The implementation of communicative language teaching (CLT) in an English department in a Lao higher educational institution : a case study
Permanent link to Research Bank record:http://hdl.handle.net/10652/2317
English language is an international language used in order to communicate in the fields of education, technology, trade and politics so that it is learnt as a foreign language in many countries around the world. Due to the importance and necessity to communicate in English, in recent decades many EFL countries as well as Lao higher educational institutions have shifted from traditional grammar-based teaching method to communicative-focused instruction. However, some research has reported that there is still has a gap between schools’ language policy and classrooms’ practices. This study explores the understandings and attitudes of English teachers in adopting a Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) approach into their classrooms. It investigates factors that promote or hinder EFL teachers’ implementation of this teaching approach into Lao higher educational institutions English classrooms. It also examines the syllabi that influence them in teaching communicative English. This qualitative study investigated the perceptions of English teachers in a Department of English and a case study approach was applied in order to explore teachers’ understandings of CLT. Ten English teachers from one department in a Lao higher education institution were interviewed using semi-structured interviews. The study compares the literature about communicative English teaching with the findings of data collected from these ten one-to-one, in-depth interviews in the same setting.The findings indicated that the factors that affected the implementation of CLT in the Lao context related to teachers’ factors include: misconceptions of CLT, traditional grammar-based teaching approach, teachers’ English proficiency and lack of CLT training. The issues raised from students include: students’ low English proficiency, students’ learning styles and behaviours, and lack of motivation to develop communicative competence. Other difficulties caused by educational system were: the power of the examination, class size, and insufficient funding to support CLT and the last factors caused by CLT itself was: the lack of CLT interaction in society and school. The study also provides a range of practical recommendations for the faculty deans, senior managers at higher educational institutions, ministry educators and policy-makers to further improve implementation of CLT and to help ensure the success in implementing this approach in Lao higher educational institutions.