The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of using a smartphone application in a Communicative Language Teaching context. Specifically, a web-based application called Let’s Talk was designed to facilitate an Information Gap activity in an English language class. Participants were assigned to an experiment group using Let’s Talk or a control group using textbooks to practice English conversation. Communication performance, including vocabulary, sentence structure and comprehension, was measured. Their Willingness to Communicate, including self-perceived Language Learning Anxiety and Communicative Competence, was also collected through questionnaires. How to do Communicative Language Teaching Classroom
English communication is recognized as the 21st century essential competence. To equip learners with this competence, EFL educators’ goal is to make language learning engaging and effective. Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) is an effective method for achieving Communicative Competence and has been found to have a positive effect on communication performance .
Information Gap activity is a type of CLT activity. It is a commonly used technique in the language classroom where students with missing information work with others who have information necessary to complete a task or solve a problem . However, front line language instructors have reported that it is oftentimes difficult to engage learners in an information gap activity because it lacks authentic components associated with real-life conversation in many aspects: 1. It lacks scaffolds for initiating questions. 2. It lacks turn taking necessary for students to interact. 3. It lacks feedback to facilitate communication. Psychological factors such as Willingness to Communicate (WTC) can reflect learners’ intention to initiate or participate in English communication . Studies have shown that the design of classroom activity affects learner’s WTC , which is associated with their actual engagement .