1. The Communicative Language Teaching (CLT)
The Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) aims at teaching students how to use the learnt language for a range of various purposes and functions and maintain communication despite having limitation in the knowledge of the target language. It is largely based on the communicative competence that every human being possesses to learn any language.
The Communicative Language Teaching is regarded as an approach rather than a method because it represents a philosophy of teaching that is based on communicative language teaching (Richards & Rogers, 1986). Grammatical competence is viewed as an unnecessary element in language teaching.
To illustrate the significance of CLT, Communicative Competence is the backbone of the approach that relies on four main dimensions, namely, “Grammatical Competence” that is similar to what Chomsky proposes in competence, then the “Sociolinguistic Competence” through understanding the social context in which communication takes place. Thirdly, “Discourse Competence” that focuses on the cohesion and the coherence of the message, and finally the “Strategic Competence”.
To a large extent, CLT aims at making the class activities more related to everyday tasks and create a meaningful learning that makes the students build up an independent personality. CLT is still a hard approach to apply in language learning and teaching especially in class where the language is foreign since it will lead to uncontrolled range use of language in class and will demand more focus on the teacher who is supposed to respond to any language problem. Finally, with the help of the new technologies such as chat rooms, YouTube, Skype and so on, Communicative Language Teaching will be the effective and demanded not only in classroom but also in everyday life.
2. The Natural Approach (N.A)
Tracy Terrell, a teacher of Spanish in California, first initiated the elementary basics of the Natural Approach (NA) in 1977. Terrell and Krashen later on published a book entitled The Natural Approach in 1983 in which they established its theoretical principles and in the second section their implementations and the classroom procedures. It is important to mention that the Natural Approach (NA) is different than the Natural Method (NM).
The approach emphasizes the idea of the “input” that considers the external elements and the context from which the learner can receive things. It also grounds for a high motivation that every learner should have for the sake of doing better in the process of learning as well as growing self-confidence and reducing anxiety. The teacher is seen as the source of the input and a reliable source for the learners. It is better to create an interesting and attracting atmosphere in the class. The Natural Approach shares some features and principles with the Direct Method ( a method that we will discuss later) such as there is a more focus on the aural production and on the early speech production. In addition to that, teachers speak in the target language for as much time as possible. In terms of learning grammar, it is seen as unimportant element and could be acquired through the extensive exposure to the language whereas learning vocabulary is fundamental in the natural approach.
Last but not least, it is much better to adopt and adopt the learning and the teaching methods and approaches to suit the personal objectives to avoid boredom and reach proficiency. The natural approach is to implement it in the early stages of learning English since there is a little bank system of knowledge about the target language that learners acquired.
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