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Rifki Nurlaili Hidayat / 0203516042

Communicative Language Teaching

The origins of Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) are to be
found in the changes in the British language teaching tradition dating
from the late 1960s. According to Littlewood (19811: 1), one of the most
characteristic features of communicative language teaching is that it pays
systematic attention to functional as well as structural aspects of
language. Common to all versions of Communicative Language Teaching
is a theory of language teaching that starts from a communicative model
of language and language use, and that seeks to translate this into a
design for an instructional system, for material, for teacher and learner
roles and behaviors, and for classroom activities of approach, design and
Theory of language
The Communicative Approach in language teaching starts from a
theory of language as a communication. According to Hymes (197), the
goal of language teachin is to develop communicative competence. Ana
Chomsky stated that the focus of linguistic theory was to characterize the
abstract abilities speakers possess that enable them to produce
grammatically correct sentences in a language. There are four dimensions
of communicative competence are identified by Canale and Swain (1980):
competence, and strategic competence.
Theory of learning
Elements of an underlying learning theory can be discerned in some
CLT practices, however. One such element might be described as the
communication principle: Activities that involves real communication
promote learning. A second element is the task principle: Activities in
which language is used for carrying out meaningful tasks promote
learning (Johson 1982).A third element is the meaningfulness principle:
Language that is meaningful to the learner supports the learning process.
Piepho (1981) discusses the following levels of objectives in a
communicative approach: an integrative and content level, a linguistic
and instrumental level, an affective level of interpersonal relationship and
conduct, a level of individual learning needs, and a general educational
level of extra-linguistic goals.
The syllabus

One of the first syllabus models to be proposed was described as a

notional syllabus (Wilkins 1976). Which specified the semanticgrammatical categories (e,g., frequency, motion, location) and the
categories of communicative function that learners need to express. The
Council of Europe expanded and developed this included objectives of
foreign language courses for European adults, the situations in which they
ight typically need to use a foreign language, the topics they might need
to talk about, the functions they needed language for, the notions
madeuse of in communication, as well as the vocabulary and grammar
Types of learning and teaching activities
The range of excercise types and activities compatible with a
communicative approach is unlimited, provided that such excercise enable
learners to attain the communicative objectives of the curriculum, engage
learners in communication, and require the use of such communicative
processes as information sharing, negotiation of meaning, and interaction.
Classroom activities are often designed to focus on completing tasks that
are mediated through language or involve negotiation of information and
information sharing.
Leaner roles
The emphasis in Communicative Language Teaching on the process
of communication, rather than mastery of language forms. Often there is
no text, grammar rules are not presented, classroom arrangement is
nonstandard, students are expected to interact primarily with each other
than with the teacher, and correction of errors may be absent or
infrequent. CLT methodologies consequently recommend that learners
learn to see that failed communication is a joint responsibility and not the
fault of speakers or listener.
Teacher roles
Breen and Candlin described that there are two main roles for the
teacher: 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. Other roles assumed for
teachers are needs analyst, counselor and group process manager.
The role of instructional materials
Three kinds of materials currently used in CLT and label these textbased, task-based, and realia. These are numerous textbooks designed to
direct and support Communicative Language Teaching.

Because communicative principles can be applied to the teaching of

any skill, at any level, and because of the wide variety of classroom
activities and exercise types discussed in the literature on Communicative
Language Teaching, description of typical classroom procedures used in a
lesson based on CLT principles is not feasible. The methodological
procedures underlying these texts reflect a sequence of activities
represented in Littewood (1981: 86) as follows:
Structural activities
Pre-communicative activities
Quasi-communicative activities
Functional communication activities
Communicative activities
Social interaction activities