What influenced the origin of Communicative Approach?
Origin of Communicative Approach
Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) came up at the beginning of the nineteenth century. It formalized in the late 1960s and reflects the social changes. It was formed when pragmaticism influenced more than ever in the West. Then, change in educational realities in Europe, and when the post-World-War II world called much more dialogue and communications. There was a need in Europe to teach adults the major languages of the Europe common market.
After that, in 1971 a group of experts began to investigate the possibility of developing language courses, in which learning task are broken into units. The increasing interdependency between the European countries necessitated a need for a greater effort to teach adults the principal languages of the continent.
New goals were set in language teaching profession:
- The paramount importance of communication aspects of language.
- The increasing interest in meaningful learning.
- In teaching processes, the growing centrality of the learner.
- The subordinate importance of structural teaching of language.
“Writings of British linguistics and the work of the European Council brought about the advent of Communicative Language Teaching and expanded it to a larger scale.“
Wilkins outlined brace divisions of meaning which were the root of the birth of notional syllabus, devising an impact on CLT.
- Notional classes: concepts such as time, sequence, quantity, location and frequency.
- Sections of communicative functions: request, denials, offers, complains.
Communicative language teaching also came as an answer to the prominent method of learning a language. Also the Audio-lingual Method, and as an application of the notion function syllabus. Audio-lingual required itself as people’s need to learn foreign language skills during and after War II. It could be said that CLT developed due to dissatisfaction of some linguists with the grammar-translation and audio lingua. It is closely associated with behaviorism, therefore making drilling, repletion and habit formation its central elements of instruction.
The origin of Communicative approach was indispensable because of the high-lighted factors of not enough realistic teaching and learning of language. Learners were not provided with appropriate tools of learning or communicating through their social language, gestures, expression or cultural interaction.
Scholars of Communicative Approach
Pioneers and scholars who advocated the language view and explored this approach were:
- British functional linguist Michael Halliday
- American sociolinguistics Dell Hymes
- American linguist Noam Chomsky
The main goal and philosophy behind the inception of CLT was the;
“Teaching of communicative competence“
Communicative language teaching meant to provide the tactics and to polish the skills for communication. In other words, it helps learner to satisfy their demands while communication. For example, my class teacher arranged activities which were focusing on all the four skills that is reading, writing, listening and speaking. He came up in the class with a notebook comprising different topics and question based on prior experience or personalities we like or love, and gave us a deadline of 3 minute (free association).
We all were encouraged in the class to freely share our experiences despite of making errors, here he made us believe in the power of expression of ourselves and our personalities while communicating in written context or spoken context.
According to (Larsen, 2003), everything in a CLT class possesses a communicative intent. From the various examples of communicative situations such as buying a ticket in museum, going for shopping, ordering food or delivering some speech in procession, it can be inferred that CLT’s emphases is on the functions of language. In other words, a CLT class entails teaching and learning social functions and does not focus on linguistic structures and forms.
Halliday’s seven functions of language
Thus, one of the theories that lay the foundation of CLT is multifunctionality of language proposed by Halliday (1975 Halliday) (1975) as summarized in Richard and Theodore (2001) distinguishes seven functions of language that are as follow;
- Instrumental Function: It is used to express people’s needs or get things done. Here, “I like” or “I need” performs the function of language giving the speaker the satisfaction once his material need is being given and received by him/her.
- Regulatory Function: It is used to tell others what to do. Like, “Do the things I to be finished” and “Leaves that nonsense puzzle”. This function does not dwell on the material things or the services rendered, rather the actor who carries out the issued command.
- Interactional Function: It is used to make contact with others and form relationship. Like, “You and Me” and “greeting”.
- Personal Function: It is used to express feelings, opinions and individual identity. Like, “Here I come”.
- Heuristics Function: It is used to gain knowledge about environment. “Explain to me why”, In this phrase, the speaker’s inquisitive mind is hungry to be quenched by explanation, truth, facts and figures, information and data.
- Imaginative Function: It is used to tell jokes and stories, and to create and imaginary environment. Allowing one to compose poetry and other written outputs that reveal the power of one’s creative imaginative mind.
- Representational Function: It is used to convey facts and information. Like, “I have something to tell you”.
Here, in all these examples, we as learners were encouraged to learn how to communicate while conveying meaning functionally.
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