Teachers’ views on the appropriateness and feasibility of CLT in Pakistan
Keywords: Communicative language teaching, CLT, context appropriate CLT
Aziz Khan and Rosemary Wette
Department of Applied Language Studies and Linguistics
University of Auckland
Aziz Khan is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Applied Language Studies and Linguistics at the University of Auckland. His research interests include language-ineducation planning and policy, language teaching and identity, and social contexts of language learning and teaching.
Rosemary Wette is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Applied Language Studies and Linguistics at the University of Auckland. She teaches courses in second language teacher education. Her areas of research are the L2 curriculum and methodology, and ways of developing the academic literacy skills of L2 writers.
In recent years, a number of scholars have claimed that communicative language teaching (CLT) approaches are unsuitable when used prescriptively, or in non-western contexts. To discover whether this statement is accurate with regard to Pakistan, the study reported in this paper explored the views of a number of experienced teachers of English in tertiary colleges about the feasibility and appropriateness of using communicative approaches in their classrooms. Questionnaires and interviews were used to gather information from teachers and although resistance to CLT was expected, study data revealed considered and generally optimistic statements about what teachers believed was possible within the constraints of the local context. Benefits of CLT that were identified included using communicative tasks to complement accuracy- and receptive skill-oriented activities, to provide practice in synthesising elements of the language system, to foster more democratic teacher-student relationships, and to promote active involvement and independent learning by students. Mindful of the challenges of attempting to deliver quality education in the Pakistani context, teachers called for improvements in the standard and availability of in-service courses in which appropriate innovations could be explored and supported.