What is CLT?

Language is culture and socializing with people.

Language is culture and socializing with people.

CLT  (Communicative Language Teaching) is a language teaching approach (not a method) which comes from the “communicative competence” theory of language. The goal of CLT is to develop competent, confident communicators –not perfection. At the core of CLT is the human learner. Thus our focus is on students’ needs and individual personalities. CLT takes into consideration language as part of a whole being. For us language can be looked at from many angles including: linguistics, psychology, anthropology, history, etc. Therefore, CLT is an approach rather than a method.

Where does CLT come from?

CLT began in the UK in the 1960s and 1970s and was greatly popularized by the British Council and the Council of Europe. The developers of CLT felt strongly that classical language teaching methods were ineffective and antiquated. English has become the international language of business and research and technology. For this reason many people believe that they must learn English in addition to their native language(s).

What are the features of CLT?

  • Language IS culture.
  • Focus on negotiation of meaning and goal-oriented communication
  • Focus on supporting active learning and active learners
  • Develop a positive learning environment which considers students as individuals and encourages them to take risks.
  • Focus on “whole learner,” –a full person with his/her own history, needs, desires and beliefs.
  • Teachers are facilitators and coaches, not knowledge feeding machines.
  • Using of “authentic” materials. You can’t recreate the real world. Languages must be learned by living them.
  • Never focus on one method, set of materials, or technique –diversity is the key to success.
  • Errors are a part of all language. EVERYONE makes errors

More On CLT:


Advantages of CLT A good paper explaining what CLT is, and why it is good.


ICAL TEFL on Communicative Language Teaching The ICAL is a TEFL training institute that advocates CLT.