lunes, 18 de abril de 2011

Is Communicative methodology a failure?

Some days ago I had an interesting exchange of points of view with a couple of friends/colleagues on the pertinence and effectiveness of CLT (on Facebook). It was not surprising to see that opinions are divided. I see CLT as a failure. Any methodology that has all possible resources to work and does not deliver fails; and that is happening to CLT. We now have technology our teachers and trainers never even dreamed of in their good old days. My language student classmates and I never had a PC or a DVD or CD ROM or Internet or speech recognition software or video or smart boards or whatever they have invented, and still we mastered the language and were ready for a Michigan in one third of the time students are now (starting from scratch, mind you). Today, completing a language course at any of the most respected institutes takes three times longer; mastering the language at an acceptable FCE/ Michigan level takes longer, not just longer, way longer. Why is that? Aren´t new methods supposed to ease our way towards success? Why do our students have to devote more time to trying to speak a foreign language when there are technologies that should make it faster and more effective? In a society where speaking a foreign language is a must, how come methods do not help people to do so? Why are students still saying "I have 20 years old" and the like after two years of studies (deja vu?)?
Scott Thurnbury has an answer (however, I don´t see eye to eye with his preference towards a fluency=>accuracy scheme, that is exactly the reason why CLT fails, fluency and accurancy live together, not apart). It is the word of a respected scholar and researcher, and it derves to be heard (or read). The article where he explains his point of view is HERE. Have a look and make comments if you feel like it.

Cesar Klauer

1 comentario:

Gema Bercedo dijo...

I think that an authentic CLT must be task-based and the teacher must be a facilitator.
Thank you for yourexplanations