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TEACHERS PERCEPTIONS REGARDING THE USE OF COMMUNICATIVE LANGUAGE TEACHING APPROACH IN EFL CLASSES

RAE
1. TITULO DEL DOCUMENTO: Trabajo de grado para optar por el Ttulo de Licenciado En
Educacin Bsica Con nfasis En Lengua Inglesa
2. TITULO: TEACHERS PERCEPTIONS REGARDING THE USE OF THE COMMUNICATIVE
LANGUAGE TEAHING APPROACH IN EFL CLASSES
3. AUTOR: Cristian Andres Soto Bueno
4. LUGAR: Universidad de San Buenaventura sede Bogot, D.C
5. FECHA: Septiembre 2015
6. PALABRAS CLAVE: Communicative Language Teaching approach, CLT, Teachers perspectives,
Communicative Approaches.
7. DESCRIPCION DEL TRABAJO: Este artculo provee informacin acerca de lo que perciben los
docentes cuando utilizan CLT en sus clases de ingls como lengua extranjera. Los resultados de esta
investigacin muestran que los docentes que participaron en este estudio no definen que es exactamente
CLT y tambin como los docentes mal entienden el propsito del enfoque metodolgico. El estudio
tambin demuestra que la comunicacin es importante y til al momento de aprender una segunda lengua.
Este artculo acadmico resume los datos recolectados desde las entrevistas aplicadas a los participantes y
brinda detalladamente las conclusiones y resultados obtenidos para futuras investigaciones concernientes
al enfoque Communicative Language Teaching.
8. LINEAS DE INVESTIGACION: Formacion y Practica Pedagogica
9. METODOLOGA: La metodologa usada durante el desarrollo de este proyecto esta basado en el
mtodo cualitativo, el cual ayuda al investigador a analizar la experiencias que los docente han tenido al
momento de aplicar CLT en sus clases de ingles como lengua extranjera. Las entrevistas fueron usadad
como instrumentos para recolectar datos y finalmente fue utilizado la teoria Grounded para analizar los
datos
10. CONCLUSIONES: When the participants were told to define in their own words what CLT is; they
gave different definitions and the definitions were given according to the experience that they have had in
teaching and also from the literature read in their academic life. Indeed some of them were unable to
answer the questions or give a clear definition of what CLT is; even so this shows the lack of training that
they had in the university when they were studying as it was expressed by one of the participants.
However there is something that is support by all the teachers who participate in this study; it is the
importance of communication in English as foreign language classes.
Teachers as human beings have different way of thinking, but in the differences sometimes it is evidence
that they agree in some scholar issues, for example the role of the teacher and the role of students when
CLT is used. Teachers are seen like mediators and students are the principal performers in the class.
Again it is support the idea that Richards (2006) give us in which CLT is seen like the precise approach to
create student- centered classes, where the students have the advantage of use the target language and the
teachers are not seen like the authority with the power inside the classroom.

TEACHERS PERCEPTIONS REGARDING THE USE OF COMMUNICATIVE LANGUAGE TEACHING APPROACH IN EFL CLASSES

TEACHERS PERCEPTIONS REGARDING THE USE OF COMMUNICATIVE


LANGUAGE TEACHING APPROACH IN EFL CLASSES

CRISTIAN ANDRES SOTO BUENO

UNIVERSIDAD DE SAN BUENAVENTURA BOGOT


FACULTAD DE EDUCACIN
LICENCIATURA EN EDUCACIN BSICA CON NFASIS EN LENGUA INGLESA

BOGOTA D.C.
2015

TEACHERS PERCEPTIONS REGARDING THE USE OF COMMUNICATIVE LANGUAGE TEACHING APPROACH IN EFL CLASSES

TEACHERS PERCEPTIONS REGARDING THE USE OF COMMUNICATIVE


LANGUAGE TEACHING APPROACH IN EFL CLASSES

CRISTIAN ANDRES SOTO BUENO

Trabajo presentado como requisito parcial para optar por el ttulo de profesional de Licenciado
en Educacin Bsica con nfasis en Lengua Inglesa

UNIVERSIDAD DE SAN BUENAVENTURA BOGOT


FACULTAD DE EDUCACIN
LICENCIATURA EN EDUCACIN BSICA CON NFASIS EN LENGUA INGLESA
2015

TEACHERS PERCEPTIONS REGARDING THE USE OF COMMUNICATIVE LANGUAGE TEACHING APPROACH IN EFL CLASSES

TEACHERS PERCEPTIONS REGARDING THE USE OF COMMUNICATIVE


LANGUAGE TEACHING APPROACH IN EFL CLASSES

CRISTIAN ANDRS SOTO BUENO

UNIVERSIDAD DE SAN BUENAVENTURA BOGOT

TEACHERS PERCEPTIONS REGARDING THE USE OF COMMUNICATIVE LANGUAGE TEACHING APPROACH IN EFL CLASSES

TEACHERS PERCEPTIONS REGARDING THE USE OF COMMUNICATIVE


LANGUAGE TEACHING APPROACH IN EFL CLASSES
Cristian Andrs Soto Bueno

ABSTRACT
It exists some previous research studies which show the perceptions that teachers have
regarding Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) as the research studies conducted by
Mohamed (2011), Rezaul (2004) and other authors who investigated about the perceptions that
teachers have regarding CLT approach and the effectiveness of the approach for the second
language acquisition (Rao, 2002). This article clearly provides information about the perception
that English foreign language teachers have regarding the use of CLT in their EFL classes. Five
English as foreign language teachers participated in this study, they were interviewed and at the
end the results of this study were presented. In that way, the results showed that the teachers who
participated in the research do not know what exactly CLT is and also how do the teachers
misunderstand the purpose of the approach, but it also shows that teachers agreed that
communication is important and useful at the moment of learning a second language. This study
sums up the data collected from the interviews applied to the participants and gives detailed
conclusions and findings for future researches regarding Communicative Language Teaching
Approach.
Key Words: Communicative Language Teaching approach, CLT, Teachers perspectives,
Communicative Approaches.

TEACHERS PERCEPTIONS REGARDING THE USE OF COMMUNICATIVE LANGUAGE TEACHING APPROACH IN EFL CLASSES

RESUMEN
Existen estudios previos de investigacin acerca de las percepciones que tienen los
docentes en referencia al enfoque Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) como los de los
autores Mohamed (2011), Rezaul (2004) y otros autores quienes han hecho investigaciones
acerca de las perspectivas que los docentes tienen en referencia al enfoque Communicative
Language Teaching y la efectividad que tiene el enfoque para la adquisicin de una segunda
lengua. (Rao, 2002). Este artculo provee informacin acerca de lo que perciben los docentes
cuando utilizan CLT en sus clases de ingls como lengua extranjera. Los resultados de esta
investigacin muestran que los docentes que participaron en este estudio no definen que es
exactamente CLT y tambin como los docentes mal entienden el propsito del enfoque
metodolgico. El estudio tambin demuestra que la comunicacin es importante y til al
momento de aprender una segunda lengua. Este artculo acadmico resume los datos
recolectados desde las entrevistas aplicadas a los participantes y brinda detalladamente las
conclusiones y resultados obtenidos para futuras investigaciones concernientes al enfoque
Communicative Language Teaching.

Palabras Claves: Communicative Language Teaching approach, CLT, Teachers


perspectives, Communicative Approaches.

TEACHERS PERCEPTIONS REGARDING THE USE OF COMMUNICATIVE LANGUAGE TEACHING APPROACH IN EFL CLASSES

INTRODUCTION
To make students use English in a natural way is one of the goals of EFL teachers in this
era, teachers use different kinds of methodologies and strategies according to the characteristics
of the population to reach this goal. CLT is the most suitable approach to teach a second
language in a communicative way because it helps students to develop skills in the second
language (Li & song, 2007).
Richards (2006) stated that some teachers misunderstand the definition and the uses of
CLT. The next author also supports the misunderstanding that teachers have about what CLT is;
when teachers are exposed to questions about what makes their classes communicative, the
teachers answer that a communicative class is evidence when the speaking skill is used in class
(Wu, 2008). It is for that reason that the main objective of this study is to know about the
perceptions that teachers have regarding the application of CLT approach in their EFL classes at
this time. In order to reach the purpose of this study, it is necessary to gather data from prior
research about this topic, also it is necessary to collect data from teachers using semi structure
interviews in which the researcher is going to find data about teachers perceptions regarding
CLT and finally in order to conclude this study, it is going to be describe the findings and
conclusions obtained after analyzing the data collected. This article will describe the findings and
the different speeches that the participant teachers in this study had regarding CLT

TEACHERS PERCEPTIONS REGARDING THE USE OF COMMUNICATIVE LANGUAGE TEACHING APPROACH IN EFL CLASSES

JUSTIFICATION
To make students use English in a natural way is one of the goals of EFL teachers in this
era, teachers use different kinds of methodologies and strategies according to the characteristics
of the population to reach this goal. Our world is changing constantly, because of the
development in technology, science, health, and etcetera and in the same way the behavior and
the interest of each people change too. In this way, teachers must be prepared to adapt their
methodologies and teaching techniques according to the students necessities.
This research project shows to readers different perceptions that 5 EFL teachers from
Santiago de Cali, Valle del Cauca, Colombia have regarding Communicative Language
Teaching Approach. At the end of this article the reader can find the different findings and
conclusions found during the research process, thereby, teachers can take advantage of the
findings using the results to start rethinking their speeches about this approach and probably it
will be improve the teachers teaching practices in EFL classes. This research project used a
qualitative methodology which helps to reader to understand easily the information given by the
participant teachers. Also this research project gives rise to new questions like for example how
have been applying CLT aproach and other English Teaching Methodologies in different
context and also this project propitiates the creation of different methodologies according to the
ELF teachers perceptions and practices at this era.
This document presents the main theoretical framework used to approach this case study;
The Communicative Language Teaching Approach is taken as the central topic with its
principles, methodology, teaching strategies and current trends in foreign language teaching, but
also, it is analyzed the role of teachers and previous research regarding CLT approach. To dig
deeper into the topic, it is necessary to answer a main question: What is communicative

TEACHERS PERCEPTIONS REGARDING THE USE OF COMMUNICATIVE LANGUAGE TEACHING APPROACH IN EFL CLASSES

Language Teaching? Richards (2006) states that CLT Approach can be analyzed and understood
in different principles Communicative language teaching can be understood as a set of
principles about the goals of language teaching, how learners learn a language, the kinds of
classroom activities that best facilitate learning, and the roles of teachers and learners in the
classroom. (p. 2)
What Is Communicative Language Teaching?
Communicative language teaching is an approach for teaching a second language as
Littlewood, 1981 said it pays systematic attention to functional as well as structural aspects of
language, combining these into a more fully communicative view (p.1). There are other ideas at
the moment of describing CLT and the ideas conclude that CLT contains different elements of
communication in which the negotiation of meaning, expression and interpretation are the
defining characteristics of CLT (Brown, 2000; Ellis, 1982; Johnson & Johnson, 1988; lee &
VanPatten, 2003; Littlewood, 1981; Nunan, 1991; Richard- Amato, 1996; Savignon, 1997). Lee
and VanPatten (2003) who explain that Grammar forms part of the CLT approach as an
integrated component as it is Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing. Others authors explain
also that CLT major goal is to make students use the second language as appropriately as
possible in any context (Li & song, 2007).
In spite of that there is multiple information that teachers can find about CLT in different
resources, there are some teachers that state that CLT is sometimes confusing and controversial
and there is not accurate information about the application of CLT in a real context and also
teachers criticize the definition of CLT as very general (Canale, 1983). Nattinger (1984) states
that there are a lot of definitions for CLT but all of them are broad and contain different
variations and it takes teachers to get confuse. Besides, some authors support the idea that there

TEACHERS PERCEPTIONS REGARDING THE USE OF COMMUNICATIVE LANGUAGE TEACHING APPROACH IN EFL CLASSES

is not a lot of guidance about how to use CLT in English as foreign language classes (Burke,
2007).
In order to continue discussing the results of this study, it is necessary to describe other
assumptions that match and concern to this study; such as: the role of teachers in communicative
language teaching and the teachers perception regarding CLT.
The Role of Teachers in Communicative Language Teaching
Nowadays, the concepts that describe the teachers role are very different in comparison
to the past; our world is changing constantly, because of the development in technology, science,
health, and etcetera. And the last idea also refers that the behavior and the interest of each people
experience changes. In this way, teachers must be prepared to adapt their methodologies and
teaching techniques according to the students necessities.
At this moment an English class is different from the traditional English classroom in
which the focus was on grammar and the repetition of words and the classes were centered in the
teacher. CLT is perfect to create student- centered classroom environment, where the students
have different opportunities for using the target language and the teachers are not seen like the
authority with the power inside the classroom (Richards, 2006).
There are three principal roles that teachers assume in a CLT class. The first role is in
which the teacher is seen as a facilitator in learning and communication and the teacher is also
the person in charge of the promotion of opportunities for the students interactions with others
(Larsen- Freeman, 1986; Richards & Rodgers, 2001). Teachers have a second role in which they
are seen as participants in the activities as the students are. That means that teachers are active
participators in the activities but no the controllers (Littlewood, 2004; Richards & Rodgers,

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TEACHERS PERCEPTIONS REGARDING THE USE OF COMMUNICATIVE LANGUAGE TEACHING APPROACH IN EFL CLASSES

2001). Littlewood (2004) brings the third role of the teachers in which CLT teachers do not
dominate students activities; the teachers are not completely out of the interaction of the
students, rather, teachers in CLT classrooms are important subjects which guide students, take
into account every aspects that occurs during the session, observe students strengths and
weaknesses when they are interacting with others and take advantage of that for focusing in
specific aspects in future classes.
TEACHERS CONCEPTIONS
Previous Researches on Teachers Perception of Communicative Language
Teaching
In order to continue with the development of this study, it is important to know about
previous research on teachers perceptions regarding CLT. Johnson (1984) highlights the
importance of the examination of teachers perceptions on CLT; he thinks that these perceptions
are translated into classroom practices. Likewise, other authors have researched on teachers
perception during the last years and in this way those findings can be compared with this
research project. Teachers perception regarding CLT is different in each teacher, since it
depends on teachers experiences (Saengboon, 2006). In order to support the last idea and
regarding the differences found in perceptions that teachers have, Thompson (1996) states that
CLT is only focused on speaking and it does not pay attention to grammar. The same perception
is found in VanPatten (1998) who claims that some teachers are confused with the term
communicative the teachers believe that speaking is the unique skill used in CLT.
It exists others CLT studies in which it has been researched about teachers perceptions
about the approach as for example, it exists a research that was carried out in Australia in 1998,

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TEACHERS PERCEPTIONS REGARDING THE USE OF COMMUNICATIVE LANGUAGE TEACHING APPROACH IN EFL CLASSES

where 37 English as foreign language teachers participated in the study . It was analyzed the
perception and the conceptions that teachers have regarding CLT. The authors who analyzed the
results found that more than a half of the participants teachers agreed that CLT strategies are not
effective in classes, the other part of the participants highlight the importance of teaching
grammar in order to correct grammar errors that students have and the minority of the
participant teachers though that the role of the teachers is to transmit the knowledge to students
and also teachers in this study agreed that it is impossible that students be able to be autonomous
in class. Mangubhai, Dashwood, Berthold, Flores and Dale (1998).
In a different investigation, other authors analyzed the conception that six English as
foreign language teachers have regarding CLT. The authors Mangubhai, Marland, Dashwood
and Son (2005) established some specific details to evaluate to teachers. In order to evaluate
teachers conceptions the researchers implement semi- structure interviews and questionnaires.
During the interviews the answers that teachers gave were different to the literature; in contrast
the answers inside the questionnaire were pretty similar to the literature. With these results
Mangubhai et al. (2005) expressed that the answers given in the interview integrated what they
do in the practicum with the literature and the answers given in the questionnaire were similar to
the literature. However, the participants support the idea in which teachers think that the focus on
meaning can promote grammatical competences.

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TEACHERS PERCEPTIONS REGARDING THE USE OF COMMUNICATIVE LANGUAGE TEACHING APPROACH IN EFL CLASSES

TEACHERS PERCEPTIONS REGARDING THE USE OF COMMUNICATIVE


LANGUAGE TEACHING APPROACH IN EFL CLASSES
The theoretical framework presented in the last pages clarifies ideas about what is going
to be researched on this study and also how it is going to be conducted. In this way, it had been
chosen the qualitative method to work on the study, since, according to Clandining & Conelly
(2000), the Qualitative method helps us to investigate a situation with specific details about a
subjects experience about a topic. This study was conducted and guided following the research
question below:
Which are the teachers perceptions regarding the application of CLT approach in their
EFL Classes?

METHODOLOGY
The methodology used during the development of this project is based on the qualitative
method which helps to the researcher to analyze the experiences that the teachers have had while
using CLT in their EFL classes. The interviews were used as instruments to gather data and
finally it was used the grounded method to do the data analysis.

Participants
The participants were five English as foreign language teachers, three women and two
men, with ages between 26 to 34 years old, all of them from different institutions located in Cali
Valle del Cauca, Colombia, all of them from private schools. They have been teaching for

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TEACHERS PERCEPTIONS REGARDING THE USE OF COMMUNICATIVE LANGUAGE TEACHING APPROACH IN EFL CLASSES

several years in different educational institutions, some of them are masters in education, they
have been teaching English as foreign language in different contexts and levels. Throughout the
study I used names that do not belong to the real participants names: Lina, Maira, Danny, Marly
and Hader.

Data Collection
Interview: to know about what are the perceptions that teachers have in regard to CLT, it
was necessary to create a semi- structure interview in which the participants answered six
questions regarding CLT in a written way. The questions established in the interview were
focused on teachers experiences and the use of CLT in their own English as foreign language
classes. The questions asked to the teachers were the following ones:
1. Are you familiar with the Communicative Language Teaching approach (CLT)
2. Explain in your own words what CLT is?
3. Do you use CLT in your EFL classes? Why?
4. What happens when you use CLT in your classes?
5. Is it difficult to plan a class in which CLT is used? Why?
6. What kind of activities do you implement when you plan a CLT class?

Data analysis
In order to analyze the data collected and to establish categories and codes it was
necessary to use the grounded theory proposed by Strauss and Corbin (1998) In that way, the
categories were extracted using the coding method.
The first stage to analyze the data was using some codes in order to label some relevant
patters inside the interviews, and then with the established codes the researcher started to seek

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TEACHERS PERCEPTIONS REGARDING THE USE OF COMMUNICATIVE LANGUAGE TEACHING APPROACH IN EFL CLASSES

for similarities among the patters that the interviewees gave during the process of gathering the
data. At the end, the codes were consolidated into four main categories that are going to be
described in the following pages.

RESULTS
After analyzing the data and the coding method was applied it was obtained four main
categories. The five participant teachers answered all the questions from the interview and at the
end of the coding processes the following categories were established: Conceptualization,
Thoughts, Planning a CLT Lesson and finally CLT in use.
First category: CONCEPTUALIZATION
When it was asked to the participants to define in their own words what CLT is; they
gave different definitions and the definitions were given according to the experience that they
have had in teaching and also from literature read in their academic life.
Marly: CLT uses methodologies and instruments in which the Speaking skill is
the most use during the class
Danny: It is an approach in which the students are able to interact through some
activities that left the teacher observe his/her students using the communication as
a way of English production
Lina: It is the most complete approach if we are talking about a meaningful
learning, I mean with CLT students not only learn grammar but also use the
English in real situation

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TEACHERS PERCEPTIONS REGARDING THE USE OF COMMUNICATIVE LANGUAGE TEACHING APPROACH IN EFL CLASSES

Indeed some of them were unable to answer the questions or give a clear definition of
what CLT is; this shows clearly the confusion in which teachers are due to the different theory
used when they are studying their undergraduate programs; Savignon (2002) states that taking
into account that there is a lot of information about CLT, English as foreign language teachers
have not received a completed training about how to apply CLT in their own classes and this is
still evidence in the participant teachers;
Maira: I am not totally sure if I know what exactly CLT is. During my career it
wasnt well explained

However there is something that is supported by all the teachers who participate in the
interviews. It is the importance of communication in English as foreign language class.
Marly: Communication is a fundamental part of teaching for creating a natural
environment at the moment of learning a second language.
Lina: the students have the advantage of communicate whatever they want
they feel that the things they are learning in class are truly meaningful; I mean
they feel that the things that they are learning are useful for their life.

Besides the thought that communication is an important element for learning a second
language, the teachers similarly support the idea that nowadays it is important to propitiate
natural stages in which students can use the language as real as possible. For that reason it is here
where the teachers think that creating real situations the students are going to be comfortable at
the moment of using their second language; English.

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TEACHERS PERCEPTIONS REGARDING THE USE OF COMMUNICATIVE LANGUAGE TEACHING APPROACH IN EFL CLASSES

Danny: It creates an environment where the students feel comfortable... They


(students) learn in a natural way, because they are face to real situations.
Maira: It is not just to be focus on grammar; the idea is that students use the
language as their first language.
Lina: I mean, with this, students not only learn grammar but also use the
English in real situations and with this idea the student learn for the life and it is
not just for the moment..
Hader: It is fascinating when I observe my students interacting in English as
native speakers do.

Second Category: THOUGHTS

In order to continue analyzing the teachers answers in the interview, it was necessary
create a second category that is going to be call THOUGHTS. Here the researcher is going to
discuss the teachers opinions about what else complement CLT conceptualizations that were
discuss in the last category.

Some teachers stated that CLT is not focus on grammar, while there are others who
support the statement of the authors Lee and VanPatten (2003) who explain that Grammar forms
part of the CLT approach as an integrated component as it is Speaking, Listening, Reading and
Writing.

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TEACHERS PERCEPTIONS REGARDING THE USE OF COMMUNICATIVE LANGUAGE TEACHING APPROACH IN EFL CLASSES

Lina: It is the most complete approach if we are talking about a meaningful


learning, I mean, with this students not only learn grammar but also use the four
skills in English in real situations.
Maira: they (Students) learn how to use their English. It is not just focus on
grammar
Danny: They feel that can expresses themselves through English either in
reading, speaking, listening or writing. The class is not the typical English
class in which the students are just listening and repeating.

In the same way of grammar, some teachers think that Communication is connected to
Speaking and not more, avoiding the other skills. Again this support VanPattens (1998) idea in
which some teachers confuse the term communicative and they continue thinking that CLT just
use the speaking skill. And also some teachers think the same as Thompson, 1996 who states that
CLT is just focus on the speaking skill and it does not pay attention to grammar.

Marly: CLT uses methodologies and instruments in which the Speaking skill is
the most use during the class for example when they have to perform a
conversation dialogue.

Teachers as human beings have different way of thinking, but in the differences
sometimes it is evidence that they agree in some scholar issues, for example the role of the
teacher and the role of students when CLT is used. Teachers are seen like mediators and students
are the principal performers in the class. And this supports Richards (2006) idea in which CLT

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TEACHERS PERCEPTIONS REGARDING THE USE OF COMMUNICATIVE LANGUAGE TEACHING APPROACH IN EFL CLASSES

is perfect to create student- centered classroom environment of social learning where the students
have different opportunities for using the target language and the teachers are not seen like the
authority with the power inside the classroom.
Lina: The most of the time, when the student is communicating something and
he/she doesnt know vocabulary always ask to the teacher, so I need to be ready to
answer his/her question The class is centered in the students and this let that
the students can interact with others using English but it demands to be
ready for any help that students require while they are interacting using English.

Third Category: PLANNING A CLT LESSON

Here all the teachers agree that it is not too difficult to plan a CLT lesson, but also, they
agree that it depends on the training that each teacher has, besides it is important to take into
account that the activities proposed in each lesson match with the topic that is being teaching
during the lesson, in addiction some teachers expressed that the classes are unpredictable and for
that reason they must be prepared all the time for coming troubles during the class.

Danny: Well, It is not difficult but it could be a time consuming exercise


depending on the experience that you have in planning.
Marly: I try to look for activities that match with the topic that has been teaching
during the lesson. Internet has a lot of materials in which we can work on
communication.

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TEACHERS PERCEPTIONS REGARDING THE USE OF COMMUNICATIVE LANGUAGE TEACHING APPROACH IN EFL CLASSES

Lina: No, It is not difficult, but it demands to be ready for any help that students
require while they are interacting and using English I mean, always we have
to keep in mind, that we have to prepare materials appropriate to the class and be
ready for coming problems.
Hader: No, as it is centered in the students, I just must be prepared to help the
students with the troubles while theyre participating. Obviously me as a teacher
must bring activities and materials for the development of the class. Well, it is like
the real life, we dont know what to wait for.

When it is chosen the kind of activities that the teachers are going to bring to class they
look for the ones that match with the topic been teaching and activities that integrated all the
skills including culture.

Lina: Activities where students practice and use the language within a real
communicative context, where real information is exchanged, and where the
language used is not totally predictable.
Hader: I like to bring to students, contests, debates, presentations, telling
experiences. The kind of activities in which the students can communicate their
ideas using the language skills.

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TEACHERS PERCEPTIONS REGARDING THE USE OF COMMUNICATIVE LANGUAGE TEACHING APPROACH IN EFL CLASSES

Fourth Category: CLT IN USE

In this category it is going to be discuss two other factors that teachers expresses that
occur while a CLT class is carry out, these factors are the classroom management and the
engagement that the class acquired because of its activities. Most of the teachers expressed that
the students get motivated and their participation during the classes increases despite of their lack
of vocabulary, due that, all the CLT activities leave them to participate and also because all the
activities are centered on them and they play a fundamental role in the class

Hader: The class gets a real space where the students participate more, they
learn new vocabulary, I can notice the progress of my students in English,
and the students can use the English with freedom.
Lina: Now using this approach, the students actually are able to
communicate, and they are really excited about that...
Maira: But at the same time it is a good point, because the students get
motivate to participate and it helps to the development of the class. And
they are not shy because of their lack of grammar or vocabulary.
Danny: It creates an environment where the students feel comfortable in
the class and this makes that students participate or get interest in the class.
Marly: Well, almost all the students participate in class, the class is
interesting, the students get motivate to complete the activities.

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TEACHERS PERCEPTIONS REGARDING THE USE OF COMMUNICATIVE LANGUAGE TEACHING APPROACH IN EFL CLASSES

Nevertheless, some teachers state that with the use of CLT some classes can get out of
control, because all the students want to participate and they do not bring the space to observe
what the others participant students are doing. Teachers also manifest that students can become
talkative and they use their first language instead of English.
Maira: Yes, especially because I have to take into account how to
control students and their turn of participation during the class. They
become talkative talkative is good but if it is in English, students start to
speak in Spanish sometimes because they do not have enough vocabulary
to participate in the activity.

FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS.


Taking into account all the categories that came out after that the data was analyze, the
researcher shows different factors that evidence the teachers perspectives regarding the use of
Communicative Language Teaching Approach in English as foreign language classes.

When the participants were told to define in their own words what CLT is; they gave
different definitions and the definitions were given according to the experience that they have
had in teaching and also from the literature read in their academic life. Indeed some of them
were unable to answer the questions or give a clear definition of what CLT is; even so this shows
the lack of training that they had in the university when they were studying as it was expressed
by one of the participants. However there is something that is support by all the teachers who
participate in this study; it is the importance of communication in English as foreign language
classes.

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TEACHERS PERCEPTIONS REGARDING THE USE OF COMMUNICATIVE LANGUAGE TEACHING APPROACH IN EFL CLASSES

Besides the idea that communication is important to learn a second language, the teachers
similarly support the idea that nowadays it is important to propitiate natural stages in which
students can use the language as real as possible. For that reason it is here where the teachers
think that creating real situations the students are going to be comfortable at the moment of using
their second language English.

Subsequently, some teachers stated that CLT is not focus on grammar, while there are
others who support to Lee and VanPattens (2003) idea in which Grammar forms part of the
CLT approach as an integrated component as it is Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing. In
the same way as grammar, some teachers think that Communication is connected to Speaking
and not more, avoiding the other skills, again this support VanPattens (1998) idea in which
some teachers confuse the term communicative and they continue thinking that CLT just use
the speaking skill. And also some teachers think the same as Thompson (1996) who states that
CLT is focus on speaking and does not care about grammar.

Teachers as human beings have different way of thinking, but in the differences
sometimes it is evidence that they agree in some scholar issues, for example the role of the
teacher and the role of students when CLT is used. Teachers are seen like mediators and students
are the principal performers in the class. Again it is support the idea that Richards (2006) give us
in which CLT is seen like the precise approach to create student- centered classes, where the
students have the advantage of use the target language and the teachers are not seen like the
authority with the power inside the classroom.

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TEACHERS PERCEPTIONS REGARDING THE USE OF COMMUNICATIVE LANGUAGE TEACHING APPROACH IN EFL CLASSES

Regarding planning a CLT lesson all the teachers agree that it is not too difficult to plan a
CLT lesson, but also, they agree that it depends on the training and the experiences that each
teacher has on planning, in addiction some teachers expressed that the classes are unpredictable
and for that reason they must be prepared all the time for coming troubles during the class. At the
moment of choosing the kind of activities that the teachers are going to bring to class they look
for the ones that match with the topic been teaching and activities that integrated all the skills.

Equally important it was found two other factors that the participating teachers expressed
that occur while a CLT class is carried out, these factors are the classroom management and the
engagement that the class acquired because of its activities. Most of the teachers expressed that
the students get motivated and their participation in class increases despite of their lack of
vocabulary, being that, all the CLT activities leave them to participate and also because all the
activities are centered on them. Nevertheless, some teachers state that with the use of CLT some
classes can get out of control, because all the students want to participate and they do not bring
the space to observe what the others participant students are doing. Teachers also manifest that
students can become talkative and they use their first language instead of English.

Taking into account all the results given inside the last paragraphs, it is important to know
that always it is going to emerge other concerns in education and the important of keep
evaluating the teaching practices, just because human beings are living in a world in constantly
change in which the teachers must change their teaching practices and adapt their methodologies
according to the necessities that students have. This research just took into account some
TEACHERS PERCEPTIONS REGARDING THE USE OF COMMUNICATIVE

24

TEACHERS PERCEPTIONS REGARDING THE USE OF COMMUNICATIVE LANGUAGE TEACHING APPROACH IN EFL CLASSES

LANGUAGE TEACHING APPROACH IN EFL CLASSES and for further research it is


important to look for and analyze more perceptions in order to have a better knowledge about the
teachers perceptions about different methodologies to teach English as a foreign language.

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TEACHERS PERCEPTIONS REGARDING THE USE OF COMMUNICATIVE LANGUAGE TEACHING APPROACH IN EFL CLASSES

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Brown, H. D. (2000). Principles of language learning and teaching (4th Ed.). White
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Canale, M. (1983). From communicative competence to communicative language


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Clandinin, D., & Connelly, M. (2000). Narrative inquiry: Experience and story in
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Ellis, R. (1982). Informal and formal approaches to communicative language teaching.


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Hussein, M (2011). EFL Teachers' Perceptions and Implementations of Communicative


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Johnson, K., & Johnson, H. (1998). Encyclopedic dictionary of applied linguistics.


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Curriculum Inquiry, 14(4), 465468

Larsen-Freeman, D. (1986). Techniques and principles in language teaching. Oxford:


Oxford University Press.

Lee, J., & VanPatten, B. (2003). Making communicative language teaching happen. New
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Littlewood, W. (1981). Communicative language teaching: An introduction. Cambridge:


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Littlewood, W. (2004). The task-based approach: Some questions and suggestions. ELT
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Li, Z. G., & Song, M. Y. (2007). The relationship between traditional English grammar
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Mangubhai, F., Dashwood, A., Berthold, M., Flores, M., & Dale, J. (1998). Primary
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Mangubhai, F., Marland, P., Dashwood, A., & Son, J-B. (2005). Similarities and
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Nattinger, J. R. (1984). Communicative language teaching: A new metaphor. TESOL


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Nunan, D. (1991). Communicative tasks and the language curriculum. TESOL Quarterly,
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Rao, Z. (2002). Chinese students perceptions of communicative and non-communicative


activities in EFL classroom. System, 30(1), 85105.

Rezaul, K. M. (2004). Teachers' perceptions, attitudes and expectations about


Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) in post-secondary education in Bangladesh.
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Richard-Amato, P. A. (1996). Making it happen: Interaction in the L2 classroom, from


theory to practice (2nd Ed.). White Plains, NY: Addison-Wesley.

Richards, J. C. (2006), Communicative language teaching today. New York: Cambridge


University Press.

Richards, J. C., & Rodgers, T. (2001). Approaches and methods in language teaching.
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Savignon, S. J. (1997). Communicative competence: Theory and classroom practice (2nd


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Savignon, S. J. (2002). Communicative language teaching: Linguistic theory and


classroom practice. In S. J. Savignon (Ed.), interpreting communicative language
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Strauss, A., & Corbin, J. (1998). Basics of qualitative research: Grounded theory
procedures and techniques. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

Thompson, G. (1996). Some misconceptions about communicative language teaching.


ELT Journal, 50(1), 915.

VanPatten, B. (1998). Perceptions of and perspectives on the term communicative.


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Language Teaching, 1(1), 5053.

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TEACHERS PERCEPTIONS REGARDING THE USE OF COMMUNICATIVE LANGUAGE TEACHING APPROACH IN EFL CLASSES

ANNEXES
ANNEX 1: Interview format

29

TEACHERS PERCEPTIONS REGARDING THE USE OF COMMUNICATIVE LANGUAGE TEACHING APPROACH IN EFL CLASSES

ANNEX 2: Interview # 1 (Marlys Interview)


UNIVERSIDAD DE SAN BUENAVENTURA BOGOT
FACULTAD DE EDUCACIN
LICENCIATURA EN EDUCACIN BSICA CON NFASIS EN LENGUA INGLESA
INTERVIEW # 1
Interviewees Name: Marly
Taught grades: Secondary
Years of experience as EFL teacher: 7 years
1. Are you familiar with the Communicative Language Teaching approach (CLT)?
Yes ______x______ No__________
If the answer is YES please continue answering questions from 2 to 6
2. Explain in your own words what CLT is?
CLT uses methodologies and instruments in which the Speaking skill is the most use during the
class. Communication is a fundamental part of teaching for creating a natural environment at the
moment of learning a second language.
3. Do you use CLT in your EFL classes? Why?
Sometimes, I like using CLT when I want the class get interesting and enjoyable to students. Also
because it left students interact each other and the students in secondary like to perform different
kinds of role plays.
4. What happens when you use CLT in your EFL classes?
Well, almost all the students participate in class, the class is interesting, the students get motivate
to complete the activities. Sometimes I have to control the order in the class because the students
get disorganize when participating, for example when they have to perform a conversation
dialogue, they dont let to the teacher to listen what are the other saying while they way their turn
to participate.
5. Is it difficult to plan a class in which CLT is used? Why?
No, I think is easy, for example, If Im going to apply a role play, I just look for the reading and
start looking for unknown vocabulary, I try to look for activities that match with the topic that has
been teaching during the lesson. Internet have a lot of materials in which we can work on
communication.
6. What kind of activities do you implement when you plan a CLT class?
Role plays, dialogues, debates, charades.

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TEACHERS PERCEPTIONS REGARDING THE USE OF COMMUNICATIVE LANGUAGE TEACHING APPROACH IN EFL CLASSES

ANNEX 3: Interview # 2 (Dannys Interview)

UNIVERSIDAD DE SAN BUENAVENTURA BOGOT


FACULTAD DE EDUCACIN
LICENCIATURA EN EDUCACIN BSICA CON NFASIS EN LENGUA INGLESA
INTERVIEW # 2
Interviewees Name: Danny
Taught grades: Teenagers English institute
Years of experience as EFL teacher: 4
1. Are you familiar with the Communicative Language Teaching approach (CLT)?
Yes _____X______ No__________
If the answer is YES please continue answering questions from 2 to 6
2. Explain in your own words what CLT is?
It is an approach in which the students are able to interact through some activities that left the
teacher see his/her students using the communication as a way of English production.
3. Do you use CLT in your EFL classes? Why?
Yes, I use CLT because I like make my students feel that they can use their English in real
situations it doesnt matter what kind of activity they are developing. They feel that can expresses
through English either in reading, speaking, listening or writing. And also because I take new
methodologies ant the class is not the typical English class in which the students just listen and
repeat.
4. What happens when you use CLT in your classes?
It creates an environment where the students feel comfortable in the class and this makes that
students participate or get interest in the class. They learn in a natural way, because they are face
to real situations.
5. Is it difficult to plan a class in which CLT is used? Why?
Well, It is not difficult but it could be a time consuming exercise depending on the experience
that you have in planning. Me as a teacher must take into account the entire factors that include a
class. As the time, the number of students and the materials that Im going to use.
6. What kind of activities do you implement when you plan a CLT class?
Comparing sets of pictures and noting similarities and differences, following directions, discovering
missing features in a map or picture

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TEACHERS PERCEPTIONS REGARDING THE USE OF COMMUNICATIVE LANGUAGE TEACHING APPROACH IN EFL CLASSES

ANNEX 4: Interiew # 3 (Mairas inteview)


UNIVERSIDAD DE SAN BUENAVENTURA BOGOT
FACULTAD DE EDUCACIN
LICENCIATURA EN EDUCACIN BSICA CON NFASIS EN LENGUA INGLESA
INTERVIEW # 3
Interviewees Name: Maira
Taught grades: 6 to 8 grades
Years of experience as EFL teacher: 5
1. Are you familiar with the Communicative Language Teaching approach (CLT)?
Yes ______X______ No__________
If the answer is YES please continue answering questions from 2 to 6
2. Explain in your own words what CLT is?
I am not totally sure if I know what CLT exactly is. During my career it wasnt well explain, but I can
say that is an approach tan can help us to develop communicative skills in children. If children
communicate among them, they learn how to use English. It is not just to be focus on grammar, the idea is
that students use the langue as their first language.
3. Do you use CLT in your EFL classes? Why?
Sometimes, when I want my students apply the things that I have taught them in class. Without the
teachers control, I mean the students are going to be doing things and using their English without the
pressure of doing the things wrong. The idea is that the student feels comfortable with he/she is doing.
4. What happens when you use CLT in your classes?
Communicative activities basically make students talk a lot. You know, we dont focus on
grammar when we teach and they start just participating in the class. But at the same time is a
going point, because the students get motivate to participate and help to the development of the
class. And they are not shy because of their lack of grammar or vocabulary.
5. Is it difficult to plan 9a class in which CLT is used? Why?
Yes, especially because I have to take into account how to control students and their turn of
participation during the class. They become talkative talkative is good but if it is in English,
students start to speak in Spanish sometimes because they do not have enough vocabulary to
participate in the activity.
6. What kind of activities do you implement when you plan a CLT class?
Presentations about different topics, in which the students feel comfortable with the topic they are
presenting. The last time I did my students present the place that they would like to visit, my
students must look for information on internet about it, make re4adings, writings and speaking
activities about it. The listening part was carrying out when the audience make questions to them
about the place.

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TEACHERS PERCEPTIONS REGARDING THE USE OF COMMUNICATIVE LANGUAGE TEACHING APPROACH IN EFL CLASSES

ANNEX 5: Interview # 4 ( Linas Interview)


UNIVERSIDAD DE SAN BUENAVENTURA BOGOT
FACULTAD DE EDUCACIN
LICENCIATURA EN EDUCACIN BSICA CON NFASIS EN LENGUA INGLESA
INTERVIEW # 4
Interviewees Name LINA
Taught grades: PRIMARY
Years of experience as EFL teacher: 3

1. Are you familiar with the Communicative Language Teaching approach (CLT)?
Yes _____X_______ No__________
If the answer is YES please continue answering questions from 2 to 6
2. Explain in your own words what CLT is?
It is the most complete approach if we are talking about a meaningful learning, I mean with this
students not only learn grammar but also use the English in real situation and with this idea the
student learn for the life and it is not just for the moment. The idea is that they can communicate
easily without thinking on grammar just focusing on gives their ideas. Now using this approach,
the students actually are able to communicate, and they are really excited about that.

3. Do you use CLT in your EFL classes? Why?


As I said before using this approach the students have the advantage of communicate whatever
they want in a natural way and also another reason is that they get motivate to use the language
because they feel that the things they are learning are truly meaningful, I mean they feel that the
thinks they are learning are useful for their life.
4. What happens when you use CLT in your classes?
It is create a space in which the teacher can observe the progress that students have in the
acquisition of the language, also the students can use the vocabulary and grammatical structures
learnt in class. The class is centered in the students and this let that the students can interact with
others using English.
5. Is it difficult to plan a class in which CLT is used? Why?
No, It is not difficult, but it demands to be ready for any help that students require while they are
interacting and using English. The most of the time, the student when is communicating
something and he/she doesnt know vocabulary always ask to the teacher, so I need to be ready to
answer his/her question. Besides, is important to have materials that match with the topic study
and also that help to the students communicate, I mean, always we have to keep in mind, that we
have to prepare materials appropriate to the class.
6. What kind of activities do you implement when you plan a CLT class?
Activities where practice in using language within a real communicative context is the focus,
where real information is exchanged, and where the language used is not totally predicatable.

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TEACHERS PERCEPTIONS REGARDING THE USE OF COMMUNICATIVE LANGUAGE TEACHING APPROACH IN EFL CLASSES

ANNEX 6: Interview # 5 (Haders interview)


UNIVERSIDAD DE SAN BUENAVENTURA BOGOT
FACULTAD DE EDUCACIN
LICENCIATURA EN EDUCACIN BSICA CON NFASIS EN LENGUA INGLESA
INTERVIEW # 5
Interviewees Name: Hader
Taught grades: 4,5,6
Years of experience as EFL teacher: 1
1. Are you familiar with the Communicative Language Teaching approach (CLT)?
Yes _____X_______ No__________
If the answer is YES please continue answering questions from 2 to 6
2. Explain in your own words what CLT is?
It is a communicative approach for teaching languages, in which the idea is to use the
communication as a way of using English as much as possible without rules, but this does not
mean that rules are not important, the rules are always there but the class is not centered on it.
3. Do you use CLT in your EFL classes? Why?
When I want to observe if my students understand for sure the topic that Im teaching, or when I
want to check the way in which they are understanding the use of the topic in real situations also I
use to used CLT when I want to check if I need to make review of topics that I already taught
before. Besides, it is important to apply CLT because this time the education is constantly
changing and for that reason with have to change our methodologies, we cant continue teaching
using traditional approaches.
4. What happens when you use CLT in your classes?
The class gets a real space where the students participate more, they learn new vocabulary, I can
noticed the progress of my students in English, the students can use the English with freedom.
5. Is it difficult to plan a class in which CLT is used? Why?
No, as it is centered in the students, I just must be prepare to help the students with the troubles
while theyre participating. Obviously me as a teacher must bring activities and materials for the
development of the class. Well, it is like the real life, we dont know what to wait for.
6. What kind of activities do you implement when you plan a CLT class?
I like to bring to students, contests, debates, presentations, telling experiences. Activities in which
they can communicate their ideas using the language skills. It is fascinating when I see my
students interacting in English as native speakers do.

34