Communicative Language Teaching

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Santosh Kumar Singh


It has been noticed that the goal of the most of the methods whether it is Audio- Visual, the Direct method, the Silent Way or De-suggestopedia so far is for students to learn to communicate in the target language. In the 1970s, though, educators began to question if they were going about meeting the goal in the right way. Some observed that students could produce sentences accurately in a lesson, but could not use them appropriately when genuinely communicating outside of the class-room. Others noted that being able to communicate required more than mastering linguistic structures. Students may know the rules of linguistic usage, but unable to use the language. It became clear that communication required that students perform certain functions as well as, promising, inviting and declining invitations within a social context. In short, being able to communicate required more than linguistic competence, it required communicative competence – knowing when and how to say what to whom. All these observations, done at various times contributed to a shift in the late 1970s and early 1980s from a linguistic structure –centered approach to Communicative Approach or Communicative Language Teaching Approach (Widdowson 1990).


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Santosh Kumar Singh. “Communicative Language Teaching”. The Creative Launcher, vol. 1, no. 3, Aug. 2016, pp. 64-66,


Hymes, Dell. 1971. ‘Competence and Performance in linguistic theory’ in R. Huxley and E. Ingram (eds). Language Acquisition: Models and Methods. London: Academic Press.

Littlewood, William 1981. Communicative Language Teaching, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Widdowson, HG. 1978 Teaching Language as Communication. Oxford : Oxford University Press.