The Roles of Training in Language Teaching Practices: An Analysis of Wittgenstein’s Consideration

Sato Kunimasa


This paper reveals distinct roles of training in language teaching practices by critically examining Wittgenstein’s arguments regarding ostensive definition and ostensive teaching. Specifically, I will clarify three points. First, based on relevant literature, I will show that ostensive definition involves employing words – including demonstratives, such as ‘this’, as well as ostensive gestures – and that, in order for this teaching practice to make sense to children, they must have a prior understanding of demonstratives and ostensive gestures. Second, I will argue that training as considered by Wittgenstein plays at least two distinct roles, which will be called ‘training of reaction’ and ‘training of repetition’. Finally, I will claim that ostensive teaching based on training enables children to react to words and ostensive gestures without reflection and to treat new things of the same sort as samples of the particular items taught. My findings open up further research to explore various roles that training plays in educational practices, including training and drills in the classroom.

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Copyright (c) 2014 Sato Kunimasa

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Journal of Education and Training      ISSN 2330-9709

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