>A teacher wrote us: “I noted recently the, I think, generally unannounced passing of LG (Louis) Alexander in June 2003. Alexander was a giant of TESOL in the early 70s when I began using his texts in TEFL situations. When I returned to the field a few years later his hour had passed and he wasn’t heard of again. Too much repetition; too much focus on habit formation.”
Alexander and his “New Concept” series, published in 1965 (with only superficial changes since) predating even Dell Hymes’ and the Communicative Approach (is it still a new concept?) is the number one best seller in China even today. It seems like Chinese students and Chinese teachers think it is the greatest invention in English teaching since the dictionary. They erected a statue to Alexander in Beijing .
A teacher suggested an examination of methodologies of the past to see what good things from them may have been overlooked. Obviously, more work needs to be done to get the world’s largest English learning population out of the past and at least to the present. So much has changed in the English teaching world since “New Concept” was published. The study of linguistics has benefited a lot from the research of Noam Chomsky, Stephen Krashen and many other researchers and modern thinkers. “New Concept” is in the past. It is the old concept. Time for a “new” new concept.