That Morning Coffee

and a red airplane

Prelude

In the past, I used to find it difficult to finish the assigned curriculum, do a bunch of quizzes, have extracurricular activities, play games, watch a movie or listen to songs within the time given to each course. Of course back then I did not know what I know right now, and now I find the time to do all those things and more. Moreover, my students have fun all the time, and they are thankful for being given the chance to practice. All thanks to the Communicative Approach.

Obviously, many are the methods followed nowadays in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL), but one remains for sure the most effective of them all, the Communicative Approach. Following is an attempt to share what I learned so far about it with the world.

To put it simply, try to think back of when you were a child and how you came to learn your mother tongue. You first learned how to speak through trying to speak with the others around you. You did not care about grammatical rules or pronunciation or anything else; you just used all the words you knew to communicate. Mind you, communication is a two-way process: the sender is also a receiver of the message being communicated and vice versa. This can be better elicited in the comparison between the typical method of teaching in universities and that of language centers. In universities, the professors lecture their students. They speak most of the time and the students listen and take notes. This is a one-way communication. In language centers, however, things are quite different. The students don’t come to just take notes, pass the exam and eventually get a certificate, but to learn a language and the entire package of skills that comes attached: listening, speaking, reading and writing.

In the following pages, I will try to cover some useful techniques that have the power to render your classroom smoother, more constructive and more fun.

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