Wim Gombert

108 CHAPTER 7 linguistic diversity as an important objective for communication and intercultural awareness (European parliament, 2022) However, in the late 1990’s, Long (2000) already pointed out that CLT coursebooks still struggled with “the thorny issue of grammar in the communicative classroom” (p. 35) and in an extensive review of theoretically and empirically driven innovations to the teaching of grammar, Pawlak (2021) concludes that there is still a lack of longterm, classroom-based research to ascertain if they actually help learners employ the grammar structures successfully in communication. To this day, foreign language teaching practice at secondary level mostly continues to build on coursebooks, which consistently use the label “communicative” in their approach and claim to follow CLT principles but do contain a strong language focus section in each chapter, explicitly using drills to familiarize learners with grammatical structures (cf., Ellis, 2009; GómezRodriguez, 2010; Burns & Hill, 2013). at is not to say that current foreign language teaching approaches do not also focus on communicative skills and practices, but the question is what their main focus is. Howatt (1984) characterizes CLT practices as broadly falling in one of two categories: e “weak” version stresses the importance of providing learners with opportunities to use their English for communicative purposes and, characteristically, attempts to integrate such activities into a wider program of language teaching. E orts are made to ensure the communicative activities relate to the purpose of the course as speci ed in the syllabus, hence the importance of proposals to include semantic as well as purely structural features in a syllabus design. e “strong” version of communicative teaching advances the claim that language is acquired through communication, so that it is not merely a question of activating an existing but inert knowledge of the language, but of stimulating the development of the language system itself. If the former could be described as “ learning to use” English, the latter entails “using English to learn it” (p. 279). is view is supported by Waters (2012) who, a er reviewing CLT approaches and methods since 1995, found evidence of increased advocacy of the “communicating to learn” orientation at the theoretical SLA research level, while at the level of classroom practice the “learning to communicate” orientation had come to dominate. us, on one end of this continuum, structural control is necessary to develop communicative competence, and on the other end using language is necessary to develop language knowledge. is dichotomy is also re ected in linguistic theories. Although there is rarely a one-on-one relation in the sense of teaching practices directly following from linguistic theories of second language development (Long, 2000), it can be said that a weak CLT approach builds mostly on generative or structural theories, in which structure (syntax), which is separate from semantics and other subsystems, drives the