Exploring the Challenges of the Communicative Language Teaching Approach in the EFL Context of Arab Learners

Document Type : Original Article

Authors

1 Department of English Language and Literature, Lebanese University, Lebanon

2 College of Educational and Psychological Sciences, Amman Arab University, Jordan

3 Department of English, University of Human Development, Kurdistan Region of Iraq

10.22132/tel.2024.427424.1535

Abstract

The Communicative Approach to Language Teaching (CLT) has been the dominant method for teaching English as a Foreign Language (EFL) in Arabic-speaking countries for over four decades. However, in recent years, there have been criticisms and debates regarding the effectiveness of this approach and its impact on learning outcomes. An exploratory study investigated this further, involving 206 university students from Lebanon and Jordan. An online questionnaire consisting of four sections was administered via Google Forms in the spring of 2023 to gather the students' responses. To ensure the reliability of the questionnaire, the internal consistency reliability was calculated using Cronbach's Alpha coefficient. Descriptive and inferential statistics were then employed to address the research questions, including independent samples t-test and the Mann-Whitney U test. The study's findings revealed that CLT continues to cause tautness amongst instructors and Arab students alike. In conclusion, this study suggests ways in which CLT can be acclimatized to the needs of non-native learners in this poly-lingual and universally interlaced era.

Keywords


Khazaie, S., & Ebadi, S. (2023). Exploring the feasibility of augmented reality game-supported flipped classrooms in reading comprehension of English for Medical Purposes. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 1-34.
Abbas, M.M. (2012). Iraq opportunities: The new national curriculum and teaching English as a foreign language in Iraqi primary schools. IAMURE: International Journal of Education, 2, 219-239.
Al Mamun, M. A., Lawrie, G., & Wright, T. (2022). Exploration of learner-content interactions and learning approaches: The role of guided inquiry in the self-directed online environments. Computers & Education178, 104398. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2021.104398
Alakrash, H., Edam, B., Bustan, E., Armnazi, M., Enayat, A., & Bustan, T. (2021). Developing English language skills and confidence using local culture-based materials in EFL curriculum. Linguistica Antverpiensia1, 548-564.
Alyan, A. A. A. (2019). English as a lingua franca and intercultural awareness: Insights and Implications. Islamic University Journal, 27(4). http://journal.iugaza.edu.ps/index.php/IUGJHR/article/download/3001/2793
Al Asmari, A. A. (2015). Communicative language teaching in EFL university context: Challenges for teachers. Journal of Language Teaching and Research6(5), 976.
Al-Bulushi, A. H., & Al-Issa, A. S. (2017). Playing with the language: Investigating the role of communicative games in an Arab language teaching system. International Journal of Instruction10(2), 179-198.
Alghamdi, A. (2021). The impact of EFL Teachers' pedagogical beliefs and practices: Communicative language teaching in a Saudi University Context. English Language Teaching14(12), 171-182.
Alharbi, A. S. (2021). Barriers in implementing communicative language teaching approach: EFL learners’ perspective. Journal of Education and Practice12(9), 1-20.
Alharbi, A. O. (2022). Issues with communicative language teaching implementation in Saudi Arabia concerning the government policy, teachers, and students: Two decades of research. Arab World English Journal13(2), 412-423.
Al-Khafaji, R. S. (2015). An application of the communicative language teaching (CLT) approach for English as a foreign language (EFL) Learners in the Arab Context. https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/educ_llss_etds/50
Alshwater, K. (2021). The using of communicative language teaching (CLT) approach: A case study of Jordanian female EFL learners at university of Jordan. International Journal of Linguistics, Literature and Translation4(6), 141-147.
Aranas, Z. (2023). Enhancing the communicative competence of Filipino immigrants in America. Master's Projects and Capstones. Retrieved from https://repository.usfca.edu/capstone/1526/
Asassfeh, S. M., Khwaileh, F. M., Al-Shaboul, Y. M., & Alshboul, S. S. (2012). Communicative language teaching in an EFL context: Learners' attitudes and perceived implementation. Journal of Language Teaching and Research3(3), 525.
Bacha, N., & Bahous, R. (2011). Foreign language education in Lebanon: A context of cultural and curricular complexities. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, 2, 1320-1328.
Bachman, L.F., & Palmer, A.S. (1996). Language testing in practice: Designing and developing useful language tests. Oxford University Press.
Bax, S. (2013). ELT classroom interaction in the Arab world: Four keys to language learning. Retrieved from http://atel-lb.org/index.php/conferences/itemlist/date/2013/5?catid=19
Canale, M., & Swain, M (1980). Theoretical bases of communicative approaches to second language teaching and testing.  Applied Linguistics, 1(1), 1–47.
Canale, M. (1983). From communicative competence to communicative language pedagogy. In J. C. Richards & R. W. Schmidt (Eds.), Language and Communication.  Longman.
Catania, A. C. (2022). Rule-governed behavior and the origins of language. Behavior analysis and contemporary psychology. Taylor & Francis.
Chomsky, N. (1975). Review of B. F. Skinner’s verbal behavior. Retrieved from https://chomsky.info/1967
Coon, D., & Mitterer, J.O. (2014). Psychology: modules for active learning. Cengage Learning. Retrieved from: yun.ir/tq2j6
Diouani, A. E. (2020). Communicative language teaching in the Moroccan classroom: perceptions, practices, and difficulties. Journal of Foreign Language Teaching and Learning5(2), 135-154.
Elashhab, S. (2020). Attitudes and perspectives of Saudi female medical students towards online EFL education under COVID-19 circumstances. Arab World English Journal 2nd Special Issue on Covid-19 Challenges.  
ElBoubekri, A. (2022). Investigating teachers’ perceptions of L1 use in English as a foreign language Moroccan secondary classroom: A post-communicative perspective. Journal of Education, 00220574221142303. 
Farooq, M. U. (2015). Creating a communicative language teaching environment for improving students' communicative competence at the EFL/EAP University level. International Education Studies8(4), 179-191.
Gahin, G., & Myhill. D. (2001). The communicative approach in Egypt: Exploring the secrets of the pyramids. TEFL Journal. Retrieved from: http://jfl.iaun.ac.ir/article_4185_0.html
Getie, A. S. (2020). Factors affecting the attitudes of students towards learning English as a foreign language. Cogent Education7(1), 1738184. https://doi.org/10.1080/2331186X.2020.1738184
Hammad, E. A. (2014). Palestinian EFL teachers’ attitudes towards English textbooks used at the first three grades of elementary school. TESL-EJ, 18(1), 1- 18.
Hameed, P. F. M. (2020). Saudi EFL students' beliefs on Communicative Language Teaching. TESOL International Journal15(3), 6-19.
Hattani, H. A. (2018). Communicative language teaching in the Moroccan EFL classroom. Journal of English Language Teaching and Linguistics3(2), 87-98. https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/297688843.pdf
Hymes, D. H. (1972). On Communicative Competence. In J. B. Pride & J. Holmes (Eds.), Sociolinguistics: Selected Readings. Penguin Books.
Jiang, M., Lam, A.H.C., Chiu, D. K. W., & Ho, K. (2023). Social media aids for business learning: A quantitative evaluation with the 5E instructional model. Education and Information Technology, 1-23.
Kadi, R., & Madini, A. (2019). Causes of Saudi students’ unwillingness to communicate in the EFL classrooms. International Journal of English Language Education, 7(1), 51- 69. https://doi.org/10.5296/ijele.v7i1.14621
Kim, D. (2020). Learning language, learning culture: Teaching language to the whole student. ECNU Review of Education3(3), 519-541. https://doi.org/10.1177/2096531120936693
Nunan, D. (1991). Language teaching methodology: A Textbook for Teachers. Prentice Hall.
Papi, M., & Hiver, P. (2020). Language learning motivation as a complex dynamic system: A global perspective of truth, control, and value. The Modern Language Journal104(1), 209-232. https://doi.org/10.1111/modl.12624
Richards, J. C., Rodgers, T. S., & Swan, M. (2001). Approaches and Methods in Language Teaching (2nd ed.). Cambridge University Press.
Sarmin, F. (2022). Challenges faced by high school teachers of the low-earning area of Badda to teach English according to the syllabus [Doctoral Dissertation, Presidency University]. Retrieved from yun.ir/dvr5s3
Sherwani, S. H., & Kilic, M. (2017). Teachers’ perspectives of the use of CLT in ELT classrooms: A case of Soran District of Northern Iraq. Arab World English Journal (AWEJ), 8.