Dr Alan Waters, a renowned ELT expert from United Kingdom, gave a public lecture in the Philippines on the connection between cognitive architecture and the learning of language knowledge. The lecture was organised by the British Council Philippines in partnership with the Ateneo de Manila University Center for English Language Teaching (ACELT).
Dr Waters’ talk focussed on cognitive architecture, how the mind works with regard to memory. He 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 was relevant as it implies that both methods are not exclusive but can be used to complement 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.
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.