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The Communicative Approach Of Learning English

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All people want to know English well. But if you are not a native speaker, so you should chose the approach of learning. And then start your studying. It is very important stage of learning. Our Team of Profession editors and proofreaders will tell you about one of the best approaches of training English language. "Innovative approach! English classes by communicative technique" — advertising of various language online schools and courses shines with such headings.

Some of them present it as sensational new approach. Pupils of many schools often ask a question: Whether the communicative technique of training English spoken language is so effective and whether it will suit me?" We have decided to tell about this approach, proceeding from our own experience.

The main objective of a communicative technique is to help the pupil to get rid of a notorious language barrier.

About 70% of class by a communicative technique is devoted to speaking practice on various themes. It would be wrong to consider that communicative approach is only a talk in English. Paraphrasing the well-known expression, the person should have everything in a fine light: both spoken and written language, and vocabulary, and grammar, and skills of listening comprehension and reading. But whether it is possible to embrace all these areas at once? Of course it is possible, communicative approach is created for that.

History of emergence of a communicative technique

Let's begin with introducing the fact that a communicative technique or communicative approach in studying of English language is not so new technique: it has appeared approximately in the sixties of the last century. In that time all students learning English have begun to complain that they "understand, but can't speak in English". Adherents of communicative approach have entered on the way of fight against this nonsense. Initially communicative technique assumed a group lessons with the native speaker. Training was conducted with the first lesson in English. Later approach had changed, and now it is used both in groups, and in individual lessons.

The main principles of communicative approach

As well as any other approach of studying the foreign language, communicative approach was transformed eventually, however its fundamental principles haven't changed. We will list them, and you will understand the features of this technique and why it remains the most popular approach of studying English language for many years. Read more about communicative approach on the site of British Council.

The basic principles of a communicative technique in training English:

1) The pupil begins to speak English from the first lesson. Even those who learn language from scratch, at the first lesson learn from 10 to 20 useful phrases. It allows to get used quickly to pronouncing of the speech, prevents emergence or saves from a language barrier.

2) "Accuracy and Fluency" — the correct and fluent speech. Learning language by this technique, you will not need to choose: to speak fluently or to speak correctly. The speech will be fluent and correct at the same time.

3) When learning only modern authentic text-books should be used. Carefully reworked English-language textbooks contain fascinating and, the most important, practical material which you can use in your future life, in communication with native speakers and so on.

4) The teacher passes three stages of training with the pupils: engagement, study and activation. At engagement stage the teacher involves the pupil in training process: initiates a fascinating discussion, suggests discussing the picture, etc. At a studying stage the teacher explains to the student a grammatical subject and usage of new words and expressions. In other words, the teacher and the student work on expansion of a lexicon and master grammar. At a stage of activation of knowledge the pupil carries out various exercises for fixing a new grammar and words. It can be continuation of discussion of the studied subject, but already with the use of the gained knowledge.

Who will suit a communicative technique of training English Language?

We have come up to the main question: for whom it will be useful to be engaged in a communicative technique of training English language. Let's find out what objectives the students, who study English thanks to this technique, can achieve. Communicative approach will suit those who:

  1. Wants to speak competently (accuracy)

Ability to tell competently — here is the main skill which the communicative technique tries to improve. Students are learned not only to speak on different subjects, but also to fallow correctness of the speech at the same time. It is not a secret that the language barrier often develops from the fact that the person is afraid to make a mistake in a conversation. And communicative approach successfully struggles with this fear: about 70% of time of a lesson is devoted to development of speaking skills. Communicative approach helps to remove both directly language and psychological barrier: your fear to talk in English disappears.

2. Wants to speak fluently (fluency)

The more and more often you speak English, the quicker you learn to formulate your own thoughts. And on the lessons with the use of a communicative technique you will talk the most part of a classroom hour. The teacher builds dialogue with you so that you are interested in answering his questions, and you could use knowledge gained by you. You are taught the coherent speech, various colloquial phrases and a cliché which subsequently allow you to speak fluently: you just remember the correct turn of speech and build a chain of phrases.

3. Wants to learn not only to hear, but also to understand the English speech

During the conversation with the teacher you will have an opportunity to listen how the natural coherent speech sounds, you will get used to pronouncing of English, it will become gradually easier to understand the speech aurally. Moreover, during the lessons you will listen and work on small audio and video records together with the teacher. Usually such material is used as a basis for a discussion.

4. Wants to study grammar and new words for communication, but not for the sake of appearance.

If you still are afraid of "a terrible animal — grammar", then it is time to dispel this fear. Of course grammar is immensely important thing. Ignorance of grammar can even ruin your life! The communicative technique assumes very correct and simple principle of studying of grammatical constructions: nobody crams the theory. Teachers explain you this or that rule, and you begin to use it in practice. There is the same situation with new words: any cramming, only repeated practice. Remember how children study their native language: they at first speak, and in the course of communication adults explain them how it is correct to speak.

Communicative approach is applied approximately the same way: you discuss a subject interesting to you and learn to apply a turn of the speech, which is new for you, or lexicon in the course of the conversation. For example, the teacher explains you the second type of conditional sentences and suggests to talk about dreams: after 5-10 sentences you "will feel" this turn of the speech and will understand the basic principles of its use. For example:

If I had a million dollars, I would buy a BMW.

If I had a dog, I would walk with it every day!

If I had a girlfriend, I would present her a ring for her Birthday.

In other words the grammar and lexicon actually aren't the main object of studying, and they are used as auxiliary material and students study as grammar as vocabulary automatically.

6. Wants to learn to read modern texts in English

The book in the original and the text filtered by the translator are different things. Many fans of literature say that style of the author, the mood and character of heroes are better visible in the original text. Therefore if you have a desire to enjoy works of the favorite author, we advise you to learn English by a communicative technique. When training, you will be offered only authentic texts written in the modern language. Therefore it will be easy to read books. Because lexicon and various turns of the speech will be known to you.

Moreover, from educational texts you will gather important speech clichés which you will use both in communication, and in written English language. It is as plain as the day that the communicative technique also helps to learn to write competently and beautifully.

7. Wants to improve a pronunciation

Remember how children learn to say the letter "r". Parents suggest the child to repeat it many times, to say various tongue twisters, to use words where this letter is as often as possible.

In other words, the more often you use this letter, the quicker you will learn to utter it. The correct English pronunciation is similarly developed. On the lesson you will speak much and gradually you and your classmates will begin to pronounce sounds more and more precisely

8. Doesn't want to sleep at the lessons

On the classes conducted by a communicative technique, you will not be able to fall asleep. You even will not want to! There are any boring school subjects. They remained in the past. Modern textbooks offer the most various subjects which will PRECISELY be useful to you at a conversation and will be interesting. And usage of various additional materials will help to diversify the lessons even more and to strengthen your knowledge.

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