Letters to the Editor SpecGram Vol CLXXXVII, No 4 Contents Linguimericks—Book ७४

University News

Textbooks Hold the Key to Second Language Learning Development

by Ruthlessly Roving Reporter Miss Deakina Andrea Kirkhamia

Results published yesterday from the Consortium of Higher Education Approaches to Teaching (CHEAT) suggest that textbooks hold the key to second language learning development. A series of experiments suggest that vocabulary, grammar and even abstract features of pronunciation such as liaison, ellipsis, etc., that emerge in connected speech, as well as the phonological rules underlying dialect forms, can in fact be learnt simply from being in the same room as a well-produced textbook, assuming it has lots of colourful pictures of happy language learners in it.

Dr Donald ‘DocDon’ McDonaldson of WcDonaldson Institute for Language Development (WILD) verged on the ecstatic as he told us about the experiment’s outcomes. ‘It’s incredible’, he raved. ‘Some of us have been saying for years that the pushed output hypothesis and gradual descaffolding approaches to production are just so much gas and hot air. We ran a set of experiments where some studied from the glossy and very reasonably priced textbook in the normal way, and over 95% of these learners were fluent in 6 months or fewer. However, the cohort that simply texted their parents at home while in a room with a pile of textbooks also learned the language near perfectly. This demonstrates clearly that as long as it has a snappy title and, let me reiterate, loads and loads of colourful pictures, the textbook-based approach delivers excellent result irrespective of any other pedagogy.’

Letters to the Editor
LinguimericksBook ७४
SpecGram Vol CLXXXVII, No 4 Contents