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The Communicative Approach Communicative Language Teaching (CLT). Communicative and Functional Approach. Background. The communicative approach seeks to make meaningful communication and language use a focus of all classroom activities.
The Communicative ApproachCommunicative Language Teaching(CLT) Communicative and Functional Approach
Background The communicative approach seeks to make meaningful communication and language use a focus of all classroom activities. The method came as a reaction against the grammar-based approaches such as the audiolingual method and grammar-translation methods of foreign language instruction that ignored that the goal of language learning is COMMUNICATIVE COMPETENCE.
In order to explain communicative competence we have to explain first what is meant by competence. Competence is the knowledge one has (of a language). Performance is the exercise of that knowledge.
Competence is of two types: • Grammatical competence, which includes knowledge of the linguistic system of a language, such as knowledge of the grammar and vocabulary of the language And • Communicative competence, which includes refers to knowing how to use language appropriately. The latter includes :
Communicative competence • Knowledge of rules of speaking (e.g. • Knowing how to begin and end conversations, • knowing what topics may be talked about in different types of speech events, • knowing which ‘address forms’ (e.g. Tu – vous) should be used with different persons one speaks to and in different situations • Knowing how to use and respond to different types of speech acts, such as requests, apologies, thanks, and invitations. (e.g.-thank you – you’re welcome).
The communicative approach was developed particularly by British applied linguists (Christopher Candlin and Henry Widdowson : John Firth, Halliday- Labov, Hymes, Gumprez- John Searl and John Austin) in the 1980s • Communicative competence represents a shift in focus from the grammatical (or linguistic) competence to the communicative competence of the language.
Goal • The approach emphasizes that the goal of language learning is COMMUNICATIVE COMPETENCE (the ability to use a language to achieve one's communicative purpose / communicative intent) • The method focuses on the language needed to express and understand different kinds of functions, such as requesting, describing, expressing likes and dislikes, etc.
Purpose: Communication While grammar is still important in the CLT classroom, the emphasis is on communicating a message. CLT emphasizes communication in real-life situations since communicative competence is context specific.
Social Context Thus, CLT stresses social and situational contexts of communication. Students learn how to use language in different social contexts based on the situation, the role of the participants and the appropriate choices of register and style.
Here are examples of lg variation: • speaking with an elder or a peer (relationships of participants) – who & whom • Use of lg in different jobs or professions (formal, informal, the use of jargon or slang may or may not be appropriate.) –when & where • Different places (market, work place…) - where
“For example, the English statement ‘It’s rather hot in here’ could be seen as a request, particularly to someone in a lower role relationship, to close a window or door or to turn on the heating”.
Principles of CLL The major principles of Communicative Language Teaching are: • Enablingstudentstoacquiretheabilitynotonlytoapplythegrammatical rules of a language (in ordertoformgrammaticallycorrectsentences) butalsotoknowwhen and whereto use thesentences and towhom. • Focus in on meaning, not form (Notions/functions). language is used to communicate • authentic and meaningful communication should be the goal of classroom activities • fluency and accuracy are both important goals in language learning. Provide opportunities for learners to learn both accuracy and fluency • communication involves the integration of different language skills: Link the different skills • Make real communication the focus of language learning
Features of CLT • The use of authentic materials, authentic language use • students engage in real communication with one another • Material is presented in context • It pays attention to registers and styles in terms of situation and participants. • Fluency and accuracy (different competencies) • development of autonomous learners
Choose what activity best illustrates the concept of authentic material? • The use of authentic material in the classroom: • The teacher reproduces sentences from an old grammar book. • Provides examples from his own invention • Chooses texts that are real in the sense attested in real situations, eg. Published newspapers, comic strips, novels, etc
Fluency vs. accuracy • Natural use of language occurring when a speaker engages in meaningful interaction and maintains comprehensible and ongoing communication despite occasional errors. • Accurate practice which focuses on creating correct examples of language use
Teacher and Student Roles • Teacher roles (1) To facilitate communication (2) To be a co-communicator • Student roles Communicator
Error correction • The instructor does not correct speech errors directly (tolerance to learner`s errors) • learning is a process of creative construction and involves trial and error
The role of the first language • Students are allowed to respond in the target language, their native language, or a mixture of the two.
Advantages of the CA • (1) Students will be more motivated • (2) Students have opportunities to express themselves • (3) Student security is enhanced
Authentic material use is encouraged through the use of: • Recorded conversations • Novels • Short stories
Disadvantages of the CA • Difficulty in evaluating students’ performance • Teachers should be able to use the target language fluently and appropriately
Typical techniques Scrambled sentences
Use of information gaps activities Do you communicate to get information that you know or information you don’t know?
Use of information gaps activities • “An important aspect of communication in CLT is the notion of information gap. This refers to the fact that in real communication, people normally com- municate in order to get information they do not possess. This is known as an information gap. More authentic communication is likely to occur in the class- room 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. The following exercises make use of the informa- tion-gap principle:” • “Communicative Language Teaching TodayClassroom Activities in Communicative Language Teaching” by Jack C. Richards
“Students are divided into A-B pairs. The teacher has copied two sets of pictures. One set (for A students) contains a picture of a group of people. The other set (for B students) contains a similar picture but it contains a number of slight differences from the A-picture. Studentsmust sit back to back and ask questions to try to find out how many differences there are between the two pictures.Students practice a role play in pairs. One student is given the information she/he needs to play the part of a clerk in the railway station information booth and has information on train departures, prices, etc. The other needs to obtain information on departure times, prices, etc. They role-play the interaction without looking at each other’s cue cards.” • “Communicative Language Teaching TodayClassroom Activities in Communicative Language Teaching” by Jack C. Richards
“Examples of information gap activities- Activity1: Student B: The tornpictureQue manque‐t‐il dans ta photo? You and your partner have two different parts of the picture. Exchange information to know what the people are doing on the other side. Modèle : Toi: Y a‐t‐il des gens qui descendent du bus? Ton partenaire: Non, personne ne descend du bus. Student A : The tornpictureQue manque‐t‐il dans ta photo? You and your partner have two different parts of the picture. Exchange information to know what the people are doing on the other side. Modèle : Toi: Y a‐t‐il des gens qui font du vélo? Ton partenaire: Oui, une dame fait du vélo. »
Cross-word puzzle • Language games: cross-word puzzle
PuzzlesFind these words. • ABRACADABRAARROWBALL AND RINGCHINESE RINGSCORKSCREWCRYSTAL CLEARDEAD ENDDOUBLE VISIONEQUALIZERFLIGHT TESTGRAND PRIXHAVE A HEARTMOUSETRAPPINETREESHOCKWAVESHORT CIRCUITSILENT PARTNERSLEIGHT OF HANDSLINGSHOTSOMETHING FISHYSPUTNIKTOUCH WOODTRIPLE CROWNTRIPLE PLAYTRIPWIRETROUBLE CLEFVIRUSWEATHERVAINWEDGEWOODEN OPEN
puzzle • Solving puzzles, etc. • “What thing travels round the world without leaving its place?”
Further CLT activities Task- completion activities: puzzles games, map-reading. Information gathering activities: survey, interviews Information- transfer activities: question and answer
What is common among all these activities? Emphasis on group and pair work
Fluency and accuracy • Two types of Activities:
SAMPLE 1 “A group of students of mixed language abilities carry out a role play in which they have to adopt to specified roles and personalities provided for them on cue cards. These roles involve the driver, witness, and the policeman at a collision between two cars. The language is entirely improvised by the students”
Activities focusing on fluency • The use of language. Classroom/ natural? • Focus of the task? • Use of language in context or out of context? • The use of any communication strategies? • Is the type of language produced predictable? • Natural • Achieving communication • Meaningful use of language in context • Requires the use of communication strategies • Non predictable
SAMPLE 2 “Students are practicing dialogs. The dialogs contain examples of falling intonation in wh-questions. The class is organized in groups of three. Two students practicing the dialog and the third one playing the role of the monitor who checks that the others are using thecorrectintonation pattern and correct them where necessary. The students rotate their role between those monitoring and those reading. The teacher moves around listening to the groups and corrects them where necessary.”
Activities focusing on accuracy • Natural use of language/ classroom language? • Achieving communication/ uttering correct examples of intonation? • Use of language in context/ practice small sample of language? • Need meaningful communication? • Free choice of language? • Classroom language • Focus on the formation of correct examples of language • practice samples of language. • Does not require meaningful communication • Choice of language is controlled.
Accuracy or fluency? • “Students in groups of three or four complete an exercise on a grammatical item, such as choosing between the past tense and the present perfect, an item which the teacher has previously presented and practiced as a whole class activity. Together students decide which grammatical form is correct and they complete the exercise. Groups take turns reading out their answers.”
Accuracy or fluency? • “The teacher and a student act out a dialog in which a customer returns a faulty object she has purchased to a department store. The clerk asks what the problem is and promises to get a refund for the customer or to replace the item. In groups, students now try to recreate the dialog using language items of their choice. They are asked to recreate what happened preserving the meaning but not necessarily the exact language. They later act out their dialogs in front of the class.”
Mechanical, meaningful, and communicative practice mechanical • Controlled practice activity • Carried without necessarily understanding the language they are using.
Mechanical, meaningful, and communicative practice Meaningful practice • language control is still provided • students are required to make meaningful choices.
Mechanical, meaningful, and communicative practice Communicative practice • Use of language within real communicative context • Real information is exchanged • Language use is totally not predictable
The Impact • “Communicative language teaching led to a re-examination of language teaching goals, syllabuses, materials, and classroom activities and has had a major impact on changes in language teaching world wide. Some of its principles have been incorporated into other communicative approaches, such as Task-Based Language Teaching, Cooperative Language Learning, and Content-Based Instruction.”
British and American proponents of CLT consider it as an approach (not a method) that aims to (a) make communicative competence the goal of language teaching and (b) develop procedures for the teaching of the four language skills that acknowledge the interdependence of language and communication.