Teaching of Poetry by Communicative Language Teaching (CLT)

Akademische Arbeit, 2019

45 Seiten, Note: 3


Table of Contents

CHAPTER 1- Introduction:

CHAPTER 2- Literature Review

CHAPTER 3- Research Design

CHAPTER -4 Findings

CHAPTER – 5: Data Analysis:

CHAPTER-6 Teaching a Poem by CLT

CHAPTER-7 Conclusion:


CHAPTER 1- Introduction:

1.1 Poetry is a form Art

Poetry is an art form in which human language is used for its aesthetic qualities in addition to, or instead of, its notional and semantic content. It consists largely of oral or literary works in which language is used in a manner that is felt by its user and audience to differ from ordinary prose.

It may use condensed or compressed form to convey emotion or ideas to the readers or listener's mind or ear; it may also use devices such as assonance and repetition to achieve musical or incantatory effects. Poems frequently rely for their effect on imagery, word association, and the musical qualities of the language used. The interactive layering of all these effects to generate meaning is what marks poetry.

Because of its nature of emphasizing linguistic form rather than using language purely for its content, poetry is notoriously difficult to translate from one language into another: a possible exception to this might be the Hebrew Psalms, where the beauty is found more in the balance of ideas than in specific vocabulary. In most poetry, it is the connotations and the "baggage" that words carry (the weight of words) that are most important. These shades and nuances of meaning can be difficult to interpret and can cause different readers to "hear" a particular piece of poetry differently. While there are reasonable interpretations, there can never be a definitive interpretation.

1.2 Nature of poetry

Poetry can be differentiated most of the time from prose, which is language meant to convey meaning in a more expansive and less condensed way, frequently using more complete logical or narrative structures than poetry does. This does not necessarily imply that poetry is illogical, but rather that poetry is often created from the need to escape the logical, as well as expressing feelings and other expressions in a tight, condensed manner. English Romantic poet John Keats termed this escape from logic Negative Capability. A further complication is that prose poetry combines the characteristics of poetry with the superficial appearance of prose, such as in Robert Frost's poem, "Home Burial." Other forms include narrative poetry and dramatic poetry, both of which are used to tell stories and so resemble novels and plays. However, both these forms of poetry use the specific features of verse composition to make these stories more memorable or to enhance them in some way.

In present study researcher has chosen the following piece of poetry to teach by communicative approach:

Poem: You are old, Father William by Lewis Carroll

“You are old Father the William” young man said,
"And your hair has become very white;
And yet you incessantly stand on your head—
Do you think, at your age, it is right?"

1.3 History of Teaching Methods and Communicative Approach

In the history of language teaching, certain methods such as Audio-lingual, Grammar Translation, Suggestopedia and Total Physical Response have come into view. All these methods have been widely and extensively discussed and evaluated by researchers and scholars. Each of them has their own focus, weak points as well as strong points and they are based on a theory. In other words, methods are developed based on theories such as behaviourism, structuralism, constructivism and universal grammar. Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) is no exception with this regard (Larson – Freeman, 1986; Ellis, 1994). Now a day, the CLT method, which is originated in Britain, is widely used in English as Second Language (ESL) classrooms around the world. According to Barnaby and Sun (1989) and Ellis (1996), CLT is recognized as powerful theoretical model in ELT by many linguists and language teachers as a useful approach to language teaching. In this short introduction of CLT, researcher try to define Communicative Language Teaching approach, its theoretical background and some important characteristics. Researcher will also explain main advantages and disadvantages of CLT implementation.

1.4 Definition of Communicative Language Teaching:

Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) is an approach to teaching language which is defined many writers (Cannale, 1983; Cook, 1991; Littlewood, 1981; O’Malley and Chamot, 1990; Richards and Rodgers 2001; Rivers, 1987). According to Richards, et al. in the Dictionary of Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics defined CLT as “an approach to foreign or second language teaching which emphasizes that the goal of International Academic and Industrial language learning is communicative competence” (1992: 65). Other authors in the field have defined and characterized CLT in various ways (Howatt, 1984; Littlewood, 1981; Savignon, 1991; Scarcella and Oxford, 1992). Littlewood explains that “one of the most characteristic features of communicative language teaching is that it pays systematic attention to functional as well as structural aspects of language, combining these into a more fully communicative view” (1981:1).

In general, CLT advocates go beyond teaching grammatical rules of the target language, and purpose that, by using the target language in a meaningful way, learners will develop communicative competence. The communicative approach is concerned with the unique individual needs of each learner. By making the language relevant to the world rather than the classroom, learners can acquire the desired skills rapidly and agreeably.

1.5 The origin of Communicative Language Teaching:

Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) has its roots in England, which is a primarily English as a Second Language (ESL) environment. In the early 1960s concepts about second language teaching were changing, and the theoretical assumptions behind them were also being rethought. It was during this time of re-evaluation that CLT was born. Galloway says that the communicative Approach could be said to be the product of educators and linguists who had grown dissatisfied with the Audio-lingual and Grammar Translation methods of foreign language instruction. Richards and Rodgers (1986), on the other hand, claim that the origins of communicative language teaching are to be found in the changes of situational language teaching approaches, which influenced the British language teaching tradition till the late 1960s. Meanwhile, Savignon (1991) asserts that the emergence of CLT can be traced to concurrent developments on both sides of the Atlantic, i.e. in Europe and the United States.

Educators and linguistics such as Candlin (1981) and Widdowson (1978) saw the need to focus in language teaching on communicative proficiency rather than on mere mastery of structures. They felt that students were not learning enough realistic, whole language in those methods, i.e., Situational Language Teaching, Audio-lingual or Grammar Translation method (Richards and Rodgers 1986; Savignon 1987, 1991; Galloway 1993). Students did not know how to communicate in the cultures of the language studies.

1.6 Some major features of Communicative Language Teaching:

The communicative approach to language teaching is, relatively, a newly adapted approach in the area of foreign / second language teaching. Communicative Language Teaching is a “hybrid approach to language teaching, essentially ‘progressive’ rather than ‘traditional’…” (Wright, 2000). CLT can be seen to derive from a multidisciplinary perspective that includes, at least, linguistics, psychology, philosophy, sociology and educational research (Savignon, 1991). It is generally accepted that proponents of CLT see it as an approach, not a method (Richards and Rodgers 1986; Savignon 1991; Brown 1994). For Brown, for instance, “Communicative Language Teaching is a unified but broadly – based theoretical position about the nature of language and language learning and teaching” (1994: 244-245).

Although we have different versions and various ways in which CLT is interpreted and applied, educators in the area, Littlewood (1981); Finocchiaro and Brumfit (1983); Brumfit (1984); Widdowson (1978, 1979); Johnson and Morrow (1981); Richards and Rodgers (1986); Larsen-Freeman (1986); Celce-Murcia (1991) and Johnson (1982) put some of the major characteristics of CLT as follows:

(a) It is felt that students need knowledge of the linguistic form, meaning and functions. However, CLT gives primary importance to the use or function of the language and secondary importance to its structure or form (Larsen-Freeman 1986; Johnson 1982). This does not mean that knowledge of grammar is not essential for effective communication, rather systematic treatment of both functions and forms is vital. Stressing on this, Littlewood says “one of the most characteristic features of communicative language teaching is that it pays systematic attention to functional as well as structural aspects of language” (1981: 1). “CLT suggests that grammatical structure might better be subsumed under various functional categories… we pay considerably less attention to the overt presentation and discussion of grammatical rules than we traditionally did” (Brown 1994: 245). Emphasis is also given to meaning (messages they are creating or task them are completing) rather than form (correctness of language and language structure). For Finocchiaro and Brumfit “meaning is paramount” (1983:91) since it helps the learners to manage the message they engage with the interlocutors.

(b)"Fluency and accuracy are seen as complementary principles underlying communicative techniques” (Brown 1994:245). However, at times fluency may have to take on more importance than accuracy because "fluency and acceptable language is the primary goal" (Finocchiaro and Brumfit 1983:93) and accuracy is judged not in the abstract but in contexts. Fluency is emphasized over accuracy in order to keep learners meaningfully engaged in language use. It is important,

However, that fluency should never be encouraged at the expense of clear, unambiguous, direct communication. And much more spontaneity is present in communicative classrooms (Brown, 1994).

(c) Language teaching techniques are designed to engage learners in the pragmatic, authentic, functional use of language for meaningful purposes. Classrooms should provide opportunities for rehearsal of real-life situations and provide opportunity for real communication. Emphasis on creative role plays, simulations, dramas, games, projects, etc., is the major activities which can help the learner provide spontaneity and improvisation, not just repetition and drills. Another characteristic of the classroom process is the use of authentic materials because it is felt desirable to give students the opportunity to develop the strategies for understanding language as it is actually used by native speakers. In the classroom, everything is done with a communicative intent. Information gap, choice and feedback are thought to be truly communicative activities (Johnson and Morrow 1981).

(d) Grammar can still be taught, but less systematically, in traditional ways alongside more innovative approaches. Savignon (2002:7) says "... for the development of communicative ability research findings overwhelmingly support the integration of form-focused exercises with meaning - focused experience". Grammar is important; and learners seem to focus best on grammar when it relates to their communicative needs and experiences. Disregard of grammar will virtually guarantee breakdown in communication (Savignon 1991, 2001; Thompson 1996).

These writers also say there are some misconceptions about CLT that makes difficult for many teachers to see clearly what is happening and to identify the useful innovations that CLT has brought. One of the persistent misconceptions is that CLT means not teaching grammar although “the exclusion of explicit attention to grammar was never necessary part of CLT" (Thompson 1996:10). In CLT involvement in communicative event is seen as central to language development, and this involvement necessarily requires attention to form (structure).

(e) Communicative approach is not limited to oral skills. Reading and writing skills need to be developed to promote pupils' confidence in all four skills areas. Students work on all four skills from the beginning, i.e., a given activity might involve reading, speaking, listening, and perhaps also writing (Celce-Murcia 1991).The idea of emphasizing the oral skills creates uncertainty among teachers. They misconceived CLT as if it were devoted to teaching only speaking. But, "CLT is not exclusively concerned with face to face oral communication" (Savignon 2002:7). The principles of CLT apply equally to reading and writing activities that engage readers and writers in the interpretation, expression, and negotiation of meaning. In other words, it is important to recognize that it is not only the speaker (or writer) who is communicating. Instead, communication through language happens in both the written and spoken medium, and involves at least two people. Thompson (1996) further states that, though there is a complaint that CLT ignores written language, a glance at recent mainstream textbooks shows that reading and writing materials have been given attention too.

Students regularly work in groups or pairs to transfer (and if necessary to negotiate) meaning in situations where one person has information that others lack (Celce-Murcia 1991). More emphasis should be given to active modes of learning such as pair or group work in problem-solving tasks in order to maximize the time allotted to each student for learning to negotiate meaning. Many people assume group/pair work is applicable in all contexts. However, classroom group and/or pair work should not be considered an essential feature used all the time, and may well be inappropriate in some contexts.

Thompson (1996) and Savignon (2002) claim that group and/or pair work are flexible and useful techniques than that suggests, and they are active modes of learning which can help the learners to negotiate meaning and engage in problem- solving activities. The use of pair / group work is a physical signal of some degree of control and choice passing to the learners; but that needs to be complemented by real choice (learners need to be given some degree of control over their learning). Therefore, the use of pair / group work needs to be complemented by real choice for the following reasons: (1) they can provide the learners with a relatively safe opportunity to try out ideas before launching them in public; (2) they can lead to more developed ideas, and therefore greater confidence and more effective communication; (3) they can also provide knowledge and skills which may complement those of their partners which in turn lead to greater success in undertaking tasks (Thompson 1996).

Errors are seen as a natural outcome of the development of the communication skills and are therefore tolerated. Learners trying their best to use the language creatively and spontaneously are bound to make errors. Constant correction is unnecessary and even counter-productive. Correction noted by the teacher should be discreet. Let the students talk and express themselves and the form of the language becomes secondary. If errors of form are tolerated and are seen as a natural outcome of the development of communication skills, students can have limited linguistic knowledge and still be successful communicators (Larsen-Freeman 1986).

Evaluation is carried out in terms of fluency and accuracy. Students who have the most control of the structures and vocabulary are not necessarily the best communicators. A teacher may use formal evaluation i.e., he/she is likely to use a communicative test, which is an integrative and has a real communicative function (e.g., Madsen 1983; Hughes 1989). The students’ native language has no role to play (Larsen Freeman 1986). The target language is used both during communicative activities and for the purpose of classroom management. The students learn from these classroom management exchanges, too, and realize that the target language is a vehicle for communication. Whatever the case may be, "the teacher should be able to use the target language fluently and appropriately"(Celce-Murcia 1991:8). However, for others (e.g., Finocchiaro and Brumfit 1983) judicious use of native language is accepted where feasible. Teachers may provide directions of homework, class work and test directions by using the native language.

The teacher is the facilitator of students' learning, manager of classroom activities, advisor during activities and a 'co-communicator' engaged in the communicative activity along with the students (Littlewood 1981; Breen and Candlin 1980). But he does not always himself interact with students; rather he acts as an independent participant. Other roles assumed for the teacher are needs analyst, counsellor, researcher and learner. Students, on the other hand, are more responsible managers of their own learning. They are expected to interact with other people, either in the flesh, through pair and group work, or in the writings. They are communicators and actively engaged in negotiating meaning in trying to make themselves understood. They learn to communicate by communicating (Larsen-Freeman, 1986). Above all, since the teacher's role is less dominant, the teaching / learning process is student-centered rather than teacher-centered. In other words, it is the learner who plays a great role in a large proportion of the process of learning.

CHAPTER 2- Literature Review

Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) is successful in western context but it is failed to get desire outcomes in ESL context like ours. Though new syllabus and textbook were designed to implement CLT, some key concepts like its principles, teacher-student role, and classroom activities are still out of concern.to teach poetry effectively at primary level is a big challenge. Researcher is discussing the effectiveness of CLT in teaching poetry at primary level. For this purpose she through the light on the following earlier studies which supports or criticize the CLT according to their own approach.

2.1 Characteristics of CLT:

At the level of language theory, Communicative Language Teaching has a rich, if somewhat eclectic, theoretical base. Larsen-Freeman (2000), Brown (2001), Richards (2006) describe more or less similar key principles of CLT. These are as follows:

- Classroom goals are focused on communicative competence. The target language is a vehicle for communication not only the object of study.
- Language techniques are designed to engage learners to use the language for meaningful purposes.
- Fluency may have to take on more importance than accuracy in order to keep the learners engaged in language use. Accuracy can be judged not in abstract but in context.
- Students have to use language productively and receptively as these are needed in authentic communication.
- Students should be given opportunities to be coached on strategies for how to improve their comprehension, their learning style and process.
- The teacher acts as a facilitator in setting up communicative activities and as an advisor or guide during the activities. Students are therefore encouraged to construct meaning through genuine linguistic interaction with others.

2.2 Communicative competence:

Communicative competence helps a learner acquire the ability not only to apply the grammatical rules of a language in order to form grammatically correct sentence with the way of its use. Communicative competence includes:

- Knowledge of grammar and vocabulary of the language.
- Knowledge of how a conversation has to start and stop with different people in different situation.
- Knowing how to use and respond to different types of Speech Acts such as requests, apologies, thanks and invitations.
- Knowing how to use language perfectly. (Richards, Platt, Weber, 1985,p.49)

2.3 Communicative activities:

There are two kinds of communicative activities. They are: pre-communicative activities and communicative activities. Through pre-communicative activities, the teacher isolates specific elements of knowledge or skills which compose communicative ability, and provides the learners with opportunities to practice them separately. The learners exercise some parts of skills rather than practicing the total skills. The learners learn different structures of target language through pre-communicative activities. For example, the learners must produce the correct form of simple past. Then the learners learn to relate structure to communicative function. These activities give importance to not only the structures but also the meanings. After that the learners learn to relate language to specific meanings. Question-and-answer activity based on the classroom situation is a part of situational language teaching.

In communicative activities, the learners have to activate and integrate their pre-communicative knowledge and skills in order to use them for the communication of meaning. Then they practice the total skills of communication. In functional communicative activities, the learners are placed in a situation where they must perform a task by communication as best they can; with whatever resources they have available.


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Teaching of Poetry by Communicative Language Teaching (CLT)
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teaching, poetry, communicative, language
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Saba Shafiq (Autor), 2019, Teaching of Poetry by Communicative Language Teaching (CLT), München, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/507658


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