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Communicative Language Teaching Emily A. Thrush University of Memphis Department of English
Learning a Language • Learning a language is not like learning a subject such as history which consists of knowledge. • Learning a language is like learning any other skill, such as riding a bicycle or playing a sport. • You need some knowledge and a lot of practice to use that knowledge easily.
Learning a Language • Knowledge • Vocabulary • Rules of grammar • Rules of pronunciation • Rules of appropriateness (politeness, etc.) • Skill • Comprehending written and spoken language • Producing language fluently and accurately
Research on Memory • Research on memory as related to learning a language shows that • Learners remember vocabulary best when it is learned in context and linked to meaning. • Learners remember language that is used in meaningful contexts better than language used in mechanical exercises, drills, or contexts that are not meaningful to the individual learner.
Communicative Teaching • Teachers should move learners from textbook exercises to meaningful use. • Questions and answers about their own interests, concerns, activities, etc. • Readings on topics of interest to them. • Writing on topics of interest to them. • Conversations on topics of interest to them.