Leerplanontwikkeling voor de moderne vreemde talen: 12 november te Nijmegen
  • ISSN 0169-7420
  • E-ISSN: 2213-4883
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The Threshold Level model: a mirror of language use.This paper investigates the speaking and listening potential of a foreign language user of the proposed Threshold Level. Van Ek 1975 serves as the main source of information for this study.In order to carry out this investigation the following procedure vas adopted:1. for each topic listed in chapter 8 of van Ek 1975 it was determined what course a conversation on that topic was likely to take.2. subsequently van Ek 1975 was consulted to find out if the words and structures needed for these imaginary conversations would be available to a Threshold Level speaker. If a word could not be found in the lists of words it was paraphrased and the words needed for that paraphrase also looked up in van Ek 1975.3. for the remaining words listed under each topic in van Ek 1975 it was determined what possible use a Threshold Level speaker could make of them in a conversation on that topic.Some examples of results of this procedure are given. These examples show that Threshold Level speakers will be able to begin a conversation on a topic but will not be capable of carrying on such a conversation. From this it is concluded that there is a clash between one of the main objectives of the Threshold Level ( the objective of Threshold Level speakers being able to carry on a conversation in the foreign language) and the linguistic means provided for it.Some other examples are given to show that in developing the model no effective account has been taken of the situations in which a Threshold Level language user will have to figure as a listener.The rest of the examples quoted from van Ek 1975 serve to show that a Threshold Level speaker will probably be able to:1. speak in clichés when engaged in activities connected with tourism or 'going out' (buying tickets, making hotel reservations, asking the way etc.).2. give some factual information about himself (age, family, job, home etc.).


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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