Communicative Language Teaching
Presented By :
• Francisco Varrela Tilman 201112500049
• Dinar Anggraini 201012500990
• The origins of Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) are
found in the changes in the British language teaching tradition
in the late 1960s.
• Situational Language Teaching (SLT) was the major approach
to teaching English as a FL.
• Language was taught by practicing basic structures in
meaningful situation-based activities.
• British applied linguists rejected the theoretical assumptions
underlying SLL because the focus on language teaching was
the mastery of structures rather than on communicative
• Scholars who advocated this view of language: British
functional linguist Halliday, American sociolinguist Dell
Hymes and work in philosophy J. Austin.
• There was a need in Europe to teach adults the major
languages of the European Common market, and in 1971 a
group of experts began to investigate the possibility of
developing language courses, in which learning tasks are
broken into units.
• In 1972, D. A. Wilkins proposed a functional or
communicative syllabus for language teaching. His
contribution was an analysis of the communicative meanings
that a language learner needs to understand and express.
• Wilkins defined two categories of meanings: notional
categories (concepts such as time, sequence, quantity,
location, frequency) and categories of communicative
function (requests, denials, offers, complaints). This was the
birth of notional syllabuses, which had a significant impact on
• The Council of Europe incorporated Wilkin’s
semantic/communicative analysis into a set of specifications
for a first-level communicative language syllabus.
• The work of the Council of Europe, the writings of Wilkin’s,
Widdowson, Candlin, Brumfit, Keith Johnson, and other
British applied linguists on the theoretical basis for a
communicative or functional approach to language teaching,
the application of these ideas, the acceptance of these
principles by British language specialists came to be referred
to as the Communicative Approach or CLT.
• Communicative Approach aims to: make communicative
competence the goal of language teaching, and develop
procedures for the teaching of the four language skills
(listening, speaking, reading and writing) that acknowledge the
interdependence of language and communication.
• There are two version of the CLT:
• The weak version stresses the importance of providing
learners with opportunities to use their English for
communicative purposes (learning to use English).
• The strong version advances the claim that language is
acquired through communication. That is not merely a
question of activating an existing but inert knowledge of
language, but of stimulating the development of the language
system itself (using English to learn it).
Theory Of Language
• The Communicative Approach in language teaching starts
from a theory of language as communication.
• The goal of language teaching is what Hymes (1972) referred
to as “communicative competence.” Hymes coined this term
in order to contrast a communicative view of language and
Chomsky’s theory of competence.
• In Hymes’ view, a person who acquires communicative
competence acquires both knowledge and ability for language
use with respect to
something is formally
relation to a context
in which it is used
something is in fact
performed, and what
its doing entails
• This theory of what knowing a language entails offers a much
more comprehensive view than Chomsky’s view of
competence, which deals primarily with abstract grammatical
• Another linguistic theory of CLT is Halliday’s functional
account of language use. Halliday elaborated a powerful
theory of the functions of language. He described seven basic
functions that language performs for children learning their
first language :
function: using language
to get things
2. Regulatory function:
using language to control
the behavior of others
function: using language
to create interaction with
6. Imaginative function:
using language to create
a world of the imagination
5. Heuristic function:
using language to learn
and to discover
4. Personal function:
using language to
express personal feelings
function: using language
• At the level of language theory, CLT has a rich theoretical
base. Some of the characteristics of this communicative view
of language follow:
1. language is a system for the expression of meaning,
2. the primary goal of language is to allow interaction and
3. the structure of language reflects its functional and
4. the primary units of language are categories of functional and
Theory of Learning
• Little has been written about learning theory in contrast to the
amount of that has been written about CLT literature.
• Elements of an underlying learning theory can be discerned in
some CLT practices as follows:
• One element is the communication principle: activities that
involve real communication promote learning.
• Another element is the task principle: activities in which
language is used for carrying out meaningful tasks promote
• A third element is the meaningfulness principle: language
that is meaningful to the learner supports the learning process.
The following are levels of objectives in a communicative approach:
• An integrative and content level (language as a means of expression)
• A linguistic and instrumental level (language as a semiotic system
and an object of learning)
• An affective level of interpersonal relationships and conduct
(language as a means of expressing values and judgments about
oneself and others)
• A level of individual learning needs (remedial learning based on
• A general educational level of extra-linguistic goals (language
learning within school curriculum)
• One of the first syllabus models to be proposed was described
as a notional syllabus (Wilkins, 1976), which specified the
semantic-grammatical categories and the categories of
communicative function that learners need to express.
• The Council of Europe expanded and developed this into a
syllabus that included the following:
1. description of the objectives of FL courses,
2. situations in which they might typically use an L2 (travel,
3. topic they might need to talk about (education, shopping),
4. functions they needed language for (requesting information,
expressing agreement & disagreement),
5. the notions made use of in communication (time, frequency,
duration), as well as vocabulary and grammar needed.
• Littlewood (1981) distinguishes between functional communication
activities and social interaction activities.
Types of learning and teaching activities
• Comparing sets of pictures and noting similarities and
differences, discovering missing features in a map or
picture, one learner communicating behind a screen to
another one giving instructions on how to draw a picture
• Conversation and discussion sessions, dialogues, role
plays, simulations, skits, improvisations and debates.
• The learner is a negotiator
(between himself, the
learning process, and the
object of learning). The
implication is that the
learner should contribute as
much as he gains, and learn
in an interdependent way.
• Students are expected to
interact primarily with each
other rather than with the
• Students give and receive
• CLT teacher assumes a
responsibility for determining
and responding to Ss language
• CLT teacher administer a needs
assessment instrument to
determine an individual’s
motivation for studying the
• Based on needs assessment
results, CLT teacher plan
instruction and activities that
respond to Ss needs.
• The CLT teacher-counselor, as
in the Community Language
Learning, is expected to
exemplify an effective
communicator seeking to
maximize the speaker intention
and hearer interpretation,
through the use of paraphrase,
confirmation, and feedback.
• CLT procedures require
teachers to acquire less
• CLT teacher organizes the
classroom for communication
and communicative activities.
The Role Of Instructional Materials
• A wide variety of materials have been used to support
communicative approaches to language teaching.
• CLT view materials as a way of influencing the quality of
classroom interaction and language use.
• The primary role of materials is to promote communicative
• There are three kinds of material currently used in CLT: text-
based, task-based, and realia.
There are numerous
to direct and support
CLT. Their table of
contents suggest a
kind of grading and
A variety of games,
activities have been
prepared to support
CLT classes. They
are in the form of
cue cards, activity
Many proponents of
advocated the use
materials in class.
The methodological procedures reflect a sequence of activities
represented as follows:
• CLT is best considered an approach rather than a method.
• Approach refers to a diverse set of principles that reflect a
communicative view of language and language learning used
to support a variety of classroom procedures.
• CLT has passed through a number of different phases to apply
its principles to different dimensions of the teaching/learning
• The first phase was the need to develop a syllabus that was
compatible with the notion of communicative competence.
This led to proposals of syllabuses in terms of notions (a
context in which people communicate) and functions (a
specific purpose for a speaker in a given context).
• The second phase, CLT focused on procedures for identifying
learners’ needs and this resulted in proposals to make needs
analysis an essential component of communicative
• In the third phase, CLT focused on the kinds of classroom
activities that could be used as the basis of a communicative
methodology, such as group work, task-work, and
There are five core identified characteristics that support current
applications of communicative methodology:
1. Appropriateness: language
use reflects the situations of its
use and must be appropriate to
that situation, the roles of the
participants, and the purpose of
2. Message focus: learners need
to be able to create and
understand messages, hence the
focus on information sharing and
information transfer in CLT
3. Psycholinguistic processing:
CLT activities seek to engage
learners in the use of cognitive
and other processes in SLA.
4. Risk taking: learners are
encouraged to make guesses and
learn from their errors.
5. Free practice: CLT encourages
the use of “holistic practice”
involving the simultaneous use of
a variety of subskills, rather than
practicing individual skills at a