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					The Communicative Approaches
Topics
   What is CLT?
   What are CLT’s main tenets?
   Early CLT: Notional / Functional Syllabus
   Linguistic Competence and Communicative
    Competence
   Halliday’s Seven Basic Functions of Language
   The Subskills in Communicative
    Competence
Topics II
 The Lexical Approach
 CLT Materials and Activity Types
 Teacher Roles
 Student Roles
 Learner Error and Evaluation
What is CLT?
The communicative approach is the theory
 that language is communication.
As it has been influenced by the humanistic
 methods, the affective facet of the learner
 is of paramount importance.
The final aim of CLT is communicative
 competence.
CLT’s main tenets
 Learners   learn a language by using it to
  communicate.
 Authentic and meaningful communication
  should be the goal of classroom activities.
 Fluency is an important dimension of
  communication.
 Communication involves the integration of
  different language skills.
 Learning is a process of creative
  construction and involves trial and error.
Notional / Functional Syllabus
 D.A. Wilkins, one of the proponents of
  CLT, developed the notional – a.k.a.
  functional – view of language. According
  to this view, a learner needs notions and
  functions to communicate:
 Notions: location, frequency, time,
  sequence, etc.
 Functions: requests, threats, complaints,
  offers, etc.
Linguistic Competence
 According to N. Chomsky, Linguistic
  Competence is knowledge and mastery of
  the underlying system of rules.
 In other words, LC’s view of language is
  that of an abstract grammatical
  knowledge, faraway from any particular
  context of use.
Communicative Competence
 On the other hand, Hymes’ conception is
  that language is always used in a social
  context or situation.
 It is a competence that establishes:
    ◦ When to speak, and when not to speak
    ◦ What to talk about
    ◦ Where, in what manner and with whom
   It is not a contradiction to Chomsky’s
    beliefs, but an extension to them.
Communicative Competence &
Linguistic Competence
   There are some aspects common to both
    concepts, although other ideas are not
    compatible.
                    CC

                         LC
Halliday’s Seven Basic Functions of
Language
   Halliday identified seven functions of language that
    complement the communicative competence:
    1. Instrumental function: get things.
    2. Regulatory function: control others’ behavior.
    3. Interactional function: create interaction with others.
    4. Personal function: express personal feelings and
       meanings.
    5. Heuristic function: learn and discover.
    6. Imaginative function: create imaginary worlds.
    7. Representational function: communicate information
       to others.
Subskills in Communicative
Competence
   Canale and Swain identified four subgroups of
    competences which make up communicative
    competence:
    1. Grammatical competence: use grammar and lexis
       accurately (linguistic competence).
    2. Sociolinguistic competence: understand the social
       context in which communication takes place.
    3. Discourse competence: interpret individual elements
       in a message through their coherence and cohesion.
    4. Strategic competence: start, finish, maintain, repair or
       redirect communication.
The Lexical Approach
   This approach moves away from the purely
    grammatical view of language.
   Lexis, rather than grammar, plays a primary
    role in the acquisition of a language.
   Lexis refers to multi-word prefabricated
    chunks that all speakers have in their minds.
   The essential idea is that fluency is based on
    the acquisition of fixed and semi-fixed
    prefabricated items.
The Lexical Approach II
   Multi-word items can be organized into four
    categories:
    ◦ Words: push, fruit, exit. These are not frequent in use
      but have a high information content.
    ◦ Polywords: by the way, on the other hand. These are
      used to generate patterns, but have a low information
      content.
    ◦ Collocations: consist of two word combinations that
      must go together – e.g. do a job.
    ◦ Fixed expressions: I’ll see what I can do, certainly not!
      These have a strong pragmatic meaning.
    ◦ Sentence frames or heads: At present, some experts
      believe, that’s all very well but…
CLT materials and activities
 CLT makes extensive use of realia - i.e.
  authentic materials – taken from real
  contexts.
 Activities tend to help learners identify
  roles of language use (e.g. tourist, student,
  customer, waiter, etc.) and to create
  scenarios of language use (hotel check-in,
  ordering a meal, visiting the doctor, etc.)
Teachers’ roles
The teacher has two main roles:
 To facilitate the communication process in
  the classroom
 To act as an independent participant within
  the learning-teaching group

The teacher is also expected to act as a
 resource, an organizer of resources, a
 motivator, a counselor, a guide, an analyst and
 a researcher.
There are many other minor roles of a
 teacher, some of these would include being
 an actor and an entertainer.
Students’ roles
 Students play a more active role in CLT:
 They are learning to do something useful
  with the language they study.
 They are encouraged to express their
  individuality.
 Student security is enhanced.
 Learner autonomy is promoted.
Learner Error and Evaluation
 CLT sees error as a natural part of the
  learning process.
 Error is seen as early attempts at using
  the language which will eventually lead
  them to improvement.
 In CLT a learner is evaluated not only on
  accuracy but also on fluency, either during
  classroom communicative activities
  (informal) or through communicative
  tests (formal).

				
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