Friday, March 4, 2011

Week Two Discussion Questions

How do the various orientations to a literacy curriculum imply different perspectives regarding the purpose of education? What are some of these different views of the purpose of education?

What is the teacher's duty according to each perspective?

At what point in this reading does Shannon reveal a critical perspective regarding these orientations to curriculum?
How does he do so?

What are the two different senses in which Pennycook asserts that language teaching is inherently “political”?

Pennycook makes a rather rash sounding claim in saying that the very notion of “language” as conceived in linguistics, is a political concept. How does he believe this is so?

On p. 597 Pennycook connects the notion of “method” in language teaching with a Western enlightenment conception of scientism (via Descartes). According to Pennycook's argument, how do methods in language teaching parallel the general scientific notion of discovering and discerning truth?

Pennycook offers a historical perspective on teaching practices which opposes positivist and progressivist readings of history. These could be read as a sceintist versus a historicist reading of methods? What is his purpose for incorporating a historicist reading and why does he believe it is important to do so?

What is the 'methods boom' and what groups have been empowered by it?

On page 598 onwards the author describes the socio-political conditions of various language learning contexts. Describe the Korean English learning context using Pennycook's descriptions as a model. In other words, briefly summarize the socio-political context in Korean English education.

On page 600 there is a brief allusion to the notion of 'traditional' language teaching methods. What are traditional Korean teaching methods?
How would Pennycook answer that same question?

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