An Argument for Holism Part 2 (An Editorial Opinion Piece)

| June 3, 2013
An Argument for Holism Part 2 (An Editorial Opinion Piece)

Keywords: Diversity, holism, motivation, assessment, task-based curriculum

Roger Nunn
Professor of Communication
Petroleum Institute
Abu Dhabi

In ‘An Argument for Holism Part 1’ (Nunn, 2013), I focused on the meaning of holism within applied language studies considering in detail the relationship between focused atomistic studies and holistic views of epistemological diversity (Moser’s, 2002). In addition, I compared Moser’s view of holism with ecological views. While fully accepting the importance of context, I suggested that context-independence is also a legitimate focus. As such, my characterization of ‘holism’ is more closely associated with complexity theory (Pappamihiel and Walser, 2009 and Cvetek, 2008), emphasizing the need to take the unpredictable and unstable nature of complexity into account.

In part 2, I explore the implications of views of holistic diversity in relation to just a few important areas in our field: language and discourse use, motivation, assessment, task-based curriculum and materials planning. I provide evidence and specialist support for my view that all of these areas are essentially holistic and that recent scholarship in these areas seems to require us to situate focused atomistic studies within a broader framework.

[private] See page: 9-23
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Category: Quarterly Journal, Volume 15 Issue 2