Wim Gombert

24 CHAPTER 2 activities, the CLT approach focused on meaningful interaction in which errors were to be accepted as part of the learning process, placing uency on a par with accuracy in terms of importance. As such, CLT proponents advocated an inductive approach to the teaching of grammar, with an emphasis on pair and group work. THE INTRODUCTION OF THE CLT APPROACH IN TEACHING PRACTICES Despite these clear intentions advocating oral pro ciency, the movement towards CLT that started in the 1970s has led to di erent versions which, according to Howatt (1984), can be labeled as either “weak”, when the focus is on the acquisition of knowledge which is seen instrumental to communication or “strong”, when the focus is on communication which is seen instrumental to the acquisition of knowledge. Scholars like Dörnyei (2009), Waters (2012), Lightbown and Spada (2013) and Richards and Rodgers (2014) all argue that most CLT inspired teaching programs in the world can still be considered structure-based in that such programs continue to have a strong focus on learning linguistic items (grammar rules, words, spelling, pronunciation) and on learning comprehension strategies rather than their productive counterparts. As a result, many CLT programs should in actual fact be considered a weak version of CLT in accordance with the distinction made by Howatt (1984). is view was 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. According to Richards and Rodgers (2014), it was the initial lack of theoretical insights as to L2 language learning, combined with the vast popularity of the CLT approach all over the world in the early years of CLT, that might very well have led to this great variety of di erent, sometimes even seemingly incompatible, instructional designs that all fall under the umbrella term CLT. Long (2000) pointed out that, at the time, there was not one widely accepted theory of language learning and Chomsky’s view of language focused mainly on syntax and grammar, with rather predictable rules. CLT practices were thus implicitly based on a vast amount of formal or structural theory of language, and there was only a limited amount of theory on language learning that lay at the basis of CLT teaching practices (Richards & Rodgers, 2014). Only Johnson (1982) proposed elements like “real communication” and “meaningful tasks” to support the language learning process. In later stages of CLT practices, however, Johnson (1984) and Littlewood (1984) proposed a skill-model of learning in support of CLT teaching, involving cognitive and behavioral aspects. is model was based on di erent existing theories at the time: First, the creativeconstruction hypothesis, which states that input from the target language is essential