The core of language learning: Why my approach is communication-based

This afternoon, I spent a little bit of time diving into my YouTube archives. I discovered this video, featuring my own contribution to the "Staycation Challenge", and it reminded me of one of the core things I believe about language learning.

This is all about communication!

When you're hard at work with verb endings and word field exercises, chances are you run the risk of losing sight of your goal. Language learning is meant to bring people together. In fact, it's any kind of communication that brings people together. You can say a lot with a smile or a gesture!

Does the thought of communicating without language seem strange to you?

Here in Britain, it's not unusual to meet language learners who have learnt a bit of German or French, but whose levels of confidence just aren't rising. There seems to be a belief that it is important to be able to get it really right before you go and inflict your language skills upon anyone else.

What I believe in is a communication-based approach to language learning. There are so many times when students might make a small mistake in a sentence which is perfectly fine, but does this impact on your message?

As a language tutor, I will certainly correct them but it's important to make sure that you don't lose focus of what really counts - language learners want to connect, to be understood, and ultimately to share a smile much more than impress anyone with their pitch-perfect grammar.

Do you agree, and do you learn language with the same attitude?