Communicative Language Teaching and Audio-Lingual Method

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s): 2354
  • Published: February 15, 2011
Read full document
Text Preview
by Abdul Bari
Communicative Language Teaching and Audio-Lingual Method: Definition Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) is an approach to the teaching of second and foreign languages that emphasizes interaction as both the means and the ultimate goal of learning a language. It is also referred to as “communicative approach to the teaching of foreign languages” or simply the “Communicative Approach.” The Audio-Lingual Method, or the Army Method, is a style of teaching used in teaching foreign languages. It is based on behaviorist theory, which professes that certain traits of living things, and in this case humans, could be trained through a system of reinforcement—correct use of a trait would receive positive feedback while incorrect use of that trait would receive negative feedback. Historically, CLT has been seen as a response to the Audio-Lingual Method (ALM). Relation between Communicative Language Teaching and Audio-Lingual Method The Audio-Lingual Method (ALM) arose as a direct result of the need for foreign language proficiency in listening and speaking skills during and after World War II. It is closely tied to behaviorism, and thus made drilling, repetition, and habit-formation central elements of instruction. Proponents of ALM felt that this emphasis on repetition needed a corollary emphasis on accuracy, claiming that continual repetition of errors would lead to the fixed acquisition of incorrect structures and non-standard pronunciation. In the classroom, lessons were often organized by grammatical structure and presented through short dialogs. Often, learners listened repeatedly to recordings of conversations (for example, in the language lab ) and focused on accurately mimicking the pronunciation and grammatical structures in these dialogs. Critics of ALM asserted that this over-emphasis on repetition and accuracy ultimately did not help learners achieve communicative competence in the target language. Noam Chomsky argued “Language is not a habit structure. Ordinary linguistic behaviour characteristically involves innovation, formation of new sentences and patterns in accordance with rules of great abstractness and intricacy”. They looked for new ways to present and organize language instruction, and advocated the notional functional syllabus, and eventually CLT as the most effective way to teach second and foreign languages. The origins of Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) are to be found in the changes in the British language teaching tradition dating from the1960s. As an extension of the notional-functional syllabus, CLT also places great emphasis on helping students use the target language in a variety of contexts and places great emphasis on learning language functions. Unlike the ALM, its primary focus is on helping learners create meaning rather than helping them develop perfectly grammatical structures or acquire native-like pronunciation. This means that successfully learning a foreign language is assessed in terms of how well learners have developed their communicative competence, which can loosely be defined as their ability to apply knowledge of both formal and sociolinguistic aspects of a language with adequate proficiency to communicate. Compare and contrast in terms of Objectives:

Piepho (1981) discusses the following levels of objectives in a communicative approach; 1. An integrative and content level (language as a means of expression) 2. A linguistic and instrumental level (language as a semiotic system and an object of learning)

3. An affective level of interpersonal relationships and conduct (language as a means of expressing values and judgments about oneself, and others) 4. A level of individual learning needs (remedial learning based oh error analysis)

5. a general educational level of extra-linguistic goals (language learning within the school curriculum)
Brooks distinguishes between short-range and long-range objectives of an audio lingual program. Short-range objectives...
tracking img