К содержанию номера журнала: Вестник КАСУ №2 - 2012
Авторы: Юрина Ольга Юрьевна, Чжан Е.Е.
Nowadays, the aim
of language learning is formation of communicative and cross-cultural
competence. When we mention communicative competence in terms of teaching a
foreign language we mean the ability and availability of learners to
appropriately use a foreign language in various communicative situations [2,
49]. Moreover, transition to new international system of language proficiency,
which defines six levels (A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2), requires some changes in
language teaching and appearance of new approaches.
Today, the word
“communication” very often occurs in the methods of foreign language teaching
[1, 56]. It means conversation with the help of a language. That is why it is
suggested about the Communicative Approach as the principle of foreign language
teaching. Any teaching, which has practical learning aims, is
communication-oriented, because it teaches communication with the help of a language.
So, what is
approach and method? An approach is a set of correlative assumptions about the
nature of a language and language learning, but does not involve procedure or
provide any details about how such assumptions should be translated into the
classroom setting [1, 3].
A method is a plan
for presenting language material to be learned and should be based upon a
selected approach. In order for an approach to become a method, it is necessary
to design an instructional system and consider the objectives of
teaching/learning, design tasks to be performed, determine roles of students
different approaches or methods of teaching languages existed: Audio-lingual,
Textual-translation, Grammar-translation, Silent Way, Suggestopedia, Comprehension
Based, Communicative Approach. Some of them are widely-used but others have
fallen into relative obscurity.
Let us pay
attention to one particular approach – the Communicative Approach. Within the
last quarter of the century, the Communicative Approach has been put forth
around the world as “new”, or “innovative,” way to teach English as a second or
foreign language [7, 13].
Approach originated because of discontent of educators and linguists with the
audio-lingual and grammar-translation methods, which did not allow students to
learn how to communicate in a target language. They had difficulties in
communication, in choosing appropriate social language and expressions; in
short, they could not communicate in the target language. The development of
the Communicative Approach dates back to 1970s; classroom conversations where
students were engaged in real communication with one another in a target
language became very popular. In the course of time, the Communicative Approach
has been adapted to multiple levels of language proficiency: elementary,
pre-intermediate, intermediate, upper-intermediate, and advanced levels.
language teaching is based on the assumption that language is communication. Dell
Hymes, a sociolinguist, stated that the goal of language teaching is “communicative
competence” which depends on the cooperation of all the participants involved
[5, 213]. It became clear that communication required that students perform
certain functions as well, such as promising, inviting, and declining
invitations within a social context.
Candlin C. used
the term “communicative competence” to characterize the ability of classroom
language learners to interact with other speakers, to make meaning, as
different from their ability to repeat dialogues or perform on tests of
grammatical knowledge [4, 16].
language teaching has the following characteristics: activities that involve
real communication, activities in which language is used to carry out meaningful
task, language that is meaningful to the learner [4:196]. It should be noted
that instructional materials are essential and influential. In the
Communicative Approach authentic materials are used. Today many textbooks are designed
to support communicative language teaching. There is a variety of games,
role-plays, simulations and task-based activities to support the Communicative
Approach. The objectives in communicative language teaching are general and can
be applied to any teaching situation.
Approach to language teaching implies integration of listening and speaking.
Particular attention is given to the situation, or context, where a specific
skill is to be used. Thus, the focus is on communication, not only on teaching
listening or on speaking.
Approach appears indispensable while choosing language material. It implies the
ability of chosen units to maintain and organize communication. The
Communicative Approach requires including standard expressions and
clichés into the process of language learning. Selection of
clichés is necessary for teaching natural communication in the foreign
Communicative Approach, activities are aimed at involving the learner in authentic
meaningful use of English. There is an unlimited supply of activities and exercises,
which are compatible with communicative language teaching. As long as the
activities, exercises allow learners to:
• reach the
• engage learners
• require the use
of communicative processes.
are focused on all the components of communicative competence and not
restricted to grammatical or linguistic competence. Language techniques are designed
to engage learners in the pragmatic, authentic, functional use of language for
meaningful purposes. Fluency and accuracy are seen as complementary principles
underlying communicative techniques.
work in groups or pairs to transfer meaning in situations in which one person
has information that the other lack. Students often engage in role-play or
dramatization to adjust their use of the target language to different social
Roles of the
teacher can be main and secondary. To main roles, we refer a facilitator, an
independent participant. Secondary roles are the following: an organizer and a
source of resources, a guide within the classroom activities, a researcher, and
a counselor (in terms of the speaker’s intention, though the use of paraphrase,
confirmation and feedback), errors and mistakes corrector. The teacher should
be able to use the target language fluently and appropriately. Learners are
often more motivated with this approach as they have an interest what is being
communicated, as the lesson is based on topic or theme.
the target language a number of times, slowly building on accuracy. They
interact with each other in pairs or groups. A teacher tries to maximize the percentage
of talking time, rather than a teacher to student and vice versa. Unless the
focus is on the accuracy stage of the lesson, learners are corrected at the end
of an activity so that not to interrupt their thought process [6, 73].
Approach is applied in teaching of four basic skills in a language: reading,
writing, speaking and listening. Listening and speaking are interactive skills
that affect each other. Speaking and writing are expressive language skills,
while reading and listening are receptive language skills. From our point of
view, listening is a very difficult type of activity for pupils of secondary
Firstly, this is because
according to school program and state standard only two hours a week are
devoted to English. Therefore, it is difficult for teachers to realize all
types of activities in the classroom during the lesson. Most textbook listening
programs emphasize product (right or wrong answer) over process (how to get
meaning from the selection) and from the fact that listening activities are
usually carried out as an add-on, away from the classroom. Moreover, we should
take into account age-specific and individual listening peculiarities of
Listening is the
absorption of the meanings of the words and sentences by the brain .
Listening leads to understanding of facts and ideas. It is considered one of the
most important parts of verbal communication and is very important for
communicative competence. It is impossible to learn a language and use it
without listening acquirement. Moreover, of course, listening may correspond
with a type of communication, which reflects person’s demands and nature of his
think that language environment is the main means of foreign language learning,
all other means are supplementary. The lesson, when teacher speaks only in the
target language using audiovisual and audio means, creates a prototype of foreign
language environment and approach the learning process to conditions of target
There are some
listening techniques for teachers to take into consideration. Teacher should remember
that listening exercises should be success-oriented and build up students’
confidence in their listening ability. Brown H.D. advises to construct the
listening activity around a contextualized task [3, 10]. Contextualized
listening activities correspond to real-life tasks and give the listener an
idea of the type of information to expect.
levels of language proficiency, we may use different tasks. The beginning level
task would be locating places on a map or exchanging name and address information.
At an intermediate level students could follow directions for assembling
something or work in pairs to create a story to tell to the rest of the class.
Each activity should be aimed at the improvement of one or more specific listening
skills. The following factors can help teachers to define relative ease or
difficulty of a listening text for a particular purpose and a particular group
information: is the story line, narrative, or does instruction conforming to
familiar expectations? Texts in which the events are presented in natural
chronological order, which have an informative title, and which present the
information following an obvious organization are easier to follow. Pupils’
familiarity with the topic: lack of background knowledge or misinterpretation
due to cultural differences can create major comprehension difficulties.
individuals and objects in the text: for pupils it is easier to understand a
text with a customer and a seller or a seller with two customers, and it is
even easier if they are of the opposite sex. In other words, the more marked
the differences, the easier the comprehension.
Redundancy in the
text: for pupils of lower levels of proficiency short, simple messages are
easier to process, but for pupils with higher proficiency benefit from the
natural redundancy of the language. Visual support to the text: visual aids
such as maps, diagrams, pictures, or images in a video help the listening input
and provide clues to meaning.
In conclusion, we
should mention that an increase in English pupils’ and teachers’ proficiency
levels has been marked during the last decade around the world. It is certainly
connected with development of communicative competence and new approaches to language
teaching, particularly the Communicative Approach.
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преподавания иностранного языка. - М.: Просвещение, 1999.
Е.И. Коммуникативный метод обучения иноязычному говорению.- 2-е изд. – М.: Просвещение, 1991.
Brown H.D. Principles of Language Learning and Teaching.- New-York, 2000
Candlin C. The Communicative Teaching of English. London: Longman, 1981.
Hymes D. On communicative competence. In J. Gumperz & D. Hymes (Eds.), Directions
in sociolinguistics. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1970
Johnson K. and Morrow K. Communication in the Classroom. London: Longman, 1981.
Marianne Celce-Murcia, Teaching English as a Second or Foreign language, 3d ed.,
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К содержанию номера журнала: Вестник КАСУ №2 - 2012