ABSTRACT

The language-teaching profession, the profession that institutionalizes language teaching and learning, can be said to have had its beginning twenty-five centuries ago (Kelly, 1969). It has been rooted in traditions associated with the teaching of Latin and other classical languages structured around translation and the methodologies of grammar instruction. Over time, the modern-language-teaching (as opposed to the classical-language-teaching) profession has engaged in a continuing search of pedagogies and practices appropriate for developing students’ ability to comprehend and/or to produce a language other than the first. Ideas from the study of logic, grammar, rhetoric, philosophy, and later from linguistics and psychology, have deeply influenced the teaching of languages. Comparing the linear development of sciences with the cyclical development found in art, Kelly (1969) argues that all teachers, including language teachers, unwittingly rediscover old techniques. Additionally, language teachers appear to engage in the same debates and discussions about the value and effectiveness of particular pedagogies.