Communicative language teaching

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Communicative language teaching

  1. 1. Communicative LanguageTeachingCris D. BarabasEnglish 212N Summer Term 2013University of San Carlos
  2. 2. Presentation OutlineI. What is communicative language teaching?II. The nature of learners’ learningIII. The background to CLTIV. Implications for methodologyV. Classroom activities in CLTVI. CLT and cooperative learningVII.The push for authenticityVIII.Current trends in CLT
  3. 3. Tracing back…• Concurrent developments in Europe & NorthAmerica• First proposed in the 1970s?• British linguist (1960s?): CommunicativeApproach aims to make communicativecompetence (Hymes, 1972)• Council of Europe: notional-functionalconcepts of language use syllabus
  4. 4. A methodology of choice?WHY?•Does it mean teaching conversation?•An absence of grammar in a course?•An emphasis on open-ended discussionactivities?
  5. 5. The goals of language teaching•Communicative competence vs. grammaticalcompetence
  6. 6. Communicative competence is what a speakerneeds to know in order to be communicativelycompetent in a speech community.
  7. 7. Four dimensions of communicativecompetence (Canale and Swain, 1998)• Grammatical competence• Sociolinguistic competence• Discourse competence• Strategic competence
  8. 8. How is communicative competenceviewed?• Knowing how to use language for a range ofdifferent purposes and functions• Knowing how to vary our use of languageaccording to the setting and the participants(formal vs. informal speech, when to uselanguage appropriately for written as opposedto spoken communication)
  9. 9. How is communicative competenceviewed?• Knowing how to produce and understanddifferent types of texts (narratives, reports,interviews, conversations)• Knowing how to maintain communicationdespite having limitations in one’s language(through using different kinds ofcommunication strategies)
  10. 10. How learners learn a language?CLT as partly a response to the changes ofunderstanding the processes of second languagelearning in the past 30 years
  11. 11. Before…• Mastery of grammatical competence• Language learning as a process of mechanicalhabit formation• Good habits are formed by having studentsproduce correct sentences and not throughmaking mistakes
  12. 12. Before…• Errors were to be avoided through controlledopportunities for production (either written orspoken)• Memorizing dialogs and performing drills, thechances of making mistakes were minimized• Teacher-controlled learning
  13. 13. CLT Innovation/Change in perspective• Interaction between the learner and users ofthe language• Collaborative creation of meaning• Creating meaningful and purposefulinteraction through language• Negotiation of meaning as the learner and hisor her interlocutor arrive at understanding
  14. 14. CLT Innovation/Change in perspective• Learning through attending to the feedbacklearners get when they use the language• Paying attention to the language one hears(the input) and trying to incorporate newforms into one’s developing communicativecompetence• Trying out and experimenting with differentways of saying things
  15. 15. The background to CLTWith respect to the groupings of the languageteaching trends in the last 50 years:Phase 1: traditional approaches (late 1960s)Phase 2: classic CLT (1970s-1990s)Phase 3: current CLT (late 1990s-present)
  16. 16. Phase 2: classic CLT (1970s-1990s)• the shifting of attention to the knowledge andskills needed to use grammar• the communicative competence• developed within the sub-discipline ofsociolinguistics
  17. 17. What would a syllabus that reflected the notionof communicative competence look like andwhat implications would it have for languageteaching methodology?
  18. 18. CLT (1970s and 1980s)• Purposes• Setting• Socially defined role• Communicative events• Language functions
  19. 19. CLT (1970s and 1980s)• Notions• Discourse/rhetorical skills• Variety• Grammatical content• Lexical content
  20. 20. • Communicative Syllabus (skill-based &functional)• English for Specific Purposes
  21. 21. Implications for Methodology• Make real communication the focus oflanguage learning• Provide opportunities for learners toexperiment and try out what they know• Be tolerant of learners’ errors as they indicatethat the learner is building up of his or hercommunicative competence
  22. 22. Implications for Methodology• Provide opportunities for learners to developboth accuracy and fluency• Link the different skills such as speaking,reading, and listening together, since theyusually occur so in the real world• Let students induce or discover grammar rules
  23. 23. Classroom activities in CLTActivities Focusing on Accuracy Activities Focusing on FluencyReflect classroom use of language Reflect natural use of languageFocus on the formation of correctexamples of languageFocus on achieving communicationPractice language out of context Require meaningful use of languagePractice small samples of language Require the use of communicationstrategiesDo not require meaningful communication Produce language that may not bepredictableControl choice of language Seek to link language use to context
  24. 24. Classroom activities in CLTII. Mechanical, Meaningful, and CommunicativePracticeIII. Information-Gap ActivitiesIV. Jigsaw ActivitiesV. Task-completion: puzzles, games, map-readingVI. Information-gatheringVII. Opinion-sharingVIII. Information-transferIX. Reasoning-gapX. Role-plays
  25. 25. The emphasis on cooperative learning• Learn from hearing the language used byother members• Produce a greater amount of language thanthey would use in teacher-fronted activities• Likely to increase in motivational level• Bigger chance to develop fluency
  26. 26. The push for authenticity• Language classroom=preparation for survival inthe real world“Classroom activities should parallel the ‘real world’as closely as possible. Since language is a tool ofcommunication, methods and materials shouldconcentrate on the message and not the medium.The purpose of reading should be the same inclass as they are in real life.”-Clarke and Silberstein (1977)
  27. 27. Changes in approaches to languageteaching (Jacobs and Farrel, n.d.)1. Learner autonomy2. The social nature of learning3. Curricular integration4. Focus on meaning5. Diversity6. Thinking skills7. Alternative assessment8. Teachers as co-learners

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