IN PRESS: (APRIL 1982 ISSUE OF CAAL)
BULLETIN OF THE CANADIAN ASSOCIATION OF APPLIED LINGUISTICS
AUTHENTIC LANGUAGE TEACHING
CULTURE-SIMULATION IN THE CLASSROOM
LEON A. JAMES
DEPARTMENT OF PSYCHOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII
1. Introduction. This article tries to show that language teaching is authentic when it arranges a classroom environment that simulates culture learning. Learning to talk occurs naturally and by absorption when it is ontological. To gain an understanding of what is ontological I will discuss a topic that is familiar to the language teacher, namely, the ontology of an utterance (i.e., its derivational history of depth). The discussion draws closely from Emanuel Swedenborg, mediately from Noam Chomsky, and distantly from Gustave Guillaume.
2. Clarifying Definitions. The central issue for language teaching concerns the attempt to provide an effective learning environment for achieving communicative-competence. I mean to offer a solution to this problem by describing the classroom conditions that will produce it. Earlier and less evolved formulations were given as „authenticityš in language teaching (James, 1972), as „the authentic teacher‚s profileš (James and Gordon, 1974), and „transactional engineering for language teachersš (James and Gordon, 1976; 1978b; 1979b, c).
3. Community-Classroom. Realizing the need for a communicative context, language teachers often try to provide and encourage őőcommunicative activities‚‚ which simulates culture learning. This article provides some new theoretical justifications for this practice, and indicates what are some of the principles for arranging an authentic culture-learning environment in the language classroom. Attention is drawn to the usual „anti-social forcesš in schools and classrooms that inhibit social talk, and how this anti-sociality may be counteracted through interpersonal exchanges and activities that provide social opportunities for relationship. To mark this new climate of sociality, I use the term „communityųclassroomš (James and Gordon, 1978a; 1979a).
4. Cultureųlearning is ontological. A classroom milieu is authentic when the learning that goes on there is ontological. Learning that is not ontological does not follow the natural order of development and is inauthentic. The latter may lead to memory-knowledge about the target language but does not produce language use or communicativeųcompetence. In the history of development of a child‚s walking it is clear that this activity is acquired through maturation (self-instruction and discovery); in the same way, talking also has a natural history of development which is ontological and natural (learning through automatic absorption). Authentic language teaching has regard to this ontological sequence, and arranges for classroom procedures that replicate this sequence. This sequence is the same as the ontological sequence of any utterance, i.e., its synchronous depth.
5. Ontology is the analysis of depth. We are used to think of the derivational history of an utterance in terms of the metaphor of the depths of a lake or body of water: the surface is visible while the őunderlying‚ depths descend to the bottom which is called őthe base‚. In this view, to produce a sentence (to generate it) is a process that starts at this base bottom and gradually ascends to the surface through undergoing a series of „transformationsš; to understand a sentence, one starts from the surface and, dipping below into the depths, one arrives at the base or bottom which generated it to begin with. In contrast to this view, I am presenting the reverse metaphor of a balloon or rocket that rises from the surface and disappears up and into the depths of the atmosphere, and deep space. Thus, to generate an utterance, the process must start in the upper depths of the atmosphere high above, then descends to the surface where it becomes visible and audible; to analyze (understand, interpret) an utterance, the process starts at the surface and ascends into the depths through corresponding transformations.
6. The three discrete degrees of depth of utterance. A graphic notation is introduced which is to serve as a tool to help the language teacher understand how to create a community ųclassroom environment that replicates authentically the ontology of talking. The graphic notation is developed for several views on language teaching: pragmatic (goals, means, effects and uses), morphological (function, structure, form), pedagogic (intentional and striving issues, linguistic-cognitive issues, presentation-performance issues), and social psychological (introducing community integration forces, mining the enhanced learning capacities, achieving more elevated objectives). These views are in turn explored in the synthetic sequence (diachronic) which is the, same as the derivational history or ontology, and in the analytic sequence (synchronic) which is the same as the understanding or interpreting process.
7. The three degrees of depth in authentic language teaching. The teacher‚s pedagogic impulse comes from ideological strivings and intentions these descend out of the high depths of inner process and externalize into classroom management practices that create the social milieu for learning to take place; from this intermediate existence, the teacher‚s strivings finally descend to the surface in visible manifestation where they are evident in the new acquisitions and performances of the students. To state this another way, inside the learning is the method, and inside the method is the teacher‚s striving and effort. In still other words, the teacher‚s strivings actualize in the students‚ learning‚s through the instructional method.
8. Case history illustrations. The metaphor sets of depth previously described can be combined into one graphic chart. Then we add a few others from case histories, and now we have a graphic pedagogic chart which provides a theory, a justification, and a direction for authentic language teaching. I then model possible readings of the chart, trusting that language teachers will then be able to extend the chart for their own personal pedagogic model.
9. Conclusions. Authentic language teaching raises a number of research issues for the coming decade: that talk is spontaneous when intentional; that intentionality comes from community integration of the individual; that community-classroom procedures serve to integrate the individual, and therefore, provide the impulse to talk.
1. INTRODUCTION. I am grateful to Andre Boudreau, the editor, for inviting me to give this presentation. He is among those who remember my course in psycholinguistics, which I gave at Laval University in the Fall of 1963 at the behest of Professor William Mackey. It was a socially friendly atmosphere for which I was grateful, but for me intellectually, it was somewhat innocent. I was a brand new Ph.D., McGill style, coming into the Gallic frame of academic thought! Though really a Rumanian (from birth), McGill turned me into an American. The bicultural marriage lasted only a year, and much to the expressed chagrin of my Laval friends, I disappeared into a career in the States as a Wallace Lambert trained social psychologist. But before I left Quebec I had the good fortune of attending almost a dozen lectures by Dr. Roche Valin on Gustave Guillaume‚s linguistic-cognitive method of analysis.
At the time I understood little of it (I now must confess) though I was impressed by Dr. Valin‚s masterful expositions; through him I found the őmethode psycho-mecanique‚ very beautiful, very attractive. A few years later I came across a review written by John Carroll, then at Harvard, discussing Guillaume‚ s work and its significance for language teaching. I remember being very much chagrined at Carroll‚s totally negative view on psychomechanics. It was obvious to me even then (thanks to Valin‚s lectures) that Carrol had completely misunderstood Guillaume‚s method, thinking of it as sort of mystical rather than beautifully rational, which is how I saw it through Valin.
Perhaps then I internalized some of Valin-Guillaume, and some readers of this article may see influences from that source. In that case I am happy and grateful to acknowledge this intellectual debt. Readers will also see the influence of Noam Chomsky in my focus on depth of utterance and my description of sentence production as an ontological activity. I have always thought that Chomsky and Guillaume were quite compatible and mutually enriched
each other. Of course there might also be the view that I had misunderstood both and the pleasantness between them was only my own fancy. Readers must decide whether what I have brought together is genuine and useful.
My most recent intellectual debt goes to Emanuel Swedenborg whose ideas on the nature of „depthš are restated in what follows. He was an eighteenth century scholar known for his works in science, engineering, metallurgy, anatomy, theology, psychology, and other fields of knowledge. There has been a steady increase in the number of English translations of his works since 1850 so that now E. Swedenborg has one of the longest list of titles to his name in the National Union Catalogs. I believe that I am the first to introduce his ideas on "depthš to linguistics and education. Van Dusen (1974; 1971) is the first to my knowledge to introduce Swedenborg‚s notion of depth in psychology.
Of course, Freud talked of depth of psychodynamic activity but his method of dream and word analysis as not rationally compelling and so could not be universally adopted or used. There is also the idea of depth in folk knowledge as when we‚re taught that LaFontaine‚s fables have a moral -- the latter being the formers deep structure. And so it is with our enjoyment of singing, the message being carried by the lyrics reflecting a deeper universe of feelings and strivings. Rather than say that here is a new idea or definition of depth it will be obvious that there is only one idea traveling throughout these various domains of intellectual endeavor.
Depth leads me to the idea of ontology in that prior gives rise to later in causal or pragmatic sequences. The learning of an utterance is nothing but its ontology just as learning to walk is nothing but physical maturation. Ontology and language learning are one sphere, the sphere of culture learning, which is nothing but socialization. I will show that culture learning is arrangeable in the classroom; this I call cultureųsimulation techniques. And this is the real and pragmatic meaning of authenticity, namely that which simulates culture learning in an effective believable way. How to achieve this is the subject of this article.
2. CLARIFYING DEFINITIONS. Language teaching will mean the instructional attempt to provide an effective learning environment for achieving communicative competence. Thus, though I don‚t teach a language I am nevertheless concerned professionally with language teaching since my social psychology or psycholinguistics involves issues that pertain to creating an effective learning environment for language acquisition (James, 1967; 1970a; James and Gordon, 1974). Communicative-competence is a term we started using fifteen years ago when we were all desperate about the fact that though students passed the courses and the tests, they showed little inclination to talk or read. Other terms cluster closely with communicative-competence, namely, language use, liberated speech, linguistic proficiency, degree of bilingualism, functional language skills, oral and written literacy, transactional engineering, and others (see James, 1970b; 1972; and Savignon, 1972).
The attempt to provide an effective learning environment for achieving communicative-competence is indeed the central issue for language teaching, and I mean to offer here a solution to the question of how to achieve this. My brief answer is contained in the title of this article; I will now outline this orientation (see also James & Gordon, 1979b, c; 1978b; 1976).
3. COMMUNITYųCLASSROOM. I‚ve been teaching the same introductory college course for the past twenty years, which is forty times! I‚ve discovered a similar problem language teachers have: though my students passed the tests and exams in Social Psychology, yet they did not talk social psychology. Memory-knowledge yes, use of knowledge no! It took me fifteen years (or thirty semesters) to discover the conditions which make my students talk social psychology. These classroom procedures and the learning environment they create may be called community-classroom. I mean to offer the same solution to language teachers since the common focus is how to get people to talk. Of course people will talk when they want to say something. To want to say something requires a social impulse for communication, and this impulse comes only when the indi–vidual is integrated in community, e.g., in social relations. Community-classroom procedures create a learning environment which bring forth the impulse to talk.
Consider the way in which the impulse to talk is inhibited in classrooms. As the child gets older, classes get larger and more anonymous, until they produce an atmosphere of social and academic intimidation, stress, and anomie. There is competition, secretiveness, even a distrust in collective work and rewards. Yet it is plain to everyone that everything we do as individuals is always within the context of a community or group. Independent work is only a point of view, a sort of game, an agreement to overlook the factors that make competition possible, namely the underlying community or state of integration of the individual within social groups and activities.
By overlooking community (and pretending inauthentically) we create a disadvantageous environment for learning, since learning is social. It is a community affair, not individual, since the latter cannot learn alone and apart from others. These disadvantages have become handicaps to the extent that students are now used to feeling anomie and alienation in the classroom. This is manifested by the plain facts of student behavior in the classroom. Students are scared to talk to each other! What an astonishing revelation it is for a teacher to wake up one day not to this fact -ų for well we all know it, but to the fact that this is socially abnormal! People who sit together week after week, studying the same books, taking notes on the same lectures, sharing the tribulations of the same tests -ų and yet afraid to talk to each other, pretending in the hallways they don‚t know each other, hiding their work and feeling uncomfortable showing it to peers, hiding one‚s not-understanding, inhibiting the authentic flow of opinion exchange, of mutual facilitation and aid.
That this is abnormal took a long time to sink into my understanding, chiefly because of false and distracting ideas such as my colleagues were wont of enumerating, namely, that students aren‚t motivated anymore as they used to be, that their intelligence is dropping steadily with each generation, that the textbook is uninteresting, that the size is too large, that they are not well prepared, and so on to many other distracting notions. But eventually came the simple observation that it was a socially abnormal situation that causes these blocks to authentic exchanges in the classroom. I then began to systematically introduce instructional procedures intended to counteract the forces of anti-sociality. Solitary quizzes were turned into dyadic and triadic quizzes with one „secretaryš and three names on the test sheet. Textbooks had to be shared since there were not enough for everyone to walk home with one. Telephone numbers were exchanged and plans for joint work were laid. Quizzes and reports prepared by students were read by all. Contacts were established across semesters through cassette tapes and videotapes and photographs and written advice from the Alumni from prior generations. Bonus points were given and were allowed to „travelš (i.e., given away to someone who needed it more for grades). And many other such things (see my descriptions in James and Gordon, 1978a; 1979a).
The results were plainly to be seen. Students no longer felt alienated from each other. Visitors to class (and viewers of the videotape sequences we have) are confronted with the uncommon sight of students talking social psychology with each other. From this talk comes reflection, and from this, deeper under–standing. Understanding something leads you to have opinions and observations, and so the springboard for the utterance is laid, and indeed springs from the depth of the person s sociality. Increased student productivity was impressive. Typed reports began to assume extraordinary proportions with most students pro–ducing such unheard of things as one hundred typed pages! Suddenly they were empowered where before they were handicapped, and the difference was nothing but a switch from a socially abnormal setting to one of community.
Authentic language teaching can take the same road of communityųclassroom. In the language course also the aim is not merely knowledge of language but use of it, and this means learning in community wherein lies the depth that evokes talk (see James and Gordon, 1976; 1978b; 1979b). Of course many others have drawn attention to this idea and a good language teacher always provides some of this in the form of social activities, games, summer camps, travel abroad, dramatic productions, culinary enjoyments, and so on. I hope that what I say here, the theory that I am proposing, will be seen to be consistent with much that has already taken place in language teaching recently, and act to strengthen it through further justification and confirmation ( see also the work in TESOL -- such as „Community Language Learningš and „suggestopaediaš and others less way out).
4. CULTURE-LEARNING IS ONTOLOGICAL. When a teacher is looking around for ways to turn the classroom into a communityųclassroom, let the teacher consider that the attainment of objectives in actual life is always a matter of ontology or gradual development from inner to outer, or from earlier to later. Hence for the culture-simulation procedures to be authentic they must be ontological. If they are not ontological, then they cannot be authentic. I shall describe in the next section how we know what is ontological; but before that, let me confirm the idea that culture-simulation techniques that are nonųontological are also inauthentic.
Consider the reason why there is such a gross difference in value between a genuine Rubens and a near-perfect copy of it. Not so much because they look different -- even the expert need magnifying instruments to be able to tell the difference; but really because the two paintings have a different ontology or history of development. The őbiography‚ of the forgery is brief and simple; the motive and impulse that brought it to life is not an authentic replica of what we value artistically. Is this not also the case with synthetic diamonds? Their value is relatively low because their ontology is inauthentic; their biographic history is a mechanical and electric subterfuge despite the brilliancy with which it simulates that which took thousands of years to produce ontologically. Finally, consider whether you would be happy that the test scores of your students greatly improves after they are coached in a prep course or workshop designed to improve student scores on such tests. The reason this procedure wouldn‚t be of great value is that the results are achieved through a procedure that is not authentically correspondent to its ontology. As is well known, test scores have validity in that they are predictors of performance and achievement; but as soon as you disturb the normal situation (ontological development) and set up an inauthentic procedure that does not replicate the ontological procedure, then the results achieved are worthless as predictors.
The overall conclusion one can draw from these case histories is that results must be achieved through authentic pedagogic procedures or else they are spurious and ultimately ineffective. And authentic means that which simulates well the ontological procedures that naturally occur in culture learning and socialization. The reason students don‚t learn to talk after years of language study is because the linguistic knowledge this person accumulates is not accomplished in an authentic manner due to lack of knowledge in language teaching regarding the natural ontology of learning to talk. The reason for a lack of know how in this is attributable to the misconceptions existing as to the real nature of depth in ontology. I shall now present an analysis of the meaning of depth through an issue that is completely familiar to language teachers and linguists, namely what is the depth of an utterance. Indeed, linguistic analysis and grammar are nothing but the explanation of the depth of an utterance.
5. ONTOLOGY IS THE ANALYSIS OF DEPTHS Though I have dealt professionally with the notion of „depth in languageš for twenty years (e.g., James and Miron, 1967; Steinberg and James, 1971) I dare confess that it is only recently that I came to understand it through Emanuel Swedenborg‚s explanations. This I am going to share with you now.
The reason it took me so long to get this idea straight has to do with the spatial metaphor we‚ve been using for depth. Thus we have learned to say that an utterance is a surface object („formš and „structureš) whose ontology or „derivation historyš starts at the „baseš (bottom or earliest) and winds itself up to the surface through intermediate depths („transformational historyš). I am afraid that despite the great perspicuity of generative-transformationalists (like Noam Chomsky) and that of generative semanticists (like the Lakoffs and the Fillmores) and of psycholinguists (like Roger Brown) and of cognitive psychologists (like Bruner) they all got misled by the metaphor of the lake or body of water in their thinking about depth of language or depth of cognitive processing. Thus the model based on this metaphor contains this very difficulty, and I can only wonder how what I am going to present is going to affect existing linguistic and cognitive theories. Time and history will tell. But now to my presentation.
I will show in the next section that an utterance has in fact three levels or degrees of depth (surface, intermediate, deepest) but that the true metaphor upon which the model is to be based is the metaphor of depth we get from a balloon or other rising and descending object in the atmosphere above the surface of the earth. Thus we should have to change the way we think of depth and therefore the way we talk about it; we should have to say that the depth of an utterance rises or ascends as it gets „deeperš into the atmosphere; and then that the ontology of an utterance descends to the surfaces and ascends to its depths. I shall now present the argument (chiefly Swedenborg‚s) that may serve to confirm this reversed view of the depth of an utterance.
6. THE THREE DISCRETE DEGREES OF DEPTH OF UTTERANCE. I have stated that authentic language teaching means community-classroom procedures that simulate well the ontology of learning to talk (cultureųlearning). I have argued that effective cultureųlearning simulation is nothing but a genuine replica of the ontology of an utterance. I am now going to present a method of graphic notation that will allow you to analyze the depth of an utterance in accordance with an ontological model based on the rising and descending balloon metaphor.
Note that the balloon metaphor works well for models of bureaucratic organization. The regular workers occupy the lower floors while the top executives occupy the top floors. The higher the floor, the deeper you go into the organizational framework of the company. The penthouse is for the president or the chairman of the board; to get to the inmost executive branch where all decisions originate (i.e., most prior in time and first in line) you‚ve got to ascend; to get from the outside (bottom surface) to the inmost depths (or origin) you must ascend, then you descend to the surface, to the outermost, the ultimate, the least central. Again, to go to the center, or the deeper, or the prior, or the higher, you ascend; to go to the surface, the periphery, the outermost, you descend.
Now to the utterance. To go to the depths of the utterance you must ascend to that which is prior; to go to the surface of an utterance you must descend to that which is subsequent. To go into the depths of an utterance means to consider its ontology, i.e., derivational history. This is the question, Where do utterances come from? Consider several views on this question, yet all must be consistent and mutually interrelated. First, the „pragmatic view.
THE PRAGMATIC GOALS MEANS EFFECTS
VIEW 1 2 3
6 5 4
This graphic notation shows that the pragmatic view on the degrees (levels) of depth identifies the goal as the First Cause of action, the means as the immediate or next cause of action, and the effects as the ultimate and final condition of the action sequence (surface). Thus, taking any action whatsoever, whether an expression, gesture, movement, or thought and utterance, we find its ontology or derivation history starting at the very top or at its deepest level in what we call the goal of the act. Without a goal there is no act, no impulse to act. For example, as you walk, the goal (destination) is constantly providing the energy or impulse needed to complete the act. If the goal changes or vanishes, there is no arrival at your destination! Hence, viewed pragmatically, the goal or intention of an utterance is its center, top, and inmost depth.
The goal is first, is prior most. Second, is the means. The goal descends into the means. While there is one goal, one striving end, there are many means, many methods. Means may be equated with tools, instruments, and vehicles. These are the intermediate degree of depth for they are the immediate cause of an act (utterance). To have an intention, then a means of expression, then at last a sensible manifestation (visual and/or auditory, etc.) that is the ontological sequence of an act, viewed pragmatically. The last step is at the very bottom, which is the surface; that is where the effects, results, and consequences come into visible and outer manifestation. Note that at the surface
degree (stage 3), all particulars become visible, observable. Prior to this lowest existence of an act, the history of the act is incomplete. There are no particulars possible except at the surface level (lowest and outermost degree).
The origin of the utterance (or any act) is the ideal or generic state of that utterance; its essence, or Esse. Here, at stage 1, only necessary truths exist. These ideal generic necessary truths correspond to „intentional structuresš (Kates, 1981; James, 1982); these are invariant and correspond to the inmost or deepest of an utterance; also highest. Then, at stage 2, the utterance descends into its vehicle or means. Finally, at stage 3, the utterance is descended completely and is in its outermost externals (surface phonology and visuals).
Consider the same three synthetic stages in the derivational history of depth of utterance, but from the morphological view:
THE MORPHOLOGICAL FUNCTION STRUCTURE FORM
VIEW 1 2 3
6 5 4
Once again we start with the origin of an utterance (stage 1) which in the morphological view may be termed the function of an utterance because it is nothing else than the goal or intention of the speaker that is the origin and prior most of an utterance. Next, the function descends into the structure (stage 2) since this is nothing else than the vehicle, means, or instrumentation by which the intention or goal or function is being embodied. Finally, at stage 3, the structure descends into the form, which is nothing but the external outermost of the utterance, its ultimate existence as an effect in articulation and vision (or audition), i.e., its use.
Now consider the pedagogic view for the language teacher or applied linguist:
THE PEDAGOGIC INTENTIONAL LINGUISTIC- PRESENTATION–
VIEW ISSUES COGNITIVE PERFORMANCE
1 2 3
6 5 4
or motivational or striving issues at the very heart and inmost of performance attainment (see James, 1970a; 1982). These highest, earliest, and inmost issues of pedagogy then descend into their intermediate causes (means; stage 2) which are nothing but cognitive-linguistic structures or conventionalized habits and repertoires (stock patterns, grammatical categories, linguistic classes, etc.). These intermediate issues constitute linguistic, sociolinguistic, and psycholinguistic research. Finally, at stage 3, we are concerned with how these intermediate structures (which are shared and conventionalized within a speech community) descend into their outermost, being manifested as a transactional presentation or a communicative performance.
Finally, consider now the social psychological view outlined earlier in connection with the idea of a community-classroom:
THE SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGICAL INTRODUCING MINING THE ACHIEVING
VIEW COMMUNITY ENHANCED MORE
INTEGRATING LEARNING ELEVATED
FORCES CAPACITIES OBJECTIVES
1 2 3
6 5 4
You introduce instructional procedures of communityųclassroom so that a learning environment is created which is social, interpersonal, and mutually dependent for progress. At this earliest stage (stage 1) social forces are created which have relation to intentional and motivational structures of the student. The very impulse to learn comes in at this stage and guides ultimate in its descent. I shall present descriptions of instructional procedures at this level of classroom management in the next section. Then, as the impulse to learn created by culture-simulation (community-building and awakening forces) descends to stage 2, we become concerned with the procedures (means, tools) for mining learning resources. And in the third and final stage (stage 3) we become concerned with specific objectives as manifested in presentations and perfor–mances (liberated expression, reading, talking, thinking, etc.).
I have considered in this section the three degrees in the ontology or őbiography‚ of utterances (communicative or speech acts). This was the synthetic sequence that gives the derivation steps from highest and earliest to lowest and last. I shall now consider the analytic sequence, which is the reverse.
It will help the reader to consult the graphic notations above as I retrace the discussion in reverse. Starting with the pragmatic view, the effects of an utterance (stage 3) is the last stage in its synthetic productive history of derivation (generation); this last stage of synthesis coincides with the first stage of analysis (stage 4). This is obvious in social talk or in reading since the listener or reader takes the ultimate products of a speaker or writer and gives it some meaning through its depth processing. While utterance production follows the synthetic sequence 1,2,3, utterance understanding follows the analytic sequence 4,5,6. Synthesis is thus a descending process, i.e., from inmost to outmost, from depth to surface; analysis is an ascending process, from outmost to inmost, from lowest to highest.
Similarly, looking at the morphological view, understanding an utterance consists in entering the surface of the utterance at stage 4 and ascending above the surface into its structure at stage 5, and from there still deeper and higher into its function (stage 6). Looking at the pedagogic view, we start with the presentation of an utterance (stage 3), enter its depth by ascending into its linguistic-cognitive structure (stage 5), ending up at its origin or function (stage 6). Finally from the social psychological perspective, we start with the objectives that were attained and are manifested in performances (stage 4), ascend into the depths of the enhanced learning capacities (stage 5) and end up in the origin of it (stage 6).
To summarize this section, I have used a graphic notation to show that the production of an utterance evolves down from intention (function) to performance (form) through cognitiveųlinguistic vehicles (structure). The understanding of an utterance is then a matter of ascending back up to the origin (function, intention) of the utterance through its intermediates (structure, cognitive process). In language teaching therefore, we must replicate the three production phases and the three understanding phases in the order here described. That will insure authenticity in culture-simulation, raise the level of performance and learning from knowledge of language to use of language.
7. THE THREE DEGREES OF DEPTH IN AUTHENTIC LANGUAGE TEACHINGS
I have spent considerable space in the previous sections discussing the issue of depth of utterance so as to allow you to confirm yourselves in the idea that your classroom management issue is nothing more than the issue of the ontology of talking. The language teacher integrates himself or herself when the language teaching is authentic. The contrastive situation is common: the language teacher is not integrated so that the „languageš part is one thing and the „teachingš part is another thing. For example, language teachers are told that all teachers face the same classroom management issues, hence language teachers are taught to think in terms of psychological issues, even counseling and clinical issues. I think the latter is a big mistake (for an argument, see James, 1976, 1979c). Rather than a clinical psychological orientation, what the language teacher needs is a social psychological orientation married to linguistics. Just as the utterance has depth so does the acquisition of it; and furthermore, these are the same. The ontology of an utterance is one and the same with its acquisition, hence its authentic teaching must also be the same. Only thus can the language teacher integrate linguistic knowledge arduously attained and teaching knowledge constantly challenged.
Let us apply the morphological view to this issue using the graphic notation we‚ve practiced:
THEMORPHOLOGICAL FUNCTION STRUCTURE F 0 R M
VIEW OF authentic community- language
TEACHING language classroom acquisition
teaching procedures and use
1 2 3
Reading the graphic notation as before, and using the metaphor sets previously established, we can say that language acquisition and use (communicative competence) originate in the teacher‚s striving intentions and heartfelt goals (stage 1); this inmost impulse then descends out of the depths to an intermediate state of existence (stage 2) which consists of the methods and structures that create the learning environment in the classroom; at last, at stage 3, the teacher‚s originating impulse surfaces as effects in the visible manifestations of new student acquisitions, learning‚s, performances, and presentations (i.e., communicative competence). In other words, at the very heart of student achievement (stage 3) lies the teacher‚s pedagogic strivings (stage 1) expressed through the teaching method (stage 2).
8. CASE HISTORY ILLUSTRATIONS.
I will now present a rather lengthy extension of the list of items that a language teacher may adduce when, upon reflection on the graphic notation I‚ve introduced, he or she wishes to introduce community-classroom procedures. No new technical knowledge is required but only the use and application of the notation. This is because the notation is nothing else than a graphic repre–sentation of the authentic metaphor of depth we all already possess by virtue of our being social managers in every day life (role behaviors). In other words, learning to use this graphic notation is like learning to use a micro–scope or any other analytic tool (see James & Nahl-James, in prep.) Once you understand it through practice, you can use it as a őthinking tool‚ for discovering how to experiment with authentic language teaching and with community-classroom. And now the illustrations.
STAGE 1 ITEMS
STAGE 2 ITEMS
mining enhanced learning capacities
STAGE 3 ITEMS
Achieving more elevated
Language acquisition and
(number of item)
The first five items are those that I discussed in the previous section, while the last five items are taken from NahlųJames (1981, unpublished). Thus, items 1 through 5 are definitional, while items 6 through 10 are particular applications. You may wish to read this graphic table by rows as well as by columns and try to justify them rationally, as if you would try to explain them to students or colleagues. I shall briefly model such reading practice for items 6 through 10.
Item 6. Starting in the analytic direction (surface up and into base), language performance and use are nothing but őmapping issues which is to say that they are mere effects produced by earlier stages; the particulars of the circumstance as given in the display (utterance, gesture, etc.). The immediate cause of mapping is planning; in this case, community-classroom procedures such as „crowding,š „huddling,š „milling,š „instructional singing,š „surveying,š and many others which the teacher may opt for. I need to describe these briefly (but see James and Gordon, 1978a; 1979a)
-CROWDING, refers to the principle that proximity increases familiarity and liking. For example, using smaller rooms where people are forced to sit, walk, and stand close to each other, as in a waiting room, bus, discotheque, or the beach and sports arena. Space does not permit to justify this here, but you may wish to see the arguments in (James and Gordon, 1976; 1978a; 1979a, c).
-HUDDLING, refers to the principle that two heads are better than one. For example, the „dyadic quizš is a huddling activity where two students first discuss then hand in a joint answer („interactional discourseš). Or a student gets a őhuddle buddy‚ to go to places of intimidation for support (e.g., the dentist or the „complaints departmentš of some business), or to be available for telephone calls in an emergency when prior commitments in a food-behavior change program are in danger of temptations, or when a student has been absent or is „behind in the courseš getting a huddleųbuddy becomes a community procedure for catching up activities.
-MILLING and SURVEYING, refer to activities during which social and academic information is being diffused through the classroom community. For example, when students walk around in the class collecting information from peers or reading each other‚s reports and exam papers. Or, when the teacher or someone surveys the group by a public show of hands (e.g., How many have finished? Who doesn‚t have something yet? etc.); or it may take the form of „live demographyš which helps the community to socialize and form friendship groups (e.g., How many like pizza? Who is a vegetarian? Who has traveled to Europe? etc.).
-INSTRUCTIONAL SINGING, refers to the use of singing for better memorization of terminology (vocabulary) and for „song analysisš discussions and reports.
These various planning issues in the form of community-classroom procedures are themselves caused by the earlier issue of striving, about which more below.
Item 7. The heart of community-classroom is the sympathy that students feel for one another. This lives in the social strivings of everyone and taking a course together conjoins individuals into a ősympathy group‚, which implies bonding forces of cohesiveness. As these sympathy forces descend and are externalized, they find existence in empathy, which is the mutual and reciprocal concern for the understanding of the matters to be learned and practiced in the course. Ultimately, the bonding forces of sympathy within empathy surface as acts of „intersubjectivity.š For example, there is overlap in memory items and knowledge, there is a common history over the semester, there is transfer of content or opinion in communicative exchanges, there is communality of evaluation and judgment as clients (students), and so on.
Item 8. I am adding this item to help you confirm yourself in the idea that authentic language teaching involves your own integration as a person, which is to say that you take your clues from yourself, or rather, from your observations and awareness‚s of the ontology in your growth, progression, and activities. In this case, another illustration of natural metaphors you already possess plentifully and creatively, is the metaphor of depth in music or singing. Synthetically (generatively), music and singing originate from the striving for harmony, because of our love for it. We are delighted by it, and we strive for it as a goal. This striving impulse (generic or ideal reference) then descends out of the depths and finds an intermediate existence in synchrony, which is a planning issue („How to achieve it?š). Ultimately, the impulse of harmony, now within synchrony, descends and manifests at the surface as melody, which is a mapping issue (presentation/performance).
Item 9. The motivational sub-stratum for authentic language teaching is the arrangement of a community-classroom environment because the impulse to learn to talk is always social and interpersonal. As Erving Goffman has detailed in his micro studies of social interactions, talking is a matter of „face workš, of transactional moves and remedies, of being polite or formal or plain, and so on. As Harvey Sacks has shown, talking is a matter of alternating turns. But as I have argued (James and Gordon, 1976) there has to be a dynamo or motor to activate alternating turns and to maintain them (dialogue), and this dynamo is now identifiable: it is reputation or identity. As we know, every utterance in a transcript is identified as to who said it, or else the talk is incomprehensible. There is no utterance in the world past, present, or future that does not have its creator~ Hence, the impulse to create an utterance (i.e., to talk) originates in the speaker in his or her identity or reputation No reputation, no identity, no utterance. Reputation is a striving issue and is ever within the utterance, to grant it function and as it descends into the particulars of the exchange (context), it rests at the intermediate stage of social „conveningš activities. For example, I hold conventions and exhibits in all my classes as part of the regular semester activities. We had a successful poster convention on students‚ attempts to modify their food behavior for a week, at which were invited visitors who were eager to hear from the students what they had gone through, and at which we gave out prizes, and etc. etc. We had a dance show or social psychology mystery play put on by the students for each other, irrespective of sizes of classes involved. Another workable feature has been what I call „the generational curriculumš which translates as the self-conscious attempt to communicate across the semesters through documents, archives, and audio and video tapes and other memorabilia; the most important of these being the audiotapes. These are prepared by each student for őthe next generation‚ and the student makes the attempt of őtransmitting‚ all the knowledge acquired in the course (digested, and in their own words!). These convening activities then externalize at the bottom or surface, which is the arena for the displays and transactional shows of relating, and of camaraderie (communicative-competence).
Item 10. I bring in this idea but with only the briefest indications here. Let us start in the analytic direction this time. Modeling is the ordinary method of culture-learning, hence it would be used in authentic language teaching. Modeling is the ultimate stage; it is the surface or lowest form, and most external, hence visible to the senses it is a presentation or performance, a transaction or communicative act. Modeling is often confused with imitation; but imitation is inauthentic; it does not have the same ontology as modeling.
Modeling, which is a mapping issue, comes from „absorptionš which is its immediate cause. Absorption is the term I suggest for learning and acquisition under authentic language teaching conditions (community-classroom). For example, during convening activities (see previous item), students absorb the skills needed to perform successful modeling acts (e.g. a 5-mm. poster-talk to classmates). This an excellent instance of „mining community resourcesš
or mining the enhanced learning capacities that are natural under authentic community conditions („It‚s amazing how they just pick it up from each other!š). Learning learning is inside modeling whereas reinforcement learning is inside imitation; the latter is not ontologically authentic because we learn to talk from striving to identify not striving to achieve a reward (grade, money, status).
Thus, taking it now from the synthetic direction, successful modeling originates in identification (reputation, sympathy, intention, goal) through absorption (convening, empathy, „miningš, means).
9. CONCLUSIONS. In an earlier development of the concept of authenticity in language teaching (James, 1974, Chapter 8) I argued that the teacher needs to evolve a „personal pedagogic modelš so that teaching may be a matter of the heart, a striving issue, an ideology that lives in the method and in the curriculum so that the teacher‚s effort and impulse may live and manifest as student achievement. The impulse to teach comes out of the teacher‚s love for teaching; this impulse of the heart externalizes as classroom methods, first, then comes to rest in student learning‚s.
In authentic language teaching, the teacher‚s primary and reigning impulse is to communicate in the target language with the students; this motive descends (externalizes) out of the depths of the teacher‚s will, taking an intermediate structure in the teacher‚s attempts to arrange and provide a community-classroom environment; then, the teacher‚s original impulse to communicate finds rest and manifestation through these methods in the student‚s new acquisitions as evidenced by their communicative acts (language use, liberated expression).
I will close by listing several research and theoretical issues regarding authentic language teaching which I believe will be the focus for language didactics and applied linguistics during the coming decade.
AUTHENTIC LANGUAGE TEACHING: THE 1980s.
I. Talk is spontaneous when it is intentional. (Spontaneous talk is liberated speech.) Intentionality in talk is a social impulse to act or interact.
II. The impulse to act (intentionality) springs into being when the individual is integrated in community (i.e., social relations take place).
III. Culture-simulation techniques in the classroom produce community integration of all those present there (teacher, students, visitors, aids, etc.). From community integration comes intentionality, and from this comes spontaneity, which is communicativeųcompetence.
IV. Acquisition of skills under community integration conditions occurs through „absorptionųlearningš (in contrast to „reward-learningš under conditions of non-integration).
V. Discourse learned through community integration as absorption may be called interactional discourse in contrast to solitary discourse. (The former, as in dialog, joint writing pieces, editing together; the latter, as in description, story telling, and expository speech or writing.) Ontologically, interactional discourse will be shown to develop before solitary discourse.
VI. The term interior dialog may be used to designate the talking a person does by oneself in the course of daily activities and life in community. Ontologically, reading as a skill becomes useful or meaningful when the reader is able to make comments to oneself on what is being read. Hence without interior dialog, reading cannot be meaningful. (This has implications for language teaching.)
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Savignon, Sandra. Toward Communicative Competence: An Experiment in Foreign Language Teaching. Philadelphia: The Center for Curriculum Development, 1972.
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