LINGUISTICS & CULTURE
|Autor:||Crok is loco|
|Data:||16/MAR/2015 1:00 AM|
If you ask English teachers what method they use in their classes it is likely to hear “Communicative Approach”. If you go beyond and ask them what that means a common answer would be “teaching students to communicate in spoken language”. Contrary to what many people believe, Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) goes beyond standing in front of students and talking to them until they master spoken English.
First of all, it is important to make it clear that the Communicative Approach is not a method but an assumption of the nature of language and how to teach it. Its origins are to be found in the late 50’s when the Audio-lingual method became unpopular. Back then, it was taken for granted that language teaching had achieved its top and nobody would dare to question the efficacy of behaviorist psychology and structural linguistics. Fortunately, a young academic named Noam Chomsky not only challenged but also proved behaviorism wrong. Chomsky has never written about language education but he is credited to open up the path for new scientific ideas on language which undoubtedly influenced the teaching field.
An American Anthropologist called Dell Hymes borrowed Chomsky’s idea on competence and broadened it. Unlike Chomsky, Hymes stated that language was much more than the innate ability to mentally process grammar. For him, language was governed by social rules what helped him build his theory on communicative competence. Applied linguists of the 70’s and 80’s began a new trend on language teaching under the influence of the social aspect of language. It was then when humanistic approaches to teaching received some attention from the academic context either.
Modern CLT should be seen as a miscellaneous educational approach which comprises various aspects of language teaching. Besides that, much more attention has been paid to teaching along with technologic resources. It is impossible to list all the aspects which CLT legitimates as an ideal teaching practice even because there is no magic recipe.
However, in a communicative class the teacher should not simply teach about the language but give students tasks so that they will have the opportunity to develop communicative competence by doing things with the language through meaning negotiation. The teacher should also give students the chance to talk to each other in pairs and small groups and give them appropriate feedback on their performances. Besides that, teachers should know how to engage students in class. They should also know how to give appropriate language input by selecting relevant language data and materials. And more importantly, teachers should be aware of how to activate students’ ability to produce appropriate language in a motivating and pleasant way.
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