Are the production lines running?

Here is a (June 2012) post from recent WordPress immigrant Kevin Stein. You can check out all of this stuff at and I highly recommend doing so as well as following his blog. I chose this specific post to reblog (and by doing so welcome Kevin to the WordPress cartel) because I think he raises some great questions and points and also because I found the comments to be helpful and insightful. Enjoy!

The Other Things Matter


Lately I’m a little troubled by the word ‘production’.  The longer I teach and the more I read, the less sure I become about even the simplest terms in ELT.  When exactly does production start?  What is the difference between practice and production?  Can true beginners ever truly engage in production?  When I began working in ELT 13 years ago, I was a pretty big fan of Krashen.  I bought into the idea that mere repetition, or parroting, wasn’t production.  Now I’m not so sure.  And I get less sure the more I work with the lowest level students at my school.

Regardless of methodology, production often seems to be linked with autonomy.  But for Penny Ur (1991, p. 19), practice is, “the rehearsal of certain behaviors with the objective of consolidating learning and improving performance,” even when carried out completely autonomously.  So the line between practice and production might…

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