Communicative Competence

“Communicative competence can be defined as the ability to use language, or to communicate, in a culturally-appropriate manner in order to make meaning and accomplish social tasks with efficacy and fluency through extended interactions”.

(Lynn David Tarvin, Webster University, 2015)

Below is a series of videos, part of the Vitall project, which deal with communicative competence. This is followed by a link to an article on music and song in the EFL classroom. Be sure to visit our section Teaching through the Target Language as well

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Promoting autonomous learning with YouTube videos (Japanese)

This is a fifth-year class using song from a Japanese animated film, with subtitles in the target language, to develop listening and reading skills. The song is taken from YouTube. The intention is to engage students in the classroom and motivate them to work independently on the target language outside of the classroom.

Learners teaching learners: student directed videos (Italian)

This is an introduction to an on-line revision tool. First year Italian students describe developing resources for their peers on the topics of clothes and colours.

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Interactive pair work activity to promote learner use of the target language (French)

This is a first-year French class where the teacher uses the target language to improve student fluency and listening skills.

Interactive Language Activities at Senior and Junior level (Spanish)

Group activities are used in these Junior and Senior cycle classes to increase oral proficiency. The teacher engages the learners’ interest by harnessing their world knowledge. She employs peer assessment to motivate learners, to analyse any errors they may have made and to engage them in reflection on their use of the language

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Breaking with tradition: informal seating & movement in the classroom (Spanish)

A collaborative interactive approach is used to promote practice of the target language and to accommodate a variety of learning styles with this first-year group learning Spanish.

Assessment for Learning: Exploring ‘Success Criteria’ (French)

This is a third-year class on the topic of ‘My neighbourhood’. The class and the teacher collaborate to generate success criteria for oral production around the topic. Working in pairs, and using digital microphones, students peer-assess in light of these criteria.

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Engagement, relevance & enjoyment in the communicative language classroom (Spanish)

Teacher, Olan Geany, ensures that when he sets a task that there is some communicative outcome involved.

Authentic language & culture in the classroom: Slam Poetry (French)

This is a fifth-year French class. Students explore a contemporary topic through viewing a video of a slam poem being recited. This authentic text is used to create links between students’ culture and popular French culture. The content and medium of the test motivates students to read and write in an engaged.

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Using Music

50 ways to use music and song in the classroom

“Without music, teaching would be a mistake!” Music just makes any teaching job, no matter how hard, enjoyable. We also say, “Music makes the world go ‘round”, but it also makes learning happen. This document has lots of links to resources related to using music and song in the EFL classroom (some free, some require a subscription).

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