Leraren moderne vreemde talen: opleiding en praktijk
  • ISSN 0169-7420
  • E-ISSN: 2213-4883
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A phase model is a cycle of phases, which can be recognised in most FL lessons and course books. Each phase is in fact a collection of learning activities, which we consider to be distinctly different from other collections of learning activities.Phase models have a descriptive function: they describe stereotypical patterns in FL course books and lessons. They also have a prescriptive function, in so far as they are presented as exemplary patterns or schemes that will lead to better learning results. Prescriptive models are attractive to students, teachers and course book writers, because they give guidance in planning instructional units and lessons, but they are also risky, because they must largely be based on assumptions about de FL acquisition process, the conclusions of research on this subject being far from definitive. Further discussion of prescriptive phase models is necessary.Existing phase models lack precision of definition and plausibility of the underlying FL acquisition theory. The phase model of Strauss (in Kwakernaaks description) is criticized, especially the part of it that concerns the receptive skills.It is questionable whether phase models are appropriate for use in pre- and in-service teacher training, since students tend to adhere too closely to models, particularly where the "prescribed" order of the phases is concerned. Exercise typologies render the same service as phase models, inasmuch as they distinguish categories of learning activities without being too prescriptive. Two German exercise typologies are briefly discussed and a few suggestions for their improvement are made.1) English (revised and expanded) edition of one of them: Christopher N. Chandlin: The Communicative Teaching of English. Principles and Exercise Typology, Longman, Burned Mill, Harlow, Essex 1981.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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