Community Language Learning


Community Language Learning

  • Community Language Learning (CLL) is the name of a teaching approach, which is created by a famous educationist named Charles A. Curran, he was from Chicago University. The American psychologist, Charles Curran, applied the psychological theories and techniques of “counseling” to the field of second language learning. The aim of this method is to teach learners to use L2 as a means of social interaction. So the method promotes not only linguistic forms, but exercises that engage the whole person including their emotions and feelings.

Community Language Learning

  • Curran’s involvement in this approach led him to the conclusion that counseling techniques can be applied to generate income in general. In common terms, counseling is someone who provides advice, help and support to others with problems or need at CLL, teachers act as advisors and treats students as clients. Teachers at CLL are known as knowing people. The CLL process can be well-defined as:
  1. A group of students sat in a circle with the teacher standing outside the circle.
  2. A student whispers a message in his native language (L1).
  3. The teacher translates this into the Target language.
  4. The student repeats the message in the target language into a recorded device.
  5. Students compose further message in the target language. With the teacher`s help and finally;
  6. Students reflect about their feelings and upon the messages exchanged during the class.
  • Curran has distinguished CLL view of learning from the other two types of learning. In the first view, “the intellectual and factual process alone are regarded as the main intent of learning to the neglect of engagement and involvement of the self” (Curran 1972:58). The second view of learning is the behavioral view referred to Curran as “animal learning” in which learners are ‘passive; and their involvement limited.
  • In dissimilarity to these two general and unwanted views of learning, Community Language learning backings a all-inclusive approach to language learning because ‘real’ human learning is cognitive and effective. This is called everyone’s cartilage; the purpose of this method is to teach students to use L2 as a tool of social interaction. Thus, this method not only induces linguistic forms, but also exercises that involve the whole person, including emotions and feelings. This category of learning happens in communicative situations where teachers and students involve in interactions, where they both get experience of a sense of consistency. Language learning in CLL is believed to evolve by establishing social relationships; Success in language learning is the result of a successful relationship between students and teachers with students and students. Learning is realized as a unified, individual and social knowledge. The student is no longer seen as learning separately and competing with others.

The principles of CLL:

  • The lesson is presented in their native language (L1)
  • The learners ask question in their native language (L1) but the teacher’s response in the target language.
  • Errors are corrected by repeating the question answer.

Types of Learning & activities in CLL:


  • CLL combines innovative learning tasks and activities with more traditional ones, as they include:
  1. Translation

  2. Group work
  3. Recording
  4. Transcription
  5. Analysis
  6. Reflection and observation
  7. Listening
  8. Free conversation
  • The Group of Ideas concerning to psychological requirements for successful and “NON-DEFENSIVE LEARNING” are collected under the Acronym “SARD” are as under:
  • Psychologist Mr. Curran, by the acronym “SARD”, quotes some important ideas about the psychological need for successful learning, for example;
  1. The “S” means entering into a successful learning experience. Curran explains the importance of a peaceful environment as follows:
  • As a whole, we seem to learn well in an atmosphere of self-esteem. We are free to approach learning situations in an open manner, feeling “safe”. Both student safety and knowledge level determine the overall psychological level of the learning experience.
  1. “A” the letter ‘a’ stands for attention and aggression. Attention drives learning and therefore teachers should offer a variety of student task options. Aggression occurs in the way students use their new knowledge as a tool to prove themselves.
  2. ‘R’ the letter ‘R’ stands for retention and reflection. If the whole person is involved in the learning process, what is retained is internalized and becomes a part of the learner`s new person in the target language. Reflection is a consciously identified period of silence within the framework of the lesson for the student “to focus on the learning process of the last hour to assess his present stage of development, and to re-evaluate future goals.
  3. The letter “D” shows discrimination. When students have accumulated a lot of material, they are ready to complete it and see how one thing relates to another. This discrimination process allows students to use the language for communication outside the classroom.
  4. Hence, the main idea underlying Curran’s learning philosophy is essentially humane; it concerns the linguistic field as much as the ‘affective’ of the student. CLL is the ‘whole person in learning; the process and students at all levels respect not only in the performance of cognitive tasks (language learning), but also in the resolution of emotional conflicts and the application of values.

CLL compares language learning with different levels of human development as follows:

  1. Level 1:Students at Level 1 are like babies who totally rely on linguistic content knowledge. Students’ new selves are produced or born in the target language. The students repeat the conversations made by the teacher in the target language and listen to the exchange between students and other students.
  2. Level 2: At level 2 the child gains some independence from his parents. Students begin to build self-assertion and independence using simple phrases and expressions they have heard before.
  3. Level 3: At level 3, also called “separate level of existence”, students begin to understand others directly in the target language; students will hate the uninvited help given by those who know / parents at this stage.
  4. Level 4: At level 4, it can be thought of as a “kind of adolescent”, the student functions independently, although his knowledge of the target language is not yet perfect. At this stage, students learn to derive the grammar level of the knowledgeable person from advanced knowledge.
  5. 5th level: This 5th level is called the “independence stage”; students improve their understanding of lists and grammatical language.

The role of the teacher in CLL:

  •  The role of teacher in CLL is above all a counselor and his role is very important in creating a good environment which can facilitate learning. To understanding the language of ‘feeling’, the counselor replies in the language of cognition. More specific teacher roles are as follows:
  • In the early stages of learning the teacher`s function, just a supporter. He will provide support in target language translations and a model for imitation on request from the learners. Later, interactions may be initiated by the students, and the teacher monitors learner utterances, providing assistance when requested.

Features of CLL:

  • One notable feature of CLL is that it stresses the humanistic side of language learning, and not merely its linguistic dimensions. But it should not blind us to some of its limitations such as lack of syllabus which makes objectives unclear and evaluation difficult. Questions also arise about whether teacher can handle the CLL method well without special training in its only those teachers who have appropriate emotional make up and sensitivity will be able to handle it efficiently.

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