What are the Principles of Teaching and Learning?

Dr. Richards is an internationally renowned specialist in second and foreign language teaching, an applied linguist and educator, the author of numerous professional books for English language teachers, and the author of many widely used textbooks for English language students.


  1. What are Language Teaching Principles?
  2. Where do Language Teaching Principle come from?
  1. What’s teaching grammar as a communicative resource?
  1. What’s a restricted corpus of words?
  2. How do we acquire new vocabulary?
  3. What should teachers do?
  1. What’s communicative language teaching?
  2. What should the goal of the class be?
  3. How do we help students develop communicative competence?
  1. What’s the aim of a learner centered lessons?
  1.  What’s Task-Based teaching?
  2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of Task-Based Teaching?
  1. What are some interesting points that Jack C. Richards makes in regards to lesson plans?

Brown’s 12 Principles of Language Learning and Teaching

H. Douglas Brown (born 1941) is a professor emeritus of English as a Second Language at San Francisco State University. He was the president of International TESOL from 1980 to 1981, and in 2001 he received TESOL’s James E. Alatis Award for Distinguished Service.

12 Principles of Language Learning and Teaching

1. Native Language Effect:  A learner’s native language creates both facilitating and interfering effects on learning.

2. Communicative Competence: Fluency and use are just as important as accuracy and usage. Instruction must aim at organizational, pragmatic and strategic competence as well as pronunciation, intonation and stress.

3. Anticipation of Rewards: Learners are driven to perform by the promise of positive reinforcement, tangible or intangible; long or short-term.

4. Language-Culture Connection: Learning a language also involves learning about cultural values and ways of thinking, feeling or acting.

5. Language Ego: Learning a new language involves developing a second identity with a new mode of thinking. This new identity can be fragile and defensive.

6. Meaningful Learning:  Providing a realistic context to use language is thought to lead to better long term retention, as opposed to rote learning.

7. Interlanguage:  Second language learners generally follow a systematic process, during which they need feedback (teacher, peer and self) to eliminate logic errors and achieve competence.

8. Automaticity: Subconscious processing of language for fluency can only be achieved without overanalyzing or too much attention to language forms.

9. Self-Confidence:  Success in learning a language requires that the learners believe that they can learn it.

10. Strategic Investment: Success in learning is dependent on the time and effort learners spend in mastering the language learning process according to their ability.

11. Risk-Taking: Taking a gamble and experimenting with language slightly “beyond” what is certain or known promotes language development and growth.

12. Intrinsic Motivation: The most potent learning “rewards” to enhance performance are those that come from the needs, wants and desires within the learner.

Manuel Campos, English Professor

Manuel Campos

I am Jose Manuel, English professor and creator of EnglishPost.org, a blog whose mission is to share lessons for those who want to learn and improve their English