When we planned this book, we wanted to provide an introduction to the field of foreign and L2 teaching and learning written by top scholars in the field. We wanted to provide more background to key topics than is typically contained in dictionaries and encyclopedias yet, at the same time, to keep entries shorter than the typical book chapter. Although we wanted entries to be accessible to the non-specialist, we also wanted the topics to be dealt with in some depth. At the end of each chapter, we wanted the reader to know the history and evolution of the topic discussed, be familiar with key issues and questions, be conversant with the research that has been carried out, and have some idea of future trends and directions. We hope these objectives have been met in
The book is aimed at teachers, teachers in preparation, and undergraduate and graduate students of language education and applied linguistics. It is intended to provide a general background as well as to provide pointers for those who want a more detailed knowledge of any of the topics introduced here. The latter is given in references to the literature throughout each chapter and also in the list of key readings at the end of each chapter. Each list of key readings provides abbreviated details, with full publication details in the list of references at the end of the book. We are conscious that some will feel that topics have been left out and, of course, omissions and absences can be identified in any book due, in part at least, to the predilections and preferences of the authors and editors. For example, we are conscious that chapters could have been provided in the rapidly developing areas of pragmatics and corpus linguistics. We could have provided a chapter on communicative language teaching as the most well established of methodologies of the late twentieth century. We hope that these and related topics are treated and developed in other chapters in the book and that the index provided will help readers to navigate topics and themes which are not necessarily signalled in individual chapter headings. We also provide a glossary at the end of the book; this is not a comprehensive glossary of the terms used in TESOL but refers to the terms most frequently used in the chapters in this book. Key terms in the text are highlighted in bold, and many of these appear in the glossary.
There is no immutable logic to the order in which the chapters in the book have been arranged. We have placed chapters concerned with language organisation and basic skills at the beginning since, in part at least, many of the other chapters derive progressively from this base. There is, however, no reason why the chapters cannot be read in a different sequence. Similarly, there is the following basic structure to each chapter: introduction, background, overview of research, consideration of the relevance to classroom practice, reflection on current and future trends and directions and a conclusion. Although the structure does not apply equally to all topics, authors of chapters have followed this framework as far as possible.