Observations on Teachers’ Knowledge Growth in the Communicative Approach in Taiwanese EFL Classes
US-China Education Review A
This paper aims to illustrate how the observation scheme was developed and helped evaluate the extent to which the teachers’ practitioner knowledge in adapting the communicative approach (CA) develops. The CA, including communicative language teaching (CLT) and task-based language teaching (TBLT), has been strongly promoted by professionals in the area of second language (L2) teaching and learning. It has also been embraced by national curriculum guidelines in many countries where English is taught as a foreign (EFL) or second language (ESL). However, it is not widely accepted in teachers’ practice. An action research study was set up to help teachers develop and implement a context-sensitive CA in a Taiwanese EFL secondary school. To observe teachers’ knowledge growth in the CA, a systematic observation scheme was developed. This was done by firstly clarifying what CA, CLT, and TBLT mean, then identifying the key principles which are informed by theories related to L2 learning and cognitive psychology, and finally, comparing the criteria with common cited observation schemes and giving consideration to contextual factors. The scheme was applied to observe three volunteer teachers once a month and trace their knowledge growth for five months. The scheme effectively captured insights into this growth. It is believed that this framework can also be applied to other settings where a gap exists between the governments’ expectation and the classroom reality.
This paper aims to illustrate how the observation scheme was developed and helped evaluate the extent to which the teachers’ practitioner knowledge in adapting the communicative approach (CA) develops.
Vol. 4, No. 9, pp. 621-639