The concept of Interlingua was introduced in glottodidactics in the seventies by Selinker.
By this concept the attention to glottodidactics moved from the departure language and target language to the temporary language used by students during their learning process, focusing more on the path than on the arrival point.
For a thorough dissertation of the interlingua, read this book.
Through an action-research path I have been working on the complexification of students’ interlingua by writing production activities and the metalinguistic reflection activity on students productions.
The research took place between February and September 2011 and was conducted within a private languages school in London.
Let’s talk about it in more details!
The class was composed only by two English native students between 40 and 45 years old, both working as professional manager. I took part to this survey together with the school director as external observer and a colleague as critic friend.
We followed all the stages of the action-research and at the observation stage and analysis of the pre-existing situation we noticed the insurgence of an interlingua fossilization phenomenon.
The students were not able to improve and their mistakes were recurring and belonging to a lower level language competency.
Therefore we supposed that considering the language as a text, leaving the phrasal grammar perspective to advantage a textual grammar, we should have lead the students to reflect mainly on the logics of linguistic cohesion and coherence.
During this period, the students analyzed and reflected on some proposals of expository and argumentative texts. Therefore, at the end of each didactic activity the students were asked to produce a writing text during the class.
The writing production was always followed by a metalinguistic reflection, which was the most interesting part of the research.
We also had to work hard on the presentation of the writing tasks as the students were not interested in this topic.
Our first goal was to highlight the glottomathetic aims of this activity; only in this way, the students accepted its importance.
My research was made of intuitions, reflections, negotiations and failures.
At the end of the path we obtained a significant improvement in students speaking ability; the results obtained provided us useful information that may be used in similar contexts to identify alternative instruments for the didactic approach.
For more interesting topics about teachers training follow this link.
Paolo La Gamma