Foreign Language Philosophy

One must learn by doing the thing; for though you think you know it, you have no certainty, until you try–Sophocles

Pitt Community College’s Foreign Language Department applies the Communicative Language Teaching approach (CLT). CLT is an approach to the teaching of second and foreign languages that emphasizes interaction as both the means and the ultimate goal of learning a language. Often it takes the form of pair and group work requiring fluency-based activities that encourage learners to develop their confidence, role-plays in which students practice and develop language functions, and judicious use of grammar and pronunciation focused activities.

David Nunan’s (1991) features of CLT:

  • An emphasis on learning to communicate through interaction in the target language.
  • An enhancement of the learner’s own personal experiences as important contributing elements to classroom learning.
  • An attempt to link classroom language learning with language activities outside the classroom.

The Foreign Language Department provides an opportunity for students to heighten their personal development by welcoming challenges and expressions of creativity in a relaxed, yet professional atmosphere that is conducive to learning. The language courses go beyond the teaching of language skills, for the department believes that engaging the students’ interests in the culture will be the catalyst in pursuing their language studies long after “schooling has ceased to interfere with their education.”

Socially interactive activities:

  • conversation and discussion sessions with the instructor, classmates, and native speakers in the community
  • dialogues and role plays; partner and group work
  • listening comprehension and pronunciation

Variety of in class activities:

  • use a multitude of pictures, transparencies, and videos
  • repetition and review
  • practice drills, workbook exercises, worksheets, practice quizzes
  • online laboratory exercises, listening and pronunciation practices