Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) is a method of teaching language rose in 1970s, firstly in Europe. This method is a result of the increased demand of learning language, especially foreign language, for work or personal reason. This demand leads the educators to change the method of language teaching from traditional method, such as Grammar Translation Method (GTM), into more modern method like CLT. One of many reasons why educators prefer the CLT method than the GTM method is because GTM does not help the students to improve their speaking skill.
GTM is a method which attends to structure and form than meaning (Richard and Rogers, in Bambang Setiyadi, 2006). In GTM students learn grammar rules, how to put grammatical labels on words, and how to apply the rules by translating sentences which will help them to increase their vocabulary. By doing this, the students only learn how to write and read texts given in the target language. Speaking communication is ignored in this method. Therefore, the students may only know the rules without being able to use them in daily communication.
In contrast with GTM, CLT method really focuses in speaking skill. The principle of CLT is that language learners learn the target language optimally when they communicate in the language (Bambang Setiyadi, 20016). It means that students are learning to be communicative. Although some students may not be fluent in communicating using the target language, especially beginners, they are pushed to speak ignoring the mistakes that may be made because this method also believes that communicative language is created by the individual often through trial and error. By this habit formation to speak, the students may be helped to use the language in the daily life, and they may be confident to speak with native speaker.
In conclusion, since GTM focuses on the grammar and translation it is not an appropriate method to build the language learners’ speaking skill. Therefore, the educators choose CLT as a method to teach communicative language which has principles and procedures that are appropriate to improve the language learners’ speaking skill.