Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) is an approach to language teaching that emphasizes the ability to interact und use the language appropriately when communicating outside the classroom. It has become the ultimate learning goal of English language teaching in German secondary schools since the 1970s (cf. Piepho, 1974; Littlewood, 1981; Canale 1983). Curricula and guidelines in all federal states of Germany highlight its prominent status in ELT. Textbooks as well as other commercial teaching materials propose communicative language competence as the ultimate skill of learners. But how is this concept theoretically anchored and what does it mean for an English learner to be communicatively competent?
In the course of this seminar we will first explore the concept of CLT within its linguistic research foundation by before we transfer the idea of ‘communicative competence’ into the English language classroom and discuss ideas on how to build up learners’ communicative competence. In doing so, the idea of an integrated language learning task is explored to create opportunities in the classroom for a meaningful use of the English language. The module exam consists of planning and preparing such a communicative task that you will present in class.
Successful participants (can)
- understand what it means for a learner to communicate successfully
- explain the concept of ‘communicative competence’ within a CLT paradigm
- analyze textbooks and materials with regard to how they teach learners’ communicative skills
- design, present, and assess a communicative task that can be put into practice in an ELT classroom
The course explores the Teaching of English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) in primary school. Teaching at this level requires an approach that corresponds with the particular needs and interests of young learners as well as their learning conditions. We will deal with important priniples of this approach over the course of the semester, discuss appropriate teaching methods and techniques for young learners, deal wich tasks, materials and procedures that constitute the teaching of English in the primary school foreign language classroom. Relevant research findings on early foreign language learning will also be presented and authentic classroom data will be analyzed to understand how interactions between teacher and students evolve.
Students who successfully complete this module (can)
… understand and explain the main principles and methods of primary school foreign language teaching
… know the benefits of teaching English at primary school level and argue in favor of starting to learn a foreign language early on
… know the teaching curriculum and current developments in primary ELT
… analyze and develop a task for young learners of English
… interpret classroom data
The course accompanies Master students on their 12-week internship at a Gemeinschaftsschule or Gymnasium in Schleswig-Holstein. We will deal with selected areas of conducting and assessing English lessons, set different tasks for in-class observations and discuss findings together in class. Authentic recordings of English lessons are analyzed and discussed to develop a professional view on language teaching. In doing so, we will use theoretical knowledge of concepts and principles of ELT as well as our first-hand experience gained during the internship at school.
- plan a competency-based, communicative English lesson following current didactic models and methodological principles
- observe an English lesson with special focus on a core teaching area (e.g. action orientation, error correction, use of L1, etc.) and abstract principles and strategies from these observations that give evidence to a link between theory and practice
- assess action-oriented communicative language teaching on the basis of explicit criteria
The course accompanies Master students on their 12-week internship at a Grundschule in Schleswig-Holstein. We will deal with selected areas of primary English language teaching from a practice-oriented perspective. The goal is to develop a ‘professional vision’ of authentic English lessons using both our first-hand teaching experience gained during the internship as welk as our scientific knowledge of foreign language teaching and learning. Lessons are closely examined in terms of language, interaction and non-verbal behavior using transcripts and video clips from authentic classrooms. These are supposed to enhance an understanding of appropriate teaching and provoke a critical reflection of relevant classroom features, methods, and decisions teachers (have to) make in their daily lesson practice.
- Observe English lessons with a critical view on important features and methods in primary English language teaching.
- Identify and assess teacher and learner behavior in class, making use of primary TEFL concepts and principles.
- Be able to plan a primary school English lesson following a child-oriented, holistic, playful, multisensory and communicative approach
- reflect on one’s personal development as a future teacher of English