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10 Feb 2013

Misunderstandings of Communicative Language Teaching

Misunderstandings of Communicative Language Teaching
(Free ELT Journal)

Although Communicative Language Teaching is accepted by many English teachers in China as one of the most effective approach in English language teaching, there are still a number of misunderstandings about it. By comparing Johnstone; Sato and Kleinsasser and Thompson as well as Spada, this article focuses on four of the main misunderstandings, which are commonly held by the language teachers and researchers.

Keywords: CLT, Misunderstanding, Meaning, Learner Error, Learners’ L1

Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) is generally regarded as an approach to language teaching. It is based on the theory that the primary function of language use is communication. One of the fundamental principles of CLT is that learners need to engage in meaningful communication to attain communicative fluency in ESL settings. So its primary goal is for learners to develop communicative competence (Hymes, 1971), or simply put, communicative ability. Therefore, many teachers think that CLT emphases the speaking and listening in order to improve their communicative ability by focusing on meaning, and refuses error correction for maintaining the conversation. In this article, the writer tries to analyze the misunderstandings, which are commonly held by the language teachers.

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