The communicative approach, or task-based (communicative) learning, has unduly occupied almost all the space for didactic reflection and methodological development in the world over the last 40 years. Indeed, this approach is not appropriate for all the goals and objectives of teaching and learning in schools. We will illustrate this point by taking as an example the historical evolution of methodologies in France. The pre-communicative methodology of the 1920s to 1960s, based on the collective reading and oral commentary of authentic documents, is still relevant for students who only want to keep a distance contact with the foreign language-culture. Two post-communicative orientations have become necessary to meet the challenges of living and working together in "a multilingual and multicultural Europe" (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, 2000), namely plurilingual approaches and the action-oriented approach. All these methodological matrices need to be protected and maintained in applied linguistics in the same way as the diversity of languages in the world or biodiversity in nature. The only relevant question is how they can be selected and combined or articulated in language programmes taking into account students, goals, objectives and contexts, especially in relation to local educational cultures.