Re-evaluating Communicative Language Teaching: Wittgenstein and Postmethod Pedagogy
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This thesis analyses some ways in which Ludwig Wittgenstein's later philosophy can make a valuable contribution to the current re-evaluation of the concept of method within postmethod pedagogy. First, the emergence and development of Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) is traced in order to reveal the ways in which theorists’ and practitioners’ understandings of language, the learner, and language learning have influenced practice in three developmental phases of CLT. The analysis then integrates the concepts of Sprachspiel (language-game), Lebensform (forms of life), and Regelfolgen (rule following) from Wittgenstein's Philosophische Untersuchungen into the theoretical assumptions implicit in CLT to produce a model which fosters reflection upon the concepts of language, the learner and language learning in light of the postmethod pedagogic parameters of particularity, practicality, and possibility. This consideration and integration of Wittgensteins's perspective not only promotes a deeper understanding of the theoretical underpinnings of CLT, but also seeks to initiate a re-conceptualization of CLT as a postmethod pedagogy by reflecting upon historical understandings of language, language learners, and language learning and by redefining these core concepts. The analysis culminates in the creation of a table that outlines the concepts of language, language learners, and language learning within a postmethod conceptualization of CLT using combined insights from CLT, postmethod pedagogy, and Wittgenstein’s concepts of Sprachspiel, Lebensform, and Regelfolgen.