TESOL at forty: What are the issues?

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This overview delineates the direction of pedagogical developments since the 25th anniversary issue of TESOL Quarterly. Three tendencies characterize our professional practice: (a) a continuation along the earlier lines of progression (i.e., in opening up the classroom to learning opportunities, integrating skills, and teaching for specific purposes); (b) a radical reorientation along new paradigms (i.e., in understanding motivation and acquisition in terms of social participation and identity construction; in developing methods from the ground up, based on generative heuristics; in widening testing to include formative assessment; in accommodating subjective knowledge and experience in teacher expertise); (c) unresolved debates and questions about the direction in certain domains (i.e., when and how to teach grammar; whether to adopt cognitivist or social orientations in SLA, testing, and teacher education). Our professional knowledge gets further muddled by the new movements of globalization, digital communication, and World Englishes, which pose fresh questions that are yet to be addressed. However, grappling with these concerns has engendered realizations on the need for local situatedness, global inclusiveness, and disciplinary collaboration that are of more lasting value.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-34
Number of pages26
JournalTESOL Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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