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Teaching Philosophies: Communicative Language Teaching

2014/04/20

The ability to communicate is a pretty central motivator for learning a language. There is an immediate sense of accomplishment when a student can follow a conversation, or make themselves understood. This is the central concept and energy behind Communicative Language Teaching. Another teaching philosophy which is often found in small doses peppered throughout your English curriculum.

CLT is a relatively modern communicative approach to language teaching that emphasizes interaction, and works to develop communicative competence of language learners in an authentic context. CLT activities are charades, role-play, pair work, information gap activities, pen pals, surveys, and discussions. Attempts to link classroom learning with an experience the reinforces that learning a language will be valuable later in life. The communicative approach helps introduce social cues, and everyday examples, of when language forms are used in real situations.

Similar to content-based instruction, which is where the idea is to have engaging content which entices students to learn the language, the communicative approach urges us to put learners in situations where their language knowledge is useful and rewarding in the immediacy of interaction.

So keep it in mind when you're developing your lessons. The satisfaction that comes from successful communication cannot be denied.

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