Are Communicative Approach and Communicative Language Teaching the same? When does Communictive Approach apply in Asia schools?

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chimeric eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The communicative approach and communicative language teaching are generally synonymous, though I believe other subjects could be taught using the communicative approach. As far as I know, at this time, only foreign languages (usually English) are taught using the communicative approach.

So, communicative language teaching is a style of teaching foreign langugages that uses the communicative approach.

Very simply put, the communicative approach concentrates on meaning rather than structure.

The communicative approach is the preferred style of teaching English in foreign countries at this time. (English teaching is rather faddish and the preferred styles change, at least nominally, from time to time.) The commuinicative approach uses conversation and realia, realism and authentic texts, video and audio rather than "canned" ones or those focusing primarily on grammar structures.

In practice, however, no matter what the school says, the farther East a teacher goes, the more grammar-based (and therefore less communicative) the lessons become. Especially in Asian countries, an English lesson that is not mostly grammar is not really considered a lesson at all.

If you have been hired as an EFL teacher and are trying to figure out what you will be doing in an Asian school, I wouldn't pay much attention to what the school says. Try to go to places like Dave's ESL cafe* and check out the message boards for teachers in the country, city (and if you're very lucky) the school that you're considering taking a contract with.

At the end of the day, though, remember that a contract signed with a foreign school is only as good as the honor of the individuals who sign it. They can never be enforced by either side, reliably...