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The University of Southampton

LING6022 Principles of Communicative Language Teaching

Module Overview

This module will present you with the basic principles of Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) and allow you to examine them critically.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • principles and practices of communicative approaches to language teaching
  • theories of learning related to communicative methodology
  • processes of communicative activity design
  • the relationships between course and materials design principles and practice
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • critically assess practical approaches to CLT
  • explain the relationship between language teaching and learning
  • describe, justify and evaluate the processes and outcomes of communicative activities
  • evaluate communicative materials in terms of pedagogic principles and underlying theoretical rationale
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • identify, select and use critically in professional communication a range of reference resources, printed and electronic
  • monitor and evaluate professional activity including self-evaluation
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • design communicative language learning materials with reference to appropriacy to teaching context
  • plan activities for a range of different contexts and time frames
  • select and assess materials and resources for different language learning contexts
  • reflect on and evaluate the effectiveness of communicative methodology


The module is intended to provide a theoretical framework for CLT together with examples and practice in how these principles may be applied to language teaching in the classroom. We first examine the broader context of approaches to language teaching, tracing the origins and development of the communicative approach. We shall then focus on the learner, the classroom environment and practical applications of a communicative approach to language teaching.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include • workshops • interactive group sessions Learning activities include • individual study • preparing presentations and discussions in small groups • conducting observations/interviews • developing and presenting practical classroom materials Innovative or special features of this module • weekly practical tasks feed into sessions • practical evaluation of materials for communicative language teaching

Independent Study126
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Carter, R. & D. Nunan (eds.) (2001). The Cambridge guide to teaching English to speakers of other languages. 

Harmer, J. (2007). The Practice of English Language Teaching. 

Richards, J. and T. Rodgers (2001). Approaches and Methods in Language Teaching. 

Lightbown P. & N. Spada (2006). How Languages Are Learned. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (2000 words) 50%
Practical assignment  (2500 words) 50%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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