Savignon communicative language teaching - state of the art

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  • SAVIGNON, S. J. Communicative Language Teaching: state of the art. TESOL Quarterly, Vol. 25, No. 2, Summer 1991.Active/passive dichotomyProductive/receptive dichotomyInteractive nature of communication: interpretation, expression, and negotiation of meaningCommunicative competence a challenging concept

  • The beginnings of CLT1970s in Europe Firth and Hallidays meaning potential (1978) development of a functional-notional syllabus (Candlin, 1978)1970s in the US Hymes communicative competence (1971) the use of language in social context (appropriateness)1970s Savignons communicative competence (1972) the ability of language learners to interact with other speakers, to make meaning, as distinct from their ability to perform on discrete-point tests of grammatical knowledgeFocus on classroom process and learner autonomyClassroom activities games, role plays, pair activities and small-group activitiesCLT derives from a multidisciplinary perspective, including linguistics, psychology, philosophy, sociology, and educational research

  • Implications for existing programsFocus on learners communicative needsImplications in evaluation from quantitative to qualitative assessment, encouraging learner achievementDifferent reactions to CLT lack of precision in the view of language behaviorSelection of methodology demands an understanding of sociocultural differences in styles of learning

  • What about grammar?Communication AND accuracyDefinition of grammar a set of shared assumptions about how language worksCommunicative ability AND morphosyntatic accuracyIntegration of form-focused exercises with meaning-focused experienceThe dichotomy fluency / accuracy (p. 269)

  • Promising avenues of inquirySociolinguistic issues:Language change and speech community variation learner language instability and variability identityNoncognitive factors motivation and self-identity in second language learningLanguage experiences providing learners with experiences they need to construct their own variation spaceCross-linguistic and cross-cultural awarenessClassroom as a social context for learning

  • ConclusionCollaborative nature of meaning makingLanguage use as social behavior, purposeful, and always in context promoting communicative competence (development of learning strategies together with linguistic competence)Focus on form integrated with communicative experiences


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