Communicative Needs in Foreign Language Learning

Date
1982
Authors
Richards, Jack C.
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Abstract
The theme of language and the learner's communicative needs is a familiar one in language teaching. In recent years applied linguistics has been revitalized by attempts to describe how language reflects its communicative uses, and by demonstrations of how syllabus design and methodology can respond to the need for communicative uses of language in classrooms and teaching materials. This paper attempts to contribute to our general understanding of how language use reflects underlying communicative needs by considering some central aspects of communication. Five assumptions about the nature of verbal communication will be discussed, namely, that communication is meaning based, conventional, appropriate, interactional and structured. These will be discussed in relation to the communicative needs of second or foreign language learners.
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Keywords
communicative need, meaning based model, communication and interaction, structured communication, appropriate communication, learning a second language, foreign language learning
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