FSI - Adapting and Writing Language Lessons

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Foreign Service Institute General  - Image Each passing year sees more people exposed to more languages. The largest number are learning widely taught international languages such as English and French. Smaller, but growing even more rapidly, is the number of people who need competence in one or more of the seldom-taught languages of the world. The seldom-taught languages are, for obvious reasons, the ones for which fewest textbooks are available. Yet any one course is necessarily of some one length, in some one pedagogical style, and with some fixed content. This fact, together with the paucity of materials, means that most prospective users of lessons will be dissatisfied with what they find. The decision is often to discard all that exists and start anew, or simply not to start at all.

The purpose of this book, which draws on twenty years of teaching `neglected' languages in a wide variety of settings, is to do two things: first, to set forth guidelines for appreciating what does exist and adapting it to immediate needs; second, to suggest an approach to writing of materials that will be as adaptable as possible.

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