ERIC Number: ED266663
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985
Communicative Competence and Language Teaching: Second Thoughts.
Paulston, Christina Bratt
Discussions of the communicative approach to language teaching are often confusing because different definitions are ascribed to communicative competence in the teaching context. Its definition as the appropriate use of the sociocultural rules for language use in spontaneous interaction is preferred; this definition makes possible more precise testing of communicative proficiency. An ethnographic study of features of effective classroom activities in bilingual education has these implications for the communicative approach and instruction in English as a second language: (1) good teachers do make a difference; (2) methods and materials are not as important as meaningful and interesting activities, on-task focus, clear activity objectives, and comprehensible feedback; (3) to the degree that teachers can incorporate these principles in their classroom activities, students should learn English. It seems, moreover, that communicative language teaching by its nature already does, or easily can, incorporate all of these features. Whether or not the communicative approach is adopted, an approach to language teaching that incorporates genuine communication in the classroom is desirable. (MSE)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Communicative Language Teaching. Selected Papers from the RELC Seminar (Singapore, April 23-27, 1984). Anthology Series 14 (FL 015 507).