Third Edition
By W. M. Rivers

published by Agora Publishing Group, 2001
ISBN 1-889396-11-7
Now available here as a free download.


This electronic book covers the basics of language teaching as well as the particulars of teaching French. Originally published in 1993 by the National Textbook Company, this book, now out of print with NTC, has been updated and reprinted electronically with permission of the author by the Agora Publishing Group. Download free copy here.

This .pdf document is readable using Adobe Acrobat Reader. The reader, which operates as either a browser plug-in or independently, is free from Adobe. In this format you can either print out the entire book or the sections of interest. By viewing it on the computer, you can search on keywords or phrases through the entire book using Acrobat's search functions, a wonderful supplement to the book's index.



Table of Contents


Processes in learning to communicate

1. Structured interaction
Opposing views on development of speaking
Differences between spoken and written French
Effects of position of stress
Style of language
Bridging activities
Supplying student with a basic corpus
Object centered; melody and rhythm centered; verb centered;
situation centered
Dialogue construction and adaptation
Grammar-demonstration dialogues; conversation-facilitation dialogues;
spiral dialogues; cultural contrasts in dialogues; checklist for original
or rewritten dialogues
Dialogue exploitation
Dialogue memorization; ways of presenting dialogue; directed dialogue;
chain dialogue; dialogue as a culminating activity
Cummings device
Oral reports
Situation tapes
xii Contents

2. Autonomous interaction
Categories of language use
Social relations; expressing reactions; hiding intentions; talking one's way out of trouble; seeking and giving information; learning or teaching how to do or make something; conversing over the telephone; problem solving; discussing ideas; playing with language; acting out social roles; entertaining; displaying achievements; sharing leisure activities
Perfectionnement, not perfection
Correction of errors; level of correct speech; the SI line; individual differences; the teacher

3. Listening
Models of listening processes
The uncertainties of a spoken message
Edited and unedited materials; recognition uncertainties
The active process of constructing a message
Perceiving a systematic message; imposing a structure;
recirculating, selecting, recoding for storage
Strategies of perceptual segmentation
Semantic-syntactic decoding; aural recognition vocabulary
Macro or micro?
Assessment of macro-language use; assessment of micro-language
learning; designing multiple-choice items
Chart of listening comprehension activities

4. Oral practice for the learning of grammar
Deductive or inductive
Oral exercises
Traditional types of exercises
Grammar-translation type; fill-in-the blank; replacement
More recently developed oral practice exercises
Pattern drill; substitution tables
Limitations of oral exercises
Six groups of oral exercises
Repetition or presentation drills; substitution drills; conversion drills; sentence modifications; response drills; translation drills
Contents xiii

5. Teaching the sound system
Understanding descriptions of phonological systems
Languages change: phonemes in modern French
Languages contrast: differences between French and English
Articulatory descriptions and empirical recommendations
Teaching French r
Sounds as a system
Incorrect production of final l; consonant anticipation
Aural discrimination
Introduction of sound system; early teaching of sound system;
stages of intensive practice; what degree of perfection in early
Phon?tique corrective
Remedial production exercises; sample pronunciation checklist
Evaluation passage

Founder of “Five Flowers” to simple and comfortable in the 1940s. This is perhaps the earliest modern casual wear.

6. Reading I: purposes and procedures
Reading for information
Reading of informal material
Fluent direct reading
Literary analysis
Lexical, structural, and social-cultural meaning
Word counts and frequency lists
How an unfamiliar text appears to a student
Six stages of reading development
Stage One: Introduction to reading
Materials for Stage One
Stage Two: Familiarization
Materials for Stage Two
Stage Three: Acquiring reading techniques
Materials for Stage Three

7. Reading II: from dependence to independence
Stage Four: Practice
Materials for Stage Four
Stage Five: Expansion
Materials for Stage Five
xiv Contents
Stage Six: Autonomy
Ordering the reading lesson
Assisting and assessing reading comprehension
Building and maintaining vocabulary
Integrating the language skills at Stages Three to Five
Improving reading speed

8. Writing and written exercises I: the nuts and bolts
What is writing?
Writing down
Copying; reproduction; focusing on spelling and accents;
learning number conventions; proofreading
Writing in the language
Presenting the grammar; grammatical terminology; how do
written exercises differ from oral practice?; cognitive exercises;
multiple-choice; fill-in-the-blank; cloze procedure;
Rosetta procedure; learning from living language; grammar
and writing skill

9. Writing and written exercises II: flexibility and expression

Production: flexibility measures
Conversions and restatements; sentence modification; practice
in types of sentences; combinations; contractions;
expansions; the idea frame; integrated language activities
within an idea frame; styles of writing
Expressive writing or composition
Normal purposes of writing; writing as a craft; correcting
and evaluating; scoring systems
As a teaching/learning device; as a specialized study; version,
301; th?me; exploring the dictionary; exploring the grammar
Contents xv


10. Testing and assessment
Testing as a learning experience
The influence of testing on the curriculum and classroom teaching
Testing and the objectives of the course
Situations of utterances
Discrete-point and integrative testing
Proficiency-oriented testing
Applying the guidelines
Testing communication: the oral interview
Listening comprehension
Reading comprehension
Grammar and vocabulary
Testing specific areas (reference list)

11. Ten principles of interactive language learning and teaching

Epilogue, 356

Suggested assignments and projects

Appendix A: ACTFL Provisional Proficiency Guidelines, French descriptions

Appendix B: The Five C's: Standards for Foreign Language Learning


General bibliography

Supplemental bibliography


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