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Theories of Language Learning

What is the best way to learn a language?

Over the last several centuries, there have been many approaches and theories in how to best formally teach a language. Often theories arise as a reaction the current dominant approach and are eventually replaced by new approaches. Many modern language schools use a hybrid language teaching approach, known as Communicative Language Teaching, also known as the Communicative Approach. The Communicative approach draws from several theories and focuses on interaction in the classroom, so that students are ready for interacting in the real world. Through interviews, role plays, debates, and conversation, students practice so that they are ready to produce authentic language in the target language. Students also interact with authentic material, reading letters or newspaper articles, or listening to a recorded song or conversation. Students are actively involved in their own learning while the teacher guides the classroom and organizes activities that give students the opportunity to practice.