The British Council in the Philippines, in partnership with the Ateneo de Manila University Center for English Language Teaching (ACELT) hosted a public lecture by Dr. Alan Waters last 05 December 2015. He talked about the connection between cognitive architecture and the learning of language knowledge. Dr Waters is a renowned ELT expert from the University of Lancaster in the United Kingdom. He was previously involved in the Primary ELT (PELT) Project in the Philippines in early 2000.
Cognitive architecture refers to how the mind works with regard to memory. Dr. Waters pointed out that knowledge stored in long-term memory is the key to excellent performance. In the context of ELT, for him, the ‘learning to communicate’ approach should be reinforced by the ‘communicating to learn’ approach. For the attendees, this insight is relevant as it implies that both methods are not exclusive but can be used to compliment each other, particularly since communicative language teaching, which espouses a 'learning to communicate' approach, is the prevalent method in the Philippines.
After his morning lecture, Dr. Waters also conducted a workshop on Innovation in English Language Teaching Methodology exclusive for members of the British Council-ACELT Teachers Club.
About Dr. Alan Waters
Dr. Waters is a senior lecturer at the University of Lancaster and has run several courses around the world. His publications include Interface (Longman), ESP: A Learning-Centred Approach, Study Tasks in English (both Cambridge University Press), A Review of Research into Needs for English for Academic Purposes (ETS), two edited volumes of papers, and a number of journal articles.