Earl Stevick

Stevick, Earl W.; Teaching and Learning Lanugages; Cambridge University Press; Cambridge 1982

A presentation of why tried and true methodologies work under current theoretical understandings. Mr. Stevick provides a practical synthesis of classroom procedure and theoretical justification.


  • Memory is multidimensional and multi sensual.
  • Language is not an isolated system in memory. It is linked to the other senses.
  • Language acquisition can be improved by the holistic understanding of how memory works.
  • Respects multiple styles of learning
  • Recognizes the distinction between learning and acquisition.
  • Short Term Memory, Long Term Memory and Learning are distinct from Acquisition. In other terms, Short Term Declarative and Long Term Declarative Memory are associated with Learning; Non- Declarative Memory is associated with Acquisition.
  • Creating non-linguistic imagery reinforces learning.


  • Building Auditory Images: Pronunciation and Grammar
  • Substitution, Substitution-Correlation, and Transformation Oral Drills play their role in learning.
  • Mimicry and Memorization serve an important role in learning but do not achieve acquisition. Acquisition is a more holistic process than learning.
  • Memorizing in 3 D: the multiple planes of understanding language
  • The 74 Step Exercise: Small increases in grammatical structure can dramatically increase difficulty for students. The exercise presents increments in word classes and constructions to the students. It also give teachers and students experience in the inherent difficulties and limitations of languages. To sound NATURAL despite these limitations is a powerful tool for teachers. It achieves learning and acquisition needs.

Be aware of the mechanics of language structures (competence). Be aware of their implications in communicative and psycholinguistic practice (performance). To fail to do so will put the teacher at a disadvantage.


Stevick, E ; Memory, meaning and method; Newbury House; Rowley, Mass; 1976

Stevick, E; Teachers of English as an Alien Language: In Fanselow and Crimes, On TESOL '76 pp 225- 226; Washington D.C: Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.

Stevick, E; Teaching Languages: A way and ways; Newbury House; Rowley, Mass; 1980