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The Dynamics of the Language Lesson

N. S. Prabhu
TESOL Quarterly
Vol. 26, No. 2 (Summer, 1992), pp. 225-241
DOI: 10.2307/3587004
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3587004
Page Count: 17
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The Dynamics of the Language Lesson
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Abstract

The classroom lesson is an event of several different kinds: It is a unit in a planned curricular sequence, an instance of a teaching method in operation, a patterned social activity, and an encounter between human personalities. Much of what happens in any given classroom represents a stable routine which best reconciles the varied demands of these different dimensions for the particular teacher and learners in question. If this is so, specialist-level effort at arriving at a good teaching method or curriculum for wide classroom use is largely misguided since any new method or curriculum is sure to be unsettling to the stable routine in each classroom and likely, as a result, either to be discarded as unworkable or to be absorbed into a new, stable routine devoid of its conceptual substance. A change in classroom routines can be productive of learning only to the extent it is motivated and sustained by conceptual exploration by the teachers themselves. This involves teachers being their own theorists, and specialists interacting with teachers as fellow theorists.

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