Conceptualising 'communication' in foreign language instruction
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The emergence of communicative language teaching as the dominant paradigm in foreign language pedagogy cast 'communication' in a central role in language acquisition, both as an aim and as a medium of instruction. Despite its centrality, the concept of 'communication' is generally taken as widely understood and is seldom defined. This paper examines current language learning approaches and classroom practices to uncover how the field of foreign language pedagogy conceptualises communication, and compares this conceptualisation to the perspectives on communication evident in the work of applied linguists and communication scholars. Finally, the paper discusses whether 'communication' as understood by theorists is a feasible aim of foreign language instruction or whether it conflicts with the pedagogical realities of most language classrooms.
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Applied Linguistics and Educational Linguistics