What is the Communicative Approach?

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1980s - Now

These days, teachers most use the communicative approach for language learning. Teachers know students have all kinds of reasons for studying English! People want good grammar/pronunciation and some don’t care, Business English for the office or on the phone with customers, TOEFL/IELTS or a cookie class…. Communication is the most important thing.

Flashcards: Almost all students use flashcards or apps like Anki.

Sequencing Activities: In English (and probably all languages) the way you explain things is very important.

GOOD:
I like bananas. Let me tell you why.
I am a monkey, so I ate bananas all my life.
They are also very healthy and they are free.

BAD:
They are also very healthy and they are free.
I am a monkey, so I ate bananas all my life.
I like bananas. Let me tell you why.

Notice in the first sentence, there is a main idea, “I like bananas”, then 2 reasons why the writer likes bananas. In the second example, “They are also very healthy and they are free.” is hard to understand because you don’t know what the writer is talking about.

Really, teachers use any and every study technique they can to build the right communication skills, fast. The big problem though, is that language teachers just don’t have enough time with students. A 1-on-1 class with a native speaker usually costs $15-$150 per hour. So students usually only do one hour of class a week. Teachers in a college might have 100 students. They just don’t have the time to come together. That’s why it’s important to know your goals and be your own teacher!

Now Remember, in this article we talk about 150+ years of language learning history, research and science! There is a lot more to learn. So, you could learn about games, study techniques, and language learning science for weeks, months, or years. But if you want to learn THE BEST study exercises all in one place… Read Fluent Forever.

Fluent Forever

This is THE BOOK you need to read if you want to learn a language FAST. This won’t teach you a new language. It will teach you more about the science and techniques of language learning. Also, the writer is an Engineer and an Opera singer who learned 6 languages to fluency. Now he has an English company. He is very smart and funny, you will enjoy reading the book. However, the English book will be too difficult for many non-native speakers, so you need to read this in your native language.

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