1887

n Literator : Journal of Literary Criticism, Comparative Linguistics and Literary Studies - Innovation and reciprocity in applied linguistics : original research

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Abstract

Applied linguistics is a discipline of design: it solves language problems by suggesting a plan, or blueprint, to handle them. These designs are sometimes promoted as highly innovative. Yet, are innovative language courses and tests in all respects truly new? This article will argue that most historically significant turning points in applied linguistic design demonstrate continuity with previously designed solutions. This was so for communicative teaching as well as for audio-lingualism. In testing, both interactive designs and socially responsible concerns have built on the past. Like innovation, reciprocity in design in applied linguistics is a foundational issue. How much reciprocity is there in the realms of language testing, language course design and language policy making? Why do we not explicitly check whether the design of a course should be as responsibly and carefully done as a test? How can we learn more from language policy development about making tests more accessible and accountable? What can test designers learn from course developers about specificity? There are many useful questions that we never seem to ask. The article will look across different levels of applied linguistic artefacts (language courses, language tests and language policies) at how we can enrich the principles of responsible design. We can continue to be surprised by innovation in the designed solutions that our profession provides, but we should also work on our understanding of what constitutes a responsible design framework. That foundation enables us to evaluate both the fleeting and the enduring in the new.


Toegepaste taalkunde is 'n ontwerpdissipline: dit los taalprobleme op deur 'n plan of bloudruk vir die hantering daarvan voor te stel. Hierdie ontwerpe word soms as hoogs vernuwend aangemerk. Is innoverende taalkursusse en -toetse egter in alle opsigte regtig nuut? Hierdie artikel argumenteer dat histories-betekenisvolle draaipunte in toegepaste taalkundige ontwerpe 'n beduidende mate van kontinuïteit met vorige ontwerpe toon. Dit was die geval met kommunikatiewe taalonderrig, en selfs vir vroeëre innovasies soos die oudio-lingualisme. Ook in taaltoetsing bou beide interaktiewe en meer sosiaal-verantwoordbare ontwerpe op die verlede. Soos met vernuwing, is die idee van wederkerigheid in toegepaste taalkundige ontwerpe 'n grondslagkwessie. Hoeveel wederkerigheid bestaan daar op die gebiede van taaltoetsing, taalkursusontwerp en taalbeleidsformulering? Hoekom kyk ons nie spesifiek na of die ontwerp van 'n kursus net so verantwoordelik en noukeurig gedoen word as dié van 'n toets nie? Wat kan ons leer by taalbeleidsformulering as ons toetse meer toeganklik en verantwoordbaar wil maak? Wat kan toetsontwerpers by kursusontwikkelaars oor spesifisiteit leer? Daar bestaan talle nuttige vrae wat ons skynbaar nooit vra nie. Hierdie artikel oorweeg hoe, deur oor verskillende vlakke van toegepaste taalkundige artefakte (taalkursusse, taaltoetse en taalbeleide) heen te kyk, ons die beginsels van verantwoordelike ontwerp kan verryk. Ons wil graag verras word deur innovering in die ontwerpe wat ons professie aanbied, maar ons moet terselfdertyd werk aan ons begrip van 'n verantwoordelike ontwerpraamwerk. So 'n vertrekpunt bied ons 'n maatstaf om die vlietende en die standhoudende in nuwe ontwerpe mee te beoordeel.

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/content/literat/35/1/EJC151582
2014-01-01
2016-12-07
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