Advances in the Teaching of Modern Languages by Gustave Mathieu

By Gustave Mathieu

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S u m m a r y and R e c o m m e n d a t i o n s T h e presentation device, or teaching machine, is designed and constructed to serve what are believed to be the special requirements RESEARCH IN SELF-INSTRUCTION 31 of programmed self-instruction in spoken and written foreign languages. Chief of these special requirements are: (1) correlated audio-visual stimulation, and (2) provision for repetition of stimuli and responses with progressive reduction of the prompting of responses. In addition, the device had to provide for various standard features of programmed instruction such as immediate confirmation of responses and self-pacing.

2. Instructions play an important role in directing learning. For example, in an early frame the student is told to pay attention "mainly to the sound" of the several Chinese words to be presented, whereas twenty frames later he is told to pay attention to their meanings. 3. Unless attention is being directed to particular aspects of linguistic forms or symbols, foreign language material to be learned should be presented, insofar as possible, in complete utterances, however short they may be. T h e material should be presented in contrasting patterns so that the learner can easily infer what part of each pattern has a given significance.

6. Ability to utter novel sentences using the syntactical patterns and words presented in the program, and to demonstrate this ability by accurate translation of English into Chinese. 7. Ability to recognize fifty Chinese characters as corresponding to their equivalents in the spoken language; also, ability to copy these characters with correct stroke order (but not necessarily to write them without a model, although this is taught incidentally in the program as an aid to memorization). A considerable variety of programming techniques were used.

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