The approach used in teaching language is an essential part of developing the learners ability to use a foreign language effectively. The communicative approach is one of the most common approaches to teaching language that enables the learners become better in their foreign language. This approach takes into consideration differences in the learners and applies different techniques in to the learners to enable cater for individual differences of the learners. Communicative Language teaching borrows greatly from the psychological theories of behaviorism and naturalism. This approach describes the process by which people learn a language by making statements about conditions that affect their daily lives. The goal of this approach is to ensure that the learners can read its literature and develop the ability to read and write by applying the skills learnt in class in their day-to-day activities. Grammar in this approach is learnt using deductive methods that involve presentation of the rules and then practicing them through translation exercises. This approach involves the use of the native language, as the language of instruction to enable the learners understands different concepts easily.
The teacher selects appropriate texts to help the learners of different levels gain their ability to develop their reading skills in the language they are learning. The level of vocabulary in the texts should reflect the levels of the learners to help them gain reading skills in a given language. The use of simple texts for the beginners helps them develop the basic skills in the foreign language and understanding of the basic concepts. When the learners are young, it is important to use interesting texts that captivate their young minds and promote the use of the new language in their meditation. In these exercises, accuracy is an important phenomenon that helps the people develop accuracy in adhering to the linguistic rules of the new language. This approach can be implemented using various methods.
The direct method: when using the direct method in this approach one need to be keen and observant about various techniques used to enable the students understand different concepts in the new language. For instance, instruction in this method should be done using the target language. This enables the learners develop an understanding of the basic concepts of their new language. There should be vocabularies taught every day and used in sentences. This helps the learners increase their ability to use different words in the target language. Emphasis should be made of the oral use of the language. The learners should be able to use practice different words in class. Therefore, it is mandatory for the teacher to use communicative approaches such as the question and answer method. In this method, grammar should be taught using an inductive approach.
Presentation, Practice and Production (PPP): This is another useful method of promoting the communicative learning technique. The teacher makes the initial communication by making utterances in the target language. The learners repeat the words of the teacher in chorus. The teacher may at times opt to choose specific learners to perform his task depending on their mastery of the language and pronunciation skills. This method is useful in promoting the perfection of pronunciation among the leaners. It is the most common method that promotes correct acquisition of extra-linguistic patterns such as intonation and stress. The involvement of the students in the lesson keeps them interested and makes it easy for them to concentrate during the class. This technique may involve the use of chants that help improve the memorization process of concepts learned in the class. The students are supposed to reproduce the language concepts they learn by completing different oral and written assignments in the class.
Total Physical Response: One of the surest ways to increase to know a language is by expressing the understanding of meanings of different words. The aim of this method is to ensure that the learners understand the meaning of different utterances in the target language. The total physical response is an approach that tests the ability of the learner to respond appropriately to various utterances in the target language. This method entails excises in which the students are not allowed to speak but instead act as instructed by the tutor. The use of this method keeps the learners entertained as they respond to various instructions given to them by their teacher. This exercise combines the learning of information with kinesthetic exercises that excites the learners.
Communicative language teaching is a theory that has most of its concepts based Michael Holladays theory of language as a functional instrument. Language has two major functions in a society, namely the instrumental function, which is he use of language to get things, and representational function, which is the use of language to communicate information. Communicative language teaching is based on five major principles. These principles are,
The learners of a language will have learn a language for communication purposes. This principle emphasizes on the need to ensure that the leaners have the ability to use the target language in different communicative discourses. This move will help increase the usability of a language among the learners.
The second principle that guides this approach states that the goal of every lesson would be to equip the learner with communication skills that are genuine and authentic. This principle means that all classroom activities should be aimed at promoting the ability to use the target language accurately.
The third principle states that the goal of the learning process should be attaining fluency in the target language. Fluency in this case means that the earner can understand and use the target language in all his communication utterances.
The other principle that guides this approach states that the communication is a cumulative product of different language skills. This principle guides the use of different skills to attain other language skills such as intonation and stress. The use of such skills in communication helps improve the fluency in a language.
Language involves creative construction and trial and error is the most appropriate method of learning the language. Errors are a part of learning and should not be discourages as the learners learn. The teacher should encourage the use of the target language despite their being errors in the speech and language skills.
Communicative teaching of language with Music
When implementing this approach of teaching, the learning process should be based on tasks. The task should be divided into three parts. The pre-task is the initial task in which the teacher should introduce the concept being learned and explain the ways in which the tasks should be implemented. The teacher should teach the vocabulary that will be used in the task. The second step of this process would be to perform task with the students to help them understand it. This stage enables the learners to understand what is required of them and the process of implementing the task. It gives the learners knowledge of what to expect. The last step will involve letting the learners perform the kind of task but in a different way.
Strategies of using music in teaching vocabulary
Music is one of the most appealing modes of verbal communication to young learners. Learners have easy time remembering music items than they have for theory. Incorporating music in the learning process can help in developing the learners ability to understand and use certain vocabularies effectively. The process of implementing this technique should be sequential and cooperative to improve the systematic development of the learners vocabulary. This strategy takes place in three definite steps that enable the learner to learn vocabularies.
The initial step of this process involves the introduction of the lesson to the learner. To introduce the lesson effectively, the teacher need to state the vocabularies that are to be learned in the lesson. The teacher should then introduce the song to the students creating emphasis on the vocabularies that are to be learned. The song should give the use of the vocabulary to help the learner understand the meaning and the use of that vocabulary. The students should have written copies of the song to help them acquire the learning skills as they listen and sing along to the song.
In the second phase of using music in teaching vocabularies, the teacher should give sample music to the learners without a written form. The learners should identify the vocabularies in the song and the meaning of such vocabularies. In groups the learners can identify the vocabularies and adopt to them easily.
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