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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/11470/93

Title: Communicative Language Teaching for Young Learners of English : A Critical Perspective
Authors: Ohashi, Yumi
大橋, 由美
Keywords: Communicative language teaching
Young learners
EFL
Play
Social constructivism
Issue Date: Mar-2015
Publisher: 福岡女学院大学
Abstract: It is generally believed that the goal of English language learning is to develop communication skills, and to accomplish this communicative approaches to language teaching are widely advocated. However, it is not clear whether approaches to communicative language teaching (CLT) used for adult learners are suitable for younger learners of English. Therefore, this paper seeks to critically examine communicative language teaching with the intent to identify appropriate classroom practice for young learners. CLT aims to develop communicative competence by extensive use and practice of the target language in the learning process, frequently in situational contexts. A major criticism of such an approach is that the communicative competence attained can, by the very nature of the classroom, be described as decontextualized and fixed in nature. Furthermore, a social constructivist perspective informs that for truly effective communicative competence to be achieved the learning process needs to incorporate social and cultural aspects of interaction. The social and cultural world of the young learner is a very different one from that of the adolescent and adult learner, a difference with important implications. For children play occupies a pivotal role in the learning process and language development. Consequently, our perceptions of the learning process and what is an appropriate methodology for the young learner may need to be re-examined. Caution is required in the adoption of tasks and activities as notions of communication and principles of CLT such as authenticity and functional use of English may require re-conceptualization for young learners. The paper concludes that in order to build a model of child foreign language communication and appropriate approaches to learning/teaching, it is required to provide descriptions of language use in both the classroom and outside the classroom that reflect the realities of the child’s world and language learning.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/11470/93
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