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.