In developing and articulating a philosophy of language instruction, or instruction of any kind for that matter, a good place to start is at the end. What is the goal of our instruction? What should students be able to do: recall a set of fact? Apply those facts to a given situation? Analyze a text, whether written, oral, visual, or audiovisual using critical thinking skills? Synthesize the learned material and create something entirely new?
Foreign language instruction has – or should have – the latter as its goal: giving students the tools they need to create something entirely new, the expression of their own thoughts, questions, and desires in another language. This is thinking of the highest order because it is not simply the recitation of learned phrases but the manipulation and synthesis of acquired elements into something new and uniquely suited to accomplishing the task of eliciting or expressing information about knowledge, will, hopes, desires, etc. In other words, the goal of Foreign Language instruction is communication.