I need to figure out how to ask questions regarding teaching philosophy in language instruction. Hmmm. Why do I need to do this? Our school is planning to create a Language Center. I think that it’s really a revamping of the Langauge Lab. I’m on the committee to benchmark internal language resources. That would include technology, of course, but also the instructors involved in the teaching. I’m sure many of you have taken languages. What do you think is the most effective way to learn a foreign language in a US univesity setting? Immersion? Explanation of grammar in English? No English even if you might not understand everything the teacher says? If you have the time–and inclination–let me know what you thought was the most effective way of learning, and dont forget what level too.
Another aspect: I think a number of readers have studied and East Asian Language. What do you think of the relationship between reading/writing a language and being able to speak it. Many linguists adhere to the philosophy that if you learn to speak a language, you will ultimately learn to read and write it. This is fine, I think with Spanish, French, even Russion, to a degree, but what about Chinese or Japanese? Do you think speaking it will facilitate reading it? I should say that I know MANY people who have lived in Japan for years–some were even born there–and can spek the language like a natvie, but still cannot read a newspaper. Any thought?