Activity 1: Characteristics of the Communicative ApproachActivity 2: The Communicative Approach and Other Language Teaching MethodsActivity 3: Communicative Approach vs. Grammar - translation MethodActivity 4: Post Communicative Language TeachingActivity 5: Curriculum online
Activity 1: Characteristics of the Communicative Approach1. Learning to communicate through interaction in the target language.2. The use of authentic texts and tasks into the learning context. It seeks toadapt language to the students’ interests3. Giving students opportunities to focus, not only on language but also onthe learning process itself.4. Primacy of oral interaction5. Errors can sometimes occur in language learning6. Grammar is usually taught less systematically7. Use of the everyday language8. The learning task is content-based, theme-based, project-based or somecombination of the three.9. The focus is not upon listening and speaking but upon using language tocommunicate and to learn10. Encouraging students to take advantage of their own personalexperience during the learning process.11. Getting the students make connections between learning with languageactivities outside the classroom.12. Visual stimuli are often used.
Step 1.1-IW- Define communicativetasks by choosing the right answer: 1. Communicative tasks are typically: A. teacher-controlled B. focused on accuracy C. synthetic/ holistic (Communicative tasks are characterized as synthetic or holistic because they synthesize the many parts of a lesson - vocabulary, grammar, rhetorical structure, pronuncation, etc. - into a whole. For this reason, these kinds of tasks are often found at the end of a chapter or pedagogical sequence.) D. analytic 2. “.Communicative competence” includes grammatical competence as well as: A. sociolinguistic competence B. discourse competence C. strategic competence D. all of the above (Canale and Swain defined communicative competence as a global competence that subsumed four separate but related competencies: grammatical, sociolinguistic, discourse, and strategic. The concept of “communication competence” emerged as a reaction to earlier approaches to language that focused exclusively on grammatical competence.)
3. “Strategic competence” refers to the ability to: A. produce grammatical correct utterances B. produce coherent and cohesive utterances C. solve communication problems as they arise (Strategiccompetence refers to the ability to solve problems duringcommunication. Communicators must have the ability to "repair"the inevitable miscommunications that frequently arise duringinteraction.) D. produce socially appropriate utterances 4. Communicative tasks bring about: A. improved grammatical accuracy B. grater sociolinguistic awareness C. increased self-correction (According to Brandl (2008), theresearch literature indicates that speakers self-correct morefrequently during student-controlled communicative tasks thanteacher-controlled tasks.) D. improved pronunciation
Step1.2-PW- Mark the following sentences as true (T) or false (F), referring to effective learning and teaching:1. Learning is always an outcome of teaching _________F________ (Cognitive research is revealing that even with what is taken to be good instruction, many students, including academically talented ones, understand less than we think they do. With determination, students taking an examination are commonly able to identify what they have been told or what they have read; careful probing, however, often shows that their understanding is limited or distorted, if not altogether wrong.)2. What students learn is influenced by their existing ideas ____T_____ (People have to construct their own meaning regardless of how clearly teachers or books tell them things. Mostly, a person does this by connecting new information and concepts to what he or she already believes. Concepts - the essential units of human thought - that do not have multiple links with how a student thinks about the world are not likely to be remembered or useful. They are learned best when they are encountered in a variety of contexts and expressed in a variety of ways.)3. Progression in learning is usually from the abstract to the concrete________T______ (Young people can learn most readily about things that are tangible and directly accessible to their senses - visual, auditory, tactile, and kinesthetic. With experience, they grow in their ability to understand abstract concepts, manipulate symbols, reason logically, and generalize. These skills develop slowly, however, and the dependence of most people on concrete examples of new ideas persists throughout life. Concrete experiences are most effective in learning when they occur in the context of some relevant conceptual structure.)
4. People learn to do well only what they practice doing _____ T _____ (If students are expected to apply ideas in novel situations, then they must practice applying them in novel situations. If they practice only calculating answers to predictable exercises or unrealistic "word problems," then that is all they are likely to learn.)5. Effective learning by students requires feedback _______T_______ (The mere repetition of tasks by students unlikely to lead to improved skills or keener insights. Learning often takes place best when students have opportunities to express ideas and get feedback from their peers. But for feedback to be most helpful to learners, it must consist of more than the provision of correct answers. Feedback ought to be analytical, to be suggestive, and to come at a time when students are interested in it.)6. Expectations do not affect performance ________ T _________ (Students respond to their own expectations of what they can and cannot learn. If they believe they are able to learn something, whether solving equations or riding a bicycle, they usually make headway. But when they lack confidence, learning eludes them. Students grow in self-confidence as they experience success in learning, just as they lose confidence in the face of repeated failure. Thus, teachers need to provide students with challenging but attainable learning tasks and help them succeed.)
Activity 1: The Communicative Approach and other language teaching methodsA. The Grammar-Translation Method (focused classically on studying grammatical rules and morphology, doing written exercices, memorizing vocabulary, translating texts) and now on integrating structures into content focused lessons);B. The Direct Method (in which grammar learning became inductive in nature without specific explanations given to student, teacher/student interaction became by fill-ins exercises continuous, accuracy in pronunciation and oral expression became vital);C. The Audio - Methods (new material is presented in dialogue form; stress is laid on memorization of set phrases, and overlearning; patterns are sequenced by means of contrastive analysis; structures are taught using repetitive drills; there is little or no grammatical explanation. Grammar is taught inductively; vocabulary is strictly limited and learned in context; a lot of language labs and visual aids are used; pronunciation is attached great importance; very little use of the mother tongue by teachers is permitted; there is a great effort to get students to produce error-free utterances; there is a tendency to disregard content.)D. Behaviourism (relies on the repetitive conditioning of learner responses);E. Cognitivism (combined new thinking in psychology, anthropology and linguistics with the emerging fields of computer science and neuroscience);F. Task-based language learning/teaching (lays emphasis on the use of authentic language and on getting students achieve meaningful tasks using the target language.).
Step 2.1 - Individual activity - What are the advantages and disadvantages of the grammar - translation method? Give examples to motivate your answer.Advantages:1. The phraseology of the target language is quickly explained. Translation is the easiest way of explaining meanings or words and phrases from one language into another. Any other method of explaining vocabulary items in the second language is found time consuming. A lot of time is wasted if the meanings of lexical items are explained through definitions and illustrations in the second language. Further, learners acquire some short of accuracy in understanding synonyms in the source language and the target language.2. Teacher’s labour is saved. Since the textbooks are taught through the medium of the mother tongue, the teacher may ask comprehension questions on the text taught in the mother tongue. Pupils will not have much difficulty in responding to questions on the mother tongue. So, the teacher can easily assess whether the students have learnt what he has taught them. Communication between the teacher and the learnersdoes not cause linguistic problems. Even teachers who are not fluent in English can teach English through this method. That is perhaps the reason why this method has been practiced so widely and has survived so long.
Disadvantages:1. It is an unnatural method. The natural order of learning a language is listening, speaking, reading and writing. That is the way how the child learns his mother tongue in natural surroundings. But in the Grammar Translation Method the teaching of the second language starts with the teaching of reading. Thus, the learning process is reversed. This poses problems.2. Speech is neglected. The Grammar Translation Method lays emphasis on reading and writing. It neglects speech. Thus, the students who are taught English through this method fail to express themselves adequately in spoken English. Even at the undergraduate stage they feel shy of communicating through English. It has been observed that in a class, which is taught English through this method, learners listen to the mother tongue more than that to the second/foreign language. Since language learning involves habit formation such students fail to acquire habit of speaking English. Thus, they have to pay a heavy price for being taught through this method.
3. Exact translation is not possible. Translation is, indeed, a difficult task and exact translation from one language to another is not always possible. A language is the result of various customs, traditions, and modes of behaviour of a speech community and these traditions differ from community to community. There are several lexical items in one language, which have no synonyms/equivalents in another language. For instance, the meaning of the English word “table” does not fit in such expression as the “table of contents”, “table of figures”, “multiplication table”, “time table” and “table the resolution”, etc. English prepositions are also difficult to translate. Consider sentences such as “We see with our eyes”, “Bombay is far from Delhi”, “He died of cholera”, “He succeeded through hard work”. In these sentences “with”, “from”, “of”, “through” can be translated into the Hindi preposition ‘se’ and vice versa. Each language has its own structure, idiom and usage, which do not have their exact counterparts in another language. Thus, translation should be considered an index of one’s proficiency in a language.
4. It does not give pattern practice. A person can learn a language only when he internalizes its patterns to the extent that they form his habit. But the Grammar Translation Method does not provide any such practice to the learner of a language. It rather attempts to teach language through rules and not by use. Researchers in linguistics have proved that to speak any language, whether native or foreign entirely by rule is quite impossible. Language learning means acquiring certain skills, which can be learnt through practice and not by just memorizing rules. The persons who have learnt a foreign or second language through this method find it difficult to give up the habit of first thinking in their mother tongue and than translating their ideas into the second language. They, therefore, fail to get proficiency in the second language approximating that in the first language. The method, therefore, suffers from certain weaknesses for which there is no remedy.
Activity 3: Communicative approach vs. grammar-translation methodA. Accuracy vs. fluency (These questions about their importance should be examined in relation to what is expected of the students when they graduate and what the teaching conditions are.)B. Linguistic competence vs. communicative competence (The linguistic competence represents the basis of communicative competence.There can be no communicative competence without linguistic competence.)C. Learner-centered orientation (To avoid being the center of classroom interactions, teachers should arrange the desks in such a way that the students can have a face-to-face conversation. This helps create interactions among the students. The teacher should not be the leader of the class, but class leadership emerges from within the group.)D. Teacher’s role (The teacher facilitates the communicative process among all the learners and between the students and the various tasks, giving guidance and advice when necessary, instead of being the central authority in the classroom. The teacher should identify the distinctive qualities in the students and help the students develop them. The teacher should also be a researcher and learner, making his/her contribution to bringing in the classroom the appropriate knowledge, abilities.
Step 3.1- Independent work1. People learn a language best when using it to do things rather than through studying how language works and practicing rules. (This is definitely a principle of CLT. In old times, people had to learn rules first. Now it is through using the language how the things work. If we take into account that most of competencies related to communication need to be taught by doing something with the language, this is then a main principle of CLT.)2. Grammar is no longer important in language teaching. (This is another issue from CLT. However, let us not forget that for academic language of English or any other foreign language, grammar becomes necessary.)3. People learn a language through communicating in it. (This is related to the first item. If you do not practice something, you don’t learn it, and language is communication, if you want to learn a language, you have to communicate in it.)
4. Errors are not important in speaking a language. (Errors are important in CLT, they are not the central idea of this method though. In my opinion, errors are important when they interfere with communication. So, this one does not state a characteristic of CLT.)5. CLT is only concerned with teaching speaking. (I don’t think that CLT is merely speaking. What about listening? Listening skill has to do with communicating right. Another thing to ad is that language has a written form, and we can also communicate through written ideas.)6. Classroom activities should be meaningful and involve real communication. (I know every activity has to be related to the students backgrounds and interests, once we plan based on this and connect the language (grammar) with the use of it, we can provide meaningful activities. This one must be another characteristic of CLT.)7. Dialogues are not used in CLT. (Some may say that dialogues are prefabricated language that does not help in real situations, but I do believe that dialogues are a key part of learning a language, since they give a glance of what real world could be like. This must be in CLT characteristics.)8. Both accuracy and fluency are goals in CLT. (Expressing ideas fluently without any accuracy does not make sense to me. So, I think both should be part of a communicative language teaching class.)9. CLT is usually described as a method of teaching. (CLT is a method based on the Communicative Approach theory. CLT is a method that can be used along with other methods to achieve our final goals: to be communicatively competent.)
Activity 4: Post Communicative Language Teaching (Post CLT)A. Eclecticism (a conceptual approach that does not hold rigidly to a single method, but instead draws upon multiple theories, styles, or ideas to gain complementary insights into a subject, or applies different theories in particular cases)B. Project-based learning (PBL) (an instruction relating questions and technology relative to the students everyday lives to classroom projects)C. Differentiated instruction (1. Quick and easy access to a wide variety of relevant learning resources for both historic and current topics that students can read, view, and understand; 2. Learning assignment formats that refer to topics/issues that are relevant to students lives and interests; 3. Instruments that help students organize, analyze, and synthesize information efficiently for problem solving and critical thinking)D. The priorities of 21st Century Literacy and Skills (problem-solving and critical thinking vs. traditional rote, collaboration across & adaptability vs. traditional conformity to norm, initiative and entrepreneurship vs. traditional "tried and true“, effective written and oral communication vs. traditional worksheets and multiple choice tests, accessing and analyzing information vs. traditional remembering the "right" answer, curiosity and imagination vs. traditional one way to solve problems
Step 4.1- IW- Investigations: Investigations Task Cards included for each topic are designed to meet the needs of students with differentiated learning styles.The Common European Framework divides learners intothree broad divisions that can be divided into six levels:• A Basic User• A1 Breakthrough or beginner• A2 Waystage or elementary• B Independent User• B1 Threshold or intermediate• B2 Vantage or upper intermediate• C Proficient User• C1 Effective Operational Proficiency or advanced• C2 Mastery or proficiencyThe CEFR describes what a learner is supposed to be able to do in reading, listening, speaking and writing at each level.
Checklist recordCEFCEF level related to the A1 Beginner B1Intermediate B2 Upper C1 Effectiverespective competence intermediate Operational Proficiency or advancedTask achievement £ $ ♠ €Vocabulary range ☻ ☻ ☻ ☻Cohesion andcoherence of theoral /written text > < > <Grammar accuracy § § § §Cohesion and Well Very well Well Excellent
Activity 5: Curriculum onlineA. Online curriculumB. Use of Technology in the classroom Teachers learn to implement technology in the classroom for enhancing language skills:• Word Processor: At the early level children can recognize letters of the alphabet by using keyboard.• The addition of sound has an audio visual impact. The teacher could move on from letters towards using phonics and pictures. In later stages the teacher could be using words in sentences and at the final stage the students could learn to compose creative stories, writing reports.• Multimedia presentations: Multimedia materials could be used by students in the kindergarten stage where pictures interest them a lot. Even at a higher level pictures could be used to write essays, stories and used to learn other creative aspect of languages.• World Wide Web: Teachers can use ‘Talking Books’ to teach reading. Students can see the text and pictures as well as hear the text being read. They can link up with other schools in other countries and share books, ideas etc.
Step 5.1- Independent work - Define teacher’competences and qualifications (See Common European Principles for Teacher Competences and Qualifications) At the individual student level• Initiating and managing learning processes• Responding effectively to the learning needs of individual learners• Integrating formative and summative assessment At the classroom level• Teaching in multicultural classrooms• New cross-curricular emphases• Integrating students with special needs At the school level• Working and planning in teams• Evaluation and systematic improvement planning• ICT use in teaching and administration• Projects between schools, and international cooperation• Management and shared leadership At the level of parents and the wider community• Providing professional advice to parents• Building community partnerships for learning
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