Critical Literacy and the Communicative Approach: Gaps and Intersections

ABSTRACT The objective of this paper is to foster reflections on the similarities and differences between the Communicative Approach, one of the best-known methods for teaching English as a Foreign Language (EFL) around the world, and Critical Literacy, a relatively recent trend in the Brazilian EFL scenario, as suggested by the National Guidelines for High School Teaching (BRASIL, 2006). First, we will address the theoretical traditions that give rise to the two teaching approaches, explaining their main concepts. We will then discuss the similarities between the two approaches, as well as their main differences. We claim that the two teaching approaches, however different in their epistemological underpinnings, are not incompatible, but rather complementary. Finally, we suggest an example of an integrated activity that aims to reconcile the objectives of the two approaches.