jueves, 11 de septiembre de 2008

Has Communicative Language Teaching proved to be what we need?

This is a question that has been revolving in my head for a long long time. My personal view is that CLT has not solved the main problems: speed and efficiency in learning/ acquiring a second language. In fact, language courses everywhere have increased the time you have to invest to learn well. Just take a look at the programmes offered at the most prestigious institutes. I remember that when I studied at the ICPNA, the basic course was 12 months long, and we could speak English with minor mistakes. Three more months on the PGs and we were ready for their Teachers´ Courses, which lasted, again, 12 months. In other words, in 27 months, that is two years and three months, most of us were ready to pass the Michigan test. Is it the same these days? Take into account that we now have Internet, DVDs, PC labs with arrow-head software packages, cable television, textbooks with CD ROMs, companion websites, audio CDs, etc. We had nothing of the sort. Imagine that when we went to see a film on the 6th floor of the Lima branch, it was a special event, the teacher told us one week in advance so that we would do anything to be present at all costs. Of course, there are those that promise a fast –and miraculous– learning of the language with little effort: classes once or twice a week, music-what-you-call-it, conversation clubs, and the like, but still fail to deliver.

In short, CLT may not be what it seemed.

1 comentario:

Edward Cumpa dijo...

Dear César
I agree with you, those times were different or the students were different, more responsible, they had a real compromise with their learning despite of having less facilities. I think this is a mayor problem which root is the family relationship; just few parents show interest in their children's formation, lots of children do not receive help, control or supervision from their parents. Now, talking about the advance of the media, there are advantages but also disadvantages, for example if children are not monitored, supervised or controlled, they may make a bad use of this, and media becomes a distractor, a bad influence for what we want, therefore teachers need to make efforts to change this situation but we also need parents' cooperation to get the change we need; perhaps in near future, those students change their mind, change their attitudes and do their best in order to get their goals.
Edward Cumpa