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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. Until then, situational language teaching represented the major British approach to the teaching English as a second language. In situational language teaching, language was taught by practicing the basic structures in meaningful situation based activities. But just as the linguistic theory underlying audiolingualism was rejected in the US in the mid-1960s. Communicative language teaching (CLT) is promoted in teacher education programmes around the world, although the appropriateness of this methodology in contexts outside the Englishspeaking West has been questioned, often from a theoretical perspective. In fact, very little empirical research has been conducted into the practical knowledge of CLT of non-native speaker teachers of English, and there is a lack of such research investigating growth longitudinally in this area. Using observations, interviews, and reflective writing, this study charts the practical knowledge growth in CLT of a lower secondary teacher in the Middle East while she was studying part-time on an in-service BA (TESOL) programme run by the University of Leeds in conjunction with the Ministry of Education in the Sultanate of Oman. Qualitative data suggests that the teacher’s practical knowledge of CLT developed considerably during the course. Further research into the influence of teacher education programmes in TESOL on practical knowledge is called for. Finnochiaro and Brumfit (1983) contrast the major distinctive features of audio lingual method and the communicative approach, according to the interpretation: Audio-lingual 1. attends to structure and form more than meaning. 2. demands memorization of structure-based dialogs. 3. language items are not necessarily contextualized. 4. language learning is learning structures, sounds, or words. 5. mastery, or “over-learning” is sought. 6. drilling is a central technique. 7. native-speaker-like pronunciation is sought. 8. grammatical explanation is avoided. 9. communicative activities only come after a long process of rigid drills and exercises. 10. the use of the student’s native language is forbidden. 11. translation is forbidden in early levels. 12. reading and writing are deferred till speech is mastered. 13. the target linguistic system will be learned through the overt teaching of the patterns of the system. 14. linguistic competence is the desired goal.
attempts to communicative may be encouraged from the very beginning. comprehensible pronunciation is sought. 10. 13. interest. but peripherally. 16. 6. 9. reading and writing can be start from the first day. 11. when they had an opportunity to put ideas picked up on the course into practice. 8. function. The communicative approach in language teaching start from a theory of language as communication. as they were teaching on the other days. Once a semester. drilling may occur. any device which help the learner is accepted – varying according to their age. 15. 5. or meaning which maintains interest. Hymes coined this term in order to contrast a communicative view of language and Chomksky’s theoryof competence. the sequence of units is determined solely by principles of linguistic complexity. the target linguistic system will be learned best through the process of struggling to communicate. varieties of the language are recognized but not emphasized. Diploma-holding teachers of English on the three-year course studied intensively during summer and winter terms. if desired. 2. 3. they were observed in their schools by a . communicative competence is the desired goal. language learning is learning to communicative. 14. center around communicative function and are not normally memorized. sequencing is determined by any consideration of content. 4. The goal of language teaching is to the develop what Hymes (1972) referred to as “communicative competence”. effective communication is sought. 16. etc. Communicative Language Teaching 1. meaning is paramount. dialog if used. judicious use of native language is accepted where feasible. 12. 7.15. linguistic variation is a central concept in material and methodology. contextualization is a basic premise. CLT was introduced in the first module of an in-service BA (TESOL) Programme created by the University of Leeds for the local Ministry of Education in the Sultanate of Oman. translation may be used where student need or benefit from it. and then attended day release throughout the rest of the year.
” The first methodology module. who evaluated the project. 5). smiling. the importance of context and meaning in language learning (Donaldson. Asher calls this "a language-body conversation" because the parent speaks and the infant answers with a physical response such as looking. grasping. and so forth. The process is visible when we observe how infants internalize their first language. core and follow-up elements) was introduced. Look at daddy. however have attempted to describe theories of language learning process that are compatible with the communicative approach. laughing. TOTAL PHYSICAL RESPONSE Total Physical Response (TPR) is a language teaching method built around the coordination. p. holding. According to Richards and Rixon (2002. little has been written about learning theory. The secret is a unique "conversation" between the parent and infant. who used feedback sessions to help them relate theory to practice. More recent accounts of communicative language teaching. sitting. "Look at daddy.regional tutor. introduced CLT." The infant's face turns in the direction of the voice and daddy exclaims. "She's looking at me! She's looking at me!" Dr. walking. This led into a second methodology module. The practical assignment through which the module was assessed involved designing a communicative activity and trying it out in the classroom. 1992). For example. running. In contrast to the amount that has been written in Communicative Language Teaching literature about communicative dimension of language. and the characteristics of children as learners (Halliwell. Private. the first conversation is a parent saying. 1978). This teaching practice was not assessed. TPR is based on the premise that the human brain has a biological program for acquiring any natural language on earth . reaching. TEYL. . spontaneous speech would be encouraged through the inclusion of closed pairwork and groupwork. turning. the “core” communicative activity of an oral task would create a desire and purpose for communication. allow for a focus on meaning rather than form and for freedom in choice of language.including the sign language of the deaf. it attempts to teach language through physical (motor) activity. before evaluating it. Ideally. the curriculum of the degree represented “a state-of-the-art coverage of the field of TESOL. when Cameron’s (2001) communicative task (including preparation.
Students respond to commands that require physical movement. Teacher Kits. The method became popular in the 1970's and attracted the attention or allegiance of some teachers. James J. although the method is used in teaching other languages as well. The child responds physically to the speech of their parent. Children and adults experience the thrill of immediate understanding when you apply this powerful concept in your classroom. The process is visible when we observe how infants internalize their first language. With TPR the language teacher tries to mimic this process in class. TPR is primarily intended for ESL/EAL teacher. but gradually. The responses of the child are in turn positively reinforced by the speech of the parent. speaking appears spontaneously. take a look through our TPR catalog of Books. The method relies on the assumption that when learning a second or additional language. a professor emeritus of psychology at San José State University. Games. Total physical response (TPR) is a method developed by Dr. language is internalized through a process of codebreaking similar to first language development and that the process allows for a long period of listening and developing comprehension prior to production. Asher. When the child has decoded enough of the target language. According to Asher. Communication between parents and their children combines both verbal and physical aspects. The infant's speech will not be perfect. ." Although the infant is not yet speaking. the child is imprinting a linguistic map of how the language works. but it has not received generalized support from mainstream educators. and Video Demonstrations. To discover how to do it step-by-step.including the sign language of the deaf. the child's utterances will approximate more and more that of a native speaker. the child is internalizing the patterns and sounds of the target language. Student Kits.Notice that these "conversations" continue for many many months before the child utters anything more intelligible than "mommy" or "daddy. For many months the child absorbs the language without being able to speak. TPR is based on the premise that the human brain has a biological program for acquiring any natural language on earth . to aid learning second languages. Silently. It looks to the way that children learn their native language. After this stage the child is able to reproduce the language spontaneously. It is during this period that the internalization and codebreaking occurs.
According to its proponents. it is easy to overuse TPR-."Any novelty. the nature of TPR places an unnaturally heavy emphasis on the use of the imperative mood. It does not give students the opportunity to express their own thoughts in a creative way. TPR can be used to practice and teach various things. These features are of limited utility to the learner. group activities and descriptions can be used which continue the basic concepts of TPR into full communication situations. if carried on too long. as a TPR class progresses. working well with a mixed ability class. Simple TPR activities do not require a great deal of preparation on the part of the teacher. THE NATURAL APPROACH . it is recognized that TPR is most useful for beginners. Because of its participatory approach. However. and it works effectively for children and adults. according to several studies in the literature and referenced in the above book.The method also promises double efficiency in terms of rate of learning. It is well suited to teaching classroom language and other vocabulary connected with actions. and with students having various disabilities. It can be a challenge for shy students. It can be used to teach imperatives and various tenses and aspects. Class size need not be a problem. The activity may be a simple game such as Simon Says or may involve more complex grammar and more detailed scenarios. that is to say commands such as "sit down" and "stand up". TPR is aptitude-free. who typically experience difficulty learning foreign languages with traditional classroom instruction. TPR may also be a useful alternative teaching strategy for students with dyslexia or related learning disabilities. It is good for kinæsthetic learners who need to be active in the class. Further. Students must respond physically to the words of the teacher. will trigger adaptation. and can lead to a learner appearing rude when attempting to use his new language. Of course. Additionally. it has a number of advantages: Students will enjoy getting up out of their chairs and moving around. It is also useful for story-telling. In the classroom the teacher and students take on roles similar to that of the parent and child respectively. though it can be used at higher levels where preparation becomes an issue for the teacher.
Gregg argues that Krashen has no basis for separating grammatical morphemes from. starting in 1981 with his contribution to Schooling and language minority students: A theoretical framework by the California State Department of Education (Krashen 1981). He intended it simply as a construct to describe the child’s initial state. which combined a comprehensive second language acquisition theory with a curriculum for language classrooms. their very existence rules out any order that might be used in instruction. In 1983.81) seems to go against this spirit. his theories are still debated today. which would therefore mean that it cannot apply to adult learners. The influence of Natural Approach can be seen especially in current EFL textbooks and teachers resource books such as The Lexical Approach (Lewis. 1998). The syllabus for the Natural Approach is a communicative syllabus. starting in 1977. Gregg’s account that his memorization of a verb conjugation chart was “error-free after a couple of days”(p. he published The Natural Approach with Tracy Terrell.The Natural Approach was developed by Tracy Terrell and Stephen Krashen. First introduced over 20 years ago. However. Krashen’s emphasis seems to be that classroom learning does not lead to fluent. Drawing on his own experience of learning Japanese. Although Krashen only briefly mentions the existence of other parallel “streams” of acquisition in The Natural Approach. for example. phonology. The basic idea of a simple . Gregg contends that Krashen’s dogmatic insistence that “learning” can never become “acquisition” is quickly refuted by the experience of anyone who has internalized some of the grammar they have consciously memorized. The influence of Stephen Krashen on language education research and practice is undeniable. Today his influence can be seen most prominently in the debate about bilingual education and perhaps less explicitly in language education policy: The BCLAD/CLAD teacher assessment tests define the pedagogical factors affecting first and second language development in exactly the same terms used in Krashen’s Monitor Model (California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. native-like speech. although it is not explicitly stated. 1993). Krashen’s theories on second language acquisition have also had a huge impact on education in the state of California. Gregg (1984) first notes that Krashen’s use of the Language Acquisition Device (LAD) gives it a much wider scope of operation than even Chomsky himself. The reader is left to speculate whether his proficiency in Japanese at the time was sufficient enough for him to engage in error-free conversations with the verbs from his chart. It came to have a wide influence in language teaching in the United States and around the world.
He also cites several studies that shed some doubt on the connection between caretaker speech in first language acquisition and simplified input in second language acquisition. and how when talking to each other. it is simply an uncontroversial observation with no process described and no proof provided. This method was shown to be far superior to audiolingual. because. this filter increases dramatically in strength. Here Krashen explains how successful “acquisition” occurs: by simply understanding input that is a little beyond the learner’s present “level” – he defined that present “level” as i and the ideal level of input as i +1. 87). producing what Krashen calls “nearly five times the [normal] acquisition rate. In addition. falsifiable. not useful.34).linear order of acquisition is extremely unlikely. Krashen simply states that “attitudinal variables relate directly to language acquisition but not language learning. rather than through direct instruction. and in the end. second language learners adjust their speech in order to communicate. grammartranslation or other approaches.” Gregg spends substantial time on this particular hypothesis. . However it is the results of methods such as Asher’s Total Physical Response that provide the most convincing evidence.” He cites several studies that examine the link between motivation and selfimage. pointing out that monitoring could be used as a source of correct utterances (p. Gregg reminds us. He brings up the very salient point that perhaps practice does indeed also have something to do with second language acquisition. One is the speech that parents use when talking to children (caretaker speech). He also illustrates how good teachers tune their speech to their students’ level. This hypothesis is also supported by the fact that often the first second language utterances of adult learners are very similar to those of infants in their first language. unknown words and grammar are deduced through the use of context (both situational and discursive). Krashen has several areas which he draws on for proof of the Input Hypothesis. In the development of oral fluency. arguing that an “integrative” motivation (the learner want to “be like” the native speakers of a language) is necessary. which he says is vital in first language acquisition (p. if there are individual differences then the hypothesis is not provable. Krashen also says that at puberty. while it seems to be the core of the model. This concept receives the briefest treatment in “The Natural Approach”. He postulates an “affective filter” that acts before the Language Acquisition Device and restricts the desire to seek input if the learner does not have such motivation.
(The affective filter hypothesis) Here are some of the objectives of the Natural Approach • it is designed to help beginner become intermediates . the guidelines they set out at the beginning– communication is the primary goal. and the affective filter should be lowered (p. depending on how it fits into their classroom. broad overview of many of the things that students who study by grammar translation or audiolingual methods do not get. 1977) but have been expanded into a full curriculum. production simply emerge. The Natural Approach is based on the following tenets: • • • • • Language acquisition (an unconscious process developed through using language meaningfully) is different from language learning (consciously learning or discovering rules about a language) and language acquisition is the only way competence in a second language occurs. comprehension preceding production. where he and Terrell lay out the specific methods that make use of the Monitor Model. People acquire language best from messages that are just slightly beyond their current competence.74) is notable in its departure from previous methods with its insistence on target language input but its allowance for partial.(The natural order hypothesis). This freedom. (The monitor hypothesis) Grammatical structures are acquired in a predictable order and it does little good to try to learn them in another order. make the Natural Approach very attractive. non-grammatical or even L1 responses. The compilation of topics and situations (p. combined with the thoroughness of their curriculum. (The input hypothesis) The learner's emotional state can act as a filter that impedes or blocks input necessary to acquisition. excellent guidelines for any language classroom. The authors qualify this collection somewhat by saying that teachers can use all or part of the Natural Approach. acquisition activities are central. 58-60) – are without question.The educational implications of Krashen’s theories become more apparent in the remainder of the book. The list of suggested rules (p. In fact. These ideas are based on Terrell’s earlier work (Terrell.67-70) which make up their curriculum are a good. (The acquisition/learning hypothesis) Conscious learning operates only as a monitor or editor that checks or repairs the output of what has been acquired.
423). Despite the pressing need of policy to provide a workable teacher training system. at the very least. no matter how much exposure to “comprehensible input” we have had. To institutionally impart such a concept to new teachers whose responsibility it is to understand these adults and children is a disservice to all parties involved. it is imperative that. And the particular circumstances of language minority students in the U. and many other countries certainly indicate that those children have formidable barriers to overcome just to understand the first things their teacher is saying. there is no misinformation.S. Second language learning is a very complex process. Learners start to talk when they are ready. Krashen’s conclusion to his presentation at the 1991 Georgetown University Round Table on Languages and Linguistics (Krashen.• It is designed to depend on learner needs Types of learning techniques and activities • • • Comprehensible input is presented in the target language. Certainly this may be true for some learners and in all likelihood it is true for more communicative methods when compared to older methods. Group techniques are similar to Communicative Language Teaching. To propagate such an “easy way” philosophy in the policy of state educational boards. no gain’ does not apply to language acquisition” (p. mime and gesture. with many make or break factors involved and there is simply no comprehensive theory to guide teachers and students at the moment. . using technqiues such as TPR. EFL textbooks and general teacher guides is to demean the effort that less able students have to make every day. 1991) is especially telling about what he is trying to achieve: “It is possible that ‘no pain. But the majority of us have had to struggle to be able to understand and speak a language.
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