Communicative language teaching and the ELT Journal : a corpus-based approach to the history of a discourse
Hunter, Duncan (2009) Communicative language teaching and the ELT Journal : a corpus-based approach to the history of a discourse. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.
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Official URL: http://webcat.warwick.ac.uk/record=b2339322~S15
Despite recent challenges, CLT remains influential and continues to be implemented in a
number of contemporary ELT contexts. This project represents an attempt to investigate the
history of CLT as a means of gaining a clearer understanding of its main principles and ideas.
The investigation aims to identify some key concepts in the discourse of the ELT Journal over
the period when the communicative approach is believed to have emerged. Two
consecutive periods are studied; an earlier (1973 to 1981) phase when the journal was
edited by W.R. Lee, and a later (1981 to 1986) period under Richard Rossner. The project
makes use of two separate keyword “traditions” to examine words that play an important
role in the discourse of the journal. Firstly, a machine-based, corpus procedure was carried
out, using the collections of articles as a kind of corpus. Later, a more thorough, detailed
keyword analysis was undertaken, borrowing from the techniques pioneered by Raymond
Williams, in which the histories of individual words are traced chronologically across texts.
Chapter One, the literature review, presents a rationale for the project and the use of
history to illuminate our understanding of CLT. It carries out a review of the existing body of
literature covering the emergence of the approach and suggests a more systematic and
thorough-going historical approach based on primary sources is now needed.
Chapter Two describes the process by which I assembled the methods and tools necessary
to carry out the analysis. Chapter Three describes the project procedure itself, explaining the
decisions made, and processes arrived at, to carry out the investigation.
Chapter Four presents the first phase of the project’s findings. Quantitative keyword lists are
presented and briefly discussed in relation to existing accounts.
Chapters Five, Six, Seven, Eight, and Nine are “word histories” for the keywords
COMMUNICATIVE, LEARNER, ACTIVITY, TASK and SYLLABUS, respectively. Using the findings
from Chapter Four as a starting point, each chapter traces the history of an important
keyword across the chronological period of the corpus, recontextualising data isolated by
the quantitative keyword procedure.
Chapter Ten is the project’s discussion and conclusion.
|Item Type:||Thesis or Dissertation (PhD)|
|Subjects:||L Education > LB Theory and practice of education|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Communication in foreign language education -- History -- 20th century, English language -- Study and teaching -- History -- 20th century, ELT journal, Education -- Periodicals -- History -- 20th century|
|Official Date:||October 2009|
|Institution:||University of Warwick|
|Theses Department:||Centre for Applied Linguistics|
|Supervisor(s)/Advisor:||Smith, Richard C., 1961- ; Rixon, Shelagh|
|Sponsors:||University of Warwick. Centre for Applied Linguistics|
|Extent:||xv, 357 leaves : ill.|
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