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Communicative Language Teaching for English as a Foreign Language

Info: 1518 words (6 pages) Introduction
Published: 3rd Sep 2021

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Tagged: EducationTeaching


Much research on curriculum development has been done in different fields of education. It has uncovered both successes and failures. Research on educational innovations reveals many problems which result in non-implementation of planned innovations. These include the problems of inadequate knowledge of implementation, and lack of awareness of the limitations of teachers and school administration, etc. (Pink 1989; Fullan 1992; Fullan and Hargreaves 1991). Recently, the literature in the field of ELT has reported innovations in the implementation of new teacher roles, new practices, new materials, etc. Most principles for innovation are derived from English-speaking countries and transferred throughout the world. For instance, the learner-centred, communicative approach which originated in British ELT has been recommended almost everywhere. Although some reports mention the success of such innovations, others have concluded that many problematic implementation issues emerge from a direct transfer, after it has been put into use worldwide, such as in China (Burnaby and Son 1989; Anderson 1993; Hui 1997), Indonesia (Tomlinson 1990), Greece (Karavas-Doukas 1995), Hong-Kong (Carless 1998), and Libya (Orafi 2008), etc.

However, the knowledge and understanding of what is involved in effecting innovation in many projects has been investigated mostly by their change agents. Many ELT innovation projects reported in the professional literature are designed and examined by their authors as leading change agents, not by end users, i.e. teachers (e.g. Gray 1990; Jarvis 1992; Tomlinson 1990; Barmada 1994; Guariento 1997; Markee 1997, etc.). In those projects, the authors/reporters design, introduce, and monitor the process of implementation.

To finding out how best to teach the four skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing as well as grammar and vocabulary. The development of so many methods has been a response, according to Richards and Rodgers (2001:7-9), to the changes in the kind of proficiency (e.g. oral vs. written) that learners are thought to need. In the 1970’s, in particular, there was a major shift to learners’ need for communicating in a second language away from a focus on grammar and translation. This shift was crucial, especially for foreign language learners who leave school unable to use their foreign language in actual communication. So, FL countries adopted this shift to communication to satisfy their students’ needs for fluency. As English became a lingua franca by the 1990s it was seen as necessary to teach it for communication as it became the mostly taught foreign language worldwide (Gebhard, 2006; Carrick, 2007).

The teaching of English as a second (ESL) or as a foreign language (EFL) started to become important after World War II. A great demand for English courses by immigrants, refugees, and foreign students took place in the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, and Australia (Richards, 2001:23). When English was introduced in schools, it was first introduced at the secondary level in 1950s. But, since the application of the Communicative Approach/Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) in national curricula after the publication of Wilkins’s book Notional Syllabuses (1976) educationalists/researchers in many countries have observed that students can not communicate as well as expected after leaving secondary school, with eight years of English, as they start their university study (e.g. Al-Mutawa, 1994; Tang, 2002). According to Al-Mutawa and Kailani (1998:I) English language has enjoyed a considerable role in the fields of business, industry, technology, politics, education, medicine and many other professional fields. According to Saleh, more attention is required from EFL teachers to students EFL teachers on teaching them how to communicate in the target language effectively. This requires that the traditional methods, the classroom learning activities and the learning environment have to be changed to correspond with the latest developments and changes in views on ELT represented by the communicative approach (2002:1). Because of the above reasons, English language syllabus of Libyan secondary schools has been changed lately as a response to these developments.

The new English programme in Libyan secondary education aims to enable students to: i) achieve a reasonable proficiency in listening and speaking English at a sensible speed, reading simple texts with comprehension and writing about a simple subject or incident; ii) develop their interest in learning English so that they can learn effectively by themselves; and iii) improve their knowledge and have access to foreign culture (UNESCO 2002 reported in Al-Buseifi 2003:4).

It has been investigated that some classroom teachers who teach EFL at secondary schools in Libya are traditional and not in harmony with the principles and objectives of the communicative approach upon which the new curriculum has been based. Teachers are faced with some difficulties in implementing the new curriculum. Therefore, some problems have been appeared, for example; teachers use their native language extensively and use only very little English during the lesson. Teachers talk a lot whereas students talk very little. Teachers need to be well trained. Class-time and size are not suitable. Appropriate materials and group-work activities are needed.

This study aims to investigate some EFL teachers in Libyan secondary schools to determine the extent of their effectiveness in achieving the desirable objectives of the new curriculum. It specifically investigates and describes the following:

  1. How far does the new curriculum filter down into EFL classrooms in Libyan secondary schools?
  2. What are the methods that Libyan secondary school teachers use in teaching English as a foreign language?
  3. How do Libyan teachers implement the new curriculum (CLT) in teaching EFL?
  4. What difficulties may face Libyan teachers in implementing the CLT approach?
  5. To what extent are Libyan teachers qualified in communicative language teaching?

Since the language curriculum of Libyan secondary schools has been changed lately and has been based on the communicative approach. The EFL teachers who teach this new curriculum should be based on the principles and objectives of the communicative approach. In fact, most Libyan EFL teachers got used to apply the Grammar Translation Method (GTM) with its traditional views and objectives, so they may encounter some difficulties when changing their method especially if they have not been previously trained. This topic is important to investigate because I have noted that it is still a controversial issue between researchers and teachers. The main emphasis is to know whether teachers are using the new curriculum in order to enhance the students’ basic knowledge of English and competence to use English for communication. In other words, it is to investigate EFL teachers at Libyan secondary schools to find out whether they have changed their method in parallel with the change in the curriculum and how it is implemented. In order to achieve more understanding about these issues, this study attempts to discuss the curriculum innovation in Libya with reference to communicative language teaching which is implemented in the new curriculum. More attention is given to teachers, they are regarded as having the main role in any innovation.

This study is divided into five chapters. In the first chapter, there will be the introduction, the research hypothesis, the research question, the purpose and the significance of the research.

Chapter two will be focused on the literature review which include; definition of innovation, its theory and its aim. Background of the context, EFL in Libya, CLT, its development, and its principles. Some factors related to the adoption of the new curriculum (CLT), e g; teacher’s role, teacher student interaction, student-student interaction, teacher training, methods of teaching, materials and testing criteria.

Third chapter will be the methodology. The methods of collecting data will be discussed, there will be a review of how data will be collected, who are the participants, how many, where, how, when, all these questions will be answered in this chapter.

Chapter four will be about the results.

The results will be discussed in chapter five.

Conclusion and recommendations will be discussed in chapter six.

This study will provide an opportunity to enrich theory and practice of CLT in a non-native English speaking setting. It deals with an important issue in the field of teaching as a foreign language which is related to the teaching methods that is used by teachers. To achieve this purpose this research has been carried out.

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Teaching is a profession whereby a teacher will help students to develop their knowledge, skills, and understanding of a certain topic. A teacher will communicate their own knowledge of a subject to their students, and support them in gaining a comprehensive understanding of that subject.

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