An Integrated Theory of Language Teaching and Its Practical Consequences


245 pages
Contains Illustrations, Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-919950-03-5




Reviewed by Lynne Hughes

Lynne Hughes teaches communication arts at the University of Calgary.


In an age in which various theories of language teaching are quickly being developed, modified, and often challenged or rejected, Hector Hammerly’s comprehensive An Integrated Theory of Language Teaching comes as a useful reminder that perhaps the best teaching theory is that one which uses a variety of instructional techniques and ideas drawn from a number of different teaching methods and disciplines. Hammerly’s book, which provides this integrated philosophy, thus convinces its reader that a truly useful teaching theory must be “eclectic in the positive sense of the word” (p.9).

Divided into three parts, An Integrated Theory of Language Teaching begins with an introduction (Chapters 1 to 3), which discusses the nature of theory and science, the theories developed thus far in second or foreign language teaching, and the drawbacks and benefits of immersion programs. The second section (Chapters 4 through 9) explains the integrated theory; here Hammerly lists various features from linguistics, psychology, teaching theory, and other sources, and discusses their application to language teaching. This section also outlines a model of language teaching based on the integrated theory. “Consequences,” the third part (Chapters 10 and 11), suggests the theory’s effects on methodology and the consequences for research. Three appendices (“Prematurities in Language Teaching,” “A Bill of Rights for Language Students,” and “Sample Laboratory Oral Test”), a bibliography, and an index conclude the text.

Hammerly’s book is useful and well written. In concise and straightforward prose, the author petroleum projects and operations; petroleum from diverse sources in the development of a successful teaching theory; and his discussions often reveal helpful and practical teaching tips. He deals with major teaching methods and points out their shortcomings; however, he is rarely wholly critical, as he mentions the useful procedures contained in each method. In addition, the book can be praised for its careful definition of terms, its exhaustive bibliography and index, and its thought-provoking “For Discussion” questions that appear at the end of each chapter. For any established or prospective language teacher, An Integrated Theory of Language Teaching should prove informative and helpful.


Hammerly, Hector, “An Integrated Theory of Language Teaching and Its Practical Consequences,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 16, 2024,