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Comparing language teaching and other-skill teaching: Has the language teacher anything to learn?

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/12/2006
Issue number4
Number of pages15
Pages (from-to)532-546
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The paper describes a research project which observes the teaching practices of trainers working in three non-linguistic skill (‘other-skill’) areas – music (classical singing), table tennis, and flight simulation. The aim is to compare these practices with those of the language teacher and to consider whether the latter has anything to learn from them. The theoretical justification of the research is briefly outlined and the argument put forward that applied linguistics has for a long time largely ignored the practices of other-skill teachers. How the research was undertaken is briefly described. The major part of the paper outlines the project’s main findings. Like language teachers, the other-skill trainers show themselves aware of the information-processing needs of their learners. Two models for the teaching of performance-related skills are identified and discussed in relation to language teaching. It is also noted that the other-skill teachers provide considerable performance-based feedback to learners and that the skill training observed is overwhelmingly needs-driven. Finally, the way in which other-skill teachers correct performance ‘mistakes’ (as opposed to ‘errors’) is discussed.

Bibliographic note

RAE_import_type : Journal article RAE_uoa_type : Linguistics