The Action-Oriented Approach: Integrating Democratic Citizenship Education into Language Teaching


The action-oriented approach in language teaching as adopted by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) and developed in detail by Puren (2004a, 2009b, 2011d, 2013, 2014a, 2014b, 2016, 2017g), has a dual aim, unlike the communicative approach, of both proposing a framework for teaching languages and educating democratic citizens for a democratic society. The first aim, that of teaching languages, is at the service of the second aim. This paper aims to outline the basic principles and methodological processes of the action-oriented approach within the framework of Puren (2004a, 2009b, 2011d, 2013, 2014a, 2014b, 2016, 2017g). It also aims to explain how the action-oriented approach detaches itself from the recent development of the communicative approach, namely task based language teaching. It is argued that while the communicative approach and task based language teaching aim to train learners to communicative with each other, which is mainly an exchange of information, the action-oriented approach moves further and aims to prepare learners to live and work together in a democratic society. Such an aim requires learners to develop the main skills expected from a social actor such as personal autonomy, collective responsibility, group work, information management, negotiation, design and implementation of complex actions since these skills are important for language learners to live and work successfully in their democratic society.



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