Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) is a teaching approach that focuses on using language for real-life communication. CLT emphasizes the development of communicative competence and promotes student-centered learning. As educators, our primary goal is to provide students with the skills and confidence they need to effectively communicate in the target language.
Whether you are a seasoned language teacher or just starting out, these ideas will help you create a dynamic, engaging and effective language learning environment.
Task-based activities: Give students tasks that require them to use the language in real-life situations, such as role-playing a conversation, or even writing a letter. The sky’s the limit with task-based activities.
Group work: Another pillar and good old method is group work. It encourage students to communicate within these small groups in order to complete tasks or have discussions in the target language. A big benefit when working is groups is that mediation is intrinsically part of learning the target language.
Authentic materials: Use authentic materials, such as newspaper articles or videos, to provide a real-world context for language learning. If you don’t have access to tangible authentic materials, an easy way to do so is to go online and print brochures, magazines, articles and whatever you need for a specific lesson.
Error correction: As teachers, we might feel the need to correct our students whenever we hear something that needs correcting. Instead of interrupting students during class to correct their errors, provide corrective feedback after they have completed a task or activity. You can even assign homework depending on the mistakes, which will help them mediate grammar or pronunciation issues outside of activities.
Encourage student-led learning: Provide opportunities for students to take the lead in class discussions and activities. Remember that students should have as many opportunities as possible to practice the target language, so give them the opportunity to do so. Also, make sure to provide them with extra materials they can use for leading discussions or activities.
Emphasize communication over grammar: While grammar is important, the primary focus of CLT is on helping students use the language for communication. This does not mean you shouldn’t teach grammar in your classroom, but make sure students have fun first. After all, the purpose of a language is to communicate!