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Communicative language teaching

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It is human nature that people find to make their life easy as much as they can. As they search the more effective and successful way, they found many methods. In language study, people create many methods to teach effectively and to make the student learn easily, such as Grammar Translation Method, the Silent Method, PPP (presentation, practice, production), TBLT (Task-based instruction), CLT (communicative language teaching), TPR (total physical response). Here I am going to compare some similarities between PPP and TPR methods and provide the advantages and disadvantages of both methods.

There are large similarities between PPP and TPR regarding the goal of instruction and the instruction itself. The goal of a PPP lesson is to be accurate in grammar, and it can also be used to teach vocabulary and pronunciation. Similarly, the goal of TPR lesson is to connect vocabulary and pronunciation with action. In a PPP lesson, the teacher presents and the students practice, in the end, they add their own idea in production. In a TPR lesson, in the same way, as in PPP, the teacher plays the role of expert or model, whatever the teacher said is followed by the students. As in PPP lesson, there are many available teaching materials like pictures and word charts, there are a wide variety of realia, props, but these are not a compulsory in TPR.

There are also similarities in teacher’s and students’ roles in both methods. In PPP, the teacher starts with a warm-up activity to raise the students’ interest, then he/she teach the target language. Like PPP, in TPR, the teacher begins with an activity to get the students’ attention. As the PPP students practice and focus on fluency from what the teacher’s presentation, then use in real-life as production, TPR students copy or mimic what the teacher says or does in action. For example, in TPR, the teacher command something like a word “clap” or a phrase “shake your hand” and demonstrating an action, then the students all do the action.

Both methods have advantages and disadvantages. The advantages of PPP lesson are, such as it is clear and easy to understand, the availability of materials, and it is suitable for from beginner to intermediate level. On the other hand, because this method is a teacher-centered method, the students do not have an opportunity to create their own view. In addition, this method is unsuitable for advanced students, as they do not get a chance to communicate by themselves without restraint.

Moreover, it is a predictable lesson structure, so people criticize as being inflexible. Then, the advantages of TPR are fun and memorable; the teacher does not need so much to prepare, good for learning vocabulary and pronunciation. However, it is not a very creative method; even though TPR is a student-centered method, the students do not have space to think creatively, and it is suitable only for beginner level.

Overall, PPP and TPR methods seem to be totally different because PPP is a teacher-centered method while TPR is a student-centered method. But both PPP and TPR have wide similarities in terms of the instruction goal, the ways of teaching, the roles of teacher and students, and the materials they use. Like other teaching methods, both PPP and TPR have some advantages and disadvantages too.

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