Second language acquisition tactics and language pedagogy

Second language acquisition tactics and language pedagogy

Syslem, Vol. 11, No. 3, pp. 313-323, Printed in Great Britain. 0346-251X/83 $3.00+0.00 0 1983 Pergamon Press Ltd. 1983. SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION...

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Syslem, Vol. 11, No. 3, pp. 313-323, Printed in Great Britain.

0346-251X/83 $3.00+0.00 0 1983 Pergamon Press Ltd.

1983.

SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION TACTICS AND LANGUAGE PEDAGOGY WALDEMAR

MARTON

Institute of English, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poland

This paper, based on H. Seliger’s important distinction between strategies and tactics in second language acquisition, describes and analyses what the author considers to be six basic and universal tactics of second language acquisition. It also tries to define the relevant features of the two sets of factors, i.e. the learner and the learning environment, which determine the choice of a particular tactic. Each of these tactics is also referred to various contemporary language teaching methods which impose or encourage the adoption of a given tactic by the learner.

Several second language acquisition researchers on the one hand and language teaching methodologists on the other have recently expressed their scepticism about the possibility of directly linking language acquisition research with language pedagogy. They have particularly emphasized their doubts about the applicability of second language acquisition research to language pedagogy in the form of explicit teaching recommendations. The most common reason given to justify this scepticism is that the results of second language acquisition research are still too abstract and too general, so that drawing any definite conclusions from them in the form of teaching directives is premature and can only lead to disillusionment on the part of the teacher, and to the further widening of the gap between theories of learning and the practice of teaching. While also representing a very cautious approach to the problem of applicability I am, nevertheless, very much in favour of constantly confronting the results of second language acquisition research with the practice of contemporary teaching. The benefits for both sides involved in this confrontation are fairly obvious. For the methodologist and the language teacher, second language acquisition research reveals factors which are decisive for success or failure in language learning, and provides a conceptual framework for the observation and description of these factors. Thus it helps the teacher to gain insights into what makes the contemporary methods and techniques of language teaching work. For the researcher, descriptions of particular successful language teaching methods and techniques provide very valuable data, verifying his hypotheses about the psychological mechanisms of language acquisition. The present article is an attempt at such a synthetic confrontation. As I see it, this confrontation can be fruitfully made owing largely to a very important distinction in the 313

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theory of second language acquisition introduced recently by H. W. Seliger, namely, the distinction between strategy and tactic (Seliger 1982). Seliger objects to the indiscriminate use of the term strategy in the current literature in reference to both high-level and low-level acquisitional processes. In his opinion we have to distinguish between two levels of learner acquisitional behavior, i.e. the level of strategy and the level of tactic. Seliger defines the former as consisting of a set of abstract cognitive functions which are used to acquire knowledge. He sees these functions as biologically determined, age independent and constant. They are essential to language acquisition, which simply cannot take place without them. Their main task is to distil general principles from the data supplied by tactics and assimilate them into the underlying competency grammar. Second language acquisition research defines the most important of these universal processes as hypothesis testing, simplification and overgeneralization. In one of his recent papers Seliger (1982) admits that it is not clear to him whether all of these processes exist at the same hierarchical level. In my understanding there is only one basic, superordinate process which can be described as hypothesis formation and testing or as rule learning. This process can, however, be more specifically characterized in this way: the learner proceeds from some initial hypotheses which can be seen as simplifications and/or overgeneralizations of the abstract principles underlying the input to gradually more complex and more subtle hypotheses, more and more closely approximating the full complexity and subtlety of the target grammar competence. The lower level of tactics, in Seliger’s definition, consists of activities carried out by the learner in response to the local conditions (or the context) of second language acquisition. These activities are determined by the interaction of two sets of variables, i.e. learner variables, labelled by Seliger as the Filter, and contextual variables, named the Language Learning Environment. Tactics can thus be described as data-collecting processes whose main function is to provide input upon which strategies operate. Seliger points out that, ideally, tactics are locally-translated realizations of strategies; but this is not always the case. The point is that strategies represent only a set of capacities or potentials which may or may not be realized by the individual learner. Their realization depends on whether a given tactic is or is not ‘approved’ by, and passed through, the learner’s filter consisting of features which make up his unique style of learning. Accordingly, we can generalize that where tactics activate underlying basic strategies they will lead to successful long term acquisition. Yet where the individual’s filter or the learning environment prevents a given tactic from triggering basic strategies, only languagelike behavior or short term acquisition can take place instead of systematic changes in the interlanguage grammar. Having presented Seliger’s important theoretical contribution I will now pass on to the description of what, in my opinion, are the most important tactics of second language acquisition and will show how these tactics are emphasized and encouraged by, or reflected in, some actual contemporary methods of language teaching. I will also try to characterize

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the most important features of the learner’s filter and of the learning environment which select each of these tactics and determine its relative success. This characterization will, I believe, have some definite implications for language pedagogy. There are six basic tactics of second language acquisition. The first of them can be defined as prolonged processing of the input without making any overt verbal responses in the conditions of meaningful exposure to the target language. It is worth reminding the reader on this occasion that Krashen (1981) sees meaningful exposure as the only necessary and sufficient condition for successful second language acquisition. It certainly is the necessary condition in the sense that without a certain amount of exposure to the target language no acquisition can take place. For this reason it is true to some extent that all the other tactics of language acquisition have to be combined with this one, but, on the other hand, what makes this tactic distinct from the others is the fact that for a relatively long time the learner processes the input in the target language in silence, without any overt verbal responses whatsoever. Thus it has to be assumed that he not only forms but also tests his hypotheses about the target language on the basis of careful analysis of the input and also on the basis of feedback related to his non-verbal responses demonstrating how well he understands the input. This tactic is encouraged or emphasized by (or reflected in) some contemporary methods of language teaching which have proved to be highly successful in certain circumstances. These methods, developed and advocated by such language educators as Asher (1969), Postovsky (1974), Winitz and Reeds (1973), Gary (1975), Nord (1980) and others, have one common characteristic feature, which consists in the introduction of a fairly long pre-speaking period at the beginning of the language course. During this pre-speaking period the learner is intensively and extensively exposed to the target language, but he is not required or even not allowed to make any overt verbal responses in it. Of course, he does respond in some way because the teacher has to have some control over the learning process, but the main purpose of his responses is to demonstrate that he meaningfully processes the input. Accordingly, the responses are limited to carrying out instructions and commands given in the target language, to performing multiple choice tests based on pictorial cues, or even to responding in the learner’s native language. Let us now consider what features of the learner’s filter and of the language learning environment select this tactic of the silent processing of the input. In these conjectures I will use concepts, categories and relationships developed by general psychology of learning and by second language acquisition research. First of all, it seems that since this tactic requires a high degree of “openness” to the incoming language, by the same token it requires a very positive attitude to the language and the culture -represented by it. It also requires a strong motivation for learning since the learner must be capable of expending sustained effort in careful listening without expecting any immediate returns in the form of the active command of at least some parts of the language. On the other hand, this tactic is quite safe for the learner’s language ego [for the concept of language ego see Guiora et al. (1972)]; in other words, it can well suit learners with vulnerable and impermeable language egos, who are afraid to take risks in language learning and “to make fools of themselves” by producing erroneous forms in the target language. This tactic can also be selected by fairly passive learners who are incapable of creating for themselves situations

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of meaningful interaction with competent speakers of the target language (this feature partly corresponds with the characteristics of so-called low-input generators in second language acquisition studies). As far as the relevant features of the language learning environment are concerned, it is rather obvious that the first tactic requires fairly intensive and frequent contacts with the target language. These contacts have to be frequent if the learner is supposed to remember most of what he listens to in class. Certainly, the out-of-class use of recordings can in some way provide additional contacts with the language, but all the methods involving delayed oral practice rely on the presentation of language by a live teacher in the classroom. For this reason it is doubtful whether they could be exclusively used in the conditions of non-intensive language teaching, e.g. such as prevail in most European secondary schools. Let us now pass on to the discussion of the second tactic of language acquisition. This tactic can be defined as attempted communication in the target language, involving the use of communication strategies (for the concept of communication strategies see Varadi 1973 and Tarone 1977), with fairly heavy reliance on feedback. Since communication strategies are generally understood as conscious attempts on the part of the learner to convey his ideas when his interlanguage competence is not adequate to the task, we can say that while using this tactic the learner is constantly forced to outperform his actual competence. In this trial-and-error tactic he relies fairly heavily for testing his hypotheses about the language on feedback provided by his interlocutors. This tactic is certainly very common among second language acquirers in natural settings, i.e. in the conditions of total immersion in the second language and second culture. Under the influence of some specifiable social and psychological factors, exhaustively analyzed by Schumann (1978), it can easily lead to the emergence of a pidginized and fossilized form of the target language. In language pedagogy this tactic is reflected in or encouraged by various functional (in contradistinction to formal) approaches to language teaching and by most varieties of the direct method. Lately it has been very much emphasized in the recommendations and practices of communicative language teaching. After the description of this tactic let us now hypothesize about what particular features of the learner’s filter and of the language learning environment determine its adoption by a learner. As far as the filter is concerned it seems that this tactic is usually chosen by learners who are technically named high-input generators. This term is applied by second language acquisition researchers to very active learners who on their own initiative seek out and create for themselves opportunities for communicative interaction in the target language. It seems that this characteristic overlaps with high permeability of the learner’s language ego, which allows him to take risks in communicating via the target language and makes him unafraid of committing many errors in the process. Thinking about the features of the language learning environment which are conducive to the adoption of the tactic under discussion, it is quite obvious that they must guarantee plenty of frequent opportunities for meaningful interaction in the target language. In formal, institutionalized settings meeting this condition requires small student groups, consisting of a few learners only, and a fairly intensive type of language course (something like 25-30 hr of instruction per week). This requirement alone puts the tactic under

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discussion outside the scope of normal school teaching, unless we assume that for well motivated high-input generators a poor learning environment in school does not preclude activating the communicative tactic since they are capable of creating additional learning contexts for themselves. Still another tactic of second language acquisition, the third one in our list, consists in memorizing whole chunks of the target language, such as routines and prefabricated patterns, and subsequently re-analyzing them and gradually discovering the rules underlying their formation and usage. This tactic appears to be fairly common among second language acquirers in natural settings (see Hakuta 1974, 1976), where it is sometimes combined with the trial-and-error communicative tactic. In forma1 language instruction we see it emphasized in mim-mem techniques of the audio-lingua1 method, such as dialog memorization. If we take an historical perspective we can note that the memorization of long Latin texts in medieval universities, which was often done before the students were able to analyze these texts formally, also encouraged this tactic. It also seems that the tactic in question is sometimes spontaneously adopted by successful learners of foreign languages-1 know an adult learner who has achieved notable success in teaching himself some foreign languages and who likes to memorize various texts in the target language long before he is able to analyze formal relationships in them. Although the existence of this tactic is undeniable it is difficult to specify what features of the learner’s filter and of the learning environment determine its adoption. In natural settings of second language acquisition it is often older children, or adults, suddenly immersed in a second language and expected to communicate in it immediately, who choose this tactic. We can only speculate that in institutionalized settings it may well suit fairly passive learners, unwilling to take communicative risks, or learners with a perfectionist cast of mind who hate making many errors and “murdering” the language they are learning. The fourth tactic, to the description of which we now pass, can be characterized as fairly systematic re-structuring of the learner’s competence in his native language into competence in the target language. The learner who has adopted this tactic uses his mother tongue as a starting point and a frame of reference for making and testing hypotheses about the second language. In practice it consists of the learner producing various sentences (or texts) in his native language and having them translated (by the teacher) into equivalent sentences (or texts) in the target language. This tactic is most probably never used in natural settings of second language acquisition. In language pedagogy it is imposed or encouraged, at least in the beginning stages of the language course, by a contemporary, widely acclaimed method developed by Curran (1976) and known as Community Language Learning or Counseling-Learning. Since this method has lately evoked much interest and has been widely discussed I do not think that I need to describe it here. Of course, I am very well aware of the fact that while developing his method Curran did not think in terms of restructuring one competence into another. Being a psychotherapist he was primarily concerned with some important psychological

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aspects of language teaching and learning, which will be mentioned a little later. Nevertheless, in terms of our analysis his method can be described as imposing the tactic of re-structuring. It seems more than likely that this tactic is also spontaneously chosen by some individual second language learners. At least I know of one such learner, who was a West German executive sent to England to learn English at Colchester. Since he was an individual student he insisted on being taught English by his own method, which worked in this way: he chose a topic for conversation and said various sentences related to this topic in German, while his teacher, who had to have at least a receptive knowledge of German, translated them orally into English. Turning now to the consideration of variables responsible for the employment of this tactic, we can say that, as far as the learner’s filter is concerned, it is probably adopted by learners with vulnerable and impermeable language egos. They feel quite safe using this tactic because they do not have to reject the support of their native language until they have built up enough competence in the target language to achieve some degree of self-assurance. It was precisely for the sake of psychological safety and comfort of the learner that Curran developed his method, believing that many traditional methods failed because so many learners felt threatened by their teachers (and their instrument of power: the target language) and adopted a defensive mode of learning. It can be further hypothesized that the tactic in question may also suit learners whose learning style is marked by intolerance of ambiguity, whose attitude is characterized by a high degree of ethnocentrism and whose motivation is strongly instrumental. As far as the learning environment is concerned, it is rather difficult to specify any features which would opt for the selection of the tactic of restructuring. Actually, it can be used in almost any formal setting with the obvious proviso that the teacher must be bilingual or at least have a good receptive knowledge of his learners’ language, and that all the learners in a group have the same native language. Thinking in terms of a method like Community Language Learning, we have also to add the requirement that student groups be relatively small; otherwise it might be very difficult to organize face-to-face interaction among learners and keep discipline in class. The fifth tactic of second language acquisition, to a discussion of which we now pass, can be characterized as deliberate rule learning based on rule isolation and, most often, on a pre-programmed pedagogocial sequence, i.e. on the selection and gradation of the items to be learnt. The term ‘rules’ refers here, first of all, to syntactic and morphological rules, but it can be also extended to phonological rules. This tactic can never be used alone but it can be combined with any of the other tactics. It appears in two basic varieties, the implicit variety and the explicit one. The implicit variety does not involve the use of any metalanguage (in other words, any grammatical comments or explanations) by the learner. It is based on rule isolation and guided induction with heavy reliance on feedback provided by the teacher or teaching materials. It cannot occur in natural settings of second language acquisition. In language pedagogy this implicit variety is emphasized by the techniques of teaching grammar in the

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early version of the audio-lingual method and in some variants of the direct method such as the Berlitz Method, as well as in C. Gattegno’s Silent Way. The learner employing this variety basically forms and tests hypotheses about the target language himself, but he is greatly helped in this task by the teacher and teaching materials whose function is to isolate a rule, to provide examples clearly illustrating this rule, to provide a set of exercises for hypothesis testing, and to provide feedback. Reflecting, in turn, on the features of the learner’s filter which may select this variety, we can only say that it suits a well-motivated learner with preference for a field-independent style of learning, for the discussion of the relevance of the concept to language learning see Brown (1980); in other words, a learner characterized by the ability of inductive learning. With regard to the relevant features of the language learning environment, it can be pointed out that the employment of the implicit variety of the deliberate rule-learning tactic totally depends on the presence of a certain way of teaching grammar, very much like the way characteristic of the methods listed above. This method of teaching, in turn, is necessarily dependent on the existence of a pedagogical grammar, at least in the minimal sense of the term, that is in the sense of an ordered list of the items to be taught. The explicit variety of the deliberate rule-learning tactic is also based on rule isolation, on a planned pedagogical sequence and a heavy reliance on feedback but, in contradistinction to the other variety, it involves the use of metalanguage in the form of grammatical comments and explanations, or, in other words, in the form of pedagogical rules. Certainly, the question whether the use of metalanguage and the explicit teaching of grammar can lead to long-term increments in the learner’s underlying grammar competency has always been one of the most controversial problems in the theory of language teaching. As with some other problems, there have been many strong opinions but there has been little solid empirical research. Generally speaking, the explicit teaching of grammar involving the use of pedagogical rules has had a bad ride with most language educators lately. Many of them would probably agree with Krashen (1981) that the explicit knowledge of grammar can only serve the function of the monitor or of the substitute utterance initiator. Yet my own hypothesis is that pedagogical rules do indeed help some learners in acquiring linguistic competence in the second language. This hypothesis is based on careful reading of various studies of successful language learners (e.g. Pickett 1978; Naiman et al. 1975), on my own interviews with several such learners and on my language learning and teaching experience. In my opinion, pedagogical rules help some learners by performing two basic functions. Firstly, they isolate a rule and help to focus learner’s awareness on a given grammatical item. Certainly, this focusing function can also be performed by implicit rule teaching, without any metalinguistic comments, but it seems that for some learners a pedagogical rule serves this function better. Secondly, although learning pedagogical rules does not replace the learner’s own basic strategy of language acquisition, it can accelerate the whole process. It can do this by

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initiating, finalizing, or rectifying the formation and testing of hypotheses. Yet, ultimately, it is the learner’s own cognitive activity which has to convert a given pedagogical rule into its functional mental representation and incorporate this representation into his linguistic competence. Admittedly, there may be learners who are not able to achieve this. This statement brings us again to the question about what features of the learner’s filter may select the tactic of explicit rule learning. First of all, it is certain that the age of the learner plays a crucial role here in the sense that this tactic is usually chosen only by older learners, i.e. adults or adolescents, and it is very unlikely to be employed by younger learners well before the age of puberty. Learner’s education is another important factor; we can generalize that the higher the level of his education, the more he will be inclined to take advantage of pedagogical rules. It is commonly known by experienced teachers of languages that particularly scientists, used to thinking in terms of abstract symbols and formulas, both like and are able to utilize pedagogical rules as aids in the acquisition of grammar. Thinking in terms of styles of learning, it seems that field-dependent learners may be more inclined to use pedagogical rules than field-independent ones, because, although the former are capable of assimilating and using whole chunks of the target language, they usually have difficulties with discerning and abstracting grammatical patterns. Considering, in turn, relevant features of the learning environment which may select the tactic of explicit rule learning, we can say that it is almost exclusively limited to formal settings and that it can be employed only in the presence of an explicit way of teaching grammar, like the way which has been lately emphasized in the cognitive approach to language teaching. The qualifier almost in front of exclusively in the statement above was used in consideration of the fact that even in natural settings there are learners who find it useful or even necessary to consult pedagogical grammars of the target language or to ask native speakers about grammatical rules. Of course, a pedagogical grammar, especially in the sense of a manual, is also an explicit way of teaching linguistic competence. While talking about pedagogical grammars we have to note that their format can also be a factor determining whether.a given learner will eventually adopt the tactic of explicit rule learning. Much depends here on how a rule is formulated (e.g. whether it is in the form of a descriptive statement or of a quasi-algorithm), what pedagogical sequence has been adopted for the teaching of it, etc. The point is that a grammar (including in this notion also teacher’s structure-teaching activities) may be (and, unforunately, very often is) antipedagogical rather than pedagogical, in which case the learner rejects it and either looks for another grammar (or teacher) or simply does not employ the tactic of explicit rule learning. In this area also more research is needed to establish optimal formats of pedagogical grammars for various types of learners and for various language teaching situations. Let us now pass on to the description of the sixth tactic of second language acquisition, which is also the last in our list. It can be defined as a very controlled and gradual development of linguistic creativity based on prolonged reproduction of texts in the target language. This reproduction is predominantly oral and it is not verbatim but consists in performing such tasks as re-narrating the source text in learner’s own sentences, summarizing the

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text, re-telling the text from a different point of view, adapting the text to make it refer to learner’s personal experiences, etc. These texts are usually varied in reference to their forms and functions and they include dialogues, narratives, monologues, etc. The essence of the tactic is that the learner constantly practices linguistic creativity in the second language but he does this in a very controlled and guided way, creating novel utterances only as recombinations of the items contained in the source text. The important point is that employing this tactic the learner never has to resort to communication strategies, or, in other words, he never has to outperform his competence. Another observation is that the tactic under discussion is usually combined with the tactic of deliberate rule learning of the implicit or explicit type. In language education the reproductive tactic is encouraged by such teaching procedures as the Bilingual Method, developed by Dodson (1972), the Reproductive-Creative Method, developed by Henzel (1978), the Berlitz Method, and, to some extent, by certain techniques of the audio-lingual method such as dialogue memorization and adaptation. The first two methods mentioned above are probably little known to most language teachers but their description, however brief, would certainly go beyond the scope of this article; I can only send an interested reader to the works listed in the references (unfortunately, the book by J. Henzel is available only in Polish but it does contain a summary in English). Yet for our purposes it is sufficient to know that both the Bilingual Method and the Reproductive-Creative Method, although differing in many important aspects, are based on the same reproductive principle: the learner always starts from a source text, he has first to master the phonic substance of the text to perfection or near perfection, and then he is required to produce novel utterances which are, however, only new combinations of the elements contained in the text. Let us now pass on to the discussion of the relevant features of the learner’s filter and the learning environment determining the adoption of the reproductive tactic. First of all, we can note that this tactic is emotionally very safe because it does not involve the use of communication strategies and it makes the learner feel adequate to the production task at hand. Therefore it has a good chance of being adopted by learners with vulnerable language egos and by perfectionists who hate making mistakes in their linguistic production. It should also suit learners who are not ambitious, who have only mediocre motivation and a low level of aspiration; who can be classified as low-input generators. If such learners adopted the tactic of attempted communication they would probably stop learning after reaching some communicative minimum in the form of a pidginized version of the target language, which would then fossilize. As far as the learning environment is concerned, it is obvious that, first of all, the reproductive tactic is not used in natural settings of second language acquisition. It has also to be considered that the three methods mentioned above, the Bilingual Method, the Reproductive-Creative Method, and the Berlitz Method have been used with well-attested success in institutionalized settings. The Berlitz Method is certainly one of the few that have victoriously withstood the test of time and can be considered highly successful, but it requires a very special organizational set-up including the tutorial system (i.e. one teacher per one student), high intensity of teaching etc. The Bilingual Method and the ReproductiveCreative Method, however, have worked very well in many primary and secondary schools

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in Wales and Poland, respectively, and can be said to suit typical school conditions characterized by low-intensity teaching and by large classes consisting of learners most of whom have only mediocre aptitude and motivation for learning foreign languages. Actually, it seems that there are no special constraints on the type of the learning environment which can promote the reproductive tactic- it can be successfully used in any formal setting. The analysis of the reproductive tactic has brought us to the close of the list of second language acquisition tactics, whose presentation was the main purpose of this article. I do not want to claim, however, that the list is exhaustive. I believe I have described the most typical and most commonly used tactics of second language acquisition in both natural and formal settings. I realize, however, that there may be some others which have not yet been discovered and analyzed. Another remark that has to be made here is that none of the tactics listed above needs to be stable for a given learner. First of all, it should be obvious from our analysis that a change in the learning environment may result in the change of the tactic actually employed by the learner. Yet it seems that the change of tactic can be also brought about by a sizeable increment of a learner’s interlanguage competence. For example, a timid and perfectionist learner may adopt the reproductive tactic for the beginning stages of language study but when he reaches the advanced stage he may switch to the tactic of attempted communication. In these closing remarks I would also like to emphasize a distinction that has been consistently maintained throughout the article, namely, the distinction between the method of language teaching and the tactic of language acquisition. Obviously, the method of teaching is an important feature of the learning environment. It always tries to impose a definite tactic or some definite tactics of acquisition on the learner, but it does not follow that the learner will adopt this tactic or these tactics to activate his language acquisition strategy. Sometimes he will reject a tactic imposed by a method when he will see this tactic as incompatible with other important features of the learning environment. For example, he may reject the tactic of attempted communication imposed by the communicative approach when he realizes that this tactic has little chance of succeeding in a very large class of which he is a member, but most often the learner will reject an imposed tactic because it is not accepted by his filter consisting of important cognitive and socio-affective variables. Very often the rejection of an imposed tactic will not be obvious to the teacher because the learner may pretend that he has adopted it and go through the motions during classroom activities, while using his own preferred tactic when out of teacher’s control. This fact is certainly realized by experienced teachers and learners of languages all over the world. Using my own learning experiences, I know very well that I would never really accept and adopt the tactic of attempted communication even if I were placed in a class taught by the most ardent supporter of the communicative approach. I belong to the learner type who hates making a great many mistakes and using a pidginized form of the target language. Even when I am in the country whose language I am beginning to learn I avoid using communication strategies as much as I possibly can and I try instead to prepare myself for every communicative task by mentally constructing and rehearsing a set of utterances which I think I will need.

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Finally, it needs to be said that much of what is written above is highly speculative and hypothetical, and this is especially true concerning the relationships between the adoption of each of the tactics presented here and the relevant features of the learner’s filter and the language learning environment. Obviously, much empirical research is needed to 1 believe, nevertheless, that the analysis establish and describe such relationships. presented in this article confirms the view that as there are many methods of language teaching, there are also many ways of acquiring foreign languages and none of them can claim to be the most successful in some abstract and generalized sense. I also hope that the present analysis can be regarded as a small contribution to our better understanding of which of these ways is the best for what learner and in what learning environment.

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KRASHEN, S. D. (1981) Second Language Acquisition and Second Language Learning. Oxford: Pergamon Press. NAIMAN, N., Frohlich, M. and Stern, H. H. (1975) The Good Language Learner. Toronto: Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. NORD, J. R. (1980) Developing listening fluency before speaking: an alternative paradigm. System, 8: l-22. PICKETT, G. D. (1978) The Foreign Language Learning Process. London: The British Council (ETIC Occasional Papers). POSTOVSKY, V. A. (1974) Effects of delay in oral practice at the beginning of second language learning. Modern Language Journal, 58: 229-239. SCHUMANN, J. H. (1978) The Pidginization Process: a Model for Second Language Acquisition, Rowley, Mass.: Newbury House. SELIGER, H. W. (1982) Strategy and tactic in second language acquisition. Unpublished paper presented at the Summer School of Linguistics, Jyvaskyla, Finland, June 7-l 1, 1982. TARONE, E. E. (1977) Conscious communication strategies in interlanguage: a progress report. In H. D. Brown, C. A. Yorio, and R. H. Crymes (eds.) Teaching and Learning English as a Second Language: Trends in Research and Pracfice, pp. 194-203. Washington, D.C.: TESOL. VARADI, T. (1973) Strategies of target language learning communication. ference of the Romanian-English Linguistics Project in Timisoara, 1973.

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