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The Communicative
Approach
Presented at TeacherTraining
Bekasi. February 20, 2015
What Is Communicative Language
Teaching (CLT)?
 It is a set of principles about the goals of
language teaching,
 How learners learn a language, the kinds of
classroom activities that best facilitate learning,
 The roles of teachers and learners in the
classroom.
What is the communicative
approach?
Language is communication.
The final aim of CLT is
communicative competence.
Four competence areas:
 Linguistic competence: knowing how to use the
grammar, syntax, and vocabulary of a language.
 Sociolinguistic competence: knowing how to use
language appropriately, given the setting, the topic, and
the relationships among interlocutors.
 Discourse competence: knowing how to interpret the
larger context and how to construct longer stretches of
language so that the parts make up a coherent whole.
 Strategic competence: knowing how repair
communication breakdowns, work around gaps in one’s
knowledge of the language, and learn more about the
language and in the context.
Communicative Approach
Principles :
Learners learn through using it to communicate
Authentic and meaningful communication
should be the goal of classroom activities
Fluency is an important dimension of
communication
Communication involves the integration of
different language skills
Learning is a process of creative construction
and involves trial and error
Teacher’s role
The teacher has two main roles:
 To facilitate the communication process in the
classroom
 To act as an independent participant within the
learning-teaching group
The teacher is also expected to act as a resource, an
organizer of resources, a motivator, a counselor, a
guide, an analyst and a researcher.
There are many other minor roles of a teacher, some of
these would include being an actor and an entertainer.
After all, a good lesson must be interesting or the students
will ‘switch off’ and learn nothing.
Learners had to …
participate in classroom activities that were based on a
cooperative approach to learning
become comfortable with listening to their peers in
group work or pair work tasks, rather than relying on the
teacher for a model
expected to take on a greater degree of responsibility for
their own learning.
In practical terms, what does
that mean?
We need to concentrate on the following:
 Teacher – Student activities
 Activities
 Materials
Teacher-Student Interaction
Since communicative competence is our aim, it is essential
that students be given every opportunity to practice
communicating. In the communicative classroom teacher
talking time (TTT) must be kept to a minimum.This is not to
say that the teacher shouldn’t speak at all, but TTT should be
controlled and appropriated.
The classroom should be learner centered.
The teacher’s role is to facilitate student communication
which is done through careful selection of materials and
activities relevant to the aims of the lesson in which they are
used.
Communication can be divided
into two categories
 Input (receptive)
 Output (productive)
The four communicative skills
can be put into these
categories
OUTPUT
Speaking
Writing
Input
Reading
Listening
Whichever of these skills is being taught
the main focus must be on the student
and not on the teacher.
The interaction should usually be the
student to student and should include the
teacher only where necessary.
During most classroom activities the
teacher will monitor and intervene only
where necessary.
A Model for Part of A Communicative
Lesson Presentation – Practice -
Production
Stage 1
Teacher (T) gives a short presentation of a grammar or
vocabulary point.T then gives students (Ss) opportunity to practise the
point in a controlled exercise. (Interaction:T›Ss)
Stage 2
Ss carry out the controlled exercise whileT monitors and
intervenes where appropriate. (Interaction: S‹›S)
Stage 3
The Ss are asked to take part in an activity designed to get them to
produce the vocabulary and grammar they have been taught.T monitors
and notes errors and interesting points.T intervenes only when asked or
when absolutely necessary. (Interaction: S‹›S)
Stage 4
Feedback session, in whichT feeds back in a non-threatening way the
errors s/he noted during the activity. Ss also have the opportunity to clear
up puzzling points. (Interaction:T‹›Ss)
There are many different types of activities.They
provide speaking, listening, writing and reading
practice as well as aiding production.
A few
ideas for activity
types
Games Role-plays Simulations Information Gaps
ACCURACY vs FLUENCY
 Exercises
 Discrete
 Form
 Predictible
 Close-ended
 Contrived
 Correctness
 Full-class work
 Open-pair work
*Tasks
* Integrative
* Meaning
* Unpredictible
* Open-ended
* Realistic / Life-like
* Message
* Closed-pair work
* Group work
The characters of fluency-oriented
activities…
 Students put their hands up to speak
 Students speak without putting their hands up
 Students’ utterances are single sentences addressed to the teacher
 Students use paraphrase or other communication strategies
 Students make comments on other students’ contributions
 The teacher uses prompts (suggests ideas)
 The teacher uses clues (for guided responses)
 The teacher asks for alternative answers
 A student is asked to repeat another student’ response
 students’ remarks are addressed to their peers
The characteristics of accuracy-
oriented activities…
 requests / enquiries from students
 correction and discussion of written answers to comprehension
question tasks
 Practice in full class of new structures, functions and lexis
 Oral answers to inferential comprehension questions
 Closed pair-work activities with an information-gap
 Open pair-work in full class
 Oral answers to comprehension questions of a literal type
 Memorization and recitation of dialogs
 Reading isolated sentences aloud
Some recomendations…
 Teachers were recommended to use a
balance of fluency activities and accuracy
 Accuracy work could either come before or
after fluency work.
 While dialogs, grammar, and pronunciation
drills now appeared as part of a sequence of
activities that moved back and forth between
accuracy activities and fluency activities
Pre-communicative VS Communicative activities
* Structural activities, functional communication
activities, quasi - communicative activities, social
interactional activities, and functional communication
activities require students to use their language
resources to overcome an information gap or solve a
problem.
* Social interactional activities require the learner to
pay attention to the context and the roles of the
people involved, and to attend to such things as formal
versus informal language.
Information-Gap Activities
More authentic communication is likely to occur
in the classroom if students go beyond practice of
language forms for their own sake and use their
linguistic and communicative resources in
order to obtain information. In so doing, they will
draw available vocabulary, grammar, and
communication strategies to complete a task.
Jigsaw Activities
These are also based on the information-
gap principle. Typically, the class is divided into
groups and each group has part of the
information needed to complete an activity. The
class must fit the pieces together to complete
the whole. In so doing, they use their language
resources to communicate meaningfully and
part in meaningful communication practice.
Other ActivityTypes in CLT
Many other activity types have been used in
CLT, including the following:
 Task-completion activities: puzzles, games, map-reading, and
other kinds of classroom tasks in which the focus is on using
one’s language resources to complete a task.
 Information-gathering activities: student-conducted
surveys, interviews, and searches in which students are
required to use their linguistic resources to collect
information.
 Opinion-sharing activities: activities in which
students compare values, opinions, or beliefs.
 Information-transfer activities: These require
learners to take information that is presented in
one form, and represent it in a different form.
 Role plays: activities in which students are
assigned roles and improvise a scene or exchange
based on given information or clues.
Where do I find activities?
They can be found in books containing supplementary
material such as the Reward Resource Packs.
Many teachers enjoy creating their own activities, which
can be tailored specifically to their classes needs.
Activities used in the classroom must be selected
carefully as if they are above the level of the students they
can destroy self-confidence and if below they can bore
the students.
Activities usually involve the students working together
either in pairs or in small groups.
Materials
Materials fall into three broad categories:
 text-based,
 task-based
 realia.
They can be used as the basis for classroom
activities. Once again not only must the activity
be appropriate to the level of the students but
the materials used must be appropriate too.
Text-based materials
For example practice exercises, reading
passages, gap fills, recordings, etc. can be
found in almost any course book as well
as in books containing supplementary
materials.They form an essential part of
most lessons.
Task-based materials
These include game boards, roleplay
cards, materials for drilling, pairwork
tasks, etc.
They might be used to support 'real life'
tasks such as role playing booking into a
hotel, or a job interview.
Realia
This includes such things as magazines, newspapers, fruit
and vegetables, axes, maps - things from the real world
outside the classroom.
They can be used in many activities.
For example, fruit and vegetables could be used in a
shopping activity, an axe could be used to show the
effect of using the present perfect continuous on a
short action verb.
So what does the communicative
approach mean in practical terms?
We should now understand that the teacher's job is to
get their students to communicate using real language
by providing them with instruction, practice, and above
all opportunities to produce English in activities which
encourage acquisition and fluency.
CLT should be fun for both teacher and students.
Enabling students to communicate successfully is also
very rewarding.
In Conclusion

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The Communicative Approach

  • 1. The Communicative Approach Presented at TeacherTraining Bekasi. February 20, 2015
  • 2. What Is Communicative Language Teaching (CLT)?  It is a set of principles about the goals of language teaching,  How learners learn a language, the kinds of classroom activities that best facilitate learning,  The roles of teachers and learners in the classroom.
  • 3. What is the communicative approach? Language is communication. The final aim of CLT is communicative competence.
  • 4. Four competence areas:  Linguistic competence: knowing how to use the grammar, syntax, and vocabulary of a language.  Sociolinguistic competence: knowing how to use language appropriately, given the setting, the topic, and the relationships among interlocutors.  Discourse competence: knowing how to interpret the larger context and how to construct longer stretches of language so that the parts make up a coherent whole.  Strategic competence: knowing how repair communication breakdowns, work around gaps in one’s knowledge of the language, and learn more about the language and in the context.
  • 5. Communicative Approach Principles : Learners learn through using it to communicate Authentic and meaningful communication should be the goal of classroom activities Fluency is an important dimension of communication Communication involves the integration of different language skills Learning is a process of creative construction and involves trial and error
  • 6. Teacher’s role The teacher has two main roles:  To facilitate the communication process in the classroom  To act as an independent participant within the learning-teaching group The teacher is also expected to act as a resource, an organizer of resources, a motivator, a counselor, a guide, an analyst and a researcher. There are many other minor roles of a teacher, some of these would include being an actor and an entertainer. After all, a good lesson must be interesting or the students will ‘switch off’ and learn nothing.
  • 7. Learners had to … participate in classroom activities that were based on a cooperative approach to learning become comfortable with listening to their peers in group work or pair work tasks, rather than relying on the teacher for a model expected to take on a greater degree of responsibility for their own learning.
  • 8. In practical terms, what does that mean? We need to concentrate on the following:  Teacher – Student activities  Activities  Materials
  • 9. Teacher-Student Interaction Since communicative competence is our aim, it is essential that students be given every opportunity to practice communicating. In the communicative classroom teacher talking time (TTT) must be kept to a minimum.This is not to say that the teacher shouldn’t speak at all, but TTT should be controlled and appropriated. The classroom should be learner centered. The teacher’s role is to facilitate student communication which is done through careful selection of materials and activities relevant to the aims of the lesson in which they are used.
  • 10. Communication can be divided into two categories  Input (receptive)  Output (productive) The four communicative skills can be put into these categories OUTPUT Speaking Writing Input Reading Listening
  • 11. Whichever of these skills is being taught the main focus must be on the student and not on the teacher. The interaction should usually be the student to student and should include the teacher only where necessary. During most classroom activities the teacher will monitor and intervene only where necessary.
  • 12.
  • 13. A Model for Part of A Communicative Lesson Presentation – Practice - Production Stage 1 Teacher (T) gives a short presentation of a grammar or vocabulary point.T then gives students (Ss) opportunity to practise the point in a controlled exercise. (Interaction:T›Ss) Stage 2 Ss carry out the controlled exercise whileT monitors and intervenes where appropriate. (Interaction: S‹›S) Stage 3 The Ss are asked to take part in an activity designed to get them to produce the vocabulary and grammar they have been taught.T monitors and notes errors and interesting points.T intervenes only when asked or when absolutely necessary. (Interaction: S‹›S) Stage 4 Feedback session, in whichT feeds back in a non-threatening way the errors s/he noted during the activity. Ss also have the opportunity to clear up puzzling points. (Interaction:T‹›Ss)
  • 14. There are many different types of activities.They provide speaking, listening, writing and reading practice as well as aiding production. A few ideas for activity types Games Role-plays Simulations Information Gaps
  • 15. ACCURACY vs FLUENCY  Exercises  Discrete  Form  Predictible  Close-ended  Contrived  Correctness  Full-class work  Open-pair work *Tasks * Integrative * Meaning * Unpredictible * Open-ended * Realistic / Life-like * Message * Closed-pair work * Group work
  • 16. The characters of fluency-oriented activities…  Students put their hands up to speak  Students speak without putting their hands up  Students’ utterances are single sentences addressed to the teacher  Students use paraphrase or other communication strategies  Students make comments on other students’ contributions  The teacher uses prompts (suggests ideas)  The teacher uses clues (for guided responses)  The teacher asks for alternative answers  A student is asked to repeat another student’ response  students’ remarks are addressed to their peers
  • 17. The characteristics of accuracy- oriented activities…  requests / enquiries from students  correction and discussion of written answers to comprehension question tasks  Practice in full class of new structures, functions and lexis  Oral answers to inferential comprehension questions  Closed pair-work activities with an information-gap  Open pair-work in full class  Oral answers to comprehension questions of a literal type  Memorization and recitation of dialogs  Reading isolated sentences aloud
  • 18. Some recomendations…  Teachers were recommended to use a balance of fluency activities and accuracy  Accuracy work could either come before or after fluency work.  While dialogs, grammar, and pronunciation drills now appeared as part of a sequence of activities that moved back and forth between accuracy activities and fluency activities
  • 19. Pre-communicative VS Communicative activities * Structural activities, functional communication activities, quasi - communicative activities, social interactional activities, and functional communication activities require students to use their language resources to overcome an information gap or solve a problem. * Social interactional activities require the learner to pay attention to the context and the roles of the people involved, and to attend to such things as formal versus informal language.
  • 20. Information-Gap Activities More authentic communication is likely to occur in the classroom if students go beyond practice of language forms for their own sake and use their linguistic and communicative resources in order to obtain information. In so doing, they will draw available vocabulary, grammar, and communication strategies to complete a task.
  • 21. Jigsaw Activities These are also based on the information- gap principle. Typically, the class is divided into groups and each group has part of the information needed to complete an activity. The class must fit the pieces together to complete the whole. In so doing, they use their language resources to communicate meaningfully and part in meaningful communication practice.
  • 22. Other ActivityTypes in CLT Many other activity types have been used in CLT, including the following:  Task-completion activities: puzzles, games, map-reading, and other kinds of classroom tasks in which the focus is on using one’s language resources to complete a task.  Information-gathering activities: student-conducted surveys, interviews, and searches in which students are required to use their linguistic resources to collect information.
  • 23.  Opinion-sharing activities: activities in which students compare values, opinions, or beliefs.  Information-transfer activities: These require learners to take information that is presented in one form, and represent it in a different form.  Role plays: activities in which students are assigned roles and improvise a scene or exchange based on given information or clues.
  • 24. Where do I find activities? They can be found in books containing supplementary material such as the Reward Resource Packs. Many teachers enjoy creating their own activities, which can be tailored specifically to their classes needs. Activities used in the classroom must be selected carefully as if they are above the level of the students they can destroy self-confidence and if below they can bore the students. Activities usually involve the students working together either in pairs or in small groups.
  • 25. Materials Materials fall into three broad categories:  text-based,  task-based  realia. They can be used as the basis for classroom activities. Once again not only must the activity be appropriate to the level of the students but the materials used must be appropriate too.
  • 26. Text-based materials For example practice exercises, reading passages, gap fills, recordings, etc. can be found in almost any course book as well as in books containing supplementary materials.They form an essential part of most lessons.
  • 27. Task-based materials These include game boards, roleplay cards, materials for drilling, pairwork tasks, etc. They might be used to support 'real life' tasks such as role playing booking into a hotel, or a job interview.
  • 28. Realia This includes such things as magazines, newspapers, fruit and vegetables, axes, maps - things from the real world outside the classroom. They can be used in many activities. For example, fruit and vegetables could be used in a shopping activity, an axe could be used to show the effect of using the present perfect continuous on a short action verb.
  • 29. So what does the communicative approach mean in practical terms? We should now understand that the teacher's job is to get their students to communicate using real language by providing them with instruction, practice, and above all opportunities to produce English in activities which encourage acquisition and fluency. CLT should be fun for both teacher and students. Enabling students to communicate successfully is also very rewarding. In Conclusion