Why Bother with Communicative Language Teaching?

Andy Curtis

In 1966 Miller wrote an article, On Defining Communication. However, the question of what constitutes “communication” is still being debated more than 40 years later. In the first part of this workshop we will, then, look at notions of communication in the language classroom. In terms of the development of CLT, David Nunan, in 1987, presented a study that: “demonstrated that it is possible for teachers to foster more communicative language use” (p.136). In the second part of this workshop, we will consider what teachers can do to foster such language use. Thirty years after Miller, in 1996, Geoff Thomson wrote that: “Although communicative language teaching is accepted by many applied linguists and teachers as the most effective approach among those in general use, there are still a number of misconceptions about what it involves” (p.50). In the third part of the workshop, we will identify some of these misconceptions.