In SmartL we use the communicative approach as a main tool. Therefore this approach will include the following strategies: fulfilling the language functions, for example meeting and greeting people, asking and responding to questions, and speaking of emotions; the active involvement of the students in task-based learning activities; the role of the teacher as facilitator in the language learning experience; providing opportunities for the student to recycle sentence and grammar structures, and vocabulary previously learnt, in new contexts; ensuring an enjoyable learning experience, where the topics and themes, together with the language used, will be age-appropriate and relevant to the interests of the student; the use of activities encouraging the student to use the language as a necessary tool for completing a task, for example in completing a picture following directions from another student. Information gap activities involve the student in pair work and collaborative work. In these activities the student is involved in asking for and providing information in order that a given task may be completed successfully; emphasizing the importance of understanding and being understood; noting errors and addressing them at a later stage, in a manner that does not interfere with the language flow or the student’s confidence in ‘‘having a go.’’
There are Three phases of communication, a communicative approach implies that the principal focus is on the communication of meaning and messages rather than on grammatical approach exactitude. Correction of errors in structure will not occur during the communicative phase of a lesson. These errors, however, will be noted and may be addressed at the post-communicative phase of the lesson or may form the basis of the pre-communicative phase of another lesson, where the emphasis is on accuracy of construction or appropriate language. Every ‘‘new’’ context should provide the student with opportunities to reuse and recycle language previously learnt in another context, in addition to introducing him or her to additional vocabulary and sentence structures. Progression in the student’s language learning is facilitated by building on prior learning. Oral language activities will involve the three phases of communication in the development of each of the three strands.
The pre-communicative phase is a pre-task phase that will prepare the Pre- student for the task to be undertaken in the next phase. The teacher will communicative introduce the vocabulary necessary for the lesson, vocabulary and phase sentence structures previously learnt may be revised, and the scene will be set for the next phase of the lesson. This phase is very important, since it gives the student the structures that will be needed for the task to be completed. It is important that the student enjoys this initial introduction to learning another language. To experience this sense of enjoyment the student should experience a sense of achievement and a feeling of confidence in his or her ability to use the language in meaningful communicative contexts. New vocabulary and phrases are introduced that will be used later during the communicative phase of the lesson. Errors noted in previous lessons may be revisited and revised. ‘‘Pre-communicative tasks initially set the context within which the language will be learnt. The student must be motivated to learn. The acquisition of vocabulary and the establishment of correct grammatical structures will be explored. Activities at this stage prepare the student for the communicative phase. They provide the student with the necessary language and grammar structures for use in communicative activities. At this stage also the attention of the student may be focused upon language previously learnt and how it may be reused in the context of the ‘new’ topic.’’ (p. 8, Draft Curriculum Guidelines.)
The communicative phase is where the student will focus on the task in Communicative hand. The student will put the preparation in the previous phase to immediate use and will be enabled to use the language in a communicative way. The language functions used will be explored and developed in the context of the topic. Communicative phase exercises can be role playing, social interaction and others. This phase is crucial to the lesson. It is here that the student has the opportunity to use the language in a real context. The student learns the language through using it rather than through using the rules associated with the language. The incidental use of the target language in the classroom is very important, as the student is learning the language in real circumstances. The emphasis is on developing in the student the confidence to use the language and to produce a flow of language. Inaccuracies noted in grammar and otherwise should not be addressed at this stage. The student’s confidence in using the language should not be threatened by the feeling that proceedings will be interrupted in order that corrections may be made. The emphasis is on effective communication and not on the errors that will undoubtedly be made. As the need to communicate accurately develops, the errors noted may be addressed as part of the post-communicative phase of the lesson, or alternatively as part of the pre-communicative phase of another lesson. The student uses the language taught in the initial phase in a communicative activity, for example for a game, task, communication gap activity or role-playing exercise.
The post-communicative phase or post-task phase occurs after the students have enjoyed using the language learnt earlier for a given phase purpose. Now both the teacher and the students can discuss the experience and identify areas that may have presented difficulties. Where appropriate, the teacher may also wish to address particular difficulties in relation to the use of the language that may have arisen during the class. analyzing what has been undertaken, identifying the need for Post-communicative added input of language and phase structures, recycling the language for use in other contexts. During this phase the student is encouraged to review the communicative activity and to explore and identify aspects of the language that may have been required and yet were not at his or her disposal. The information gleaned here could also form the basis of the initial phase of a subsequent lesson.