This paper examines student perceptions on the effectiveness of developing communicative competence through drama-based group projects in an EFL class in Taiwan. A whole language approach was adopted and students were required to accomplish their drama projects by conducting a series of collaborative and skill- integrated activities throughout the semester. Forty non-English major University freshmen, with intermediate English proficiency enrolled in this class. In groups, activities such as watching movie, reading movie reviews, introducing the movie plots and casts, providing feedback through presentations, choosing the plot, adapting and editing the script, and finally performing the plot were enacted in class. Questionnaires and semi-structured interviews were conducted to explore students’ perceived effectiveness on their overall language learning through the drama-based projects. The results revealed students’ positive feedback not only on the part of their improved language ability, but on their enhanced awareness and understanding of the proper use of target language. In addition, positive comments on boosted confidence and gains from collaborative learning were also reported.
Role play is an effective learning and teaching experience for both the students and the teachers. Through role play, students can have more opportunities to “act” and “interact” with their peers trying to use the English language. It also helps learners in speaking, listening, and understanding English. It lightens the classroom atmosphere and enlivens it. This paper aims at investigating students’ attitudes and perceptions of role play activities in the tertiary level English language classrooms in Bangladesh. The activity was chosen as a classroom task to create a situation for the learners to actively interact in English, and thereby to make the language learning more meaningful and interesting at the same time. The learners found the activities to be challenging as well as interesting. Finally, some recommendations are made to promote the use of role play in Bangladeshi classroom of English to develop communicative competence among the learners.
A Comparison of Teaching Materials (School Textbooks Vs Authentic Materials) From the Perspective of English Teachers and Educational Supervisors in Saudi Arabia (Published)
This article is an original contribution to knowledge in that it explores English teachers’ and educational supervisors’ attitudes to using school textbooks and authentic materials in Saudi boys’ schools. Specifically, it aims to determine the preferred teaching materials (either textbooks or authentic materials which are not usually recommended in the current textbooks (or which are additional to the contents of the current textbooks) from the participants’ points of view. A mixed-research approach — quantitative and qualitative — was used to investigate the favoured teaching materials, while the contrastive research approach allowed both types to be evaluated. The results showed that the participants had positive attitudes to using authentic materials and that most teachers preferred them to school textbooks. The study contributes to the debate over how best to teach English as a Foreign Language, and concludes with the recommendation that school textbooks should include authentic materials in order to improve learners’ communicative competence.
Do Teachers And Students Want CLT? A Study of Bangladeshi College Teachers’ and Students’ Perception of CLT (Published)
English is embedded, as a core and compulsory subject from years 1-12, in Bangladeshi education system. Keeping English in this position indicates that an increased emphasis is placed on learning English. In order to strengthen students’ communicative competence in English, moreover, the Government substituted CLT for GTM in 2001. However, many argued that, despite this change, most of the students are still unable to communicate in English effectively. This communicative inability of students generates a question that is whether or not students and teachers actually want CLT. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate teachers’ and students’ perceptions of whether they desire CLT or not, and of how they perceive CLT. To achieve this aim, nine participants (three teachers and six students) were selected to obtain data through conducting semi-structured in-depth interviews. Qualitative technique was followed to analyse the data. The results of this study indicated that the students and teachers desire CLT, and they also expect the problems with CLT to be resolved. Even, they also have drawn some recommendations for improving CLT in Bangladesh.
MODERN REQUIREMENTS FOR SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION ASPIRANTS (Review Completed - Accepted)
It is an uncontested fact that knowledge of English is a pre-requisite for success in the modern world. The universities and colleges bear the onus of preparing the students to face the world by equipping them with the requisite knowledge and skills. Learning a language is different from learning subjects like Mathematics and Geography, where the teacher plays a pivotal role in acquainting the students with rules and facts pertaining to the field. But language skills can be developed only by having the learner at the centre, and by providing maximum opportunities for practicing and learning from personal experience. The emphasis thus, has to be on strengthening communicative competence by exposing the learner to real-life situational use of the language
COMMUNICATIVE ACTIVITIES: ISSUES ON PRE, DURING, AND POST CHALLENGES IN SOUTH KOREA’S ENGLISH EDUCATION (Published)
This paper determined 128 Korean university students’ language potentials on “pre,” “during,” and “post” communicative activities. Their strengths and weaknesses in the communicative challenges were investigated; particularly, their weaknesses in the three stages were determined in terms of rank of difficulty and frequency of attitude toward the activities. In the exploratory-quantitative-exploratory research method with qualitative perspectives, the findings were concluded: Not all were challenged in pre, during, and post communicative activities. Parents, English language environment, teaching approaches, and bad timing may be the culprit why students’ motivation, interest, and proficiencies were in bad shape. Students’ learning styles, strategies, and attitudes were also affected due to the difficulties of communicative challenges and lack of support system. Lack of support system can be characterized with lack of the proper language proficiency assessment on where to place the students in class and how much time to be allotted for each class. The students from the 22 departments attended an English class for only an hour and fifty minutes per week. With the conditions mentioned above, the students could hardly develop communicative skills because they were not able to manage learning meaningfully. Deeper insights on these three stages (such as pre, during, and post) would add literature to address students’ real needs and teacher’s issues on sense of commitment in the English language education. The rank of difficulty on communicative activities in each stage would provide the support system (which involves TESOL practitioners, teachers, curriculum developers, researchers, and even students) priorities on what, how, and when to implement communicative challenges. By evaluating every angle of these current data would help the support system design or develop teaching techniques, result-oriented materials, and interactive activities to accommodate the priorities. Thus, the ranks of difficulty in communicative activities as well as the rank and frequency of attitude towards these activities will serve as a basis for conducting further investigation or similar studies to fulfill the support system’s objectives.