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Orbis pictus to hypertext: a quest for a self-directed multimedia German acquisition programme Ross, Ingrid 1994

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ORBIS PICTUS TO HYPERTEXT:A QUEST FOR ASELF-DIRECTED MULTIMEDIA GERMAN ACQUISITION PROGRAMMEbyINGRID ROSSB.A., The University of British ColumbiaA THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTSFOR THE DEGREE OFMASTER OF ARTSinTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES(Modern Languages Education)We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standardTHE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIAAugust 1994Ingrid Ross, 1994In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanceddegree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make itfreely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensivecopying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of mydepartment or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying orpublication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my writtenpermission.(Signature)Department ofThe University of British ColumbiaVancouver, CanadaDate /‘ Dc/de-i-- /‘‘DE-6 (2/88)11ABSTRACTThis thesis investigates the research area of the formation of a self-directed, interactivemultimedia, German acquisition programme, intended for first-year university students. Chapter1 introduces the thesis by discussing the methodology, which is chiefly historical and analytic;by surveying the relevant literature; and by advancing a rationale for the study. Since the thesisemphasizes a historical dimension, Chapter 2 presents research on the career of the seventeenth-century education reformer Comenius, who is identified as the first systematic theorist oflanguage didactics. His seminal ideas and textbooks connected with language acquisition (LA),which prefigure much in contemporary practice, have been unjustly neglected, and the thesis isintended in part to help correct this situation. Chapter 3 offers research on a historical panoramaof landmark theory in linguistics and applied linguistics from Comenius’ time to ours, to exploresignificant ideas that help to shape LA programmes. From the joint perspective of Comeniandidactics and modern philosophy of curriculum, Chapter 4 analyses textbooks now or recentlyin use in a first-year university German course to derive guidelines, principally from thecommunicative approach, for the proposed German programme. Chapter 5 synthesizes leadingideas gained from study of Comenius and arising from first-hand investigation of later theorists,also it brings in awareness of the possibilities of interactive multimedia, to present an originaloutline of a self-directed German programme as a contribution to research on second languageacquisition. Appendix A presents pictures illustrating the far off intellectual world of Comenius.Appendix B reports on practices and resources at innovative university language centres inGermany and Britain, and surveys some self-directed LA programmes, but chiefly W.E.Mackey’s multimedia self-directed English LA version for Francophone children in NewBrunswick, to establish the main features of what is being called the post-communicativeapproach to LA.niTABLE OF CONTENTSPageAbstract iiTable of Contents iiiAcknowledgments vChapter1. INTRODUCTION 11.1. Aim and scope of the thesis 11.2. Research question 101.3. Significance of the study 101.4. Methodology 111.5. Relevant research 121.6. Coda 162. THE VISION OF COMENIUS AS EDUCATION REFORMER 182.1. Comenius in his time and ours 182.2. Education of Comenius 212.3. Comenius’ encounter with Descartes and the formation of his pedagogic goals 242.4. Anticipation of “transformation” philosophy of curriculum 252.5. Rosicrucian Enlightenment, pansophia, and Comenius’ later career 262.6. Educational reform and language acquisition 292.7. Language texthooks 362.8. Reputation and legacy for educators 473. THE CONTRIBUTION OF LINGUISTS AND APPLIEDLINGUISTICS: ARNAULI) TO CHOMSKY AND HIS EPIGONI 533.1. Arnauld and universal grammar 533.2. Chomsky’s LAD 553.3. Bruner’s LASS 603.4. Lado and the contrastive approach to language acquisition 613.5. Selinker’s “interlanguage” concept 623.6. Chomsky’s deficiencies but challenge to behaviourism 633.7. Humboldt and social subjectivity of language 643.8. Sapir-Whorf hypothesis of cultural specificity of languages 673.9. Schleicher and the evolutionary concept of languages 69ivPage3.10. Bréal’s semantics 703.11. Saussure and the general science of linguistics 723.12. Recent SLA theorizing 733.13. Summation 764. PERSPECTIVES 01? GERMAN ACQUISITION CURRICULA:TRANSMISSION, TRANSACTION, TRANSFORMATION 784.1. Language textbooks and curriculum philosophy 784.2. Transmission philosophy and the contrastive approach 794.3. Transaction philosophy and an evolved audio-lingual approach 834.4. Transformation philosophy and the communicative approach 885. ACQUIRING GERMAN BY SELF-DIRECTION 955.1. Autonomous German acquisition in a language centre 955.2. Staging of the programme 965.3. Use of pictures 975.4. Study materials 985.5. Interactive multimedia 1005.6. Emphasis on holistic, transformational philosophy 102List of References 105Appendix A: INTELLECTUAL WORLD OF COMENIUS 121Appendix B: POST-COMMuNICATIVE LANGUAGE ACQUISITION 133B. 1. Post-communicative strategies 133B.2. Lessons from German and British language centres 134B.3. Self-directed language programmes: Irish, Dutch, and Danish-German ventures 139B.4. W.E. Mackey’s New Brunswick multimedia self-directed language acquisitionmodel 141B.5. Intercomprehension 146VACKNOWLEDGMENTSIn 1992 Professor Jörg Roche of the Germanic Studies Department aroused my interestin graduate study of the teaching and acquisition of German. He drew my attention to thepossibility that I could focus on research in German acquisition in a Master’s programme whichProfessor Stephen Carey, Director of Modern Languages Education, had recently implementedin his Faculty. The encouragement of all my teachers and their willingness to co-operate acrossdiscipline boundaries, when directing my studies, led to my experience of being the first studentto complete the new programme in the Fall of 1994. Professor W.E. Mackey, Laval University,with whom I took a seminar in the Summer Session of 1992, set me thinking about thepossibility of doing research on a self-directed German acquisition programme, with multimediasupport. My teachers in Education Faculty courses helped me to refine my ideas and theexpression of them: Professors Stephen Carey, Jean Barman, Frank Echols, Rita Irwin, andHarold Ratzlaff. Professor Steven Taubeneck of the Germanic Studies Department was alwaysprepared to discuss ideas with me and draw my attention to useful sources. I wish to expressmy gratitude for the most stimulating experience of working with them.I am also deeply grateful to my mother who taught me German of a Bohemian cast, andfor rich memories of my grandmother who added a Silesian element, also equally dear memoriesof Josef Reisinger who made me aware of the Upper Austrian dialect and culture. My husbandIan Ross has encouraged me in every way to complete this project, has translated Latin andFrench passages for me, and has done his best to give me time to think and write. At a latestage in writing this thesis, he gave me editorial advice for which I am most grateful.11. INTRODUCTIONThe intent suffices in a great design.Propertius1. 1. Aim and scope of the thesisThe research area investigated in this thesis is the formation of a self-directed, interactivemultimedia, German acquisition programme, to be implemented at the introductory universitylevel. The context for this investigation is the current, world-wide debate over two questions,conducted at both the theoretical and practical level among modem language educators. First,what methods for acquiring second languages produce student satisfaction and commitment?Second, what role can be played by self-directed or, as they are sometimes called, autonomouslearning programmes in meeting the goals of students and our society for the acquisition ofsecond languages? The urgency of the debate about these questions for North Americaneducators is highlighted by two factors. There is a sharp decline in numbers in modem languagecourses as students pass from the stage when enrolment in these courses is mandatory to thestage when they are electives. In some jurisdictions, moreover, government policies arerequiring more mandatory second language instruction in schools, when there are insufficientlytrained modem language teachers available, and traditional teaching methods for languages seemto be less and less successful as measured by student retention in language courses. Forexample, in British Columbia second language instruction is now mandatory in grades 5 to 8(B.C. Ministry of Education News Release, NR28-94, 29 June 1994). At the same time, thefollowing statistics are reported for enrolments in French:2Grade 8 100% (mandatory period)12 25% are leftUniversity first year 30% of the above go on(Merzisen, 1994).Regarding the above problems, the argument of this thesis in twofold. First, withthoughtful attention to the history of linguistics and applied linguistics directed to languageacquisition, a sound theoretical and holistic basis for autonomous language acquisition can beestablished.Second, review of current practice in the area of autonomous language acquisition in thelight of current theory can lead to recommendations for constructing a specific autonomouslanguage acquisition programme.German has been chosen as the target language for acquisition in the proposedprogramme, because it is a major European language used by 80 million or more nativespeakers, and as a second language by many more millions of non-native speakers in the formerEast b]Q countries. As well, most research on second language acquisition (SLA) outside ofthat conducted in English is found in German. Also, many North Americans have a Germanbackground and wish to discover their roots through acquisition of the ancestral tongue. Finally,many English-speakers across the world are drawn to visit German-speaking countries as touristsor business or professional people, and wish to have some knowledge of the language.First-year university or college students are selected as the clients for the proposedprogramme as potential leaders in education and society. If their commitment to autonomouslanguage acquisition can be elicited as a result of positive experience, this will influenceuniversity careers leading to teaching or other professional responsibilities and impact onschools, as well as policy formation at different levels of government. In addition, as parents3of the future they will help to form another generation’s attitudes to language acquisition.Present and coming generations of students are likely to favour the multimedia support for theproposed programme because electronic multimedia are being used more and more forcommunication and expression, and recent developments in this field offer extensiveopportunities for self-learning.No research on an autonomous multimedia programme for German has been reported inthe language acquisition literature reviewed (Nunan, 1988, 1992; Prokop, 1989; Larsen-Freemanand Long, 1991; AILA ‘93 Amsterdam programm and abstract books; ERIC search). At twoconferences in 1993, however, the issues of autonomous language acquisition and multimediasupport for language acquisition were separately addressed, and accounts of the transactions areavailable. In the instance of autonomy, the 1993 AILA programme (pp. 619-30) abstracted thepapers presented in Amsterdam at a Special Symposium (No. 70) devoted to Learner Autonomyand Language Learning, and these covered issues highly relevant to the kind of programmeenvisaged in this thesis for German, including methods for implementing learner autonomy; therelationship between learner strategies and learner autonomy; and the relationship betweeneducational/cognitive psychology and learner autonomy. Arising from the 1993 Symposium, anAILA Scientific Commission was formed, with Leslie Dickinson (Moray House College ofEducation, Edinburgh) and Anita Wenden (York College, Jamaica, New York) as co-convenors.The intention is to stimulate more research on autonomous language-learner strategies,appropriate curricula for such learners, and methods for evaluating such projects. The 1993AILA Congress abstracts draw attention to significant LALL research (Holec, 1981, 1987;Oxford, 1990; Narcy, 1991; Wenden, 1991; Dickinson, 1987, 1992). As well, correspondencewith a contributor to the Scientific Commission, Lienhard Legenhausen of the University ofMünster, has yielded information about an autonomous English acquisition programme in4progress in Karislunde comprehensive school, in the commune of Greve, near Copenhagen(Legenhausen, 1993, 1994).The 1993 AILA conference symposium papers and Legenhausen’s usage make it clearthat “autonomous” and “self-directed” are terms used interchangably in connection with SLA tomean programmes in which students manage on their own their learning tasks and progress.Also, the role of the teacher or organizer is that of collaborator or resource person. Directionfor the programmes comes in the materials from which the second language is to be acquired(see, also, Murray, 1994). This thesis uses the terms “autonomous” and “self-directed” in asimilar way. As for multimedia and the first-year university/college context, these are notfeatures of the LALL research literature presently available.In the instance of interactive multimedia language acquisition support, aspects of thistopic are covered in a volume of the papers presented in November 1993 at the LearnTecconference in Karisruhe on education technology and business education (eds. Beck andSommer, LearnTec 1993, 1994). One paper from this volume, by Bernd Weidenmann (pp. 57-71): “Lernen mit Multimedia: Der Traum des Comenius” (Learning with multimedia: the dreamof Comenius), seems to touch on a central theme in this thesis, namely, that the didacticprinciples for language acquisition outlined by the seventeenth-century education reformerComenius can be put into practice through the use of multimedia. Though stimulating, the paperhas limitations in treating Comenius’ principles and publications in a cursory and unhistoricalfashion, and it does not examine the specific ways in which his book, Orbis pictus (1658),anticipates the programming of interactive educational multimedia for autonomous languageacquisition. It should be pointed out that this thesis was completed before LearnTec 1993became available to readers.In addition to recent attention in conferences to autonomicity and multimedia support in5language acquisition, there is currently available on the market a computerised series of Germanacquisition programmes in the Rosetta Stone Language Library, issued in 1993 by FairfieldLanguage Technologies, 400-122 South Main Street, Harrisonburg, Virginia 22801, USA.These programmes can be run on Macintosh or WindowslMPC systems, and they provide voicematerial, written texts, and pictures. This writer examined through computer use theintroductory programme, Deutsch Level Ta, and read the accompanying User’s Guide and courseoutline. These materials represent a step towards what could be accomplished in an interactivemultimedia, German acquisition programme, but there is a long way to go to realize the potentialindicated by Comenian language didactics and the Orbis pictus. The Rosetta Stone programmedoes not unfold in a logical sequence of vocabulary or grammar related to the natural processof mother tongue acquisition, is poorly staged, and unimaginatively backed up with audio-visualmaterial. This writer’s brief examination of the introductory programme suggests that muchmore thought about current language research, as well as a deeper understanding of theperspective of Comenius, need to go into the development of multimedia-supported Germanacquisition. A point to be stressed in criticism of the Rosetta Stone programme is that the voicematerial is of a poor quality. As a result, case endings, for example, cannot be heard clearly,and grammatical relationships are obscured.This writer proposes that formal implementation and longitudinal testing of anautonomous German language acquisition programme as outlined in this thesis would capitalizesignificantly on Comenius’ prescient ideas, also make use of recent research on second languageacquisition, and in these ways would be a most desirable initiative.What is offered in this thesis concerning a language acquisition programme should beconsidered as a Gedankenexperiment, a “thought experiment” of the kind familiar in physics,in which a pattern of experience is anticipated, and effects are associated with specified causes,6in the light of declared theoretical considerations (Oxford English Dictionary, Supplement, Vol.IV, p. 843, citing New Scientist, 14 Jan. 1982, , p. 2).To illuminate these theoretical considerations, the body of the thesis begins by focusingin Chapter 2 on the work of Jan Amos Komenskç(1592-1670), the Czech scholar known to thelearned world of his time and ours (e.g., at the Karisruhe LearnTec conference) as Comenius.He has been identified as the first thinker to “conceive a full-scale science of education,” andto make this the central part of a “pansophy” or general philosophic system (Piaget, 1967, p.3). As well, he has been named the first theorist of the didactics of languages (Caravolas, 1994,Vol. I, p. 339). The strengths and weaknesses of his contribution to the theory and practice oflanguage acquisition are examined in the context of an account of his career, emphasizing hisambition to produce a general theory of education and his attempt to create a holistic frameworkfor practical, intellectual, and spiritual enterprise. The Comenian argument is brought out thatlanguage acquisition in the last analysis is a necessary part of self-education aimed at the goalof individual transformation conducive to social progress and world peace.At the practical level, through analysis of specific texts by Comenius, Chapter 2 identifiesand criticizes his seminal ideas about language acquisition which include recognition of theimportance of the natural phase of learning the mother tongue as a prelude to adding otherlanguages; staged or programmed learning of other languages; the roles of immersion and self-direction; and the usefulness of audio-visual associations and sensory appeal, as well asencyclopedic opportunities offered through technology to make the world the textbook, presentedmost directly in the Orbis sensualium pictus (1658/199 1). The discussion takes up the point thatthe procedures of the Orbis pictus move the printed book beyond the confines of the codex tothe framed visual field, and prepare the way for the electronic book’s transference to the screen(Chartier, 1994, pp. 90-1). Comenius’ textbook is seen as prefiguring the use of the rapidly-7expanding resources of interactive multimedia, including hypertext, to support autonomouslanguage acquisition.Chapter 3 examines the gains made by landmark language theorists from Comenius’s dayto ours. Emphasis is placed on implications for language acquisition. Thus, the work of NoamChomsky (b. 1928) on transformational grammar (TG), still in progress, is placed in relationto the metaphysical dualism of the rationalist philosopher René Descartes (1596-1650), and tothe universal grammar tradition, going back at least to the Port-Royal scholars such as AntoineArnauld (16 12-94). It is argued that though Chomsky himself has deficiencies in historicalunderstanding of the development of linguistics, he has mounted a successful, rationalistchallenge to the empirical or behavioural model of language acquisition presented, for example,in the writings of Leonard Bloomfield (1887-1949). Note is taken of Steven Pinker’s recentwitty and provocative use of Chomsky’s theories about universal grammar to explain data thathave been accumulated empirically about the acquisition and functioning of languages (Thelanguage of instinct: how the mind creates language, 1994). The significance of a rationalist ormentalist, cognitive model, both for language acquisition and cultural support for languageacquisition (as proposed by Jerome Bruner, b. 1915), is brought out for the design of actualprogrammes. Further important implications of the shift of theoretical emphasis from languageas behaviour to its systemic structure and cognition are pursued in considering critically thebehaviourist proposals of Robert Lado and Larry Selinker about contrastive analysis oflanguages, and the role error identification should play in language acquisition. Also taken intoaccount are the “monitor” hypothesis of Stephen Krashen and “multidimensional model” of theZweitspracherwerb Italienischer und Spanischer Arbeiter (ZISA) study group (Clabsen, Meisel,and Pienemann, 1983) which have connections with universal grammar theory.Other areas of theoretical development with high significance for language acquisition8practice are considered through reviewing the ideas of Wilhelm von Humboldt (1767-1835).This theorist continued the universal grammar tradition in certain directions, and as Pinker pointsout (1994, p. 84), he enunciated a dictum that anticipates Chomsky’s concept of generativegrammar: language “makes infmite use of finite media.” Humboldt also appreciated thesubjective nature of language and its connection with sociability, ideas which can be traced backvia the writings of the philosophe Etienne Bonnot de Condillac (1715-80) to the empiricalphilosophy of John Locke (1632-1704). In this tradition are to be found the roots of psycho-and sociolinguistic modelling of language acquisition. The hypothesis of cultural linguisticcontrol can also be traced back to Humboldt. We encounter this hypothesis either in the weakform of relativism developed by Edward Sapir (1884-1939), or the strong form of determinismformulated by Benjamin L. Whorf (1897-1941). The strong form has recently been severelycriticized (Pinker, 1994, pp. 59-65).Towards the end of this chapter, the organicism of August Schleicher (1828-68) isdiscussed as a negative example of linguistic theorizing. The reason for this is that he drewracist implications from an attempt to apply Darwinian evolutionary thinking to languagedevelopment. Next, the theoretical contributions of Schleicher’s antagonist Michel Bréal (1832-1915) and those of the more widely-known Ferdinand de Saussure (1857-19 13) are reviewed,to elucidate the emergence of the modern concept of language as a system of signs whosemeaning is determined by collective behaviour.This writer concludes, however, from the review of theorists coming after Comenius, thattheir insights into language structure and transfer, arrived at through intense specialization, havecreated a state of affairs well described as the “Krise der Selbstverständnisse” (crisis of self-understanding) of foreign language didactics due to its “endlose Klagengeschichte” (endlesshistory of conflict) (Legenhausen, 1993, p. 1). The present writer believes that a resolution to9this crisis could come from study of the possibilities of autonomous language acquisition,conceived within the kind of holistic framework aimed at by Comenius.Chapter 4 follows with a study in analytic didactics, a subject whose procedures werecodified by Comenius (Jelinek, 1953). This study bears on the successes and shortcomings ofthree current teacher-centred programmes in German. Their chief theoretical and practicalfeatures are detailed as reflected in associated textbooks, from the perspectives of transmission,transaction, and transformation philosophies of education (Miller and Sellar, 1990). This writerargues that the shortcomings of these textbooks point to the educational need for an autonomousacquisition programme.Chapter 5 offers an outhne of the salient features of the proposed autonomous programmeintended to guide eventual development. This programme aims at incorporating some of theleading elements of, or implicit in, Comenian language didactics. Second language acquisitionshould be linked to leading features of the acquisition of the mother tongue. The principle ofcarefully staged learning should be upheld. There should be reliance on the play/pleasureprinciple to motivate learners. Audio-visual prompting and sensory appeal should be employed.This should extend to interactive multimedia presentations, and use of the “electronic highway”to recapture the encyclopedic technique of using the world as textbook. For the proposedprogramme, the insights of language theorists and applied linguists are accepted within a holisticframework conceptualized on the basis that the whole person is involved in language acquisition,and its goal is individual fulfilment and social progress.Two appendices are presented. A uses illustrations to explore and help recapture theintellectual world of Comenius which has been lost to us by the post-Cartesian fragmenting ofdisciplines. discusses the personal experience of the writer in visiting certain language centresin Europe which support the delivery of autonomous multimedia language programmes. This10appendix also reviews central features of current autonomous language acquisition programmes,principally William F. Mackey’s New Brunswick model of English for Francophone children,and Lienhard Legenhausen’s English programme in a Danish comprehensive school.1.2. Research questionThis thesis presents research on the career of Comenius and his education reforms inrelation to present-day needs. Further, it investigates past and current linguistics theory andapplied linguistics theories with regard to problems of German acquisition. It also analyses,from the joint perspective of Comenian didactics and modern philosophy of curriculum,representative contemporary textbooks and curricula for acquiring German. Throughout, thefollowing two-part research question has been addressed:a. what theoretical and practical features would contribute to the formation of a self-directedlanguage acquisition programme for German that students would deem successful interms of their goals;b. how should such a programme be delivered using interactive multimedia?Because the research in this thesis can be formulated in this way, it is identified in the title asa quest which, as the OED defines the word, means “any inquiry or investigation made in orderto discover some fact” (1.3.), or a “search or pursuit, made in order to find or obtain something”(11.4).1.3. Significance of the studyThis writer proposes that the envisaged German programme should be delivered througha university or community college agency. Such a programme should be constructed with aview to meeting the goals of a wide range of students, including part-time students from the11ranks of workers and mothers unable to make the time commitment for regularly scheduledclasses, also for those who,prefer to engage in autonomous learning using multimedia resources.There are also cogent theoretical reasons for adopting an autonomous programme, principallythat its discipline teaches learners how to learn on their own as a precondition for educationdefined as a process of positive self-transformation.It should be possible for modern language departments and education administrators toestimate from this study if the proposed programme or type of programme would be a usefulcomplement to regular classroom teaching. Educators should also be able to estimate if theproposed programme would be capable of providing a p001 of students with sufficientcompetence in German to pursue higher level instruction and meet career goals sustained byother programmes. Similarly, open learning and distance learning institutes should be able tojudge if such a programme or its analogues could be added to their established offerings. Inaddition, experts in the latest interactive multimedia technology should be able to determine whatopportunities there are for providing electronic learning resources and support.This study should make students, faculty, administrators, education planners, and theinterested public aware of the intellectual underpinnings of self-directed language acquisition andthe essential features of a programme specifically designed for the German language.1.4. MethodologyThe method in this thesis has been, first, to use historical investigation and analysis toinvestigate layers of seminal ideas about the nature of language and its transfer or acquisition.The sources used in this investigation were critical editions of texts by Comenius and hissuccessors among educators, linguists, and applied linguists. Reputable commentaries on theirwork were also consulted. On this basis, the salient features of the career and thought of12Comenius have been established. A historical panorama has been presented of other scholarswho have contributed to language education reform and language acquisition theory. Significantsecond language acquisition issues of continuing relevance have been highlighted. In connectionwith the intellectual history involved in the investigation, perspectives have been adopted comingfrom critical theory debates and the emergence of the “new historicism,” which enableresearchers to exercise caution about cultural presuppositions and ideological bias (LaCapra andKaplan, 1982; ed. Veeser, 1989).Second, this writer has investigated the Comenian principles of analytic didactics(Comenius/Jelinek, 1953), as well as leading current research in language acquisition practice(Larsen-Freeman and Long, 1991; Johnson, D.M., 1992; Ellis, R., 1994). Insights from thesesources have been applied in Chapter 4, in the assessment of three current (or recently-adopted)German textbooks used in introductory courses at the University of British Columbia. Thephilosophies of education underlying these textbooks have identified according to the categoriesspecified by John P. Miller and Wayne Seller in Curricula: perspectives and practice (1990).Third, information concerning current self-directed language programmes and the operationof language centres with innovative approaches and new technological support has been criticallyreviewed.From this research, the value, scope, and efficacy of self-directed language acquisitionusing interactive multimedia support have been established, and the salient points of didacticshave been determined for incorporation in a German acquisition programme.1.5. Relevant researchNote has been taken of current thinking about the design of research on language learningin David Nunan’s recent survey: Research methods in language learning (1992), but it did not13provide an appropriate model for the project of this thesis. Diane Larsen-Freeman and MichaelH. Long in their well-organized compendium: An introduction to second language acquisition[SLM research (1991, P. 12), present an outline of a “Qualitative Paradigm” for research, andthis allows for the possibility of “Phenomenologism and verstehen: ‘concerned withunderstanding human behaviour from the actor’s own frame of reference’,” which has someaffinity with the procedures of this thesis, but they do not go into this in any detail, nor do theytake up the topic of autonomous language programmes, though their coverage of SLA theoreticaland practical studies otherwise proved extremely helpful.An authoritative complete edition of Comenius’ writings in Latin and Czech: Johannis AmosComenii opera omnia I Do Jana Amose Komenskho (referred to as DJAK), supervised by theCzechoslovak Academy of Sciences, has been in progress since 1969, and fifteen of the plannedfifty volumes have appeared to date. It is the best guide to the textual and bibliographic historyof the books presented. A concise recension of new biographical and analytic work onComenius, taking note of research by Czech and Slovak scholars, is to be found in JaroslavPánek’s book, completed in 1989: Comenius: teacher of nations (1991). A reasonably completeV /listing of post-World War Two Comenian scholarship is to be found in Zdenek Pokorny,Bibliografie kninh komenian 1945-1990 (1992), which was prepared to help celebrate the400th anniversary of Comenius’ birth, but this anniversary in turn stimulated a vast outpouringof articles and books now being published.So far, the most informative account of the publication of Comenius’ ideas about educationand their linkage to his pansophic project is Vladimir Jelinek’s introductory material to hisEnglish translation of the tenth chapter of the Linguarum methodus novissima (1649, 1657). Thiswas entitled the Analytical Didactic in 1874 by the Czech translator, F.J. Zoubek, when hepublished the chapter as a separate work . It has to be pointed out that as a proponent of14empiricism, Jelinek and is highly critical of Comenius’ holistic way of thinking, and regards hisreligious outlook as one that gives rise to prejudice.An additional drawback is the fact that Jelinek did not have full access to the manuscripttexts from the last period of Comenius’s career. These texts were discovered in 1935 byDimitri Cyzevskij, in the archives of the Francken-Stiftung in Halle. These texts completed aseven-part work: De rerum humanorum emedatione consultatio catholica (General deliberationconcerning the reform of human affairs). This whole work in Latin was published in 1966 bythe Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, and the work of the editors, also of Czech and Germantranslators of sections, is reflected in J.E. Sadler’s useful study, J.A. Comenius and the conceptof universal education (1966). Klaus Schaller has worked extensively on the Consultatio, andhas incorporated his findings in a number of translations into German and analytic studies. Thebook with the most useful background material is Schaller’s study, Die Pädagogik des JohannAmos Comenius und die Anrange des pädagogischen Realismus in l7Jahrhundert (1967). The.veteran Scottish scholar, A.M.O. Dobbie, has now translated into English six parts of theConsultatio as follows: Panegersia (Universal awakening, 1990); Panaugia (Universal light,1987); Pampaedia (Universal education, 1986); Panglottia (Universal language, 1989);Panorthosia (Universal reform--chs. 19-26, 1993); and Pannuthesia (Universal warning, n.d.)These sources allow us to recapture Comenius’ holistic thinking, and to see how hiscomprehensive ideas about education and language can be connected with our contemporaryecological concerns, a topic covered by Mackey’s paper to the Collogue International Coméniusheld at the Université de Montréal in June 1992: “La philosophie et la linguistique de Coméniusdans le cadre des idées écologiques de notre siècle” (Mackey, 1992a).The most accessible, extended study of Comenius’ ideas about teaching languages is a workin French by the President of the Canadian Society of Comenian Studies, Jean-Antoine15Caravolas: Le Gutenberg de Ia didacographie ou Coménius et l’enseignement des langues (1984).He gave a summary in English of his more recent views in an article, “Comenius and the theoryof language teaching,” in the issue of Acta Comeniana: International Review of ComeniusStudies, 10 (1993), which commemorates the 400th anniversary of Comenius’ birth. Caravolashas just published (June 1994) a two-volume work in French: La didactique des langues(Montréal: Les Presses de 1’Université de Montréal, 1994), in which the first volume is devotedto a “Précis d’histoire I, 1450-1700,” and the last chapter entitled, “Coménius--premierthéoricien des langues,” gives a precise and well-documented account of its subject.Recent research on “Language acquisition and language learning” is well synthesized byClaire J. Kramsch (1992), and language theory and acquisition/learning practice are similarlywell served by David Crystal’s Cambridge encyclopedia of language (1992 reprint). Additionalsources with further ramifications of relevant theory and research data are Donna M. Johnsons’Approaches to research in second language learning (1992) and The study of second languageacquisition (1994) by Rod Ellis. Crystal mentions Comenius only in connection with themovement to devise an artificial language that would be a means of international communication(p. 352), and the others confme themselves to contemporary theorists and researchers.Autonomous language acquisition research should be much stimulated by the launching ofthe AILA Scientific Commission mentioned at the beginning of this chapter for example. Pastneglect is suggested by the absence of the topic from Bernhard Kettemann and Wilfried Wieden(eds.): Current issues in European second language acquisition research (1993), and WilKnibbeler’s otherwise useful survey material in The explorative-creative way: implementationof a humanistic teaching model (1989).The greatest inspiration to work on an autonomous German acquisition programme came tothis writer from participating in Mackey’s 1992 UBC seminar on self-directed language16acquisition, in which he described his New Brunswick immersion project for helpingFrancophone children acquire English (Lightbown, 1989; Forsyth, 1990, 1993, 1994, andLightbown and Halter, 1989; Mackey, 1991b, Murray, 1994). -For a German perspective on second language acquisition, the most helpful summations ofresearch are to be found in Wolfgang Klein’s book, Zweitspracherwerb: eine Einführung (1987);and in a study by Klaus Vogel, Lernersprache: linguistisehe und psycholinguistische Grundfragenzu ihrer Erforschung (1990). The varying social situations of language learners/acquirersexplored in these two books are important in conceptualizing the staging of second languageinputs.1.6 CodaThe goal of this thesis, namely, forming a German acquisition programme that requiresautonomous learning with the support of interactive multimedia, will have been brought withinreach if the research literature surveyed in the previous section has played its proper role. Itsassembly and digestion are intended to help uncover the theoretical and practical considerationsthat should guide the choice of the content of the programme and viable methods for deliveringit. The Mackey programme in New Brunswick, operating since 1985 (cited above), also theLegenhausen one in Denmark (begun in 1992), perhaps offer the best models for what isoutlined here.Across Canada at least since 1965, however, immersion programmes have been in operationto achieve English-French bilingualism, with impressive results in the high levels attained ofcomprehension of the second language (Swain, 1981; Genesee, 1983). In part, Mackey wasresponding to the success of Canadian language immersion teaching/learning in designing hisprogramme (1991b, pp. 242-3). Typically, these immersion programmes provide for children17large amounts of comprehensible second language input in teaching all or most subjects acrossthe curriculum in the target language in the early elementary grades, and then introduce moreteaching in the native language in the higher grades to bring up the native-speaker skills(Lambert and Tucker, 1972). Mackey had to deal with English regarded as a single subject andgiven a limited amount of time in the curriculum, but he could arrange for large amounts ofcomprehensible input in English in the time available and extensive use of multimedia.Moreover, the New Brunswick programme has features that have been identified as desirablechanges in immersion approaches: a movement towards less passivity in classrooms and morestudent-centred learning (Carey, 1984, 1991, 1993). Mackey’s requirement of self-directionencourages the students to take an active role in their education and to develop their higher-orderthinking skills (Forsyth, 1990, pp. 27-8). As will be seen in Chapter 5, these features aresuggested for inclusion in the proposed German acquisition programme, in which it is alsoproposed to explore elements of the language didactics of Comenius and his holistic concept ofeducation.182. THE VISION OF COMENTUS AS EDUCATION REFORMERIt is from those who have suffered the sentence of history -- subjugation, domination,diaspora, displacement -- that we learn our most enduring lessons for living and thinking.Homi K. Bhabha2002.1. Comenius in his time and oursWhen Comenius was dying in 1670, it must have seemed to him as an acquirer of manylanguages that he had failed in the enterprises of his career dearest to his heart. He was the lastbishop of the Community of Brethren to be consecrated in his Czech homeland. This was thesmall religious group (540%) with the loftiest ideals and strictest discipline among theoverwhelming majority (90%) of the population of Czechs that was Protestant in his youth. TheCommunity was suppressed by the Habsburg autocracy and supplanted in Bohemia and Moraviaby Jesuits zealously enforcing adherence to rigid counter-reformation Catholicism supervised19from Rome. The exiled remnants of the Brethren in Poland, Hungary, and Brandenburg feltthemselves to be leaderless and betrayed. The Czech language which Comenius loved and hadilluminated with his writings was marginalized in the homeland, where German became thevehicle for government and high culture until the nineteenth century. The schools Comeniustaught in had either been destroyed in the ravages of the Thirty Years War, or survived in a statefar removed from upholding the enlightened institutional arrangements he had promoted. Acollected edition of his works (DOO: Appendix A, 1) sponsored by the city government ofAmsterdam with the date 1657 had appeared early in 1658, but it was incomplete, and many ofhis writings were lost and scattered in places remote from the major printing presses of Europe.The pansophia he had projected in his confident maturity, a unified science that would connecthumanistic and all other branches of learning with regard to spiritual insight and moral wisdom,had been only partially realized, and only fragments of these parts were in print. In making warand peace based on vested interests, the great powers of Europe had not listened to his pleas forthe rights of minorities, and for the creation of instruments for securing universal education(including extension to females and the handicapped), scientific cooperation, religious toleration,and international security, much less his call that humanity act as a family which should seekto live in harmony with nature rather than divide into predators and victims ceaselesslyoppressing each other and despoiling nature.The one area where he had been successful and had attracted enduring patronage, thewriting of language and other textbooks, in his eyes had been a distraction from his ambitioustheological and philosophical projects, within which education formed only a part of his agenda.Yet, such books as his Informatorium ‘ko1v mater’k (composition in Czech: 1628(?)-31), whichhe translated into German (1633) and Latin (for DOO, 1657), and which appeared in Englishas School of infancy (1641), also the Janua linguarum reserata (1631), appearing in English as20Porta linguarum trilinguis. the gate of tongues unlocked and opened (1631), made an impact onseventeenth-century classrooms by changing attitudes to early schooling, the teaching ofvernacular languages to children, and setting realizable goals for acquiring Latin, still used asthe language of international communication in the century after Comenius’s lifetime. The Janualinguarum reserata was found as a textbook as far afield as New England, and one copy wasowned by an Indian student Joel Jacoomis who was a student at Harvard in 1665, along with afriend named Caleb Cheeshahteaumuck (Odlozilik, 1942, p. 55). Comenius would have beenpleased to learn this fact. He had expressed the hope in his Linguarum methodus novissima(1648, ch. xxviii) that a gifted Indian youth would learn Latin and begin a literary tradition forhis people, that is, one that would connect their artistic expression with the world’s through themedium of writing in Latin (Young, 1929; Jelinek, 1953, p. 87). Above all, Comenius wishedto see. education extended to all humanity, so that everyone regardless of sex or race or creedcould study God’s revelation in three books: the “book of nature, the book of the mind, and thebook of Holy Writ” (Pampaedia, Dobbie, 1986, p. 30; Jelinek, 1953, p. 12), and he wrote theJanua linguarum reserata to this end.The Linguarum methodus novissima also gained firm adherents among contemporaryteachers (Jelinek, 1953, pp. 32-3), and of the supporting textbooks, the Orbis sensualium pictus(1658) has had a continuing polyglot publication history into our century, extending to mostEuropean languages and Japanese (DJAK, 1970, Vol. 17, pp. 276-89), suggesting it became aninvaluable aid to teaching languages (Dobbie, 1986, p. 12). Moreover, when UNESCO wascreated after the second world war to provide for international collaboration in education,science, and culture, Comenius was honoured as one of its founding spirits (Piaget, 1967, p.29).To be sure, there are shortcomings obvious enough today in Comenius’ thinking and21expression. His biblical orientation limited his mental horizons, as in the case of his seeminglack of curiosity about the new scientific cosmology of Copernicus and Galileo. At times, hewas too credulous about the claims of false prophets, especially when despair over his personalfate and that of his fellow Protestants during the Thirty Years War drove him to hope for signsof Christ’s return and the commencement of the millennium. Also, he wrote at great lengthabout his concerns, endlessly dividing and subdividing his topics, often in what seem banal waysand at wearisome length. Nevertheless, enough wisdom remains in his writings about the humanrace’s nature, the world we share, and our need to educate ourselves, which amid ourpredicaments we neglect at our peril. It is in this spirit, accordingly, that the thesis proceedsto review Comenius’ career and leading ideas. The chief intention is to see what his legacy was,specifically, for autonomous language acquisition, and why it is, generally, that his leadingeducation concepts in a pansophic framework suffered neglect for so long and now assumeincreasing importance.2.2. Education of ComeniusJan Komensk was born in 1592 in southeastern Moravia close to the Hungarian border,in or near the town of Uherskç Brod (some authorities name the village of Nivnice), where hisfather was a prosperous miller. Both parents and two sisters had died by 1604, probably fromplague, and the next year insurgents from Hungary fighting against Habsburg troops torched thesmall town of Striice where he was staying with relatives. Plunged in this fashion into thelabyrinth of the world, his metaphor for the vicissitudes of a dangerous existence, he sought away out through education at the grammar school in Perov and eventual entry into the“universal priesthood” of the Community of Brethren. In origin, this Community went back tothe Hussite movement of the early fifteenth century, which had anticipated most features of the22Lutheran Reformation.Though the religious viewpoint was enlightened, instruction at the Prov grammar schoolwas carried out in Latin in the punitive way only too common at this time. Comenius latercastigated contemporary schools as barbarous: “terrors for boys and shambles for theirintellects.” He wrote of five, ten, or more years being spent on matters that could have beenmastered in one, and of what could have been “gently instilled into the intellect,” being“violently impressed upon it, nay rather stuffed and flogged into it” (Comenius, Great didactic,1896, pp. 229-30). Further, he condemned the obscurity and perplexity of the methods ofteaching, when plainness and lucidity could have been the hallmarks. His sad experiences drovehim towards his later educational reforms, including the development of new curricula forlanguage teaching. Strong family bonds were encouraged by the Community (Appendix A, 2),in which women had a prominent role as bearers of moral and religious values, also care of thehandicapped was encouraged, and these features of Comenius’ formative years play a part in theideal of universal education expressed in his Czech Didalctika (1627-30). There is everyindication in his writings that he valued the formative effect of a loving family on children, andhe showed respect and love to the children he taught, also he counselled parents and teachersto treat their charges with love and respect and help them grow in virtue and wisdom.To complete his studies, from 1611-1613, he went on to the advanced Calvinist high schoolin Herborn (near Frankfurt), and then to the University of Heidelberg. In 1613, to further hiseducation, he travelled to the United Dutch Provinces, then vying with England amongProtestant countries for commercial and cultural leadership. Residence in Amsterdam providedhim with an example of the peaceful rule of oligarchic republican government based on theconsent of the governed, which became a model for his later schemes of world government.About the year 1613, he began his career as a man of letters with work towards the creation of23a multipurpose Theatrum, a “theatre” or “sphere” of knowledge. We have details of threetitles: Theatrum sanctae scripturae, Theatrum universitatis rerum (DJAK Vol. I), and Thesauruslinguae Bohemicae. Comenius met in Germany and among the Dutch people vigorous post-Reformation advances in many sectors of knowledge, including, theology, philosophy, and protoscience. He was fired with the ambition to make available to Czech speakers in their ownlanguage the exciting new ideas of the times, hence his production of a Bohemian thesaurus(Sadler, 1966, p. 34; Dieterich, 1991, pp. 22-3). Such an ambition is an attractive andinspiring one. It encourages thought about methods for helping our contemporaries to acquireGerman, and so gain in their turn a direct window on an unknown or imperfectly known culturalscene.His teachers at Herborn (who included the millenarian encyclopedist J.H. Aisted and theBiblical scholar, Johannes Piscator) and at Heidelberg (principally the theologian David Pareus)aroused his interest in irenics (theology stressing points of agreement among Christians with aview to their unification), ecumenicism, philosophy, and science, putting him in touch with theworks of contemporaries such as Tommaso Campanella and Francis Bacon (Penrath, 1985;Dienst, 1985). Campanella’s City of the sun (1602, 1623) encouraged Comenius’ visionary,utopian thinking, as did Bacon’s Advancement of learning (1605), which also introduceddistinction between two kinds of grammar, crucial for the emergence of the rationalist ormentalist tradition of language analysis, of which so much has been made by Chomsky. Thisholds we should distinguish between “popular” grammar, setting out the prescriptions forparticular languages; and “philosophical” grammar, applying to all languages, in Bacon’s phrase,“examining the power and nature of words, as they are the footsteps and prints of reason”(Bacon, 1605, II.xvi.4: Aarsleff, 1982, p. 105). Bacon also stressed the importance of rightmethod in pedagogy, as the route for cutting short tedium in learning, and attention to this issue24became an important part of Comenius’ career.2.3. Comenius’ encounter with Descartes and the formation of his pedagogic goalsDescartes famously took up methodology as a central feature of the reformulation ofphilosophy in the Discourse on the method of rightly conducting the reason and seeking truthin the sciences (1637). Sharing Descartes’ preoccupation with method, Comenius sought apersonal encounter with him in 1642, at Endegeest, near Leiden in the Netherlands. It was afriendly meeting, in which Descartes “endeavoured to explain . . . the secrets of hisphilosophy,” and Comenius defended his conviction, “that all human knowledge, which isobtained by thought and reflection alone, is imperfect and defective.” Comenius wished toinclude the teaching of the “heart” (emotional knowledge) and of the spirit in his holisticapproach. The exchanges ended with Descartes saying, “I do not go beyond philosophy; in methere will be a part of the whole, which is to be found in you” (Rood, 1970, p. 134). Thereference was to the fruits of Comenius’ education and holistic outlook, his project, to bediscussed below, of aspiring to pansophia, a wisdom that would unify spiritual insight andphilosophy derived from the mind and senses. (Though of classical Greek origin, the word“holistic” used here is modern, derived from the title of Jan Smuts’s book, Holism andevolution, 1926, but the concept of appreciating the wholeness of things is ancient and appearswhere Comenius found it, in Neoplatonism: see Wall, 1994, pp. 90-1). Descartes stuck to hismetaphysical dualism of mind and body as the key to scientific knowledge. Comenius cameto see this as reductive, publishing a book in 1659 rejecting Descartes’ teaching about a dead,mechanistic world: Cartesius cum sua naturali Philosophia a Mechanicis eversus; and finallydenouncing Cartesianism as a “cancerous growth in philosophy” (Clamores Eliae, s.B.9:composed 1665-70). In a long career as a writer, Comenius sought in his pansophic works to25offer a countervailing, holistic vision of a living universe in which human language is the keyto understanding the interconnection of the vital constituent forms. The best overview of thisis provided by Franz Hofman’s selection of texts and commentary: Jan Amos Comenius,Aliweisheit: Schriften zur Reform der Wissenschaften. der Bildung und des gesellschaftlichenLebens (1992).2.4. Anticipation of “transformation” philosophy of curriculumIt can be argued that this vision anticipates in certain important respects what John P.Miller and Wayne Seller have recently called the “transformation” philosophy of curriculum(1990, p. 8). The reason for this anticipation is that Comenius was inspired by Neoplatonismas well as the ideals of primitive Christianity (Schaller, 1979), and these are ultimate sourcesfor the ideas comprising “transformationism” in education. As to the forms of the anticipation,Comenius in general aimed at imparting skills that foster personal growth and socialimprovement; he wished to promote through education feelings of harmony with the environmentrather than control of it in the Baconian and Cartesian tradition. Also, he strove to inculcatereverence towards the environment as divinely created, a viewpoint which has its championstoday concerned about the ecological threat arising from the demands of a greedy, consumer-oriented society (Sheldrake, 1992).Miller and Seller trace what they call the “romantic element” in the transformationorientation back only to Rousseau, and seem unaware of this thinker’s heritage of Protestant andclassical thought which was shared by Comenius. Stephen Toulmin argues in Cosmopolis: thehidden agenda of modernity (1990) that the Cartesian-Newtonian world view is bankrupt, to belinked to patriarchal despotism, also disastrous attitudes to the environment, and that we shouldrevive the undogmatic, realistic wisdom of the early modem humanists, as found, for example,26in the Praise of Folly (1509) of Desiderius Erasmus (c. 1469- 1536) and the Essays (1588, 1595posthumous edn.) of Michel de Montaigne (1533-92). If this is correct, a case can be made foradding to this band Comenius, the challenger of Descartes’ reductive metaphysics, and apervasively humanistic thinker concerned with the universal education needed to equip our raceto live responsibly in a living universe.2.5. Rosicrucian Enlightenment. pansophia. and Comenius’ later careerAt Heidelberg, Comenius encountered what Frances Yates has called the “RosicrucianEnlightenment.” This was an intellectual movement aspiring to achieve universal knowledge,including mastery of alchemy, as a prelude to launching a new age of social harmony andfulfilment of human potential. Politically spealcing, the hopes of the Rosicrucian cult membersor sympathizers focused on Frederick, Elector of the Palatine (Rhine) who was in close touchwith Heidelberg professors such as Pareus. His marvellous palace garden above the town andNeckar valley (Appendix A, 3), combining geometrical shapes made of fragrant and beautifulplants, musical fountains, and sculptures of mythological figures was a symbol to intelligentobservers such as Comenius of human art revealing the living art of nature (Yates, 1986, pp.11-12).Comenius returned to the Czech lands in 1614 and became a teacher, then rector at thegrammar school at P&rov. In 1616 he was ordained a priest of the Community of Brethren andhe married two years later. In 1618 he became a teacher and minister in Fulnek, another smalltown near the Silesian-Moravian border. During these years he laid the foundations for anencyclopedic knowledge to develop what he could formulate now as a system of pansophia,universally applicable and organically connected wisdom. This was based on a Neoplatonicphilosophy which was holistic in that it insisted on exploring always the connections between27the physical and the spiritual appearances of nature. Its chief procedure was to combineexplanatory principles about the little world of humanity with a concept of what it mirrored, thesystem of the large and similarly living world of the cosmos. Comenius obtained further hintsof this macro-microcosmic philosophy from the Rosicrucian writer Johann Valentin Andreae.Writings embodying the pansophic philosophy were a Praeludia (1637) and a Prodromus[Forerunner] pansophiae (1639), then the Dilucidatio [Systematic interpretation] (1639) andPansophiae diatyposis [Vivid description] (1643). A translation of the Prodromus made bySamuel Hartlib and published as A reformation of schooles (1642) introduced Comenius’pansophic programme to English readers. Comenius completed his pansophic writings with awork entitled, De rerum humanorum emendatione consultatio catholica (General deliberationconcerning the reform of human affairs), written between 1643 and 1670, whose parts are onlynow becoming available in English through the translations of A.M.O. Dobbie.Comenius’ difficulties in completing his pansophic scheme and, as it happened, thechallenges, opportunities, and frustrations connected with writing his books about languageeducation, arose from the cataclysmic upheavals of the Thirty Years War fought betweenProtestants and Catholics in the German and Czech lands with interventions by Denmark,Sweden, and France. The Protestant Elector Frederick was brought from Heidelberg in 1619to be King of Bohemia, but a violent Catholic reaction led to his crushing defeat at the battle ofthe White Mountain near Prague the next year, and this was followed by the suppression of thenational Protestant religion and the Czech language. Comenius was driven into undergroundresistance to the Habsburgs, and finally in 1628 into a life of exile and wandering in the courseof which the books he collected and his manuscripts were burned twice, at Fulnek in 1623 andat Leszno in Poland in 1656. While ministering to his fellow religious and political exiles, hemade a living teaching Latin and acquired fame across Europe through publishing textbooks on28language acquisition and education. This was the era when the grammar school (that is, the sitewhere Latin grammar was taught) achieved the height of its importance across Europe. In theProtestant countries especially, the middle classes strongly supported and richly endowed thisinstitution, then as now hoping education would prepare their young people for successfulcareers (for English evidence, see Davies, 1949, pp. 347-50). In this context, some ofComenius’ ideas about education reform and more so his Latin textbooks met a favourableresponse.Comenius’ lifelong exile (Appendix A, 4) took him to communities speaking manyvernaculars, though everywhere Latin was required for membership in the intelligentsia. From1628 until 1641, he remained in Leszno, Poland, where there was a mixed population of Poles,Germans, and Czechs. His practical teaching experience at the Gymnasium illustre there led tohis reflections on general education reform and the reconstruction of his own country, whichbroadened into ideas for religious reconciliation and world peace. From 1641 to 1642 hetravelled to London, Holland, and Sweden, at a high point in his career, to further the cause ofeducation and social reform in these Protestant countries, and he settled from 1642 to 1648 atElbing near Danzig, principally a German-speaking community, but then under Swedish control.He returned to Leszno in 1648 for two years, and then was persuaded to teach in a school atSárospatak in Hungary from 1650 to 1654. Two final years at Leszno came to an end when thistown was burned down by Polish troops in 1656, in the course of the Swedish-Polish war.Thereafter Comenius found a haven in Amsterdam where he died in 1670. He was buried inthe Walloon church in the nearby village of Naarden, where his life’s work is commemoratedin a museum. The history of his time sentenced him as a member of a persecuted minority tosubjugation, wandering, and exile, but his best lessons surely have taught humanity no ideal saveuniversal education is worth upholding, and that world peace must be on our consciences.292.6. Educational reform and language acquisitionAt Leszno, Comenius was a spiritual and social leader as the last consecrated bishop ofthe Community of Brethren, now proscribed in the homeland. He saw his compatriots as a“faithful remnant,” who were to be prepared for the new age to come (Synopsis historicapersecutionum ecclesiae Bohemicae and Haggaeus redivivus, both written in 1632) and he wasable to pass on to founders of the Moravian Church in the next century the link of apostolicsuccession which extended back at least to the Waldenses. Though his personal hopes came tonothing for the inauguration of a new age for Czechs and Slovaks under the rule of suchProtestant commanders as Cromwell, Gustavus Adolphus, and Charles X of Sweden, Comeniusapplied himself tirelessly to schemes for world peace, culminating in the appeal to the greatpowers, Angelus pacis, published in 1667. Meantime, he was writing or re-rewriting books oneducational reform that drew attention across Europe, such as the Janua linguarum and theLinguarum methoodus novissima.His functional, communicative view of the acquisition of languages was expressed in avisionary and utopian book in which he came to terms with the destruction of Fulnek, throughallegoric elaboration of the labyrinthine metaphor that haunted him as expressive of the humancondition (Appendix A, 5). This work, The labyrinth of the world and the paradise of the heart(1623, 1631), has been hailed by his English translator, Count Lutzow, as the Czech Pilgrim’sprogress. Here Comenius wrote:Languages. . . give not wisdom, but have that purpose only that by means of them wecan converse with many and diverse inhabitants of the terrestrial globe, be they alive ordead. Therefore, not he who. . . can speak many languages, but he who can speak ofuseful things, is learned.Comenius’ point here about languages is one well understood by contemporary proponents of30immersion education who argue that language acquisition should be focused on communicationand meaning not form. Comenius exemplifies this viewpoint through using language tocommunicate a revelation of the “paradise of the heart.” This is the ideal state that is achieved,according to Comenius, through withdrawal from the “giddiness and confusion” of theimmediate, outward world, and meditation on the divine spirit within us whose gifts are peaceand joy (Rusk, 1962, pp. 88-9). Comenius’ biblical imagery for manifestations of religious lifecan be accepted as what was foremost in the minds and imaginations shaped by his era andculture. What he has to communicate to us is a holistic vision, larger than any doctrinalscheme, of the spiritual side of life that must be nourished in truly fulfilling education.Comenius’ most sweeping ideas for the reform of school organisation and the curriculum,including the place of languages, are presented in The great didactic (1627-30, first version inCzech; published in Latin, DOO 1657; English trans. 1896). The subtitle reads, in part, asfollows:A certain Inducement to found such Schools in all the Parishes, Towns, and Villages ofevery Christian Kingdom, that the entire Youth of both Sexes, none being excepted, shallOuickly. Pleasantly. and Thoroughly become learned in the Sciences, pure in Morals,trained to Piety, and in this manner instructed in all things necessary for the present andfor the future life.The sympathetic, humanistic vision presented here is important because it seems to springfrom a deep desire to cast down doctrinal barriers in religion and promote universal peace. Asfor his advocacy of the same education for men and women, Comenius is probably followingthe lead of Plato (428-347 B.C.), Aristotle (384-322 B.C.), and Plutarch (A.D. c.50-c.l20).Plato had also proposed that women should share with men in becoming Guardians of theRepublic (1937, Vol. 1, pp. 713, 718). The Stoics and Neoplatonists, whom Comenius31admired, supported acceptance of equality in society for women, as we find in the Stoicdiscourses of Musonius Rufus (A.D. c.30-c. 101), the teacher of Epictetus (A.D. 55-c. 135), andthe Neoplatonist treatises of Porphyry (A.D. c.232-c.305) (Frenchkowski, 1993, 1994, toappear). Renaissance writers on education such as Sir Thomas Elyot (1490-1546), who usedEnglish for all his books and like the Spaniard Juan Luis Vives (1492-1540) promoted soundteaching of the vernacular as a first step for children (another theme in Comenius), took up theclassical idea of higher learning for women, as did Vives, but they designed this for the upperclasses (Rusk, 1962, pp. 53, 62). Comenius’ ideal transcends class distinctions, which in ourcentury made his writings attractive in the former Communist countries (Alt, 1954). Thereligious content was ignored there, however, and, more tragically, Comenius’ concern thathumans should not exploit and damage nature, yet another theme in Greek writing, (Hughes,1975a,b; Wall, 1994, pp. 32-3). Comenius’ arguments about equality in education in the CzechDidaktika are wide-ranging and cogent:No reason can be shown why the female sex. . . should be kept from a knowledge oflanguages and wisdom. For they are also human beings, an image of God, as we are;they are also partakers of the mercy and kingdom of the future life; in their minds theyare equally gifted to acquire wisdom; indeed, in gentleness of understanding they areoften more endowed than we. The Lord God likewise employs them sometimes in largeaffairs (to manage people, lands, estates, and even whole kingdoms; also to give specialadvice to kings and princes; also to practice the art of medicine and to care for fellowhuman beings; even to function as prophets and to aid priests and bishops in givinginstruction and chastisement). Why then should we merely dismiss them with the ABCand drive them away from books? Are we afraid of their meddling? The more weintroduce them to mental occupations, the less time they will find for meddling which32comes from emptiness of mind.(Trans. Jelinek, 1953, P. 8)This topic is to be found in Comenius’ late work, the Pampaedia, and he makes clear in thiswork that the handicapped should share in universal education:The question arises, are the blind, the deaf, and the stupid, whose defect prevents anyimpression being made upon them, to be provided with education? My answer is: (1)There is no exception from human education except for non-humans. Therefore theirshare in education should correspond to their share of human nature, increasing, ifnecessary, owing to the greater need for external help when nature through an internalfault is hardly able to help itself. (2) When nature is prevented from applying its powerin one direction it should show its power in another with special training. [Examples ofthe blind becoming distinguished musicians; the deaf, excellent painters, etc.] .Therefore as some means of access to the rational soul is invariably to be found, we mustuse it to instil Light.(Trans. Dobbie, 1986, p. 31)The importance of these passages is that they present in a clear and direct fashion the moralprinciples that should guide the educational policies of enlightened societies. Progressivelythrough the work of UNESCO and other international bodies, these principles have been upheldmore and more in this century in the co-education practices of nation states and provisions madefor the handicapped.In his writings, Comenius gave a great deal of attention to the training, role, authority,image, and status of the teacher. He argued on occasion that the essential feature of educationwas that “children should be in the company of wise, honourable and industrious men” and, ashe also allowed, “matrons” (Sadler, 1966, p. 244). This emphasis on the teacher seems to33neglect the role of self-direction in education, which is a significant feature of the“transformation” philosophy of education, to which Comenius adheres in other areas. But onepassage in the Schola pansophica (1651), written when he was head of a school for the last timeat Sárospatak in Hungary, expresses succinctly certain key ideas that can be applied to anautonomous programme for language acquisition. In this book, Comenius reduced thefundamentals of teaching! learning to three principles:1. Proceed by stages.2. Examine everything oneself, without abdicating in the face of adult authority.3. Act on one’s own impulsion. This requires that, with reference to all that is presentedto the memory, the tongue, and the hand, the pupils themselves seek, discover, discuss,do and repeat, without slacking, by their own efforts, the teachers being left merely withthe task of seeing whether what is to be done is done, and done as it should be.(Quoted, Piaget, 1967, p. 16)This seems to be excellent advice for all learning situations, certainly applicable to theformation of an autonomous German acquisition programme, in which the traditionalinstructional role of the teacher for the most part has to be built into the feed-back mechanismsof the instructional materials, as will be discussed in Chapter 5 of this thesis. Nevertheless, sucha procedure leaves out the monitoring function of the teacher to which Comenius alludes in thethird point. However admirable devotion to the supremacy of the principle of learner autonomymay be, at this stage of necessary monitoring, some concessions have to be made to the needfor positive interaction between language learners! acquirers and those qualified by experienceand study to assess progress and performance. Chapter 5 will also take up this issue.Other leading principles for teaching/learning procedures, enunciated by Comenius in Ihgreat didactic, also have appeal with respect to language acquisition: methodical arrangement,34right order or gradation, procedure by relevant illustration and carefully-chosen analogy, andcoherence. Above all, progress in learning, he wrote, should be promoted by pleasure(intellectual and physical fulfilment) rather than coercion. We no longer compel the young tolearn languages by the threat of swollen fingers, aching from the strap, or of bloody behindsfrom the administration of the cane or birch, but we hold over learners the shadows of failinggrades or expulsion from school. Comenius wanted to see that schools or, more broadly,learning sites became happy places, “workshops of light” was his phrase (Panorthosia, ch. xxii,para. 9), where there would be delight in learning. Surely this is neither an unreasonable norunrealizable goal for language acquisition, especially on the autonomous path, in which thereis the agreeable feature of self-challenge; multimedia make available the encyclopedic resourcesof the “electronic highway”; and “virtual reality” can come to the desktop.More specifically dealing with language acquisition, he noted that since pupils from sixto twelve go to the common school, the language of instruction should be, first, the mothertongue, to handle education arising from observation of surrounding objects. The acquisitionof Latin and other languages will then be easier, he wrote, because only additional nomenclatureis needed as a basis. He recommended that modern languages of neighbouring nations (German,Polish, Hungarian, Wallachian, or Turkish in the schools he had in mind) should be learnedbefore the ancient ones, and he urged a focus on usage rather than rules, suggesting successivepractice in “hearing, reading, re-reading, copying, imitating with hand and tongue, and doingall these as frequently as possible” (Comenius, 1896, pp. 355-62; Caravolas, 1994, Vol. 1, pp.353-4, 356-7, citing supporting passages in the Methodus). The transference Comenius suggestsfrom the mother tongue to Latin foreshadows the method advocated for modern languageteaching in response to the “threshold hypothesis” (van Ek, 1976), and there is some kinshipwith the “natural approach” in second language acquisition (Krashen and Terrell, 1983; Larsen-35Freeman and Long, 1991, pp. 302-3). Similarly, Comenius’ stress on usage rather than rulescan be connected with the communicative approach discussed in Chapter 4.For the purposes of this thesis, however, the most impoztant recommendation ofComenius for acquiring additional languages is the one concerning “hearing, reading, re-readingetc.” In Chapter 5, this is made a core principle of the staging of the autonomous Germanacquisition programme.The following diagram represents William Mackey’s synthesis of the principles ofComenius regarding the staging and combination of skills required for second languageacquisition:Reading/ RS/ /W\/ / LW Writing-SpeakingL— ListeningComprehension = RL362.7. Language textbooksThe most successful and best-known of his textbooks was the Janua linguarum reserata(163 1), written to direct the methodical acquisition of Latin, and pioneering the scheme of aseries of graded schoolbooks (Appendix, A, 6). The names he adopted for them in variousschemes are as follows: Vestibulum (entrance-court), I[Jjanua (gate), Atrium (hail), Palatium(j)alace), and Thesaurus (treasury). These were taken from the Art of Memory of classicalantiquity, in which the images and places of an architectural design were associated with itemsof knowledge to be remembered or topoi to be covered by orators. This Art was still cultivatedin post-Renaissance Europe and taken as far afield as Ming dynasty China (Yates, 1969; Spence,1986; Hutton, 1987, p. 374). Today’s hypermedia programmers also make use of the architect’splan as a provider of spacial cues for sets of data (Cotton and Oliver, 1993, p. 40), and thisarrangement could be made part of an interactive multimedia German language acquisitionprogramme as we shall see in Chapter 5.As sketched out in The great didactic, the contents of one series of architectural titlesgives us Comenius’ ideal for a language acquisition curriculum: the Vestibulum was to containa mini-language, words arranged in short sentences, suitable for a child’s conversation. TheJanua was to expand the vocabulary to cover most common words so that descriptions of naturalobjects could be presented. Enough clear grammatical rules were to be provided to guidewriting, pronouncing, forming, and using the words learned. The Palatium was to be ananthology of thoughtful and stylistically-varied discourses, with references to sources of phrasesin noted authors, and rules for generating sentences. The Thesaurus was to be a set of textsby classical authors, accompanied by rules for abstracting from them and learning idioms, alsoa catalogue of further reading (Comenius, The great didactic, 1896, p. 360).Comenius published two versions of the Vestibulum (written 1632-3, rewritten 1643-49);37two versions of the Janua (1629-3 1, 1643-49); and one complete and one incomplete atrial text(1652, 1650-7); but no Palatium or Thesuarus has been found among his works or papers(Jelinek, 1953, pp. 2 16-20). These manuals follow a plan slightly different from that found inThe great didactic, and they were much in demand. Comenius allotted a considerable amountof space in the Didactica opera omnia (DOO, 1657) to the series he had prepared by the dateof this publication.His controlling metaphor was that the target language in the secondary school, Latin, wasto be considered as a treasure hidden inside a palace. To acquire it, the learner followed acertain way, a Making the acquaintance of Latin in the “estibulum,” the learner was tobe exercised in “stammering” 3000 words, grouped into 427 very simple phrases dealing withhuman beings, nature, and God. Some rudiments of grammar (e.g., declensions) wereintroduced.Passing the open gates of languages, “Janua linguarum reserata,” the student had to knowthings which filled the earth and sky and to name them correctly. The vocabulary consisted ofthe 8000 most used words in Latin, chosen according to modern criteria, and grouped into 1000phrases, divided into 100 centres of interest. The accompanying grammar taught the basicphonology, morphology, and syntax of Latin.The manual of the third level was the Atrium. Its first aim was to teach the student tocompose discourses on the subjects studied in the Ianua, and to develop and embeffish them withwords and expressions found in the best authors. It consisted of 100 chapters made up of 1000paragraphs. The second aim of the Atrium was to teach what is hidden under the surface ofthings, in part through presenting a vocabulary rich in synonyms, abstract words, andmetaphors. For this manual, the accompanying grammar, Ars ornatoriae sive Grammaticaeelegantis (1652; DOO, 11-2:451-717) comprised a rhetoric and a poetics. The Lexicon atriale38(1658, published separately from DOO) was a dictionary of phrases compiled from the bestauthors, designed to teach by example how to write Latin with elegance (Caravolas, 1994, Vol.I, pp. 360-3).The device of setting out the Y.L of learning through a series of graded textbooks basedon principles similar to those of Comenius took a century to become common practice (Rusk,1962, p. 102). For the autonomous German acquisition programme, the task contemplated inChapter 5 is to translate into multimedia resources Comenius’ ingenious and comprehensivescheme requiring print. It should also be noted that Comenius’ scheme provides for a form ofimmersion education in the secondary school, using Latin to gain access to encyclopedicknowledge and master the chief styles of expression in that languageAnother text, the Methodus linguarum novissima (1649), is a work in the tradition of“philosophical” grammar and right method for pedagogy to which, as has been mentioned,Bacon gave his powerful encouragement (Aarsleff, 1982, p. 106). As mentioned in theIntroduction above, the tenth chapter of the Methodus has become a book in its own right as anexposition of analytic didactics (Jelinek, 1953). Comenius’ ideas on this subject are invoked inChapter 4, when the thesis deals with current courses in German, and points forward to theautonomous programme.Elsewhere in the Methodus, Comenius took up the distinction between lingua (languagein general, language system) and sermo (utterance or discourse). He thus developed acomprehensive, if highly idealized (and biblically-oriented), scheme of linguistics suitable forapplication in acquiring Latin and other languages (Comenius, 1648/1989, Ch. II). Thisdistinction was later to be emphasized by Ferdinand de Saussure (langue / parole), as isdiscussed in the next chapter. On one crucial point, however, Saussure took an opposite standfrom that of Comenius, since he held that the relationship between the linguistic sign and what39it signifies is arbitrary (Mackey, 1992, p. 6).Twelve points are covered in Comenius’ scheme of linguistics:1. Language is the image of things. The discourser conceives the image of surroundingthings, dresses it in words and thus transmits it to an interlocutor.2. Language brings back absent things or those so conceived. If things spoken of werepresent, it would suffice to indicate them.3. Language is a social activity. It unfolds between many people. What need would therehave been to use discourse to say to the self what the spirit knew already?4. Language is a fundamental need for the existence of humanity. Without language therewould have been only isolated individuals. Language is the tie which unites humans insociety.5. Language is born from thought, as thought is born from things. Thought is the imageof things in the spirit, and discourse is the image of thoughts which pass through thespirit.6. Discourse which does not contain ideas is not discourse. Without ideas discourse is onlythe imitation of discourse.7. The better the reflection of things and ideas, the better the discourse.8. Things, thought, and discourse must always follow the natural order. Above all, thereare always things, since they indeed exist before our arrival in the world. It follows,that there are ideas of things, since it is in observing things that the spirit conceives theirimage and learns to understand them. External expression of things through words oughtonly to come at the end, since it is necessary to speak of what one has seen,comprehended, and apprehended.9. Things, thoughts, and words maintain stable and harmonious relationships. Things tend40always towards the spirit, for they wish to be understood. Understanding of things hasa tendency to diffuse itself, and for that words are sought. If things are understood trulyas they are and expressed precisely as they are understood, there would be consonancebetween things, thoughts, and the mouth.10. Language obeys three masters: the rules of things, because words express exactly theirarchetypes; the rules of thought, because words designate in an unequivocal manner whatthey are deemed to designate; and its own inner rules, because words are conformableto social usage.11. The system of language is more complex and more delicate than the system of things andconcepts, since it must take account of so many rules of a different nature.12. Finally, it is necessary to understand that language, being the image of the things of theworld, is something as immense and harmonious as the world itself.(Comenius, 1989, pp. 112-4; Caravolas, 1984, pp. 104-5, English trans. by Ian Ross.)No linguist today or theorist in applied linguistics would accept wholly this set ofprinciples, but it covers a number of important issues. It points, for example, to the conceptof what Steven Pinker discusses as “mentalese”: the “suggestion that images, numbers, kinshiprelations, or logic can be represented in brains” in a kind of universal pre-language which, forthe purposes of communication, has to be converted into the words of a specific language.Claiming that English, for example, is often ambiguous and illogical in expression, whereasthought is clear, Pinker considers that “mentalese” and spoken/written languages are “in manyways at cross-purposes” (1994, pp. 73-82). Comenius’ Neoplatonist position is that this is notso: “things, thoughts, and words maintain stable and harmonious relationships” (point 9), andthat “language, being the image of the things of the world, is something as immense andharmonious as the world itself” (point 12). We may find Comenius’ statements naive, but we41are challenged by them to explore the consistencies or inconsistencies of a target language foracquisition, and to think of ways in which self-directed learners can accommodate the newlanguage to their thought streams and to the world as they experience it.The Methodus (chap. i) presents these principles operating in a world in which theCreator endowed Adam with a tongue for speaking, but in which language was man’s creation,as the Book of Genesis (2.19) reveals. Comenius also accepts (chap. iii) the monogenetic theoryfor language. The Bible taught him that originally Adam and Eve and their immediatedescendants spoke one language, but God decreed a confusion of tongues because humanityaspired to reach heaven with the tower of Babel (Gen. 11.1-9), hence the uncountable numberof languages in the contemporary world. Of course, Comenius has to struggle to reconcilelinguistic facts with biblical history which he took as literal truth. Nevertheless, he applies hislinguistic principles to a wide range of important problems in linguistics, including typology anddetermination of the communicative function of parts of speech. In this regard, the principaltool is analysis of the structure of Latin and comparison with the modem languages Comeniusknew best (Czech, German, and Polish).Since he lived when colonizing by the European nation states in Africa, the Far East, andAmerica was already in progress, Comenius could have had access to information about the two-stage pidgin to creole language formation process over two generations, that today is thought togive us some idea of the origins of grammatical complexity. A pidgin is primitive language ofwords and simple phrases that aboriginals will borrow from colonizers or foreign work bossesas a second language for communication in working or trading situations. One variety has beentraced to Portuguese words borrowed in the fifteenth century by Africans, and spreadingultimately to Far East ports. Children and descendants of pidgin-users have been observed toinject complex grammar into the simple pidgin word strings to produce a more expressive first42language among themselves. The enriched version is called a creole, after the language foundto be spoken by escaped Negro slaves in the Caribbean (OED Supp. Vols. I, III; Bickerton,1981, 1984; Hoim, 1988; Pinker, 1994, PP. 32-6).A welcome feature of the book is the connection drawn between the process of languageacquisition and the psychological understanding of maturation through the expanding vision andintellect of the child. Here is an anticipation of the model of cognitive development formulatedby Jean Piaget (1963), who put on record his generous estimate of the seminal quality ofComenius’ thought about education:[He] is thus among the authors who do not need to be corrected or, in reality,contradicted in order to bring them up to date, but merely to be translated andelaborated.(Piaget, 1967, p. 30)To be sure, Piaget is not counseffing us to swallow naively the stories of Adam’s invention oflanguage and the dire consequences of the erection of the tower of Babel, because they find aplace in Comenius’ linguistics. We would respond adequately to Comenius if we came to ourown terms with these powerful mythic explorations of humanity’s innate capacity forcommunication through language, and subversion of this capacity through wilfulness of theimagination.Another Comenius text, Schola ludus (1656), has implications for autonomous Germanacquisition through interactive multimedia support. It stresses the principle of learning throughplay, anticipating much modem theorizing about the intrinsic playfulness of human nature (seeJohan Huizinga’s Homo ludens: Dutch ed. 1938; English trans. 1949, 1971), and much modernpractice in role playing or socially-involving language learning which is a feature of thecommunicative approach to be discussed in the fourth chapter of this thesis. In the Schola43ludus, Comenius fulfils his promise to make school a pleasurable experience, by devisingtheatrical performances for the pupils. Thus, he wrote a dramatic sequence to presentencyclopedic information and his ideal for improving the world.In one of the school scenes in the third act, children start learning to write throughlooking at things. The teacher has brought along a picture or model of various animals to thelesson. To illustrate Comenius’ play technique for language acquisition, an extract is offeredfrom a German version of the Latin original:[The reading teacher in a long skirt, with a pointer in his hand, and three pupils. . .]Teacher (pointing to the first picture): What is this?Pupil: A bird.Teacher: Correct! But what kind of a bird?Pupil: That I don’t know.Teacher: You, there, you tell me!Second Student: I don’t know.Teacher: In that case, I will tell you: It is a crow.Do you know how the crow cries?Pupil: I don’t know.Teacher: This is how she talks: A, A, A (ah, ah, ah). You do it!(Dieterich, 1991, p. 93, quoting Comenius, 1898, p. 342)In the last chapter ways are outlined in which through hypertext and other multimediaprogrammes play or role-playing situations can be initiated, with dramatic interaction stimulatingthe acquisition of German. Comenius’ Schola ludus. as represented by the above extract,suggested to language teachers how a simple immersion procedure could get children to learnthe basic sounds of Latin, and interact in the classroom to use what they had learned.44Finally, it should be discussed how, in the Orbis sensualium pictus (1658), Comeniusproduced a textbook with far-reaching consequences for the use of visual aids inteaching/learning languages, and the whole procedure of awakening sensory responses to activatecognitive development of vocabulary and grammatical control. The first edition was publishedat Nurnberg in 1658, and by 14 October of that year, the Magdeburg school board hadprescribed it as a textbook. It is not difficult to appreciate the visual and pedagogic appeal ofthis little work. On its title page (Appendix A), the holistic outlook of Comenius and hispublisher is revealed in graphic and iconic terms. The reader sees (Appendix, A, 7), placedbetween the author’s name, also the title set in Roman and Gothic fonts in Latin and German,and the printer’s designation and place of publication, Comenius’ favourite epigraph set in acircle: ABSIT VIOLENTIA REBUS - OMNIA SPONTE FLUANT [Let violence be absent--leteverything flow spontaneously]. The icon within illustrates a holistic view of nature (Appendix,A, 8), through presenting what we would call the hydrologic cycle operating in the cosmos: rainfalls from clouds on growing trees, streams flow down rocks into rivers, the sun shines andvapour rises to the sky, which displays not only the sun on one side, but the stars and moon onthe other side, to suggest the alternation of day and night.Within the text, the theme of the working of the cosmic system is found in thepresentations about the elements. Thus, the picture representing air (Appendix, A, 9): Aër /Die Luft, displays the air or the breeze that wafts gently, the wind that blows strongly, the stormwind that tears down trees, the whirlwind that turns in a circle, the underground wind thatcauses earthquakes, and the earthquake that causes ruins. The facing page presents the Latinvocabulary and German equivalent, reinforcing the idea of generating sentences from the basicgrammatical structure found in both languages: subject-verb-adverb (Comenius, 1658/1991, pp.14-15). In today’s terms, such an illustration or contemporary variant can extend into a useful45lesson in the working of transformational grammar (TG), and demonstrate to the student howmuch of the target language can be produced from a grasp of basic structure.The Orbis pictus, which went through 250 editions up to the end of the nineteenthcentury, and is still being reprinted, for example, by the Toronto Public Library in 1982,became one of the most widely accepted language textbooks, and is today found a helpful studyresource on Children’s Literature lists at U.B.C. (report from Jane Flick, Department ofEnglish). However, what did generations of teachers and the schoolchildren who used the Orbismake of the archaic illustration of Coelium (III. Heaven)? This undeniably presents a universewith the sun going round the earth (Appendix, A, 10). Comenius knew of Copernicus’sheliocentric “modem system,” but perhaps he settled for the compromise theory proposed byTycho Brahe, in which the sun revolves round the earth and the planets revolve round the sun(Sadler, 1966, p. 61). Lessons on this illustration could certainly bring in the idea of changingworld pictures, perhaps even foreshadowing T.S. Kuhn’s formulation of paradigm shifts givingrise to scientific revolutions (Kuhn, 1970), which would certainly be a valuable lesson counteringscientific dogmatism.When Ted Nelson invented the term “hypermedia” in the 1970s to describe a newextension of media systems to draw on the power of the computer to “store, retrieve and displayinformation in the form of pictures, text, animations and sound” (Cotton and Oliver, 1993, p.24), whether he knew it or not, he was drawing on the potential of the Orbis Pictus. His“hypertext” linked together textual material allowing the computer user to follow self-directedlines of enquiry along countless paths of knowledge. His Xanadu project ambitiously aimed atintegrating all the great library collections of the world into a “seamless electronic system.”This would allow the hypertext user to interact, for example, with a modem edition ofShakespeare’s Macbeth, selecting from a menu of key words in the text, the term witchcraft, and46opening up a window on this, then accessing critical literature or encyclopedic information tofollow up the bearing of contemporary ideas about witchcraft on the play, and to create avariety of possible interpretations of the play (Nelson, 1987).A leap of the imagination allows us to see the possibilities of a hypertext languageacquisition programme allowing the user-learner to follow self-directed paths connectinggrammatical, semantic, syntactic, and cultural information to extend comprehension of the targetlanguage and produce or edit basic self-generated texts in that language. As Nelson pointed out,hypertext models more closely the way we actually think than the normal “sequential” reading.Many levels of detail can be covered by the hypertext programme, and the user-learner candecide how deep the involvement of the subject matter is to be. With its own imaginatively-usedresources of typeface and woodcuts, the Orbis pictus had permitted the expansion of readers’minds to link words, phrases, and sentences from different languages to worlds of knowledgeavailable for exploration. Additionally to these points, Weidemann (1994, p. 61) has illustratedin a diagram how the delight of learning with the computer can bring together in Comenianterms the two configurations of the self-directed learning personality: homo ludens and homofaber--“jucunde” /delightfullythe joy of learning with the computerEffectivenesshomo faber /workerI can decide formyselfSi’Explorationhomo ludens /playful manI can experiment andsatisfy my curiosity472.8. Reputation and legacy for educatorsIn the Via lucis (1641-2, 1668), Comenius heralded an age of Enlightenment, anticipatingthe co-operative scientific programme of the Royal Society of London, for instance, but someof his successors in the actual Enlightenment movement tended to disvalue him for his absorbinginterest in prophetic or millenarian writings, for example, presented in his book dated 1657, jjin tenebris which offered some hope to him in times of deep despair over his personalmisfortunes and those of his people. Thus Pierre Bayle, echoing one of Comenius’ adversaries,the militant Calvinist theologian Samuel Maresius, wrote him off as a “Spunger and true Sharperwho made an admirable use of the character of a Teacher, in order to empty the Purses of well-disposed Persons” (1735, ii. 538, cf. Trevor-Roper, 1967, pp. 237-93). Bayle’s view wasinfluential through the widespread adoption in the Enlightenment of his viewpoint expressed inthe Historical and Critical Dictionary. Comenius’ most profound legacy of writings in Czechand Latin was not accessible to many readers in Europe or America, and thus Bayle’s view ofhim prevailed. He was no revolutionary in political thought, which was possibly held againsthim by those who did read him at first hand. On the language front, there are limitations in hisidealist and biblically-inspired philosophy of language outlined in the Methodus, also inpedagogic concepts such as recommending that vocabulary be taught by having a teacher pointto things. Jonathan Swift makes fun of such a procedure in his satire on the project for auniversal language, one of Comenius’ schemes (Panglottia), in Book Three of Gulliver’s travels(1726).Nevertheless, the ideas and theories of Comenius proved to be an ever-renewable capitaldrawn on by generations of reformers seeking more effective ways of teaching and learninglanguages, and in contemporary terms aspiring to creative and transformational education. Thefar-reaching applications of his thought were appreciated by certain prominent thinkers in48successive generations. The rationalist philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz (1646-1716)worked with Comenius’ grandson, Daniel Ernst Jablonski (1660-1741), co-founder of the BerlinAcademy, for ecumenical religious reform inspired by the grandfather’s writings. In addition,Jablonski, who had been consecrated as bishop of Community exiles in Prussia by his uncleDaniel Komenskf (1646-96), Comenius’ son, in turn consecrated David Nitschmann as firstbishop of a general revival movement of the Community of Brethren. This consecration tookplace at Herrnhut in Saxony near the Czech border, where a town had been built on the estatesof Count Zinzendorf (1700-60) by Moravian exiles. The Count was inspired to be the patronof what became known as the Moravian Church by reading Comenius’ Latin version of theOrder of Discipline of the Community of Brethren, and he was consecrated as bishop himselfin 1737, then led missionary activities in Europe, Greenland, and America (Sadler, 1966, p. 28).He was present at the foundation of Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, whereComenius’ educational principles have been followed since the eighteenth century, including coeducation from 1850. Jablonski himself was a leader of a settlement of Czech and Germanadherents to the Discipline of the Community of Brethren, established in 1737 in the village ofRixdorf, near Berlin, under the protection of King Friedrich Wilhelm I of Prussia. Thissettlement has survived, still inspired by Comenius’ religious and educational principles. In1992, its members celebrated the 400th anniversary of Comenius’ birth by creating a ComeniusGarden (Appendix, 11) as a visible manifestation of his concept of the book of nature fromwhich all who visit can learn (Vierek, 1992).The Protestant sect in Germany known as Pietists welcomed Comenius’ religious teachingand programme of social improvement through education expressed in his last testament, Unumnecessarium (1668). In Halle, one of the Pietist leaders, August Hermann Francke (1663-1727)put the pedagogic principles of Comenius to work in the foundation of a comprehensive series49of co-education schools, primarily for orphans, from the elementary to gymnasium level. TheFrancken-Stiftung is now being restored after neglect during the Communist period in EastGermany, and its history of contribution to early education in North America among black slavesand Indians through missionary teachers is being re-examined. Comenius was well aware of thecruel treatment of blacks and Indians by the European “conquerors” of the Americas, and in thePreface to DOO (1657) cites as an authority on this Bartolomeo Las Casas’ report on Spanishatrocities (Brief account of the destruction of the Indies, German edition with engravings, byTheodore De Bry, 1598-9), which moved him to urge humane relations with native people.Looking into the history of Comenius’ impact on education and social reformersspecifically, we find that the German educator Johann Bernhard Basedow (1723-1790) introducedComenius’ ideas about education and language teaching into the curriculum of thePhilanthropinum he founded in 1774 at Dessau (Boilnow, 1950). Johann Gottfried Herder(1744-1803), the conscience of the Aufldarung as some called him, identified himself withComenius’ ideals for the betterment of humanity through the creation of conditions for worldpeace (Schaller, 1988). The republican-minded philosopher, Johann Gottlieb Fichte (1762-18 14), responded to the humiliation of Prussia by Napoleon’s army in 1806 at the battle of Jenain Reden an die deutsche Nation (1808), which called for national cultural revival throughplacing morality at the core of mass education. This was an idea promoted by Comenius,though it may have come to Fichte through his personal contacts with the Swiss educator JohannHeinrich Pestalozzi (1746-1827), who knew of the writings of Comenius, and was influencedby strands coming from a shared tradition of Renaissance-Protestant culture. Writing hisGeschichte der Padagogik (1843), K. von Raumer dealt with the importance of Pestalozzi’sideas, but he identified Comenius as the true founder of the science of education. Pestalozzi’sdisciple, Friedrich Froebel (1782-1852), was introduced to Comenius’ School of infancy by Karl50Krause, and this helped him form his influential concept of the Kindergarten, in which the youngchild would be helped by the teacher-gardener to unfold autonomously like a plant, principallythrough play and language extension, and like the plant experience mystical union with natureand the universe (Sadler, 1966, pp. 29-30; Price, 1967, pp. 235-7). The French historian JulesMichelet (1798-1874), proponent of the idea that women as well as men should be given theirtrue place in humanity’s ongoing story of self-creation, valued Comenius’ work so much thathe declared him to be the “Galileo of education” (Michelet, 1870, p. 146).The awakening of Czech nationalism early in the nineteenth century also brought attentionto the thought of Comenius, principally through the work of Franti’ek Palackj(1798-1876),regarded as founder of modern Czech historiography and designer of a political programme forthe revival of the Czech nation. He published the first extensive biography of Comenius in1829. The biologist Jan Evangelista Purkyn (1787-1869) led investigation into Czech historicalsources in foreign libraries and archives. He discovered and arranged for the preservation ofa number of Comenius’ manuscripts from Leszno and elsewhere in what became the CzechNational Museum. A full programme of scholarly work on these hitherto unknown manuscriptsand the early editions of Comenius’ writings, bringing together Czech-Slovak and Germaninvestigation, was encouraged by the foundation of the Leipzig Comenius-Stiftung in 1871 andComenius-Gesellschaft in 1891 in Berlin. In Leipzig, a Comenius pedagogical library wasformed attaining 70,000 titles by 1900 (Monrow, 1900, p. 169), but the Nazis curtailed itsactivities in 1935, and it was largely destroyed by the allied bombing in World War Two(Sadler, 1966, p. 31). Arising from the solid textual and historical studies of Comenius in hishomeland and in the two societies came the editorial and biographical work of Jan Kva’ala(1862-1934), who brought understanding of Comenius’ thought to a higher level by placing itwithin the framework of Neoplatonism, and coordinating further research through founding in511910 the journal known today as Acta Comeniana.During the era of the rise of Czech nationalism, education was developed as an academicsubject in the Francophone and Anglophone worlds, and Comenius was given his place in thestudy of educational ideas as a theoretician and reformer, which internationalized his fame in thetwentieth century. The creation of the Czechoslovak republic in 1918 brought officialrecognition of Comenius’ major contribution to the development of the Czech language as wellas of his pedagogic thought (Pánek, 1991, pp. 71-6). This recognition continued under theCommunist state formed in Czechoslovakia in 1948, which supported the publication of acomplete edition of Comenius’ Latin and Czech works under the direction of the nationalAcademy of Sciences (DJAK). However, just as Comenius became a symbol of resistance toHabsburg autocracy in the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries, so his work inspired those whosought liberation from Communism. Thus, the officially discredited commentaries of JanPatoka, emphasizing the holistic thought of Comenius and connecting it with the ecologicalconcerns of the 1980s, appeared illegally in samizdat. They influenced the thinking of RadimPaloJ, who was active in the Velvet Revolution of 1989 as a supporter of Václav Havel andsubsequently became Rector of Charles University in Prague (Zwiener et al., 1993, p. 6; Palous,1993, 9). The chief locations for Comenius studies and documentation at present in the Czechrepublic are the Comenius Pedagogical Institute (now responsible for Acta Comeniana) in Prague(where there is also a Comenius Pedagogical Museum); the Comenius Museum in Uhersky Brod(which publishes Studia Comeniana et historica, 1971ff, and Bibliographia Comeniana, 1972ff);and the Comenius District Museum in Perov. Abroad, the most active centre is theComeniusforschungsstelle, headed by Klaus Schaller, in the Pedagogical Institute of theUniversity of the Ruhr at Bochum, which publishes a journal, Mitteilungsblatt (1970ff), and aSchriften series for monographs and source material.52A Canadian Society of Comenian Studies was founded at Montreal in November 1992to build strong links with sister societies in the Czech Republic, France, Germany, England, andJapan. Among the aims of the Society are the following:1. to promote Comenius’ contribution to pedagogy, teaching of languages, linguistics,philosophy, literature, history, etc. in Canada;2. to study the humanistic values championed by Comenius; and to encourage andcoordinate research on comeniology in Canada.(Canadian Soc. of Comenian Studies flyer, Montreal, Nov. 1992)The Society’s president, Jean-Antoine Caravolas, concludes a chapter in his recent bookon language didactics with the statement that the theory of the “genial” Comenius in this fieldhas been forgotten: “pour le plus grand tort de la discipline” (1994, Vol.1, p. 369.) Perhaps thisthesis in working out applications of Comenius’ theory for an autonomous German acquisitionprogramme will do something to advance the aims of the Society and correct that wrong.533. THE CONTRIBUtION OF LINGUISTS AND APPLIED LINGUISTICS:ARNAULD TO CHOMSKY AND HIS EPIGONIWithout for the moment distinguishing terminologically between languages and language,where do we find the linguistic phenomenon in its concrete, complete, integral form?That is, where do we find the object we have to confront?Ferdinand de Saussure3.1. Arnauld and universal grammarThe history of the significant interaction of language theory and language acquisitionpractice, like that of other complex subjects involving intricate adjustment of theory and practicesuch as physics (Pais, 1986, pp. 29, 138-9, 454), is a seamless web in the sense that it isdifficult to know where to begin to unravel it. A valiant attempt to delineate it has been madeby H.H. Stern (1983), and his neglect of the contributions of Comenius outlined in the previouschapter is being overcome by the work of Caravolas (1984, 1993, 1994) and Mackey (1965,1992a). Contemporary second language acquisition (SLA) theories have recently beensummarized in two well-written books (Larsen-Freeman and Long, (1991, pp. 220-298; Ellis,1994, pp. 11-40). The authors have wise and cautious words about the role of theory in theSLA field, but their review is historically foreshortened which is one drawback, and another isthat the theorists seem to theorize out thin air because no context is given to them. To providea historical panorama useful for conceptualizing a German self-directed language acquisitionprogramme, and to make up for some of the omissions in Larsen-Freeman and Long, also Ellis’54book just published, this chapter goes back to that century of genius which produced Comeniusand by selecting important contributors to theory brings out significant issues for autonomousSLA.Another vitally important education reformer, as well as theorist about language, whosought to transcend the bitter religious disputes of the seventeenth century, was the Jansenisttheologian Antoine Arnauld (1612-94). He was an intellectual leader of the priests and nuns,as well as secular men and women, who were educated or drawn to the religious communityestablished at Port-Royal des Champs, a Cistercian abbey near Paris. Though attacked for itsalleged heresies by the Jesuits, Port-Royal was sheltered by Court patronage, principally throughthe period 1637-61, when it contributed a great deal to French culture. The dramatist JeanRacine (1639-99) was educated there, and the scientist and philosopher Blaise Pascal (1623-62)was a resident during the last years of his life. In addition to his theological writings, Arnauldconcerned himself with philosophy, particularly logic, earning for his work the respect ofDescartes, Locke, and Leibnitz, and he gave considerable attention to language and languageacquisition.With the grammarian Claude Lancelot (1615-95), Arnauld collaborated on new methodsfor teaching Greek and Latin. Perhaps because of their Catholic ideology, they condemned andrejected the work of Comenius (Caravolas, 1994, Vol. I, p. 369). Together, Amauld andLaucelot published in 1660 the Grammaire générale et raisonnée, which took a differentapproach from the graded grammars Comenius attached to his YI scheme for languageacquisition._ The subtitle of the Grammaire generale in part indicated its authors’ focus on theabiding linguistic problems of universals and typology: Les raisons de ce gui est commun atoutes les langues. et des principales differences gui s’y rencontrent. The synchronic approachof concentrating on the similarities and differences among languages, and setting aside diachronic55questions of historical antecedents of states of languages, allows for generalizations about thestructures and functions of human languages. This has affinities with the somewhat fragmentaryviews expressed by Descartes about language, essentially taking the line that since language isthe product of the mind, it should be treated through the abstract procedures of rationalism.As a result, the nineteenth-century critic Sainte-Beuve claimed that the Port-Royal theory of“universal” or “philosophical grammar” was a “branche de Cartesianisme que Descartes n’avaitpas lui-même poussée” (1888, iii. 539).3.2. Chomsky’s LADIn our time, Noam Chomsky (b. 1928), long-time professor of modern languages andlinguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and outspoken radical critic of U.S.foreign policy during the Vietnam War era and later, has found one origin for his kind ofresearch programme into the nature of linguistic universals in the Port-Royal theorizing about“philosophical grammar.” He follows Sainte-Beuve in calling this “Cartesian linguistics” (1966,1968). To be sure, it has been argued (as explained below) that this denomination is quitemistaken (Aarsleff, 1982, pp. 101-19). Still, Chomsky sees his research as laying out“generative grammar,” defined as follows in one of his formulations:a description of the tacit competence of the speaker-hearer that underlies his actualperformance in production and perception (understanding) of speech. A generativegrammar, ideally, specifies a pairing of phonetic and semantic representations over aninfinite range; it thus constitutes a hypothesis as to how the speaker-hearer interpretsutterances abstracting away from many factors that interweave with tacit competence todetermine actual performance.(Chomsky, 1966, p. 75, n.2)56With his terms “competence” and “performance,” Chomsky in effect is recapitulating thedistinction Comenius drew between lingua (a language known in the abstract as a system) andsermo (actual discourse in the language, uttered or written). His procedure, however, is likelyto have been refinement of Saussure’s discussion of langue and parole (noted below). Thehistorical background to Chomsky’s terminology and analysis in discussed by Coseriu (1988).Chomsky’s claim is that the mind or brain contains sets of concepts and related words, also aset of rules for combining the words to indicate relationships among the concepts. The set ofrules he called a “generative grammar,” because it guides or gives rise to meaningful discourseinternally in the mind or brain, at the deep structure level of “competence.” At the surface levelof “performance,” Chomsky holds, this “generative grammar” gives rise to the production ofexternal discourse. Pinker comments that Humboldt’s phrase, “[language] makes infinite useof finite media,” captures Chomsky’s meaning, also that Chomsky in his most recent writingshas suggested that the “deep structure” concept is unnecessary (Pinker, 1994, pp. 84, 121-2).Like the mind-body dualism of Descartes, the linguistic dualism of Chomsky solves someproblems and leaves a number of puzzles. Communicative aspects of language have beeninvestigated by SLA researchers in the light of this distinction, but they have had to deal notonly with communicative competence, including the knowledge a speaker-hearer-reader has ofappropriate and correct language behaviour in particular situations; but also with communicativeperformance consisting of the actual use of that competence in producing discourse. It hasproved difficult in practice through analysis of performance to get at the mental knowledgeconstituting a learner’s competence (Ellis, 1994, pp. 12-3), which Chomsky argues (1965) isinnate for Li. Because of this difficulty, attempts to specify what interventions to make in orderto extend Li competence to L2 have had mixed results (Cook, 1988; Freeman-Larsen and Long,1991, 228-40).57Nevertheless, Chomsky’s thirty-year concentration on “generative grammar” as summedup in such books as Knowledge of language: its nature, origin, and use (1986), Generativegrammar: its basis. development and prospects (1987), and Language and the problems oflanguage (1988) has challenged SLA researchers to work with the idea that humans are innately(genetically) endowed with Universal Grammar, that is, “universal language-specificknowledge,” and to build on or seek to disprove this “nativist” theory (White, 1989; Effis, 1994,pp. 415-660. Also, Chomsky and his associates have had sufficient success in formulatingworkable transformational rules governing sentence organization to persuade researchers andpractical people like textbook compilers (e.g., Neuner and Scherling et aL, 1988) to adopt the“generative grammar” model.Thus, from the 1960s it has been argued along Chomskyan lines, with or withoutconscious recognition of the long pre-history of universal grammar going back to the Port-Royalpublication and forerunners such as the Minerva. seu de causis linguae latinae commentarius(1587) of Sanchez (Sanctius) de Las Brozas (Lakoff, 1969), that children have an innatecapacity for language generation. When children first hear speech, general principles forrecognizing and producing language begin to operate. Pinker gives the operation of theseprinciples the somewhat archaic name, the “language instinct”: “it conveys the idea that peopleknow how to talk in more or less the sense that spiders know how to spin web&’ (1994, p. 18).However, current SLA literature puts the matter differently, suggesting that general languageprinciples operating in a child, for example, constitute a “language acquisition device” (LAD).This LAD is viewed as providing a means for the child to make sense of speech heard oroverheard, and ensuring that the child derives from actual speech the rules forming the grammarof a language, generalizations that govern ways in which sentences understood in that particularlanguage are formed. These generalizations constitute language universals (Chomsky, 1965,581980; White, 1989, and forthcoming).The task of acquiring a second or foreign language then, in part, amounts to extendingthe range of LAD to encompass the new language or, perhaps, replicating in accelerated formwith the additional material of L2 the LAD’s processing activity as the mother tongue wasacquired. However, controversy has surrounded attempts to differentiate the approach ofchildren to learning languages from that of adults. Attempts to detail the essential properties ofLAD have also aroused debate in the light of recent generative grammar theory (Klein, 1987,pp. 18-21, 1990; Crystal, 1987, and 1992, p. 234; Larsen-Freeman and Long, 1991, pp. 228-40). Still, plausible accounts of how our universal grammar word processors work can be givenfrom a cognitive science perspective (Pinker, 1994, pp. 83-125), and from a psycholinguisticone (Levelt, 1989; Dijkstra and Kempen, 1993). Further, research has suggested that knowledgeof linguistic universals may promote L2 acquisition in identifiable ways:1. Rules reflecting universal principles may be acquired before those that do not. Thetheory thus provides an explanation for sequences of naturalistic development. A casein point is the stable pattern of acquisition of German word order rules evinced bylearners with Romance language backgrounds, which was identified by the ZISA projectresearch group at Hamburg in the late 1970s (Jordens, 1988; Pienemann, Johnston, andBrindley, 1988).2. It has been suggested that knowledge of linguistic universals may provide the languageacquirer with a projective capacity (Zobl, 1983), such as Japanese L2 acquirersdiscovering that in the target language verbs come at the end of clauses, and being ableto infer that Japanese has post-positions rather than prepositions.3. L2 acquirers with a knowledge of linguistic universals may be more prepared to transferto the target language Li features, if these are governed by universal features (Ellis,591994, p. 35).One implication of universal grammar theory, then, for the autonomous Germanacquisition programme designed for English-speakers is that the introduction of grammar shouldbe carefully staged so that universality of language principles can be invoked for specific aims,a Comenian idea as well as a Universal Grammar one.First, word order rules should be presented in a pattern of naturalistic development,taking note of what is learnable at what stage. This procedure adds the insights of the ZISAgroup from their Multidimensional Model of language acquisition (Freeman-Larsen and Long,1991, pp. 270-87) to the Comenian YIA.Second, the projective capacity of the learners should be encouraged, so that what islearned is followed up logically, and a step towards autonomy and automaticity can be taken.In this connection, the Multidimensional Model insights can be usefully supplemented by the“conceptual, functional-pragmatic” approaches to SLA, which concentrate on the “interplay ofphrasal, semantical and pragmatic principles” in relation to “utterance organization” (Givon,1984, 1990; Klein and Perdue, 1988). Thus, work with word order rules, for example, couldlead to learning situations staged to require the learner to add to her repertoire of phrases,through projection from what is known, more verb forms and inflections.Third, risk taking in transferring to German some universal rules from English codingshould be encouraged to make explicit for German what is implicitly known for English, as inidentification copulas: My name is Smith / Mein Name ist Schmidt . . . . Das ist Braun etc.Exceptions to rules should be learned last, perhaps with the help of drills to overcome fossilizingof incorrect coding. Keeping in mind the difficulties with Cartesian dualism, especially thequestion, how does the mind affect the body, it should be recognized that there is an interfacebetween competence and performance, and we are simply using these terms to help describe and60predict or manage different aspects of language activity, not to define inviolable languageessences.3.3. Bruner’s LASSBuilding on insights obtained from the work of the Marxist psychologist Lev SemenovichVygotsky (1896-1934) which focused on semiotics and cross-cultural exchange, and seeking tobring out the deep parallel between all forms of knowledge acquisition, the Harvard psychologistJerome Bruner (b. 1915), who once paid tribute to the “impatience” of his students for helpinghim to “keep a sense of doubt well nourished” (1966, Preface), argues there is a “crucial matchbetween a support system in the environment and an acquisition process in the learner.” Inconsequence, Bruner concludes there is a Language Acquisition Support System (LASS), thatis a counterpart to the Language Acquisition Device (LAD). His point is that the function ofLASS is to ensure that language inputs will assume forms “acceptable to the recognition routinesof LAD” (Bruner, 1985, p. 28).The implications for language acquisition are far-reaching and suggest, among otherthings, that learners have to take into account the fact that there is a target culture providing cuesthat support the target language input. While dismay at this news could overwhelm thelanguage acquirer faced with further enlargement of the learning agenda, relief comes with therecognition, noted by Bruner (p. 29), that we seem to “learn” culture readily and effectively onour own. The lesson is that the language acquirer must have access to the high and low culture(Inglis, 1994; Mimer, 1994) in which the target language is embedded: films, pictures,paintings, sculptures, dance, costumes, music, literary and other texts, and so on, all readilyavailable in multimedia language labs, to support the treatment of words and sentences in thegrammar books, also the idiomatic and colloquial dialogic exchanges of the communicative61approach however presented. For the self-directed German acquisition programme, it will benecessary to inject an intercultural and cross-cultural dimension, especially through themultimedia materials, but also through face-to-face contact with the local German communitymembers, organisations, and cultural events, to deepen and authenticate the linguisticunderstanding sought by the students. At the same time, the target culture should not be reducedto the familiar or explained away in the multimedia materials, but rather its “othemess” shouldbe brought out so cultural perspective is maintained, and the target language can become awindow on the unfamiliar and irreducible (Kramsch, 1993). The goal of German SLA withintercultural awareness should be to make it a transforming experience.3.4. Lado and the contrastive approach to language acquisitionAt the time when the formulation of Chomsky’s TG (transformational-generativegrammar) model began to preoccupy linguists and encourage research into the mental processesinvolved in acquiring languages, Robert Lado sought to open up language acquisition in a bookentitled, Linguistics across cultures (1957), through focusing on the errors made by secondlanguage learners. He advocated attempts to predict and describe patterns that impeded orfurthered language learning tasks, “by comparing systematically the language [L2] and theculture to be learned with the native language [Li] of the student” (Lado, 1957, p. vii).Lado’s work connected with the audio-lingual (hearing-speaking) emphasis in languageteaching which began in the 1940s. This was a reaction against the traditional, grammar first,then translation, model of language teaching which had never attended to the message ofComenius. There resulted an ascendancy lasting until the 1970s of the contrastive approach inlanguage teaching. As far as German was concerned, this procedure had roots in the carefulwork of Wilhelm Viëtor on phonetics (1884). The chief claim of this approach was that the Li62system’s interference with the L2 system could be identified through contrastive analysis, andrepairs could be effected though error identification and correction (Di Pietro, 1971).3.5. Selinker’ s “interlanguage” conceptA counter-view came to be asserted, namely, that errors represent stages in the languagelearning process, and should be viewed positively as naturalistic tests of hypotheses about theacquisition of L2, in truth as the systematic creation of an “interlanguage” (Selinker, 1972,1992; Selinker and Lamendella, 1981; Gass and Selinker, 1983; Gass, Madden, Preston, andSelinker, 1989; Larsen-Freeman and Long, 1991, pp. 81-113; Singh, 1993). A refinement ofthis position has arisen from research to demonstrate that noting errors can be used positivelyto heighten learners’ conceptual awareness of grammar so that they can shift from“postarticulatory corrections to pre-articulatory control” (Narcy, 1993, p. 315).The upshot of theoretical and applied linguistic studies as a result of researchdevelopments, including TG modelling and contrastive then “interlanguage” formulations, hasbeen to redirect attention to the cognitive and affective processes of the language learner. Howis intelligence involved (through reasoning, perception, memory) in processing language, andwhat emotional factors in attitudes and dispositions promote acquisition (Kramsch, 1992, pp. 56-9)? The fourth chapter of this thesis examines the curriculum philosophy of a series of Germanlanguage textbooks to chart recent changes in phases of teaching-learning methodology. Oneculminating stage of this process is to be found in the orientation of what has been called the“post-communicative generation of textbooks” (Jones, 1993, pp. 211-2), and the call for learnerautonomy and self-study programmes (Holec, 1981, 1988; Dickinson, 1987, 1992; Skehan,1989; O’Malley and Chamot, 1990; Wenden, 1992; Legenhausen, 1993). The fifth and lastchapter of the thesis is a response to this call through presenting in ideal terms what should be63the chief features of the autonomous German acquisition programme.3.6. Chomsky’s deficiencies but challenge to behaviourismOne issue has to be raised at this point concerning the intellectual leadership given byChomsky in linguistics, because his impact on applied linguistics has been extensive and lasting(cf. White, 1989, and forthcoming; also, the runs of articles in Second Language Research(published by Edward Arnold, London) covering studies carried out within a UG framework).With others (cf. Boas, 1993, Harris, 1993), the Danish scholar Hans Aarsleff, who taughtlinguistics at Princeton in the philological tradition, has roundly criticized Chomsky for hisdeficiencies as a historian of linguistics:[His] version is fundamentally false from beginning to end -- because the scholarship ispoor, because the texts have not been read, because the arguments have not beenunderstood, because the secondary literature that might have been helpful has been leftaside or unread, even when referred to.(1982, p. 116)These charges can be borne out, in part at least, from a reading of Cartesian linguistics (1966),in which the argument is interspersed with long, unassimilated passages in French and Germanwhich are often far from supporting Chomsky’s claims. Nevertheless, Chomsky did a greatservice to linguistics and language acquisition studies in the 1950s and 60s by developing histheories of the innate language processor, and by challenging the prevailing empirical orbehaviourist school, perhaps best outlined in Language (1933) by Leonard Bloomfield (1887-1949), cited by Crystal (1992, p. 408) as a “book which dominated linguistic thinking for over20 years.” Chomsky was also effective (1970; Harris, 1993, p. 55) in attacking the operantconditioning theory of learning developed by B.F. Skinner (1968), as well as his language theory64found in Verbal behaviour (1957).Entrepreneurs in the business of delivering language courses have sought to capitalize onthese intellectual struggles and transcend them, as we see in the following advertisement thatappeared in 1984 in a South American newspaper (Crystal, 1992, p. 374):SPANISH GERMAN FRENCHMASTER IT WITH NO COURSE OR TEACHERUNBELIEVABLE?BUT TRUEA successful application of B.F. Skinner’s and Noam Chomsky’s Theories has resultedin a system that makes it possible.And to top it all, you can do it in less than 90 days and no more than 200 hours.By appointment only. Please call us, Tel. ** ** **and ask for Mrs.We’ll gladly show you how it works at no cost.This advertisement is presented as an amusing example of a language acquisition marketplaceeffort to sell an autonomous system promising a marriage of irreconcilable theoretical partners.The importance of Chomsky’s UG theory over Skinner’s behavioural theory for an autonomousGerman acquisition programme is that it offers a fuller and more coherent account of languageprocessing, and therefore provides a more satisfactory foundation for structuring German input,retention, and production by the learner.3.7. Humboldt and social subjectivity of languageIn seeking to revive the rationalist or mentalist tradition, emphasizing the universalcharacteristics of language and the human capacity for acquiring or learning it, as found in the65Port-Royal grammar, Chomsky also called attention to the writings of Withelm von Humboldt(1767-1835), the Prussian diplomat, education reformer, and political theorist. There certainlyare important elements of the mentalist approach in Humboldt’s early texts on language theory,for example, Uber Denken und Sprechen (1795-6) and Uber die Natur der Sprache imailgemeinen (1806: Humboldt, 1980). However, Aarsleff has argued that a more fundamentalinfluence on Humboldt with respect to language theory was that of the French ideologues, ledby Destutt de Tracy (cf. 1798: “Mémoire sur la faculté de penser”), whom Humboldt knewintimately in Paris between 1797 and 1801. Subsequently, from 1802 until 1808, he was inRome nominally as a diplomat dealing with the Vatican, but intensely focused, first, on languagestudies based on linguistic and anthropological material his brother Alexander had collected inAmerica; and, second, on the resources of the Vatican library. In 1804, he wrote to his friendF.A. Wolf: “Basically everything I work at. . is language study. I believe I have discoveredthe art of using language as a vehicle to range over the highest and lowest levels of the worldand its multiplicity. This word is italicized because it relates to an important theme inHumboldt’s studies and writing, our need to be aware of the immense variety of the world’scultures and language systems when seeking to generalize about language capacity as a propertyof humans, and how we exercise this capacity, for example, in adding other languages to themother tongue.Aarsleff points out that Humboldt maintained two core principles in his sustainedlinguistic work, from early fragments of a monograph on the Basques, first published in 1907,to the most mature of his books, the great study of the Kawi language published just after hisdeath: tJber die Kawi-Sprache auf der Insel Java. nebst einer Einleitung über die Verschiedenheitdes menschlichen Sprachbaues und ihren Einfluss auf die geistige Entwicklung desMenschengeschlechts (1836-39: Humboldt, 1980). These principles are as follows:661. language is at bottom subjective;2. it is sociability that drives humans to seek understanding through communication(something Comenius recognized).In Aarsleff’ s view these principles stem ultimately from the empirical philosophy of JohnLocke, who argued that words relate not to objects but to the ideas we have in our minds arisingfrom sense impressions and internal impressions (1982, pp. 170-1). Locke’s philosophyrespecting language was developed further by Condillac (Essai sure l’origine des connoissanceshumaines, 1746), whose formulations inspired Herder’s Abhandlung über den Ursprung derSprache (1772). It is also Aarsleff’s view (1982, pp. 344-7) that Humboldt owed more to theideologues who were inspired by Condillac than to Herder. Accordingly, it is in the traditionof the Locke-Condillac-Destutt de Tracy language philosophy we find such claims as thosepresented in the Kawi book:The entire manner of the subjective perception of objects is necessarily carried over intothe formation and use of language. For the word originates precisely in the perception,it is not a copy of the object itself, but of the image the object creates in the mind.Since all objective perception is unavoidably mixed with subjectivity, it follows that we,even independently of language, can consider every human individuality as having itsown view of the world FWeltansichtj. But it becomes still more so by language.(Quoted in Aarsleff, 1982, pp. 346-7)This is an important passage for its emphasis on the connection between any one language andthe perceptual field, sensory and cultural, of the native language user. The word Weltansicht,in particular, alerts us to an important challenge of second language studies, that the uniqueangle of vision of native speakers embedded in their language must be explored by the learner.The challenge is made sharper in an autonomous programme where the student is always thrown67back on his own intellectual and emotional resources for understanding and motivation inacquiring the second language in its uniqueness. This must become a strength of theprogramme, through careful staging of intercultural and cross-cultural material supporting thelanguage material (lexical, grammatical, morphological, syntactic etc.), rather than a cause ofalienating the student from the target language.3.8. Sapir-Whorf hypothesis of cultural specificity of languagesHumboldt’s strongly expressed views about Weltansicht found a response in the researchprogramme of the American linguist and anthropologist Edward Sapir (1884-1939) and thewritings of his student Benjamin L. Whorf (1897-194 1). Their inquiries into Native Americanlanguages resulted in the formulation of what is commonly called the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis(Crystal, 1992, p. 15). Sapir did field research on specific North American Indian communitiesunder the distinguished anthropologist Franz Boas, and he generalized from his experience oftheir different languages that their speakers paid attention relative to different aspects of realityto frame sentences that were grammatical in their languages. Whorf was an engineer inspectorwith the Hartford Fire Insurance Company who studied Native American Indian languages inhis armchair as a hobby. He did take some language courses from Sapir at Yale, however, andhe wrote a book, Language. thought. and reality (1956), from which came the followingpassage:We dissect nature along lines laid down by our native languages. The categories andtypes we isolate from the world of phenomena we do not fmd there because they stareevery observer in the face; on the contrary, the world is presented in a kaleidoscopic fluxof impressions which has to be organized by our minds--and this means largely by thelinguistic systems in our minds. We cut nature up, organize it into concepts, and ascribe68significances as we do, largely because we are parties to an agreement to organize it inthis way--an agreement that holds throughout our speech community and is codified inthe patterns of our language. The agreement is, of course, an implicit and unstated one,but its terms are absolutely obligatoiy; we cannot talk at all except by subscribing to theorganization and classification of data which the agreement decrees.(Quoted in Pinker, 1994, pp. 69-60)This deterministic statement has become known as the strong form of the Sapir-Whorfhypothesis. It is far more radical than the weak (relativistic) form of the thesis held by Sapir,and it has been shown to rest on very shaky grounds. Perhaps because he did not study anyspecific Apaches, for example, Whorf argued in a circle about them: Apaches do not speak likeAmericans, so they must think differently. How do we know they think differently? They speakdifferently. Moreover, Whorf relied for evidence about Apache grammar on poor translationsof Apache talk. Also, he apparently based on badly analysed and brief Hopi texts his conclusionthat the Hopi language had no words to refer to what Americans call “time” or to refer to “past,or future, or to enduring or lasting.”Further, he seems to have been responsible for launching what Pinker calls the GreatEskimo Vocabulary Hoax, the claim that the Inuit have far more words for snow than Englishbecause they inhabit a world determined by snow. In fact, Whorf took over in an article aremark by Boas in 1911 that the Inuit have “four unrelated root words for snow,” embellishedthe number to seven, implied there were more, and set going incremental reportage of thisamazing fact that reached the point of claiming there were 400 Inuit word for snow (Pinker,1994, pp. 60-4).The strong, determinist form of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, then, would appear to bean absurdity, but the weaker, relativistic form does have utility in language acquisition studies.69Our own language shapes our categories and, perceptions, and contributes to the way we handlemental tasks such as memorization. It has been shown experimentally in psycholinguistic studiesthat L2 recall is greater if objects are signified by terms easily recognisable or familiar throughlinkage to Li terms. Such results have indicated the need in the autonomous languageacquisition programme for an informed, empirical awareness of linguistic and culturalcongruence and diversity (where Weltansicht difficulties come in), as contrasted with relianceon the other main theoretical, mentalist approach of emphasis on language universals (Crystal,1992, pp. 15, 84).3.9. Schleicher and the evolutionary concept of languagesOne more negative example of a language theorist, a more dangerous case than that ofWhorf, will be introduced at this point to bring forward again the topic of holism in connectionwith language study. Part of the argument in Chapter 2 was that Comenius’ form of holism ledto encouragement for multiple language acquisition because of respect for common humanity andthe desire to promote peace through universal education. Another kind of holism was espousedin the nineteenth century, however, with the rise in prestige of the natural sciences. Theoverview was taken that humanity together with its capacities and cultural forms was part ofnature and subject to natural laws as determined by science. As part of this outlook, languagescame to be considered organic entities with their own life-cycles and laws independent of theirspeakers, thus language study was to be regarded as one of the natural sciences.A spokesman for this position was the comparative philologist August Schleicher (1828-68), who introduced the Stammbaumtheorie (Crystal, 1992, p. 292), and took the organicistmetaphor of the growth and decay of languages to extremes. In the wake of the publication ofDarwin’s Origin of species (1859), he applied a racist form of Darwinism to fit his concept of70evidence of language decay to allegations of manifest inferiority in the Kampf urns Dasein:We can now see that certain nations, for instance the Indian tribes of North America,already owing to their infmitely complicated languages truly luxuriating in forms, are notsuited for a role in history and have therefore decayed into regression and evenextinction.(Schleicher, 1865, P. 27, quoted in Aarsleff, 1982, P. 295)The next step in this sinister argument is that nations whose complicated languages provideevidence of unfitness for a role in history should be helped to exit from history. Perhaps thisprofessor’s reasoning was not used in wresting the prairies from the Comanches, Kiowas, Sioux,Apaches, Cree, and Blackfeet, but linguistic intolerance was certainly part of the winning of theWest. Our German acquisition programme, by contrast, must bring into the arena for criticaldiscussion a holism with humane values that avoids stereotyping and stigmatizing on linguisticgrounds.3.10. Bral’s semanticsOn publication, Schleicher’s organicist views with their chilling implications wereopposed by Michel Bréal (1832-19 15), who came from a French-Jewish family resident inLandau when it was part of the Bavarian Rliineland, and who suffered from anti-Semitism inFrance. He held the Chair in comparative grammar at the College de France for the last fortyyears of his life, and took a leading role in educational reform. Bréal is remembered today forhis Essai de sémantique (1st ed. 1897), which developed his views about semantics, a word hefirst used in 1873 (defining it technically in 1883: la sémantique = the science of significations.Besides raising the issue of what semantics is all about, Bréal has two other claims onour attention. First, he was the encourager and in part inspirer of the most seminal languagetheorist of modem times, Ferdinand de Saussure (1857-1913), whom he supported for a post to71teach philology at the École des hautes etudes in Paris from 1880 to 1891 (Aarsleff, 1982, pp.13-17, 382-98). Second, Bréal resisted Schleicher’s linguistic naturalism by stressing the mind-dependent, idea-based nature of language, a formulation in the Locke-Condillac-idêologuestradition:Language has been called an organism, a hollow, deceptive word too freely lavished inthe present day, and used every time that we want to dispense with the trouble of seekingfor true causes. . . . Our forefathers of the school of Condillac [the ideologues]were less far from the truth when they said . . . that words are signs.(Bréal, 1964, pp. 248-90)This insight puts us on the track of considering language in the light of semiotics, whose fieldis the structure of sign systems that send messages. Thus, in our autonomous acquisitionprogramme, we have to consider how meaning is “signed” or “coded” in German, for example,through use of second person singulars and plurals (D and to indicate degrees ofrelationship, status order, and formality! informality register.For Bréal, the crucial issue in linguistics was to determine how languages meet theindividual and social needs of speakers. In this regard, a key passage occurs in his 1891 essay,Le langage et les nationalités:If the language is simultaneously modified in the mouth of an entire group of persons,that is not because the organs of speech in the same moment, in an entire population,undergo a radical change. In this simultaneous occurrence, there is a more humble andcommon reason, which is on the one hand the instinct of imitation and on the other handthe need to understand and to be understood. Speech is first of all a means ofcommunication: it would lose the most essential of its functions if it ceased to serve forthe exchange of ideas.72(quoted in Aarsleff, 1982, p. 383)Language change is pictured here as occurring through imitation and the need to communicate,another version of the sociability imperative in language identified by Humboldt. This providesfurther theoretical direction for the sociolinguistic content and staging of autonomous Germanlanguage programme.3.11. Saussure and the general science of linguisticsAarsleff finds in the last quotation from Bréal an anticipation of Saussure’s distinctionsbetween langue and parole, also between synchronique and diachronique, and generally that lasematuique of Brëal was a form of la linguistique gencfrale. To be sure, Saussure expressedthese ideas with far more sophistication and in a connected form which has had a pervasiveinfluence on twentieth-century linguistics and language acquisition theory and practice. In thesefields, thanks to Saussure, there is now clarity about the need for synchronic work beforeinquiring into language change. Parole, as the “dynamic, social activity” of people speaking aspecific language to each other at a given time and place, is the focus of careful attention. Thearbitrary relationship between signs and what is signified is understood, with langue perceivedas a “system of signs.” In addition, the distinction between sequencing of signs in linear(synragma.tic) and associative (paradigmatic) relationships is applied usefully for the structuralanalysis of vocabulary and other aspects of language (Crystal, 1992, p. 407).Essentially reformulating a principle that had been enunciated by Locke, as we have seen,Saussure was arguing that the relationship between any specific word and the mental imageevoked by it is arbitrary, dependent solely on the conventions established within the system ofsigns constituting the language. In our day, Jacques Derrida (b. 1930) has pushed farthest theidea that languages stand alone constituting worlds of convention cut free from each other and73the world of external objects: “There is no outside-the-text” (Of Grammatology, 1976, P. 158).Some commentators claim that Saussure himself avoided such linguistic solipsism throughconceiving there could be a science of semiology: a “systematic study of how meaning isconventionally generated by collective behaviour” (Latimer, 1989, p. 2).If the confines of this thesis permitted a fuller discussion of twentieth-century linguistictheories, there could be review of the further development of Saussure’s structural principles bysuch groups as the Linguistic Circle of Prague, founded by Roman Jalcobson and N.S.Trubetzkoy in 1926, and the Copenhagen School led by Louis Hjelmslev who devisedGlossematics, also the advances made by individuals such Charles Martinet expanding the notionof Functionalism, and Richard Montague working on the correspondence between the categoriesof syntax and semantics (Lyons, 1972; Ehreman, 1970; Lyons, 1972; Crystal, 1992, pp. 408-9).This would take the thesis into ever more refined theoretical distinctions drawn by linguists,however, and perhaps add to that endless history of theoretical conffict and the crisis of self-understanding which Legenhausen (1993) complained of in the field of SLA research. The mainconcern of the thesis remains that of uncovering the theoretical insights and modelling that willaddress the real problems of people trying through self-management to acquire additionallanguages.3.12. Recent SLA theorizingFinally, in pursuit of useful insights and models in this survey of theorists, this chapteracknowledges the importance of a constellation of studies completed within the last twenty years,which have psycholinguistic and sociolinguistic implications and applications. Both the mentalistand empirical traditions of language investigation are reflected in this work. A strongcontribution has come from Stephen Krashen (b. 1941-), whose articles and books appearing74from 1978 up to 1985 elaborated, mainly on Chomskyan premises, the Monitor Theory (MT)covering child LA and adult, also natural (untutored), and instructed (tutored), SLA. Asdescribed by Freeman-Larsen and Long (1991, pp. 240-4), there are five parts to MT.1. The Acquisition-Learning Hypothesis states that there two forms LA can take, acquired(untutored), referring to the operation of the subconscious processes in childrendeveloping control of Li (really, a version of LAD); and learned (tutored), the result ofa conscious process, resulting in a separate system of knowledge about L2, includingsimple grammar rules.2. The Natural Order Hypothesis states that L2 rules are acquired in a predictable order,one that is not determined by complexity only, and that does not follow the order intraditional SLA teaching syllabuses.3. The key Monitor Hypothesis covers the relationship between the learned system and theacquired one in L2 performance. The acquired one initiates utterance and the learnedsystem monitors it, editing, correcting, and so on. It can be intrusive, and too much,or the wrong kind of conscious learning can inhibit L2 utterance, a case of overuse ofthe monitor.4. The Input Hypothesis is the major claim of MT in stating that L2 is acquired throughsuccessful processing of extensive amounts of comprehensible input (CI). A deductionfrom the emphasis placed on CI is that speaking is regarded as the result not the causeof acquisition, and is pictured as emerging from growth in competence gained throughcomprehension of target language input.5. The Affective Filter Hypothesis, formulated in the light of work by Dulay and Burt(1977), states that “affective factors” such as self-esteem, will to learn, and anxiety ofthe kind that spurs action can help promote but not cause L2 acquisition, and conversely75negative factors such as low self-esteem can “raise the filter” and block acquisition.The Monitor Theory and Krashen’s willingness to apply it in SLA teaching situations,also to claim that immersion programmes work because of the large amount of CI they providein the form of content across the curriculum, has stirred up a great deal of controversy andattempts at proof or disproof of testable parts (Larsen-Freeman and Long, 1991, pp. 245-9,Crystal, 1992, pp. 372-3). Perhaps SLA research has now absorbed critically and made the bestuse possible of Krashen’s hypotheses and classroom applications in passing on to newertheoretical formulations, of which the Multidimensional Model, in terms of the review byLarsen-Freeman and Long (1991, pp. 283-7), seems to have the greatest predictive power aboutSLA (Pienemann, 1981, 1989). However, at the time of the writing of the review, the Modelwas confined to morphology and syntax as opposed to Clahsen’s claim that MT covered allacquisitional items. Important independent work on theorizing about the principles underlyingutterance structures, using a conceptual, functional-pragmatic approach, has been done byWolfgang Klein of the Max-Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen (Klein and Purdue,1988). This builds on earlier fmdings in research on German as L2, including the interestingpoint that it has to be recognised that parallel information is added to aural input when an L2learner tries to formulate a grammar and vocabulary for the target language. This parallelinformation in an untutored L2 learner comes from his awareness of language situations: whospeaks to whom, what gestures accompany this, and how hearers react. In tutored L2acquisition, the parallel information is prepared in the lessons, but to be productive thepreparation has to be in accord with the innate language processing principles (Klein, 1987, p.53).763.13 SummationLooking at developments over the last forty years, it can be seen that SLA curricula havedeveloped operating according to one or other of the following models:Behaviourist CognitiveL2 input obtained from Exposure to authentic usecontrolled, formal instruction of L2 in near-naturalsituations1’ ‘1’Imitation and Input processing usingreinforcement (conscious) natural (universal,strategies unconscious) strategies‘1’ ‘I,L2 habits established Transitional stages oflearning (interlanguage)L2 output L2 outputIn the light of critiques of SLA research and theoretical modelling, the cognitive model,which should be expanded to include compatible features from the Krashen Monitor Theory, theMultidimensional Model, and the Conceptual, Functional-Pragmatic Approach, would seem tohave more explanatory power than its rival, especially through making room for the affectivefactors in learning (Krashen and Terrell, 1983), and should be taken as the guide for theautonomous German acquisition programme. Additionally, as far as the planning of thisprogramme is concerned, capital should be made of the theoretical value in humanistic andholistic approaches to acquiring languages (Knibbeler, 1989; Crystal, 1992, p. 375). Examplesof these are the Suggestopaedia outlined by Georgi Lozanov (1978), Caleb Gattegno’s SilentWy (1972, 1982), and Beverley Galyean’s Confluent Education (1977, 1983). Each hasfeatures that could profitably be built into an ideal programme for the self-directed acquirer of77German.Historically, it is a long way from Comenius in Leszno, Elbing, and Sarospatak, workingat the problems of the exiled Bohemians and Moravians learning Latin, and acquiring one wayor another Polish, German, Swedish, and Hungarian. We have his theories with their insightsand mistakes as sources to serve us, as well as those of his successors in theory and practicedown the centuries. The next chapter examines how successful our contemporaries have beenin devising three representative German textbooks and courses to exemplify a convincingphilosophy of education, and to put students on the path of acquiring the German language.784. PERSPECTIVES ON GERMAN ACQUISITION CURRICULA:TRANSMISSION, TRANSACTION, TRANSFORMATIONAttention to the aesthetic aspects of the subjects taught would remind students that theideas within subject areas, disciplines, and fields of study are human constructions,shaped by craft, employing technique, and mediated through some material. . . . Suchan orientation to knowledge would reduce the tendency for students to regard thetextbook as sacred and knowledge as fixed--not a bad outcome for a nation that pridesitself on being a democracy.Elliot Eisner4.1. Language textbooks and curriculum philosophyThis chapter turns from historical enquiry and analysis of theories to focus on threetextbooks assigned presently or in the recent past as aids to acquiring German at the Universityof British Columbia, reviewing their “craft,” “technique,” and the “material,” as Eisner (1985)suggests we should do when exploring “aesthetic modes of knowing,” that is, seeking to findsignificant form in relation to content in the objects of our disciplined attention. For such areview, it is useful to keep in mind the framework of systematized ideas about teaching andlearning offered in the “analytic didactics” of Comenius, that is, the tenth chapter of theMethodus linguarum novissima (Jelinek, 1953). The aim here has been to determine not onlyfrom reading from the textbooks, but also from the personal experience of others and thiswriter’s, the orientation to curriculum of their compilers. In Chapter 2, it is explained how the79curriculum philosophy of Comenius expressed in his textbooks could be viewed as anticipatingin certain important respects the “transformation” position outlined by Miller and Seller (1990),and here this formulation will be drawn on further, as well as “analytic didactics,” and theformulation of the “transmission” and “transaction” positions (pp. 5-9) to advance the discussionby seeking a ground for a German acquisition programme. In addition, by drawing on theoriesabout language and the acquisition of languages, the textbooks will be analysed as examples ofthe contrastive, audio-lingual, and communicative approaches (Larsen-Freeman and Long, 1991,pp. 52-61; Crystal, 1992, pp. 372, 374). In presenting criticism of these textbooks, this chapterprepares the way for what is offered in Chapter 5 as the outlines and ideal details of a self-directed German acquisition programme.4.2. Transmission philosophy and the contrastive approachThe first specimen to be considered is Stephen Clausing’s German grammar: a contrastiveapproach. The date is ostensibly 1986, but there is a pre-history going back to 1951 as revealedby the Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication data. The grammar content is of thetraditional, prescriptive, pre-Chomskian type and has not been modified by thinking since thelate 1950s focused on the “transformational-generative” model. The textbook is intended tosupplement a “typical curriculum of reading, conversation, and some writing” through reviewing“grammar traditionally taught in first-year texts” and providing some additional grammarmaterial. The student targeted is thought of as somebody who will inevitably make mistakes,and who has to be shown how German and English contrast as languages. It is assumed fromthe outset that problems will arise through English “interfering” with German. The textbookassumes that the teacher will be firmly in control, imparting irrefutable knowledge to the studentregarding correct German. It is further assumed that this textbook must correct errors made in80previous instruction given to the student. To some extent, it is assumed that the student will finda sufficient reward when learning the grammar in this source in the assurance of being sent“prepared” into more advanced courses. To be sure, this reward is announced negatively: “toneglect this aspect of the grammar is to send the student ill-prepared into more advancedcourses” (Clausing, 1986, P. lii).It is further assumed that all students make similar errors and that learning proceeds thesame way for all students. The student is obviously regarded as an error-prone client who mustbe shown the actual mistakes that arise when English word patterns are transferred directly intoGerman:the use of incorrect German examples is an integral part of the contrastive approach,because it shows in a concrete form the practical manifestations of the theory. All of theerrors shown in the book are adaptations of student errors.The standpoint of the textbook is omniscience about these matters: “the student is made awareof potential mistakes, understands why they occur, and knows how they can be corrected” (pp.iii-iv).The author tries to meet the objections that some teachers have to dwelling on incorrectGerman. His claim is that, “students are exposed to incorrect German in any class.. . . Ratherthan avoiding any mention of these errors, it makes better sense to develop the student’s abilityto recognize and correct them.” Throughout the preface and the entire textbook there is anobsession with error, and an unabashed atomistic approach to make the material “digestible”:“each chapter can be split up into numerous subunits,” but no overview is provided. There isone attempt to elicit the student’s own thinking with respect to the introduction into manychapters of a Gedankenproblem (thought problem), which asks the user to go beyond thematerial in the text and draw “conclusions . . . regarding more advanced topics” (p. iv). The81insistence on the notion of the student as client is extended from the grammar content tovocabulary in the last one-third of the book which focuses on “lexical interference” (pp. iv-v).A final point suggesting the student is regarded as an error-prone infant is the mention of theneed for the user to be “weaned from the artificiality of the glossary to the real-world problem[sic] of having to use a dictionary for reference.” We are to imagine that up to the bracingexperience of reading this textbook, the student-infant has happily sucked on the glossariesprovided, but will now have to face the stern and problem-beset reality of feeding ondictionaries. A different viewpoint from Clausing’s would recognize that multimedia resourcessuch as the CDROM programmes can now make interactive work with dictionaries on computersexciting and creative for language acquirers.Following the preface, the author has some categorical advice to the teacher in the sectionentitled, “How to Use This Book”:Incorrect German sentences used as examples are identified as incorrect by an asterisk.The teacher should explain this convention to the class before beginning the book. Thestudent must also be told what to do with the “What’s wrong with these?” exercises.Specifically, the student should do the following:a. identify the mistakeb. correct the mistakec. explain why the mistake occurs.Perhaps to take away somewhat from the negative, error-correction tone of the book, the authorsuggests that it is “teacher-friendly” (pp. v-vi). This is explained in terms of the topics beingclearly stated and concisely defined, also the goals for exercises being expressly indicated. The“friendliness” seems to reside in the fact that the teacher does not have to do much independentthinking. One implication is that the teacher is in unquestioned charge of the classroom,82ordering drills, assigning exercises, correcting inevitable errors, and judging the student’s workon a categorical right or wrong basis. There is no allowance for creative learning situations,and being “teacher-friendly” is a mask for reinforcing teacher autocracy.This textbook came to the writer’s attention in discussions about its use in the Universityof British Columbia’s German 110, which is a course for students who have learned theirGerman from parents or relatives (Hausdeutsch: untutored acquisition), but who do not have atutored understanding of German grammar. There is no awareness expressed through thetextbook of a specific learning situation for such students, whose existing appreciation ofGerman’s cultural matrix should be extended through multimedia experience and other meansto show how language in use (Saussure’s parole) connects with the language system (langue).It is incredible to this writer that this textbook, the only one assigned in German 110, does nothave a single illustration, dialogue, or authentic text. Essentially, this textbook is a kind ofchamber of German grammatical horrors. In novels by Dickens, for example, GreatExpectations and Dombey and Son, one comes across characters having nightmares in whichthey are subjected to the kind of curriculum laid out by this textbook.Clausing makes only partial use of the method of contrastive analysis going back toWilliam G. Moulton’s book, Sounds of English and German (1962), which in turn builds onLado’s already-mentioned work, Linguistics across cultures (1957), and ultimately Viëtor’spolemics (1882) and study of German, French, and English phonetics and orthoepy [relating tocorrect or accepted pronunciation, OED] (1884, 1927). Essentially, linguists focusing oncontrastive analysis have made a distinction between transference and interference in therelationship of the native language (Li) to the target language (L2). Clausing concentrates onnegative transfer and pays no attention to positive transfer, which would demonstrate to thestudent how knowledge of English, for example, helps in the useful expansion of knowledge of83German through stages of an “interlanguage” (see Selinker refs.; also Gass, Madden, Preston,Selinker, 1988; and Singh, 1993). Probably Clausing’s textbook approach was heavilyinfluenced by the kind of thinking which found expression in Robert Di Pietro’s study, Languagestructures in contrast (1971), which was strongly criticized in the 1970s (Kramsch, 1992, pp.56-7). Recent research has shown that analyzing errors is a very complex business, requiringattention to many factors other than cognitive ones (Crystal, 1992, p. 372).In terms of curriculum theory, we have in Clausing’s case a “transmission” orientedtextbook (Miller and Seller, pp. 5-6), based on a behaviourist model of learning, with a conceptof a one-way transfer of competence from teacher to student via error correction. In Eisner’sterms, the craft is severely restricted as are the techniques and material, and as a result the“aesthetic modes of knowing” are neglected. The approach seems likely to turn students offGerman, and is unlikely to encourage the growth of teachers. Some, indeed, will become boredwith the highly restricted approach. From the point of view of Comenian “analytic didactics,”Clausing does not do his utmost to “guard against aversion, the most insidious poison in studies’(Jelinek, 1953, p. 215). It could also be mentioned that the whole approach represented byClausing’s textbook smacks of authoritarianism, and in it there is little or no opportunity for awoman’s point of view on language and culture.4.3. Transaction philosophy and an evolved audio-lingual approachThe next book to be examined is Deutsch heute: Grundstufe (3rd ed. 1984: German today:elementary level), which until 1989 or so was the textbook for German 100 at the University ofBritish Columbia. The introduction to this provides some evidence about a “transaction”orientation towards curriculum on the part of the authors: Jack Moeller, Oakland University, andHelmut Liedloff, Southern Illinois University, also Barbara Beckman-Sharon, University of84Puget Sound, who provided annotations. In brief, the transaction position accepts that the studentis capable of independent thought and of engaging in dialogue with the curriculum regarded asa process involving problem solving (Miller and Seller, pp. 6-8).The associated learning model for language acquisition is the cognitive one illustrated atthe conclusion of Chapter 3. This writer was particularly interested in Deutsch heute as atextbook because a woman was partly responsible for it, and one of the themes presented wasthe social position of women. In line with the outlook on language study in the Humboldt-Sapirtradition, the authors that they wish students to acquire authentic German, both in the spokenform (audio-lingual emphasis) and the written one. Also, as sources for authentic, present-daywritten German, three contemporary short stories are introduced, two by women: Helga Novak’s“Schlittenfahren” (Sleighriding) and Christa Wolf’s “Ich geh’ da nicht mehr hin” (I won’t gothere again). This seems to represent the will to introduce for students and teachers, in theirjoint work, the desirable element of experiencing the “aesthetic modes of knowing” called forby Eisner (1985). Such experience could arise from hearing the stories read well, and fromarticulating and sharing responses to them considered as literary texts, with precise adjustmentof form to content, however “positioned” or “negotiated” as to meaning (Nolden and Kramsch,1994, p. 3). Here is a welcome move beyond the sentence-grammar kind of syllabus found inClausing’s book.Further, the need to introduce students to contemporary life and culture in German-speaking countries is registered in this textbook, and this can be connected with a conscious orunconscious acknowledgment of the importance of Bruner’s LASS. As well, the newergenerative grammar of Chomsky and his colleagues seems to be made part of the structuresintroduced in the reading and reinforced in the grammar topics per se and exercises. Here isa major difference from the transmission-oriented textbook previously discussed. A further85difference is the pervasive use of photographs, line-drawings and Realia, as Comenius urgedlong ago:The study of language should not be an end in itself but should lead to the study ofthings, for wisdom consists in the knowledge of things, not words.(Jelinek, 1953, P. 77)The result of attention to this feature in Deutsch heute is to convey imaginatively the experienceof operating in a world of German discourse.Miller and Seller (1990, p. 7) suggest that the thought of the American pragmatist JohnDewey (1859-1952) is a major influence on the transaction philosophy of curriculum. In hisbook, Experience and education (1938), said to be one of Dewey’s major statements, heemphasized that for an action-oriented education, suitable for a democratic society, certainfeatures should be present: the role of organized experience, continuous and analysedexperiment, purposeful learning, and freedom to know and do within a framework of clearlyestablished social values. Above all, Dewey stressed that true learning was done in a schoolestablished as a community of learners of whom the teacher was a member acknowledged as aleader because of experience, training, and a far-seeing outlook.The contemporary American philosopher Richard Rorty (b. 1931) has re-examinedDewey’s pragmatism to demonstrate how its conclusions regarding cultural empowermentconnect with the phenomenological-hermeneutical tradition in European philosophy (1978, pp.239-58). One can certainly discern a phenomenological thrust (van Manen, 1990) in the Dewey-type presuppositions of Deutsch heute (intro. pp. 6, 10), such as the steady reliance on personalexperience of the students themselves as a basis for the curriculum, and placing the highest valueon the freedom of students to express themselves.It will be recalled from Chapter 2 that the general method for learning languages86advocated by Comenius (1896, P. 358) involved “hearing, reading, re-reading, copying,imitating with hand and tongue, and doing all these as frequently as possible.” In practice,Deutsch heute encompasses this, and adds the practical audio-lingual dimension, by linking thetexthook itself to a workbook/lab manual, a set of recordings on cassettes, a tapescript, and atest bank. There is considerable use of the dialogue format, which is a transaction idea, andthe textbook in general fosters “communication practice and vocabulary development,” throughthe oral exercises including questions on the dialogues and activities enabling the students toparticipate (Moeller et al. 1984).Though this feature of the textbook raises the idea of communication, I would say thatin language acquisition terms Deutsch heute is not following a communicative approach so muchas enlarging possibffities of the audio-lingual approach, that is, setting out ways of acquiringcompetence in hearing-speaking and ultimately writing German through careful sequencing oflessons and exercises. Shortly, in dealing with a further textbook, Deutsch aktiv, this chapteroffers a description of the of the communicative approach which seems to incorporate somefeatures of the transformational curriculum position.Returning to the transaction position with respect to language acquisition, Dewey’s stresson the organic connection of education and experience can be fittingly illustrated from Deutschheute’s treatment of contrastive procedures. Whereas Clausing’s German grammar mercilesslydrilled students in a series of alleged inevitable errors, Deutsch heute states that “German isoften contrasted with English to clarify the structure of both” (intro. p. 6). We do not have thefurther insight of the recognition and use of an “interlanguage” as a natural step in control ofL2, but this is perhaps on the horizon of the transaction textbook.Dewey wrote that education arises from the “growth dependent on the presence ofdifficulty to be overcome by the exercise of intelligence.” He added that the teacher is87responsible for two things:1. seeing that the problems used to stimulate thinking grow out of experience in the present;2. ensuring that the nature of problems is such that learners are aroused to engage in avigorous quest for further information and the creation of new ideas (Dewey, 1938, p.79).By the same token, Deutsch heute builds vocabulary through drawing on standard wordfrequency lists (those of Kaeding, Bakonyi, Schultze, Michéa, Wangler, Meier, are available:Oehler, 1966) to give readers a mini-repertoire of words found most useful in everyday Germandiscourse. Also, exercises are prescribed based on lists of the cognates and affixes of a highlysynthetic language to generate the capacity to expand vocabulary as required by real-life needs.Dewey’s point about the development of learner’s autonomy is pressed through theencouragement to students to talk to each other in German. The outcome of a course followingDeutsch heute could be the student walking from the classroom, flying to Frankfurt, claimingluggage from a monolingual attendant, similarly asking directions, buying a Stein of beer, andin general transacting language business with some confidence in “survival German.”Summing up this writer’s view of Deutsch heute, it can be affirmed that it points the wayto effective acquisition of hearing-speaking German, with some anticipations of the aestheticdelight of reading a text as the creative and productive enterprise of making sense of“indeterminacy” (Nolden and Kramsch, 1994, p. 5). The cultural annotations are genuinelyhelpful and introduce students imaginatively to many of the salient features of life in German-speaking countries.A criticism, nevertheless, is that altogether too much is prescribed by this textbook asthe content of a course based on it, and there are not enough invitations for students and teachersto bring in their own imaginative resources to create together a truly exciting curriculum. If88Dewey and Rorty’s lights are followed, as well as newer critical theory about negotiatingmeaning and value cross-culturally through language, a “text”-book could lay the groundworkfor a transactional curriculum in language acquisition. It would have to be organized, however,to invoke the concept of the “play” of meaning that, from Comenius (1656) down to Derrida(1978), has in so many different senses fascinated thinkers. As well, it would have to be a moreopen-ended production even than Deutsch heute.4.4. Transformation philosophy and the communicative approachA claim that can be made for Deutsch aktiv, the third textbook to be analysed, is that incertain important respects, it moves towards a transformational philosophy of curriculum. InChapter 2, this position, as outlined by Miller and Seller (1990, pp. 8-9), was associated withthe larger aims of Comenius’ pansophic vision of education, and it was noted how theseconificted with the Cartesian agenda for obtaining and preserving scientific knowledge. To besure, given the usual constraints of language courses, Deutsch aktiv does not aspire to the aimsof social change or privileging the environment. Nevertheless, with regard to philosophicalcriteria influencing content, it connects with the transformation disposition (Miller and Seller,1990, p. 189):1. personal and public knowledge are given equal priority in content;2. content is personally appropriated by learners, and this can lead to personal and socialtransformation;3. content is integrated with cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domains and learningprocesses;4. knowledge gained is viewed in terms of relationships in a holistic way.The compilers of Deutsch aktiv Neu--Ein Lehrwerk für Erwachsene 1A (New active German--89a manual for adults: 8th ed., Berlin and Munich: Langenscheidt, 1993) are Gerd Neuner, TheoScherling, Reiner Schmidt, and Heinz Wilms, also Wolf Dieter Ortmann (phonetics). Neuner,who is the senior author, teaches in the German Faculty of the University of Kassel’s UniversityCollege, and has a special responsibility for developing German distance learning programmes.Theo Scherling is an expert on drawings and lay-out for book production (Scherling andSchuckall, 1992), and must be credited with the degree to which the textbook has visual appeal,and the success of the integration of verbal German language content with cartoons, diagrams,line-drawings, and photographs. The language acquisition approach is the communicative one,which developed in Europe in the 1970s and 80s, as an advance on audio-lingual learning.According to Robin Fawcett (1991), the term ‘communicative teaching” was first used publiclyin the title of a seminar, “The communicative teaching of English,” at the third InternationalCongress of Applied Linguists at Copenhagen in 1972. The name became attached to the so-called Functional/Notional Syllabus for language learning fostered in the early 1970s by theCouncil of Europe’s research and development activity focused on implementing a Europeanunit/credit system for adults acquiring additional languages. The approach is said to havebecome common in classrooms with the publications of Abbs and Freebairn’s Starting strategies(1977), and to have owed little or nothing to TG (transformational-generative) grammar), butmore to research on meaning sparked by Chomsky’s Aspects of the theory of syntax (1965) andM.A.K. Halliday’s work (summed up, 1985) on systemic-functional grammar (Meirose, 1991).The basic idea is to change the language classroom conceived as a drill-hall into a sitefor oral communication activities. German contributors to humanistic psychology provided someguidance: for example, W.J. Revers who wrote on the psychology of boredom and how totransform it (1949); and 3. Engelkamp who wrote about speech and emotion (1983). TheGerman cultural context was also important for the emergence of the communicative approach.90The student revolts of the 1960s led to changes in teaching styles in the 1970s, moving awayfrom the standard pontification of authoritarian male German professors towards the radical ideaof fostering student-centred learning of which much is made in the autonomous LA programmeidea (Legenhausen, 1993, responding to Holec, 1981, 1988). The emergence of the Greenmovement from the radical environmentalism of the 1960s encouraged a focus on such issuesas the threat to nature and our lives from industrial resurgence managed by transnationalcorporations, and students and younger faculty wanted classrooms to be sites for democraticexchange about living issues not training grounds for the corporate life. A further area of theraising of consciousness of educators such as Neuner had to do with concern over foreignerscoming to work and also seeking asylum in Germany. To be integrated into the community,some steps had to be taken to help them communicate in German. Traditional language teachingsimply did not work with many contemporary students and the immigrants, and there was urgentpressure to develop the new communicative approach (Neuner, Kruger, Grewer, 1981).Philosophic influences were also significant, such as the existentialism andphenomenological hermeneutics of Heidegger (1967). He offered some clarification of thedifference between logical thinking and meditative or intuitive thinking, recognizing the use ofboth sides of the brain, a comprehension borne out by recent medical research (MacKey, 1987;Penrose, 1990), and he stressed our need to be open to Dasein (Existence), that is, our need tofocus on spontaneous encounters with what exists in the immediate situation. Here wasthoughtful support for allotting intrinsic value to the learning experience of communicativeexchange, also to the existential co-operation of students and teachers in developing acurriculum.To follow up these points about transformation aspects to Deutsch aktiv Neu, atranslation is presented of the list of pedagogic strategies which the compilers recommend for91their version of the communicative approach, and which are parallel to recommendationsComenius makes in his “didactic analytics’ for teaching “rapidly, agreeably, and thoroughly”(Jelinek, 1953, pp. 171-92. These strategies are described what accompanies Deutsch alctiv Neu,a Lehrerhandreichungen (teachers’ manual: 5th ed. Berlin and Munich: Langenscheidt, 1992,p. 18):1. Speech, accompanied by mime and gestures, should be part of playful exchanges betweenpartners in flexible situations with the setting not limited to formal classroom rows ofseats. The unexpected should be accepted, and learning possibilities, as they developfrom the partner exchanges, should be fostered. Dialogue roles should be exchanged andthe learners should select, improvise, and contribute to the scenarios. The teacher hasto inject notes of realism into language exchanges as they develop to bring up the pointthat playful trial action is often quite different from real life situations.2. Discussion should be encouraged during the lesson about the pictures, situations and textsincorporated in the textbook. As well, topics should be initiated about the lessonsthemselves, and learning about systematization in German, including usage of syntacticrules, idioms, and nuances of meaning of words as they are acquired.3. The mother tongue of the learner should be used for comparisons, if possible. Informaltalk between students in their mother tongue about the content of a lesson is part of thelesson. The teacher, however, should encourage the learners to be respectful of eachother’s points of view and let one person at a time have the floor.4. Everyday cultural experiences drawn from either the German context or that of the nativecountry should be made part of the lesson. For example, dating customs could well bepart of the curriculum.5. The selection of themes and content follows the theory of 3. Engelkamp that language92material will be particularly well retained when it refers to one’s person and, therefore,can be utilized in a much deeper way than impersonal material. This procedure caninclude the experiences and strategies of learners during the experience of acquiring anew language.6. The main objective of the curriculum should be to encourage observation of features ofthe German language that are meaningful for learners and specified as such by them.Every effort should be made to encourage them to be curious about these features, andto stimulate them to compare, reflect, contemplate, and meditate in a focused way onwhat they are acquiring and experiencing. When such thought processes have personalvalue for learners, then these operations can be justly called action oriented.7. Expression of curiosity about language and a desire to talk in the acquired language areforms of behaviour that are indispensable. They reflect not only interest in the objectpursued, but also in communal learning and group participation, which includes theteacher.8. Mistakes are viewed as productive and belonging to the process of learning. Whenboredom is evinced, it is to be regarded as the opposite of curiosity, and can beunderstood in the formulation ofW. J. Revers as the “experience of a goalless ambition.”The point is to overcome boredom by reorganizing language acquisition so that thelearner can recognize a meaningful goal in the unfolding of the curriculum.9. Anxiety over speaking at the opposite pole from delight in speaking is often the resultof a mania for correction on the part of teachers. They have a wrong conception of theteaching that is appropriate for the communicative curriculum. Teachers have to learnto listen carefully to what the students are saying.The points speak for themselves in demonstrating that the orientation is a student-centered93one, acquisition of German is viewed as a process, and there is a drive to arouse intrinsicmotivation (Miller and Seller, 1990, P. 10).Since one drive of the communicative approach represented by Deutsch aktiv is to makelanguage learning a student-centred activity, it is appropriate to bring in some student criticismsof the textbook. To provide this, the findings are presented of a study completed on 4December 1992 by a graduate student, Peggy Reimchen. The study is based on questionnairesanswered by U.B.C. German 100 enrollees that Winter term. Whereas the textbook is whollyin German to provide a holistic, immersion experience in the language, the students expresseddissatisfaction with this feature, and wished to be led through explanations in their nativelanguage of English. They wished to have more straightforward grammar presentations andreviews at the end of each chapter, also a more logical approach to what was to be learned.In short, they wanted a more structured approach to language learning. They expressed somedoubts that the communication exercises led successfully to the production of German in thecontext of a non-German-speaking country. Put another way, they felt that immersion tacticsfor learning L2 worked best when the setting was the L2 culture.At this stage, some personal experience of this writer is offered in the spirit of vanManen’s project (1992) of a “human science for an action sensitive pedagogy.” For half of theSpring term of 1993, it was my responsibility to assist a German 100 instructor, Ms. ChristinaJalin, who used Deutsch aktiv as the class textbook. Usually, my job was to help to set up roleplaying and encouraged interaction among the students, also to answer their questions aboutfeatures of German grammar and expression.One evening the class was in my sole charge. It became clear to me that Deutsch aktivis only a partial blueprint for the communicative approach if transformation in education is tobe the goal. Together teachers and learners have to develop the curriculum. One of my ideas94was to take a picnic scenario from the textbook, and convert it with the students’ help into apicnic at which familiar Canadian foods would be eaten in the familiar setting of Wreck Beach.In passing, the students learned the vocabulary for the unfamiliar food of the German picnicsetting, also the German forms of polite request for food and other wants. That same eveninga relay race game of learning names of body parts was organized. The students spoke abouthow much they looked forward to the classes because of the fun they had together. It wasnoticeable that as the term went on they seemed to lose their inhibitions about producingGerman, but in retrospect it has struck me that it needs great skill, experience, confidence, andenthusiasm on the part of the teacher to launch out on and sustain the adventure of developinga communicative approach curriculum inspired by the transformation philosophy.One objectionable aspect of Deutsch aktiv is the sexist bias. Men are always portrayedin positions of authority: teachers, policemen, dentists and doctors at work, etc. Women tendto be portrayed in house-bound roles, and the drawings, depicting over-bosomed and bigbuttocked females--a German stereotype. The editors are all male, and the humour they employseems to be meant to appeal mostly to males.Also, in the textbook there is very little that is connected with the spiritual side of humannature. Texts and pictures tend to be confined to a low level of human experience. The wordsand illustrations could aspire to higher aesthetic and moral levels, bringing in contemporaryissues important for the German-speaking countries, and, indeed, humanity.Much can be learned from the communicative approach and from a textbook such asDeutsch aktiv for structuring an autonomous German acquisition programme. However, it isalso necessary to take into account a post-communicative approach dimension to SLA. AppendixB presents the results of an effort to cover this topic.955. ACQUIRING GERMAN BY SELF-DIRECTIONUnd pflanzt’ es wiederAm stillen Ort;Nun zweigt es immerUnd blüht so fort.Goethe[And (I) planted it again in that quiet place; now it keeps putting out shoots and growscontinuously.]5.1. Autonomous German acquisition in a language centreThe autonomous German acquisition programmeproposed by this thesis should be offeredunder the auspices of the kind of Centre for Intercultural Language Studies proposed by JorgRoche and his colleagues in modern languages at U.B.C. (Roche, 1994b). It is anticipated thatthe clientele would be students and possibly faculty and members of the public who wish to havesome command of German for professional or private reasons, and do not have the time tocommit to regular classroom attendance, also those who find that they learn better on their own.Experience of obtaining a university education over a number of years doing part-time studieswhen holding ajob tells this writer that working women and or mothers would find self-directedlearning suitable for their needs.965.2. Staging of the programmeIn the light of the discussion of Comenius’ theories (Chapter 2) and those from linguisticsand applied linguistics reviewed in Chapter 3, the programme would be modelled as follows.COGNITIVE PATH MODELExposure (texts, tapes, videos) to comprehensible Germaninput (Monitor Theory) on intercultural linesInput processing, relying on subconscious LA processor(Universal Grammar Theory) to sort grammar coding initially1Transitional stages of learning, with simple grammar exercises, games, making booklets,videos (Interlanguage Theory, Multidimensional Model, and Conceptual, Functional-Pragmatic Approach)“German output speaking: late in the programme--Mackey New Brunswick Model)The following are the main points to be incorporated in the projected design:The programme would make the most of the salient features of Mackey’s model, but itwould have as a working base a book such as Deutsch aktiv Neu, Lehrbuch 1A, thecurrent, successful textbook for German 100 using the communicative approach, asdiscussed in Chapter 4.2. Its chapters would be transformed, however, into a form suitable for self-study, assumingthat the technical resources of the Language Centre would be available for the self-directed students.973. The transformation would involve preparing new pages of text with modified and newillustrations, taking the students from zero vocabulary to self-identification in German(Chapter 1) and introducing essential grammar points in Chapter 2, such as subject-verb-object relationships (multidimensional Model), and first steps towards declension andconjugation practice, then forward in a carefully staged way to a mini-vocabularyexpressive of simple wants and wishes and possessive relationships, also of personalsettings (by Chapter 8).4. At first, grammar points would be presented in English, because self-study students needtime to grasp the German grammar vocabulary. The graded and illustrative procedureof Comenius’ YL manuals would be followed to bring in the German vocabulary.Grammar would always be contextualized.5. Error correction in exercises would be light and done through computer feedbackprocedures, with as much humour as possible. The aim would be to encourageautomaticity in producing error-free German expression.5.3. Use of picturesIn modifying existing illustrations and introducing new ones, the sexist bias andstereotyping of Deutsch alctiv neu would be avoided. The aim would be to follow more of thepossibilities Scherling and Schukall open up for such areas as Landeskunde in their book, MuBildern lernen (1992).Also, the principles outlined in Andrew Wright’s book, Pictures for language learning(1989), would be followed to give the pictures of the German programme textbook a leading rolein the following stages:1. pre-reading and pre-listening, i.e., providing a visual focus to create a sense of purpose98and involvement before actual engagement with eye on written text and ear hearing soundtext;2. during reading and listening, to help the learner keep in mind a context, bring out thevisual referent of sounds and signs, also sometimes to set a task for completion duringreading/listening, such as reviewing a sequence of pictures and possibly re-orderingthem;3. post-listening and reading, calling upon interpretive skills connected with the reading andlistening, and requiring responses arising from the previously-gained understanding andcognitive challenge, e.g. after reading/listening work on food vocabulary, representationof a waiter serving a customer with a meal whose contents can be readily identifiedthrough memory of words just learned (Wright, 1989, pp. 160-1, 192).5.4. Study materialsThe following points concerning study materials would be kept in mind.1. It would be expected that the textbook would be prepared using desktop facilities in theLanguage Centre, and issued chapter by chapter so as to respond flexibly to feedbackfrom students and counsellors.2. Great care would be exercised in preparing the taped cassettes to go with the chapters,demanding from the Centre’s technical staff the highest standards of reproduction ofsequences emphasizing pronunciation, also close attention to timing of phrases andsentences to be repeated by the students in their audio work recording their versions ofwhat they heard. This is a matter that William Mackey insists on so that the acousticalmemory of students is stored with the best sound examples of standard German.3. A further demand on the Language Centre would be for facilities, materials, and99technical support to produce a series of videos to go with each chapter, using AlbertFuss’s approach of Blodsinn (craziness), as discussed in Appendix B below. Theintention in the videos would be to grab students’ attention and focus them on absorbingthe German language in a penumbra of strong emotions communicated through visual andaural appeal.4. The Language Centre would be asked to allow its use as a drop-in resource for the self-directed students. Certain times with a counsellor would be available in the Centre, todiscuss specific problems with the programme or with learning attitudes in general.5. The Centre’s Library would be asked to lend German comics, periodicals, pamphlets,leaflets, books, tapes, and videos, especially to cover the feature of Landeskunde,knowledge of the German-speaking lands and culture, i.e. the matrix of the language(Schwendt, 1987).6. The Dublin programme idea (Appendix B) would be borrowed of having meetings ofnative-speakers in the Language Centre and encouraging self-directed students to attendand try out what they were learning. Also, as at Sussex (Appendix B), the Centre wouldbe asked to keep a list of native-speakers willing to be tutors for a fee or English lessonsin exchange. Before they got their names on the list, it would be required that theyunderstood the principles and philosophy of the self-directed programme, e.g. the stagingof the introduction of components of German, the acceptance of a passive, input stageof reading, listening and watching before production (spealcing and writing) is called for,and an ultimate emphasis, which would be taken over from the communicative approach,on “signalling comprehension and communication in personally meaningful terms”(Prokop, 1989, p. 56).1005.5. Interactive multimediaA special feature of the programme would be the heavy use of interactive multimedia asfollows.1. The German programme would expect to make use of the CALL facilities of theLanguage Centre, not so much the dedicated packages of the past, but more thepossibilities afforded by word processing, desktop publishing, data base provision,machine translation, and electronic communication (including intercomprehension), andinteractive multimedia, also hypertext and hypermedia.2. Word processing would be used by the students to produce print-outs of German textshighlighting spelling and vowel modification features. Desktop publishing procedureswould be used by students to draw on creative writing ability and image processing skillsin making posters and other artefacts such as concrete poems requiring language/visualresponse interaction.3. Opportunities for dictionary work would draw on the bilingual CDROM storehouses.A machine translation package can provide a split-screen image allowing a learner topost-edit a machine-produced text and cull illegal grammar moves. The programmeProlog uses a parsing approach to focus on the syntactic level of language and requirethe user/learner to identify the acceptable parts of the noun and verb phrases, in essencecalling on the implicit knowledge of LAD to be made explicit. Another programme,STORY, exploits the generative power of French grammar to build 56 interchangeablestorylines with 16 grammar selections giving 896 possible texts, and thereby teaches anessential part of the morphology of French verbs. A similar programme could be createdfor German verbs.4. A choice would be made of existing interactive multimedia language course packages to101support the programme. Some present menus are organized visually and aurally andallow users to choose the level of difficulty of tasks, such as buying a few objects fromshops with a limited amount of money on a simulated walk through a French village.When a shop is reached, the facade is shown in a still, and the exercise begins betweena real shopkeeper and the learner selecting requests spoken by an over-voice. A Germancounterpart surely could be created.5. As discussed in Chapter 2, the ideas of Comenius about linking language learning tosensory appeal reflected in Orbis pictus would be brought up to date by using in theprogramme computerized systems combining textual and audiovisual information, alsosound tracks. Hypertext does so in a two-dimensional manner: presenting, for example,annotated texts and intertextual commentary as in Ted Nelson’s Xanadu project.Hypermedia operates in a three-dimensional manner: mostly non-linear and non-sequential in its presentation of information, and focusing on the association of ideas andthe relationship between one item of information and another or others. Hypermediaprogrammes resemble maps more than guidebooks. The reader of a guidebook lets theauthor take him through the sequence of information keyed to the plan of the tour beingdescribed as the author sees it. The map user is an explorer, deciding where to go andwhat route to take. Within a hypermedia programme, guidebooks can be included, butthe user is offered opportunities to take any route through the information andexperiences available, and use guidebook-type information as needed. Hypermediaapplications can control the new storage media for digital sound and images: opticaldiscs, videodiscs, and video recorders. Some examples of hypermedia programmesalready produced that could be converted for the German programme are tutorial modulesdealing with pronunciation and grammar points; commentaries on literary texts and102grammatical features; and, bringing LASS on to computer screen, scanned imagepresentations of another country’s culture with music and textual commentary (Hardman,1988; Hardman and Sharratt, 1989; Hardman and Hardman, 1989; Cameron, 1989;Kenning, 1990, PP. 34, 120-2; Brierley Kemble, 1991, pp. 1-9, 145-60; Cotton andOliver, 1993, p. 82). The advent of hypermedia has produced an interactive Orbispictus.5.6. Emphasis on holistic, transformational philosophyOne lesson to be drawn from awareness of these exciting and far-reaching computerpossibilities is that education should not give us a myopic view of the world arising from overspecialization. Ever stronger is the case for Comenius’ holistic, pansophic vision. It would besuggested to students wishing to take the German self-directed language acquisition programmethat they should see the process of completing it as an opportunity for their mental growth andunfolding of the creative imagination, also for making a conthbution to our world communitythrough comprehension of an additional language and culture and some skill in expressingthemselves in that language.Taking the advice William Mackey gave to the teachers running his programme in NewBrunswick, there would be no need to probe into what German programme students werelearning at any one stage of the programme, but everything possible would be done to maintaintheir enthusiasm while taking it. To guide users about the rate and quality of their progress, theprogramme would use a computerized test bank on the material presented, modelled on theinstrument developed by Norma Wieland and Jorg Roche: Deutsch Aktiv Neu - Tests (1993),and being adapted by Bill Gilby for the computer as CALLGEN (Roche, 1994a, pp. 24-26).This procedure would allow for continuous self-evaluation as part of SLAP. After one year103from the entry point, I would ask them to take as a challenge examination the German 100 final,or equivalent agreed to by colleagues teaching regular sections of that course. Recent researchon second language assessment through acquisition-based procedures should play a part inorganizing, staging, and testing progress (Pienemann, Johnston, Brindley, 1988). Those passingwould get credit for the course, and those who did not pass or did not wish to take anexamination would get a certificate to say they had taken the course.The chief goal for the students would be to help them become or confirm them inbecoming lifelong, autonomous learners. As for the venture of the autonomous Germanacquisition programme itself, it would be satisfaction enough for the designer if the students oncompleting it had the feelings T.S. Eliot expressed in the “Little Gidding” part of Four Ouartets:• . . . Last season’s fruit is eatenAnd the fulifed beast shall kick the empty pail.For last year’s words belong to last year’s languageAnd next year’s words await another voice.,oI105List of ReferencesAarsleff, Hans (1982). From Locke to Saussure: essays on the study language and intellectualhistory. London: Athlone Press.Abbs, B., and Freebairn, I. (1977). Starting strategies. 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(forthcoming) Universal grammar and second language acquisition: currenttrends and new directions. In Bhatia, T. and Ritchie, W. (Eds.). (forthcoming).Whorf, Benjamin L. (1956). Language. thought and reality. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Wright, Andrew (1989). Pictures for language learning. Cambridge Univ. Press.Yates, Frances A. (1969). The art of memory. Harmondsworth: Penguin.(1986). The Rosicrucian enlightenment. London: Ark.Young, R.F. (1929). Comenius and the Indians of New England. London.Zwiener, Ulrich and Vieweg, Klaus (1993). Introduction to Palou (1993).APPENDIX AINTELLECTUAL WORLD OF COMENIUS1211221. Title-page of the Didactica opera omnia, 1657, presenting Comenius as author, writingbefore the globe of the earth on his table, and gesturing to a door opening into a lecturehail, withpictures round the doorway ofscenes depicting the subject matter ofeducation,and the means for extending it: the arts of the sculptor, engraver, andpainter; the morallaw of the Mosaic tablet; the discoveries of ship-borne explorers; the work of gardenerand cultivator; the labour of the printing-press, and the handiwork of builders. On theceiling are depicted the stars and the path ofthe sun through the zodiac. The emblematicsign4flcance ofsuch title-pages is discussed by Corber: and Lighthown (1979. The wholeis afigural representation ofeducation as enlightenment, ranging beveen the two thingsthai Kant was later to sa filled him awe: Der bestirnte Himniel dher mir und dosmoralische Geserz in mir.1232. Education in a Bohemian Community of Brethren family: this presents a patriarchalmodel, but mother’s role as partner is clearly portrayed: from M. Konecky, The HomePreacher. 1618.f-i3.Heidelberg--ElectorFrederick’spalacegardenwouldbeperceivedbyanintelligentobserversuchasComeniusasasymbolof humanartimitatingthelivingartofnature,alsoofthewell-conductedl(fe.ThegardenthemeappearsinComenius ‘Swritings,asinthePanorthosia[Universalreform],wherehesaysschoolsshouldbe“gardensofdelight.”.LTNL.RAPIhAII)RTVPALA11NVSAFREI)F.RICOVELECTOREIJATINOI1DEIc,v‘•t,,.l...I.-5.-;-_-—s,‘4i_1-4l_J•?—4-I’—.4.IllustrationofComenius‘SlabyrinhinewanderingsduringhislifelongexilewhichbroughthimintocontactwithleadingpoliticalandintellectualfiguresinEurope,suchasKingmakerPyminEngland,QueenChristinaofSweden,andDescartes.t’JU’1265. C’onu’nius ‘s perception of the world in an illustration he drew for the title-page qf hisallegoric work, The labyrinth of the world and the paradise of the heart, 163!. Thelab rinth is the contrasting symbol to the garden, representing the condition of theunexamined, unspiritual life, which presents endless, busy, but ultimately directionlesspaths.a‘I TI.L. -L J... 2.4 L. ,6. By 1644, the Janua linguarum reserata of1631 which opened the gate to Latin only hasbecome as we see in the new title-page a “golden gate” to five languages: Latin,German, French, Italian, and Greek. This book’s practical success inspired work on theMethodus linguarum novissima. 1648, which combined theomy ofboth language and theteaching of languages, as well as the “analytic didactics” of the tenth chapter.I. A. Cof4ItTKNUA AUREAQINQVE L1NGVAPVMRE S ERATA,.51 P1Compendiof.L Mcthoc!tsLATINAM, GRMANICA?ICGALLICAM, ITALICA(,&Gn.€cAM LrN6vAerdifend,fiibTitulis ccnc1m • Pcriodismile compre.hcnf, & VoabuIi, bsiIc&p1uribusaaa;Hu* tX14#T4L’.i,.iIa :.aNATH A NAtLE DH VIZ,Ia 1dumgG.illiutm I4gwn.127-. .1.:‘THZoDaROSrMoNEoaUtemiUGrzcarr1dUa:.•:•- v...__.. JP.ANC OPVRTIM. DC. XLIV.Janua aure q’iriqve invar’im rest.Prriccziirtio.4,11(Jtn cit3C0=(‘4%%t>E___=•0 0 I.7.ThIe-pageoftheOrhissensualiumpictus1658whichincertainwayswasthemostinnovativeofC’omenius ‘stextbooks,havingwithinittheseedsofmultimediaandhypertextpossibilities,andretainingitsappealfromitsownday,onintotheeighteenthcenluty,whenKantandGoetheindicatedtheyvaluedit,anddowntothetwentiethcentury,whenThomasMannhastheheroofThemagicmountainshowfamiliaritywithCI0 0 v, Cb30 rj 2:C,)I-’U.8. Comenius ‘S famous holistic emblem and motto [Let violence be absent--let all thingsflowspontaneously], found in the Didactica opera omnia as well as the Orbis pictus.1291309. Illustroiion of the method of the Orbis pictus: five ma,4festations in nature of airregarded as an element in the scien4fic tradition going back to Empedocles, with benignand harmfid action depicted, constituting Realia, and the corresponding vocabulaiy andgrammadcal structures to express the action in Latin and German detailed.--A_1.— —‘I.’ 5>Aoio):.j:*’..‘c—,r,-.N.-.Io L9LiZ.C’xlum.IICcthrn,xrotatur,&ambkTerra,,,,2ftanteminmcdiobIubi etL,fIlgetperpetuô:utlitZSlHbil44eumnobis eripiantfacit4;fuisRadlierLicem;Lux,Diem.Lxoppoato,fiintTenebr6indeNox.No&e,fplendetLuna,&&elle8nikant, fcintiliant.I’elfieripcit &epu/’cubrm:Manc,4i,irora10&Di!gcuIun.criflHhid.brcl3ct fid,fnubcetumbiarbc/3Neit:bcr ø’J?ittci ce.fTcfnn’ofTc(efc(wiucrlrnmcrobfcfiot:4fitflflr4ukc;unbnrndrnut ircn(tr4,fc,baIcdjrIbcn6g.•3cqmiibcrif1bte3jnffernj£Ør Ne riad,t.2qJfd5cinctbcrflo.tb)imbbit eterna,8f4immerniblinct’ai. 9bitemnerImg:Z’CLl?oVcjetwibit 1florgcnr45exonubbarn. I1’Jgnis.Ccrlum(): 5j113211. The village of German- and Bohemian-Rixdoif near Berlin, established in 1737, isinhabited by descendants of Community ofBrethren members whose bishop was DanielErnst Jablonski, grandson of Comenius. To mark the 400th anniversary of Comenius ‘Sbirth in 1992, the descendants integrated into the village a Comenius Garden whosefeatures represent elements of all the levels of Comenius ‘s scheme of education in thePampaedia (see the Dobbie translation, 1986): 1. The school of birth; 2. of infants(mother school); 3. elementary school; 4. grammar school--for this, an e.xhibitionfacilityfor the Comenian World in Pictures and a theatre (Schola ludusi are planned; youth, named by Comenius, the “workplacefor wisdom”; 6. schoolof Vocations; Z school for seniors; and 8. the school of the dead--the Bohemiancemetery.LEBE.VS1IEG DIJOCH 0EVCLISKNIIIS.GARCEN L,NflIIAS RI3IIIIIS(lIE 01)9!1. 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Sn 9n,Snn,.,,a,I94.4ll1 4w In:,,, OaO.,IffiII,, ,,,, lkl,n,,,h.R.‘a. 849,.,,theAdd,.,hd,,r.IA,,,1.a,,,lI” IC,SI 950,,,,.eh. A,,S,nId,,,ntRIthn.d.,.a,It’’’ln.,,.I::. 0,nk,.nl p,,.d:,,* II ,mN,,, I.Jl lilt. Sth,,14a,, In Rni,i,n,,n,,a.:4. E,.le,,,l..O £*.,lanO23 Kn,.Elen,lSIl .1,e,40:26. th,.,aIl,.e dn,,r*e l1a,I,,l,u1,fr:7 4.414,0/n Intl., Ileflwh,,l. fl,,,,.,,:8. Ills 0.,fk,nk.. Intl 956,,mtl.I:fl,,,nl.19 fulwbn,l,I. fl,,nn .1,?:,,. l.AI,lwl,n..1,l.,,, I,,aTh,a,uun0.,n II,,,,3, i.,’ar.1?. 6n.n.....ln. on.ii. Rlth,nd.Ihqn4’el#l’,m,l Ra.,r,.n.iItn..n,,,,3). l4aSn,...*l0*0 n,,V..kdIIn-DEUTSCR- UNDBöHMISCH-R IXDOR FIN BERLIN711*I -=0.133APPENDIX BPOST-COMMUNICATIVE LANGUAGE ACQUISiTIONThe authority of those who teach is often an obstacle to those who want to learn.CiceroB. 1. Post-communicative strategiesOne seminal idea among so many scattered by Comenius is that scope has to be givenfor self-direction in the acquiring of a language. While in general he focuses on and emphasizesthe role of the trained and sympathetic teacher in education, he does have a most interestingpassage in his “analytic didactics” to the effect that “every pupil should acquire the habit of alsoacting as a teacher” (Jelinek, 1953, Pp. 193-4). Here he writes that once something has beenexpounded, the pupil should immediately be required to give a satisfactory demonstration of thesame thing in the same manner. Realization of the value of this procedure for truly internalizingwhat has been taught, either among small groups of language acquirers, or with computerizedfeedback arrangements for individuals, seems to be animating the present phase of thedevelopment of language acquisition strategies which some are caning “post-communicative”approaches (Jones, 1993, p. 212). On a visit to Germany and Britain in November 1993, thewriter was fortunate enough to have opportunities to discuss current issues in modern languageeducation and visit a number of university language centres. Everywhere, it seemed, thought wasbeing given to supports for self-instruction and self-assessment in achieving proficiency withlanguages (Janssen-van Dieten, 1993, pp. 213-4).134B.2. Lessons from German and British language centresIn MUnster, 85-year-old Edgar Mertner discussed with me his early experienceslearning/teaching English in a phase still dominated by the model of acquiring Latin and Greekwhich had distressed Comenius, because of the unrelenting use of grammar drills and exercisesin translating texts remote from the interests of students. However, current SLA methods werefollowed in the newly-opened University of Münster English Self-Access Laboratory, whichsupports formal instruction through user-friendly provision of audio- and video-cassettes anddelivery equipment, also computer hard- and software, to provide a wealth of material forintercultural study/acquisition of English in its multitude of regional forms as well as thereceived standard version of southern England.Mertner and the young assistants running this Lab expressed their positive response tothe living contact with English in the formal and informal programmes in Münster. Fromtalking to students and professors at Münster and elsewhere: Gottingen, Jena and Halle (in theformer East Germany), Giessen, and Marburg, it seemed to me the six years of high schoolEnglish plus university experience and in many cases travel abroad were making some youngGermans proficient users of English in a serious way that can provide lessons for SLAacquisition here in Canada.In Gottingen, Demet Freiburg, a Turkish teacher of German, discussed with me thelanguage problems of older Turkish women who find it hard to relax family bonds and acquiresufficient German to move out from their ethnic community into the wider German societywhich has had grave difficulties with multiculturalism. If the children are successfully placedin German schools, in time they become the teachers and supporters of their home-boundmothers in their efforts to make some contact linguistically with the German community.Attention by employers and co-workers to the German used in the workplace also helps Turkish135people with their new language. It is encouraging to note, in this connection, that languageresearchers have made important gains in analysing workplace German and other secondlanguages (Klein and Dittmar, 1979; Nizegorodcew, 1993). The German government is nowrequiring asylum-seekers to attend German language classes in their local communities in orderto benefit from social welfare programmes. It seems that self-accessing German programmeswould greatly reinforce what can be done with limited funds for traditionally-instructed GermanSL classes.Of the German university language acquisition programmes I described as accessible tome, those at Wurzburg seemed to be the best organized. A focus for them is the Sprachiaborhoused close to the language teaching classrooms and offices of associated faculty. BrigitteGraeber, who directs a programme in German as a foreign language for international students,showed me the excellent equipment (cassettes and tape recorders) in the lab used for thefundamental HSAH language learning and production activities: Hören = to listen; Sprechen =to speak; Aufnehmen = to record; Hören = to listen again. This widely-recognized emphasison a specific sequence is actually in line with Comenius’ recommendations for successfullanguage learning, as Wiffiam Mackey points out (1992b). Recent support for the emphasis hascome from the research summed up in Michael Rost’s book, Listening in language learning(1990). Graeber said she supplements HSAH with a broad range of other LA methods: grammardrills from carefully chosen textbooks, communicative techniques, also videos and computerprogrammes, in fact, anything that works to put across the phonetics, vocabulary expansion(including technical/scientific! business German), grammar structures, and conversation exposurethat her students need.A colleague, Jackie Ward, runs the Anglikum, a programme for students of all facultieswho wish to improve the oral and written English learned in high school and earn a certificate136for completing the work to an exacting standard. Ward encourages pairing of students to tutoreach other, a form of the Partner-Arbeit system with a long history in the German workplace(Mackey, 1972), and she gives a lot of time to students to counsel them about self-directedlearning.Yet another colleague, Albert Fuss, has developed a strong interest in using thefacilities of the Sprachiabor to make and draw on videos and audio cassettes to support Spanishteaching. His contrastive-cognitive approach to teaching Spanish is outlined in a four-parttextbook: !Oue barbaridad! Einfuhrung in die spanische Sprache (1981, 1985, 1987, 1988),prepared with the help of native-speakers Felipe Jambrina and Angel San Miguel. Fuss’s aimis to help students acquire a basic Spanish vocabulary of 2,500 words, remarkably likeComenius’ idea in the Janua linguarum reserata (1631) for acquiring basic Latin. For Fuss, theaim is to be accomplished with the aid of literature and humour.His videos use humorous, everyday situations to catch the students’ attention, and thereis considerable reliance on Blãdsinn (craziness, nuttiness) to grab viewers. Commonly-usedvocabulary, real-life situations, and authentic dialogues are also featured in the videos. The firstviewing of the video is accompanied by the dialogue only; the next viewing adds the text. Heintroduces cultural content into the scenarios, and he finds that this adds to the students’motivation to absorb vocabulary and grammar structures. To some extent, he is relying onBruner’s LASS (Language Acquisition Support System) to bolster the Chomskyan LAD(Language Acquisition Device) as his students acquire Spanish.During all of the above, the students’ textbooks remain closed. After they haveviewed/listened to the dialogue twice, Fuss asks students to repeat the dialogue (the unfoldingof the dialogue has interruptions allowing for absorption). He then shows the same video oncemore with the written text, and next he uses pictures from the video for discussion, particularly137of new words. Only at the end does he turn to the textbook to review grammar rules beforeturning to the communicative method. He has the students describe in Spanish and commenton what they have seen. Time is taken to go over specific grammar rules and these arereinforced in the visualized scenes and the textbook material.Fuss ran for me four of the videos he has made, which emphasize authentic language,including expression of warm feelings: disgust, surprise, and anger, also joy, connected withcommon experiences such as the disruption of a picnic on a date and the tardiness of a girlfriend for a date. Intercultural points about dating, for instance, were amusingly and effectivelymade. Technical resources used to background some scenes in Granada and on a bicyclepilgrimage to Compostella introduced convincing displays of Spanish culture and geography.Fuss’s work is impressive, and demonstrates how a video camera and recording apparatus in thehands of an imaginative and skilled person can be highly productive for developing interactivemultimedia language acquisition programmes, especially for self-learners with access to a VCR.In Britain, it seems that the European Common Market connection is driving universitiesto re-examine traditional language teaching and learning practices and become innovative. AtGlasgow, the CALL (Computer Assisted Language Learning) lab is a very busy adjunct to theformal teaching in departments, and liaison with the Fachbereich AngewandteSprachwissenschaft in Germersheim (campus of the University of Mainz) has ensured that itsresources meet the highest European standards.Dundee lost its modern language departments as a result of shortsighted budgetretrenchments in the 1980s, but a Language Centre has been established to offer courses inFrench, German, and Spanish. The Director, Robin Adamson, described to me the relianceon the communicative approach and emphasis on self-learning in these courses. A staff oftutors monitors the progress of students through leading short, intensive sessions of language138learning, but the students have autonomy in pacing themselves and deciding when they are readyfor the next phase of a course. The Centre is beginning to adapt distance learning languagecourses prepared by the staff at the Open University, Milton Keynes, to extend the range ofofferings. The tutors are selected for their ability to foster student-centred learning.From the inception of the University of Sussex in the 1960s, provision was made forpractical work in modern languages in an audiovisual lab, and this became a full-scale LanguageCentre in the 1970s. It is now a complex of teaching rooms, sight/sound/computer (CALL)facilities, library of printed and cassette material, and office space in a separate building nextto the School of European Studies. It seemed to me the most comprehensive language unit,including providing opportunities for self-directed learning, that I saw on my travels. Tutors,courses, and self-accessing materials are available through the Centre to students in the Schoolof European Studies and the Schools of Physical Sciences, Biological Sciences and AppliedSciences, for preparing themselves for their work and examinations in the languages that formpart of their degree programmes. In addition, students in the School of Development Studiescan get self-access learning packages for basic introductions to African, Asian, and LatinAmerican languages needed for their field work, and the Centre can arrange contacts withspeakers of these language who act as needed as tutors. Student and faculty extracurricular useof the Centre is encouraged by extended opening hours, and the public can make use of theservices at modest cost. Tutoring can be paid for or exchanged for lessons in another language.Classes and tutorials were in progress on the day of my visit (15 November 1993) andauditing could not be arranged, but it was apparent to me that the support material includedextensive and carefully graded material for learning German: 93 videos; a section on businessGerman, communications, and the practical traveller; a section on grammar drills andpronunciation; a cultural section, with material from the Inter Nationes TV programme on139German festivals, the working day in Germany, and women in Germany. There was anothersection on interviewing and interpreting in German; an archive of German songs: political, folk,and art lyrics; tapes of German literature readings; and a section on the different Germandialects: Almanisch, Hessisch, Fränkisch, Westfälisch, Berlinerisch, Schwäbisch, Rheinisch,Thuringerisch, and Bayrisch. The Secretary-Receptionist, who is Dutch and fluent in Englishand French, organizes tutorial arrangements and bookings, and a Librarian and Technicianhandle facilities. A Director administers the separate budget for the Centre and selects and coordinates the instructors and other staff.B.3. Self-directed language programmes: Irish. Dutch, and Danish-German venturesRecently reported on in SLA literature is a two-year (1982-4), self-study programme inGerman for Engineering students at Trinity College, Dublin. The numbers participating werenot large: the programme retained 18 students by the end of the first year, and had 9 completingsatisfactorily the compulsory assessment test at the end of the second year, 5 at the beginners’level and 4 at an intermediate level. The materials used were chiefly a BBC German Kit,prepared by I. Sprankling in 1979, and NFT. Hinfuhrung zur naturwissenschaftlich-technischenFachsprache. Teil 1: Werkstoff-kunde (1979) by R. Buhlmann and A. Fearns. The organizersconcluded that their “programme responded to individual needs, interests, levels and learningstyles of the participants in a way that would not be possible in a class-based course.” Importantfeatures of the programme were access to counselling and encouragement to attend meetings withnative-speakers at which the German learned by self-study could be used (Little and Grant,1985).Significant lessons about language self-study can be learned from this Dublin venture,especially the importance of a linked counselling service for the students. Also, a self-study140reading course in Dutch for French- and English-speakers more recently reported provided goodexamples of careful sequencing of grammar structure lessons and final-stage presentation ofauthentic texts (Backus, 1993, pp. 334-5).Correspondence with Lienhard Legenhausen of the University of Münster (1994) hasbrought to my attention details of the first stages in a long-term project on Language Acquisitionin an Autonomous Language Learning Environment (LAALE) begun in 1993. This involvesobserving the English LA development in an autonomous programme of a fifth grade class ina Danish commune near Copenhagen. The first results of their vocabulary tests have beeninterpreted against the background of similar tests administered to a fifth form English class ina gymnasium near Hamburg. Legenhausen is compiling a thesis-notebook to which a coresearcher Leni Dam contributes. He reports that the Danish students use The learner’s OxfordEnglish picture dictionary (another application of Comenius’ Orbis pictus ideas) and a bilingualDanish-English dictionary. The students also have access to English children’s books andvideos. From these sources they have drawn English vocabulary for cards, games, posters, andbooklets they make themselves and share with the whole class. The German students are taughtin a traditional manner with a set textbook.Preliminary results suggest that unstreamed Danish students in a school with socialproblems, who have needed remedial teaching in their mother tongue and mathematics, areacquiring a more extensive English vocabulary at a faster rate than the German students, whohave in their midst a majority of academic high achievers. No doubt more rigorous control andtesting are required to make this result stick and be to able to generalize from it, but responseto the programme is encouraging. Apparently the Scandinavian countries have been developingautonomous learning programmes since the 1970s (Legenhausen, 1993).141B.4. W.E. Mackey’s New Brunswick multimedia self-directed language acquisition modelMore specific guidance about the necessary details of the formation of an autonomousGerman acquisition programme, using multimedia support, is to be found in a programmeinitiative of William E. Mackey, which has now been in progress for almost ten years. Hedeveloped for the Francophone schools of New Brunswick the Multimedia Self-Directed SecondLanguage Acquisition model, which was introduced in 1985 on an experimental basis to expandthe students’ knowledge of English and allow them to function with success in a bilingualprovince. Some special circumstances of New Brunswick Francophone schools had to be keptin mind. The curriculum only allowed for a limited amount of time to be spent on Englishinstruction: about 100 minutes per week. The teachers themselves had limited knowledge ofEnglish. Also, outside school the students had greatly varied contacts with English: for somethis was a daily occurrence, for others it was a rare event, resulting in diverse levels ofknowledge of English and progress in using this language.Mackey’s model met these conditions by maximizing the amount of time learners couldbe in contact with English in school, through making reading material available in the languageclassroom, as well as tapes to be listened to through earphones, or video programmes to beviewed on TV monitors. The quality of the English language material was carefully controlledto ensure good modelling of pronunciation and articulation, and the students were motivated toenjoy and learn from the diversity of materials available because a wide spectrum of interestswas represented to invite individual choice. Teacher and peer control were absent from theinstructional side of the classroom where the atmosphere aimed at was a friendly one, lesseninganxieties about learning another language. Lack of background on the part of teachers was nota problem, as individual students were responsible for the knowledge of English they possessedand the progress they were making. Mackey suggested that the advantages of the model were142these:1. emphasis on language learning and direct contact with the new language;2. elimination of such negative elements as a. competition, b. intimidation andauthoritarianism, c. conditioning of the pupils to be dependent;3. each, skill and skill combination is progressively introduced, i.e. staged;4. use of now widespread and generally available technology permits a. individualization,and b. transmission of the most interesting recorded productions.(Mackey, 1991, pp. 245-6)A description of the self-study activities in the New Brunswick schools is instructive fordetermining the underlying language acquisition methodology. Five days a week the studentsgo to a language classroom where they can choose from many different English books ofdifferent levels. They have autonomy in selecting an appropriate level and how long to stickwith it or when to go on from it. Individual tastes can be matched with anything from comicsand illustrated children’s books to textbooks and photocopied material. Each student can go toa separate table, where a book can be read and the accompanying cassette listened to along withthe reading. Groups of students gather to watch a video that is focused on a story unfolding,not on language. The students themselves monitor their activities and progress. Teachers arethere to help with the equipment and details of organization of the activities in the classroom.There is no language teaching as such, no tests are given, and the comprehension of students isnot probed.The idea of the progressive introduction of skills and skill combinations by stages at thedifferent levels of language acquisition has one origin in Comenius’ theories, as explained in theJanua linguarum reserata (1631) and Methodus linguarum novissima (1649). Mackey considersthat staging is of the first importance in planning a syllabus for language acquisition. The143question of time allotment for mastering one skill or sub-skill (reading English; reading whilelistening to English; and listening to English and then reading the language) turns on the bestspacing and sequencing of these foci. The capacity and the background of each acquirerdetermine the time required. The crucial point is that work on a new sub-skill should only beginafter there has been adequate work on dependent skills and sub-skills.Controlled enquiries have suggested the easier receptive skills, listening and reading,should precede the more difficult expressive ones such as speaking and writing. The morecomplete the understanding through the ear or eye, the better the expression through the voiceor pen or word processor. It seems that the quality of what is heard correlates highly with thequality of what is uttered.Full acquisition of a language means comprehension of both speaking and writing orprint. Each skill has to be presented very carefully and in a well-thought-out relationship. Forhearing comprehension, the greatest assimilation with the least effort is dependent on reductionof the stress level of the auditor and sequencing verbal items and structures within carefullyvaried contexts. The acoustic memory of the acquirer should be stored with the best possiblephonetic rendering of the target language, for example, with a standard accent, to provide thebest model for future oral communication. Later on, different varieties of the spoken targetlanguage can be illustrated, principal dialects, for instance, not for imitation, but forcomprehension.Since our economic, social, and cultural activities are becoming increasingly morecomplex and individualized, the challenge of what has to be learned for a person’s future hasto become more and more an individual’s responsibility. In consequence, education has tobecome a matter of how to learn, as well how to be autonomous and responsible in learning.The old regimen of taking students en masse step-by-step through the same language learning144routines seems out of date. Educators need to provide for individual development, as Mackeywrites, “like growing trees instead of manufacturing them” (1992, p. 8). This is now feasiblebecause of the range and sophistication of the new media, making it possible to meet individualtarget language needs, however extensive or varied. As well, it is possible to satisfy thesedifferent needs of individuals at the same time and in the same space through the resources ofmultimedia centres, or even at different times and places to suit the individuals, if we think ofthe portability of printed material, also of audio and video cassettes and appliances.The method of exposure to vast amounts of written and recorded material (tapes andvideos) in a long passive, non-productive phase in Mackey’s New Brunswick programme beforeexpecting language production is similar to the advice given in Caleb Gattegno’s book, Teachingforeign languages in schools: the silent way (1972). Stephen Krashen’s “comprehensible inputhypothesis” as part of the Monitor Theory follows along the same lines, holding that learnerswill learn a language automatically when they are subjected to input that is understandable butjust beyond the threshold of their existing level of mastery, and in a non-threateningenvironment, when their “affective filter” is down (Krashen, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1985; Krashenand Terrell, 1983; Larsen-Freeman and Long, 1991, pp. 140-4). This thinking relies on ananalogy between the language learner and the young child who is exposed to the mother tonguebefore ever speaking, indeed has to receive this input, and subliminally sorts out the grammarand syntax that are required. The New Brunswick school project for self-study also connectswith Chomsky’s picture of the functioning of LAD (Maironi, 1993, pp. 106) and, I wouldargue, with that of Bruner’s LASS model, in that the strong cultural presence of the Anglophonemedia reinforces English acquisition by Francophones, perhaps in ways that are not entirelydesirable.Tests conducted after three years of the Mackey programme in New Brunswick suggested145that the children who had gone through it performed better on assessments of retention ofEnglish vocabulary and of “Picture Description” in English than students in regular ESL classes.Above all, the new programme students expressed enthusiasm for their English, and did not“appear to be frustrated by the difficulty of proceeding on their own with the challenging taskof learning English” (Lightbown, 1989, reported in Maironi, 1993, at p. 107).In a paper recently presented to the Canadian Association of Applied Linguistics, GaroldMurray (1994) reviewed the philosophy of autonomous or self-directed LA, described somefeatures of the present management of the New Brunswick programme, and commented on theimplications of the research that had been done on the programme.Regarding autonomy or self-direction, his conclusion was that this term could be appliedto an LA if five characteristics were met.1. There should be an emphasis on learning understood as active use of L2 skills (listening,reading, finally speaking L2) as opposed to formal, passive study of it.2. The student should make direct contact with L2 in the form of transactions with manymaterials and media.3. The student should be exposed to a wide variety of authentic materials and activities.4. The student should manage his L2 acquisition through making decisions time disposal andkeeping track of self-organized activities and achievements.5. The teacher should be present to support learners in their task.Murray’s conclusion was that the New Brunswick programme displayed thesecharacteristics, and the research conducted so far--not very extensive--tended to the conclusionthat their presence made it “possible for young children to learn a second language on their ownwhen they were given access to appropriate material” (Lighthown and Halter, 1988;Lightbown, 1992b).146One feature of the programme described by Murray is not found in Mackey’s account.This reveals how the programme is managed by the devisers to stage the comprehensible inputsand work with the natural way of language acquisition. When a student goes to the Englishclassroom, she can consult her individual computer-generated activity report to see from whatactivities and materials she can choose that day. We can extrapolate from what Murray writesto comment that her choice among the range proposed is free, but within it she can exercise theEnglish skill that she feels needs working on, or she can go on to the next one (Murray, 1994,p. 14).B.5. IntercomprehensionThe enthusiasm of the New Brunswick children for self-directed language study wasapparently echoed at a conference on the subject held at Barcelona in January 1992. Researchersare also showing great interest in the concept of intercomprehension, a communication processin which contributors at a scholarly conference, for example, understand each others nativespeech but express themselves in their own (Barbot and Tauzer Sabateffi, 1992, p. 34).Universities in Aix-en-Provence, Salamanca, Lisbon, and Rome are linked in a European projectto further this method of communication, and a task force has developed a fifty-hour learningprocess to teach researchers to read a multilingual journal and participate in an internationalconference (Vendeuil, 1990, p. 50). Elisabeth Maironi believes that the self-study method anddevelopment of intercomprehension have decided advantages over other forms of languagelearning/acquisition. They encourage independence and autonomy in learning which in today’sterms may be a lifelong process. As Wordsworth hinted, the child can become the father of theman, because self-study of a second language practised at school can be the formative preludeto the acquisition of other languages in later life, as moves to other countries or career or private147satisfaction goals require this (Maironi, 1993, P. 108). There is some reason for thinking thatthe climate of informed opinion within which a German self-study programme could bedeveloped is in many ways an encouraging one, but we also have to face those discouragingnumbers of drop outs from language course progression. Could a well-planned self-directedprogramme for German acquisition change this story in a small way? This thesis proposes thatformal implementation and longitudinal testing of such a programme would be a desirableinitiative.


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