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[Susan notes: Stephen Krashen is a star at sharing information, at encouraging people to be informed.]

Published in Language Magazine

To the editor

Not Just the Ivory Tower

Doug Evans ("Methodology is dead," November 2009) argues that we should not blindly adhere to the tenets of any single language teaching methodology. Agreed. I have argued that we should also consider theory, attempts to explain why some practices work and others do not, based on research, observation, and personal experience.

I have also argued that we should not blindly adhere to the tenets of any single theory, but should consider the progress of language acquisition theory in general, continuing attempts to make sense of language acquisition and language education.

This is, however, hard to do. Journal papers and technical books are typically unnecessarily long and unnecessarily dense, and usually expensive and inaccessible. The good news is that there are publications contributing to a solution to this serious problem. The >i>International Journal of Foreign Language Teaching (ijflt.com) is a free, on-line journal that encourages short, clearly written reports of research and practice, and, of course, Language Magazine helps keep language educators and enthusiasts up to date in all areas of language education.

These publications make it easier to keep up with progress in theory and practice, and make it easier for a wider group of experts (teachers, experienced language acquirers) to contribute to this progress. Reading and writing about language acquisition and language education should not be limited to ivory-tower researchers like me.

Stephen Krashen

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