Back to: Pedagogy of English – Unit 3
The communicative approach in teaching English comes from the view that a language is successfully learned when learners have to communicate real meaning. When the learners are involved in real communication, they can use their natural strategies for language acquisition and this encourages them to learn to use the language naturally.
Main Principles of the Communicative Approach in Teaching English
The main principles of the communicative approach in teaching English are as follows.
- The target language is used to communicate for language learning.
- The learner must be able to differentiate between a formal and informal style.
- The activities performed should have a communicative purpose.
- Learners must be exposed to and interact constantly in the target language.
- The development of the four skills, listening, speaking, reading, and writing must be incorporated from the very beginning.
- The topics being taught must suit the needs and interests of learners.
- The teacher acts as a guide and a facilitator or instructor.
Characteristics of the Communicative Approach
The main characteristics of the communicative approach to learning are as follows.
Meaning is Important
In this approach, the meaning of words and phrases plays an integral role.
Meanings should be presented in the appropriate context as, without context, they cannot be understood.
The approach focuses on activities such as drilling to encourage the learning of comprehensive pronunciation.
The translation is used when there is a situation in which students need or can benefit from it.
Reading and writing
The skills of reading and writing are taught from the first day.
The teachers motivate the learners to work with the target language.
Learners are encouraged to interact with other people using the target language through group work or their writings.
The communicative approach to teaching English is used worldwide. It is easier to incorporate it in a class with few students and with trainer teachers, this strength can increase.