Tag Archives: CCLT

111: Comprehension-Based Communicative Language Teaching

What have you heard about Comprehension-Based Communicative Language Teaching?  Is this what you are doing in your classroom?  In this episode I want to unpack exactly what CCLT is and is not. Luckily there is an incredibly useful chapter on this topic in the newly published book “Honing Our Craft.”  It gives us all the info we need to answer the question “What is and What Is not Comprehension-Based Communicative Language Teaching?”  That’s actually the title of chapter 4.

Honing Our Craft

  • Edited by Dr. Florecia Henshaw (Director of Advanced Spanish at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign) & Dr. Kim Potowski (Professor of Spanish Linguistics at the University of Illinois at Chicago)
  • 12 chapters written by educators for educators, with a focus on bridging the gap between research and practical application.
  • Practical applications and suggestions for language educators that they can adapt to their particular contexts. 
  • Use this link and the discount code JOSHUA25HOC to save 25% on the book.

Comprehension-Based Communicative Language Teaching(CCLT)

Context and Origin of CCLT

  • Role of Input
  • Krashen’s Input Hypothesis
  • Interaction and production also play a role, but the essential role of input is undeniable.
  • Presentation-Practice-Production (PPP)
    • popular because it is conceptually easy to understand
    • easy to grade and assess
    • accuracy is main criteria for success
  • Approaches need to be more aligned with how language is acquired (communication and understanding messages) and implicit knowledge, rather than explicit, PPP

Key Terms and Misconceptions

  • Communication is not synonymous with oral production (reflection of PPP)
  • move input to the center of the curriculum 
  • Production and Grammar are not neglected (focus on form, structured input)


  • What if my textbook follows the PPP approach?
    • modify activities to give hace a communicative goal
    • use the text in a chapter as a point of departure
  • What if my exams are grammar-based?
    • set aside time for grammar explanation 
    • promote friendly conversations with colleagues.
  • Do…
    • speak the target language most of the class time.
    • make input activities meaningful
  • Don’t…
    • forget that accuracy is developed gradually
    • forget comprehension is communication
    • plan classes around grammar points, grammar is a tool, not a goal

Remember to use this link and the discount code JOSHUA25HOC to save 25% on the book.

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