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Second Language Acquisition and Task-Based Language Teaching by Mike Long

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Chapter 2SLA and the Fundamental LT Divide

2.1.  Interventionist and Non-Interventionist Positions

Historical surveys by Fotos (2005), Howatt (1984), Kelly (1969), Musumeci (1997, 2009), Titone (1968) and others have shown that while varying and overlapping at the level of individuals and geographic regions at any one time, the practice of language teaching (LT) over the centuries has swung back and forth between interventionist and non-interventionist positions, between an emphasis on form and on meaning, and between the linguistic code and the learning process. Changes in the twentieth and twenty-first century have often reflected paradigm shifts in philosophy, linguistics, or psychology, but rarely new empirical findings about LT itself. Since the 1960s, the two major orientations have existed side by side. In the past few decades, views held simultaneously by different camps on the effects and effectiveness of instruction have diverged markedly, with proposals running ...

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