Community Language Learning (CLL) is the name of a method developed by Charles Curran and his associates. Curran was a specialist in counseling and a professor of psychology at Loyola University, Chicago. His application of psychological counseling techniques to learning is known as Counseling-Learning. Community Language Learning represents the use of Counseling-Learning theory to teach languages. As the name indicates, CLL derives its primary insights and organizing rationale from Rogerian counseling. Counseling is one person giving advice, assistance and support to another person who has a problem or is in some way in need. Community Language Learning draws on the counseling metaphor to redefine the roles of the teacher as counselor and the learners as clients in the language classroom. CLL is cited as an example of a “humanistic approach”.
For the next two classes the teacher decides to have the students continue to work with the conversation they created. Some of the activities are as follows :
1. The teacher selects the verb ‘be’ from the transcript, and together he and the students conjugate it for person and number in the present tense. They do the same for the verb ‘do’ and for the regular verb ‘work’.
2. The students work in small groups to make sentences with the new forms. They share the sentences they have created with the rest of the class.
3. Students take turns reading the transcript, one student reading the English and another reading the Indonesian. They have created with the rest of the class.
4. The teacher puts a picture of a person on the blackboard and the students ask questions of that person as if they have just met him.
5. The students reconstruct the conversation they have created.
Although CLL is primarily meant as a ‘whole’ approach to teaching I have found it equally useful for an occasional lesson, especially with teenagers. It enables me to refocus on the learner while my students immediately react positively to working in a community. They take exceptionally well to peer-correction and by working together they overcome their fear of speaking. I have also found quieter students able to offer corrections to their peers and gladly contribute to the recording stage of the lesson. It’s a teaching method which encompasses all four skills while simultaneously revealing learners’ styles which are more or less analytical in their approach to language learning. All of which raises our awareness as a teacher and that of our students.Once you have tried CLL with your class, it’s a good idea to evaluate the method. Here are some possible questions you could ask.