The use of communicative approaches in teaching English in elementary school

language activities stir a class. In a positive sense stir means that activities wake them up, stimulate them. In a

The use of communicative approaches in teaching English in elementary school

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Міністерство освіти і науки України

Львівський національний університет ім. І.Франка













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Застосування комунікативних підходів у навчанні англійської мови у початковій школі

Tell me and I forget, show me andremember, involve me and Ill learn.

main purpose of learning a foreign language is to enable our students to communicate in it. This is the process of arriving at the point of understanding a language, and this is where the communicative approach to language teaching and learning comes to the forefront. In recent years the communicative approach has become ever more popular and overall effective ways to facilitate second language learning.

Communicative Approach

origins of Communicative Language Teaching are to be found in the changes in the British language teaching tradition dating from the late 1960s. The writings of D. Wilkins, H. Widdowson, C. Candlin, C. Brumfit, K. Johnson and other British applied linguists on the theoretical basics for a communicative or functional approach to language teaching; the rapid application of these ideas by textbook writers; the equally rapid acceptance of these new principles by British Language teaching specialists, curriculum development centers, and even governments gave prominence nationally and internationally to what came to be referred to as the Communicative Approach.essential characteristics of the approach are:

1.Most of the class time is pent on speaking activities. If the teacher presents a text orally or tells his learners to read it, this receptive task is usually used only as a preparation for immediately introducing a speaking activity related to the text.

2.Only the target language is used in class.

.Most of the speaking activities practiced in class involve spontaneous exchange in unplanned discourse.

.The focus of all classroom is on exchange of information and not on the language and its forms. Learners incorrect utterances are also accepted by the teacher as long as it is relatively clear what they mean.

.There are no grammar explanations and exercises, no drills of any kind, no grammar tests. Grammar is supposed to be acquired in a non-deliberative way, as a by-product of participation in various communicative activities in class. Only when there is a complete block of communication caused by the wrong use of a language form, can the form itself become an object of the learners conscious attention and the teacher may try to explain in some way the meaning of this form.

.Learners errors, particularly grammatical ones, are not corrected by the teacher in any direct way. They are either completely ignored or corrected in an oblique manner.

.The teacher is not the central figure in he classroom and the only provider of feedback. Classroom activities are often carried in small groups or pair, with the teacher walking around, listening in and providing help when the New Conception of Education the main aim of teaching foreign language is forming in learners communicative competence, which means mastering language as intercultural communicative means, developing skills of using foreign language as a tool in cooperation of cultures of modern world. with young language learners in the primary classroom can be both a rewarding and a demanding experience. To make the most of that experience for both learners and teachers we need to be very clear what is we are trying to do. We must try to identify what learning language in school demands from young children and what it can offer them. We should also acknowledge what the implications of those demands and needs are for the teachers.children do not come to the language classroom empty-handed. They bring with them an already well-established set of instincts, skills and characteristics which will help them to learn another language. We need to identify those and make the most of them. For example, children:

-are already very good at interpreting meaning without necessarily understanding the individual words;

-already have great skill in using limited language creatively;

frequently learn indirectly rather than directly;

take great pleasure in finding and creating fun in what they do;

have a ready imagination;

above all take great delight in talking!

s ability to grasp meaning

young children are able to understand what is being said to them even before they understand the individual words. Intonation, gesture, facial expressions, actions and circumstances all help to tell them the unknown words and phrases probably mean. By understanding the message in this way they start to understand the language. In later life we all maintain this first source of understanding alongside our knowledge of the language itself. It remains a fundamental part of human communication.come to primary school with this ability already highly developed. They continue to use it in all their schoolwork. For example, even thought their mother tongue skills are already well established, they may well find it difficult to follow purely verbal instructions and information. When this happens, or sometimes simply out of laziness or inattention, children will tend to rely on their ability to read the general message. We can see this happening most clearly when they get it wrong. More importantly, particularly in terms of language development, their message-interpreting skill is part of the way they learn new words, concepts and expressions in their mother tongue as their language expands to meet the new challenges of school.when children encounter a new language at school, they can on the same skill to help them interpret the new sounds, new words and new structures. We want to support and develop these skills. We can do this by making sure we make full use of gesture, intonation, demonstration, actions and facial expressions to convey meaning parallel to what we are saying. We must also try not to undermine the childrens willingness to use the skill.

s creative use of limited language resources

the early stages of their mother tongue development children excel at making a little language go a long way. They are creative with grammatical forms. They are also creative with concepts. Children also create words by analogy, or they even invent completely new words which then come into the family vocabulary. This phenomenon is fundamental language development. In order to make the most of the creative language skill the children bring with them, we therefore have to provide them occasions when:

-the urge to communicate makes them find some way of expressing themselves;

-the language demanded by the activity is unpredictable and isnt just asking the children to repeat set phrases, but it encouraging them to construct language actively for why games are so useful and so important. It is not just because they are fun. It is partly because the fun element creates a desire to communicate and partly because games can create unpredictability.we acknowledge the need for unpredictability, it follows that in addition to occasions when the children practice learnt dialogue or other specific language items under close teacher guidance, there will also need to be occasions when we set up an activity and then leave the children to get on with it.

s capacity for indirect learning

when teachers are controlling an activity fairly closely, children sometimes seem to notice something out of the corner of their eye and to remember it better than they were actually supposed to be learning. At times this can be a frustrating experience for the teacher but this capacity too can be turned to our advantage in the language classroom. It is part of the rather complex phenomenon of indirect learning.activities which involve children in guessing what phrase or word someone has thought of are very good examples of this phenomenon in action. As far as the children are concerned, they are not trying to learn phrases: they are concentrating on trying to guess right. However, by the time they have finished the repeated guessing, they will have confirmed words and structures they only half knew at the beginning. They will have got the phrases firmly into their minds. They will probably even have adjusted their pronunciation. Guessing is actually a very powerful way of learning phrases and structures, but it is indirect because the mind is engaged with the task and is not focusing on the language.primary school level the children capacity for conscious leaning of forms and grammatical patterns is still relatively undeveloped. In contrast, all children, whether they prefer to sort things out or muddle through, bring with them an enormous instinct for indirect learning. If we are to make the most of that asset we need to build on it quite deliberately and very fully.

s instinct for play and fun

have an enormous capacity for finding and making fun. Sometimes, it has to be said, they choose the most inconvenient moments to indulge it! They bring a spark of individuality and of drama to much that they do. When engaged in guessing activities children nearly always inject their own element of drama into their hiding of the prompt-cards and their reactions to the guesses of their classmates. They shuffle their cards ostentatiously under the table so that the others cant see. They may utter an increasingly triumphant or smug No! as the others fail to guess. They stare hard at the rest of the class, they frown or they glower. Here their personalities emerge, woven into the language use. In this way, they make the language their own. That

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