Studies of the use of Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) approaches in foreign language classrooms have frequently raised doubts about the adequacy of elementary and secondary teachers' understanding of CLT and their use of this approach in classrooms at those levels. Reasons for this alleged state of affairs are reviewed, with one potential cause selected as the focus for further examination in this paper, namely the quality of written texts on the nature and use of CLT approaches as a learning resource for teachers. To assess the merits of this resource from the perspective of elementary and secondary teachers, a sample of written texts is analysed. This analysis reveals that the range of concepts used by individual authors to describe CLT and the use of CLT approaches in classrooms is somewhat limited and may not serve well the practical needs of teachers. To alleviate this alleged problem, a framework is proposed, within which, it is argued, the development of teacher understanding of communicative approaches can be achieved more effectively. Of course, this framework also has much wider applicability and could be used to facilitate teacher understanding of other approaches to teaching second languages.
Despite the use of CLT approaches in schools over three decades, claims are still being made that CLT approaches are not finding full expression in elementary and secondary classrooms and that many teachers remain uncertain about what CLT is and are unsure about how to implement it in classrooms (Duquette, 1995). Such claims have been indeed a constant refrain in the CLT literature over the last twenty years (eg, Mitchell, 1988; Savignon, 2002a, 2002b; Thompson, 1996). Studies from the early 80s to 1993 have been cited by Karavas-Doukas (1996) in support of her claim that communicative classrooms are rare and that "while most teachers profess to be following a communicative approach, in practice, they are following more traditional approaches" (p.187). In similar vein, Thornbury (1998) claimed that the version of CLT that appears in most classrooms "has been and remains a chimera", a hybrid of communicative and non-communicative approaches. He further claimed that "from a communicative approach, CLT (in classroom usage) is not only weak but very weak" (p.110), a judgment based on his observations of EFL classrooms in elementary and secondary schools and pre- and in-service teacher education courses over 20 years. A similar comment surfaced again in 2002: "Despite the theoretical development of communicative language teaching (CLT), understanding among practitioners remains limited. Moreover, a growing number of studies indicate that classrooms in which CLT is effectively used are rare" (Sato, 2002, p.41).
This rather depressing assessment of teacher knowledge and use of CLT has been rarely challenged. However, a recent, small-scale study of six elementary and secondary LOTE (language other than English or foreign language) teachers by Mangubhai, Marland, Dashwood and Son (2005) yielded findings quite at odds with those making pejorative comments of such teachers. It showed that five of the six teachers, all but two quite experienced LOTE teachers, held quite robust understandings of CLT and that these were closely aligned with theoretical conceptions of CLT appearing in the literature. Moreover, the authors claimed that the classroom practices of these teachers reflected their practical theories about how to use CLT approaches but also included a relatively large number of non-CLT features, not generally associated with foreign language teaching but with teaching in general. It is possible that these counter-customary findings could be the result of the participant recruitment procedures (all six teachers were volunteers), or the experience of the teachers, or the particular methodology used to collect and analyse the data. The methodology in this study, one previously not used in research into teachers' use and knowledge of CLT, involved accessing the teachers' understanding of CLT through an analysis of their practical theories of CLT, constructed from self-report data obtained during in-depth, semi-structured interviews. Despite this one different finding, the overall assessment of teacher knowledge and practice of CLT remains an overwhelmingly pessimistic one that may, itself, be an artefact of the types of written materials that are in print. At this time, given the smallness of the teacher sample and its volunteer nature, the findings of this study are not seen as extensive enough to challenge the long-established claims about the state of teacher knowledge and use of CLT. Rather, the findings are seen as pointing to the need for further research in this area.
Several reasons have been proposed to account for this overwhelmingly unfavourable assessment of teacher knowledge and usage of CLT. First, there is a claim that the paucity of teacher knowledge and practice of CLT is the result of ambiguity or disputation about the meaning of CLT. According to Nattinger (1984), while there is general agreement about some of the characteristics of CLT, other aspects lack consensus or even clear definition. Almost a decade later, Whitley (1993) made a similar assessment, attributing a lack of definitional clarity and confusion among teachers as to the meaning of CLT to static from scholarly debate that, in his opinion, featured garbled messages from researchers and disagreements among them. He claimed that "scholars accentuated their differences, staked out extreme, conflicting positions and launched a counter-productive debate" (p.141), features that would not contribute to clarity of understanding in readers. A decade later, we read that the "problem with communicative language teaching (CLT) is that the term has always meant a multitude of different things to different people" (Harmer, 2003, p.289).
A second reason, closely related to the first, is an argument put forward by Grenfell and Harris (1999) who have claimed that CLT describes competence or proficiency, or what it consists of, but is not, itself, a means to acquiring it. They argue that statements of the type, "[U]sing skills is the means to learning them and learning is the means to their use" (p.28), are circular. Their circularity makes them devoid of any meaning that can be used practically by teachers in classrooms.
A third reason for the alleged deficits in teacher knowledge and practice of CLT is related to the contexts in which it has been used. In some Asian contexts, there has been only a partial acceptance by teachers of the legitimacy of CLT, a predominantly Euro-centric approach to language teaching. The less than enthusiastic adoption of CLT in China, Korea and Vietnam, for example, is regarded by some as stemming from its cultural inappropriateness in those contexts (Anderson, 1993; Chowdhury, 2003; George Ellis, 1994; Hird, 1995; Mitchell & Lee, 2003; Rao, 1996, 2002). These authors consider its reception in those countries to be lukewarm at best because it challenges traditional cultural beliefs and values and is at odds with traditional relationships between teachers and students. They point out, further, that emphasis on oral skills may not meet the requirements of curricula in those countries.
A fourth reason has been proposed by Savignon (2002b) who holds that teacher education in the use of CLT approaches has not received the attention it warrants and that teachers have not been given the necessary tools for using CLT by teacher educators. A similar viewpoint was expressed earlier by Whitley (1993) who argued that the needs of teachers have not been well researched and that CLT approaches have not been disseminated in ways which are sensitive to the problems teachers confront in local programs and classrooms. Related to this idea of dissemination of information about CLT approaches is the notion put forward by Bartels (2005, p.748) that "researchers and teachers ... have different ways of validating ideas in journal articles and [have] different ways of using and incorporating information in the articles into their professional knowledge" and that appropriate (or appropriately designed) experiences may provide better assistance to teachers to transfer knowledge about CLT approaches into actual practices (Bartels, 2005).
Fifth, the negative assessment of teachers' knowledge and use of CLT may also have arisen because, as two studies indicate (Mangubhai et al, 2005; Thornbury, 1997), teachers probably use a mixture of CLT and non-CLT features in what they call CLT approaches. Researchers looking for a clear, unambiguous expression of CLT approaches in either classroom practice or data on teacher knowledge and understanding of CLT would have seen evidence of CLT approaches along with much that was from general principles of teaching, such as those relating to motivation and classroom management, with the latter sometimes 'drowning out' the former. It is easy to see how such data could lead to the researcher view that teacher understanding and practice of CLT approaches are wayward or deficient. However, from a purely practical point of view, it would be difficult for teachers to overlook or avoid the appropriate use, in CLT lessons, of non-CLT features emanating from the conventional wisdom about teaching. In fact, an integration of CLT and non-CLT approaches would appear eminently sensible and justifiable, where non-CLT features have been a successful part of their teaching and do not run counter to the general philosophy underlying CLT approaches.
The reasons outlined above point to a number of potentially useful lines of inquiry in further investigations into the cause of the alleged teacher uncertainty and confusion about the meaning and use of CLT. The first, third and fourth of the above reasons suggest that a root cause of the problem may lie with deficiencies in the material on CLT available to teachers or ways that CLT is presented to them. Such a proposition assumes that a link exists between teachers' classroom practices and textual conceptualisations of CLT, a link that is the focus of investigation in this paper. Is there a sound basis for such a proposition? The authors of this article believe so, while acknowledging that more robust data are likely to arise from a direct elicitation from teachers themselves about whether and to what extent textual material on CLT actually does inform their classroom practice.
In the first place, as Hadley (2001) points out, CLT was a product of "... the writings of British applied linguists such as Wilkins, Widdowson, Brumfit, Candlin, and others as well as American (tertiary) educators such as Savignon" (p.116) who foresaw movements of large number of peoples, especially in Europe as the result of European Union. The move to CLT approaches was advocated by a group of academics and was not school-based or teacher-initiated, though this academic initiative won the support of reformers in language education and curriculum designers. Therefore, teachers wanting to adopt, or encouraged to adopt, CLT approaches would almost certainly be obliged to make contact, directly or indirectly, with the written works of these authors (or other like-minded authors), or non-text resources derived from them. It is unlikely that the practice of foreign language teaching in classrooms would have moved naturally towards CLT approaches on such a broad scale without teacher access to textual and/or non-textual resources on CLT. If, as the above critics have claimed, textual resources on CLT are bedevilled by lack of clarity, disagreement, incompleteness and confusion or do not attend to the needs of teachers, then these deficiencies could well account for the classroom practices that so many observers have cited as deviating from CLT.
However, what also needs to be borne in mind is that, for teachers, learning about a theory from text and non-text resources is not the same as learning to use the theory in classrooms. As Bartels (2005) has noted, helping teachers acquire knowledge about new approaches to second language teaching "... is not enough to significantly change their teaching ..." (p.408), a point also made by Wideen, Mayer-Smith & Moon (1998), following their meta-analysis of research on teacher education. Instead, learning to use a new theory, if a teacher sees it worth learning, involves a variety of steps over a considerable period of time, with no guarantee that how they use the theory in practice will match the prescriptions of the advocates of the theory. These steps, on the part of individual teachers, amount to a process of building personal theories about how to use the new approach in their own classroom contexts. Indeed, teachers have been represented as theory builders who continually construct, elaborate, test and refine their own practical theories (Busher, Clarke & Taggart, 1988; Richardson, 1997; Schubert, 1992). It is clear that teachers do not simply adopt theories-in-print uncritically and apply them without change in their classrooms. Rather, the new ideas that teachers encounter are individually interpreted and assessed, and, if found acceptable partially or totally, are domesticated to suit their own selves, teaching styles and teaching contexts before undergoing a succession of trials and possible refinements to meet the exigencies of practice (Sanders & McCutcheon, 1986). Thus, a theory-in-print about how to teach can serve only as a resource to teachers interested in finding out about how to use the theory in practice. Learning the theory through an academic study of textual materials does not automatically provide teachers with the know-how, beliefs and commitments they need to use the theory in practice. Theories-in-print do not provide action templates that allow teachers, in the multitude of classroom contexts in which they serve, to produce lessons that are perfect mirrors of the theories. Theories about teaching are generalisations about how to facilitate learning that then need to be customised to match the specific requirements of users, their teaching styles and classroom contexts in which they will be used.
Therefore, there will always be differences, sometimes significant differences, between theories about teaching, such as CLT, and the practical expressions of those theories in classrooms, even where theories are relatively clear and complete and attuned to the needs of teachers. Thus, classroom deviations from theory cannot be attributed simply to inadequacies in the verbal or non-verbal descriptions of theories. The processes of interpretation, assessment and domestication can also produce divergences from theory even before the realities of practice prompt others.
Nevertheless, it is argued that what is published about CLT is still likely to impact, directly or indirectly, teacher conceptualisations of CLT and their generation of classroom versions of their understandings of CLT, Therefore, if definitions and explanations by the proponents of CLT are incomplete, lack clarity, and exhibit ambiguity and a confusing degree of divergence and ignore the practical needs of teachers, as claimed about CLT in the literature, then teachers cannot be expected to remedy the problems and create practical versions that mirror the 'true' meaning of CLT, whatever that is.
For this reason, it was decided to examine textual material on CLT to assess whether it could be a source of teacher uncertainty and confusion about the meaning and use of this approach. Though aware of post-CLT developments in second language teaching such as the use of task-based learning, the authors have chosen to focus on CLT because of the wealth of literature, both research and discursive, in this field. This corpus of literature, extending as it does over at least three decades, provides ample resources for an exploration of the potential impact of textual materials on promoting teacher understanding of an approach to second language teaching. Oral presentations to teachers on CLT were excluded because they are rarely documented and so are impossible to access retrospectively. Such an analysis could also suggest alternative ways of approaching teacher education, both pre- and in-service, so that teachers achieve an understanding of CLT that is more holistic and closer to the real essence of CLT. As indicated above, an underlying premise to the achievement of such an understanding is that it is constructed by teachers themselves out of "experiences and classrooms from which (they) have come" (Johnson, 1996, p.767) and is informed, directly or indirectly, by the content of textual material on CLT.
With this in mind, a selective review of research and discursive literature on CLT over the last twenty years was undertaken to identify the concepts used to describe the nature of CLT and its use in classrooms.
A preliminary survey of materials revealed that authors used a variety of different terms for what appeared to be the same component of CLT. For example, teaching methods appropriate to CLT classrooms were variously referred to as 'procedures' (Richards & Rodgers, 1986), 'strategies' (Bloomfield, 1992; Nattinger, 1984), 'macro-strategies' (Kumaravadivelu, 1993), 'approaches' (Dicter, 1994), 'methodologies' (R. Ellis, 1982; Littlewood, 1981) and 'techniques' (Wright, 1990). Where constructs were deemed to be of similar meaning, they were grouped together under one label. In this survey, the rubric used for all these terms was 'methods'. Similarly, in attempts to capture the essence of CLT, some authors listed the basic 'guidelines' (Celce-Murcia, Dornyei, & Thurrell, 1997) that should be observed in CLT lessons. In doing likewise, other authors used terms such as 'characteristics' (Nattinger, 1984), 'principles' (Dicter, 1994; Wright, 1990), 'features' (Greg Ellis, 1996; Williams, 1995); and 'tenets' (Swarbrick, 1994). In this analysis, all such references were coded under 'guidelines'.
Another feature of written material was that there were considerable variations in the focus of articles. Some authors dealt with a wide range of CLT features while others focused on just one or two. For example, some authors attempted to detail a wide range of guidelines. This was coded only once under 'guidelines'. Others, however, chose to focus only on one specific guideline such as 'treatment of student errors' or 'place of grammar instruction' in CLT approaches, or a limited number of guidelines. References to just one or two specific guidelines were coded, not under the general rubric, 'guidelines', but under the relevant specific guideline, for example, 'treatment of student errors' or 'place of grammar instruction'. In one case, (Lee & VanPatten, 2003), constructs used to describe CLT were embedded in discussions of activities in classroom that drew upon our current understanding of second language acquisition.
The results of this analysis of written texts are provided in Table 1 which displays the names of authors and date of publication along the vertical axis and the range of constructs used by these authors on the horizontal axis.
|Ellis, R. 82||X||X||X||X||X||5|
|Dolle & W 84||X||X||X||X||X||X||6|
|Richards & R 86||X||X||X||X||X||X||X||7|
|Little et al.94||X||X||X||X||X||5|
|Ellis, G. 96||X||X||X||X||X||5|
|C-Murcia et al 97||X||X||X||X||4|
|Grenfell & H 99||X||X||2|
|Lee & VanPatt 03||X||X||X||X||X||X||X||X||X||9|
|A||Goals||J||Teaching skills||S||Model of CLT|
|B||Classroom environment||K||Materials, resources||T||Guidelines|
|C||Teacher roles||L||Knowledge of students||U||Treatment of errors|
|D||Student roles||M||Identification of needs||V||Grammar instruction|
|E||Student states||N||Feedback to students||W||Mental processes|
|F||Tchr-stud relationships||O||Beliefs, attitudes||X||Teacher knowledge|
|H||Tasks, activities||Q||Evaluation, testing|
|I||Teacher attributes||R||Metaphor for CLT|
Constructs used most frequently by the authors in the sample include 'methods' (used by 19), 'guidelines' (14 plus 8 references to two specific guidelines), 'tasks and activities' (13), 'teacher roles' (12), 'materials and resources' (8), 'goals' (8), and 'classroom environment' (7). Another construct, 'student roles' appear in six texts but each of the remaining 14 terms appear only one to four times across the sample of texts used in the survey.
Furthermore, as Table 1 shows, the authors listed tend to use only a restricted set of constructs in their written material. Twelve of the 34 texts contained references to from 5 to 9 of the 22 constructs (Mean = 6.3; mode = 5), with references to 4, 3, 2 and 1 constructs being made in 5, 2, 4 and 10 of the texts respectively. Thus, only about one-third of the authors in the above sample of CLT literature used 5 or more of the 22 constructs. Even then, no author used more than 11 of these constructs. Obviously, valid reasons do exist for limiting the range of constructs used in a text. Some authors elect to deal in depth with only one aspect of a CLT approach such as teacher attitudes to CLT (eg, Karavas-Doukas, 1996) or tasks (eg, Skehan, 1996) while other authors opt for a much broader focus (eg, Dolle & Willems, 1984). Other factors that could conceivably impinge on the range of concepts used include intended depth of treatment, budgetary, time and resource limits and restrictions on word length. Hence, the above data on frequency of usage of constructs should not be read as conveying or implying any criticism of the authors whose works have been used in this investigation.
What would be of help to teachers is a framework within which CLT approaches could be discussed in comprehensive fashion and that would address most, if not all, of the practical issues facing teachers implementing CLT approaches. The range of practical issues that teachers confront when they are required to put teaching approaches into effect, are indicated to an extent in research on teacher thinking. This corpus of research suggests that the practical issues that teachers think about in teaching relate to the following constructs: aims or goals of lessons towards which they need to work (Cooper & McIntyre, 1996; Marland & Osborne, 1990); principles and rules that should be adhered to in classroom activities (Elbaz, 1983); values to be reflected in classroom behaviours (Halstead, 1996; Marland & Osborne, 1990); the kinds of student cognitive and affective states to be encouraged (Brown & McIntyre, 1988); signs or cues that indicate the nature of student states (Batten, Marland & Khamis, 1993) and student progress (Brown & McIntyre, 1988); strategies and actions to be used by classroom participants (Brown & McIntyre, 1988; Cooper & McIntyre, 1996) including the roles of teachers and students; teacher attributes that complement, and can increase the potency of, strategies (Cooper & McIntyre, 1996); and contextual conditions that impinge on the success of lessons (Batten, Marland & Khamis, 1993; Brown & McIntyre, 1988). These findings prompt the question: What set of constructs should authors use to provide accounts of CLT and its use in classrooms that would address the practical needs of teachers?
One framework that may come close to satisfying this need is that found in the work of Joyce and Weil (1994). These authors developed a framework for familiarising teachers with different models of, or approaches to, teaching and for helping them to master the use of such models in classrooms. They describe each model of teaching in terms of the following constructs that have many parallels to those described above that have emerged from research into teacher thinking and theories, as follows
A comparison of Joyce and Weil's set of constructs and those emerging from the analysis of texts (see Table 1) reveals a marked similarity. Indeed, the list in Table 1 is more extensive than the Joyce and Weil set. This suggests that authors who define and describe CLT are aware of constructs that are important to teachers but, individually, are using a limited range of constructs when defining CLT and its use in classrooms.
While it is acknowledged that Joyce and Weil's set of constructs may not refer to all aspects of a teaching approach, for example, it does not explicitly include students' needs, student assessment and evaluation, and general principles of classroom teaching - adoption of the Joyce and Weil framework for outlining the nature of CLT approaches to intending users could prove beneficial.
An affirmative response to the above question admits of two possible options. One option would be to pool all the various techniques into one all-encompassing account of CLT. A decision to adopt this option would have a number of flow-on effects. First, entries under each of the constructs would have to be broadened since they would need to cover a number of CLT-relevant techniques. For example, a description of teacher roles or of principles of teacher reaction would have to include those related to the various techniques from which they would select, for a particular lesson, such as role play, group work and paired activities. Second, the set of constructs would have to be increased to allow for references to the techniques or strategies that form part of CLT approaches. Third, phasing (the third item in the Joyce and Weil framework) for each of the techniques would have to be included, rendering the description of CLT approaches a very lengthy one. Alternatively, a decision to delete the 'phasing' or 'syntax' construct could be made. This would reduce the length of the description but deprive teachers of helpful information.
The second option would be to deal with the various techniques that constitute a CLT approach, one by one. This would mean preparing separate accounts for each of the techniques that constitute CLT approaches - for example, role play, group work and paired activities. One problem with this option is that dealing with one technique at a time would not capture completely the essence of a CLT approach. A CLT approach may also include a blend of different techniques and different numbers of techniques in ways that are not covered by descriptions of discrete techniques. A resulting complication is that many blended models would be needed to encapsulate the full meaning of a CLT approach.
While space considerations prevent an illustration of the second option, an illustration of the first option has been prepared (see Appendix 1). Here, a CLT approach has been outlined using some of the constructs proposed by Joyce and Weil. This illustration takes the form of a list of criterial attributes of CLT, those seminal to a description of CLT and its classroom use. This list has been generated by the authors from available literature on CLT and by tapping the expertise of other researchers in CLT as well as their own. The account of CLT in Appendix 1 lists, under each of the constructs, those attributes of a CLT approach that are commonly regarded as criterial or essential. A decision was made to add one construct, 'strategies', and to omit two constructs, 'principles and concepts underpinning the approach' and 'syntax or phasing'. The inclusion of the 'strategies' construct is a natural consequence of the plan to illustrate the first option, the goal of which is to provide a composite view of CLT. A decision to delete 'principles and concepts underpinning the approach' was based on the view that underlying principles and concepts would feature to an extent in other constructs, especially theoretical assumptions. On the other hand, reference to 'phasing' was omitted for reasons to do with word length and readability. The authors, however, are not opposed to the inclusion, in later versions of the list, of either or both constructs. Moreover, the opinion is held by the authors that other constructs such as 'student needs' and 'student assessment' may need to be added to cover in explicit fashion practical needs of teachers related to this topic. A caveat needs to be added, however. While the framework provides a certain amount of conciseness, it may not capture the full complexities of events that occur in CLT classrooms. For example, in TAS 10 (Emphasis should be placed on meaning-focussed self-expression rather than language structure) the relative optimum emphasis between the two modes of behaviour is not made clear.
The list would be used to inform users, and potential users of CLT approaches, of the essential features of the practical implications of using this approach to teaching foreign languages. It could also be used to coach teachers in the use of CLT approaches by providing a framework for planning and reviewing their foreign language teaching.
Some exchanges have already been held about this way of describing CLT with other experts in this field in Australia and elsewhere with encouraging results. It has also been used in a research project to document the content of teachers' practical theories of CLT (Mangubhai, Marland, Dashwood, & Son, 2004) and to compare teachers' and researchers' conceptions of CLT (Mangubhai et al, 2005). However, because this work is still in its early stages, the authors are keen to obtain further feedback on the ideas outlined in this paper and to engage in debate either through the pages of this journal or private communication.
Bartels, N. (2005). Applied linguistics and language teacher education: What we know. In N. Bartels (Ed.), Applied linguistics and language teacher education (pp. 405-424). Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Batten, M., Marland, P. & Khamis, M. (1993). Knowing how to teach well: Teachers reflect on their classroom practice (Research Monograph No. 44). Melbourne:
Bloomfield, N. (1992). Is the communicative approach working? Babel, 27(3), 28-30.
Brown, S. & McIntyre, D. (1988). The professional craft knowledge of teachers. Scottish Educational Review, (Special Issue), 39-45.
Busher, H., Clarke, S. & Taggart, L. (1988). Beginning teachers' learning. In J. Calderhead (Ed.), Teachers' professional learning (pp. 84-96). Lewes: Falmer Press.
Celce-Murcia, M., Dornyei, Z., & Thurrell, S. (1997). Direct approaches in L2 instruction: a turning point in communicative language teaching? TESOL Quarterly, 31(1), 141-152.
Chowdhury, M. R. (2003). International TESOL training and EFL contexts: The cultural disillusionment factor. Australian Journal of Education, 47(3), 283-302.
Cooper, P. & McIntyre, D. (1996). Effective teaching and learning. Teachers' and students' perspectives. Buckingham: Open University Press.
Dicter, W. (1994). New approaches to language teaching: An overview. (ED 375668). Centre for Language and Communication Studies, Trinity College, Dublin.
Dillon, J. (1998). Using diverse styles of teaching. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 30(5), 503-514.
Dolle, D. & Willems, G. (1984). The communicative approach to foreign language teaching. The teacher's case. ED 273106.
Duquette, G. (Ed.). (1995). Second language practice. Classroom strategies for developing communicative competence. Clevedon, England: Multilingual Matters Ltd.
Elbaz, F. (1983). Teacher thinking: A study of practical knowledge. New York: Nicholls.
Ellis, G. (1994). The appropriateness of the communicative approach in Vietnam: An interview study in intercultural communication. ELT Journal, 36(2), 73-81.
Ellis, G. (1996). How culturally appropriate is the communicative approach? ELT Journal: English Language Teachers Journal, 50(3), 213-218.
Ellis, R. (1982). Informal and formal approaches to communicative language teaching. ELT Journal, 36(2), 78-81.
Grenfell, M., & Harris, V. (1999). Modern languages and learning strategies: in theory and practice. London: Routledge.
Hadley, A. (2001). Teaching language in context, 3rd ed. Boston: Heinle & Heinle.
Halstead, J. (1996). Values and values education in schools. In J. Halstead & M. Taylor (Eds.), Values in education and education in values (pp. 3-14). London: Falmer Press.
Harmer, J. (2003). Popular culture, methods and context. ELT Journal, 57(3), 288-294.
Hird, B. (1995). How communicative can English language teaching be in China? Prospect, 10(3), 21-27.
Johnson, K. E. (1996). The role of theory in L2 teacher education. TESOL Quarterly, 30, 765-771.
Joyce , B., & Showers, B. (1982). The coaching of teaching. Educational Leadership, 40(1), 4-10.
Joyce , B., Weil, M., & Wald, R. (1981). Can teachers learn repertoires of models of teaching? In B. Joyce, L. Peck & C. Brown (Eds.), Flexibility in teaching (pp. 141-156). New York: Longman.
Joyce, B., Weil, M., & with Showers, B. (1994). Models of teaching (4th ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
Karavas-Doukas, E. (1996). Using attitude scales to investigate teachers' attitudes to the communicative approach. ELT Journal, 50(3), 187-198.
Kumaravadivelu, B. (2006). TESOL methods: Changing tracks, challenging trends. TESOL Quarterly, 40, 59-81.
Kumaravadivelu, B. (1993). Managing learning potential in the communicative classroom. ELT Journal, 47(1), 12-21.
Larsen-Freeman, D. (2000). Techniques and principles in language teaching (2nd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Lee, J. & VanPatten, B. (2003). Making communicative language happen (2nd ed.). Boston: McGraw Hill.
Littlewood, W. (1981). Communicative language teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Mangubhai, F., Marland, P., Dashwood, A., & Son, J.-B. (2005). Similarities and differences in teachers' and researchers' conceptions of communicative language teaching: Does the use of an educational model cast a better light? Language Teaching Research, 9(1), 51-86.
Mangubhai, F., Marland, P., Dashwood, A., & Son, J.-B. (2004). Teaching a foreign language: One teacher's practical theory. Teaching and Teacher Education, 20(3), 291-311.
Markee, N. (1993). The diffusion of innovation in language teaching. In Annual Review of Applied Linguistics (Vol. 13, pp. 229-242). New York: Cambridge University Press.
Marland, P. & Osborne, A. (1990). Classroom theory, thinking and action. Teaching and Teacher Education, 6(1), 93-109.
Mitchell, R. (1988). Communicative language teaching in practice. London: CILTR.
Mitchell, R. (1994). The communicative approach to language teaching: An introduction. In A. Swarbrick (Ed.), Teaching modern languages (pp. 33-47). London/New York: Routledge.
Mitchell, R., & Lee, J. H.-W. (2003). Sameness and difference in classroom learning cultures: Interpretations of communicative pedagogy in the UK and Korea. Language Teaching Research, 7(1), 35-63.
Nattinger, J. R. (1984). Communicative language teaching: A new metaphor. TESOL Quarterly, 18(3), 391-407.
Nunan, D. (1989). Designing tasks for the communicative classroom. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Nunan, D. (1991). Language teaching methodology. New York: Prentice Hall.
Rao, Z. (1996). Reconciling communicative approaches to the teaching of English with traditional Chinese methods. Research in the Teaching of English, 30(4), 458-471.
Rao, Z. (2002). Chinese students' perceptions of communicative and non-communicative activities in EFL classroom. System, 30(1), 85-105.
Richards, J. C., & Rodgers, T. S. (1986). Approaches and methods in language teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Richards, J. C., & Rodgers, T. S. (2001). Approaches and methods in language teaching (2nd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Richardson, V. (1997). Constructivist teacher education. Building a world of new understanding. Washington: Falmer Press.
Rollman, M. (1994). The communicative language teaching 'revolution' tested: A comparison of two classroom studies: 1976 and 1993. Foreign Language Annals, 27(2), 221-239.
Sanders, D. & McCutcheon, G. (1986). The development of practical theories of teaching. Journal of Curriculum and Supervision, 2(1), 50-67.
Sato, K. (2002). Practical understandings of CLT and teacher development. In S. Savignon (Ed.), Interpreting communicative language teaching: Contexts and concerns in teacher education (pp. 41-81). New Haven: Yale University.
Savignon, S. J. (2002a). Communicative language teaching: linguistic theory and classroom practice. In S. J. Savignon (Ed.), Interpreting communicative language teaching (pp. 1-27). New Haven & London: Yale University Press.
Savignon, S. J. (2002b). Interpreting communicative language teaching. Contexts and concerns in teacher education. In S. J. Savignon (Ed.), Interpreting communicative language teaching (pp. 41-81). New Haven & London: Yale University Press.
Scarcella, R., Anderson, E., & Krashen, S. D. (Eds.). (1990). Developing communicative competence in a second language. New York: Newbury House Publishers.
Schubert, W. (1992). Personal theorizing about personal theorizing. In E. Ross, J. Cornett & G. McCutcheon (Eds.), Teacher personal theorizing: Connecting curriculum practice, theory and research (pp. 257-272). New York: SUNY.
Skehan, P. (1996). A framework for the implementation of task-based instruction. Applied Linguistics, 17(1), 38-62.
Swarbrick, A. (Ed.). (1994). Teaching modern languages. New York: Routledge.
Tarvin, W. L., & Al Arishi, A. Y. (1991). Rethinking communicative language teaching: Reflection and the EFL Classroom. TESOL Quarterly, 25(1), 9-27.
Thompson, G. (1996). Some misconceptions about communicative language teaching. ELT Journal, 50(1), 9-15.
Thornbury, S. (1997). Reformulation and reconstruction: tasks that promote 'noticing'. ELT Journal, 51(4), 326-335.
Thornbury, S. (1998). Comments on Marianne Celce-Murcia, Zoltán Dörnyei, and Sharah Thurrell's direct approaches in L2 instruction: A turning point in CLT? TESOL Quarterly, 32(1), 109-115.
Whitley, M. S. (1993). Communicative language teaching: An incomplete revolution. Foreign Language Annals, 26(2), 137-154.
Wideen, M., Mayer-Smith, J. & Moon, B. (1998). A critical analysis of the research on learning to teach: Making a case for an ecological perspective on inquiry. Review of Educational Research, 68(2), 130-178.
Williams, J. (1995). Focus on form on communicative language teaching: research findings and the classroom teacher. TESOL Journal, 4(4), 12-16.
Wolf, D. (1994). New approaches to language teaching: An overview (Occasional Paper 39 No. ED 375 668). Dublin: Centre for Language and Communication Studies, Trinity College.
Wright, T. (1990). Understanding classroom role relationships. In J. C. Richards & D. Nunan (Eds.), Second language teacher education (pp. 82-97). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
|Goal focus (principal goals)|
|GF 1||To develop students' communicative competence in L2, defined as including grammatical, socio-linguistic, discourse and strategic competencies.|
|GF 2||To have students use L2 productively and receptively in authentic exchanges.|
|Theoretical assumptions (beliefs, principles etc underlying approach)|
|TAS 1||Students should be actively involved in the construction of meaning.|
|TAS 2||Learning L2 involves students solving their own problems in interactive sessions with peers and teachers.|
|TAS 3||Communicative competence is best developed in the context of social interaction.|
|TAS 4||Communication among classroom participants should be authentic i.e. not staged or manipulated by a power figure.|
|TAS 5||Communication should be stimulated by genuine issues and tasks.|
|TAS 6||Communication should follow a natural pattern of discourse rather than be pre-determined or routine.|
|TAS 7||Classroom culture should be characterised by teacher/student tolerance of learner error.|
|TAS 8||Risk taking by students should be encouraged.|
|TAS 9||Classroom culture should be characterised by student centeredness ie, an emphasis on student needs and socio-cultural differences in students' styles of learning.|
|TAS 10||Emphasis should be placed on meaning-focused self-expression rather than language structure.|
|TAS 11||Grammar should be situated within activities directed at the development of communicative competence rather than being the singular focus of lessons.|
|TAS 12||Resources should be linguistically and culturally authentic.|
|TAS 13||More attention should be given, initially, to fluency and appropriate usage than structured correctness.|
|TAS 14||Use of L2 as a medium of classroom communication should be optimized.|
|Strategies (methods used with a CLT approach)|
|S 1||Role plays|
|S 3||Small group and paired activities|
|S 4||Experiences with resources involving speaking, listening, writing and reading in L2|
|S 5||Tasks requiring the negotiation of meaning|
|S 6||Asking questions of students that require the expression of opinions and the formulation of reasoned positions.|
|TR 1||Facilitator of communication processes|
|TR 2||Guide rather than transmitter of knowledge|
|TR 3||Organizer of resources|
|TR 4||Analyst of student needs|
|TR 6||Group process manager|
|SR 1||Active participant, asking for information, seeking clarification, expressing opinions, debating|
|SR 2||Negotiator of meaning|
|SR 3||Proactive team member|
|SR 4||Monitor of own thought processes|
|TSR 3||Informal where possible|
|Normal student behaviours (behaviours that teacher wants students to display during lessons)|
|NSB 1||Engaging in autonomous action, defining and solving own problems|
|NSB 2||Risk taking|
|NSB 3||Activity-oriented behaviors|
|NSB 4||Cooperation with peers, teacher|
|NSB 5||Using L2 as much as possible|
|TS 1||General teaching and management skills|
|TS 2||Skills in the use of technology|
|TS 3||Ability and commitment to work with community|
|TAT 2||Proficiency in L2 (for non-native speakers)|
|TAT 3||Proficiency in English (for native speakers of L2)|
|TAT 4||Fascination with L2 and its culture (non-native speakers)|
|TAT 5||Teaching experience|
|TAT 6||Experience as a resident in the L2 culture|
|Special resources (resources needed over and above usual resources in classrooms)|
|SPR 1||Authentic L2 materials|
|SPR 2||Human resources with facility in L2 in community|
|SPR 3||Internet; CALL (Computer Assisted Language Learning) resources|
|Principles of teacher reaction (Guidelines used by the teacher in reacting to student questions, responses, initiations, etc)|
|PTR 1||Encourages learners to initiate and participate in meaningful interaction in L2|
|PTR 2||Supports learner risk taking (e.g. going beyond memorized patterns and routine expressions|
|PTR 3||Places minimal emphasis in error correction and explicit instruction on language rules|
|PTR 4||Emphasizes learner autonomy and choice of language, topic|
|PTR 5||Focuses on learners and their needs|
|PTR 6||Encourages student self-assessment of progress|
|PTR 7||Focuses on form as need arises|
|Instructional and nurturant effects|
|IE 1||Proficiency in L2|
|IE 2||Greater understanding of one's own culture and mother tongue|
|NE 1||Respect, fascination for L2 and its culture|
|Authors: Francis Mangubhai is an Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics in the Faculty of Education at the University of Southern Queensland, Australia. Email: email@example.com
Perc Marland is a retired professor of education from the University of Southern Queensland, Australia. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr Ann Dashwood is a Senior Lecturer in Applied Linguistics & TESOL in the Faculty of Education at the University of Southern Queensland, Australia. Email: email@example.com
Dr Jeong-Bae Son is a Senior Lecturer in Applied Linguistics & TESOL in the Faculty of Education at the University of Southern Queensland, Australia. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please cite as: Mangubhai, F., Marland, P., Dashwood, A. & Son, J.-B. (2007). Framing communicative language teaching for better teacher understanding. Issues In Educational Research, 17(1), 85-106. http://www.iier.org.au/iier17/mangubhai.html