A study of the implementation of the communicative approach to English language teaching in lower secondary classes

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)


Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


English language and its teaching has been a controversial issue since independence of the country. In spite of that it still enjoys a 'privileged position' in our country. Presently, English as a foreign language is being taught from primary classes onwards, mostly through Grammar Translation Method, in the government schools. This method has failed to develop students' communicative skills. Therefore, the government has introduced a functional notional syllabus of English language underlying the philosophy of Communicative Approach to Language Teaching. The purpose of this study was to find out the facilitating and inhibiting factors in the implementation of the Communicative Approach in the English language teaching in lower secondary classes. In order to make Communicative Approach effective, several lessons were planned based on Nunan's (1993) notion of communicative task in collaboration with two teachers and taught by them in the lower secondary classes in one of the government schools. A case study method was used in this research. To gather relevant information, interview and observation were used as main techniques. The findings related to pre-intervention stage indicate that the teachers seemed unaware of the purpose of the new English textbooks and the teaching pedagogy. They felt confident to teach through Grammar Translation Method. Their teaching seemed very much examination oriented. The findings pertaining to intervention and post intervention stages reveal that some facilitating factors such as teachers' positive attitudes, collegiality, support from the head and mentoring contributed towards the implementation of the Communicative Approach to English language teaching. The teachers and the students tended to show their positive attitude towards Communicative Approach. Both teachers and students felt that this approach helps develop a context of language learning in the classroom. However, some problems such as large classes, teachers' and students' language proficiency, teachers' knowledge of language and teaching methods hindered the implementation of Communicative Approach.

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