From Individualized Instruction to Individualized Learning


  • Victor E. Hanzeli,

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      VICTOR E. HANZELI (Ph.D., Indiana Univ.) is Associate Professor of Romance Languages at the Univ. of Washington. He has participated in several NDEA Institutes at the Univ. of Hawaii and the Univ. of Kentucky as a linguistics instructor, and has served as Director of the French Study Abroad Program, Univ. of Washington, for one summer. He is a member of MLA, LSA, and AATF.

  • F. William D. Love

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      F. WILLIAM D. LOVE (A.B., Dartmouth Coll.) is Editor of the Washington Foreign Language Program. Previously he has taught in inner-city tutoring programs in Hanover, N. H., and New York City. Among his published work are “Community Based Foreign Language Teaching,” Modern Language Journal (Spring 1972), and New Teachers for New Students: Proceedings of the Seattle Symposium (New York: ACTFL, 1970), which he co-edited with Victor Hanzeli.


ABSTRACT  General dissatisfaction with the quality of foreign language learning and the nationwide enrollment crisis have prompted foreign language teachers to make various pedagogical or curricular responses, the foremost of which has become “individualized instruction.” But the background and nature of this response virtually guarantee its inefficacy, and the consequences of failure appear even more dismal than those of inaction. Therefore, we must take the original correct assumption that individual learners are indeed different individuals, move beyond the present definition of “individualized instruction,” and attempt to transform the foreign language—and in fact the complete educational—experience of students. The goal is self-motivation and self-reliance; the best path is that of restructuring, or even de-structuring, the classroom and school to allow for more freedom and more personal responsibility for learning.