Public Engagement

General Public

Communicative Language Teaching: 40 years on: A Public Presentation by Scott Thornbury

Monday, July 10, 2017 at 6:00 pm

John L. Tishman Auditorium, University Center 63 Fifth Avenue, Room U100, New York, NY 10003

Join us for a public presentation by New School MA TESOL faculty Scott Thornbury.

It is 50 years since Dell Hymes first coined the term ‘communicative competence’ and it took only another ten before the concept became the foundation of a new approach to second language teaching. Forty years on, where is the communicative approach? Are the goals of language teaching still communicative competence? If so, what happened to the idea that ‘you learn to communicate by communicating’?  In this talk Scott Thornbury reviews the core concepts that inspired CLT, and traces how they were developed and then – through want of a coherent learning theory –  abandoned. He will argue that it is well past time that we revisited the foundational principles of CLT and argue that there are now good grounds – including a coherent theory of learning (or two) – to rehabilitate it.

Scott Thornbury (MATEFL, with distinction, University of Reading, UK), a native of New Zealand currently residing in Spain, is the series editor of the Cambridge Handbooks for Teachers series. He has been a prolific writer of books and articles for teachers and students and a tireless presenter at international ELT conferences, sharing the knowledge gained from his more than 30 years of experience as a teacher, teacher trainer, and CELTA and UCLES examiner.

Sponsored by English Language Studies and Pearson English

Event Type

Lectures and Panel Discussions


General Public


International and Global, Education and Learning


Schools of Public Engagement, School of Languages


English Language Studies, TESOL, Education, Schools and Universities


Free; reservations required at the top right button

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