Community language learning (CLL) is the name of a method introduced and developed by Charles A. Curran and his associates. Curran was a specialist in counseling and a professor of psychology at Loyola university in chicago. It is no doubt that this method has been ispired by the application of psychological counseling techniques to learning, which is called counseling-learning. Community language learning represents the use of counseling-learning theory to teach foreign language.

If the term “counseling” is traced back, it refers to the idea that there is a relationship between a counselor and a client (s). the counselor give advice, assistance and support to his/her clients, who have a problem(s). In community language learning this kind of relationship is considered basic to learning a foreign language. The teacher functions as the counselor and the learners as his/her clients. Since CLL sees a language learner as tha whole person, including his/her psychological aspects such as emotions and feeling, CLL techniques are also described as humanistic techniques.

The concept of “community” has been used in this method because when such relationship mentioned above is applied specifically to groups with the task of learning a second language a very special kind of community-involvement result. Language learners and their language teacher build an intense atmosphere of warmth. This kind of security and support from one another in the group is really typical in this method and almost the exact opposite of the atmosphere in the schooling setting. The language learners never feel isolated and alone because everybody belongs to the group and everybody sits in a “community” and senses positive regard of everyone else (currant, 1976: 1). CLL represents an attempt to put the insights from psychology to work in the teaching and learning of foreign language. The method emphasizes on “community” learning, as opposed to individual learning as some other traditional teaching does.

If the concept of counseling and its application in community language learning are compared, the language teaching tradition of CLL represent the underlying concepts of the client-counselor relationship in psychological counseling (richards and rodgers, 1986: 114 and 2001).

Psychological counseling

  1. Client and counselor agree to counseling
  2. Client articulates his/her problems in language of affect
  3. Counselor listens carefully
  4. Counselor restates client message in language of cognition
  5. Client evaluates the accuracy of counselor’s message restatement
  6. Client reflects on the interaction of counseling session

Community language learning

  1. Learner and knower (teacher) agree to language learning
  2. Learner presents to the knower (in L1) a message he/she wishes to deliver to another
  3. Knower listens and other learners overhear
  4. Knower restates learner’s message in L2
  5. Learner repeats the L2 message from to its addressee
  6. Learner raplays (from tape or memory) and reflects upon the message exchanged during the language class.

The procedure of CLL above, which has been developed from the concepts of counseling psychology,is not eady to understand and implement in language classes. Language teacher have to develop the principles of CLL by considering conditions and situations where language learners are learning a foreign language. The procedure may be developed in defferent ways, depending on the culture, the proficiency level, and the classroom setting. Language learners from different cultures seem to have different ways of acquiring a foreign language. A language teacher’s behavior also adapt to the culture of the language learners. Some behaviour of a language teacher in learning-teaching process is welcome in a certain culture but may not be proper in another culture. Ways of teaching are also different among students of different levels due to different ways of learning. The suggested procedure may be easily implemented in language classes in western countries, which consist of fewer students than those in asian countries, particularly in indonesia. Even though different procedures of language teaching may exist, CLL has basic principles as proposed by curran (1976: 28-30). The basic principles represent the steps of learning a foreign language.


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