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I nteraction: I n what ways does history help you understand the TEFL profession?

In what way does it

help you understand what goes on inside the TEFL classroom? How can we define the relationship
between Applied Linguistics and ELT, and how through history?
Reflection: I nteract with your peers in the forum area and discuss these questions.
Write your comments and reply the comments of your classmates.

According to Richards and Rodgers, a great percentage of bilingualism and multilingualism
exists all around the world. That is why a foreign language has been an important object of
concern. They assert that English is today, the most widely studied foreign language in the
world. Five hundred years ago, Latin was the dominant language of education, religion,
commerce, religion and government. Later, in the sixteenth century, languages as French,
Italian and English commenced to gain importance as a result of political and territorial
changes displacing Latin gradually.
History of TEFL help teachers understand all the changes that the world, communication
and the language have suffered. Akbar (2013) states that the history of English Language
Teaching has been linked with many developments; TEFL has existed for hundreds of
years, Richards and Rodgers (1986) points out that variations in language teaching methods
all over history have reflected the changes in learners proficiency needs; changes as a
move headed for oral proficiency rather than reading and comprehension as the goal of
study. They have also reflected changes in theories of the nature of the language and
language learning.
In my opinion, much of language changes have been caused by the contextual
characteristics in every stage of human development. Communication which is the core of a
language has demanded different forms of interacting among individuals, therefore, the
learning of a foreign language focused on the available means. Grammar translation
methods worked and functioned due to the form of communication in those years, and as
communication evolved and was adjusted, the need for other sorts of communication
required other means of using the language. Now that communication involves technology,
modern methods are proposed as blended learning which responds to the current needs of
interaction all around the world.
Teachers ought to be aware of the different options to teach a language in their contexts, It
would be inappropriate to suppose that methods from the 60s for instance are completely
obsolete today, what I as teacher think about them is that many methods are still used in
English classrooms not as the main guide of instruction but by conforming an eclectic
Richards and Rodgers (1986) state that with the proliferation of different methods and
approaches which is a characteristic of contemporary second and foreign language
teaching, new techniques, classroom practices, and de design of new teaching materials
have the commitment to finding more efficient and more effective ways of teaching
Akbar (2013) claims that Language teaching came into existence as a profession in the
twentieth century; its base was developed during the early part of the twentieth century, as
applied linguists focus on the fields of linguistics and psychology to support what was
thought to be a more effective teaching methodology. Language teaching in the twentieth
century was characterized by recurrent changes, advances and development of language
teaching ideologies.
Corder (as cited in Akbar 2010) defined applied linguistics was a collection of
applications of linguistics at various levels to the language teaching operation, albeit of
linguistics in a broad sense. While, Cook and Wei (as cited in Akbar 2010) declare that
applied linguistics is an interdisciplinary field of research and practice dealing with
practical problems of language and communication which can be analyzed, identified or
solved by applying available theories, methods, results, of Linguistics or by developing
new theoretical and methodological frameworks in linguistics to work on these problems.

Akbar (2013) states that many resent researches concerned with applied linguistics have led
to a phenomenon to resolve language problems. He also cites Brumfit who defines applied
linguistics as the theoretical and empirical investigation of real-world problems in which
language is the central issue.


Akbar, A. (2013) Applied Linguistics and English Language Teaching Middle-East Journal
of Scientific Research 15 (8): 1140-1146, 2013ISSN 1990-9233 IDOSI Publications,
2013DOI: 10.5829/idosi.mejsr.2013.15.8.11238
Retrieved from (September 2
, 2014)

Howatt, A.P.R. (1984). A History of English Language Teaching Oxford University Press

Richards, J. C. & Rodgers, T. (1986) Approaches and Methods in English Language
Teaching Cambridge University Press