Marianne Celce-Murcia is Professor Emerita of Applied Linguistics at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Her interests include English grammar and pronunciation—description and pedagogy—the role of discourse analysis in language pedagogy, and language teaching methodology. She has been (co)editor on all four editions of Teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language (4th edition, forthcoming, National Geographic-Heinle) as well as co-editing a five-volume textbook series with M. Sokolik (Grammar Connection, 2007-2009, Cengage-Heinle). In addition to numerous published articles, Professor Celce-Murcia has co-authored four books: The Grammar Book (2nd ed, 1999, Heinle) with Diane Larsen-Freeman; Techniques and Resources in Teaching Grammar (1988, Oxford University Press) with Sharon Hilles; Teaching Pronunciation (2nd ed., 2010, Cambridge University Press) with Donna Brinton and Janet Goodwin; and Discourse and Context in Language Teaching (2000, Cambridge University Press) with Elite Olshtain. After retiring from 30 years on the faculty at UCLA, she served as
Dean of English Programs for the American University of Armenia in Yerevan (2003-2007). Professor Celce-Murcia has served as a member-at-large on the Boards of both Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (international TESOL) and the American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL); she also served on the editorial boards of TESOL Quarterly and Applied Linguistics. She has taught and worked outside the U.S. in Nigeria, Egypt, and Canada and has done teacher training (i.e., lectures and workshops) in Japan, Singapore, Mexico, Costa Rica, Brazil, Israel, Armenia, Italy, France, and Spain. She has also spoken at numerous TESOL affiliate conferences in the U.S. Professor Celce-Murcia will be giving two talks at our fall conference. Abstracts for each address are listed below.
Teaching grammar through discourse
This talk will argue that sentence-based approaches to teaching grammar are inadequate. There are very few rules of English grammar that operate strictly at the sentence level (e.g., determiner-noun agreement, selection of reflexive pronouns). Most of what we think about in terms of teaching grammar are rules that apply at the discourse level: active vs. passive voice, tense-aspect-modality selection, article usage, phrasal verb particle movement, indirect object placement, etc. The talk will focus in detail on what my graduate students and I have discovered about tense-aspect modality selection by examining how these forms are used in speech and writing to organize episodes at the discourse level. By teaching grammar at the discourse level, we can better integrate grammar with content and with the language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. This is because authentic communication does not take place in sentences—it takes place in discourse episodes, which may be as short as a word or as long as a book.
Language teaching methodology: past, present, and future
After centuries of alternating between language teaching approaches that favored language use vs. approaches that favored language analysis (approaches which I will review), we now find ourselves in a “post-methods era”, where language teaching professionals are trying to integrate learners’ ability to both use (i.e., communicative competence) and analyze (i.e., language awareness) the second or foreign language they are learning by appealing to general principles that have emerged from several decades of research (e.g., Kumaravadivelu’s 10 macrostrategies). This research indicates the need for highly skilled teachers who can tailor instruction to the needs and interests of their students. The field is
currently in a state of flux as we look to the future where new technologies and new contexts of language learning and use (not to mention new varieties of English) are emerging and will determine how language teaching methodology evolves in the next few decades.