Definitions – communication

Communication – a conundrum: do you use ’communication’ by itself or qualify it by modifying it with ’genuine’ or ’authentic’. The predicament lies in the way some teachers understand communication as understanding, the infamous fl class question, “What color blouse is Suzy wearing” when everyone can see what color it is. For some, answering, “Suzy is wearing a white blouse” is communication; for others that is not communication. Communication for them occurs only when the utterance informs the interlocutor with something they did not know before. The latter is therefore sometimes qualified as ’genuine’ or ’real’ communication to make sure we are not talking simply about classroom dialogues and the such.

This is important because the acquisition folks believe acquisition takes place only under conditions of genuine communication, not the pattern practice found in many fl classrooms. Repeating patterns does not inculcate the language, according to them. This flies in the face of pattern practice methodologies like cognitive code and ALM.

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