ERIC Number: ED273107
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984
Reference Count: 0
Mixed-Ability Foreign Language Teaching and the Communicative Approach. The Pupil's Case.
Willems, Gerard M.
The communicative approach is the most appropriate for teaching foreign languages to mixed-ability classes, because traditional grammar-translation, audiolingual, and audiovisual approaches to language instruction focusing largely on correctness of form and language use have appeal for only the most able learners and require abstraction of the structure and patterns of the target language from unauthentic or unauthentically used language data. Structure-based models do not accommodate different learning styles, aptitudes, attitudes, social background, and interests, they cause the less gifted students to lose interest quickly, and they do not encourage students to develop social and study skills while learning the language as the communicative model does. If the methodology is truly communicative, students will learn to listen to each other, cooperate, and learn from one another. A communicative model organized by themes, for purposes of motivation and redundancy, that provides initial input, receptive tasks, additional input, reproductive language tasks, further input, and productive language tasks is progressive in its skill development, leading ultimately to free use of communicative skills. Several exercises are available for use at each stage of this model, accommodating mixed abilities. A number of illustrative activities are included in the article. (MSE)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Willems, Gerard, Ed., Communicative Foreign Language Teaching and the Training of Foreign Language Teachers, p103-134. See FL 015 917.