Communication Skills

A Communicative Teaching Approach

Teaching to Students’ “Learning Styles”



Communicative Competency
• correlation between fluency and accuracy

• refers to the ability of a speaker to communicate effectively in the language;

• to be able to communicate proficiently, not to use the language exactly.
(Dr. Olenka S.E. Bilash)

Typical Classroom

Communicative Classroom INSPIRED to talk . . .

Communicative Classroom INSPIRED to produce . . .

Communicative Classroom INSPIRED to think and communicate in L2.

GARDNER on “intelligence”:
“. . . bio-psychological potential to process information that can be activated in a cultural setting to solve problems or create products that are of value in a culture.“

GARDNER on “intelligence”:
• "the ability to create an effective product or offer a service that is valued in a culture; • a set of skills that make it possible for a person to solve problems in life; • the potential for finding or creating solutions for problems, which involves gathering new knowledge.”

GARDNER on “intelligence”:
“. . . there are more ways to do this than just through logical and linguistic intelligence.”

GARDNER on “intelligence”:
“. . . students will be better served by a broader vision of education, wherein teachers use different methodologies, exercises and activities to reach all students, not just those who excel at linguistic and logical intelligence. [Educators must] find ‘ways that will work for this student learning this topic.’”

Multiple Intelligences for Learning
According to Gardner, there are more ways for students to learn than just through logical and linguistic intelligence: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Naturalist (Nature Smart) Intrapersonal (Self Smart) Musical (Music Smart) Logical/Mathematical (Logic Smart) Verbal/Linguistic (Word Smart) Interpersonal (People Smart) Visual/Spatial (Picture Smart) Bodily/Kinesthetic (Body Smart) Existential (Deep Question Smart)

Multiple Intelligences
Appealing to all of the senses creates a more natural learning environment: similar to the way students learned their “Mother Tongue.”

For Communicative Learning


Authentic Materials
Students develop descriptive language, relating “How to . . .” Students learn Persuasive Speaking: Comprehension and Production

Authentic Materials

Authentic Materials

Authentic Materials

Authentic Materials

Dr. Rod ELLIS:
“Literature aims to make us look critically at the nature of our experiences. “. . . The study of literary language affords a means for raising consciousness about the way language is used in everyday discourse.”

(2009: 2nd

“Using Literature in Consciousness-raising Tasks” EFL Journal International Conference-Busan, South Korea)

Dr. Rod ELLIS:
“Three ways of viewing literature 1. As text 2. As discourse 3. As communication


Dr. Rod ELLIS:
“Three ways of viewing literature

1. As text
(“. . . Deviations . . . breaking of the rules for standard English . . .patterning . . . used to create a measure that is then repeated”)

2. As discourse
(“When we see these unusual uses of language in literature, we inevitably make some kind of comparison with the ways in which the same items are used ordinarily.”

Any linguistic item has a number of potential meanings (signification).. . . In literary texts, it may be necessary to create a new meaning for an item. We extend its ‘signification.’ . . . its value comes from how that word is used in context.”)
(op cit)

Dr. Rod ELLIS:
“Three ways of viewing literature 3. As communication

• • •

Critical thinking. Think about the nature and purpose of language. Fill out a form – Write a paragraph about yourself

(op cit)

Direct and Indirect (Prof. Rod Ellis)


Dr. Rod ELLIS:
• “Direct assessment is where you want to assess whether they have learned new vocabulary or new grammar. You want to assess their actual knowledge of the language system . . . through vocabulary tests and grammar tests, etc. (. . . to what extent their linguistic systems have improved.) • Indirect assessment . . . Using for assessment purposes the same kinds of tasks that you actually use when you are teaching to see to what extent they were able to perform these tasks successfully.”

(2009: 2nd

“Using Literature in Consciousness-raising Tasks” EFL Journal International Conference-Busan, South Korea)

Ellis on INDIRECT Task Assessments:
• Opened:
“tasks to which there is not a single absolutely correct answer or where a variety of answers are possible. “ (Jabbarpoor, 2011) (e.g., “. . . students might be given a map with a starting point, and decide where they want to go, then give directions on how to get there)

• Closed:

“. . . a task that has, in effect, a single outcome. . . Are very

(e.g., describe a map route and have students draw the route on a map)


“Input” and “Output”
for Communication Skills
• Flexibility for language/product targets
– Dialogues – Student-generated scripts

• Authentic materials
– Reading texts (for language/context) – Videos (for speaking/body language) – Music videos (for language) • Cloze (gap-fill) • Rewriting (language expansion activity) • Audio-visual stimulation – Games (board games and card games) • Elicit new vocabulary • Encourage cooperation and interpersonal development

Communicative Competency
Linguistic competence

What is it asking?
What words do I use? How do I put them into phrases and sentences?

Sociolinguistic competence
Discourse competence

Which words and phrases fit this setting and this topic?
How are words, phrases and sentences put together to create conversations, presentations . . .reports . . .? How do I know when I’ve misunderstood or when someone has misunderstood me? What do I say then? (Dr. Olenka S.E. Bilash)

Strategic competence

Suggested Reading/Viewing
 “Communicative Language Teaching” (  “Dr. Rod Ellis - Using Literature in Consciousness-raising Tasks” ( International Conference on Languages, Literature and Linguistics (2011)  “CLT in 21st Century - Prof Zoltán Dörnyei”: University of Nottingham (

Bilash, Dr. Olenka S.E. Best of Bilash: Improving Second Language Education, University of Alberta (2011) ( /dr.b%20bio.html) Ellis, Rod , 2011 2nd International FLLT Conference ( Jabbarpoor, Shadab. 2011 International Conference on Languages, Literature and Linguistics (IPEDR vol.26 (2011), (, Educational Resources: Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelliences Theory ( Wikipedia, Theory of multiple intelligences, (Last updated 4 June 2013) (

“How to Cook Japanese Sukiyaki” ( “David Cameron statement on NOTW phone hacking, part1 3 (08July11) “ ( “Real English 40b - Describing People” (

Communication Skills
Presented by: Shelia Ann Peace 9 June 2013 All Rights Reserved A Communicative Teaching Approach

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