A theoretical reflection on drills and their evolution in the teaching-learning programming of foreign languages: An asset for communicative competence
Keywords:Drills, Foreign language teaching-learning, L1 interference, Communicative approach, Interlanguage
This article is a theoretical review of drills. It traces its journey from birth and its application, to its criticism, marking its banishment, and proposes its didactic rehabilitation in a critical way, considering the current theoretical assumptions that define communicative competence.
From mid-century 20th, within the Audio-Oral Method, the result of the association of the Behaviourist Psychology and Structural Linguistics principles, drills are exercises of mechanical practice, which are based on repetition. With the advent of the communicative approach, these exercises were the target of a disinfestation operation, exiled from programs, curricula, accused of generating nothing but deformities. Abruptly dismissed, however, they survive in teachers' handbooks and practices, albeit camouflaged by didactic complexes, and therefore often misapplied without their advantages being revealed. Its survival seems to suggest that its use may be beneficial even when the focus of the mediators of foreign language teaching and learning is communicative, taking into account, especially, the fight against mother tongue (L1) interference in the students’ interlanguage.
Knowing different kinds of drills and the principles that underlie its appropriate conception and implementation, we consider them as useful tools for Language Didactics.
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Copyright (c) 2020 Elsa de Jesus Roma Nunes, António Ricardo Mira, Ramón Pérez Parejo
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