Communicative Approach and its Aims
Numerous and different kinds of methodologies or methods and ways of teaching English have risen over the decades. One of the methods of teaching discussed and considered in the methodology of language teaching is communicative language teaching (CLT). Communicative Language Teaching (CLT), which is an approach to the teaching of second and foreign languages, emphasizes interaction as both the means and the ultimate goal of learning a language.
Communicative language teaching or CLT stresses a creative, task-driven, and engrossed approach to teaching English as a second or foreign language. It is based on the idea of communicating real meaning through communication. Whenever leaners will communicate, they’ll use their native strategies or natural strategies while acquisition or learning of a language which will definitely enable them to use and apprehend language more effectively. Because the basic purpose of communication is language learning, largely focussing on meaning rather on form.
CLT promotes the perspective that ‘use makes usage’ by emphasizing the fact that language facilitates human socialization and that language presents an interpersonal communion among society members.
“Communicative Approach in language learning is an approach that is used in learning the second language or foreign language that emphasizes on the improvement of communicative ability.”
”The ability of applying the language principle in order to produce grammatical sentences and understand ’when, where, and to whom’ the sentences used.”
Communicative method focuses on language as a medium of communication. It recognizes that communication has a social purpose – learner which has something to say or find out.
”Communication embraces a whole spectrum of functions and notions” (Richards, Jack C. & Rogers, Theodore S., 2001).
Aims of Communicative Approach
Communicative approach aims at:
- Communicative competence, goal of language teaching.
- Develops strategies for improvising four skills (writing, listening, reading and speaking).
- Appropriate use of language for particular purposes and in particular situations or setting.
- Improvised leaner’s proficiency level and communicative needs.
- Successful transmission of information, not achievement of grammatical correctness.
- Focus on functions of language (presented by Halliday).
In the debate of communicative competence Noam Chomsky presented his view by distinguishing two terms that are competence and performance. Competence is (the speaker-hearer’s knowledge of his language) and performance is (the actual use of language in concrete situations).
According to Chomsky (1965), deviations from the ideal in actual performance do not reflect competence:
“A grammar of a language purports to be a description of the ideal speaker-hearer’s intrinsic competence.”
He was of the view that if performance is being affected by any of factors, the dominant would be competence.
However, much of the applied linguistics research refers to Hymes’ work as being seminal to CC. Hymes (1972) reacts against Chomsky’s definition. Because he feels that Chomsky;
“Omits almost everything of sociocultural significance” (p. 280).
Instead, Hymes (1972) advances;
“The goal of a broad theory of competence can be said to show the ways in which the systematically possible, the feasible, and the appropriate are linked to produce and interpret actually occurring cultural behavior [emphasis in original]”
Written by: Bushra Ghayoor
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