Functional-notional Concepts: Adapting the Foreign Language Textbook
Textbooks currently available for foreign language instruction are generally oriented toward instruction in grammar for its own sake. Until materials are developed that are specifically geared to a systematic development of communicative competence, textbooks must be adapted. This handbook is directed toward that need. It emphasizes the following points: (1) the central features of communicative proficiency and the process of communicative interaction as these relate to the specification of learning outcomes for foreign language courses; (2) the feasibility of designing academic foreign language courses to parallel this process through the application of concepts of communicative and functional-notional syllabus design; (3) a systematic approach for adapting textbooks; and (4) illustration of the application to guide teachers in their own materials adaptation. The systematic approach to textbook-adaptation provides a step-by-step analysis of the process and includes tables linking points of grammar, meanings, and ordering for functional practice; tables on the common purposes of language use related to language skills; and a hierarchy of communicative activities. The process is illustrated by numerous examples of purposeful language activities that may be derived by attaching meanings and functions to points of grammar in basic text series. A list of references completes the volume. (AMH)
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