Foreign Language Education at the Crossroads: Whose Model of Competence?

Álvarez, Inma (2007). Foreign Language Education at the Crossroads: Whose Model of Competence? Language, Culture and Curriculum, 20(2) pp. 126–139.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.2167/lcc330.0

Abstract

In the teaching and learning of foreign languages, the native speaker has traditionally been the model to aspire to. However, more recent approaches to the discipline have been moving away from this notion. Foreign language education finds itself at present at a crossroads with multiple models of language and culture competence. So far no investigation has focused on the diversity of the paradigmatic changes in the models of competence that come about as a result, or evaluated what the old and new models imply in theory and practice. This paper exposes some of the complex assumptions behind these models as well as the pedagogical trends that have infl uenced their constructions. It also highlights some of the contradictions that are still present in the new cultural paradigms for the discipline.

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