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Communicative language teaching

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Communicative language teaching (CLT) is an approach to the teaching of second and foreign
languages that emphasizes interaction as both the means and the ultimate goal of learning a
language. It is also referred to as “communicative approach to the teaching of foreign languages”
or simply the “communicative approach”.

Contents
[hide]
• 1 Relationship with other methods and approaches
○ 1.1 The audio-lingual method
○ 1.2 The notional-functional syllabus
○ 1.3 Learning by teaching (LdL)
• 2 Classroom activities used in CLT
• 3 Critiques of CLT
• 4 See also
• 5 References

[edit] Relationship with other methods and approaches


Historically, CLT has been seen as a response to the audio-lingual method (ALM), and as an
extension or development of the notional-functional syllabus. Task-based language learning, a
more recent refinement of CLT, has gained considerably in popularity.
[edit] The audio-lingual method
The audio-lingual method (ALM) arose as a direct result of the need for foreign language
proficiency in listening and speaking skills during and after World War II. It is closely tied to
behaviorism, and thus made drilling, repetition, and habit-formation central elements of
instruction. Proponents of ALM felt that this emphasis on repetition needed a corollary emphasis
on accuracy, claiming that continual repetition of errors would lead to the fixed acquisition of
incorrect structures and non-standard pronunciation.
In the classroom, lessons were often organized by grammatical structure and presented through
short dialogues. Often, students listened repeatedly to recordings of conversations (for example,
in the language lab) and focused on accurately mimicking the pronunciation and grammatical
structures in these dialogs.
Critics of ALM asserted that this over-emphasis on repetition and accuracy ultimately did not
help students achieve communicative competence in the target language. Noam Chomsky argued
"Language is not a habit structure. Ordinary linguistic behaviour characteristically involves
innovation, formation of new sentences and patterns in accordance with rules of great
abstractness and intricacy". They looked for new ways to present and organize language
instruction, and advocated the notional functional syllabus, and eventually CLT as the most
effective way to teach second and foreign languages. However, audio-lingual methodology is
still prevalent in many text books and teaching materials. Moreover, advocates of audio-lingual
methods point to their success in improving aspects of language that are habit driven, most
notably pronunciation.
[edit] The notional-functional syllabus
Main article: Notional-functional syllabus
A notional-functional syllabus is more a way of organizing a language learning curriculum than a
method or an approach to teaching. In a notional-functional syllabus, instruction is organized not
in terms of grammatical structure as had often been done with the ALM, but in terms of
“notions” and “functions.” In this model, a “notion” is a particular context in which people
communicate, and a “function” is a specific purpose for a speaker in a given context. As an
example, the “notion” or context shopping requires numerous language functions including
asking about prices or features of a product and bargaining. Similarly, the notion party would
require numerous functions like introductions and greetings and discussing interests and hobbies.
Proponents of the notional-functional syllabus claimed that it addressed the deficiencies they
found in the ALM by helping students develop their ability to effectively communicate in a
variety of real-life contexts.
[edit] Learning by teaching (LdL)
Learning by teaching is a widespread method in Germany (Jean-Pol Martin). The students take
the teacher's role and teach their peers.

CLT is usually characterized as a broad approach to teaching, rather than as a teaching method
with a clearly defined set of classroom practices. As such, it is most often defined as a list of
general principles or features. One of the most recognized of these lists is David Nunan’s (1991)
five features of CLT:
1. An emphasis on learning to communicate through interaction in the target language.
2. The introduction of authentic texts into the learning situation.
3. The provision of opportunities for learners to focus, not only on language but also on the
Learning Management process.
4. An enhancement of the learner’s own personal experiences as important contributing
elements to classroom learning.
5. An attempt to link classroom language learning with language activities outside the
classroom.
These five features are claimed by practitioners of CLT to show that they are very interested in
the needs and desires of their learners as well as the connection between the language as it is
taught in their class and as it used outside the classroom. Under this broad umbrella definition,
any teaching practice that helps students develop their communicative competence in an
authentic context is deemed an acceptable and beneficial form of instruction. Thus, in the
classroom CLT often takes the form of pair and group work requiring negotiation and
cooperation between learners, fluency-based activities that encourage learners to develop their
confidence, role-plays in which students practice and develop language functions, as well as
judicious use of grammar and pronunciation focused activities.
In the mid 1990s the Dogma 95 manifesto influenced language teaching through the Dogme
language teaching movement, who proposed that published materials can stifle the
communicative approach. As such the aim of the Dogme approach to language teaching is to
focus on real conversations about real subjects so that communication is the engine of learning.
This communication may lead to explanation, but that this in turn will lead to further
communication.[1]
[edit] Classroom activities used in CLT
Example Activities
Role Play
Interviews
Information Gap
Games
Language Exchanges
Surveys
Pair Work
Learning by teaching
However, not all courses that utilize the Communicative Language approach will restrict their
activities solely to these. Some courses will have the students take occasional grammar quizzes,
or prepare at home using non-communicative drills, for instance.
[edit] Critiques of CLT
One of the most famous attacks on communicative language teaching was offered by Michael
Swan in the English Language Teaching Journal on 1985[2]. Henry Widdowson responded in
defense of CLT, also in the ELT Journal (1985 39(3):158-161). More recently other writers (e.g.
Bax[3]) have critiqued CLT for paying insufficient attention to the context in which teaching and
learning take place, though CLT has also been defended against this charge (e.g. Harmer 2003[4]).
Often, the communicative approach is deemed a success if the teacher understands the student.
But, if the teacher is from the same region as the student, the teacher will understand errors
resulting from an influence from their first language. Native speakers of the target language may
still have difficulty understanding them. This observation may call for new thinking on and
adaptation of the communicative approach. The adapted communicative approach should be a
simulation where the teacher pretends to understand only what any regular speaker of the target
language would and reacts accordingly (Hattum 2006[5]).
[edit] See also
• Task-based language learning
• Notional-functional syllabus
• Learning by teaching (LdL)
• Language education
• Language exchange
• Teaching English as a foreign language
• English as an additional language
[edit] References
1. ^ Luke, Meddings (2004-03-26). "Throw away your textbooks". The Guardian.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2004/mar/26/tefl.lukemeddings. Retrieved 2009-03-10.
2. ^ Swan, Michael (1985) in the English Language Teaching Journal 39(1):2-12, and 1985
39(2):76-87
3. ^ Bax, S (2003) The end of CLT: a context approach to language teaching ELT J 2003 57: 278-
287
4. ^ Harmer, J. (2003) Popular culture, methods, and context ELT J 2003 57: 288-294
5. ^ Hattum, Ton van (2006), The Communicative Approach Rethought,
http://www.tonvanhattum.com.br/comreth.html, retrieved 2010-10-03
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communicative_language_teaching"
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The Internet TESL Journal

The Advantages of Communicative Language


Teaching
Rebecca Belchamber
r.belchamber {a t} latrobe {d o t} edu {d o t} au
La Trobe University Language Centre (Melbourne, Australia)

Introduction
As a teacher trainer working with international groups, I am frequently asked
to include an overview of communicative language teaching (CLT), and
discuss ways of adapting materials to make lessons more communicative or
interactive.

Most groups are enthusiastic about the lesson opportunities which CLT offers.
However, some also indicated they felt constrained by the system under
which they operated, especially those teaching in settings which are
particularly exam-focused. In addition, they queried the relevance of CLT to
their situation, where many of the students never used English outside the
classroom. In contrast, I had shifted across a spectrum of learners,
enthusiastically taking CLT along with me as universally appropriate.

Taking my colleagues' concerns on board, I began to question the


appropriateness of CLT for some of these diverse learner groups. This was
supported by current reading on the topic; the titles of some articles (see the
Reference list) made me think I should give up the support for CLT then and
there. However, the more I read on the topic, the more I defended the
continued suitability of CLT. It really does benefit the students in a variety of
ways.
Elements of CLT
Communication – According to Ability
Whether CLT should be considered an approach or a methodology is a more
abstract debate and here I want to deal with its more practical aspects. In fact,
it is those very elements, and the name itself, which have been used to
challenge the future relevance of CLT. Firstly, the label implies a focus on
communication and some might argue that this method can't be employed
genuinely with low levels as there is no authentic communication, due to a
limited vocabulary and restricted range of functions. Initially, many of a
learner's utterances are very formulaic. As an aside, consider just what
percentage of our own English expressions are unique, and how often we rely
on a set phrase; just because it is delivered unselfconsciously and with natural
intonation does not make it original. The aim is that the length and complexity
of exchanges, and confident delivery, will grow with the student's language
ability.

With the emphasis on communication, there is also the implication that


spoken exchanges should be authentic and meaningful; detractors claim that
the artificial nature of classroom–based (i.e. teacher - created) interactions
makes CLT an oxymoron. Nevertheless, a proficient teacher will provide a
context so that class interactions are realistic and meaningful but with the
support needed to assist students to generate the target language. We need
to consider that producing language is a skill and when we learn a skill we
practise in improvised settings. For example, before a nurse gives a real
injection, they have punctured many a piece of fruit to hone their technique.

Accuracy as Well as Fluency


It might also be argued that the extent of some of the structures or functions
may never be used in real life. One example is adjective order; I have given
students an exercise where they have to produce a phrase with a string of
adjectives, such as "a strong, orange, Norwegian, canvas tent." This is very
unnatural, as most times we only combine two or three adjectives. The other
example is directions – we have students follow a map and negotiate
exhaustive directions which suggest maze-like complexity. In reality, most of
us probably are only involved in a three-phase set of directions. In fact, what
we are doing with these exercises is exposing students to patterns which they
can later activate.
This focus on accuracy versus fluency is one of the issues not often
considered in a discussion of CLT. The teacher decides to pay attention to
one or other end of this band, depending on the type of lesson, or the stage of
a particular lesson, and accuracy is their choice if they want to deal with
students getting things right, take an opportunity for correction, or gauge the
success of their teaching, for example. Freer speaking involves more choice,
therefore more ambiguity, and less teacher intervention. While CLT implies
the lessons are more student-centred, this does not mean they are un-
structured. The teacher does have a very important role in the process, and
that is setting up activities so that communication actually happens. There is a
lot of preparation; accuracy practice is the bridge to a fluency activity. By
implication, CLT involves equipping students with vocabulary, structures and
functions, as well as strategies, to enable them to interact successfully.

The reference to strategies introduces the matter of grammatical versus


communicative competence. If we view the two as mutually exclusive, then we
are likely to champion one over the other, in terms of approach, curriculum or
whatever else determines and defines our classroom teaching. In fact, Canale
and Swain's model of communicative competence, referred to by Guangwei
Hu, includes four sub-categories, namely grammatical, sociolinguistic
discourse and strategic. They consider someone competent in English should
demonstrate both rules of grammar and use.

Promoting Learning
This returns us to the consideration of who we are teaching, and why. Are our
students aiming to learn or acquire English? Do they need to know lexical
items and linguistic rules as a means of passing an exam, or do they want to
be able to interact in English? For those inclined to maintain the dichotomy
between learning and acquisition, and who argue that our primary focus is
learners, CLT still has relevance. It is timely to review an early definition of
CLT. According to Richards and Rodgers, in Guangwei Hu, CLT is basically
about promoting learning.

Then again, Mark Lowe suggests that we follow Halliday's lead and drop the
distinction between learning and acquisition, and refer to language mastery
instead. After all, if the students master the language, they will certainly be
able to perform better in exams, if that is their goal. In addition, those who do
see a purpose beyond classroom-related English will be better equipped for
using the language socially.

Motivation
One of the constant discussions in all my teacher training groups was how to
motivate students. This suggests that the focus on passing the exam was not
always enough. Motivation relates to engaging students but also includes
confidence building. If there is a climate of trust and support in the classroom,
then students are more likely to contribute. One way of developing this is to
allow pair-checking of answers before open-class checking occurs. Another
way is to include an opportunity for students to discuss a topic in small groups
before there is any expectation that they speak in front of the whole class.
Evelyn Doman suggests that "The need for ongoing negotiation during
interaction increases the learners' overt participation..." It is this involvement
we need to harness and build on.

Sometimes the participation is hardly what we would define as 'negotiation',


but merely a contribution. For a few students, just uttering a word or a phrase
can be an achievement. Indeed, some of the teachers in the training sessions
said this was the goal they set for their more reticent pupils. And I have had
students who, after writing their first note or e-mail in English, expressed their
pride at being able to do so.

If teachers consider an activity to be irrelevant or not engaging enough, there


are many other tasks which may be more appropriate, such as surveys, using
a stimulus picture and prompt questions (Who... Where... When...What...), or
a series of pictures which need to be sequenced before a story is discussed.
In this respect, CLT addresses another area which constantly challenges
teachers, the mixed-ability class. When the lesson progresses to a freer-
speaking activity, students can contribute according to their ability and
confidence, although I acknowledge both need to be stretched. So there is a
challenge for the more capable students, while those with an average ability
still feel their effort is valid. This compares with the less creative opportunities
offered by some textbooks, where students read a dialogue, perhaps doing a
substitution activity, for example.
A basic responsibility is considering and responding to the needs of our
students, so if the course book is inadequate we need to employ the following
steps: select, adapt, reject and supplement. Moreover, because each class
we teach has its own characteristics and needs, CLT will vary each time we
employ it.

Conclusion
Too often, a 'new' approach appears to completely dismiss the previous one.
This is not always the intention, but probably more a result of the enthusiasm
of practitioners exploring and implementing fresh activities or opportunities.
Also, throughout the CLT debate, there seem to be dichotomies which are
employed to argue for its irrelevance. It is evident that CLT has gathered a
range of characteristics, perhaps more through misunderstanding or by
association, but it is actually not as incompatible with other valued practices
as it is sometimes made to appear. In practical terms, whether assisting
mixed-ability classes, aiding motivation, leading from a focus on form to one of
fluency, or supporting learning, it has a lot to offer the EFL teacher.

References
• Andrewes, Simon (2005) The CLT Police: Questioning the
communicative approach. Modern English Teacher Vol 14. No 2.
• Doman, Evelyn (2005) Current Debates in SLA. Asian EFL Journal Vol
7. Issue 4. Article 8 Retrieved October 20, 2006 from http://www.asian-
efl-journal.com/ December_05_ed.php
• Hu, Guangwei (2002) Potential Cultural Resistance to Pedagogical
Imports: The Case of Communicative Language Teaching in China.
Language, Culture and Curriculum Retrieved October 20, 2006 from
http://www.multilingual-matters.net/lcc/015/0093/lcc0150093.pdf
• Lowe, Mark (2005) The Shibboleths of TEFL: Straightening out our
thinking Modern English Teacher Vol 14, No 1.

The Internet TESL Journal, Vol. XIII, No. 2, February 2007


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The Communicative Approach in English as a


Foreign Language Teaching
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1.
2. Summary
3. Where does communicative language teaching come from?
4. What is communicative language teaching?
5. What are some examples of communicative exercises?
6. How do the roles of the teacher and student change in Communicative language teaching?
7. Bibliography

SUMMARY.

This article refers to the way teachers can focus the teaching of the foreign language in the
classroom in such a way that students can communicate in a conscious way, taking into account
their real experiences. Here, the origin of the Communicative Approach as a combination of
different methods is clearly explained, as such as the role of the teacher and the students in a
communicative English as a Second Language class. The article also gives some examples of
communicative activities that can be developed in a class from the communicative point of view.

This digest will take a look at the communicative approach to the teaching of foreign languages.
It is intended as an introduction to the communicative approach for teachers and teachers-in-
training who want to provide opportunities in the classroom for their students to engage in real-
life communication in the target language. Questions to be dealt with include what the
communicative approach is, where it came from, and how teachers' and students' roles differ
from the roles they play in other teaching approaches. Examples of exercises that can be used
with a communicative approach are described, and sources of appropriate materials are
provided.

WHERE DOES COMMUNICATIVE LANGUAGE TEACHING COME FROM?

Its origins are many, insofar as one teaching methodology tends to influence the next. The
communicative approach could be said to be the product of educators and linguists who had
grown dissatisfied with the audiolingual and grammar-translation methods of foreign language
instruction.
They felt that students were not learning enough realistic, whole language. They did not know
how to communicate using appropriate social language, gestures, or expressions; in brief, they
were at a loss to communicate in the culture of the language studied. Interest in and
development of communicative-style teaching mushroomed in the 1970s; authentic language
use and classroom exchanges where students engaged in real communication with one another
became quite popular.

In the intervening years, the communicative approach has been adapted to the elementary,
middle, secondary, and post-secondary levels, and the underlying philosophy has spawned
different teaching methods known under a variety of names, including notional-functional,
teaching for proficiency, proficiency-based instruction, and communicative language teaching.

WHAT IS COMMUNICATIVE LANGUAGE TEACHING?

Communicative language teaching makes use of real-life situations that necessitate


communication. The teacher sets up a situation that students are likely to encounter in real life.
Unlike the audiolingual method of language teaching, which relies on repetition and drills, the
communicative approach can leave students in suspense as to the outcome of a class exercise,
which will vary according to their reactions and responses. The real-life simulations change
from day to day. Students' motivation to learn comes from their desire to communicate in
meaningful ways about meaningful topics.

Margie S. Berns, an expert in the field of communicative language teaching, writes in explaining
Firth's view that "language is interaction; it is interpersonal activity and has a clear relationship
with society. In this light, language study has to look at the use (function) of language in context,
both its linguistic context (what is uttered before and after a given piece of discourse) and its
social, or situational, context (who is speaking, what their social roles are, why they have come
together to speak)" (Berns, 1984, p. 5).

WHAT ARE SOME EXAMPLES OF COMMUNICATIVE EXERCISES?

In a communicative classroom for beginners, the teacher might begin by passing out cards, each
with a different name printed on it. The teacher then proceeds to model an exchange of
introductions in the target language: "Guten Tag. Wieheissen Sie?" Reply: "Icheisse Wolfie," for
example. Using a combination of the target language and gestures, the teacher conveys the task
at hand, and gets the students to introduce themselves and ask their classmates for information.
They are responding in German to a question in German. They do not know the answers
beforehand, as they are each holding cards with their new identities written on them; hence,
there is an authentic exchange of information.

Later during the class, as a reinforcement listening exercise, the students might hear a recorded
exchange between two German freshmen meeting each other for the first time at the gymnasium
doors. Then the teacher might explain, in English, the differences among German greetings in
various social situations. Finally, the teacher will explain some of the grammar points and
structures used.
The following exercise is taken from a 1987 workshop on communicative foreign language
teaching, given for Delaware language teachers by Karen Willetts and Lynn Thompson of the
Center for Applied Linguistics. The exercise, called "Eavesdropping," is aimed at advanced
students.

"Instructions to students" Listen to a conversation somewhere in a public place and be prepared


to answer, in the target language, some general questions about what was said.

1. Who was talking?

2. About how old were they?

3. Where were they when you eavesdropped?

4. What were they talking about?

5. What did they say?

6. Did they become aware that you were listening to them?

The exercise puts students in a real-world listening situation where they must report
information overheard. Most likely they have an opinion of the topic, and a class discussion
could follow, in the target language, about their experiences and viewpoints.

Communicative exercises such as this motivate the students by treating topics of their choice, at
an appropriately challenging level.

Another exercise taken from the same source is for beginning students of Spanish. In "Listening
for the Gist," students are placed in an everyday situation where they must listen to an authentic
text.

"Objective." Students listen to a passage to get general understanding of the topic or message.

"Directions." Have students listen to the following announcement to decide what the speaker is
promoting.

"Passage" "Situacion ideal...Servicio de transporteal Aeropuerto Internacional...Cuarenta y dos


habitaciones de lujo, con aire acondicionado...Elegante restaurante...de fama internacional."

(The announcement can be read by the teacher or played on tape.) Then ask students to circle
the letter of the most appropriate answer on their copy, which consists of the following multiple-
choice options:

• a taxi service
• b. a hotel
• c. an airport
• d. a restaurant
• (Source: Adapted from Ontario Assessment Instrument Pool, 1980, Item No. 13019)
Gunter Gerngross, an English teacher in Austria, gives an example of how he makes his lessons
more communicative. He cites a widely used textbook that shows English children having a pet
show. "Even when learners act out this scene creatively and enthusiastically, they do not reach
the depth of involvement that is almost tangible when they act out a short text that presents a
family conflict revolving round the question of whether the children should be allowed to have a
pet or not" (Gerngross & Puchta, 1984, p. 92). He continues to say that the communicative
approach "puts great emphasis on listening, which implies an active will to try to understand
others. [This is] one of the hardest tasks to achieve because the children are used to listening to
the teacher but not to their peers. There are no quick, set recipes.

That the teacher be a patient listener is the basic requirement" (p. 98).

The observation by Gerngross on the role of the teacher as one of listener rather than speaker
brings up several points to be discussed in the next portion of this digest.

HOW DO THE ROLES OF THE TEACHER AND STUDENT CHANGE IN

COMMUNICATIVE LANGUAGE TEACHING?

Teachers in communicative classrooms will find themselves talking less and listening more--
becoming active facilitators of their students' learning (Larsen-Freeman, 1986). The teacher sets
up the exercise, but because the students' performance is the goal, the teacher must step back
and observe, sometimes acting as referee or monitor. A classroom during a communicative
activity is far from quiet, however. The students do most of the speaking, and frequently the
scene of a classroom during a communicative exercise is active, with students leaving their seats
to complete a task.

Because of the increased responsibility to participate, students may find they gain confidence in
using the target language in general. Students are more responsible managers of their own
learning (Larsen-Freeman, 1986).

BIBLIOGRAPHY

BC. [1982]. "In search of a language teaching framework: An adaptation of a communicative


approach to functional practice." (EDRS No. ED 239 507, 26 pages)

Das, B. K. (Ed.) (1984). "Communicative language teaching." Selected papers from the RELC
seminar (Singapore). "Anthology Series 14." (EDRS No. ED 266 661, 234 pages)

Littlewood, W. T. (1983). "Communicative approach to language teaching methodology (CLCS


Occasional Paper No. 7)." Dublin: Dublin University, Trinity College, Centre for Language and
Communication Studies. (EDRS No. ED 235 690, 23 pages)

Pattison, P. (1987). "The communicative approach and classroom realities." (EDRS No. ED 288
407, 17 pages)
Riley, P. (1982). "Topics in communicative methodology: Including a preliminary and selective
bibliography on the communicative approach." (EDRS No. ED 231 213, 31 pages)

Savignon, S. J., & Berns, M. S. (Eds.). (1983). "Communicative language teaching: Where are we
going? Studies in Language Learning," 4(2). (EDRS No. ED 278 226, 210 pages)

Sheils, J. (1986). "Implications of the communicative approach for the role of the teacher."
(EDRS No. ED 268 831, 7 pages)

Swain, M., & Canale, M. (1982). "The role of grammar in a communicative approach to second
language teaching and testing." (EDRS No. ED 221 026, 8 pages) (not available separately;
available from EDRS as part of ED 221 023, 138 pages)

Willems, G., & Riley, P. (Eds.). (1984). "Communicative foreign language teaching and the
training of foreign language teachers." (EDRS No. ED 273 102, 219 pages)

Readers may also wish to consult the following journal articles for additional information on
communicative language teaching.

Clark, J. L. (1987). Classroom assessment in a communicative approach. "British Journal of


Language Teaching," 25(1), 9-19.

Dolle, D., & Willems, G. M. (1984). The communicative approach to foreign language teaching:
The teacher's case. "European Journal of Teacher Education," 7(2), 145-54.

Morrow, K., & Schocker, M. (1987). Using texts in a communicative approach. "ELT Journal,"
41(4), 248-56.

Oxford, R. L., et al. (1989). Language learning strategies, the communicative approach, and their
classroom implications. "Foreign Language Annals," 22(1), 29-39.

Pica, T. P. (1988). Communicative language teaching: An aid to second language acquisition?


Some insights from classroom research. "English Quarterly," 21(2), 70-80.

Rosenthal, A. S., & Sloane, R. A. (1987). A communicative approach to foreign language


instruction: The UMBC project. "Foreign Language Annals," 20(3), 245-53.

Swan, M. (1985). A critical look at the communicative approach (1). "ELT Journal," 39(1), 2-12.

Swan, M. (1985). A critical look at the communicative approach (2). "ELT Journal," 39(2), 76-
87.

Terrell, T. D. (1991). The role of grammar instruction in a communicative approach. "Modern


Language Journal," 75(1), 52-63.

REFERENCES AND RESOURCES

Berns, M. S. (1984). Functional approaches to language and language teaching: Another look. In
S. Savignon & M. S. Berns (Eds.), "Initiatives in communicative language teaching. A book of
readings" (pp. 3-21). Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.
Gerngross, G., & Puchta, H. (1984). Beyond notions and functions: Language teaching or the art
of letting go. In S. Savignon & M. S. Berns (Eds.), "Initiatives in communicative language
teaching. A book of readings" (pp. 89-107). Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.

Larsen-Freeman, D. (1986). "Techniques and principles in language teaching." Oxford: Oxford


University Press.

Littlewood, W. (1981). "Language teaching. An introduction." Cambridge: Cambridge University


Press.

Savignon, S., & Berns, M. S. (Eds.). (1984). "Initiatives in communicative language teaching."
Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.

Lic. Evelio Elías Orellana Orellana

orellana[arroba]suss.co.cu

Comentarios

Jueves, 1 de Noviembre de 2007 a las 08:40 | 0


David David
No veo ninguna referencia a Ann Galloway, del Center for Applied Linguistics (la autora del artículo). Ver
http://www.cal.org/resources/digest/gallow01.html y/o http://www.ericdigests.org/1993/sample.htm

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ED 481 SP '09
Continued conversations about second-language teaching
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Sunday, February 15, 2009


Communicative Approach
What are the advantages and disadvantages of using the 'communicative approach'
for lesson planning?

Posted by Jacqui Cyrus at 8:39 PM

Labels: communicative_approach, ELL, ESL, LOTE

25 comments:

Lalang said...

Hi Dr. Cyrus,
This Blog Archive is like a newsletter and a personal biography rolled into one. It reveals
interesting facts about you and your interest area.

February 16, 2009 3:12 AM

Polly-Jo said...

In regards to the communicative approach for lesson planning, I would have to say that in
my opinion the advantages would probably be that for any child he/she may be able to
comprehend the assigned lesson due to this approach being not only task-oriented in
which a task would have a real world outcome or a task in which students can carry out a
lesson. Another advantage would be that a lesson can be a learning-centered lesson in
which a lesson deals with showing how and why something is being done in a particular
way or what happened during the assigned task. Students may probably be more flexible
to this approach depending on the students learning ability. A disadvantage would
probably be dependent on whether a student is an audio or visual learner.
February 16, 2009 3:35 PM

imasae said...

One disadvantage of the Communicative Approach is the need for open-minded


teachers/instructors when it comes to teaching the target language (L1). Not all
instructors want the responsibility to utilize several methods and just stick with one
because they have fossilized (I am just using a linguistic term sorry if I sound like an
ageist).

February 16, 2009 7:49 PM

Nanan Mom said...

The advantage of the Communicative Approach allows the learners to practice speaking
the targeted language more frequently. The disadvantage of the method is that it is not
quite text oriented, meaning that the instruction of proper grammatical structure is not
actually applied or taught (correct me if I am wrong).

February 17, 2009 12:08 AM

Serpent 710 said...

The best thing that I like about this communicative approach method is that give the child
the ability to experience a foreign language and retain the language more effectively. This
is done by reverse role were the child becomes the teacher and the teacher facilitates the
activity.

The only thing I am concern about is that not all children are willing to take the realm due
to fear pronouncing the words incorrectly. From this it will lower the child’s self-esteem
and raise his or her anxiety level.

February 21, 2009 11:15 AM

Jeff Avery said...


One major advantage of the Communicative Approach in lesson planning is the ability to
create and implement exercises that can be fun for students as well as teach a language in
a communicative way (i.e. something student actually need to communicate) vs. the use
of drills (direct method) which many students find dull and mundane.

February 22, 2009 5:07 PM

Jeff Avery said...

One major disadvantage of the Communicative Approach in lesson planning is the lack
of ability to assign homework assignments to further practice vs the grammar translation
method which can allow a great range of homework assignments.

February 22, 2009 5:10 PM

Jacqui Cyrus said...

Hi:
Is there a place for explicit grammar tutorials in the communicative approach?
-j-

February 22, 2009 8:01 PM

be smart, dOn't start said...

Hafa Adai Dr. Cyrus! For me, an adavantage of the Communicative Approach is that
children who are not frequently exposed to the target language are able to get a feel for
the sound of words even if the meanings are still somewhat unclear.

February 22, 2009 10:25 PM

ElemEd-ChamTeacher said...

I think the communicative approach can be benefical to the students if they're allowed to
practice the target language both in a classroom setting as well as outside of the
classroom. One way that they can practice the target language is to get the parents
involved with tasks sent home by the teacher. Example: Practicing vocabulary words-
student has a list to practice at home/parent can look at the list while the student goes
over the list and acknowledge that the student did practice by signing the list so that the
teacher can see that the list was shared with the parent. Disadvantage: the student may not
have the list, so parent is not aware of the assignment to be practiced at home. As
teachers, we need to know what works for our students and then plan on how to get our
students to be motivated to learn a second language that's being taught. Teachers really
need to be able to change with the times if we want our students to succeed. It's hard
work, but no one said that teaching was easy.

February 23, 2009 1:33 AM

Paul said...

Hi Everyone,

An advantage of communicative approach is that the activities are very meaningful and
fun for the students. Student get the opportunity to interact and socializing is something
kids love to do. A disadvantage would be that this type of approach can get out of hand if
the teacher is not carefully directing situations so that confrontations do not arise.

February 23, 2009 6:23 AM

Paul said...

This post has been removed by the author.

February 23, 2009 6:32 AM

isidra said...

The communicative approach that I thought was a good way to expose second language
learners into the target laguage was the Direct Method. The Direct Method allows the
learner to acquire the target language naturally, the same way a person would acquire
their first language. However, this method allows them only to learn the target language
by hearing it, it would only be spoken language.

February 28, 2009 2:25 PM


vina said...

One advantage of using the 'Communicative Approach' for lesson planning is having a
myriad of possible comunicative activities that the students can do. It presents a lot of
opportunities for them to express their ideas and opinions. They can do games, role plays,
and problem-solving tasks. One disadvantage would be the difficulty of timing lessons. I
think it will be a little tricky guessing the amount of class time required for an activity
since the ability of each group varies.

March 1, 2009 5:55 AM

Edna said...

LACK OF A SPEAKING MODEL. Criticisms of the Communicative Language


Teaching (CLT) include the lack of language modeling because the classroom setting and
activities focus on the students’ use of the language in creative/inventive speech to
communicate their messages. Many language teachers emphasize the importance of
providing a good speaking model so that students are provided the correct and proper
way of producing the target speech. Often native speakers of the target language cannot
understand the second language speaker because emphasis has minimized production in
favor of communication. The use of modeling should improve the accuracy of speech
production in the target language.
EMPHASIS ON ONE DOMAIN OF LANGUAGE. Another criticism is that the
emphasis of producing a “speech act” focuses on only the pragmatic domain of language
and ignores the generative domain, syntax and structure. According to Geoffrey Leech
“…speech acts cannot be generated without syntax…” The two domains, generative and
pragmatic domains, co-exist in language learning. Thus, a narrowed version, or
fundamentalist version, of CLT produces the conclusion that rote-learning, memorization,
teacher-talk, and whole-class teaching become “bad” practices. Teacher-trainers and
persons in positions of authority, hopefully, will encourage the use of the broader and
more flexible version of CLT.
AVOIDANCE OR LIMITED USE OF WHOLE-CLASS TEACHING. A third criticism
of CLT is the avoidance of whole-class teaching. Good teaching requires the use of both
whole-class and pair/group methods and activities. There are times when whole-class
teaching is more efficient than the pair or group work. Both approaches have their place
in teaching and learning.
COMMENT. Different learners prefer different learning styles. Teaching settings vary as
well. The language teacher may utilize various resources to promote learning the target
language. The instructor is in the position to assess the character and personality of the
group and/or individuals and to employ methods and approaches that will be best suited
for those learners. The CLT approach can be combined with traditional methods and
approaches to meet the goals of learning the target language.
(Reference: From btinternet.com/ted.power on Language Acquisition Discussion)

March 1, 2009 9:02 PM

Faye Kaible said...

The communicative approach is a good strategy for students learning a second language
because the learning is designed around real situations. It provides opportunities for
students to apply what they're learning in a real and meaningful way. The advantage for
lesson planning is there is always a "real situation" that you can use. The disadvantage is
the lack of class time.

March 1, 2009 10:20 PM

darlene quichocho said...

Group #3
Inter-language Development

What is:
Inter-language is the stage between when a L2 learner first starts to learn the second
language and becoming fluent.

Example of:
L2: “Roberto has a book is about electricity.”
Fluency: “Roberto has a book that is about electricity.”

Pro: The good part of Interlanguage Development is that it is a development stage of


learning the target language.

Con: The downfall of this development is Fossilization. When a student or language


learner uses the language (target) wrong and it is not corrected early, the “bad habit”
becomes fossilized. Adult second language learners tend to have this problem. They
would learn the target language but to an extent of just learning how to communicate. If
problems are not corrected and had become fossilized into the learner’s language, it is
difficult to correct the problem later.

Strategies to encourage progression:


Group work

Bringing students into frequent contact with competent speakers of the language, most
often their peers.

They can participate in pen pal relationships with advance speakers of the target
language.

March 1, 2009 11:41 PM

Lalang said...

CLT helps students use the target language in and out of the classroom. For example:
English as a second language, the student knows that in order to communicate with their
peers, they would have to learn the language. The teacher can use CLT's bag of ticks to
help the students learn the language. The disadvantage of CLT is class size, group levels,
and time.

March 7, 2009 9:17 PM

Chamorro Teacher K-5 said...

Many English language learners also need assistive and adaptive devices for educational
purposes. Share with your colleagues ONE online resource that is supportive of both
kinds of learner needs.
The Mingoville is one very good website that will help the two kinds of learners because
it has audio and visual capabilities

April 20, 2009 1:41 AM

Georgette said...
Communicative approach has been proven to be most successful in providing confident
learners who are able to make themselves effectively understood in the shortest time
possible. It is the teacher's responsibility to create situations which promote
communication and provide an authentic background for language learning.
Some advantages for learners are often more motivated with this approach as they have
an interesting what is being communicated, as the lesson is topic or theme based.
Learners are encouraged to speak and communicate from day one, rather than just
barking out repetitive phrases.
Learners practice the target language a number of times, slowly building on accuracy.
Language is created by the individual, often through trial and error.

May 8, 2009 8:40 PM

Chamorro Teacher K-5 said...

The advantage is that we can be very creative and students or teachers can find it easy or
hard to follow a certain lesson plan.
The disadvantage is that not everyone have access to a computer, so sometimes it
becomes hard to communicate what we have in our lesson plan. Communication is the
most important to have in our lesson plan and it should be easy for anyone to follow.

May 8, 2009 10:08 PM

Dream Catcher said...

In my opinion I would say that Communicative Language Approach bring the best out of
students in means of communicating in different 'meaningful' situations.

The disadvantage of this particular approach is mostly placed on the shoulders of


teachers. The 'intuition' of choosing what to teach verses what not to teach, or spending
more time on a certain lesson and less on another.

May 10, 2009 3:15 AM

Maria said...
I think e-portfolios are a wonderful tech tool. It is good that it is used in college for by
then students are supposed to be more computer oriented. It would be wonderful if GPSS
could afford to put computers in the classrooms but the reality of it is very bleak. There
are still a lot of schools without computers and so we can't expect students to be
computer oriented if we do not provide computers for them. It will be a very long time
before we can actually have computers where students can be allowed to work with. In
the mean time we still have to stick with just regular portfolios.

May 10, 2009 10:05 AM

Liz Reyes said...

The advantages of using the 'communicative approach' for lesson planning in my opinion
is that students are able to have a one to one instruction with the teacher. However, not all
students are audio learners and the disadvantages in this regard is that 'communicative
approach' would not service the other types of learners and this is where multi-media
lesson plan with audio would be a great tool.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using the 'communicative approach' for
lesson planning?

May 16, 2009 5:53 AM

HoneyKo said...

Communicative approach is one way for L2 learners to learn the target languae. It
advantages is to develop them, L2 learners, to acquire fluency and able to communicate
better among themselves or with the native speakers.

It's disadvantage is that it will take time for them to learn the language. Besides, they will
feel unsecure(the slow learners) if they communicate and make mistakes. This is a
typically true within the Chuukese students.

May 17, 2009 1:13 AM

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Communicative language teaching
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Communicative language teaching (CLT) is an approach to the teaching of second and foreign
languages that emphasizes interaction as both the means and the ultimate goal of learning a
language. It is also referred to as “communicative approach to the teaching of foreign languages”
or simply the “communicative approach”.

Contents
[hide]
• 1 Relationship with other methods and approaches
○ 1.1 The audio-lingual method
○ 1.2 The notional-functional syllabus
○ 1.3 Learning by teaching (LdL)
• 2 Classroom activities used in CLT
• 3 Critiques of CLT
• 4 See also
• 5 References

[edit] Relationship with other methods and approaches


Historically, CLT has been seen as a response to the audio-lingual method (ALM), and as an
extension or development of the notional-functional syllabus. Task-based language learning, a
more recent refinement of CLT, has gained considerably in popularity.
[edit] The audio-lingual method
The audio-lingual method (ALM) arose as a direct result of the need for foreign language
proficiency in listening and speaking skills during and after World War II. It is closely tied to
behaviorism, and thus made drilling, repetition, and habit-formation central elements of
instruction. Proponents of ALM felt that this emphasis on repetition needed a corollary emphasis
on accuracy, claiming that continual repetition of errors would lead to the fixed acquisition of
incorrect structures and non-standard pronunciation.
In the classroom, lessons were often organized by grammatical structure and presented through
short dialogues. Often, students listened repeatedly to recordings of conversations (for example,
in the language lab) and focused on accurately mimicking the pronunciation and grammatical
structures in these dialogs.
Critics of ALM asserted that this over-emphasis on repetition and accuracy ultimately did not
help students achieve communicative competence in the target language. Noam Chomsky argued
"Language is not a habit structure. Ordinary linguistic behaviour characteristically involves
innovation, formation of new sentences and patterns in accordance with rules of great
abstractness and intricacy". They looked for new ways to present and organize language
instruction, and advocated the notional functional syllabus, and eventually CLT as the most
effective way to teach second and foreign languages. However, audio-lingual methodology is
still prevalent in many text books and teaching materials. Moreover, advocates of audio-lingual
methods point to their success in improving aspects of language that are habit driven, most
notably pronunciation.
[edit] The notional-functional syllabus
Main article: Notional-functional syllabus
A notional-functional syllabus is more a way of organizing a language learning curriculum than a
method or an approach to teaching. In a notional-functional syllabus, instruction is organized not
in terms of grammatical structure as had often been done with the ALM, but in terms of
“notions” and “functions.” In this model, a “notion” is a particular context in which people
communicate, and a “function” is a specific purpose for a speaker in a given context. As an
example, the “notion” or context shopping requires numerous language functions including
asking about prices or features of a product and bargaining. Similarly, the notion party would
require numerous functions like introductions and greetings and discussing interests and hobbies.
Proponents of the notional-functional syllabus claimed that it addressed the deficiencies they
found in the ALM by helping students develop their ability to effectively communicate in a
variety of real-life contexts.
[edit] Learning by teaching (LdL)
Learning by teaching is a widespread method in Germany (Jean-Pol Martin). The students take
the teacher's role and teach their peers.

CLT is usually characterized as a broad approach to teaching, rather than as a teaching method
with a clearly defined set of classroom practices. As such, it is most often defined as a list of
general principles or features. One of the most recognized of these lists is David Nunan’s (1991)
five features of CLT:
1. An emphasis on learning to communicate through interaction in the target language.
2. The introduction of authentic texts into the learning situation.
3. The provision of opportunities for learners to focus, not only on language but also on the
Learning Management process.
4. An enhancement of the learner’s own personal experiences as important contributing
elements to classroom learning.
5. An attempt to link classroom language learning with language activities outside the
classroom.
These five features are claimed by practitioners of CLT to show that they are very interested in
the needs and desires of their learners as well as the connection between the language as it is
taught in their class and as it used outside the classroom. Under this broad umbrella definition,
any teaching practice that helps students develop their communicative competence in an
authentic context is deemed an acceptable and beneficial form of instruction. Thus, in the
classroom CLT often takes the form of pair and group work requiring negotiation and
cooperation between learners, fluency-based activities that encourage learners to develop their
confidence, role-plays in which students practice and develop language functions, as well as
judicious use of grammar and pronunciation focused activities.
In the mid 1990s the Dogma 95 manifesto influenced language teaching through the Dogme
language teaching movement, who proposed that published materials can stifle the
communicative approach. As such the aim of the Dogme approach to language teaching is to
focus on real conversations about real subjects so that communication is the engine of learning.
This communication may lead to explanation, but that this in turn will lead to further
communication.[1]
[edit] Classroom activities used in CLT
Example Activities
Role Play
Interviews
Information Gap
Games
Language Exchanges
Surveys
Pair Work
Learning by teaching
However, not all courses that utilize the Communicative Language approach will restrict their
activities solely to these. Some courses will have the students take occasional grammar quizzes,
or prepare at home using non-communicative drills, for instance.
[edit] Critiques of CLT
One of the most famous attacks on communicative language teaching was offered by Michael
Swan in the English Language Teaching Journal on 1985[2]. Henry Widdowson responded in
defense of CLT, also in the ELT Journal (1985 39(3):158-161). More recently other writers (e.g.
Bax[3]) have critiqued CLT for paying insufficient attention to the context in which teaching and
learning take place, though CLT has also been defended against this charge (e.g. Harmer 2003[4]).
Often, the communicative approach is deemed a success if the teacher understands the student.
But, if the teacher is from the same region as the student, the teacher will understand errors
resulting from an influence from their first language. Native speakers of the target language may
still have difficulty understanding them. This observation may call for new thinking on and
adaptation of the communicative approach. The adapted communicative approach should be a
simulation where the teacher pretends to understand only what any regular speaker of the target
language would and reacts accordingly (Hattum 2006[5]).
[edit] See also
• Task-based language learning
• Notional-functional syllabus
• Learning by teaching (LdL)
• Language education
• Language exchange
• Teaching English as a foreign language
• English as an additional language
[edit] References
1. ^ Luke, Meddings (2004-03-26). "Throw away your textbooks". The Guardian.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2004/mar/26/tefl.lukemeddings. Retrieved 2009-03-10.
2. ^ Swan, Michael (1985) in the English Language Teaching Journal 39(1):2-12, and 1985
39(2):76-87
3. ^ Bax, S (2003) The end of CLT: a context approach to language teaching ELT J 2003 57: 278-
287
4. ^ Harmer, J. (2003) Popular culture, methods, and context ELT J 2003 57: 288-294
5. ^ Hattum, Ton van (2006), The Communicative Approach Rethought,
http://www.tonvanhattum.com.br/comreth.html, retrieved 2010-10-03
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communicative_language_teaching"
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Foreign Language Teaching Methods


Skip to main content

• Home
• Modules
○ Getting Started
○ Introduction
○ The Teacher
○ Skills
○ Speaking
○ Writing
○ Listening
○ Reading
○ Language
○ Vocabulary
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○ Pragmatics
○ Culture
○ Classroom
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• Index

Foreign Language Teaching


Methods: The Language
Teacher
Lesson 3: Principles of Communicative Language Teaching
• Introduction
• Lesson 1
• Lesson 2
• Lesson 3
○ Communicative Language Teaching
○ Integration
○ Sequencing
• Lesson 4
• Conclusion
• Resources

Communicative Language Teaching

The term "Communicative Language Teaching" (CLT) means different things to different teachers. To some teachers,

it simply means a greater emphasis on the use of the target language in the classroom, and in particular, a greater

emphasis on orality. To other teachers, communication entails the exchange of unknown information between

interlocutors. And finally, some teachers understand communication in the most global, anthropological terms, that is,

as a cultural-bond system for making meaning. Despite their various definitions of CLT, all the module instructors

seem to advocate for a communicative approach.

Have you heard educators use the term "Communicative Language Teaching?" What did they mean by this term?

Did you notice different emphases? What is your own definition? Do you teach for communication?

lt/lt-02-04-communicative.xml

Dr. Abrams discusses Communicative Language Teaching.

Duration: 02:32

Flash player not found. Play in new window.

Dr. Abrams emphasizes "real-life language use" in her definition of communicative language teaching. In her

discussion, she takes the "speech event" as the point of departure for language teaching, rather than a discrete

grammar point or a set of vocabulary items. Do you think that current pedagogical materials meet these criteria for

"communicativeness?" In other words, how much information do pedagogical materials contain about the larger

cultural context of communication?

Authentic Texts in the Foreign Language Classroom

Discussions about real-life language use often mention the role of authentic texts and authentic materials. Dr. Garza

defines authentic language as "language produced by native speakers for native speakers to be consumed in a

native environment." But this leads to further questions about the appropriate use of authentic texts in a foreign

language classroom. After all, the classroom is not to be confused with the "native environment."
lt/lt-03-03-authenticity.xml

Dr. Garza on authentic texts.

Duration: 00:50

Flash player not found. Play in new window.

Authentic materials present special challenges for beginning teachers and beginning students. Dr. Garza

acknowledges that teachers must "manipulate and massage" authentic materials to make them appropriate for the

classroom. What do you think he means? Choose an authentic text and specify how you would "massage" it for you

own classroom.

Continue

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© 2009-2010 Texas Language Technology Center | UT Austin | http://tltc.la.utexas.edu/methods