Current Views on Second/Foreign Language Teaching Essay

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I. INTRODUCTION In the history of language teaching, many methods and approaches have been used and developed. Among them “Communicative Language Teaching” is now thought as the most influential or must-use one. Geyser (2008), points out that CLT is generally accepted as the most recognized, contemporary approach to language teaching. In fact, CLT is more and more popular and becoming the mainstream in the second language teaching classroom. This paper investigates the development of CLT-why and how it has been widely accepted as an effective way of teaching language in ESL/EFL, the advantages of CLT as well as its disadvantages; besides, this paper will also give some suggestions for teachers to apply CLT effectively in their teaching. II. THE DEVELOPMENT OF COMMUNICATIVE LANGUAGE TEACHING (CLT) 1. TRADITIONAL APPROACHES A. Grammar Translation Method The field of second or world language teaching has undergone many shifts and trends over the last few decades. Numerous methods have come and gone. We have seen the Audio lingual Method, cognitive-based approaches, the Total Physical Response (TPR), the Natural Approach, and many others (for a detailed description of these methods and approaches, see Richards and Rodgers 2001). In addition, the proficiency and standards-based movements have shaped the field with their attempts to define proficiency goals and thus have provided a general sense of direction. Some believe that foreign language instruction has finally come of age (see Harper, Lively, and Williams 1998); others refer to it as the post-method area (Richards and Rodgers 2001). It is also generally believed that there is no one single best method that meets the goals and needs of all learners and programs. What has emerged from this time is a variety of communicative language teaching (CLT) methodologies. Such methodologies encompass eclectic ways

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