I can tell you all of you that for setting a communicative approach to my English-language lessons I foster communication between my students and me, and among themselves.
Also I foster discussions. Discussions are great for improving my students’ communicative competence. We exploit texts I hand them out. Even from a small point inside one of the texts we can start a nice discussion about a topic, or after having worked on a text we can talk about the topic of its.
With some imagination you can get a lot from a text, both talking about the general topic or from smaller points inside it.
Usually I hand out my students worksheets with two texts: one is B1 level and the second is C1 level of English. B1 is intermediate and C1 advanced. I include these two levels because my students have varied levels of English, but they’re able to get a lot from both texts, admirably.
As well discussions make people think and learn how to think. Moreover it opens up chances of talking in English, our common target language. If you could see those nice discussions we have…! Besides discussions are more human than drills, although these ones are important too.
In few words we communicate with one another in English, which is the main goal of our lessons. THERE IS communication in our lessons, at a grade of some 99% of the lesson time in English.
And that’s the way how I got my advanced level of English, equivalent to C2, which is the highest level, some years ago.
What do I do with low-achievers? I ask them more simple questions. I mean, everybody can actually participate. Alike some high-achiever explains something to some low-achiever. I try everybody would participate. / Photo from: The New York Times. For space traveling we would need a lot of communication, also for living at a space station!