Communicative Language Teaching


Communicative language teaching is an approach based on the theory that language is used for both communication and linguistic competence.  Larsen-Freeman & Anderson (2011), assert that the approach further states that the knowledge of forms and their meanings forms a part of communicative competence. This knowledge entails learning how to use the language. It uses almost every activity, in which functional communication and social interaction activities such as conversations, discussion sessions, dialogue, and role-plays are involved; thus, engaging students in authentic communication.

This approach is significant, because it provides students with authentic and meaningful interactions, hence increasing their motivation and attitude to learn the target language. I find this the most vital point about CLT. As a teacher of the English language in Saudi Arabia, I perceive this approach as the best teaching tool at all times. In fact, I think that all teachers of the English language should pay attention to this approach. It is a helpful approach to students, because it encourages them to use the language at all instances. In most schools, the English language is taught separately from its usage, hence making it difficult for us to communicate effectively in English.

In communicative language teaching, students are given the opportunity to express their individuality through regular sharing of ideas and opinions.  Lantolf (2000), points out that the approach provides students with a chance to communicate using English to interpret issues and express real life messages.

Another interesting aspect of CLT is the variety of materials it uses. It involves a wide variety of materials, such as newspapers, radio and television broadcasts, menus, weather forecasts, and timetables. All these materials are authentic sources of the language for native speakers of the target language. For beginners, it would be more effective to use realism without language, as this would make classes active and full of fun hence ensuring that students are more engaged in the lesson.

In conclusion, the more familiar the CLT approach becomes, the more I am encouraged to apply it during my classes. I may have applied some of the aspects of the approach in my classes, but I still feel there are more things about CLT that I should try for increased prosperity.

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