Communicative Language Teaching
Explanation of Main Features
Communicative language teaching is a method of teaching English language learners that focuses on the communicative purpose of language. The purpose of this method is “learning language to actually use it to communicate in the target language with other speakers” (Wright, 2010, p. 45). In essence, the goal is communicate in the target language. This being said, communicative language teaching also acknowledges the need for grammar. Grammar teaching using this model would focus on how grammar affects meaning, instead of memorizing grammatical rules. Students must maintain a certain level of “grammatical competence” in order to communicate effectively (Diaz-Rico & Weed, 2010). The communicative language method is currently recognized as an effective classroom language teaching method.

Classroom Implications

Communicative language teaching is a fairly effective strategy used in today's classrooms. Communication that is meaningful is much more practical in classrooms, rather than just a grammar-based instructional approach. Classroom activities must be included that help the learner use language in a meaningful way. They must negotiate meaning, use communication strategies, correct misunderstandings and work to avoid communication breakdowns (Richards). Classroom activities should mirror "real world" language use. Activities that may be used are jigsaw grouping activities, task-completion, information-transfer, role-plays, opinion-sharing, and emphasis on pair and group work.

References:

Díaz-Rico, L. T. & Weed, K. Z. (2010). The Cross-Cultural, Language, and Academic Development Handbook, Fourth Edition. Boston, MA: Pearson
Richards, Jack C. Communicative Language Teaching Today.

Wright, W. (2010). Foundations for teaching English language learners: Research, theory, policy, and practice. Philadelphia: Caslon Publishing