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Communicative Language Teaching (CLT)

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Communicative Language Teaching is the cornerstone for approaches that have shifted from a grammar-based language view to a functional view of language where communication is the main objective. Such approaches are CBI (Content-based instruction) and TBI (Task-based instruction). Today, both CBI and TBI are the leading approaches most teachers are currently using to teach a second/foreign language around the world. Both approaches have been proven to be effective, and the most important thing is that students are truly learning to use language to communicate their ideas to different audiences.

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Communicative Language Teaching (CLT)

  1. 1. Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) Approaches and Methods Professor: Sergio Meza P., M.Ed. October 2012¡Formamos profesionales bilingües con Responsabilidad Social!
  2. 2. Presentation’s outline• Background• Approach: Theory of Language and Theory of Learning.• Design: Objectives, Syllabus, Types of Learning & Teaching Activities, Learner & Teacher roles, and The Role of Instructional Materials.• Procedures• Conclusion
  3. 3. Background• The origins of Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) are found in the changes in the British language teaching tradition in the late 1960s.• Situational Language Teaching (SLT) was the major approach to teaching English as a FL.• Language was taught by practicing basic structures in meaningful situation-based activities.• British applied linguists rejected the theoretical assumptions underlying SLL because the focus on language teaching was the mastery of structures rather than on communicative proficiency.
  4. 4. Background• Scholars who advocated this view of language: British functional linguist Halliday, American sociolinguist Dell Hymes and work in philosophy J. Austin.• There was a need in Europe to teach adults the major languages of the European Common market, and in 1971 a group of experts began to investigate the possibility of developing language courses, in which learning tasks are broken into units.• In 1972, D. A. Wilkins proposed a functional or communicative syllabus for language teaching. His contribution was an analysis of the communicative meanings that a language learner needs to understand and express.
  5. 5. Background• Wilkins defined two categories of meanings: notional categories (concepts such as time, sequence, quantity, location, frequency) and categories of communicative function (requests, denials, offers, complaints). This was the birth of notional syllabuses, which had a significant impact on CLT.• The Council of Europe incorporated Wilkin’s semantic/communicative analysis into a set of specifications for a first-level communicative language syllabus.• The work of the Council of Europe, the writings of Wilkin’s, Widdowson, Candlin, Brumfit, Keith Johnson, and other British applied linguists on the theoretical basis for a communicative or functional approach to language teaching, the application of these ideas, the acceptance of these principles by British language specialists came to be referred to as the Communicative Approach or CLT.
  6. 6. Background• Communicative Approach aims to: make communicative competence the goal of language teaching, and develop procedures for the teaching of the four language skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) that acknowledge the interdependence of language and communication.• There are two version of the CLT:• The weak version stresses the importance of providing learners with opportunities to use their English for communicative purposes (learning to use English).• The strong version advances the claim that language is acquired through communication. That is not merely a question of activating an existing but inert knowledge of language, but of stimulating the development of the language system itself (using English to learn it).
  7. 7. ApproachTheory Of Language• The Communicative Approach in language teaching starts from a theory of language as communication.• The goal of language teaching is 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.• In Hymes’ view, a person who acquires communicative competence acquires both knowledge and ability for language use.
  8. 8. Approach Knowledge 1. Whether 2. Whethersomething is formally and language something is possible use respond convenient to 3. Whether 4. Whether something is something is in fact appropriate in done, actually relation to a context performed, and what in which it is used its doing entails
  9. 9. Approach• This theory of what knowing a language entails offers a much more comprehensive view than Chomsky’s view of competence, which deals primarily with abstract grammatical knowledge.• Another linguistic theory of CLT is Halliday’s functional account of language use. Halliday elaborated a powerful theory of the functions of language. He described seven basic function that language performs for children learning their L1:
  10. 10. Approach 4. Personal function: 7. Representational 1. Instrumental using language to function: using languagefunction: using language express personal feelings to communicate to get things and meanings information2. Regulatory function: 5. Heuristic function:using language to control using language to learn the behavior of others and to discover 3. Interactional 6. Imaginative function:function: using language using language to create to create interaction with a world of the imagination others
  11. 11. Approach• Learning an L2 was viewed by proponents of CLT as acquiring the linguistic means to perform different kinds of functions.
  12. 12. Approach• Another influential analysis of communicative competence was found in Canale & Swain (1980), in which four dimensions of communicative competence are identified: Grammatical Competence Sociolinguistic Competence Communicative Competence Discourse Competence Strategic Competence
  13. 13. Approach• Grammatical competence: it is the domain of grammatical and lexical capacity.• Sociolinguistic competence: an understanding of the social context in which communication takes place, including role relationships, the shared information of the participants, and the communicative purpose of the interaction.• Discourse competence: the interpretation of individual message elements in terms of their interconnectedness and of how meaning is represented in relationship to the entire discourse text.• Strategic competence: refers to the coping strategies that communicators employ to initiate, terminate, maintain, repair, and redirect communication.
  14. 14. Approach• At the level of language theory, CLT has a rich theoretical base. Some of the characteristics of this communicative view of language follow: language is a system for the expression of meaning, the primary goal of language is to allow interaction and communication, the structure of language reflects its functional and communicative uses, the primary units of language are categories of functional and communicative meanings.
  15. 15. ApproachTheory of Learning• Little has been written about learning theory in contrast to the amount of that has been written about CLT literature.• Elements of an underlying learning theory can be discerned in some CLT practices as follows:• One element is the communication principle: activities that involve real communication promote learning.• Another element is the task principle: activities in which language is used for carrying out meaningful tasks promote learning.• A third element is the meaningfulness principle: language that is meaningful to the learner supports the learning process.
  16. 16. Approach• As a consequence, learning activities are selected based on how well they engage the learner in meaningful and authentic language use (rather than just mechanical practice of language patterns).• Other accounts of CLT have attempted to describe theories of language learning processes that are compatible with CLT. Savignon (1983) surveys L2 acquisition research as a source for learning theories and considers the role of linguistic, social, cognitive, and individual variables in language acquisition.
  17. 17. DesignObjectivesThe following are levels of objectives in a communicative approach:• An integrative and content level (language as a means of expression)• A linguistic and instrumental level (language as a semiotic system and an object of learning)• An affective level of interpersonal relationships and conduct (language as a means of expressing values and judgments about oneself and others)• A level of individual learning needs (remedial learning based on error analysis)• A general educational level of extra-linguistic goals (language learning within school curriculum)
  18. 18. Syllabus• One of the first syllabus models to be proposed was described as a notional syllabus (Wilkins, 1976), which specified the semantic- grammatical categories and the categories of communicative function that learners need to express.• The Council of Europe expanded and developed this into a syllabus that included the following: description of the objectives of FL courses, situations in which they might typically use an L2 (travel, business), topic they might need to talk about (education, shopping), functions they needed language for (requesting information, expressing agreement & disagreement), the notions made use of in communication (time, frequency, duration), as well as vocabulary and grammar needed.
  19. 19. Syllabus
  20. 20. Types of learning and teaching activities• The range of exercise types and activities compatible with a communicative approach is unlimited.
  21. 21. Types of learning and teaching activities• Exercises enable Ss to attain communicative objectives of the curriculum, engage Ss in communication, require the use of communicative processes like information sharing, negotiation of meaning, and interaction.
  22. 22. Types of learning and teaching activities• Classroom activities are often designed to focus on completing tasks that are mediated through language or involve negotiation of information and information sharing.
  23. 23. Types of learning and teaching activities• Littlewood (1981) distinguishes between functional communication activities and social interaction activities. • Comparing sets of pictures and noting similarities and differences, discovering missing features in a map or Functional picture, one learner communicating behind a screen to another one giving instructions on how to draw a picture Communication Activities or shape. • Conversation and discussion sessions, dialogues, role plays, simulations, skits, improvisations and debates. Social Interaction Activities
  24. 24. Learner roles• The learner is a negotiator (between himself, the learning process, and the object of learning). The implication is that the learner should contribute as much as he gains, and learn in an interdependent way.• Ss are expected to interact primarily with each other rather than with the teacher.• Ss give and receive information.
  25. 25. Teacher roles Group process Needs analyst Counselor manager• CLT teacher assumes a • The CLT teacher-counselor, as • CLT procedures require responsibility for determining in the Community Language teachers to acquire less and responding to Ss language Learning, is expected to teacher-centered classroom needs. exemplify an effective management skills.• CLT teacher administer a needs communicator seeking to • CLT teacher organizes the assessment instrument to maximize the speaker intention classroom for communication determine an individual’s and hearer interpretation, and communicative activities. motivation for studying the through the use of paraphrase, language. confirmation, and feedback.• Based on needs assessment results, CLT teacher plan instruction and activities that respond to Ss needs.
  26. 26. The Role Of Instructional Materials• A wide variety of materials have been used to support communicative approaches to language teaching.• CLT view materials as a way of influencing the quality of classroom interaction and language use.• The primary role of materials is to promote communicative language use.• There are three kinds of material currently used in CLT: text-based, task-based, and realia.
  27. 27. The Role Of Instructional MaterialsText-based materialsThere are numeroustextbooks designed todirect and support CLT.Their table of contentssuggest a kind of gradingand sequencing oflanguage practice.
  28. 28. The Role Of Instructional Materials Task-based materials A variety of games, role plays, simulations, and task-based communication activities have been prepared to support CLT classes. They are in the form of exercise handbooks, cue cards, activity cards, and interaction booklets.
  29. 29. The Role Of Instructional MaterialsRealiaMany proponents of CLThave advocated the use of“authentic,” “from life”materials in class. Theseinclude: signs, magazines,advertisements,newspapers, pictures,symbols.
  30. 30. ProcedureThe methodological procedures reflect a sequence of activitiesrepresented as follows: Pre- Communicative communicative Activities Activities Functional Structural Communication Activities Activities Quasi- Social Communicative Interaction Activities Activities
  31. 31. Pre-communicative Activities
  32. 32. Communicative Activities
  33. 33. Conclusions• CLT is best considered an approach rather than a method.• Approach refers to a diverse set of principles that reflect a communicative view of language and language learning used to support a variety of classroom procedures.• CLT has passed through a number of different phases to apply its principles to different dimensions of the teaching/learning process.• The first phase was the need to develop a syllabus that was compatible with the notion of communicative competence. This led to proposals of syllabuses in terms of notions (a context in which people communicate) and functions (a specific purpose for a speaker in a given context).
  34. 34. Conclusions• The second phase, CLT focused on procedures for identifying learners’ needs and this resulted in proposals to make needs analysis an essential component of communicative methodology.• In the third phase, CLT focused on the kinds of classroom activities that could be used as the basis of a communicative methodology, such as group work, task-work, and information-gap activities.
  35. 35. ConclusionsThere are five core identified characteristics that support current applicationsof communicative methodology: 1. Appropriateness: language 2. Message focus: learners need use reflects the situations of its to be able to create and 3. Psycholinguistic processing: use and must be appropriate to understand messages, hence the CLT activities seek to engage that situation, the roles of the focus on information sharing and learners in the use of cognitive participants, and the purpose of information transfer in CLT and other processes in SLA. communication. activities. 5. Free practice: CLT encourages the use of “holistic practice” 4. Risk taking: learners are involving the simultaneous use of encouraged to make guesses and a variety of subskills, rather than learn from their errors. practicing individual skills at a time.
  36. 36. Thank you!
  37. 37. BibliographyRichards, J. & Rodgers, T. 2010. Approaches and Methods in Language Teaching.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Larsen-Freeman, D. & Anderson, M. 2011. Techniques and principles in LanguageTeaching. Oxford: New York.McCarthy, M., McCarten, J. & Sandiford, H. 2005. Touchstone: student book, level 1.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  38. 38. Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) Approaches and Methods Professor: Sergio Meza P., M.Ed. E-mail: sameza@gmail.com Mobile: 3012698958¡Formamos profesionales bilingües con Responsabilidad Social!