Week 1 B - Communicative CALL

1. Discuss homework people_talking.jpeg 2. Chapter 2: Communicative Language Teaching (2)


Aim: help students develop communicative competence in the target language.
Focus: structural and communicative aspects of language and values the use of language for purposeful communication
Communicative competence: L2 acquisition literature construct since 1970s
  • Appropriate use of language in social contexts (Hymes, 1971, 1972)
  • More complex ability to negotiate meaning and interact with others (distinguished from a language learner’s master of isolated grammar rules (Savignon, 1972, 1983, 1991)
  • Components:
(a) grammatical competence: learner’s knowledge of the structure of the language
(b) discourse competence: allow the language learner to use knowledge of that grammar system to connect sentences in a meaningful manner
(c) sociolinguistic competence: based on the knowledge of the social and cultural rules of the L2 environment
(d) strategic competence: provides strategies such as repetition, hesitation, fillers, guessing, and body language, which serve to compensate for any breakdown communication (Canale and Swain, 1980)
§ four related domains of skill that constitute a learner’s communicative competence: The learner must:
(a) develop a high-skill level in manipulating the linguistic system
(b) be able to recognize the communicative functions of the linguistic forms she or he uses
(c) be capable of communicating meaning in concrete situations and using feedback to evaluate his or her success in conveying his message
(d) be able to distinguish and use socially acceptable forms of the language (Littlewood, 1981)
§ Communicative competence:
(a) organizational competence (grammar and discourse)
(b) pragmatic competence (functional and sociolinguistic)
(c) strategic competence
(d) psychomotor skills (for example, pronunciation) (Brown, 1994)

Technology provides powerful contexts for communicative language

What changes in theory and methodology of L2 teaching led to communicative language teaching?
In the 1970s, educators began noticing that many students could produce accurate sentences in the classroom, but could not use them to communicate their ideas in authentic settings
Challenge of structural view of language, 1960s: audio-lingual method (ALM) Language teaching should focus on the functional and communicative aspect of language Candlin (1976), Halliday (1973)
Two types of meanings: basis for a communicative approach and syllabus: notional meanings, which include categories such as duration, location, quantity and frequency, and functional meanings that encompass categories such as requests, introductions, greetings, and apologies Wilkins (1976) (Johnson and Morrow (1981)
Notions and functions not presented as self-contained units of meaning, but rather in situations in which meanings are negotiated through interaction Widdowson (1979)

What is the Communicative language teaching approach?
See page 28

CLT: breakthrough in L2 pedagogy
During the same time: computers from drill and practice provider to interactive communication tool and stimulus for interaction
Increasingly computer and Internet: powerful allies in CLT
Computer based technologies: multimedia, email, discussion boards, electronic databases, chat rooms, teleconferencing capabilities, etc.

Table, pages 30-32
Page 32: online school newspaper example
Page 40-41


3. Technology supported Communicative Language Learning