Internship Report on Communicative Language Teaching in Bangladesh

Introduction:

The present age is marked as an age of globalization and     for many different reasons English has achieved the prestige of being   a global language.  So to pace with the global context English is a must and now a days it is used in our country not only as a foreign language but also as a second language. The Government of Bangladesh is trying their best to make the students of Bangladesh efficient in English. That’s why they have introduced the latest and the most scientific method of learning English. As a result now we have the Communicative method in exchange of previous Grammar-Translation method.

Before coming to Bangladesh perspective I like to take a quick look to the global perspective and the history of Syllabus Design and different methods of language learning. There are four methods of language learning which the renowned linguists of different ages approved as below:

                      1) Grammar Translation Method

                      2) Direct Method

                      3) Audio-lingual Method

                      4) Communicative Language Teaching Method

Grammar Translation Method deserved most importance in the history of language learning. The study of classical Latin—works of Virgil, Ovid, Cicero and an analysis of its grammar became the model for foreign language study from the 16th, 17th to the 19th centuries. The system emphasizes on detail analysis of its grammar rules and it requires little emphasis for speaking. The motto of this system is “To know everything about something rather than the thing itself.” GTM dominated from the 1840s to the 1940s and in modified form it continues to be widely used in some parts of the world today. In the mid & late 19th we find Reform Movement (in some European countries) & opposition to GMT gradually developed.

On the other hand, Direct Method is quite opposite to GTM which originated in the 1960s and this method is supported by Gouin, L. Sauveur(1826-1907), F Franke. This method claims that Second Language can be learned if the learner is emerged in the target language and its culture. It emphasizes on context, meaning and correct pronunciation.

Another method namely Audiolingual Method emerged during the 2nd World War specially to teach foreign languages to the soldiers of different European countries. Emphasizing on extensive oral practice it aims at mainly to advocate listening and speaking. Here model dialogues are used containing key structures and each structure is practiced repeatedly until learning it. Memorizing and imitating plays the main role in this method.

Finally comes the Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) Method which borrowed the ideas from Direct Method and Situational Language Teaching Method. The communicative approach is essentially a manifestation of the 1970s, in the sense that this was the decade when the most explicit debate took place, especially in the UK.  Its aim is to achieve “communicative competence” through learning four basic language skills i.e. Speaking, Listening, Reading & Writing. Its origins are many, insofar as one teaching methodology tends to influence the next. The communicative approach could be said to be the product of educators and linguists who gowned dissatisfied with audiolingual and grammar-translation methods of language instruction. Some renowned scholars & distinguished linguists like Christopher Candlin (1976), Henry Widdowson (1979), John Firth (1957), M.A.K. Halliday (1973),  D. A. Wilkin (1976) supported this method.  Actually CLT makes use of real-life situations that necessitate communication. The teacher sets up a situation that students are likely to encounter in real life. It is noteworthy that the real life simulations change from day to day. Students’ motivation to learn comes from their desire to communicate in meaningful ways about meaningful topics.

CLT is a new method in our country as it is introduced in our educational institutions during mid 1990s. But it has been used in the Western countries for about 30 to 40 years. In this method the learners are encouraged to interact among them in the classroom and their surroundings. Now the question is how much effective is it in Bangladesh perspective. In most of the first world countries if they want to apply any new method, it is pre-tested after doing a lot of surveys in the field level. But the scenario is completely reversed in our country.

The Communicative Method is recognized worldwide already, yet there are some problems in this method. It needs a favorable environment such as small class size, proper content selection, long duration of class, audio-video or computer facilities and most of all trained & efficient teachers etc. But most of the 3rd world countries are not able to afford the concerning amenities entirely to the classroom. That’s why the CLT can’t work properly all the time.

Moreover, both the teachers and the students have to be active simultaneously in the classroom situation in applying this method. In the previous method the teachers took the main role in the class but in communicative method the students are the main concern. They take the prime part of the interaction while the teacher acts as a guide to the students. The teacher selects a topic, makes the students understood it and then engages them in interaction. Sometimes he divides the students in some groups, sometimes manages the students converse in peer groups between the students or a student with the teacher himself.

However I like to find out the effectiveness of this method both in the metropolitan & the rural areas and the shortcomings if there is any. For doing so I have chosen five colleges from Dhaka Metropolitan area and another five from rural areas of Narsingdi and Gazipur district. The aim of my research is to trace out the prospects and problems of CLT comparing with metropolitan areas to the rural areas of Bangladesh.

 Literature Review:

Nature of Teaching Process:

John and Stanley (1973:1) assert that the basic elements that are found in any teaching situation consist of a teacher, at least one student, and a learning objective that the teacher expects the student to achieve. The problem that the teacher faces is how to get the student to learn. The only way for the teacher to solve this problem is to make use of stimuli; these stimuli may come from sources outside the student, or they may originate within the student. For example, the teacher talking to the student or showing him a picture illustrates the use of external stimuli. Internal stimuli include such things as ideas which originate in the mind of a student and cause him to learn or feelings and interests that the student has which prompt him to make an effort to learn.

What do these stimuli do to bring about learning in the student? The function of this stimuli is to the student to make an effort to learn; that is, to motivate the student. John and Stanley (1973:1) refer to these stimuli as effort- producing stimuli. Once the student is motivated, the function of other stimuli is to control what the student will learn. They call these outcome-shaping stimuli. Outcome-shaping stimuli cause the student to attain one specific learning outcome rather than another, whereas the function of effort- producing stimuli is to increase the likelihood that the student will learn something.

How Do Teaching  Methods  Differ?

The reason there are different methods of teaching is that there are different basic assumptions or theories about what is the most effective way to motivate students (the use of effort-producing stimuli ) and different basic assumptions about the most effective way to bring about a particular learning outcome (the use of outcome-shaping stimuli).

Western educational writers have advocated five fundamentally different approaches to teaching, three of which were developed before or during the   Greco-Roman period and the last two of which were formulated since 1750 as given below:

                                       1. Telling / Showing Method

2. Exercise / Imitation Method

3. Discovery / Restructuring Method

4. Student Interest Method

5. Reinforcement Method

Telling / Showing Method: Typical examples of the outcome-shaping techniques employed by teachers when they use the Telling/Showing Method are lecturing, presenting films and slides, performing a scientific experiment in front of a class, and taking students on a field trip.  Plato recognized the pervasiveness of the Telling Method. (idib:6)

Exercise / Imitation Method: Whereas the Telling / Showing Method requires minimum active involvement on the part of the student, the opposite is true of the Exercise / Imitation Method.             The view of the learning process underlying this method is that the student must be relatively active in order to learn that he must put forth considerable effort. Learning is assumed to increase gradually through practice. As in the case of the Telling / Showing Method, this method makes use of pre-response outcome-shaping stimuli and overtly provided, aversive effort-producing stimuli. (idib:8)

Discovery / Restructuring Method: Teaching techniques that are normally associated with the use of Discovery /Restructuring Method including the technique of student teacher discussions. Probably the best known example of the use of this technique during the Greco-Roman period is found in the so-called “Socratic Method.” In this approach the teacher asks probable questions, first to bring the student to a realization that what he knew previously he does not really know, and then to make the student discover “new” knowledge that somehow was already latent within him. (idib:13)

Student Interest Method:   A number of present-day education writers have committed themselves to the Student Interest Method. John and Stanley (1973:119) claim John Holt’s view that “the children learn better when they learn what they to learn when they want to learn it, and how they want to learn it, learning for their own curiosity and at somebody else’s order”.

Reinforcement Method: The Reinforcement Method, which is itself a twentieth century development in instructional method, has been popularized in two major forms: “programmed instruction” and “behavior modification.” Programmed instruction provides the student (by means of a mechanical device or book) with a specially arranged sequence of material to be learned. While the behavior modification approach, in its classroom application, utilizes the teacher as the dispenser of reinforcement. The key to this technique is that the teacher must be aware of the nature of the reinforcement process and act accordingly. Thus approved student behaviors may be rewarded by appropriate words, gestures, tokens, and prizes, while non-approved behaviors are not recognized. (idib:119-120)

Communicative Language Teaching:

All the five conceptions of teaching methodology are still considered to be important and the Communicative Language Teaching system is an amalgamation of the aforesaid five methods to a great extent. The origins of Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) are to be found in the changes in the British language teaching tradition dating from the late 1960s. Until then, Situational Language Teaching represented the major British approach to teaching English as a foreign language. In Situational Language Teaching, language was taught by practicing basic structures in meaningful situation-based activities. But just as the linguistic theory underlying Audiolingualism was rejected in the United States in the mid-1960s, British applied linguists began to call into question the theoretical assumptions underlying Situational Language Teaching. (Richards and Rodgers 1986: 64)

Different Views of Language:

Littlewood (1981:1) states,

“One of the most characteristic features of the Communicative Language teaching is that it      pays systematic attention to functional as well as structural aspects of language.”

According to Richards and Rodgers (1986: 66), it means using procedures where learners work in pairs or groups employing available language resources in problem solving tasks.

The structural view of language concentrates on the grammatical system, describing ways in which linguistic items can be combined. The structural view of language has not been in any way superseded by the functional view.  However, it is not sufficient on its own to account for how language is used as a means of communication. Just as a single linguistic form can express a number of functions, so also can a single communicative function be expressed by a number of linguistic forms (Littlewood 1981:1-2).

 As mentioned in “Richards and Rodgers (1986: 66)” we come to know that in her discussion of communicative syllabus design, Yalden (1983) discusses six Communicative Language Teaching design alternatives, ranging from a model in which communicative exercises are grafted onto an existing structural syllabus, to a learner-generated view of syllabus design (e.g. Holec 1980).

Richards and Rodgers (1986: 66) states that Howatt (1984) distinguishes between a “strong” and a “weak” version of Communicative Language Teaching:

There is, in a sense, a “strong” version of Communicative approach and a “weak” version. The weak version which has become more or less standard practice in the last ten years, stresses the importance of providing learners with opportunities to use their English for communicative purposes and, characteristically, attempts to integrate such activities in to a wider program of language teaching…..The “strong” version of Communicative teaching, on the other hand, advances the claim that language is acquired through communication, so that it is not merely a question of activating an existing but inert knowledge of the language, but of stimulating the development of the language system itself. If the former could be described as ‘learning to use” English, the latter entails ‘using English to learn it.”  (1984 : 279)

Characteristics of communicative view:

According to Richards and Rodgers (1986:71) at the level of language theory, Communicative Language Teaching has a rich, if somewhat “eclectic, theoretical base”. Some of the Characteristics of this communicative view of language are as follow:

  1. Language is a system for the expression of meaning.
  2. The primary function of language is for interaction and communication.
  3. The structure of language reflects its functional and communicative uses.
  4. The primary units of language are not merely its grammatical and structural features, but categories of functional and communicative meaning as exemplified in discourse.

Implication of the Communicative Approach for Teaching Purposes:

According to Brumfit & Johnson (1979 : 26)     there are several implications that helps to form the teaching materials that the teachers work with and their attitudes to managing their classroom. The seven implications are:

“1. ‘Communicative’ implies ‘semantic’, a concern with the meaning potential of language.

2. There is a complex relationship between language form and language function.

3. Form and function operate as part of a wider network of factors.

4. Appropriacy of language use has to be considered alongside accuracy. This has implications for attitudes to error.

5. ‘Communicative’ is relevant to all four language skills.

6. The concept of communication takes us beyond the level of the sentence.

7. ‘Communicative’ can refer both to the properties of language and to behavior.”

Implication I

In its broadest sense, the concept of ‘being communicative’ has to do with its formal grammatical properties. The research of the 1970s laid the foundations for this view. Which is particularly associated with the work of Wilkins (1976) originally carried out for the Council of Europe. Wilkins proposed two categories of communicative meaning: ‘notional’ (or ‘semantico-grammatical’) and ‘functional’. The distinction between these two terms is clearly set out by Johnson (1982):

 “Notions are rather abstract concepts – frequency, duration, dimension, location, quantity and so on – which in English are closely related to grammatical categories.”

Implication 2 

This is closely linked to the first, and concerns the relationship between the grammatical forms of a language and their communicative function.

In more traditional teaching materials, this complex form-function relationship tends to be simplified, often implying a one-to-one correspondence, so that ‘interrogatives’ are used for ‘asking questions’, ‘imperatives’ for ‘giving commands’, ‘conditionals’ for ‘making hypothetical statements’ and so on. In a communicative perspective, this relationship is explored more carefully, and as a result our views on the properties of language have been expanded and enriched. However, there are a number of pedagogic problems associated with this approach to materials design, particularly to do with the sequencing of the language to be practiced.

Implication 3

It is possible for most teachers to think of classroom situations where grammar practice takes place with very little reference to everyday reality, where learners rehearse patterns simply in order to get them right rather than to express meaning. Equally, it unfortunately is just as possible for a list of language functions to be practiced as ritualistically as grammar with, say, a few structural items for ‘giving advice’ applied in turn to imaginary people and situations. We need, then, to be a little cautious here, because there is no reason in principle why grammar practice should not be placed in a communicative context, and functional practice take place only as a list of separate and decontextualized items.

Language function and language form, then, do not operate in isolation but as part of a network of interconnected factors, all of which need to be taken into account in materials which use a communicative concept as their design principle.

Implication 4

Once we move away from the idea that mastery of grammar = mastery of a language, we are obliged at the same time to move away from evaluating our learners’ proficiency on the basis of accuracy alone. It is undoubtedly desirable that their language production should be as ‘correct’ as possible, but we have seen that grammaticality also takes place in a wider social and communicative context. The implication here is that we should concern ourselves not only with accuracy of form, but also with a appropriacy in relation to the including ‘what a speaker needs to know in order to be communicatively competent in a speech community’ (Richards and Rodgers 1986: 70). The communicative approach has therefore led to a broadening of the criteria by which language proficiency is defined. We now have the concepts of appropriacy as well as accuracy, communicative as well grammatical competence, use as well as usage (Widdowson, 1978).

Implication 5

It is important to realize that ‘communicative’ can in fact refer to four language skills. We can look at this in two different ways. Firstly we can divide the ‘four skills’ into ‘productive’ (speaking and writing and ‘receptive’ (listening and reading) and practice them separately. It is possible to do this successfully from a communicative perspective.

More usefully, we can group together the oral/aural skills of speaking and listening, and the ‘paper skills’ of reading and writing. In both cases, we have a giver and a receiver of message, and the ways in which the information in the message if understood by the receiver is an integral part of the communication.

Implication 6

A concept of communication does not have to be based on sentence-level criteria, and it can allow language to be described, and language learning to take place, over longer stretches. In principle it can handle whole conversations, or paragraphs, or even longer texts. In recent years, a number of categories for describing language have been developed that are not based of sentence-level criteria, but on the broader notion of ‘discourse’. There is a large and growing background literature on ‘discourse analysis’.

Essentially, the notion gives us the possibility of showing how different parts of a text or a conversation or any stretch of language are interlinked. This may be, for example, by cross-referencing with pronoun use or definite articles; by semantic links across items of vocabulary; by markers of logical development (‘however’, ‘therefore’, ‘so’, ‘because’ and the like); by ellipsis in conversation (the short answers’ of coursebook practice); and by substitution (‘this is my book, yours is the other one’).

Implication 7: 

Finally the term ‘communicative’ itself has been used in relation to teaching in two

distinct thought related ways, and the apparent ambiguity has sometimes been a source of confusion because language is seen to have inherent communicative as well as grammatical properties.

 After all there are a number of reasons why a communicative approach is an attractive one, providing a richer teaching and learning environment. It can:

  • include wider considerations of what is appropriate as well as what is accurate
  • handle a wider range of language, covering texts and conversations as well as sentences
  • provide realistic and motivating language practice
  • use what learners ‘know’ about the functions of language from their experience with their own mother tongues.

Purposes of Communicative Activities:

At this stage, it should be useful to consider briefly what the teacher might hope to achieve through communicative activity in the classroom, since this will determine his own attitude towards it and what place he gives it in his overall methodology. Littlewood (1981: 17) therefore summarizes, under four headings, some of the contributions that communicative activities can make to language learning that are as follow:

1. They provide “whole-task practice”

In considering how people learn to carry out various kinds of skilled performance, it is often useful to distinguish between (a) training in the part-skills of which the performance is composed and (b) practice in the total skill, sometimes called ‘whole-task practice’. Learning to swim, for example, usually involves not only separate practice of individual movement (part-skill), but also actual attempts to swim short distances (whole-task practice). In foreign language learning, the teacher’s means for providing learners with whole-task practice is through various kinds of communicative activity, structured in order to suit the learners’ level of ability.

2. They improve motivation

The learners’ ultimate objective is to take part in communication with others. Their motivation to learn is more likely to be sustained if they can see how their classroom learning is related to this objective and helps them to achieve it with increasing success.

Also, most learners’ prior conception of language is as a means of communication rather than as a structural system. Their learning is more likely to make if it can build on this conception rather than contradict it.

3. They allow natural learning

Language learning takes place inside the learner and, as teachers know to their frequent frustration, many aspects of it are beyond their pedagogical control. It is likely, in fact, that many aspects of language learning can take place only through natural processes, which operate when a person is involved in using the language for communication. If this is so, communicative activity (inside or outside the classroom) is an important part of the total learning process.

4. They can create a context which supports learning

Communicative activity provides opportunities for positive personal relationships to develop among learners and between learners and teacher. These relationships can help to ‘humanize’ the classroom and to create an environment that supports the individual in his efforts to learn.

Another resource concerning the CLT is Richards and Rodgers (1986 : 73) where Piepho (1981: 8) discusses the following levels of objectives in a communicative approach:

  1. an integrative and content level(language as a means of expression)
  2. a linguistic and instrumental level (language as a semiotic system and an object of learning);
  3. an effect level of interpersonal relationships and conduct (language as a means of expressing values and judgments about oneself and others);
  4. a level of individual learning needs (remedial learning based on error analysis);
  5. a general educational level of extra-linguistic goals (language learning within the school curriculum).

 The Syllabus in CLT:

There are at present several proposals and models for what a syllabus might look in Communicative Language Teaching. Yalden(1983) describes the major current communicative syllabus types. Richards and Rodgers (1986 : 74) summarize below a modified version of Yalden’s classification of communicative syllabus types, with reference sources to each model:

     Type                                                        Reference

  1. structures plus functions                 Wilkins (1976)
  2. functional spiral around a               Brumfit (1980)

structural core

      3.    structural, functional,                      Allen (1980)

             instrumental

      4.    functional                                        Jupp and Hodlin (1975)

      5.    notional                                           Wilkins (1976)

      6.    interactional                                    Widdowson (1979)

      7.    task-based                                        Prabhu (1983)

      8.    learner generated                             Candlin (1976), Henner-Stanchina

                                                                      and Riley (1978)

 There is extensive documentation of attempts to create syllabus and proto-syllabus designs of types 1-5.  A current interest is in syllabus designs of types 6-8.

Methodological framework:

According to Littlewood  (1981:86) the methodological framework can be represented diagrammatically as follows:

                                                             Structural activities

1. Pre-communicative activities

                                                             Quasi-communicative activities

                                                             Functional communication activities

2. Communicative activities                 Social interaction activities

1. Littlewood (1981: 89) states that the pre-communicative activities aim to give the learners fluent control over linguistic forms, so that the lower-level processes will be capable of unfolding automatically in response to higher-level decisions based on meanings. Although the activities may emphasize the links between forms and meanings, the main criterion for success is whether the learner produces acceptable language.

2. In communicative activities, the production of linguistic forms becomes subordinate to higher-level decisions, related to the communication of meanings. The learner is thus expected to increase his skill in starting from an intended meaning, selecting suitable language forms from his total repertoire, and producing them fluently. The criterion for success is whether the meaning is conveyed effectively. (ibid: 89)

Savignon (1972, 1983), however, rejects the notion that learners must first gain control over individual skills (pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary)  before applying them in communicative tasks; she advocates providing communicative practice from the start of instruction.

Role of teachers in CLT:

According to Richards and Rodgers (1986: 77) several roles are assumed for teachers in Communicative Language Teaching, the importance of particular roles being determined by the view of CLT adopted. Breen and Candlin (1980) describe teacher roles in the following terms:

“The teacher has two main roles: the first role is to facilitate the communication process between all participants in the classroom, and between these participants and the various activities and texts. The second role is to act as an independent participant within the learning-teaching group. The latter role is closely related to the objectives of the first role and arises from it. These roles imply a set of secondary roles for the teacher; first, as an organizer of resources and as a resource himself, second as a guide within the classroom procedures and activities…..A third role for the teacher is that of researcher and learner, with much to contribute in terms of appropriate knowledge and abilities, actual and observed experience of the nature of learning and organizational capacities. (1980: 99)”

Other roles assumed for teachers are needs analyst, counselor, and group process manager.

David Nunan (1991:235) informs that according to Stevick (1986), the five most important functions of the teacher are as follows:

1. The cognitive function: The teacher possesses knowledge desired by the student about the target language and culture. The teachers have this knowledge, which the students expect from their teachers to impart to them.

2. The classroom management function: The students and the society in which we work expect to take responsibility for how the students’ time is used in class. The students rely on the teachers’ training and experience with materials, schedules and techniques.

3. Practical goals: Here Stevick (1986) is referring to the goals which students and society have for language courses. The teacher is expected to take these vaguely thought out or articulated goals and give them practical expression in language teaching syllabuses.

4. The personal or interpersonal function: The teachers with the desired skills, knowledge and expertise have a great deal of power in the classroom and it is their responsibility to set the tone or interpersonal classroom climate. The atmosphere the teachers set will determine whether the students’ non-linguistic emotional needs are met in the classroom.

5. The final function:  The final function is closely related to the fourth, but is more subtle. It has to do with the warmth and enthusiasm that the teacher radiates – the ‘vibes’ that he or she puts out. According to Stevick (1986), this is the most important function of all.

 Learner’s Role in CLT:

Littlewood (1981) refers that in a C LT class the teacher creates a situation and sets an activity in motion, but it is the learners who are responsible for conducting the interaction to its conclusion. Often, there will be several groups or pairs performing simultaneously, without the teacher’s continuous supervision.  As CLT is a learner centered method so-

  • they are to express their ideas, feelings etc. through interactions using target language.
  • correction is not emphasized.
  • emphasis is given on fluency rather than accuracy.
  • students are given opportunities to experiment with target language.

Shortcomings of CLT:

Richards and Rodgers summarize a number of other shortcomings in the following way:

“Critics of Community Language Learning question the appropriateness of the counseling metaphor on which it is predicated, asking for evidence that language learning in classrooms indeed parallels the processes that characterize psychological counseling. Questions also arise about whether teachers should attempt counseling without special training. CLT procedures were largely developed and tested with groups of college-age Americans. The problems and successes experienced by one or two different client groups may not necessarily represent language learning ununiversals. Other concerns have been expressed concerning the lack of a syllabus, which makes objective unclear and evaluation difficult to accomplish, amd the focus on fluency rather than accuracy, which may lead to inadequate control of the grammatical system of the target language.” (Richards and Rodgers 1986: 126)

Methodology:

The teachers as well as the students are the most important factors in CLT as the formers motivate the latter and the latter have to take the main role. In order to find out their attitudes in CLT in the language classes of Higher Secondary level I conducted a survey among teachers and students. The interview was conducted with a pre-set questionnaire for the teachers with twenty questions and a separate questionnaire for the students with sixteen questions related to CLT. There were some closed questions as well as some opened-ended questions as they could offer their own views on the topics.

Study Design:

It was a cross-sectional study with a semi-structured questionnaire on a total of 200 student-respondents (100 respondents at the urban area of Dhaka Metropolis and 100 respondents at rural area of Narsingdi & Gazipur districts) and 20 teacher- respondents from the same areas.

 Study Area:

The study area selected was Dhaka Metropolis as urban area, and Gazipur and Narsingdi as rural area.  I collected data from Dhaka City College, Govt. Bangla College, Siddheswari Girls’ College, Dhaka Shikhya Board Laboratory College, Govt. Science College from Dhaka Metropolis and Ghorashal Musa Bin Hakim Degree College, Urea Sarkarkhana College, Palash Shilpanchal College, Shaheed Smritee College of Narsingdi district and Jamalpur College of Gazipur district.

Study Instrument:

The semi-structured questionnaires (one for teachers and another for students) were developed in English. Both of them  contained questions about place of interview, date, name of respondent with education & teaching experience, opinions about CLT, teachers’ & students’ activities in the classroom, about the Text and examination system and opinions for further improvements of CLT.

 Study Period:

The questionnaires were filled up by interviewing the randomly selected respondents during the period from November 2004 to December 2004.

Procedure and Data Collection:

The data was collected through face to face interview using a semi-structured questionnaire. Before that a draft questionnaire was developed. Then the questionnaire was pre-tested. After pre-test, the questionnaire was modified and finally it was developed as a standard one. At first, a one-week field trial was done in Dhaka Metropolis. After getting satisfactory responses from the respondents I went to our pre-selected areas and the data were collected successfully.

 Data Processing and Analysis:

After collection, the data were checked, verified, cleaned and finally edited. Respective tables and graphs were prepared as required with help of a personal computer using MS Office programs and other software. Calculations were made with the help of a scientific calculator. The tabulated data were analyzed carefully & critically and subsequently interpretation was made accurately.

Data Analysis and Discussion:

Rural Area:

Duration of learning English

Frequency

Percentage

12 Years

69

69

11 years

31

31

Total

100

100

   It has been observed that the students have been learning English for about   11 to 12 years as they are introduced with English since class one.      

Metropolis:

Duration of learning English

Frequency

Percentage

12 Years

69

69

11 years

31

31

Total

100

100

It has been observed that the students have been learning English for about   11 to 12 years as they are introduced with English since class one.

Having knowledge about CLT and its goal i.e. Communicative Competence:

Rural Area:

Having knowledge about communicative competence

Frequency

Percentage

Yes

18

18

No

2

2

Have no clear idea

80

80

Total

100

100

The figure shows that 80% students don’t have any clear idea about CLT & its goal i.e. communicative competence whereas only 18%students know about it.

Metropolis:

Having knowledge about communicative competence

Frequency

Percentage

Yes

50

50

No

1

1

Have no clear idea

49

49

Total

100

100

The figure shows that 49% students don’t have any clear idea about communicative competence whereas 50%students know about it.

Skills conducted by teachers

 Rural Area:

Skills conducted by teachers

Frequency

Vocabulary

45

Grammar

53

Listening

3

Speaking

28

Reading

43

Writing

89

All of them

40

               

 The fig. shows that most of the students (89 ones) claim that their teachers emphasis on Writing skill and henceforth grammar but ignore Listening & Speaking.

Metropolis:

Skills conducted by teachers

Frequency

Vocabulary

48

Grammar

24

Listening

00

Speaking

46

Reading

53

Writing

44

All of them

43

The fig. shows that most of the students (53 ones) claim that their teachers emphasis on  Reading skill, 48 students claim  for Vocabulary, 46 students for Speaking skill, 44 students for Writing skill, 43 students for all of them, 24 students for grammar but Listening is  ignored totally.

 Use of Language(s) in & outside the class with English teachers & other students

Rural Area:

Use of Language(s) in & outside the class

Frequency

Percentage

English all the time

00

00

Mixture of Bangla & English

46

46

Bangla only

44

44

Try to use English

10

10

Total

100

100

         It has been observed that 46% students use mixture of Bangla& English language with their English teachers ( though there was found no evidence of their claim) while 44% use only Bangla and 10% try to use English but no one uses English all the time.

Metropolis:

Using Language(s) in & outside the class

Frequency

Percentage

English all the time

00

00

Mixture of Bangla & English

62

62

Bangla only

26

26

Try to use English

12

12

Total

100

100

It has been observed that 62% students use mixture of Bangla& English language with their English teachers ( though no evidence of their claim was found during the survey) while 26% use only Bangla and 12% try to use English but no one uses English all the time.

 Reasons of learning English:

Rural Area:

Reasons of learning English

Frequency

Percentage

Bound to learn

17

17

To pass the stairs of examination

50

50

Acquiring Communicative Competence

33

33

Total

100

100

 Fig. 5a shows that most of the students (50%) learn English only to pass their English exam, 33% for acquiring Communicative Competence and 17% students are unwilling to learn English though bound to learn.

Metropolis:

Reasons of learning English

Frequency

Percentage

Bound to learn

10

10

To pass the stairs of examination

21

21

Acquiring Communicative Competence

69

69

Total

100

100

Fig. 5b shows that most of the students (69%) learn English for acquiring Communicative Competence, 21% to pass their English exam,   and 10% students are unwilling to learn English though bound to learn.

Feelings about English:

Rural Area:

Feelings about English

Frequency

Percentage

Fearful to me

44

44

Disgusting to me

24

24

Interesting to me

32

32

Total

100

100

Metropolis:

Feelings about English

Frequency

Percentage

Fearful to me

17

17

Disgusting to me

21

21

Interesting to me

62

62

Total

100

100

 Use of English by English teachers during the class

Rural Area:

Use of English by English teachers

Frequency

Percentage

Yes

14

14

No

5

5

Sometimes

71

71

Very few

10

10

Total

100

100

It has been observed that 71% students claim that sometimes their teachers use frequent English and only 14% students claim positive.

Metropolis:

Use of English by English teachers

Frequency

Percentage

Yes

73

73

No

6

6

Sometimes

10

10

Very few

11

11

Total

100

100

It has been observed that 73% students claim that their teachers use frequent English and only 6% students claim negative.

Tasks conducted by teachers

Rural Area:

Tasks conducted by teachers

Frequency

Group work

3

Pair work

10

Role play

1

Telling jokes / making fun

22

English debating

10

None of them

71

          It is found from Fig. 8a that most of the students (71 ones) claim that their teachers don’t apply any of the tasks like group or peer work, pair work, role play etc.

Metropolis:

Tasks conducted by teachers

Frequency

Group work

19

Pair work

23

Role play

2

Telling jokes / making fun

34

English debating

3

None of them

54

It is found from Fig. 8bs that most of the students (54 ones) claim that their teachers don’t apply any of the tasks like group or peer work, pair work, role play etc., only 19% claim for group work and 23% for pair work.

 Necessity of Learning Grammar (Based on question no. 10 in the Questionnaire)

Rural Area:

Necessity of Learning Grammar

Frequency

Percentage

To make sentence correctly

70

70

To interact with others correctly

27

27

Do not need grammar

3

3

Total

100

100

Fig. 9a shows that 70% students think that grammar is needed for making sentences correctly, 27% for correct interaction and 3% students think grammar not necessary.

Metropolis:

Necessity of Learning Grammar

Frequency

Percentage

To make sentence correctly

77

77

To interact with others correctly

17

17

Do not need grammar

6

6

Total

100

100

Fig. 9b shows that 77% students think that grammar is needed for making sentences correctly, 17% for correct interaction and 6% students think grammar not necessary.

 Feelings with the text (Based on question no. 11 in the Questionnaire)

Rural Area:

Feelings with the text

Frequency

It is very large

59

Very difficult

44

Most of the lessons are not interesting

42

Most of the topics are not related to every day life

17

Others

2

Fig. 10a  indicates that 59 students (out of 100) thinks their Text is very large in size,44 students claim it very difficult, 42 students claim that most of the lessons are not interesting, 17 think that most of the topics are not related to every day life.

Metropolis:

Feelings with the text

Frequency

It is very large

10

Very difficult

12

Most of the lessons are not interesting

57

Most of the topics are not related to every day life

16

Others

5

Fig. 10b  indicates that 10 students (out of 100) think their Text is very large in size,12 students claim it very difficult, 57 students claim that most of the lessons are not interesting, 16 think that most of the topics are not related to every day life.

4.1.11 Appropriateness of Existing Question System / Evaluation System in Achieving Desire (Students’ desire i.e. reasons of learning English is inscribed in Fig. no. 4.1.5)

(Based on question no. 12 in the Questionnaire)

Rural Area:

Appropriateness of  Existing Question System

Frequency

Percentage

Yes (appropriate)

41

41

No (not appropriate)

14

14

It does not work well to learn English for using practical life

45

45

Total

100

100

Metropolis:

Appropriateness of  Existing Question System

Frequency

Percentage

Yes (appropriate)

47

47

No (not appropriate)

6

6

It does not work well to learn English for using practical life

47

47

Total

100

100

Fig.11b informs that existing question system is appropriate to 47% students, 6% students think it negative but 47% think that it does not motivate them to learn English for using in their practical life.

Skills need to be added in the examination system

                 (Based on question no. 13 in the Questionnaire)

Skills to be added in the exam system

Frequency

Speaking skill

30

Listening skill

14

Discrete grammar

31

All of them

25

None of them

18

Fig. 12a shows that 30 students (out of 100) want that the Testing System should include Speaking skill, 31 students want Discrete grammar, 14 students want Listening skill, 25 students want all of them, but 18 students want none of them.

Metropolis:

Skills to be added in the exam system

Frequency

Speaking skill

40

Listening skill

21

Discrete grammar

15

All of them

43

None of them

5

Fig. 12b shows that 40 students (out of 100) want that the Testing System should include Speaking skill, 43 students want Discrete grammar, 21 students want Listening skill, 43 students want all of them, but 5 students want none of them.

Respondents: Teachers

Average Class Size

Frequency

Percentage

25-30

00

00

30-45

00

00

45-60

02

10

60-80

08

40

80-100

08

40

100 to towards

02

10

Total

20

100

 Existing Average CLT Class Size (Number of Students) in Various Institutions

 Expected Ratio of Students & Teacher in a CLT Class (Expected no. of students in a CLT class against a teacher)

Expected Students -Teacher Ratio

Frequency

Percentage

20:1

02

10

30:1

13

65

45:1

05

25

60:1

00

00

80:1

00

00

100:1

00

00

No limitation

00

00

Total

20

100

  It has been observed from the Fig. No. 2 that 65% teachers think that a CLT class should be with 30 students, 25% teachers think it 45 and 10% teachers think it 20.

 Expected Duration of Each CLT Class

Duration of Class

Frequency

Percentage

45 min

5

25

60 min

13

65

80 min

2

10

90 min

00

00

120 min

00

00

Total

20

100

 Whether CLT is more Scientific & Effective than GTM or not

Whether CLT is better than GTM or not

Frequency

Percentage

Yes

8

40

No

7

35

A little bit

5

25

Total

20

100

It is shown that 40% teachers think CLT is better than GTM, 35% teachers think no and 25% teachers think it a little bit better.

 Expected Motto of Learning English of the Students:

Motto of Learning English

Frequency

Percentage

To pass the stairs of examination

1

5

Acquiring Communicative Competence

19

95

Total

20

100

Fig. 5 informs that 95 % teachers that the motto of learning English should be the acquiring communicative competence and only 5 % teachers are in favour of passing the examination.

Teaching 4 Basic Language Skills in Class      

Teaching 4 Basic Language Skills

Frequency

Percentage

Yes

4

20

No

1

5

Sometimes

8

40

Not possible

7

35

Total

20

100

Fig. 6 indicates that 20% teachers teach their students the four basic skills of language, 40% teachers teach sometimes and 35% teachers claim that it is impossible.

Importance of Grammar in a CLT Class

Importance of Grammar

Frequency

Percentage

To a great extent

17

85

To a little extent

3

15

No need

00

100

Total

20

It is indicating that 85% teachers think that grammar is needed to a great extent and only 15% think it needed to a little extent but no one is against it.

How far the instructions of “Teacher’s Guide” are followed in the classes

Following “Teacher’s Guide”

Frequency

Percentage

No need

00

00

To a great extent

6

30

To some extent

4

20

To a very little extent

5

25

I don’t have it

5

25

Total

20

100

Fig. 8 shows that 30% teachers follow the instructions of “Teacher’s Guide” to a great extent, 25% teachers to a very little extent, 20% teachers to some extent and 25% teachers don’t have it.

 Use of Language(s) with Students in & outside the Class

Use of Language

Frequency

Percentage

English all the time

4

20

60% English + 40% Bangla

10

50

40% Bangla + 60% English

4

20

Bangla all most all the time

2

10

Total

20

100

It has been shown that 50% teachers use 60% English + 40% Bangla with students in & outside the class, 20% use 40% Bangla + 60% English, 405 use English all the time and 10% use Bangla all most all the time.

 Conducting different skills in the classroom

Doing Classroom Activities

Frequency

Giving lecture only

12

Pair work

3

Group work

3

Role play

2

Practicing model questions

14

All of them

5

Incongruity between the instructions of the “Teacher’s Guide” and the reality in the classroom.

Various Problems

Frequency

Facing no problem at all

00

Short time

7

No scope of seating arrangement for group discussion

15

Different merit levels of the students

14

 Others

2

 Having Training on CLT

Having Training on CLTFrequencyPercentage
Yes (Short-term)210
Yes (Long-term)000
No1890
Total20100

It is evident from the Fig. 12 that 10% teachers have short-term training on CLT but the majority (90%) doesn’t have any training on CLT.

Needs of Training on CLT

Needs of Training on CLT

Frequency

Percentage

Yes

20

100

No

00

00

Total

20

100

It is indicating from Fig. no. 13 that all the teachers ( 100% ) are in favor of fruitful training.

 Facing problems with the Text       

Facing Problems with the Text

Frequency

Percentage

No

5

25

It is too large in size

10

50

A lot of tough vocabularies are used

3

15

Others

2

10

Total

20

100

Fig. 14 shows that 50% teachers think the Text is too large in size, 15% claim that a lot of tough vocabularies are used frequently in the Text but 25% teachers face no problem with the Text.

Whether the existing question system is appropriate or not in achieving

           Communicative Competence

Appropriateness of Question System

Frequency

Percentage

Yes

3

15

No

6

30

Not at all

1

5

Partially

10

50

Total

20

100

 Agreement on Needs of Viva Voce in Testing System

Needs of Viva Voce in Testing System

Frequency

Percentage

Strongly agree

14

70

Agree

4

20

Neutral

2

10

Disagree

0

00

Strongly disagree

0

00

Total

20

100

 Achieving Communicative Competence of the Students after having A+/ 

           A/ A-/ or  /B      (Based on question no. 18 in the Questionnaire)

Achieving Communicative

Frequency

Percentage

Yes

3

15

No

7

35

Very Little

10

50

Total

20

100

 Having Problems in Testing / Evaluation Systems

            (Based on question no. 19 in the Questionnaire)

Having Problems in Testing System

Frequency

Percentage

Yes

14

70

No

4

20

Partially

2

10

Total

20

100

b) Interpretation of findings:

Students’ Response on CLT:

Span of learning English: Que.no.1 was designed to know for how long the students are learning English. It has been seen that they have been learning English for about 11 to 12 years.

CLT & its activities doing in classroom: Que. no. 2, 3 and 4 were about communicative English and the applying communicative skills by the teachers as well as the students. The responses of the rural students indicate the actual miserable scenario of them. The CLT is introduced in the 1990s and in the Intermediate level since 2001-2002 session. The students of Intermediate classes (during the study period) are learning English through this method for at least 1 to 2 years. But most of the students don’t have any clear idea about CLT and its goal i.e. ‘communicative competence’ which is the core aim of CLT. The scenario in Metropolis is a bit optimistic. Here 50% students know about CLT and at the same time 49% students have no clear idea (Fig. 4.1.2). Now the question is arisen how the CLT will be fruitful when its users don’t now what they are learning and why?

Listening and speaking are the most important skills of CLT. But these two skills are neglected most as the rural students claim. In the metropolis areas though the speaking skill is practiced by a little bit higher rate yet listening is avoided seriously.

In a successful CLT class the conversation must be in English. But most of the students use Bangla only or mixture of Bangla and English but no one uses English all the time either in rural or metropolis areas.

Feelings of English: Que. no. 5 and 6 were about their aims of learning English and their feelings regarding it. 50% students of rural areas learn English only to pass the examination which is extremely horrible. And so they don’t feel interest in English rather English is fearful or disgusting to them (Fig. 4.1.6). But a big portion of the metropolitan students (69%) learn English to acquire communicative competence and they feel interest regarding English. Yet it is fearful or disgusting to a lot of students.

Conducting CLT activities by teachers: Que.no.7 and 8 were about their teachers and their using communicative tools or activities in the CLT class. 71% students claim that their English teachers don’t use English all the time but sometimes during the class with them but in the metropolis their teachers use English frequently (Fig. 4.1.7). Definitely here the teachers’ efficiency as well as the students’ merit levels is accountable for that equally.

It is horrifying that most of the teachers in the rural areas don’t conduct group or peer work, pair work, role play, English debating etc that are the main factors of CLT (Fig. 4.1.8). The scenario of metropolis areas is almost same.

CLT vs. GTM:  Que. no. 9 was open-ended asking the students why they think CLT is more scientific and practical than the previous Grammar-Translation Method (GTM) and Q no. 10 was about the necessity of learning grammar. Most of the students of rural or metropolis areas have informed that it is easy to pass in the examination through CLT. They need not learn grammar or memorizing everything. But it is observed that they can neither write something offhand correctly nor can communicate orally. The rural scenario is almost hellish. Most of the students both of rural or metropolis areas think that grammar is essential for writing sentences correctly but not seriously to communication purposes (Fig. 4.1.9)

Feelings with the Text: Que. no. 11 was about their feelings with their Textbook (i.e. ‘English For Today’ for class 11 & 12). Most of the rural students (59%) think it very large in size, 44% think it very difficult and 42% think most of the lessons are not interesting. The scenario is some what different in metropolitan areas where 57% students view that most of the lessons are not interesting to them and so they feel boring or hazy in learning it spontaneously.

Question pattern & evaluation system: Que.no.12 and 13 were about question systems. A great number of the rural students (41%) claim that the existing question pattern in the examination is appropriate. It is mentionable here that most of the rural students learn English to pass the stairs of examination (Compare with question no. 5: Fig: 4.1.5 and Question no. 9). But 45% students think that the examination system or the question pattern does not work well to learn English for using in the practical life. The scenario in metropolis is about to same.

Que.no.13 was a very important one and so the finding ones. It is seen that 30% students of the rural areas want the speaking skill to be added in the testing system of the Examination, 14% want listening skill, 31% want discrete grammar (Traditional grammar like sentence pattern, tense, voice change etc.). 25% want all of them and 18% want none of them. It is indicating that the students whose motto is only to pass the examination or unwilling to learn English will never want any practical activity in the examination. On the other hand major portion of the metropolis students (43%) want all of them but not in favor of discrete grammar (Fig. 4.1.12).

Shortcomings & grading in English: Que. no. 14 was open-ended aiming at to know the shortcomings in achieving the fulfillment of CLT in Bangladesh. Most of the Students have said that their fearfulness about English as a foreign language, large class size, disgusting and using of tough words and sentence patterns in the Text and after all lack of positive attitudes of their teachers to motivate them to learn English are the main shortcomings.

Que. no. 15 was about their getting grade in English in the Intermediate classes or in the last S.S.C. Examination.  It is seen that most of the rural Students scored lower grades on an average than the metropolis Students.

Teachers’ Response on CLT:

Class size & duration: Que. no. 1, 2 and 3 were about the existing class size, expected class size and expected duration of a CLT class. 40% teachers inform that they have 60-80 students on an average and another 40% have 80-100 students in their classes (Fig. 4.2.1). 10% teachers claim that they have more than 100 students. So it can be easily imagined the horrifying condition which is quite opposite to a CLT class environment. Hence most of the teachers (65%) opine that the appropriate students- teacher ratio should be 30:1 i.e. 30 students in a CLT class is rational (Fig. 4.2.2), 25% teachers think it 45:1 and another 10% think 20:1. But only 20 students in a class is not possible in Bangladesh perspective however. Most of the teachers (65%) claim that the existing duration of each CLT classes is not enough; it should be one hour (Fig. 4.2.3).

CLT & its aim: Que. no. 4 and 5 were about Communicative Method and its objectives. Only 40% teachers think this method is more scientific and effective than previous Grammar Translation Method, 35% think it negative and another 25% think is little bit better than GTM (Fig. 4.2.4). But it is indicating that almost all the teachers (95%) think the motto of   the students should be acquiring Communicative Competence. If we compare it with the students’ view, the glimpse indicates incongruity especially to the rural students as their aim is only to pass the examination, not to acquire the target language (compare with Fig. 4.1.5).

Teaching Procedures: Que. no. 6 to 10 were about their teaching procedures. It is staggering enough that only 20% teachers teach four basic skills (i.e. Speaking, Listening Reading, Writing) of CLT in their classroom but it is applicable only to the metropolis teachers, 40% teachers teach the skills sometimes and 35% teachers think it impossible in the existing classroom stream albeit all of them consider the target is to acquire ‘communicative competence’ (compare Fig. 4.2.5). It is mentionable that almost all the teachers (85%) speculate grammar (discrete) is needed for learning English language (Fig. 4.2.7). It is indicating that only a little portion of the teachers (30%) follows the “Teaches’ Guide” in conducting their activities in the classroom, 25% follow it to a very little extent. But the most striking feature is that 25% teachers don’t have it and even some teachers know nothing about the “Teaches’ Guide”. Now there are some inquiries – the authority published the “Teaches’ Guide” after one year of introducing the Textbook giving some instruction to follow in the classroom. AS the training opportunity on CLT is very limited, so the “Teaches’ Guide” is the only guideline to the teachers. The authority should have sent it to every teacher or at least made a circular in the daily newspapers to collect it from NCTB or Board Office.

Another feature is that the teachers (50%) use mixture of English and Bangla languages (60% and 40% respectively) in their classes and in the rural areas the percentage of English is much lower and even 10% teachers use only Bangla with their students which is quite antagonistic to CLT (Fig. 4.2.9).

It is denoting that most of the teachers give only traditional lectures in their classrooms and make their students practice model questions but they are not inclined to practice pair work, group work, role play etc (Fig. 4.2.10). The students’ claim is also relevant and identical in this respect (Fig. 4.1.8).

Teacher’s Guide & Training: Que. no. 11 to 13 were about the incongruity between the instructions of the “Teaches’ Guide” and the reality in the classroom and on the importance of training on CLT. Most of the teachers (15 out of 20) – obviously who have the Teaches’ Guide or follow it – arrogate that there is no scope of seating arrangement for group discussion because of long benches sand big class size. Another great portion of the teachers (14 out of 20) face problem due to different merit levels of the students especially in rural colleges (Fig. 4.2.11). It is apparent from the Fig. No. 4.2.12 that at present only 10% teachers have short-term training on CLT and most of the teachers are facing problems because of having no proper training. It is quite releasing as well as sanguine that every teacher (100%) wants fruitful training on CLT (Fig. 4.2.13).

Textbook: Que. no. 14 was about the Textbook. 50% teachers anguish that the Textbook is too large in size in accordance with the time allotted for the Intermediate students. Some of them (15%) claim that lots of tough vocabularies have been used frequently which is really good for nothing. However 25% teachers find no difficulty with the text. My speculation in this regard is perhaps they don’t consider the students’ side as before and during my survey I myself have examined the whole text very carefully and critically and found the affinity to the claim of the majority teachers. It assumes to me that the authors did not meditate the students’ previous achievements while composing the Textbook. So making a confidential text is not enough, its implementation to the grass root level and the consequent output should be the main concern.

Question pattern & evaluation system: Que. no. 15 to 19 were concerning the existing question format and testing or evaluation system aiming at achieving ‘communicative competence’ i.e. the practical or workable knowledge of using English in everyday activities. 30% teachers esteem the testing system inappropriate (Fig. 4.2.15) while 50% think it partially appropriate. It is indicating that most of the teachers (75%) strongly agree that “No communicative competence can be achieved without imposing practical activities i.e. viva voce etc. in the examination system”, but nobody disagrees it (Fig. 4.2.16).

It is so logistic that 35% teachers arrogate that the students can’t acquire communicative competence yet having A+, A, A, or B grade in English through the present testing system, 50% claim that they achieve very little competence (Fig. 4.2.17), while 15% demand positively but they are mostly metropolis students who are gifted with more opportunities comprising with rural students. So it is evident that our examination system is quite inappropriate in fulfilling our target i.e. achieving ‘communicative competence’ which is claimed by 70% teachers (Fig. 4.2.18).

Suggestion: Que.no.20, the last question, was seeking suggestions on how the Communicative Method or CLT can be effective in a 3rd world country like Bangladesh. Many fruitful suggestions have come out from the teachers. Most of teachers are in favor of introducing some basic grammatical items and viva voce in the testing system, enhancing the class duration to 60 min, dividing the students according to their merit levels and reducing the average class size and definitely making the course shorter and more interesting.

Recommendation:

It is evident from the study that CLT is practiced in our educational institutions but not in its original form aiming at acquiring ‘communicative competence’ rather as a tool of passing the examination or achieving more marks. The study encloses the real spectrum of using CLT in Bangladesh not maintaining its minimum requirements either by the Government or the concern authorities.

Dr. Arifa Rahman, editor, “Teacher’s Guide”, English For Today for class 11 & 12, has stated that the central aim of this course are to:

  • “increase learner motivation by raising awareness that what they are learning is the language of the real world and is therefore useful to them.
  • help the learners communicate in a wide range of interesting situations.
  • help develop the learners’ speaking, listening, reading and writing skills so that they can communicate accurately and appropriately.”

                                           (Teacher’s Guide: Introduction: ii)

But it is anguishing that there is visibly no one to measure the reality and what is going on in the CLT classes. Obviously time has come to do something and to apply pragmatic decision regarding the overall situation of our country. The following points may be considered:

Reasonable class size & class management:

  1. The CLT class should be of at best 40 to 45 students.
  2. The CLT class should be divided in accordance with the merit levels of the students.
  3. The duration of each CLT class should be 60 min.

Teachers’ Activities:

  1. The teacher’s role should be a facilitator and helper to guide students to develop effective learning habits.
  2. Teaching should start with speaking and listening.
  3. English should be used in class frequently.
  4. Use of translation should be limited.
  5. The teacher should make the students practice all the communicative activities like pair work, group or peer work, role-play etc. within the class.
  6. Appropriate encouragement should be given to students to reinforce their initiatives.
  7. The teacher should never do or say anything which the students can do or say for themselves.

Teacher – Training:

It is quite unfortunate that most of the teachers are not trained up on CLT and so some of them are not up to the standard. The inability of the teachers in using CLT method is quite evident especially in the rural areas. In the Preface of the “Teacher’s Guide” the chairman of National Curriculum & Textbook Board, Dhaka acknowledges that the new textbook “English For Today” for classes 11 & 12 has been developed on the basis of CLT and to use various classroom techniques in our teaching-learning situations may be difficult particularly for the untrained teachers. But the reality is that almost none has training on CLT with a very few exception and even a lot of teachers don’t have the Teacher’s Guide. So,

  1. The teachers should be given in-service or pre-service training on CLT
  2. The training may be short but must.
  3. The Govt. should appoint a number of mobile trainers who can train the teachers going to training centers established in the Thaana or districts levels so that all the English teachers of a particular area may have the training reducing the cost of the govt. or the authority.

Textbook Reform:

  1. The textbook-size should be reduced to two-thirds or half of its present original size.
  2. It should be easier and the unnecessarily used tough words should be replaced by easy synonymous words.
  3. It should be more interesting and based on real life & contextualized.
  4. Some literary items such as poems (not so tough like ‘Ozymandias’: Unit-Seventeen, Lesson-7), short stories etc. should be included.
  5. There is a lesson entitled “How well do I know my dictionary?” (Unit-Three, Lesson-7) which should be more enriched by introducing basic phonological aspects like IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) and an elementary idea about RP (Received Pronunciation i.e. Standard Pronunciation).

Test Reform:

  1. Some basic grammatical items should be included in the testing system as grammar maintains the discipline of sentences.
  2. Stress should be given on assignment which will increase the creativity of the students.
  3. As students are interested in acquiring marks, marks should be allotted in practical use of English and so ‘viva-voce’ must be included in every term of examinations i.e. in the year changing, Pre-test, Test and final H.S.C Examination.

Others:

  1. There should have language club provided with English newspapers, magazines, audio cassette players etc. and should have arrangement to organize English debate among the students.
  1. Essential materials like audio-visual facilities, computer etc. may be used if there is any scope.
  2. Use of seminar / tutorial discussions should be introduced as part of teaching process.
  3. Group or peer work, role-play, question- answer session on reading topics etc. which are not possible to use in the classroom may be practiced in the language club at least once a week.
  4. Students’ involvement should be ensured in topic selection process to the aforesaid items in order to attract their interest.

Conclusion:

It is apparent from the study that CLT is working a bit effectively in the metropolitan areas than the rural areas but the core aim of this method is being skipped both in the areas. As CLT aims at communicative competence, students might be more competent in the use of English for communication. Now it has come to our realization that teaching English is not only teaching grammar or memorizing something and the true mastery of a language involves communicative competence. But in our country there should be a mixed method based on CLT but not ignoring GTM.  Finally to achieve the jest of this method, the Govt. should execute a policy ensuring congenial atmospheres in CLT classes and employ sufficient economical supports in this field.

Language Teaching