Communicative language teaching (CLT): Practical understandings

Kazuyoshi Sato, Robert C. Kleinsasser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

107 Scopus citations


The aim of this article is to report on a study that documented the views and practices of communicative language teaching (CLT) by Japanese second language inservice teachers. Compared to theoretical developments of CLT (e.g., see Savignon, 1991), little is known about what second language teachers actually understand by CLT and how they implement CLT in classrooms. Using multiple data sources including interviews, observations, and surveys, the article reports how teachers defined CLT and implemented it in their classrooms. The study identified how teachers actually dealt with CLT in their classrooms teaching Japanese. It is interesting to note that their views and actions dealt little with the academic literature pertaining to CLT or their education (be it preservice or inservice) in learning about CLT. Instead, teachers resorted to their personal ideas and experiences, solidifying their notions of foreign language (L2) teaching in further pursuing their evolving conceptions of CLT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)494-517
Number of pages24
JournalModern Language Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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