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5099 Views 5 Replies Latest reply: 03-Feb-2011 23:54 by Jamie Keddie RSS
Jamie Keddie Guest Contributor 118 posts since
31-Mar-2010
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09-Nov-2010 11:49

The post-communicative era?

The other day I was asked this question:

 

Do you think that we are in the post-communicative era of language learning/language teaching.

 

It's an interesting one and I thought I would post it here for considerations. Any thoughts?

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  • nanciaugusto Novice 9 posts since
    23-Jul-2010
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    1. 01-Feb-2011 21:27 (in response to Jamie Keddie)
    Re: The post-communicative era?

    Well, it's the second time I heard the expression "the post-communicative era" and I didn't understand  what it means.

    I think that the function of teaching/studying a language is communication and I really don't see what more language can bring to us... Am I right or wrong?

    So, if you don't mind, could you explain "the post-communicative era" for  me?

    Thanks!

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  • Susan Purcell Newbie 11 posts since
    09-Jan-2011
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    2. 02-Feb-2011 14:38 (in response to nanciaugusto)
    Re: The post-communicative era?

    'Communicative' in the phrase 'post-communicative era' is referring to the teaching methodology known as communicative language teaching. This became very popular in the 1970s, and was mainly a reaction against the grammar-translation method of learning a foreign language, in which one learnt a lot 'about' the foreign language (irregular verb forms etc) but could not necessarily do simple things like order a beer when on holiday. Grammar took a back seat in the communicative approach -- the key thing was to make yourself understood -- and classroom tasks and texts were supposed to be 'authentic'.

     

    As I understand it, the post-communicative era is a recognition that there is not one specific, 'best' way to teach a language. The communicative approach put little emphasis on writing, especially correct grammatical forms in writing, but things have changed now -- these days people do a lot more writing than they used to do -- yes, mainly texting, emailing, writing on internet forums etc, but that is still writing, In fact, many people these days prefer to text or email than speak on the phone or in person. Technology has improved since the 1970s/80s, too, yet at the time those of us teaching via the communicative approach would have said that using technology wasn't natural or 'authentic'. It would be silly to ignore technology these days. The post-communicative approach covers more than just speaking, or performing functional tasks; it would include literature, for instance.

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  • FLAVIO BARRETO Newbie 4 posts since
    07-Jul-2010
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    3. 02-Feb-2011 15:13 (in response to Jamie Keddie)
    Re: The post-communicative era?

    I really think we live in the post-communicative era in the sense that we are no longer ruled by any specific methodology or approach. However, this situation demands a lot more from teachers who have to be better prepared to decide what to do in class.

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  • nanciaugusto Novice 9 posts since
    23-Jul-2010
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    4. 03-Feb-2011 19:08 (in response to Jamie Keddie)
    Re: The post-communicative era?

    Thanks for the answer Susan!!

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