Communicative Language Teaching
Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) is a method of teaching foreign languages that emphasizes the importance of interaction between people in order to learn. The whole idea of language is to enable people to communicate, which is what this approach to teaching is designed to encourage. It is sometimes called the communicative approach as a result.
CLT is a broad approach to teaching that can encompass many different activities within the classroom. The common aspect between each of the activities used is the interaction, which takes place mainly between the students, so that they need to make use of their new-found language skills.The main feature of this method of teaching a language is the interaction between people, with the intention of actually speaking the language. For this reason, pair or group work is frequently used, as a way of encouraging pupils to practice the spoken language amongst themselves, and help each other when they are unsure. Role play and other games are useful teaching tools that can be implemented when using this approach to teaching languages.
Learning by teaching is also a popular method, particularly in Germany, where pupils take it in turns to teach their peers. This involves each pupil learning about a specific aspect of the subject, and then conveying the information to the rest of the group in a way that will be understood. Here is an article about history of Communicative Language Learning. Pupils teaching each other can sometimes be more effective than the teacher conveying the same information, as it will be displayed in the way that the pupil finds most useful.