The past decade in the study and teaching of language - foreign Ianguages (FLI. English as a second language (ESLI. and English as a foreign language (EFL) - has seen a shift away from perceiving language as 'code' (a linear sequence of structural elements) to perceiving language as the performance of communicative acts within social contexts. Up to the early 1970s language teaching was seen as a matter of exposing students to sequentially·graded grammatical structures (for example, the pres~nt continuous verb form, I am walking might l;Ie taught before the past form I walked) and invented language forms divorced from normal contexts (for example, Teacher: "Where is the book?" Response: "The book is on the desk.") with the intention of getting the student to internalise the language code. The ultimate hope was that the student would apply the code in ommunicating in actual situations.
This article presents some of the areas involved in the 'communicative' approach to English and language teaching and is directed to teachers and teacher trainers who are interested in FL,ESL and EFL methodology. Since such an overview can at best only be brief, a representative list of texts on the communicative approach to language teaching will be found in the Reference section.
Williams, R. T.
The Communicative Approach to Language Teaching: Some Important Aspects.
Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 7(2).