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Language Teaching

Linguistic Theory in Practice

Melinda Whong

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How can theories of language development be understood and applied in your language classroom?

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Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Historical Overview: Language & Language Teaching
Chapter 3: Language as a Biological Property
Chapter 4: Language as Tool for Communication
Chapter 5: Implications for Language Teaching
Chapter 6: Approaches to English Language Teaching
Chapter 7: Putting Theory into Practice
Chapter 8: Practice and Practices: Responding to Student Needs

About the Author

Melinda Whong is a lecturer in English Language Teaching at the University of Leeds. Having taught in the US, China, Egypt, she did her formal academic training in the UK in generative second language acquisition. By applying theory to practice, she brings the two sides of her career together.


This is an authoritative synthesis of the main streams of thought in linguistics, second language acquisition research and language teaching methodology. The author provides the reader with a rarely encountered integration of the practical with the theoretical, making it an invaluable guide for applied linguists and language teaching practitioners alike.
- Professor Mike Sharwood Smith, Chair of Languages, Heriot-Watt University
An important resource for anyone who takes language teaching and acquisition seriously.
- Joyce Bruhn de Garavito, The University of Western Ontario

The book is full of insights and suggestions valuable to classroom practitioners... As a whole, the book is written in a reader-friendly manner. This is partly because advanced knowledge of linguistics and psychology is not required to follow the arguments. Difficult concepts are explained with readily comprehensible examples. This is beneficial to practitioners, who confront various problems in and outside the classroom every day. Another strength of this book is its compact size: 180 pages excluding glossary and references. It overviews a wide range of topics, but they are systematically organized. The book is much shorter than other introductory books with similar titles. This is good news to busy practitioners. Lastly, implications for language teaching are discussed at length, and the application of theory to practice is examined with samples of syllabus and lesson plans. These features overall make it easy for readers to understand how theory and practice can coexist… I strongly recommend the book to practitioners and readers who are interested in language teaching in general.

- Hirofumi Hosokawa, International Journal of Applied Linguistics

Melinda Whong explores how theories of language development can be applied in a language classroom. She offers a wealth of detailed, precise and concise information on linguistic perspectives, along with cutting edge second language acquisition (SLA) research… Whong’s book gives an account of a range of linguistic theories, and makes stimulating reading for researchers, undergraduate and postgraduate students, teachers and anyone else interested in how we teach and how we should teach in SLA.

- Argyro Kanaki, University of Dundee, BAAL News

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