Communicative teaching of foreign languages is activity-oriented, since speech communication is carried out through «speech activity», which, in turn, serves to solve the tasks of productive human activity in the conditions of «social interaction» of communicating people (I. A. Zimnyaya, G. A. Kitaigorodskaya, A. A. Leontiev). Participants of communication try to solve real and imaginary problems of joint activity with the help of a foreign language.
A. A. Leontiev emphasizes: «Strictly speaking, speech activity does not exist. There is only a system of verbal actions that are part of any activity — entirely theoretical, intellectual or partially practical.»
According to the same point of view I. A. Winter «speech activity is a process of active, purposeful, mediated by the language and conditioned by the situation of communication, interaction of people among themselves (with each other)» [3, p. 93] Consequently, the author draws a conclusion, and the learning of speech activity in a foreign language should be carried out from the standpoint of formation and independent, determined by the fullness of its characteristics of activity.
The peculiarity of the activity type of instruction is that, in its purpose and in its essence, it is primarily connected with a certain type of speech activity, so we find its wide use when it comes to teaching reading, listening, translating, etc. And only in one of the methods known to us, trying to cover the teaching of a foreign language as a whole, namely in a communicative method we find the main signs of the activity-type type of instruction.
According to E. I. Passov, the author of the communicative method, «communicativity presupposes the speech orientation of the educational process, which consists not so much in that the speech practical goal is pursued (in fact, all directions of the past and modernity set such a goal), but rather that the path to this goal is the most practical use of language. Practical speech orientation is not only a goal, but also a means, where both are dialectically interdependent».
The modern communicative method represents a harmonious combination of many ways of teaching foreign languages, being, probably, at the top of the evolutionary pyramid of various educational methods.
The communicative method (Communicative Approach) develops all language skills — from oral and written speech to reading and listening. Grammar is mastered in the process of communication in the language:
− the student first memorizes words,
− language formulas and only then begins to understand what they are in a grammatical sense.
The goal is to teach a student to speak a foreign language not only freely, but also correctly.
At lessons of a foreign language, the teacher creates situations in which students communicate in pairs with each other, in groups. This makes the lesson more diverse. Working in a group, students show verbal independence. They can help each other; successfully correct the statements of the interlocutors.
The teacher in the classes takes over the functions of the organizer of communication, asks leading questions, and draws attention to the original opinions of the participants, acts as an arbiter in the discussion of disputable problems.
Unlike audio-lingual and other methods based on repetition and memorization, the communicative method sets «open-ended» exercises: the students themselves do not know what their activity in the class will result in; everything will depend on the reactions and responses.
Situations are used every day new. This is how students' interest in classes is supported: after all, everyone wants to communicate meaningfully in meaningful topics.
Most part of the time in class is spoken (although reading and writing are also given attention). At the same time, teachers speak less and listen more, only directing the activities of students.
The teacher sets the exercise, and then, «talking» to the students, receding into the background and acting as an observer and arbitrator. It is preferable that he uses exclusively the language he is studying.
The communicative method is to assimilate the process of learning the process of communication, more precisely, it is based on the fact that the learning process is a model of the process of communication, albeit somewhat simplified, but in basic parameters adequate, similar to the real process of communication.
The modern communicative method represents a harmonious combination of many ways of teaching foreign languages, being, probably, at the top of the evolutionary pyramid of various educational methods. Using the communicative method of instruction removes the language barrier.
- Gez N. I. A methodology for teaching foreign languages in high school. M., 1982.
- O. Gromova. Audio-visual method and practice of its application. M., 1977.
- Home A. I. / The methodology of teaching the German language in a pedagogical university. M., 1983.
- Costera P. Learning a foreign language in a language laboratory. M., 1986.