Communicative Language Teaching

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Communicative Language Teaching

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Communicative Language Teaching


According to Larsen-Freeman and Anderson (2011), prior to the communicative approach, the goal of most of the methods was to prepare students to communicate in the target language. However, in the 1970s educators began to question whether these methods were going to meet the goal in the right manner. Some observed that even though learners were able to produce correct sentences, they were unable to communicate appropriately in real life situations. Some noted that learners may know the rules, but they are unable to communicate. Briefly, to be able to communicate not simply requires linguistics competence but communicative competence. Hence, a shift occurred in the late 1970s and 1980 from “ a linguistic structural-centered approach to a communicative approach. Littlewood (2011) explains that it is not that the communication was ignored in the previous methods such as the situational-structural approach and audiolingual method. However, prior to CLT, directly or indirectly, it was usually considered that mastering the grammar rules and vocabulary of the target language (linguistic competence) is the way to achieve communicative ability. Language is more than a simple system of rules. According to Larsen-Freeman and Anderson (2011), it can be seen as a dynamic resource to generate meanings, so in addition to knowledge, also requires skill. This means that in terms of learning, we need to distinguish between "learning what" and "how to learn". We must distinguish between knowledge of various grammatical rules and the ability to use them efficiently and appropriately for communication. Thus, we depart from a socio-interactionist conception of language and competence, arguing that the communicative approach in language teaching provides advantages for the student to acquire writing.

Discussion and Analysis

In CLT, students regularly work in groups and in pairs to transfer meaning and, if necessary, negotiate meaning in case one learner has information and the other does not . Long and Porter (1985) made pedagogical arguments for group work interaction: it increases the opportunities for learners to practice language; it promotes genuine communication unlike lockstep instruction (a teacher-centered approach). In group work, talk lasts longer, hence, it helps learners to produce cohesive and coherent discourse leading to discourse competence. It also provides opportunities for students to have different roles. They can practice a variety of language functions: for example, infer, suggest, hypothesize, qualify, disagree and generalize. They can also learn conversational management skills such as turn taking, ...
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