By A.P.R. Howatt
This publication strains the background of English language instructing correct as much as the origins of the communicative strategy, finishing with a dialogue of the influence of utilized linguistics on language instructing in either the US and Britain.
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Extra resources for A History of English Language Teaching
On the contrary, by the late nineteenth century the crass reductiveness of some types of historical and biographical criticism had provoked an understandable formalist reaction. INTRODUCTION 23 From the time of the Aesthetes and Symbolists onwards, there were theories of literature as representing an aesthetic autonomy that was basically impersonal and a-historical. This strand of thought, still central for Russian Formalism and Anglo-American literary Modernism,5 was merely one instance of a dehistoricizing and de-humanizing paradigm which was to dominate the humanities as a whole for well over half a century.
Even so, it is in keeping with Berlin’s own mind-style. 16 LITERATURE AS COMMUNICATION and so could the passage I have chosen as one of my epigraphs, with its mention of “values, ends of life, by the realisation of which men could be fulfilled”. This manner of expression is now often seen as politically incorrect, in its alleged implication that men come closer than women to some ideal of human perfection. A more appropriate choice of words, it might be felt, would be “humankind” instead of “mankind”, and “human beings” or just “people” instead of “men”.
Also, the New Critical tradition of de-contextualized readings ensured a swift Americanization of poststructuralist deconstruction. But even granting all this, the fact remains: according to the New Critics, whatever you might think about the interpersonality of writing in general, works of literature were different. The poem did not mean, but was. Literary works merely dramatized a relationship between a fictionalized speaker and a fictionalized reader, and any discussion of the real author’s intention, and of the impact on real readers, involved a “psychologistic fallacy”.
A History of English Language Teaching by A.P.R. Howatt