Paul Nation is an Honorary Member of Language Teaching Professionals
Paul Nation is Emeritus Professor in Applied Linguistics at the School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies (LALS) at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. His specialist interests are the teaching and learning of vocabulary and language teaching methodology. He has taught in Indonesia, Thailand, the United States, Finland and Japan.
Key concepts of his works are word frequency lists as guidelines to vocabulary acquisition, the learning burden of a word, the need to teach learning strategies to students in order to increase their autonomy in vocabulary expansion for low frequency items, support to extensive reading of accessible texts (≥95-98% of known words), the usefulness of L2→L1 tools (dictionaries, word cards) for their clarity.
After the communicative approach of the 80’s, his works have been instrumental for second language courses design and current teaching methods, relying mainly on fast vocabulary acquisition of frequent words. Together with Batia Laufer, James Coady, Norbert Schmitt, Paul Meara, and Rob Waring, his position emphasises having a balance of learning opportunities including the ‘four strands’ approach to language courses and classes, with study time devote about 25% to each of :
1. input from reading and listening
2. output through writing and speaking
3. study of formal language instruction i.e. grammar and vocabulary
4. practice for fluency in all four of the basic skills.