Method, methods and methodology: historical trends and current debates

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Abstract

Whether conceptualised as a disciplinary field (Richards and Rodgers, 2014) or a profession (Pennington and Hoekje, 2014), ELT is often characterized as being in “ferment” (Richards and Rodgers, 2014), and subject to “fashions and trends” (Adamson, 2004); debates surrounding language teaching methods and methodology have been central to this perceived flux. Yet we are also in an era when unifying narratives and overarching explanations of intellectual and social developments “are viewed with suspicion” (Canagarajah, 2006: 9); in attempting to explain and understand the past, histories are always partial because they are informed by particular viewpoints and biases (ibid.). Consequently, there are a number of differing accounts of the recent history of methods in ELT, each with its own emphases, and each having implications for the way we might make sense of contemporary debates and practices within ELT. This chapter therefore aims to convey this range of perspectives on the development of methods in our field, narratives which, at times, diverge and offer conflicting accounts of the past and present.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of English Language Teaching
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Pages209-223
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)9780415747394
Publication statusPublished - 24 May 2016

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