Looking for Strategies and Activities? Click Here!


The Tree: Linking Theory and Practice

The tree can act as a metaphor to help us see the relationship between theory and practice in second language learning and teaching. The ROOTS represent concepts and theories to be considered in teaching in general and in second language acquisition in particular. The TRUNK represents what the student brings to the learning context – their attitudes, learning styles and intelligences, their cognitive and affective abilities. The BRANCHES represent what the student needs to learn (listening, speaking, reading, writing, and culture). The LEAVES on the tree might be seen as the activities or tasks that students are asked to do to in order to develop second language skills.

The success of teacher planning and preparation and development of carefully selected activities can be understood by tracing how they are fed by the ideas on the roots and trunk. For example, an activity such as a spelling dictation may be helpful to students, but touches very few of the concepts listed on the roots, trunk or branches. On the other hand, an activity such as Picture Cues touches on almost all of the concepts.

Click on the different parts of the tree below to access more information about each topic.



Dr. Bilash Bio How this site works Site Map Glossary Useful Links Acknowledgements Contact

Copyright © Olenka Bilash May 2009 ~ Last Modified January 2011