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Communicative Approach


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Communicative Approach by Col Muhammad Khalid Khan

Published in: Education, Technology
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Communicative Approach

  1. 1.  Definition  Communication Model  Objectives  Background  Theory of language  Principles  Features of Communicative Approach  Comparison of Communicative Approach with Traditional Approach  Communicative Language Teaching  Role of The Teacher and Student in CA  Class Activities  Conclusion
  2. 2.  The Communicative Approach (CA) or Communicative language teaching (CLT) is an approach to language teaching that emphasizes interaction as both the means and the ultimate goal of study.  The communicative approach is based on the idea that learning language successfully comes through having to communicate real meaning. When learners are involved in real communication, their natural strategies for language acquisition will be used, and this will allow them to learn to use the language.
  3. 3.  Piepho (1981) discusses the following levels of objectives in a communicative approach:  1. an integrative and content level (language as a means of expression)  2. a linguistic and instrumental level (language as a semiotic system and an object of learning);  3. an affective level of interpersonal relationships and conduct (language as a means of expressing values and judgments about oneself and others);  4. a level of individual learning needs (remedial learning based on error analysis);  5. a general educational level of extra-linguistic goals (language learning within the school curriculum).
  4. 4.  The communicative approach (CA) was developed by Robert Langs MD, In the early 1970's. It is a new theory or paradigm of emotional life and psychoanalysis that is centered on human adaptations to emotionally-charged events--with full appreciation that such adaptations take place both within awareness (consciously) and outside of awareness (unconsciously). The approach gives full credence to the unconscious side of emotional life and has rendered it highly sensible and incontrovertible by discovering a new, validated, and deeply meaningful way of decoding unconscious messages. This procedure-called trigger decoding--has brought forth new and highly illuminating revisions of our understanding of both emotional life and psychotherapy, and it calls for significant changes in presently accepted psychoanalytic thinking and practice
  5. 5.  An influential development in the history of communicative language teaching was the work of the Council of Europe in creating new language syllabuses. Education was a high priority for the Council of Europe, and they set out to provide syllabuses that would meet the needs of European immigrants.Among the studies used by the council when designing the course was one by the British linguist, D. A. Wilkins, that defined language using “notions” and “functions”, rather than more traditional categories of grammar and vocabulary. Notional categories include concepts such as time, location, frequency, and quantity, and functional categories include communicative acts such as offers, complaints, denials, and requests. These syllabuses were widely used
  6. 6.  The communicative approach in language teaching starts from a theory of language as communication. The goal of language teaching is to develop 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. Chomsky held that linguistic theory is concerned primarily with an ideal speaker-listener in a completely homogeneous speech community, who knows its language perfectly and is unaffected by such grammatically irrelevant conditions as mem­ory limitation, distractions, shifts of attention and interest, and errors (random or characteristic) in applying his knowledge of the language in actual performance. (Chomsky 1965: 3)  For Chomsky, the focus of linguistic theory was to characterize the abstract abilities speakers possess that enable them to produce gram­ matically correct sentences in a language. Hymes held that such a view of linguistic theory was sterile, that linguistic theory needed to be seen as part of a more general theory incorporating communication and culture. Hymes's theory of communicative competence was a definition of what a speaker needs to know in order to be communicatively com­ petent in a speech community. In Hymes's view, a person who acquires communicative competence acquires both knowledge and ability for language use.
  7. 7.  A teacher's main role is-a facilitator & monitor  Lessons are usually topic or theme based  Lessons are built round situations/functions practical and authentic in the real world  Activities set by the teacher have relevance and purpose to real life situations  Dialogues around communicative functions  Emphasis on engaging learners in more useful and authentic language  Emphasis on fluency and meaning rather than accuracy.  Emphasis is put on the “appropriacy” of language  Communicative competence is the desired goal  Emphasis is put on correct pronunciation, choral (group) and individual drilling  Authentic listening and reading texts  Use of songs and games  Feedback and correction
  8. 8.  It emphasizes the learning of notions and functions rather than structure.  In this method of language teaching, a learner is place in situations where he must use the target language as an instrument for satisfying his immediate communicative needs as normally it is done outside the class.  All language skills are practiced and developed as students work on all language skills from the beginning.  In negotiating meaning in trying to make students understand even when their knowledge of the target language is incomplete. Students learned to communicate by communicating.(Dian. Larsen – Freeman 1986:131)  Students interact a great deal with one another outside the class.  Encourage cooperative development.  Students native language is not used.
  9. 9. CA is usually characterized as a broad approach to teaching, rather than as a teaching method with a clearly defined set of classroom practices. As such, it is most often defined as a list of general principles or features. One of the most recognized of these lists is David Nunan’s (1991) five features of CLT:  An emphasis on learning to communicate through interaction in the target language.  The introduction of authentic texts into the learning situation.  The provision of opportunities for learners to focus, not only on language but also on the learning process itself.  An enhancement of the learner’s own personal experiences as important contributing elements to classroom learning.  An attempt to link classroom language learning with language activities outside the classroom.
  10. 10. A •Form •Usage •Competence •Language-like behavior •Atomistic •Discrete-point •Analytic •Manipulative •Qualitative •Norm-referenced •Teacher Centered B •Function •Use •Performance •Authentic behavior •Holistic •Integrative •Synthetic •Communicative •Quantitative •Criterion-referenced •Student Centered
  11. 11.  CA emphasizes function and notion(meaning) rather than form(structure).  CA emphasizes use in context rather than usage without context.  CA emphasizes Language Performance rather than Language Competence.  CA emphasizes real life(Authentic)Behavior rather than Language- Like Behavior .  CA emphasizes whole(Holistic) rather than separate(Atomistic).  CA emphasizes Integrative(Integration of skills) rather than Discrete-points(Unconnected distinct).  CA emphasizes Synthetic (Relating to or being a language, such as Latin or Russian,  that uses inflectional affixes to express syntactic relationships.) rather than Analytic (Expressing a grammatical category by using two or more words instead of an inflected form.)
  12. 12.  CA emphasizes Communicative(relating to communication) rather than Manipulative(Any of various objects designed to be moved or arra nged by hand as a means of developing motor skills or understanding abstractions).  CA emphasizes Quantitative(related to quantity) rather than Qualitative(related to quality).  CA emphasizes Criterion- referenced(A psychometric property of a standardized test that c ompares a person's performance against a set of standard criteria) rather than Norm- referenced(A psychometric property of a standardized test that c ompares a person's performance with those of the general population).  CA emphasizes Student Centered rather than Teacher Centered.
  13. 13.  Communicative language teaching makes use of real-life situations that necessitate communication. The teacher sets up a situation that students are likely to encounter in real life. Unlike the audio-lingual method of language teaching, which relies on repetition and drills, the communicative approach can leave students in suspense as to the outcome of a class exercise, which will vary according to their reactions and responses. The real-life simulations change from day to day. Students' motivation to learn comes from their desire to communicate in meaningful ways about meaningful topics.  Margie S. Berns, an expert in the field of communicative language teaching, writes in explaining Firth's view that "language is interaction; it is interpersonal activity and has a clear relationship with society. In this light, language study has to look at the use (function) of language in context, both its linguistic context (what is uttered before and after a given piece of discourse) and its social, or situational, context (who is speaking, what their social roles are, why they have come together to speak)" (Berns, 1984: 5).
  14. 14.  Teachers in communicative classrooms will find themselves talking less and listening more becoming active facilitators of their students' learning (Larsen-Freeman, 1986). The teacher sets up the exercise, but because the students' performance is the goal, the teacher must step back and observe, sometimes acting as referee or monitor. A classroom during a communicative activity is far from quiet, however. The students do most of the speaking, and frequently the scene of a classroom during a communicative exercise is active, with students leaving their seats to complete a task. Because of the increased responsibility to participate, students may find they gain confidence in using the target language in general. Students are more responsible managers of their own learning (Larsen- Freeman, 1986).
  15. 15.  Classroom activities used in communicative language teaching include the following:  Role-play  Interviews  information gap  Games  Language exchanges  Surveys  Pair-work  Learning by teaching
  16. 16.  The various methodologies serve one purpose i.e. to facilitate the learner to evince a more satisfactory response from a student/learner in a classroom. Though in practice one finds out that even the best of us cannot consistently and perfectly do all the things that are defined in various methodologies, what suffice is a deep interest and an unfailing commitment coupled with a willingness to change that would lead to further innovations and endeavors in the field of teaching. So far we have tasted and tested very many methods, let us taste and test this method also. We want something better for ourselves, for our children, and we look to a present and future source of improvement.