IJSSH 2012 Vol.2(6): 446-448 ISSN: 2010-3646
DOI: 10.7763/IJSSH.2012.V2.143

The Communicative Approach in EFL Contexts Revisited

Showqi A. Bahumaid

Abstract—This paper investigates the current position of communicative language teaching (CLT) with special reference to EFL teaching in public education in the Arab Gulf region. It highlights the enormous impact which the communicative approach has had on various aspects of EFL teaching in the region including syllabi, teaching materials and methodology since its introduction about four decades ago. However, there has been greater awareness among TEFL practitioners in the region in recent years as to the limitations of CLT which does not specifically address the needs and concerns of teaching in EFL situations. The most salient deficiencies relate to cultural inappropriateness of some texts and the great demands CLT places on Arabic-speaking teachers in terms of language fluency and competence in communicative methodology. These pitfalls have been aggravated by the EFL learners’ low motivation to learn English and their extremely limited exposure to it in the community. These issues can be tackled, as the writer argues, by setting ‘realistic’ objectives for TEFL in public education in the Gulf region based on a thorough analysis of learners’ needs, adopting an ‘eclectic’ approach in the selection of communicative teaching materials and learning tasks and launching intensive teacher training programs in communicative teaching.

Index Terms—Communicative teaching, eclectic, foreign language, second language.

Showqi A. Bahumaid is with the Department of English Language and Literature, in the University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (e-mail: sbahumaid@sharjah.ac.ae).

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Cite: Showqi A. Bahumaid, "The Communicative Approach in EFL Contexts Revisited," International Journal of Social Science and Humanity vol. 2, no. 6, pp. 446-448, 2012.

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