The communicative approach is based on the idea that learning language successfully comes through having to communicate real meaning. When learners are involved in real communication, their natural strategies for language acquisition will be used, and this will allow them to learn to use the language.

Example
Practising question forms by asking learners to find out personal information about their colleagues is an example of the communicative approach, as it involves meaningful communication.

In the classroom
Classroom activities guided by the communicative approach are characterised by trying to produce meaningful and real communication, at all levels. As a result there may be more emphasis on skills than systems, lessons are more learner-centred, and there may be use of authentic materials.

Further links:

https://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/article/making-reading-communicative

https://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/article/making-writing-communicative

https://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/article/kieran-donaghy-short-sweet-using-short-films-promote-creativity-communication

Research and insight

We have hundreds of case studies, research papers, publications and resource books written by researchers and experts in ELT from around the world. 

See our publications, research and insight

Sign up to our newsletter for teaching ideas and free resources

We will process your data to send you our newsletter and updates based on your consent. You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the "unsubscribe" link at the bottom of every email. Read our privacy policy for more information.