Incorporating Comparisons Standard 4.1 into Foreign Language Teaching


  • Serafima Gettys

    1. Stanford University
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      Serafima Gettys (PhD, St. Petersburg University of Education) is a Lecturer in Russian at Stanford University, Stanford, California.


Abstract: This article discusses how linguistic comparisons can be incorporated into foreign language classroom activities. Drawing on Slobin's (1996) experimental study, which demonstrated the existence of “the thinking for speaking” form of thought, it is argued that teaching a foreign language entails teaching novel “thinking for speaking” operations and it is at this point of instruction that the use of L1-L2 comparisons is most warranted. In addition, linguistic and psycholingustic evidence in favor of using the word as a basic unit of linguistic comparisons in the foreign language classroom is provided. Finally, practical suggestions as to how linguistic comparisons can be included in day-to-day teaching are offered.