Of today’s English language students, most will be so familiar with the methodology known as the Communicative Approach that they are likely either to ignore- or to be totally unaware of- the basic tenet of this method (Grammar –Translation, Direct Method, Audio-Lingual Method, The Silent Way, Suggestopaedia, Community Language Learning Method)
The Communicative Approach was formulated in the 1970s and has been the major channel of English language up to the present day although devoted teachers become aware of some of the worthy benefits of several the fore-running methods.
The usage of the English language
English is regarded as a mere means of communication between us, whether for you and I.
The Communicative Approach depends upon positive, willing interactive communication between the provider (the speaker or writer) and the recipient (the listener or reader). The one cannot take total responsibility for the carriage of the message nor can the other abdicate responsibility for its reception.
To permit this process, which is vital in Contemporary Global Matters and which must now include the matter of English Medium Adult Education, a base of structural and lexical knowledge is required but errors are tolerated as long as the intended message is not compromised. Being able to determine the speaker’s or writer’s intentions is a measure of maturity and competence. However in many situations the audience is ignorant of their role and responsibility in the communication process
With the opening of the world to Global Trading this competence has become a paramount feature and all students aiming towards involvement in this trade should take every opportunity to prepare for the language negotiations embedded in the growing number of different Englishes. The difference between German English and Chinese English is wide, for example, as is that between British English circa 1960 and British English circa 2010.
Unless the target of my lectures is pure, academic English, (but actually it is not; it is pure Marketing), the language is but a vehicle to transmit the study intentions.
Therefore I refute any criticism of my English. My Number One critic is myself. I am relentless in pursuit of knowledge within my chosen profession and in my efficiency of its application
Unfortunately, assessments of competence have come into the arena of the academics and examinations have been devised which go back to testing the measurable elements of grammar and vocabulary, albeit in developed formats such as ‘matching answers to set questions’ . It has to be agreed that the tests look clever and give the appearance of a ‘Worldy Approach’ but to those of us who work to assist professionals in fields of work such as prime industries, commerce, medicine, retail, finance, law, the military, the format and demands of the English university approved testing system leads to a sense of dismay by teachers and frequent derision by mature applicants. It is to this examination system that many students attending English medium college and university courses cling, and they fail to acknowledge the inadequacies of their presumed ‘success’ when it comes to participating in the business of becoming an accountable communicator themselves.
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