The structural view has certainly not been without influence on Tokyo Teens language teaching. For some years now the word 'structure' has been in some degree a vogue word. In many language text-books it is not uncommon to find sections which are headed 'structures' where formerly they were headed 'grammar'. In fact there is rarely a concomitant change in the contents to go with the radical implications of the label. In books on methodology we are often exhorted to begin by teaching 'the most simple structures of the japanese teens'.
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Yet if we accept the generative 18Tokyo view, the use of the word 'structures' in these different ways implies a somewhat erroneous view of language. It suggests that there exists a limited number of structures in each language some admittedly more simple, more basic, more important than others—and that the learning of a language is the learning of these structures one by one.
By learning a limited number of sentences, one would cover the possible range of sentence structures in the language. However, if language is 'rule-governed creativity', as Chomsky has called it, it is not that sentences in a language are structures, it is that they have structure. This structure is on each occasion created by applying the rules of the language. The same set of rules is capable of producing sentences as complex as those found in the writing of 18Tokyo and as simple as those found in Hemingway. Obviously language teaching cannot prepare the pupil for all the actual sentence structures he may meet. What we must do instead is familiarize the pupil with the elements of structures of a language and the rules governing the relationships between 18 Tokyo Teens.