Bibliografía - 2005

En American Educator vol. 28 - 1

Artículo en inglés
Artículo en español

Cognitive science is an interdisciplinary field of researchers from psychology, neuroscience, linguistics, philosophy, computer science, and anthropology who seek to understand the mind. In this regular American Educator column, we consider findings from this field that are strong and clear enough to merit classroom application.


It is difficult to overstate the value of practice. For a new skill to become automatic or for new knowledge to become long-lasting, sustained practice, beyond the point of mastery, is necessary. This column summarizes why practice is so important and reviews the different effects of intense short-term practice versus sustained, long-term practice.

Kim Potowski (2005)

Este libro resume los puntos más importantes sobre la enseñanza del español a los alumnos de ascendencia hispana en los Estados Unidos. El país cuenta con una numerosa y creciente población de inmigrantes latinoamericanos casi monolingües en español, cuyos hijos son normalmente bilingües en español e inglés, seguidos por los nietos y bisnietos, quienes suelen hablar poco español. La presencia de estos alumnos en las escuelas ha dado lugar al campo denominado Español para Hablantes Nativos (en inglés Spanish for Native Speakers), también conocido como Español para Hablantes de Herencia. Una enseñanza eficaz del español a los hablantes de herencia comprende una serie de competencias y conocimientos diferentes de los necesarios para enseñar el español como segundo idioma, pero normalmente éstos no forman parte del desarrollo profesional de los profesores. El libro presenta una breve historia de la llegada y de la concentración actual de los principales grupos hispanos en los EE.UU., además de aportar detalles sobre los conocimientos lingüísticos y necesidades académicas de los alumnos hablantes de herencia. También ofrece un capítulo con principios y aproximaciones pedagógicas concretas, que a su vez pueden aplicarse al trabajo con otros grupos lingüísticos minoritarios en cualquier país.

Rod Ellis (2005)

The purpose of this literature review is to examine theory and research that has addressed what constitutes effective pedagogy for the acquisition of a second language (L2) in a classroom context. In other words, the review seeks to answer the question: How can instruction best ensure successful language learning?

This is not an easy question to answer, both because there are many competing theories offering very different perspectives on how instruction can promote language learning and because the empirical research does not always afford clear cut findings. We will endeavour to reflect the different theoretical viewpoints and findings in the review. To do otherwise would be to misrepresent the current state of research in this field.

However, in order to avoid the pitfalls of complete relativity, we will attempt to identify a number of general principles, based on theory and research, which we believe can provide a guideline for designers of language curricula and for classroom teachers. In proposing these principles we do not wish to adopt a positivist stance. We do not believe that the research findings to date provide definitive specifications for language instruction. Rather we wish to suggest, in line with Stenhouse’s (1975) arguments, that the principles be viewed as ‘provisional specifications’ best operationalised and then tried out by teachers in their own teaching contexts.

The review begins with an examination of the learning theories that underlie three mainstream approaches to language teaching (Section A). From there, it moves on to consider empirical studies of classroom teaching and learning (Section B). Given the vast amount of research that has taken place over the last three decades, the research considered will necessarily be selective, focusing on key theoretical claims and seminal studies. These sections provide the basis for the identification of a set of general principles (Section C). The review concludes with a discussion of how the research can best be utilized by practitioners (Section D).

Inevitably in a review of this nature, readers will be confronted with a number of technical terms. In some cases, where they are of central importance these will be defined in the main text. However, in cases where they are less central, they are defined in the glossary. All terms in bold print can be found in the glossary.