interest in the target language by associating it with an enjoyable activity. Effective software should incorporate all of these activity types. Part of making the students' time using the software meaningful is to present them with activities in which they must complete a task which is based in reality and for which the outcome is not a pre-formatted communication but is authentically created by the student. These tasks should focus on one or more of the target language skills (listening, speaking, reading, writing and thinking), providing the students ample opportunity to constantly practice, build, and reinforce these language skills. This will allow the student to work intensively in the target language while constantly interacting with the software in a way that is not over bearing. It should almost go without saying that all activities should incorporate authentic target language materials that also reflect the target language culture. These twenty criteria proposed do not stand independently. They are inter-related and inter-dependant. For example, software which is flexible and unpredictable will also maintain motivation. As well, activities which are real-tasked based with authentic outcomes will provide meaningful learning experiences. It may be, however, easier to focus on these four areas of a software program and evaluate each area rather than to focus on and evaluate the whole. Once an effective and appropriate software program is identified, consideration must be given to how to implement this technological tool into a specific course. For -78-this, it may be helpful to look as some ideas for implementation, as well as some case studies of how successful these different types of implementations have been. C A L L Implementation The next obstacle which needs to be overcome is actually deciding how to implement C A L L into a language course. However, proposing a plan of implementation is always accompanied by queries of whether or nor the students will find C A L L an effective tool, and whether they would prefer a live instructor as opposed to a technological one. There are implementation suggestions which have been tried and tested by institutions around the world. I would like to examine some of these in relation to the reaction they received by both the teaching staff and the students. Computer technology can be used on a regular basis in relation to a specific activity. This implies that the new technology is used as part of a class routine to accomplish a specific task. For example, a CD-Rom may be used to review grammatical forms before a test. Or the Web may be used once a month to tour a different virtual museum and explore the target culture's works of art. A case study for this type of implementation is presented by Clark and Keaveney (1997) in their use of exchanging letters via e-mail between Intercultural Communication students at California State University in the United States and students studying English at Chukyo University in Japan. All communication was in English, and one of the main objectives was for the Japanese students studying English to practise their target language communication skills by exchanging letters with English speaking students. For a period - 79-of ten weeks, the students corresponded once a week using e-mail, resulting in 450 letters being exchanged by the 30 pairs of students (36). The process was not a simple one, as the authors indicate, for correspondence needed to be scheduled around holidays and celebrations on both ends, and as well some technological problems needed overcoming and, students needed motivating to check and respond to their e-mail. But, after reviewing the comments made by the Japanese students at the end of the project, the authors felt that the electronic pen pal program was beneficial to the students. The best indication of the success of the experiment is evidenced by comments from the students themselves. Chukyo students found different aspects of the exchange beneficial. One student commented on how much was learned about writing and dictionary use and appreciated her penpal's "perfect English sentences which were good examples for me." Another student commented that "Penpals write e-mail like a friend." Many appreciated having a opportunity to experience colloquial English, to be able to ask questions about American culture from peers, and to make friends with a foreigner. Many students also found they were more confident about expressing themselves in English and more motivated to study harder. (37) The authors also indicated that the students, on both sides of the exchange, expressed greater empathy for each others' society and culture. Aside from the improvement of language skills, one of the greatest functions of computer technology is to help create a greater understanding of the global community we have become a part of. Another way of implementing C A L L into the language course is by introducing it as one of many components of the course. For example, one class a week is dedicated to C A L L , while another to textbook work, and yet another to classroom activities. This is the concept behind a project introduced by the Centra Linguistico di Ateneo (sic) in - 8 0 -Rome, which opened in 1994 and is responsible for teaching foreign languages to all students and staff at the University of Rome III in Italy (Giardini and Vergaro 1998). The Centro introduced a two year project, beginning in 1996, which integrated multimedia "Learning Itineraries." Students followed a pre-planned itinerary which lead them from the classroom to the audio lab, to the video room, the reading room, the computer room, and then back to the classroom. Students were given precise instructions on what and how to study in each of these different settings. The authors of the paper, summarizing the project, indicated the following: ...the mix of environments mutually enhances and reinforces the didactic value of the various media. In particular, C A L L software becomes more relevant when perceived as a chance to explore, in a controlled environment, language forms assimilated globally in the video or reading rooms. Even out-dated commercial C A L L software or prototype programs prove useful if integrated into carefully planned itineraries. (187) However, the real evaluators of such an implementation process are the students. And their responses were equally positive. An overwhelming 84.4% of the students were satisfied with the C A L L experience, while 6.7% were left confused, 3.9% were unsatisfied, 3.9% did not offer an answer, and 1.3% responded "other" (195). Students also indicated that they tended to go on and complete C A L L lessons other than those indicated in their itineraries because their exposure to C A L L peaked their curiosity and motivated them to try more exercises than those indicated by their itineraries. Students indicated that, "Working at the PC was perceived as more fun, more interesting, less stressful, and more absorbing than working with the other media - even the feature film videos!" (195). -81 -In reference to evaluating the C A L L software, 93.5% of the students felt the contents to be fun, interesting, and adequate, while in evaluating the exercises, 78.7% indicated that they were fun, interesting, adequate, stimulating, and useful (196). However, when students were interviewed, "they added that they would not like to have to spend all their time in the computer lab and certainly not with a single program, however well designed. They also added that C A L L worked better for them in the reinforcement stage, not in the presentation stage, for which they found other media superior" (196). In assessing the data from student responses, the authors do lend a word of caution in this type of C A L L implementation: the software to be used must be chosen wisely, the students need to be guided through their use of the software, and the traditional classroom setting still plays an important role in making C A L L use effective. A third proposal for implementing C A L L is to have a language course entirely presented using computer technology. This would imply using the Web to create an on-line course in which the only interaction between teacher and students is via a computer. This concept is not foreign to distant education courses, but how would it work with a language course? One such case study can be found in a beginning Spanish language course which has been offered on the Web by Syracuse Language Systems since April 1, 1997 (Rothenberg 1998: 146). This course combines elements of distance learning and C A L L by offering students the ability to interact with a trained language instructor via the Internet as well as communicating with native speakers in different locations who may not necessarily be trained in language instruction, and by following a series of -82-multimedia lessons which include both presentation and practice of language forms which are in print and audio forms. The minimum time required to complete the course is three months, but students are free to proceed at their own pace. Unfortunately, at the time of publication, the initial course was still underway so that student response to the course is unavailable. Since student response to the Syracuse course has not been published, it may be interesting to look at another on-line course which was offered at UBC (Carey and Crittenden 1997). Although the case study is not based on a language course, it is based on a Modern Languages Education second language methodology course taught during a three week period in July of 1997. The project, conducted by Stephen Carey and Elizabeth Crittenden, looked at two courses taught simultaneously, one using a traditional lecture and assignment approach while the other was divided between a traditional classroom setting and the computer lab. The online course, . . . included instruction on how to use the Internet as well as how to access the online course and to do online assignments. Students were encouraged to use the bulleting boards, chat room, and private e-mail tools as well as to explore the 1,000 links of the Modern Languages Education web site for resources and other activities. Other optional activities included the creation of a homepage, how to use search engines and advanced search techniques and the creating and maintaining of online journals. (12) The authors of this project collected data not only from interviews and questionnaires but also through observing the students' reaction and participation throughout the entire three weeks. In the end, the majority of the students preferred a Web-based course as opposed to a course taught exclusively by traditional means or a course taught exclusively online: "Results [of the questionnaire] show that over 50% selected the web-based course as - 8 3 -contributing more to their higher-order thinking skills while 87% stated that it contributed more to their greater mental growth" (18). In a summary of their results, the authors indicated that, .. . offering this course as a web-based alternative increased the quality of learning by the students and did not sacrifice the opportunities for collaborative and co-operative learning that is essential to the course. The social networking [via e-mail, online bulletin boards and chat rooms] from this course was exceptional and several students have continued to work within this course after it ended, thereby attesting to the sincerity of the positive appraisals of the web-based approach. (20) As seen, there are several possible suggestions for implementing C A L L into the curriculum. An examination of various case studies shows how these different modes of implementation can be realized and how the students and teachers respond to them. But in essence, the decision of how and when to implement C A L L into the foreign language curricula rests with the teacher. C A L L and the Teacher Once the computer hardware and software are purchased and a decision to implement computer technology into the language course has been made, the individual who actually interacts (actively) with the student and this new media is the classroom teacher. This is the person ultimately responsible for whether or not this new teaching resource will meet with success and whether or not it will enhance the students' language acquisition. And yet the relationship between the classroom teacher and computer technology can be a rocky one. -84-Perhaps the greatest obstacle is the inherent fear that computer technology will replace the human teacher (Kidd 1997: 195; Palmberg 1993: 258; Chapelle 1990: 171; Rivers 1990: 278). Some teachers may feel that, since they are not the font of all knowledge in the classroom, their role will be diminished. Furthermore, students may even find the computer more motivating and stimulating than the way the teacher presents and interacts with the course material. And perhaps the root of the most fierce opposition lies in the fear that the computer will become the sole instructor within the classroom. No machine can rival the human instructor in the areas of spontaneous interaction or subtlety of comprehension. With the help of the computer, the teacher is able to provide an enhanced learning experience and the student's chances for achieving proficiency are improved. (Kidd 1997:195) Teachers need to understand that they are irreplaceable. Language has been constructed by humans as a means of communicating and interacting. Computer technology may assist students to gain proficiency in using a language and understanding a target culture; however, it cannot replace human communication or interaction. Even university language courses which are administered on-line have at their centre a human teacher interacting with the on-line students. The means and mode of communicating may have changed, but the requirement for human interaction has not. Administrators, however, at times tend to forget teachers when making decisions to force implementation of computer technology into their educational settings (Kidd 1997: 189; Chapelle 1990: 168; Rivers 1990: 279; Connor 1984: 62). Often the language teachers are not asked for their input on preparing budgets which will ultimately effect -85-the purchase of the necessary hardware and the software which will be most effective. Perhaps, if the teachers became part of the decision to implement the new technology, they would be less hesitant to work with it. Administrators also need to address the issues arising from the implementation of computers into language programs. These issues include having an on-site computer specialist to assist the teachers with this new medium, and providing training for teachers on how to use this new technology. The biggest mistake made in educational settings is to ignore the personnel needs that result from decisions to purchase equipment. No executive would dream of opening a new division to expand services without at the same time hiring someone to manage the operation. Yet we install a new language lab or add microcomputers to our media center, forgetting that additional staff is required to administer the system, do repairs, and, most important, educate potential users and influence the quality of materials. (Connor 1984: 62) Administrators also need to keep an eye on the aftermath of the implementation. In the majority of cases, once the decision has been made to spend money on the hardware and software, little follow-up is done to ensure that these are meeting the instructional needs of the teachers and the learning needs of the students. Another reason, why teachers may be hesitant to implement computer technology is their fear of the new medium (Rivers 1990: 279; Connor 1984: 59-66). Technophobia is characterized by feelings of anxiety and incompetency when faced with using a new piece of technological equipment. Teachers possessing inferior computer knowledge or skills compared to their students feel vulnerable and lacking. There is also the panic which may ensue when the computer doesn't behave as it is supposed to. What does a - 8 6 -non-computer expert do when those inevitable technological glitches manifest themselves? And of course, if such a crisis occurs once, what reassurance does the teacher have that they will not return to sabotage a later lesson? These concerns, and others, are often not addressed by administrators and are detrimental to the overall implementation of computer technology into the second language classroom. Technophobia can be prevented with clear-headed communication among language teachers, administrators, and representatives of technology interests. If we approach technology without priorities and needs in mind we can make intelligent decisions as to whether or not it can serve us. If we communicate our priorities and needs, we can ensure that it will serve us. (Connor 1984: 66) Unfortunately, the second language education field is plagued by a technological blunder in its history: the audio language labs. Large sums of money were spent in creating these language labs which promised to change the face of second language acquisition. However, the results were only moderately effective. Teachers and administrators alike turn to this experience and question whether or not computer technology in the language classroom is another passing fad (Kidd 1997: 279)? There are some differences between these two technological media. The audio-lingual labs, and the Audio-lingual Method to some degree, were particular to foreign language teaching. Computer technology has become a major feature of our society and the global community. This new technology effects all aspects of our lives and is a part of the entire educational curriculum. Its influence and permanence cannot be denied. The role of computer technology in teaching foreign languages also needs to be carefully evaluated. Computer technology is but a tool, a resource, which may or may - 8 7 -not assist our students in the acquisition of the target language. It is not a miracle remedy to perfect foreign language teaching, and its effectiveness is directly related to its mode of implementation and use. Our goal is to teach languages, and technology and its representatives are in a position to support us. Sometimes our professional self-doubts trap us into believing that the opposite is true, that the primary goal is to use technology, and that language pedagogy is obliged to contribute to the accomplishment of that goal. The bottom line is that if the technology is not helpful, we need not and probably should not use it. If it is potentially helpful, but very inconvenient to use, it will most likely not be used. (Connor 1984:65) Teachers should never be pressured into using technology because it is an educational trend or simply because it is an important aspect of our world. There must be a careful evaluation as to whether or not computer technology, in the forms available to the foreign language teacher, are able to actually enhance and enrich the language acquisition process for the student. Positive and Negative Attributes of C A L L In examining how C A L L is beneficial to students acquiring a target language, we find that there are two major areas of enhancement: the learning environment and the social environment. Numerous scholars and teachers have noted how C A L L improves the learning environment for foreign language students (Cameron 1998: 9; Gauthier 1998: 143; Rothenberg 1998: 146; Warschauer 1998: 159; Davies 1993: 239; Miodunka 1993: 92; Palmberg 1993: 257; Wrigley 1993: 89; Chapele 1990: 200; Rivers 1990: 279; Ariew 1987: 48; Ariew and Frommer 1987: 177-8). These enhancements include the following: 1. Computer technology can provide individual instruction for learners. In a class of 20 or more students, it becomes difficult for the language teacher to provide individual instruction for the students. Computer technology allows a student's particular learning needs to be addressed. 2. Computer technology allows the learners to proceed at their own pace. Students with advanced language skills may wish to move on to new areas of study while students experiencing difficulties may wish to practise and work towards achieving mastery of a particular language aspect. 3. Computer technology allows students to practise language skills in a non-intimidating environment. The student can make mistakes without trying the computer's patience or feeling inferior to other students. The computer is also forgiving and provides feedback privately which leads students to assess their own progress privately. Students are also able to overcome errors without drawing the attention of the teacher and all their peers, avoiding public embarrassment. This allows them to then interact in communicative classroom activities with greater self-confidence and success. 4. Computer technology provides interactive and immediate feedback. The student does not need to wait until next class or longer to discover that their responses are incorrect. Students can catch their errors immediately and avoids having students practicing errors instead of correct usage. 5. Computer technology gives permanency to speech which allows students to repeat and practice until mastery is achieved. Humans tire of repeating the same phrases numerous times, and this effects the tone and intonation of the phrases. Once a spoken phrase is saved by the computer, it remains constant and unchanging. 6. Computer technology is motivating and stimulating because of its characteristics of multimedia and hypermedia. Sustaining motivation in all educational fields is difficult. Computer technology is motivating in itself. -89-Scholars and teachers have also noted how C A L L enhances what I refer to as the social environment of language learning (Beaudoin 1998: 62-5; Cameron 1998: 2-6; Davies 1993: 240; Ruhnke 1993: 196; DeVillar 1991: 255; Nunan 1991: 255; McCoy 1983: 123). 1. Computer technology promotes cooperative learning within the classroom. Students may work together at the computer and assist one another in the learning process. Computer technology may also be used by the class as a whole to provide information about the target language or target culture which adds to the communicative ability of the learners. 2. Computer technology promotes cultural exploration and understanding. Students can contact "cultural informants" directly and ask questions which are relevant to their understanding of the target culture. Computer technology also provides access to the target culture which is authentic and up-to-date and which visibly co-exists the students' own culture. 3. Computer technology is unquestionably a part of our lives. C A L L allows students to use a media which they are familiar with to acquire a foreign language which may be overwhelming. They can find some self-confidence in mastery of the medium if not the message. Although we may like to emphasize these improvements to the educational and social environments the target language and students interact within, there are some weaknesses to C A L L as well. Scholars and teachers have readily shown willingness to identify some negative aspects of C A L L (Allodi et all 1998: 126; Beaudoin 1998: 65-7; Cameron 1998: 9-10; Giardini and Vergano 1998: 197-8; Kellerman 1998: 81; Rothenberg 1998: 147; Warschauer 1998: 759; Powell 1997: 328-9; Roche 1997: 333-6; Chapman and Anderson 1995: 4; Davies 1993: 239; Forrest 1993: 39-45; Palmberg 1993: 264; Wrigley 1993: 93, 89, 153: Ariew and Fromer 1987: 185-6). 1. Computer technology isolates the learner in his/her own learning bubble. It is important that the student interact with a real teacher in a real situation. The computer reacts to every student the same way without -90-distinguishing between the uniqueness of each learner. A real teacher provides flexible and personal instruction which the computer cannot emulate. Furthermore, language is used by humans to communicate. The computer cannot become a communication partner by its very nature. 2. Computer technology cannot truly monitor the language produced by the student in an accurate way. Technology has not reached a point where the students' oral productions can be monitored and assessed. Furthermore, computers may not be able to judge whether language produced is appropriate and socially acceptable. 3. Computer software has still not reached an ideal state. Due to the mechanical nature of the computer, software tends to integrate language exercises which are mechanical or drill like and which lack authenticity. In addition, hypermedia allows students to explore greater information, but are the students fully prepared for it? Students may have access to more information but they may not be able to comprehend it or relate it the language skills being used. The information may be interesting but may not be relevant or necessary. 4. The Internet may be a revolutionary tool in the field of global communications, but it also has some shortcomings. The vast amount of information on the Web may be suited to advanced levels of language study but may be too overwhelming for beginners. Furthermore, there is little regulation of Web information. Students may lack the knowledge and skills to differentiate between sites which provide accurate information as opposed to those presenting a tainted view of the target language and culture. There are also technical problems to overcome. The Web is inconsistent in that there are numerous document formats, and sites may be unstable and at remote locations. 5. Computer technology presents some organizational concerns. Computer labs are not portable and not easily accessible. With computer technology being used across the curriculum, it may be difficult to find a time to conduct a class in the computer lab. At the same time, not every classroom may be equipped with computers for student use and portable stations are even more rare. Some schools may even be struggling to find room to create a computer lab and the necessary funds for the initial investment and then the continual maintenance. 6. Computer technology may not be readily available to all students. Some schools may not have the necessary funds to invest in this field or once funds have been allocated, they may not be available to keep things updated and well maintained. -91 -7. Computer technology may be available but there are some questions concerning whether it is used effectively. If the instructional strategy being used is flawed, using a different medium does not solve the problem. Technology cannot be used in a methodological vacuum but needs to be used in conjunction with sound teaching practices. As with all technological innovations, it is easy to be taken in by the excitement and the attraction of trying something new. However, serious consideration must be given to the effects and value of computer technology. C A L L ' S Overall Value Warschauer makes reference to the technology critic Postman and his work, Technology: The Surrender of Culture to Technology (1993), in stating the following. Technology critic Postman wrote that "fifty years after the printing press was invented, we did not have old Europe plus the printing press. We had a different Europe" (p. 18). I would suggest that 50 years after the computer was invented, we do not have old language learning plus the computer, but we have a different language learning. (1998: 760) There is no doubt that computer technology has changed foreign language teaching. Technology has become an important player not only in the educational setting but in every aspect of life. There is no turning back or negating its existence and impact. The use of C A L L does not in itself constitute a new method of teaching foreign languages. Nor can it be linked with any single approach or methodology. Computer technology exists in the language classroom as a tool, a resource, an element to facilitate and assist learners in attaining their objective: to learn to communicate effectively in a foreign language. C A L L is only effective when it is used in conjunction with teaching practices based on sound theory. -92-If we accept that C A L L has become part of language learning and that it doesn't constitute a method in itself but can be incorporated into good teaching, there are some considerations for using it effectively (Kidd 1997: 191; Rivers 1990: 275). The teacher must evaluate how computer technology fits in with the aims, content and approaches of the foreign language course being taught. The teacher also needs to identify which particular instructional objectives the new technology best addresses. We cannot become wrapped up in using computer technology simply for the sake of using computer technology. Attention must be given to using computer technology in ways which enhance the learning process for the student. It is by no means the best way and the only way to teach: rather, it needs to be integrated into other teaching methods to become part of the whole learning process. An eye must also be kept on research evaluating the effectiveness of implementing computer technology into the learning process and how best to integrate this new medium into the second language classroom. As computer technology continuously opens up more possibilities and extends its capability, regular research must be done on evaluating its overall effectiveness in the classroom. So much is still unknown about the language learning process, it is difficult to say where technology fits in effectively. (Beauvois 1998:199) -93-The Status of Italian Elementary and Secondary Level Language Courses in British Columbia The preceding three chapters are theoretical and technical prerequisites to the understanding and evaluation of the status of Italian languages courses being offered at the elementary and secondary level in this province. From a theoretical perspective, the changes to foreign language teaching approaches and methods which have occurred in North America and in Europe have greatly impacted how Italian is taught in the province at these levels. The reason for this is that the main promoter of these courses, both from a financial and political point of view, is the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This branch of the Italian government has in place a pro-active and rigorous policy concerning the teaching of Italian throughout the world, which effects our current situation via the Italian Consulate General in Vancouver, and which impacts industries dealing with the language education field in Italy. Without the intervention of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it is possible that Italian language courses would be offered at the elementary and secondary levels in British Columbia, however, it is not probable. This is because the M A E {Ministero degli affari esteri or Ministry of Foreign Affairs) dictates not only how these local courses are organized, but also dictates the types of print and multimedia resources which will be used. It also organizes and funds seminars to train local teachers on how to use these new resources and to keep them abreast of theoretical and methodological changes in the field of second language teaching. MAE: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs The Italian government recognizes that due to mass periods of emigration, Italian language and culture have been spread throughout the world. The Ministero degli affari -94-esteri or MAE as it is known, has within it a Direzione generale delle relazioni culturali which directs the nation's cultural relationship with other countries. As indicated, M A E has a rigourous policy which provides funds to sustain and enhance the teaching of Italian abroad, and also allows for the re-location of trained personnel to oversee all such initiatives. In order to fully appreciate the influence Italy has on our provincial situation, it would be wise to review M A E ' s foreign policy on the issue of Italian language as well as the ramifications of such large scale funding. Since January 1996, the M A E provides free and public access to detailed information about its foreign policies, its initiatives, and its organization and structure through its web site, located at The website provides statistical data as well as current and up-to-date memos and publicity announcements from M A E . Furthermore, it provides excerpts from international symposia and meetings in which the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lamberto Dini, has participated, and it publishes the outcomes and decisions reached. I would like to point out that this website has also been the source of all M A E information reported here. M A E views the diffusion of the Italian language as a priority and has identified five initiatives through which to pursue this goal. The first consists of providing opportunities for foreigners to receive a Certification of Italian as a Foreign Language. It has designated the Italian Cultural Institutes abroad as representatives of three Italian based universities, the Universities for Foreigners of Perugia and Siena as well as the University of Rome III - Department of Linguistics. These universities have established programs of study and a formal examination process which allow foreigners to receive -95-this type of certification, an important qualification for teaching Italian as a foreign language, as well as for entering the Italian work-force. The second initiative incorporates the use of media, in particular the television and the Internet. In order to accomplish this, M A E has formed alliances with RAI International, a branch of the Italian national broadcasting system, to develop material in the fields of television and the internet. As a direct result, RAI International has developed television based language courses for children and for adults, such as Viva I'ltaliano. M A E has also played a major role in the RAI International's development of ITALICA, an on-line virtual university which can be found at The creation of this virtual university was made possible through MAE's funding and has been in operation since September 1998. Italica was created by a consortium of twenty-six Italian universities, and involves the collaborative efforts of more than 150 university faculties from some of the most prestigious universities in the world (Fadel 1998: 10). Roberto Morrione, the director of RAI International, justifies the need for the web based Italica by referring to the fact that the first generations of emigrants are almost extinct or completely integrated in the society they live in and because the third and fourth generations often don't speak the language anymore: Si pone quindi la necessita di riproporre, attraverso nuovi strumenti tecnologici e mediologici, come sono appunto Internet e il computer, una prospettiva, una cultura e una storia italiana. Inoltre . . . vogliamo raggiungere quelle migliaia di persone sparse in tutto il mondo che, pur non essendo di origine italiana, conoscono la mostra storia e la -96-nostra cultura, amano il mostro Paese, il "made in Italy", e per le quali, ormai, la comunicazione via Internet e una comunicazione fondamentale.1 (Fadel 1998: 10) The ultimate goal for Italica is to allow students to follow a prescribed course of study and then to present the student with a Diploma d'insegnamento a distanza di civiltd e lingua (a diploma of culture and language through distance education) which will be granted through the University of Pisa and recognized by the Italian Ministry of Universities. Closely alligned to Italica is Icon, standing for Italian Culture on the Net. Icon had been created by a consortium of twenty-six Italian universities which includes the Universitd di Pisa, Torino, Roma, Bari, Macerata, Cassino, Udine, Venezia, Padova, Genova, and the Universitd per stranieri di Perugia e Siena. This web site is accessible to students registered at Italica and has developed teaching aids which are aimed specifically toward foreign students studying Italian. In the future, Icon itself hopes to grant its own certificate of linguistic competence in Italian and a diploma in Italian language and culture (Fadel 1998: 11). MAE's third initiative involves active collaboration with foreign academic centres. The purpose of such collaborative efforts is to focus on training foreign language teachers to teach a foreign language effectively, on providing training seminars for current foreign language teachers so that they may be kept up-to-date with innovations in the field of language teaching, and on urging foreign students to 1 My translation: The necessity, therefore, arises to re-propose through new technological and methodological instruments, such as the Internet and the computer are, a prospective, a culture, and an Italian history. Furthermore, ... we want to reach the millions of people scattered throughout the world who, even if not from an Italian origin, are familiar with our history, our culture, love our country, love the -97-participate in cultural activities. Other aspects of this collaboration include funding from M A E for the hiring of Italian lectures at foreign universities, the offering of scholarships for foreign students to study in Italy while receiving credit at their local university, the purchasing of traditional and multimedia teaching resources, as well as the sending of Italian scholars to foreign universities as visiting lecturers. Under this initiative, M A E offered 72 scholarships in the 1997/98 scholastic year for Canadian students to study in Italy. In that same year, M A E paid for 204 Italian lecturers to be posted at foreign universities, one of whom came to the University of British Colombia for a three year position. MAE's fourth initiative is to promote the insertion of Italian language courses into local educational programs. This initiative is more fully developed under Italian Legislation 297, which promotes the creation of cultural agreements between local Italian Consulate Generals and foreign political governing bodies. This will be discussed in greater detail further on. The fifth initiative is to promote the creation of authentic teaching resources in Italy. The focus of these teaching resources is for use by teachers of Italian as a foreign langauge. This forces Italian publishing companies to be in close contact with the needs of Italian teachers and students abroad. Many Italian firms, such as lard Milano and Dida*El have specialized in second language teaching research and in the production of learning resources which correspond to the needs of foreign teachers and students alike and which are theoretically and methodologically grounded. "made in Italy", and for whom, communication via the Internet is already a fundamental form of communication. -98-The Italian government recognized that, as the function and objectives of M A E changed to incorporate the promotion of Italian language and culture effected by the changing emigration status, changes needed to be made to the legislation governing MAE's initiatives. Legislation 297, which was ratified in 1994 and which replaced legislation 153 which had been in force since 1971, played an important role in underlining the important cultural-linguistic role of M A E abroad. For example, in 1998, under the auspices of legislation 297/94, M A E directly worked in 41 countries to employ 6600 teachers in the instruction of Italian to 450,000 students. The Legislation has two directives: that of assisting people of Italian heritage living abroad to maintain linguistic and cultural ties to Italy, and that of assisting the integration of Italian language and culture into host countries. In order to accomplish these, 297/94 sustains the following three types of interventions. It sustains Italian language and culture courses whether they be extra-scholastic, taught outside of school, or whether they be integrated into the local education systems. It sustains the formation of classes intended to assist Italian students in integrating themselves into the school system of their new country of residence. And it sustains the formation of annual special courses to help students who have studied abroad to take exams according to the Italian education system which will then allow the student to receive recognition as having graduated from Italian elementary or secondary schools. M A E sustains initiatives made under 297/95 through local Italian organizations. These organizations must be non-profit societies and have proper constitution which must be ratified by local governing bodies as well as by M A E . Once recognized, these institutions receive assistance from M A E in the form of money, teaching resources, and -99-assistance in preparing foreign teachers to teach Italian as a second language. It is also understood that, when these organizations accept assistance from M A E in any of the above mentioned forms, they must allow M A E to coordinate directly and monitor all their activities through the Italian Consulate General in their area. M A E also reserves the right to monitor financially these organizations to ensure that monies given are used as destined, as well as to assess the organizations' effective use of pedagogical techniques and didactics. M A E has placed particular emphasis during the last few years on teacher training projects. These projects have been carried out on a regular basis by professional Italian agencies, which M A E has closely scrutinized, with a focus on assisting foreign teachers to use advanced technologies such as multimedia, so that they may remain abreast of technological and pedagogical advancements. Under 297/94, for the fiscal year 1996, M A E spent 40.313.356.200 Lire, or over $33 million in Canadian Funds (exchange of $ 1 C A N being equivalent to 1200 Italian Lire), for these foreign initiatives, with North America receiving 10.26% of that total amount or 4.152.615.020 Lire, or close to $ 3.5 million Canadian. M A E also spent 3.352.746.500 Lire or close to $ 2.8 million Canadian for the purchase of multimedia learning resources, both hardware and software, of which 23% or 774.250.00 Lire, close to $ 650,000 Canadian, was sent to North America. In order to train foreign teachers, M A E spent 4.767.927.000 Lire or close to $ 4 million Canadian of which 12%, 567.807.000 Lire or $ 473,000, was spent in North America. These funds allowed M A E to oversee 23,657 foreign initiatives, with 1,963 being in North America, and allowed them to hire 6,137 local foreign teachers, with 909 in North America, to service 394,962 students, 35,739 in North America. Table 4 reviews how M A E divided their total funds -100 -according to the seven geographical foreign areas it operates in. The information gathered here does not include the actual schools which M A E runs abroad, such as those in Ethiopia, that follow the Italian school curriculum and are taught by teachers employed through the Italian Ministry of Education. T A B L E 4: 1996 Funding for Linguistic-cultural Initiatives Carried Out by M A E Geogra-phical Area Amount Spent in Lire and in Canadian Dollars % Amount Spent in Lire and in Canadian Dollars on Multimedia resources % Amount Spent in Lire and in Canadian Dollars on Local Teacher Training % Number of initiatives funded No. of student No. of local tea-chers World-wide total 40.313.356.200 L $33,510,686.78 100 3.352.746.500 L $2,793,955.42 100 4.767.927.000 L $3,973,272.51 100 23,657 394,962 6,137 1. A F R I C A 294.455.000 L $245,379.17 73 5.800.000 L $4,833.34 17 0 0 106 1200 77 2. ASIA 21.000.000 L $17,500.00 0.05 0 0 0 0 8 45 8 3. N O R T H A M E R I C A 4.152.615.020 L $3,460,512.57 10.25 774.250.000 L $645,208.33 23.09 567.807.000 L $473,172.50 12 1,963 35,739 909 4. C E N T R A L A M E R I C A 248.800.000 L $207,333.33 0.62 30.000.000 L $25,000.00 0.90 42.900.000 L $35,750.00 1 137 1.373 47 5. S O U T H A M E R I C A 8.700.074.054 L $7,250,061.71 21.51 1.207.600.000 L $1,006,333,33 36.02 1.724.380.000 L $1,436,983.00 36.17 3,956 70,359 1,511 6. E U R O P E 20.150.839.072 L $16,792,365,89 49.81 470,019.000 L $391,682.50 14.02 642,000,000 L $535,000.00 13.46 10,768 113,751 2845 . 7. A U S T R A -LIA 6.886.467.550 L $5,738,722.96 17.02 865.077.500 L $ 720,897.92 25.80 1.790.840.000 L $1,492,366.67 37.56 6,719 172,495 740 This legislation also foresees that M A E , through local Consulate Generals, try to enter into agreements with countries, especially those other than European, to integrate Italian language courses fully into their scholastic systems. M A E is able to support such agreements by pledging contributions to local teacher training, and by supplying teaching resources, even multimedia ones. This initiative has allowed for over 30 such -101 -agreements in countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Canada, the United States, Australia, and Belgium, so that 55.4% of the Italian language courses offered in these countries are either part of the actual scholastic curriculum (35.7% of these courses are thus "inserted") or are integrated into the local curriculum (19.7%). Italy is actively signing such Accordi di collaborazione culturale e scientifica (Agreements of cultural and scientific collaboration), and in 1998 alone signed 4 new agreements, initiated 8 new programs to be executed under such cultural agreements, signed 4 new scientific and technological agreements of cooperation, initiated 12 new programs of scientific and cultural collaboration to be executed, and renewed a Memorandum of Understanding with Australia in reference to fostering the development of relationships between Italian and Australian universities. M A E constantly re-evaluates its foreign policy and its initiatives. The last general conference to evaluate current policies, Convegno sulle iniziative per Vinsegnamento e la diffusione della lingua italiana all'Estero (Conference on the initiatives for the teaching and diffusion of the Italian language abroad), was held in Montecatini, outside of Florence, in 1996. Representatives, scholars, and educators from all over the world gathered to evaluate MAE's policies and make suggestions for improvements. In the end, a plan of action was formulated which included two specific objectives: to initiate diplomatic action in the creation of cultural agreements, commissions of experts representing both Italy and local authorities, technical cooperation between governments, provinces and municipalities, and to stimulate the complete involvement of the communities that are the subject of the promotion and cooperation of language and cultural initiatives. - 1 0 2 -MAE's policies have effected much more than the actual promotion of Italian language and culture. Both in Italy and abroad, M A E funding has created an industry of its own. In Italy, specialized firms such as IARD Milano and institutions such as the Universitd per stranieri di Siena have focused their attention on the study of theories and current trends in foreign language teaching in order to secure lucrative government contracts to send their personnel along with their teaching resources abroad to train local teachers. Abroad, organizations have been established to organize Italian language courses and receive M A E funding to offer these courses as well as to pay local teachers and administrators. M A E , in an effort to monitor these institutions, has had to send Direttori didattici or Educational Officers to Consulates General. If the old adage of Money makes the world go around is true, then the Italian government is certainly doing its part! Italian in British Columbia The teaching of Italian at the elementary and secondary levels in British Columbia is directly driven by MAE's foreign policy and the funding it provides under Legislation 297/94. M A E directly manifests its influence on our particular situation through the local Educational Officer it has posted here, the provincial Italian curriculum which it helped complete, the Memorandum of Understanding which was recently signed, the actual courses it supports, the print and multimedia resources it purchases, and the teacher training seminars and workshops it finances. Since 1994 and after a vacancy of ten years, M A E has posted a full-time consular officer to deal with the teaching of the Italian language and culture at the Italian - 1 0 3 -Consulate General in Vancouver. The Direttrice didattica or Educational Officer is responsible for monitoring all Italian courses at the elementary and secondary level within the Consulate's geographical district, which covers all of British Columbia and Alberta. In order to appreciate such a posting, it is perhaps worthwhile to put into prospectus the amount of Italians or individuals with an Italian heritage which M A E officially recognizes in Vancouver and other areas of Canada and the United States. The data collected in Table 5 has been found on MAE's web site. It is important to note that the data recorded in reference to the population served by these offices may be misleading as official records recognize only individuals maintaining Italian citizenship. This excludes second-generation individuals maintaining their Italian heritage, as well as individuals who have obtained another citizenship. There are in fact two Direttrici didattiche posted in Canada; one oversees Italian courses in British Columbia and Alberta, and the other monitors the rest of Canada. The question to be asked is whether it is justifiable for M A E to post an official at the Vancouver Consulate General (which oversees operations in BC and Alberta) which serves only 9.95% of the Italian population in Canada? Obviously M A E sees the value in this, which is directly related to the responsibilities of this posting as well as to the amount of M A E funding which this area receives. The Direttrice didattica has her own office within the Italian Consulate General, but in no way performs any other functions within the Consulate outside the area of her expertise. Although she is available in the Consulate to translate and attest to the - 104-T A B L E 5: North American M A E Embassies, Consulates General, Consulates, and Vice-Consulates and Italian Populations They Service Location and Type of Diplomatic Office Italians Population Served CANADA Ottawa - Embassy 7,182 Montreal - Consulate General 26,877 Toronto - Consulate General 65,532 Vancouver - Consulate General 6,469 Edmonton - Vice-Consulate 5,192 Hamilton - Vice-Consulate 5,916 TOTAL IN CANADA 117,168 UNITED STATES Washington - Embassy 2,832 Boston - Consulate General 10,183 Chicago - Consulate General 21,500 Philadelphia - Consulate General 24,925 Houston - Consulate General 3,851 Los Angeles - Consulate General 18,748 Miami - Consulate General 14,692 New York - Consulate General 68,506 San Francisco- Consulate General 8,690 Detroit - Consulate 12,790 Newark - Vice-Consulate 17,338 TOTAL IN THE U.S.A 204,055 TOTAL IN NORTH AMERICA 321,223 validity of educational certificates, diplomas, and degrees from both Italian and local universities, her main role is to work with the Italian-Canadian non-profit associations in the province to coordinate and monitor elementary and secondary level Italian language courses. This involves meeting with the teachers at the beginning of the school year to create detailed course overviews and then meeting with directors and teachers on a regular basis to keep informed of how the courses are progressing, as well as to provide lectures on Italian language and culture, the use of learning resources within the classroom, and the communicative approach to foreign language teaching. The Educational Officer also meets with the Directors and Board of Governors of these -105-organizations to provide input as to general finances and to voice her concerns regarding the sustained courses. She also visits the courses at least once if not more times during the school year to monitor first-hand how the courses are progressing, to verify that students are actually registered and in regular attendance, to review how learning resources are being used, and to ascertain the level of Italian the students have actually acquired. The Educational Officer is also actively involved in meeting with local school boards, private school principals, and boards of education to promote the offering of Italian within educational hours of instruction. In fact, the Provincial Government of BC instituted a new language policy, in place since September 1997, that requires students from grade 5 onwards to study a second language, however, with the stipulation that this second language did not necessarily need to be French. This opened up the possibility for Italian to be taught as part of the school curriculum, coinciding with MAE's foreign policy in this field. In January 1996, the Direttrice didattica formed a committee of experts in second language teaching, which included the directors of the two non-profit organizations offering Italian language courses in Greater Vancouver, the Italian Cultural Center and the C.A.S.I. (Comitato Attivitd Scolastiche Italiane - Committee for Italian Scholastic Activities), long-time local language teachers who were either employed by these organizations or the Vancouver and Burnaby School Boards or the Catholic Private School Board, local university professors and instructors, as well as individuals who had previously worked on the creation of the provincial French curriculum, Core French. This committee examined other Italian curricula, such as the Australian Language -106-Curriculum, and the Alberta 10-20-30 Language Curriculum, along with the Core French before setting to work on writing their own curriculum as outlined in the Languages Template. It also reviewed Italian learning resources from publishing companies based in Italy and North America before settling on the 68 print and multimedia resources included in Appendix B of what became the Italian 5-12 Integrated Resource Package or IRP. This project would never have come to completion if there had been no impetus, firstly, from the Consulate Educational Officer, Dr. Giulia Colla, who organized all committee meetings, coordinated the writing and editing of the actual curriculum, was instrumental in meeting with officials from the Burnaby School Board where Italian is taught at the secondary level, and conferred with officials from the Ministry of Education, especially those in the Curriculum Development branch, and secondly, without funding from M A E to develop and then distribute the IRP. The project received a large impetus from the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Education in British Columbia and the Consulate General of Italy in Vancouver on behalf of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Memorandum, signed on October 7, 1997, recognized both parties' desire to cooperate in promoting Italian language and culture in the province. The document ensures that the local Ministry of Education will afford every opportunity for Italian to be inserted into the school curriculum, and it also recognized the existence, validity, and work done by the committee that the Consulate General had formed to write the Italian 5-12 curriculum. In return, the Consulate General assured the province that it will assist local school boards in the implementation of the curriculum, once approved by the provincial - 1 0 7 -government, by providing learning resources, and teacher training under Italian legislation 297/94. The Italian 5-12 IRP was approved on April 20, 1998, and proved a landmark for several reasons. It was the first instance in the province where the provincial government recognized a committee formed by a foreign government and the curriculum which that committee created. It was also the first instance in which a curriculum, not written by the BC Ministry of Education or under their guidance, was approved for use in the province. The question, however, remains as to whether the BC Language Policy, the Memorandum of Understanding, and the Italian 5-12 IRP have effected the integration of Italian into the provincial education system. Table 6 reviews data as provided by the Educational Officer at the Italian Consulate General concerning the number of integrated Italian courses are taught in the province since 1994. Table 6: Number of Integrated Italian Courses at the Elementary and Secondary Level In British Columbia Academic Year 1994-1995 Academic Year 1995-1996 Academic Year 1996-1997 Academic Year 1997-1998 Academic Year 1998-1999 Academic Year 1999-2000 Trail 0 4 6 6 6 7 Kam loops 0 0 0 0 0 0 Vancouver Island 0 0 0 0 0 1 Greater Vancouver 0 3 3 3 3 5 T O T A L 0 7 9 9 9 13 As can be seen, there is an increase in the number of courses inserted or integrated into the local school system as a direct result of the arrival of an Educational Officer in -108 -November of 1994, of the bilateral Memorandum of Understanding, and of the Provincial approval of the Italian 5-12 IRP. M A E has also increased its expenditures in this geographical area, whether it be through actually posting a government official dedicated to this field at the Consulate General in Vancouver, or whether it be through the amount of funds received by local non-profit organizations under Legislation 297/94, which are used to sustain these courses. Table 7 reviews this amount of funding through data received from the local Educational Officer, Dr. Fiamma Bacher. Table 7: Funding Received By Italian-Canadian Non-profit Organizations in BC Under Legislation 297/94 To Sustain Italian Language Courses at the Elementary and Secondary Levels Year Funds in Italian Lire Funds in Canadian Dollars (exchange of 0.800) 1994 95.300.000 76,240.000 1995 218.600.000 174,880.000 1996 285.000.000 228,000.000 1997 269.043.000 215,234.400 1998 228.000.000 182,400.000 1999 265.300.000 212,240.000 These funds are used by non-profit Canadian-Italian organizations to offer Italian language and help to cover expenses such as renting appropriate space, paying teachers, paying for utilities, and maintaining an administrative body. They are also used to purchase learning resources in print form as well as multimedia form, including hardware and software. In fact, all of these local organizations receiving funding have been able to set-up computer labs with a limited number of computer work stations. For example, the C.A.S.I, in Burnaby has been able to acquire 5 computer workstations as well as two -109-laptop computer units and the Italian Cultural Center in Vancouver has been able to acquire 5 computer work stations which now take the place of the antiquated audio-lingual lab. Aside from funding for the sustaining of courses and the purchase of learning resources, M A E is also committed to providing teacher training for local teachers. Their focus has been on preparing local teachers in British Columbia to teach Italian by training them in the communicative approach to language teaching and the theory, methods, and techniques it involves, as well as ensuring they are familiar with how to integrate multimedia in their classrooms and how to use them effectively. There is a lucrative business in Italy which involves recognized firms receiving M A E contracts aimed at training Italian teachers abroad. In the last five years, M A E has invested over $100,000 C A N in BC and Alberta to engage Italian firms or specialized universities to conduct teacher training courses locally. M A E yearly entertains project proposals from such Italian firms or universities. Once officials have reviewed the pedagogical, theoretical, methodological, and technological merits of the projects, it chooses to endorse one and makes the details, along with the price, known to the non-profit organizations around the world which receive M A E funding. These organizations then apply to M A E for grants which cover 90% of all costs involved with the corso di aggiornamento - updating course. Once their request has been approved, the organizations contact the Italian firms and work out the details. Funds are then forwarded to the organization which in turn pays the Italian firms or universities. Most projects involve language education specialists coming to the organization's facilities to engage teachers in a week-long series of seminars and workshops. Since M A E sustains - 1 1 0 -high standards, the workshops and specialists are of a high calibre, as are the learning resources which they introduce to language teachers. In 1995, M A E sponsored the University for Foreigners in Siena, which is recognized as a major centre of research and instruction for the teaching of Italian as a foreign language, to allow Italian teachers abroad to receive the University's Certificazione di competenza in didattica dell'italiano a stranieri (Certification of didactical competence in teaching Italian to foreigners) or DITALS. As a result, 2 instructors from the University came to Vancouver to address twenty local Italian instructors on a variety of topics: glottodidactic theory and its reliance on interdisciplinary theory, theories behind the communicative approach and the methods and techniques it incorporates, the act of teaching and the difference between language learning and language acquisition, language testing and language assessment, techniques to help students develop different abilities, and how to construct authentic language teaching materials which incorporate various learning materials and different forms of presentation. At the end of the week of intensive instruction, a six hour exam was written which evaluated the linguistic, sociolinguistic, and glottodidactic theories discussed and evaluated the teacher's ability to analyze and integrate existing teaching resources in order to create an authentic and communicative unit with relevant and appropriate modes of assessment and evaluation. After being written, the exams where sent to the University for Foreigners in Siena to be corrected, while the teaching team went on to San Paolo, Brazil, to deliver the identical course to Italian teachers working there for a similar non-profit organization which had also received M A E funding for such a venture. - i l l -In 1996, M A E supported the teacher training proposal put forth by IARD Milano. This private institute, which was formed in 1961, specializes in researching the cultural and educational processes involved in training teachers, and bases its teacher training workshops on approaches which incorporate theories from diverse social science perspectives such as pedagogy, sociology, psychology, and economics. This firm also conducts linguistic research to create language teaching materials which corresponds to the teaching challenges faced by Italian language teachers abroad, and has specialized in creating effective multimedia resources (http://www.iard. it). IARD Milano presented a course which centered around their CDi (interactive compact disc) program entitled ELLEMME. These resources consist of two levels, a first level which has 3 interactive compact discs, and a second level which has 4 discs. The eighteen teachers who participated in this workshop, including three from Calgary and three from Kamloops, were taught by the two scholars from Italy how to use these multimedia resources in their classrooms to challenge students to learn interactively while solving problems and to make them perform various activities of a highly communicative nature. These interactive compact discs aim at reinforcing the listening, speaking, and reading abilities and are supplemented by print materials in the form of sixty cards which are divided into 12 units. It goes without saying that, after such a seminar, the non-profit organizations the teachers worked for purchased various copies of ELLEMME as well as the interactive compact disc players and televisions through which they operate. The year 1997 brought a two day workshop on the new multimedia technology of the CD-ROM and Internet. The private Italian firm Dida*El, formed in 1982 and -112-specializing in researching and producing multimedia and Internet resources to teach Italian, received MAE's blessings and sent two individuals to Vancouver to present a course to 25 local language teachers, including 4 from Trail. The objective of this workshop was to familiarize teachers with the technical, didactical, and methodological aspects of how to use multimedia resources effectively in their courses. The workshop also discussed how to use Internet and e-mail effectively in Italian language courses. Dida*El also promoted the use of their CD-ROMs, Italiano di base, Poliglotta per caso and Dentro I'italiano, as well as their on-line resources (found al and included a year's free access to their Internet resources, such as courses to help teachers better learn how to use the Internet and pages with ready-to-use lessons, with their seminar. The first CD-ROM, Italiano di base, was created for students aged 5 to 8, and is divided into eight parts. The program helps students identify letters, then words, and then phrases and includes approximately 20,000 exercises. The second, Poliglotta per caso, was created for students aged 4 to 8, and is mostly visual. It leads the students through an exploration of various "worlds" which include the sea, the forest, and the savannah. Dentro I'italiano is the most complicated and advanced of the three CD-ROM resources. It consists of three CD-ROMs which correspond to introductory, beginners, and intermediate levels. Each CD-ROM encompasses approximately 60 to 100 hours of lessons and includes 5,000 words and 3,000 exercises. Students can choose units through menus organized according to teaching units, language functions, or communicative situations. Each unit begins with a communicative situation students listen to. They then practise the Italian phrases (by repeating the phrases, recording their repetitions, and then -113-listening to the phrases as they have repeated them), explore words or phrases through an on-screen dictionary, and explore particular vowel or consonant sounds. Students then proceed through a series of exercises, with the program correcting their responses and offering them feedback. i As an active participant in the Dida*El seminar, I found the multimedia teaching resources perhaps more rewarding than the hours of instruction themselves. It was also beneficial to have the scholars who worked on producing these resources present to assist in exploring the capabilities of the resource and overcoming any programming problems which may have arisen. No large scale seminar was planned for 1998 as it was felt that local language teachers needed more assistance in familiarizing themselves with the new CDi and CD-ROM resources. Hence workshops were held for teachers in Vancouver, Trail, and Calgary, to assist them in using these new resources effectively. These workshops were conducted by the Educational Officer, Dr. Giulia Colla, who had arrived in November 1994, as well as by me. Again in 1999, there was no large scale seminar planned. This was partially due to the fact that the residing Educational Officer was transferred to a new posting and there was a vacancy in that office for six months until the new Direttrice didattica arrived and partially due to some difficulties in completing the necessary paperwork on the part of the local non-profit organizations. M A E did, however, endorse a program offered through the Universitd Ca 'Foscari in Venice. This project consisted of three phases, the first two which were to be completed via the Internet; the last phase consisted of local language teachers attending classes at the University campus in Venice for the duration -114-of one week. Again the topics to have been covered included: reinforcement of linguistic and cultural competences of foreign language teachers, review of basic professional background information specific to foreign language teachers, instruction of advanced professional development specific to foreign language teachers. The focus of the program was to provide professional development of foreign language teachers and, through its mode of presentation, allow these teachers to gain familiarity with the Internet. The new Educational Officer, Dr. Fiamma Bacher, after her arrival and in collaboration with both the Italian Cultural Centre and the C.A.S.I., did organize a seminar for local teachers which focussed on assisting teachers to review methods for developing student skills through the use of audio, visual, gestual, and multimedia resources. The seminar, which was given on a weekend (Friday night, Saturday, and Sunday) was held at the Italian Cultural Center, and involved five different speakers, comprising the Educational Officer, her husband, Giorgio Mariotti, who is a professional educator in his own right, the M A E sponsored lecturer posted at UBC, Anna Amendolagine, an Italian instructor teaching at UBC, Luisa Canuto, and me, and had 10 teachers of Italian participating, including two from Trail. Planning is already underway for the year 2000's large scale training seminar. It will once again involve the IARD Milano, and will see three individuals come to Vancouver, a language teacher trained in the psychology of language teaching (psicopedagogista) along with a language teaching expert trained in the use of new technologies, and a graphic design artist. This one week seminar is projected to take place during August 2000. The cost of this project will be close to $40,000 C A N and will - 1 1 5 -include sessions referring to the theories behind communicative language teaching, sessions on the importance of new technologies (computer and Internet) and how to use them, as well as on how to use multimedia resources in the classroom effectively and how to integrate these new resources within teaching units. Aside from these large scale workshops and seminars which involve large investments on the part of M A E as well as the movement of highly qualified personnel from Italy, there are also locally organized workshops, These are organized by the Consulate Educational Officer and the Italian Cultural Centre or the C.A.S.I. Of course, these workshops are also funded through M A E , but instead of employing Italian companies they employ local computer or education experts. Since 1997, six such workshops have been organized. In 1997, previous to the arrival of Dida*El's trained equip, I facilitated a workshop which focussed on, "An introduction to the multimedia PC with Windows 95 in conjunction with the CD-Rom Dentro I'italiano" was organized in April. All participants in the large scale August workshop needed to complete this two-day training session on how to actually use a computer, Windows 95, and Dentro I'italiano. This was a challenging experience for some, as they had never actually used a computer and had no familiarity with computer parts (hardware and software) nor any understanding of the computer's capabilities. After the Did*El Worshop, which employed the services of a local computer tutor, namely me, to assist participants in using the computer, the Consular Education Officer and this tutor held workshops in both Trail, B.C., and Calgary, Alberta, to familiarize local teachers of Italian with the functioning of the computer, to introduce the -116-Dida*El Cd-Roms Poliglotta per caso and Dentro d'italiano, and to suggest how to best integrate these new resources within classroom instruction. In October of 1998, I was asked to present a session which was held at the BC Association of Teachers of Modern Languages Conference which focussed on, "Examining the Italian 5-12 IRP." This session was surprisingly well attended and indicated a definite interest on the part of qualified local Italian teachers to introduce Italian into local school board run programs. In March of 1999, the C.A.S.I, and the Consulate General sponsored a workshop which examined how computers and the Internet are important to language teachers as well as how the Internet can be integrated into Italian 5-12 IRP activities. This two-day workshop, which I also facilitated, also broached the subject of how to use classroom management skills effectively when integrating the computer into the classroom setting. And most recently, as mentioned earlier, in September of 1999 the Educational Officer organized a two-day workshop which focussed on the Italian 5-12 IRP and how to use the audio, visual, and multimedia resources it recommends in its Appendix B in the classroom. But with all the attention and money M A E has been spending on multimedia resources and local teacher training, it is still questionable whether local teachers of Italian feel comfortable with these resources and whether or not they are actually used in the classrooms. During the most recent workshop session I facilitated, I asked the ten participants to complete a questionnaire which asked for specific information referring to the classes they teach, their professional preparation, the learning resources they use, their understanding of the communicative approach, how often they use multimedia resources, how they feel about using multimedia resources, and their personal reflections -117-on the current situation of Italian language courses. Their responses are extremely interesting. The questionnaire was written in Italian and was comprised of twenty-one questions which were divided into three sections: information on Italian classes being taught, use of the communicative approach, and professional and personal information. A copy of the questionnaire as well as its detailed results can be found in Appendix B. Responses to the first part of the questionnaire help to give a general overview of the classes which the participants are currently teaching. Half of the participants teach three Italian courses, one teaches only one course, one teaches six courses, and three teach two courses. This seems to indicate that teaching Italian is a main source of income for almost none of the participants, aside from perhaps the individual teaching six courses. Of the courses being taught, five participants teach exclusively elementary level courses while two participants teach courses at the elementary and adult level. Two participants teach exclusively secondary level courses while one teaches both secondary and adult courses. Only one participant teaches exclusively at the adult level, and this is at Capilano College. This seems to indicate that the teachers attending the workshop teach at a range of different levels and that the questionnaire results are not specific to any one level of Italian courses being currently taught. Furthermore, the participants work for a variety of organizations offering Italian language courses; in fact some work for more than one organization. Four participants work for the Italian Cultural Centre, two work exclusively for C.A.S.I., while one works for both of these organizations. One participant teaches exclusively for a public school board, and one teaches for the Italian Cultural Center, the C.A.S.I., and a public school board! Again, these results indicate -118-that all types of organizations offering Italian language classes at the elementary and secondary level in the Greater Vancouver - the Italian Cultural Institute, the C.A.S.I., and local school boards - send representatives to such workshops. Class sizes range anywhere from 8 students to 30 students, with eleven classes of ten or fewer students, ten classes with eleven to fifteen students, and only three classes with sixteen to twenty students. One participant teaches a class of twenty-three students, while another has two classes of thirty students. These results seem to indicate that the majority of the classes contain fifteen or fewer students, while some reach up to thirty students. More uniformity in the amount of students per class would be beneficial to both students and teachers. Participants were also asked what types of learning resources were used. It is worth noting that there was a great consensus on the types of learning resources used. This is mostly to the credit of the Italian 5-12 IRP, which recognizes resources which are appropriate to each level, and to the credit of the Consular Education Officer who has been monitoring the choice of texts purchased with M A E funding. All elementary courses use Io amo I'italiano, which is available in three levels and is produced and published in Toronto. This particular text has been developed by the non-profit organizations in Toronto receiving M A E funding, in cooperation with the Consular Educational Officer, Dr. Caterina Cicogna, who has been working in that capacity for over ten years and is well known for her expertise in the foreign language teaching field. Participants also indicated that they used the video resource Muzzy, which is produced by the BBC and is of a highly communicative nature. This video, in cartoon form, follows the adventures of the alien Muzzy as he familiarizes himself with the human world. It uses Italian exclusively, is divided into numerous segments, and introduces simple -119 -phrases and basic vocabulary. Participants also indicate that they use various audio tapes with Italian songs, mostly the ones accompanying a text. In reference to multimedia resources, participants use the interactive CD, Ellemme, which was introduced by IARD Milano during their workshop in Vancouver. One participant also made reference to using Sistema elle. This resource, comprised of one complete kit for each of two levels, includes games, a teacher's manual which indicates and explains numerous communicative activities, audio cassettes, and a student text and workbook. Each kit contains five different themes: personal identity, social surroundings, natural surroundings, the world of imagination, and integrated resources. All of these resources are founded on the communicative approach to foreign language teaching. In reference to courses at the secondary level, some participants use the text Echi del nostro mondo, while others used Uno. The first of these is again produced and published in Toronto and relates Italian language and culture to a Canadian context. There are five books in these series, and they include songs, poetry, short readings, and works by Canadian youth. The book focuses on examining the Italian culture in relation to the students' own culture. The complete title of the second resource is: Uno: corso comunicativo di italiano per stranieri - primo livello (a communicative course of Italian for foreigners - first level). This clearly indicates that the Communicative Approach underlies this resource and that it is the first level of a series. The text contains a wide range of activities and authentic materials, which leads the students to use language in a purposeful way, to perform real-life tasks, to share ideas, to acquire information, and to complete communication. This resource includes a student text, a student workbook, a teacher's guide, and a set of cassette tapes. All participants indicated their use of Italian -120-songs, while three indicated that they also used the multimedia resources Dentro I'italiano, the CD-ROM introduced by Dida*El when they conducted a workshop in Vancouver. Participants teaching courses at the secondary level also indicated that they used three video resources, In italiano, Italianissimo 1, and Italy: History and Culture. The first of these, In Italiano, is a video series produced by RAI International. It is comprised of segments which focus around authentic Italian speakers involved in communicative situations. Key words and phrases are repeated and there are pauses for students to repeat key components of the conversation. The second of these, Italianissimo 1 (there is also a second level which is more advanced and participants teaching at the adult level did indicate that they use this advanced level), is produced by the BBC. Again it uses the Communicative Approach and is divided into segments which focus around authentic Italian speakers engaging in communicative situations. This video is filmed on location in Italy and uses English to explain cultural components, while employing effective pausing along with key phrases displayed on screen for the students to repeat. The third resource, Italy: History and Culture, is used only by one participant and is entirely in English. It provides background information on Italy's diverse history and culture to allow students to understand the language and the people who use this language better. Two important points must be noted from reviewing the resources used by these participants. The first is that the resources are based on the Communicative Approach, which indicates that the focus of these courses is to develop communicative competence rather than to practise grammatical drills. The second is that both at the elementary and secondary levels a wide range of resources are used which stimulate more than one sense. -121 -These teachers are not relying solely on print materials, but are integrating audio, video, and multimedia resources into their courses. Whether they are all used on a regular basis and whether the participants themselves adhere to Communicative Approach principles is another matter. The second part of the questionnaire focused on the participants' understanding of the Communicative Approach, how this approach is integrated into their courses, and how they use the computer and Internet. The first question asked the participants to explain what the Communicative Approach in foreign language teaching meant to them individually. Only two out of ten did not respond at all, with the others responding (the original responses in Italian can be found in Appendix B) as follows: • To give the students the opportunity to express simple concepts and useful phrases from the very first lesson • It means to listen, respond, mime, recite, read, gesture, etc. • It means to make the students speak • To actively involve the students with mime and repetition • Use of diverse resources • Using of the spoken, visual, gestual, etc. senses • Using a Communicative Approach means making the student participate in the first person • To present language orally (teacher model, video, cassette, etc) and to practise oral communication among students and to produce oral language as well as written Although no participant gave a comprehensive overview of the Communicative Approach, the responses indicate that the participants are aware that the focus of this approach is not on the teacher but on the students. The second question in this section referred to what the role of grammar is in their classes, and was included as a follow-up to the first question, since adherence to the Communicative Approach would mean that grammar is not the primary focus of teaching, but rather communication is. Again, in their responses (only one participant did not respond) the participants did not disappoint. - 1 2 2 -• It is presented as the ending point, not as the starting point • Grammar is always important, however, it is used more at the advanced levels • It is very important, especially in the instruction of adults • I see it at the inclusive level, that is I wouldn't use the term grammar, but at the global level • It's practical, functional • Presented in a general context • For me, grammar is only one part of the greater context which is communication • It's important, but it can be used more at the advanced levels • Once a language structure has been introduced and practiced, a more specific look at the grammar can be done to expand on that point. Grammar is an important foundation to understand and apply for further language development. No participant saw grammar as the focus of instruction, although it is seen as important and relevant. The responses indicate that grammar is more of a concern at an adult level, a level at which the students are more capable of understanding the formalized concepts. In responding to questions which asked how many times pair and group activities are used, the majority of participants indicated that these types of activities are used in every class. The focus within the class does not seem to be on the teacher while students listen, but on the use of group and pair activities. As a matter of fact, the participants indicated that they used group activities more than direct teaching or work in pairs. Furthermore, eight of the ten participants use Italian exclusively in class for at least 75% of instruction time (one uses it 100% of the time, while four use it 90% of the time), while only two use Italian exclusively for only 50% of their class time and felt the need to justify this by indicating on the questionnaire that they taught beginning level courses. The participants were also asked to indicate how often they used the computer and Internet in their classes and were asked to reflect upon personally evaluating their use of these learning resources. Only two participants indicated that they used the computer -123-every second class, while two used it once a month, one every two months, and four never use it at all. In reference to the Internet, one participant uses it once a year with his/her class, while the other nine have never used it at all. One of the questions asked the participants whether they were satisfied with the frequency of computer use in their classes. There responses were as follows: • Yes, the students participate more fully in the lesson • Yes, the computer is valid and interesting resource for me. The children show an interest, and above all, they learn a lot. • It is important and I hope to use it more. • No, but I prefer to use it more. • No, I would like to purchase the Italian resources and use them at least twice a month. Four participants did not respond; however, three of them did respond to the question which followed and which asked whether the participants felt competent in using the computer in their classes: • Yes • Yes, because I understand that today the computer is not only a choice but it is a necessity • More or less • A Little • Not always • I do not feel comfortable • No, up until now I do not feel completely satisfied with how to use it or with an understanding of its use • I still do not feel completely comfortable • No, I have to use the resources in order to understand how it is done [how it can be used]. Today is the first time I have seen Dentro I'italiano On the whole, these responses are discouraging, especially when considering the amount of time and money which M A E has invested in training local teachers to use computers and to use them effectively. In the summer of 2000, M A E will again sustain a large scale training workshop to help these teachers learn to use multimedia technology and learn -124-how it can benefit the students as well as the teachers. It is interesting to note that most of the participants have already participated in a couple of the past M A E sponsored large-scale workshops: eight attended the IARD Milano sessions, 8 the Dida*El ones, 5 achieved their DITALS through the Universitd per stranieri di Siena workshop, and 3 have received foreign language teacher certification from the Universitd per stranieri di Perugia. The third section referred to the personal and professional development of the participants. Aside from one participant who has been teaching Italian for only one year and another participant who has been teaching Italian for seven years, all other participants have been employed in this capacity from 14 to 30 years. All participants have completed diploma or degree programs in either Italy or Canada, some in both countries. The majority (seven) received training in Italy. These results indicate that most of the participants have been teaching for quite some time, which indicates a long-time dedication to the profession. The fact that locally trained teachers do not make up the majority shows the impact of recent cuts in funding at the university level (both UBC and SFU) in the area of Italian studies. The supplier of local qualified teachers of Italian remains the Italian community. When asked what negative elements they could identify with the teaching of Italian in Greater Vancouver, eight participants did not respond at all. Perhaps this general satisfaction can be attributed to the attention M A E has lavished on their needs and those of the Italian community and the assistance offered them through the Consular Educational Officer. Of the two that did respond, one indicated that there is a need to "obtain a certain homogeneity in the comprehension level and the age [of students in the -125-classes]" while the other made reference to student discipline and behaviour problems. When asked to identify positive elements of teaching Italian within Greater Vancouver, the responses were overwhelming: • The continuation of knowing about Italian culture • A connection of culture, tradition, etc. between Italy and Canada • The importance of continuing the Italian culture and language • It is a useful way of maintaining contact with our "Mother Country" and for others it is an encounter with another culture • The continuation of Italian language and culture in Canada • The students prepare themselves, even if in a limited sense, to communicate if they go to Italy, it is useful for their profession and job, and for Italo-Canadians it enables them to better understand their culture of origin and the fundamental values of their families. Many are also interested in Italian works and culture in general. • I think the exposure to Italian language and culture is a fantastic idea. My classes have all Canadian students who are fascinated by the culture, food, music, art, history, and travel opportunities that Italian offers. I'm proud and thrilled to be able to teach Italian and hopefully spread the passion for speaking Italian. These teachers are focussed on teaching Italian because they place great value on what they are doing, whether it is to maintain ties to Italy or whether it is to share their culture and language with others. When generally reviewing the results of this questionnaire, it can be noted that the local Italian teachers have participated in M A E sponsored teacher training sessions and have an understanding of what the Communicative Approach entails and how to employ it. They are also using a range of learning resources which are communicatively based. Many have received professional training in Italy and are constantly upgrading their skills even after having taught for numerous years. This dedication to their profession, even when this is not the sole source of income, is perhaps spurred by the fact that they see the overall value of their job as teachers of Italian. It is not simply a job that requires them to impart knowledge to their students, but it is a means to strengthen and forge ties with -126-Italy - language and culture. M A E , on its part, continues to support these teachers, by providing funding and training in areas that are important and yet present some challenges, which provides the teachers with a sense of security and a willingness to continue on their mission. In referring back to Table 6, which indicates an increase in the courses at the elementary and secondary levels within British Columbia, there is hope for not only the continuation of Italian language courses in this province, but for also an increase in the amount of courses offered. 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"The Multimedia Productions Experience: From Ideas to CD-ROM." InFLEATIII: Foreign Langauge Education and Technology, Priceedings of the Third Conference, ed. Peter Liddell, pp. 323-331. Victoria, B.C.: Language Centre, University of Victoria. Pusack, James P. 1987. "Problems and Prospects in Foreign Language Computing." In Modern Media in Foreign Language Education: Theory and Implications, ed. Wm. Flint Smith, pp. 13-39. Illinois, U.S.A.: National Textbook Company. Richards, Jack C. and Rogers, Theadore S. 1986. Approaches and Methods in Language Teaching: a description and analysis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Rivers, Wilga M . 1978. "Language learning and language teaching - any relationship?" In Second language acquisition research: Issues and implications, ed. William C. Ritchie, pp.201-213. New York: Academic Press, Inc. —1983. Communicating Naturally in a Second Language: Theory and practice in language teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. —1990. "Interaction and Communication in the Language Class in an Age of Technology." Canadian Modern Language Review, Vol.46, No.2: pp.271-283. Robinson, Gail L. 1991. "Effective Feedback Strategies in C A L L : Learning Theory and Empirical Research." In Computer-Assisted Language Learning and Testing: Research and Practice, ed. Patricia Dunkel, pp. 155-167. New York: Newbury House Roche, Jorg 1997. "Multimedia in Language Instruction: Challenges and Solutions." In FLEAT III: Foreign Langauge Education and Technology, Priceedings of the Third Conference, ed. Peter Liddell, pp. 11-20. Victoria, B.C.: Language Centre, University of Victoria. -140-Rothenberg, Martin 1998. "The New Face of Distance Learning in Language Instruction." In Language Teaching and Language Technology, eds. Sake Jager, John Nerbonne, and Arthur Van Essen, pp. 146-148. Lisse, The Netherlands: Swets & Zeitlinger. Rounds, Patricia L. and Schachter, Jacquelyn 1996. 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Van Ek, J.A. 1979. "The threshold level." In The Communicative Approach to Language Teaching, ed. by C.J. Brumfit and K. Johnson, pp. 103-116. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Warschauer, Mark 1998. "Researching Technology in TESOL: Determinist, Instrumental, and Critical Approaches." In TESOL Quarterly, V. 32, N. 4, pp. 757-761. Widdowson H.G. 1979. "Directions in the teaching of discourse." In The Communicative Approach to Language Teaching, ed. by C.J. Brumfit and K. Johnson, pp. 49-60. Oxford: Oxford University Press. — 1993. "Communication, community, and the problem of appropriate use." In Georgetown University Round Table on Languages and Linguistics 1992: Language, Communication, and Social Meaning, ed. James E.Alatis, pp. 305-315. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press. Willinsky, John 1995. "Language, Nation, World." In Thinking Globally About Language Education, ed. by Marilyn L. Chapman and Jim Anderson, pp. 133-148. Vancouver, Canada: Research and Development in Global Studies, Centre for the Study of Curriculum and Instruction. Wilkins, D.A. 1979. "Grammatical, situational, and notional syllabuses." In The Communicative Approach to Language Teaching, ed. by C.J. Brumfit and K. Johnson, pp. 82-90. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Wrigley, Heide Spruck 1993. "Ways of Using Technology in Language and Literacy Teaching." In TESOL Quarterly, V.27, N.2, pp. 318-322. Wyatt, David H. 1987. "Applying Pedagogical Principles to C A L L Courseware Development." In Modern Media in Foreign Language Education: Theory and Implications, ed. Wm. Flint Smith, pp. 85-98. Illinois, U.S.A.: National Textbook Company. -143-Yalden, Janice 1984. "The Design Process in Communicative Language Teaching." Canadian Modern Language Review, Vol.40, No.3: pp.398-413. —1981. Communicative Language Teaching: Principles and Practice. (Language and Literature Series) Toronto, Ontario: The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education Press. Online References Dida*El in breve. Copyright Dida*El. 3 October 1999 <>. IARD Milano. Copyright IARD, ultima modifica domenica 1 marzo 1998. 3 October 1999 <>. ITALICA. Rai Internazional, responsabile sito Maurizio Imbriale. 3 October 1999 <>. Ministero degli Affari Esteri (sic). 1997-1999 Copyright Ministero degli Affari Esteri. 3 October 1999 <>. Talk Italian. Copyright BBC Worldwide Ltd. 3 October 1999 <>. -144-APPENDIX A There are numerous sites on the internet which provide detailed lesson plans for foreign language teachers. Some are accessible to all internet users, while some have restricted access to those who are subscribers to a particular organization. This appendix contains sample lesson plans from the BBC Worldwide site ( which has free access. The appendix also contains an explanation of the on-line lesson resources available through Dida*El ( through subsciption. -145-BIB CtyMtaftife mm mm mm mm Talk Italian Home | Site map | Have your say Introduction Buongiorno! Activities ^ 1.1 Getting to know people pages 8-11 ^ 1.2 Exchanging names pages pages 10-11 1.3 Greetings and goodbyes pages 8-11 1. i Objec'tiUsing Italian to enable learners to get to know each other and the tutor. Setting the standard for the course by getting learners comfortable with interaction and communicating in Italian. MateriComplete list of class members for each learner. 1 With a confident learner or using visual aids, demonstrate a formal conversation like the one below or an informal version using tu. Tutor Buongiorno / buona sera* signore / signora* (*as appropriate) Learner Buongiorno / buona sera. Tutor Io sono . . . Lei, come si chiama? Learner (Mi chiamo) Tutor Piacere. Learner Piacere. 2 Encourage learners to circulate and, using the conversation as a model, to greet the other members of the group individually and introduce themselves, shaking hands as they say Piacere. Ask them to tick on their list the names of the people they meet. Make sure they initiate some conversations and respond to others and encourage the use of Scusi? if repetition is needed. In a very large class where talking to everyone would take too long, the activity can be limited to finding, for example, 10 people on the list. Di dov'fe? Questo & Paolo Uti cafffe, per favore Punto di coiitrollo I Scusi. dov'i la stazione? C'i: una bauca qui vicirto? Quanto cosea? Punto di controllo 2 Vom>i una camura A d i e ora parte? Buon appetite! Control lo finale Site Map Worksheets Feedback - 146-1.1 tObjectPractising Lei e . . . ? and sono / non sono, and familiarising learners || with the sounds and spellings of Italian. Mater iList of Italian names. Prepa -Choose appropriate sets of four or five names and list them in columns headed A, B, etc. Also mark each name on a separate slip of paper. 1 Give each learner a slip of paper with a name on it and a complete list of names. Set the scene by telling them that the individual name is their own name, that they are at a reception in Italy, and that on the list are the names of the other guests, grouped according to a table plan. Their objective is to find their name on the list and then, speaking Italian, to find the others on their table. 2 Practise pronouncing the names (on OHP) with the whole group then allow a few minutes for learners to practise in pairs or groups of three. 3 Learners circulate and use Come si chiama? and Lei e... ? to find the other people in their group. Encourage variety as they answer (with their assumed name): Sono . . . , Mi chiamo . . . , Si, sono . . . or No, non sono . . . You might also like to introduce Si, sono io. Encourage learners to say Piacere when they find the others and Scusi? if they need repetition of a name. If a small group activity is planned next, learners could stay in these groups, thus ensuring the opportunity of working with a variety of people. ll lObjectiGiving open-ended practice of the key phrases and adding an || element of unpredictability. Mater •Pack of 24 cards per group of four or five learners. Prepa'rPhotcopy onto card two A4 sheets per group, cut into cards and || shuffle. 1 Divide learners into groups of four or five and give each group a pack of 24 cards. 2 The cards are put face down on the table in a pack and each learner in turn takes a card, using it as a cue to address their left-hand neighbour who responds appropriately, e.g. Come stai? - Bene grazie. Buona sera, signore - Buona sera, signora. A card with two symbols is a signal to engage in as full as conversation as possible. Below are two examples of how a conversation might develop. -147-Ciao! Buongiorno (name) Ciao. Come stai? Bene grazie. Arrivederci. Ciao. Buongiorno, singore . . . lei e? Mi chiamo Piacere. Io sono . . . Piacere. Arrivederci. 3 Encourage them to build up speed as they gain confidence. Introduction I What is Talk Italian? I Unit 2 activities French | German | Greek | Italian | Japanese | Portuguese | Russian | Spanish Home | Site map | Have your say By using this website you accept these Terms and Conditions. © B B C Worldwide Ltd. -148-Talk Italian Worksheet 1.2 These names focus on the Italian sounds of c and g. The first names featured in Talk Italian, pages 8-13 are also suitable for this exercise. Riccardo Gerosa Francesca Marche Sergio Fagiani Barbara Mocchetti Luciano Romeo Giulia Giorgetta Giovanni Barrucci Alessandra Cimadori Francesco Chiesa Patrizia Lancia Andrea Corva Donatella De Ferrari Paolo Angelotti Laura Puccino Guido Zanuso Elena Bracardi Giuseppe Antonelli Cristina Liguori Ugo Colussi Chiara Verdi Claudio Mazzola Giulietta Sargentini Nicola Gabrieli Monica Sarpi © BBC Worldwide Ltd 1998 Back to Talk Italian unit 1 -149-Talk Italian Worksheet 1.3 Photocopy this sheet twice to make the 24 cards: 9.00 a.m. 9.00 a.m. How are you? t What's L your name? 11 rs. / ° ° 1 V ( ® ^ / 7.00 p .mBye! 1! ml ° o J r © <#/ V «3 © / 11 p.m. Bye! 11 v ( ® <§>/ V o © / i! 10 p.m. ^ ^ 9 . 0 0 a.m. fi 1 © <§>/ 10 a.mJfTello! Bye! ^ ^ l ^ n o o n ^^^^ ^ ^^^^^^^^^^^^^ How are you? 9 p.m. H O 8 p.m. Goodbye Whj Hi it's your name? © BBC Worldwide Ltd 1998 Back to Activity 1.3 -150-Talk Italian Home | Site map | Have your say A c t i v i t i e s Introduction Buongiorno* ft 2.1 Talking about nationality pages 16-17 ^ | | 2.2 Getting to know people pages 16-19 f 2.3 Exchanging phone numbers page 19 2.1 Objectives Familiarisation with masculine / feminine endings and extension of vocabulary. Materials none 1 Select at least a dozen names of major towns and cities from different countries, write them on the board or OHP and use with the whole group to practise pronunciation and to extend vocabulary. 2 Learners each choose one of the towns as their home town and write it down without revealing it. 3 In pairs, Partner A has to guess Partner B's nationality (according to the town chosen), then roles are reversed. Conversations start with Lei e . . . / Tu sei... + a nationality?. Demonstrate how they might develop with the following, reminding learners of the importance of correct -o/-a endings. Lei e tedesco/a? Tu sei tedesco/a? No, non sono tedesco/a? Si - sono di Francoforte. Di dov'e? Sono di Barcellona. A h . . . lei e spagnolo/a! Si, sono spagnolo/a. 4 Learners circulate to find the nationality of three other people then report their findings back to their original partner, e.g. John e francese, di Parigi. Alternatively, each learner can be asked to give Questo h Paolo Un caffe, per favore Punto di eontrollo I Scusi. dov'e la stazione? C'ii una banca qui vicino? Quanta costa? Punto di controllo 2 Vorrei una camera A chir ora parte? Buoit appctito' Controllo finale Site Map Worksheets Feedback Links - 151 -the nationality and home town of their original partner to the whole group. 2?20bjec'tiPractising questions relating to nationality and II occupation, reinforcing gender endings. Materials Sets of role cards, photocopied onto card, (oryou may prefer to make your own role cards to include occupations particularly relevant to your class.) PreparPhotocopy a set of role cards per group of four. The || activity also works with three or five people. 1 Divide the class into groups and give each learner a role card. Ask them to assume that role and to imagine they are in a queue at a bus stop, the bus is late and they start chatting. 2 Allow a few minutes preparation time to think of questions they might ask. 3 As they start talking, encourage them to greet each other, to use Scusi? and to say goodbye. 4 A potential follow-up activity could be to ask them to write down a profile of their own 'identity' as on page 20 and / or the 'identity' of one of the others in the group in the third person. 2.3 Objectives Using the numbers 0 to 10. Assisting group dynamics. Materials None. With a large class this activity can be done in groups of 5 or 6 instead of the whole class and the check reduced to one or two per group. 1 In pairs, learners prepare for the activity by practising the numbers. A shows a number using his/her hands and B says the number as quickly as possible. Repeat ten times then change roles. 2 Highlight the question Qual e il tuo/suo numero di telefono? 3 Ask learners to compile a list of everyone's telephone numbers. Announce that anyone who prefers not to circulate their number should simply invent one. Encourage them to repeat the question each time, prefaced by Scusi and a name, and to say Grazie when they have the number. If necessary, the number can be repeated for confirmation. 4 Check the numbers are correct by asking each learner for his/her number and writing it on the board. -152-Unit 1 activities I What is Talk Italian? I Unit 3 activities French | German | Greek | Italian | Japanese | Portuguese | Russian | Spanish Home | Site map | Have your say By using this website you accept these Terms and Conditions. © B B C Worldwide Ltd. -153-Talk Italian Worksheet 2.2 Carta Giorgio infermiera studente spagnola italiano Madrid Roma Barbara Paul professoressa disoccupato inglese francese Londra Nizza -154-Talk Italian Home | Site map | Have your say A c t i v i t i e s Introduction Buongiorno! Di dov'4? Questo i: Paolo Un ciiffc, per favore Punto di ctirttrollo I Scusi, dov'£ la stazione? 5.1 Asking questions to locate places page 44 Qpk 5.2 Asking how far away places are pages 44-45 Q| 5.3 Finding somebody who . . . pages 46-47 'Asking for help to understand' is not practised separately - learners should be encouraged to ask in Italian for repetition or for a partner to speak slowly in all the activities in this and future units. 5.10bjectiAsking simple but accurate questions to locate places in town. 1 Prepare for the activity by brainstorming town vocabulary and ensuring the correct definite article with each place. You might also like to teach the phrases non lo so and mi dispiace. 2 You need one map per learner. On seven of them mark the position of one place only (e.g. il duomo, il municipio, la stazione, l'azienda di turismo, la questura, il teatro, l'ufficio postale) so that you end up with seven maps, each containing different information. Keep a master copy of where all the places are. 3 Give each learner a map and tell them the seven places they need to locate. Seven of them will know where one place is located, others will have a blank map. Ask them to circulate, asking about one place at a time e.g. Scusi signore/a, dov'e l'ufficio postale? C o una banca qui vicma? Quanto costa? Pun to di controilo 2 Vorrei una camera A clit; ora parte? Buoii appetitot Controilo finale Site Map Worksheets F«2*dbaek -155-The answer will either be Mi dispiace, signore/a, non lo so. or E in via della Vittoria., E in Piazza Garibaldi, etc. As they find out where the places are, they mark them on the map. The aim is to be the first to complete the map according to the master copy. This activity starts slowly with much repetition of the questions and non lo so but speeds up as more people have more information. 5.': tObjectiAsking how far away places are and understanding likely replies. Mater m $A and B information sheets. 1 Learners take turns in asking whether the places marked ?? on their information sheet are far and fill in the distance or time given by their partner. A starts: the conversation should then be on-going until all the information has been shared. A II Duomo e lontano? B E a cinque minuti a piedi. E il mercato? A II mercato e a . . . 2 Successful communication of the information can be checked either by a whole class discussion or by A and B comparing completed information sheets which should be identical. The completed information sheets could be used as portfolio evidence. 5.30bjec'tiSustained social conversation in Italian while practising verb endings jj in context. Materi;'Find somebody who . . . ' lists. I li 1 Prepare for the activity by ensuring learners know the relevant -are verb endings and understand the lack of need for subject pronouns. Introduce parlare and tell them that, in Italian as in English, the names of languages are the same as nationalities. 2 Draw up a list similar to the one illustrated, using your knowledge of the class to personalise it. You need one copy for each learner. If you make one of the categories impossible to find, it ensures the activity doesn't end before everyone has had the opportunity to ask plenty of questions! -156 -Find somebody who . . . . . . lives in (local district or street) . . . lives in the town centre . . . lives in a flat . . . works in (local place) . . . works in a bank . . . doesn't work . . . speaks German . . . speaks Spanish. 3 Ask learners to circulate, asking others one question at a time with the aim of finding someone conforming to each criterion and making a note of their name. 4 At the end of the activity, the work can be consolidated by asking questions to the whole group, e.g. David abita in centro? Chris parla tedesco? Checkpoint 1 activities | What is Talk Italian? | Unit 6 activities French | German | Greek | Italian | Japanese | Portuguese | Russian | Spanish Home | Site map | Have your say By using this website you accept these Terms and Conditions. © B B C Worldwide Ltd. -157 -Talk Italian Worksheet 5.1 Use the blank map below to make your master map and seven copies: C o r s o M a t t e o t t i Piazza Garibaldi © BBC Worldwide Ltd 1998 Back to Talk Italian unit 5 -158-Talk Italian Worksheet 5.2 1 II corso e strutturato nei seguenti quattro moduli: Mod. 1 Le variabili della comunicazione II modulo prende in esame il processo di comunicazione e le sue variabili: argomento, funzioni e scopo, contesto, scelte di lingua relative al codice ed al registro. Mod. 2 La strutturazione del testo II modulo, articolato in tre sottomoduli, spiega come organizzare un testo tenendo conto delle diverse tipologie in cui puo essere classificato (descrittivo, narrativo, espositivo, argomentativo, regolativo). Mod. 3 La stesura del testo II modulo, articolato in tre sottomoduli, si occupa della stesura del testo presentando una serie di principi guida nelle aree semantica (sottomodulo 3.1), sintattica e testuale (sottomodulo 3.2 e 3.3). Mod. 4 La revisione del testo II modulo analizza le operazioni necessarie per attuare la revisione di un testo scritto e riepiloga l'intero processo sotto forma di guida pratica. REQUISITI DI SISTEMA Cd-Rom: — PC 486 o superiore — Ram 4 Mbyte o superiore — Scheda grafica VGA Plus 256 colori — CD-Rom 2X o superiore — MS-DOS 5.0 o superiore — Windows 3.1 o superiore Floppy: — PC 286 o superiore — Ram 640 Kbyte o superiore — Scheda grafica VGA — MS-DOS 3.3 o superiore On-Line: — Connessione a Internet (28.800 bps o superiore) — Browser Java compatibile (Internet Explorer 3.0 o Netscape 3.0 o superiore) Per informazioni: -160-APPENDIX B This appendix contains a copy of the questionnaire in Italian which was distributed to the teachers of Italian participating at a workshop held on September 11 to 13, 1999, at the Italian Cultural Center in Vancouver. The appendix also contains an analysis of their responses, including those written in Italian. -161 -Sondaggio - Questionnaire Lo scopo di questo sondaggio non e di giudicarvi come insegnanti, ma piuttosto e di meglio capire le vostre realta e la preparazione didattica. L'informazione fara parte della mia tesi per il Master of Arts nellTtaliano (UBC) pero rimarra anonima. II focus della tesi e di sequire l'evoluzione dei metodi per l'insegnamento delle lingue straniere, e l'attuale uso dell'approccio comunicativo e dei multimediali nei corsi d'italiano offerti nella Greater Vancouver. Prima Parte: Informazioni sulle vostre classi 1) A quante classi d'italiano insegna? 2) Quali sono i livelli delle Sue classi? A. Materna: C. Scuola secondaria: '. B. Scuola elementare:_ D. Adulti: 3) Quanti studenti ci sono in ognuno delle Sue classi? 1) 2) 3) .4) 5) 6) 7) 4) Quale risorse usa nelle Sue classi? (indicare i titoli ed il livello di classe, A,B,C,D) - Libri di testo: - Video Risorse: - Audio Risorse: - Multimediali: -Altro: 5) Per quale organizzazione insegna? ., Centro Culturale Italiano: - C.A.S.I.: School Board: -162-Seconda Parte: L 'Approccio Comunicativo 6) Secohdo Lei, cosa significa usare.un "approccio comunicativo" nell'insegnare una lingua straniera? 7) Secondo Lei, qual e il ruolo della grammatica nell'insegnamento nelle sue classi? 8) Quante volte al mese Lei impiega attivita svolte in coppie? 9) Quante volte al mese Lei impiega attivita svolte in gruppi? 10) Secondo Lei, qual e la tecnica usata per la maggior parte nelle Sue classi? Lei insegna e gli studenti ascoltano: Attivita in coppie: Attivita in gruppi: Altro (spieghi, per favore): 11) Quanto spesso Lei usa dei computer nelle Sue classi? - ogni lezione: ogni seconda lezione: ogni terza lezione: - una volta al mese: - una volta ogni due mesi: - una volta ogni tre mesi: - una volta all'anno: - mai: 12) Quanto spesso Lei usa 1'Internet nelle Sue classi? - ogni lezione: - ogni seconda lezione: - ogni terza lezione: - una volta al mese: una volta ogni due mesi: una volta ogni tre mesi: - una volta all'anno: - mai: 13) E soddisfatto della frequenza dell'uso del computer nelle Sue classi? Spieghi, per favore. -163-14) Si sente in grado di utilizzare il computer nelle Sue classi? Spieghi, per favore. 14) Per quale percentuale delle ore d'insegnamento Lei usa solamente I'italiano? 100% 90%_ 60% 95% _85% 50% 80% ' Meno di 50% 75% 70% 65% Terza Parte: Informazioni Personali 15) Da quanti anni insegna I'italiano come lingua straniera? 16) Qual'e il Suo titolo di studio conseguito in Italia? 17) Qual'e il Suo titolo di studio conseguito in Canada? 18) Quali corsi d'aggiornamento organizzati dalla Direzione Didattica del Consolato d'ltalia a Vancouver ha Lei seguito? - IARD Milano: - DIDAEL (Dentro I'italiano e Poliglotta per Caso): - DITALS (Universita per Stranieri di Siena): - Formazione per insegnanti d'italiano a stranieri offerta dall'Universita per Stranieri di 19) Quali elementi negativi puo indicare con l'insegnamento dell'italiano nella Greater Vancouver? 20) Quali elementi positivi puo indicare con l'insegnamento dell'italiano nella Greater Vancouver? Perugia: NOME: COGNOME: Telephone Number: G R A Z I E M I L L E ! -164-QUESTIONNARE RESULTS Location: Workshop held at the Italian Cultural Center on September 11-13, 1999 Number of participants: 10 The Questionnaires were divided into 3 parts: 1) Information on Italian classes 2) The Communicative Approach 3) Personal Information PART 1: Information on the Italian classes taught by the participants 1) Number of classes taught by the participant: (number of classes -> responses) l-> 1 2-> 3 3-> 5 4-> 0 5-> 0 6-> 1 2) Level of the classes: a) materna -> 0 b) scuola elementare -> 5 c) scuola secondaria -> 3 d) adults -> 4 (only one teacher taught to exclusively adults) 3) Number of students in their classes: (number of students-> number of classes with that number) 8->2 9->l 10->8 == 10 and below: 11 classes ll-> 0 12->4 13-> 1 14-> 1 15->4 16->1 17->0 18-> 1 19->0 20->l ==13 23-> 1 30-> 2 -165-4) types of learning resources used: Scuola elementare Scuola secondaria Adulti LIBRI DI TESTO - Io Amo I 'Italiano - Echi del Nostro Mondo Uno - In Italiano - Italian the Easy Way VIDEO RISORSE - Muzzy In italiano Italianissimo 1 - Italy.History and Culture fin English) - Italianissimo 1 and 2 In Italiano AUDIO RISORSE - canzoni italiane - canzoni itliane - canzoni italiane MULTIMEDIALI - CDi - CD-ROM: Dentro I'italiano ALTRO Other visual aids Progetto ELLEMME - slides - magazines, other visual aids 5) The organization the participant teaches for (a teacher may be employed by more than one): Italian Cultural Centre exclusively: 4 C.A.S.I, exclusively: 4 School Board exclusively: 2 Italian Cultural Centre and C.A.S.I.: 1 Italian Cultural Centre, C.A.S.I. and School Board: 1 PART 2: Information on the use of methods and understanding of the Communicative Approach 6) According to the participant, what does it mean to use a Communicative Approach in teaching a foreign language. - 2 blank responses - dare modo agli student di esprimere concetti semplici e frasi utili fin dalla prima lezione significa ascoltare, rispondere, mimurare, recitare, leggere, gesticolare, ecc significa fare parlare gli studenti coinvolgere gli studenti attivamente con mimo e ripetizione - uso delle diverse risorse utilizzo dei canali uditivi, visuali, gestuali, ecc. -166 -Usare un approccio comunicativo significa far partecipare lo studente in prima persona To present language orally (teacher model, video, cassette, etc) and to practise orally among students and to produce orally as well as written 7) According to the participant, what is the role of grammar in teaching his/her classes: 1 blank response Viene presentata come punto finale e non come punto iniziale La grammatica e sempre importante pero ai liveli piu avanzati si utilizza di piu - E molto importante, specialmente neH'insegnamento degli adulti lo la vedo a livello inclusivo cioe non userei il termine grammatica, ma a livello globale E pratico, funzionale Presentata nel contesto generale Per me la grammatica e solo una parte di un contesto piu grande che e la comunicazione E importante, pero si pud usare di piu ai livelli piu avanzati Once a language structure has been introduced and practised, a more specific look at the grammar can be done to expand on that point. Grammar is an important foundation to understand and apply for further language development. 8) How many times a month does the participant employ activities which need to be done in pairs: - every class: 6 - 2-3 times: 3 -depends: 1 9) How many times a month does the participant employ activities done in groups: - every class: 6 -1-2 times: 1 - 3-4 times: 3 5 times: 1 10) According to the participant, what technique does he/she use for the most part of class time: (some choose more than one) the teacher teaches and the students listen: 3 activities in pairs: 8 - group activities: 9 - other (with explanation): 2 (one indicates games played by the entire class, another indicated computer use) -167 -11) How often does the participant use a computer with his/her class? every second class: 2 once a month: 2 once every two months: 1 - never: 4 (one response was invalid "ogni tanto") 12) How often does the participant use the Internet with his/her class? once a year: 1 never: 9 13) Is the participant satisfied with the frequency of computer use in his/her class: si, gli studenti partecipano piu volentieri alia lezione si, per me il computer e un sussidio valido e interessante. I bambini dimostrano un interesse e soprattutto imparano molto e importante, spero di adoperaro di piu - non ho accesso al computer room no, preferisco di usarlo di piu no, vorrei comprare le risorse italiane e usarle almeno 2 volte al mese 4 did not respond, however, 3 of these did respond to the next question 14) Does the participant feel competent in using the computer in his/her class: - Si Si perche capisco che oggi il computer non e solo una scelta ma una necessita Piu o meno si Poco Non sempre Non mi sento a mio agio No, fintanto non mi sento completamente soddisfatta del suo uso o conoscenza del suo uso Non mi sento ancora penamente a mio agio No, devo usare le risorse per capire come si fa. Oggi e il primo giorno che ho visto "Dentro 1'italiano" one did not reply 15) For what percentage of instruction time does the participant use exclusively ( Italian? - 100%: 1 - 90%: 4 - 85%: 1 - 80%: 1 - 75%: 1 - 50%: 2 -168-PART 3: Personal and Professional Information 16) How long the participant has been teaching Italian as a foreign language: Answers: 1, 7, 14, 17, 18, 23, 26, 27, 30 (one did not reply-Romanin) 17) What degree or certificate the participant completed in Italy: Laurea in scienze agrarie Diploma magistrale e Laurea in lingue Insegnante di scuola materna Laurea in matematica Magistrale - Diploma Insegnante d'italiano three did not reply 18) What degree or certificate the participant completed in Canada: Landscape horticulturist completion of first year M.A. program Bachelor of Arts, Honours in French and Spanish, Bachelor of Education, BCTF, TESOL seven did not reply 19) What teacher training courses organized by the Educational Officer from the Italian Consulate in Vancouver did the participant take part in: - IARD Milano: 8 Did*El (Dentro I'italiano and Poliglotta per Caso): 8 DITALS (Universita per stranieri di Siena): 5 Formazione per insegnanti dall'Universita per stranieri di Perugia: 3 20) Negative elements the participants could identify with the teaching of Italian within Greater Vancouver: Ottenere una certa omogeneita di livello comprensivo e di eta My experience is very limited. From what I observed at Alpha Secondary (Burnaby), the Italo/Canadian students had a very undisciplined and disruptive attitude. The classes were not productive and I think discouraging for the few students who really wanted to learn. The other 8 did not respond. -169-Positive elements the participants could identify with the teaching of Italian within Greater Vancouver: - La continuita della conoscenze e cultura italiana - Un collegamento di cultura, tradizioni, ecc. fra 1'Italia e Canada L'importanza di continuare la cultura e la lingua italiana E un mezzo utile per mantenere il contatto con la Madre Patria e per gli altri un incontro con un'altra cultura Continuita della lingua e cultura italiana in Canada Si preparano, sia pur limitatamente, gli studenti a comunicare, se si recano in Italia, servono nella loro professione e lavoro e per i figli italocanadesi, a capire meglio la cultura d'origine ed i valori fondamentale della propria famiglia. Molto sono interessanti all'opera ed alia cultura italiana in genere. I think the exposure to Italian language and culture is a fantastic idea. My classes have all Canadian students who are fascinated by the culture, food, music, art, history, and travel opportunities that Italian offers. I'm proud and thrilled to be able to teach Italian and hopefully spread the passion for speaking Italian. - 170-APPENDIX C This appendix contains a table which provides an overview of the Italian language courses at the elementary and secondary level offered within the consular jurisdiction of the Vancouver Consulate General of Italy. Funding from M A E is filtered through Italian-Canadian non-profit organizations to assist in the running of these courses. Assistance may come through helping to pay for instructors, helping to cover facilitating and administrative costs, and helping to purchase learning resources for teacher and student use. The Consulate also provides professional and technical assistance through their Educational Officer. The data contained in the table has been provided through the present Direttrice didattica, Dr. Fiamma Bacher. -171 -These details pertain to courses at the beginning of the 1999/2000 academic year. Administrative Institution Number of Courses Number of Students Number of Inserted or Integrated Courses Number of Students in integrated or inserted courses Italian Cultural Center (Vancouver) 1 17 200 _ _ Vancouver School Board _ _ _ _ C.A.S.I. (Burnaby)2 27 285 _ _ Burnaby School Board 2 47 2 47 Other School Boards in BC 3 80 3 80 Coascit (Victoria) 4 82 1 20 Cristoforo Columbo (Trail) 9 166 7 141 Cristoforo Columbo (Kamloops) 5 48 _ _ Coascit (Calgary) 14 254 4 80 D.Alighieri (Edmonton) 13 180 _ _ T O T A L S 94 1,342 17 368 1 Some of these courses run on a trimester schedule, some on an annual schedule. 2 All of these courses last a full year. -172 -


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