Meaning-Focused Materials for Language Learning
This publication is a result of the joint conference held by MATSDA and Fontys University of Applied Sciences, the Netherlands, in Tilburg in June 2017. MATSDA is an international materials development association founded in 1993 which serves to bring together researchers, teachers, materials developers and publishers in an effort to improve the effectiveness of language learning materials. The 2017 conference centred on issues related to the development of meaning-focused materials for language learning, and attracted presenters from twenty-five countries stretching from Greenland to Brazil. These issues are reflected in the chapters in this volume, with each one focusing on a different aspect of meaning-focused materials and many of them introducing the reader to previously unexplored facets of the theory of meaning-focused instruction and its application to materials development. The contributions here are of essential value to post-graduate students, to teachers, to materials developers and to researchers. They are written to be academically rigorous, but at the same time accessible to newcomers to the field and to experienced experts alike.
Marina Bouckaert graduated as a Doctor of Education from Roehampton University, UK, in 2017. Her publications include a Dutch coursebook on English grammar and papers in Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching and FOLIO.
Monique Konings has worked as a teacher educator in the English Department of Fontys University of Applied Sciences, the Netherlands, since 2015. She holds a Master of Arts from the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, and has extensive experience as a language teacher in South-East Asia.
Marjon van Winkelhof is the coordinator of the Bachelor of Arts programme in English at Fontys University of Applied Sciences, the Netherlands, where she has worked as a teacher educator since 2008. She holds a Master’s of Education, and has extensive experience as a language teacher in the Netherlands.
“This edited volume offers a global insight into current theory and practice relating to meaning-focused language-learning materials, offering practitioners a valuable opportunity to update their practice while glimpsing contexts beyond their own. Both theory and practice are addressed, and many contributors provide detailed examples of materials or teaching interventions. The final section on critical perspectives raises a number of important issues relating to the validity of language assessment practices, both local and international, and the relevance and authenticity of standardized learning materials. […] [The] book provides a thought-provoking journey into issues at the crux of language education: how best to motivate and engage learners, encourage critical thinking and a global perspective, raise awareness of both pragmatic and semantic meaning while drawing attention to form, and how to prepare learners to use language in a world that may not be accurately reflected in language curricula and assessment practices. Its overall message is positive, encouraging small changes at the local level, such as supplementary materials, opportunities for student choice, or additional questions that encourage authentic personal response and pragmatic understanding.”
Assistant Professor, Nihon University College of Economics; LINGUIST List 30.4003
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