Applying Communicative Language Teaching into Listening and Speaking in Junior Middle Schools

2019-11-07 04:07:59 校园英语·中旬 2019年10期

王硕 王晓笛



【Abstract】In our country, due to the influence of traditional teaching, students oral communicative ability has not received enough attention, so most students English is dumb English. The communicative approach is to cultivate students verbal communication skills, to use language in real life, and to accomplish certain specific functions. This article mainly focuses on the definition, characteristics, and research of the communicative method, combines Chinese characteristics of junior middle school students, and analyzes the strategies of the communicative approach in improving oral English for junior middle school students. This paper applies questionnaires in the research. It takes 100 students from the second year in the county of Huaxian as the research subjects. It mainly explores:1. the application of the communicative approach in English listening and speaking in junior middle schools; 2. some effective strategies in applying CLT. The research results show that real materials must be incorporated into the teaching process to stimulate students interest in learning English and improve students oral communicative skills.

【Key words】communicative language teaching (CLT); junior middle school; communicative competence


1. Introduction

As a cross-cultural communicative tool, English bears considerable importance in todays world. China, as the largest developing country, is very crucial to apply English in all aspects. However, because of the influence of exam-oriented and teacher-centered environment, teachers, students even parents only seek for high scores. Therefore most of teachers choose the cramming teaching. In the 1960s and 1970s, Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) method has formed gradually. Linguists put forward that the final goal of language learning is to cultivate learners communicative competence. CLT, with a strong plasticity, motivates students to interact with each other, improving students oral English.

2. The Background and Theatrical theory of CLT

2.1 The Definition and Characteristics of CLT

Communicative Language Teaching is an approach to language teaching that emphasizes interaction as both the means and the ultimate goal of study (Richard 2008). In communicative approach, the teaching purpose is to cultivate the communicative competence, emphasizing students interaction. The basic teaching content is determined by the specific needs of the students. CLT adopts functional syllabus to pursue natural, authentic language and is tolerant of students errors. CLT also pays attention to the structure and function of language, so it does not exclude grammar teaching.

2.2 Hymes Communicative Competence Theory

Chomskys concept of “language ability” has been recognized by many linguists. However, there are also many objections in the field of linguistics. The most representative figure is Hymes. He proposed the concept of “communicative competence”, pointing out that communicative competence involves both language ability and language use. His theory of communicative competence reflects the social view of language and becomes the fundamental basis of communicative approach.

3. Research Design

3.1 Research Problems

This study focuses on the following questions: 1.What problems exist in applying of CLT? 2. What effective strategies can be adopted in applying CLT?

3.2 Research Subjects

This study selected students from Huaxian Yingmin Junior Middle School as the research subjects. In the eighth grade, three classes were selected as subjects of the questionnaire with a total of 100 students, including 56 boys and 44 girls, with an average age of 14.

3.3 Data Collection

The questionnaire was handed out face to face and was collected on the spot. In this survey, 100 questionnaires were sent to the students of Yingmin Middle School in Huaxian, all were returned with the help of teacher.

4. Analysis and Application

4.1 Students Lack of Enthusiasm for English

Data in the first part expose that 80 percent of the students were unable to complete the English homework on time or independently. These figures show that students lack initiative and enthusiasm in English listening and speaking. Listening and speaking exercises have not attracted students enough attention. Although teachers have assigned some practices in class, many students can not finish them on time, let alone they take a certain time to do listening and speaking training after class.

4.2 Students Inflexibility in Using Language

Data in the second part prove that 63 percent of the students focus on the correctness of grammar in communication, and only 9 percent of the students focus on the effective interaction. These figures show that most students pay too much attention to the language form while ignoring the communicative function of the language; it also reflects students lack of awareness to use flexibly the language they have learned in real life. Because of the dominant grammar translation method in English classroom teaching, it is unavoidable for students to concentrate their attention on grammar in communication. This causes obstacles to authentic communication.

4.3 Students Improper Self-evaluation

When asked about the students feeling of speaking English, 38 percent of the students felt very shy. About 32 percent of the students felt embarrassed. Only 4 percent of them would be very confident. These figures not only illustrate students lack of confidence and interest in spoken English. It is impossible for them to find a sense of achievement in oral English. In the long run, they will lose the initiative and self-confidence in speaking English.

4.4 Application of CLT


Role-play is an activity students love, because the content of the scenario dialogue in the new target teaching materials is based on life and is suitable for role performance. In order to make the entire performance harmonious, it is necessary to determine the roles assigned to the students according to their language level, imagination, performance ability, and personality, which is more conducive to students deeper understanding of the content. In addition, the consolidation of sentence patterns and grammar can also be accomplished through role playing. (劉絮 2011)

(2)Discussion Activities

This is a good way to improve students oral English, involving two or more students. A topic is proposed by the teacher, and conclusions are reached through discussions or debates. Then the exchanges between the groups are conducted. The topics should be as easy as possible as possible so that students can debate with others according to their own vocabulary. In this process, teachers are required to give students some vocabulary guidance.

(3)Story Completion

This kind of activity is to divide the text into two or several parts. Each student is required to look only at some of them and asked to complete the whole story by asking questions from other students in the group. Texts in the textbooks can be used for this form of verbal communication. For example, when the author explains Unit 7 “Do you like bananas”, two different page diagrams are attached to the text. Two students are asked to group each one, and they look at different page numbers and ask questions to each other.

5. Conclusion

The communicative approach is an effective English teaching method. It focuses on the development of students practical ability to use language. The focus is on cultivating students verbal communication skills. The process of teaching itself is a process of communication. Language learning is for better communication. No method in English teaching is the only right one. Different forms achieve different goals.


[1]Canal, M. & Swain, M.. Theoretical Bases of Communicative Approaches to Second Language Teaching and Testing[J]. Applied Linguistics,1,1980.

[2]Hymes, D.. On Communicative Competence[J]. In Pride, J. B. and Holmes, J.(eds.) Sociolinguistics[J]. Harmondsworth: Penguin,1972.

[3]Rechards, J. C. Longman Dictionary of Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics[M]. Beijing: Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press,2012.