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The origins of Communicative language Teaching (CLT) were foundin the changes in the British language teaching tradition dating from thelate 1960s. At that time, a reaction to traditional language teachingapproaches began and soon spread around the world as older methods suchas Audiolingualism and Situational Language teaching fell out of fashion.The centrality of grammar in language teaching and learning was questioned, since it was argued that language ability involved much morethan grammatical competence.
As CLT method is a great issue which still attracts a lot of research from scholars around the world, the followings expect to equip readers with the most basic knowledge of CLT. They are merely the summaries of some of the main features in CLT approach, namely: the goal of CLT, the objectives, the learners’ roles and teachers’ roles in CLT and the materials that are often used in CLT.
In terms of the approach, the communicative approach in language teaching starts from a theory of language as communication. The goal of language teaching is to develop according to what Hymes (1972) referred to as “communicative competence”. This term will be studied carefully in the following sub part.
Regarding to the objectives of communicative language teaching method, Piepho (1981) (as cited in Richards, J.C & Rodgers, T.S, 1996,p12) has shown his point of view as follows:
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 the school curriculum)
As the emphasis of communicative language teaching is on the process of communication, rather than mastery of language forms, it leads to different roles for learners from those found in more traditional second language classrooms. Breen and Candlin (1980, as cited in Richards &Rodgers, 1996, p35) describe the learners’ roles within CLT in the following terms:
“The role of learner as negotiator- between the self, the learning process, and the object of learning- emerges from and interacts with the role of joint negotiator within the group and within the classroom procedures and activities which the group undertakes. The implication for the learner is that he should contribute as much as he gains, and thereby learn in an interdependent way”.
Along with learner roles, teacher roles have been emphasized by Breen and Candlin (1980) as well.The first role is to facilitate the communication process between all participants in the classroom, and between these participants and the various activities and texts.
Along with learner roles, teacher roles have been emphasized by Breen and Candlin (1980) as well.
The first role is to facilitate the communication process between all participants in the classroom, and between these participants and the various activities and texts.
The second role is to act as an independent participant within the learning-teaching group.
The third role for the teacher is that of researcher and learner, with much to contribute in terms of appropriate knowledge and abilities, actual and observed experience of the nature of learning and organizational capacities. (as cited in Richards, J.C & Rodgers, T.S, 1996, p36)
In terms of materials in CLT, task-based materials are one of the most popular and effective types of materials in promoting communicative language use. In task based materials, a variety of games, role plays,simulations and task- based communication activities have been prepared to support CLT classes. These typical activities are in the form of one- of-a- kind items: exercise handbooks, cue cards, activity cards, pair- communication practice materials, and student- interaction practice booklets. In pair communication materials, there are typically two sets of materials for a pair of students, each set containing different kinds of information. Sometimes the information is complementary, and the partners must fit their respective parts of the “jigsaw” into a composite whole, and partners must fit their relationships for the partners (e.g., an Interviewer and an interviewee). Still others provide drills and practice material in international formats.
It is obviously seen that this is the most concise and complete summary of CLT main features which answer many questions about CLT method.
Grammar-Translation Method, Classical Method, Scholarly Methods of Oxford & Cambridge etc made us “Grammar Scholars” and “Poor Communicators”. We blindly followed the methodologies used by those people who don’t need to learn spoken English skills - as their mother tongue is already English!
According to cognitive educational psychology, ‘Meaningful Speaking’ must be the first step in learning any new language.
By speaking, we gain confidence, start loving English, and get ready to learn grammar rules.
Over emphasis on ‘repulsive’ grammar at the very early age, and no emphasis on speaking lessons, make us ‘Non-talking, Purposeless, Grammar Scholars’!
Therefore, RIEOTS methodology is for non-English speaking people and is founded on Speaking Skills. After detailed analysis of various methodologies, our team zeroed in on “Communicative Approach” along with Content-based Instruction, Customisation, Simulator Technology etc.
“While grammatical competence wasneeded to produce grammatically correct sentences, attention shifted tothe knowledge and skills needed to use grammar and other aspects of language appropriately for different communicative purposes such as making requests, giving advice, making suggestions, describing wishesand needs, and so on. What was needed in order to use languagecommunicatively was communicative competence.” (as cited in Richards,J.C, 2006, p9)
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