Teaching and Learning English at Tertiary Level: Revisiting Communicative Approach

Kun-huei Wu
November 2011
Theory & Practice in Language Studies;Nov2011, Vol. 1 Issue 11, p1459
Academic Journal
This study aims to discuss students' and teachers' awareness of various aspects of Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) and in light of the results, consider the pedagogical implications. Participants consist of nine non-native English teachers and 286 students in Taiwan's universities. Data was collected through an attitude scale and interviews with the participants. Analytical results revealed that most of the students preferred the communicative-learning teaching approach as a means to improve their English proficiency. Both students and teachers showed positive attitude with some reservation toward four domains of CLT: group/pair work, grammar, student/teacher role, and peer/teacher correction. The results also showed that the difficulties--teacher-related, student-related, and educational-system related--encountered by non-native English teachers were complex. Teacher-related constraints included teachers' low confidence in spoken English, deficiency in strategic and sociolinguistic competence, unfamiliarity with the target culture, lack of proper training in CLT, and low willingness to prepare communicative materials. Student-related constraints were mainly due to students' insufficient proficiency, and educational-system related limitations consisting of large classes and grammar-based examinations. The findings of this study, which corroborated those of previous studies, suggest that many of the difficulties encountered by both Taiwanese students and English teachers over the past decades still persist to this day.


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