SALRC Sponsored Workshops

SALRC Pedagogy Workshop 1
Appropriate Pedagogy: Language, Culture, and Curriculum The South Asian Language Classroom, February 12th and 13th, 2004

Description | Schedule | Reading List | Workshop Home


Organized and directed by Prof. Rakesh Bhatt, Linguistics and Hindi, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and Director of the Second Language Acquisition and Teacher Education program (SLATE).

This is the first of a set of three workshops created by the SALRC that are meant to provide a state-of-the-art perspective on South Asian language teaching. The perspective is informed by work done in the broader fields of LCTLs and foreign/heritage language teaching and second language acquisition. The workshops are meant to highlight the significant commonalties, including methods and objectives, that these fields have and to bring out how South Asian language teaching provides unique challenges to the issues, and to work through those challenges.

Each workshop will be structured in three sections. Thus while the theme and content change, the formation of the workshops will be similar.

  • Theoretical underpinnings with inter-activity to demonstrate theory in practice. E.g., a workshop on building literacy skills would present basics of comprehension processes and what enhances/decreases comprehension. To exemplify points, participants would be asked to participate in comprehension exercises.
  • The methodologies section will demonstrate a range of possible methods and techniques that can be used to effect learning, in light of the theoretical underpinnings lectures. This section will include demonstrations, again with participant interaction.
  • The session on technology includes a review of current resources available to facilitate instruction/learning of the day's topic, a discussion/critique on the use and development of such tools and hands-on work by participants. Bringing technology into the fold responds to the growing dependency of our societies on technology, and how it can be used to achieve our language teaching/learning goals in specific ways. It works well into one of the primary goals of the SALRC:
    • To create and disseminate new resources for teaching and research on South Asian languages, mostly via the World Wide Web (information about SALRC's goals)

This first workshop will demonstrate, using theoretical arguments from second/foreign language learning research and empirical realities, that language teachers must incorporate an awareness of discourse and socio-pragmatics in their teaching if they truly wish to implement a communicative approach in their classrooms. A discourse perspective, grounded in our case specifically in the cultural context of South Asia, can enhance the teaching of traditional areas of linguistic knowledge (pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary) and the teaching of language processing skills (listening, reading, writing, and speaking). This awareness of discourse can then be carried over to curriculum development, assessment, and classroom research.