An Alternative to Structurally Oriented Textbooks*


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    The author gratefully acknowledges the assistance of Dr. Alan Garfinkel of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, Purdue University, during the preparation of this article.


ABSTRACT  Although most of today's foreign language textbooks and syllabuses are organized around structural form, a functional-notional approach may be a viable alternative. This concept, originating with the Council of Europe's reorganization of its foreign language program, basically involves the organization of a textbook or syllabus according to the notions or functions that a learner hopes to be able to express. This article explores the various aspects of the concept, includes examples of how a functional-notional unit of instruction might be organized, and points out the advantages of such an organization. The article suggests that the functional-notional approach may be significant in fulfilling the needs of both foreign language students and teachers.