Promoting oral communication in a Pakistani EFL primary classroom

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)


Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


The purpose of this study was to explore ways in which oral communication skills of grade V children in an English as a foreign language (EFL) class can be promoted. For an EFL learner, the acquisition of all four language skills is very important. Speaking is at the top and needs more effort on the part of the learner as well as the teacher. Usually in our Pakistani English language classrooms the teaching of speaking skills is not dealt with in an adequate manner. This is why our children in upper primary classes (class 5) lack speaking skills. In the primary schools EFL classroom, teachers rely on teaching in the Grammar Translation Method in which they translate and explain some grammatical rules to the learners. This didactic approach does not help the student to acquire oral communication skills. There are ways through which teachers in upper primary classes can promote students' oral communication abilities. Amongst a variety of modern approaches, the communicative language approach is regarded as effective in terms of better impact on students learning of oral communication. Thus this study attempted to examine the possibilities of how a communicative language teaching approach can work in a Pakistani EFL classroom. This study was conducted in one of the community based private schools in Karachi. The research took place in class 5 as a whole but attention was focused on a group of 4 children. For this study, the action research model was applied. The class teacher and myself (researcher) co-planned, taught and then reflected on the outcomes of the lessons. This study has come up with some findings which focus the baseses for a discussion of the possibilities and impact of an oral communication approach on students' oral communication skills. The findings also suggest some limitations which hinder the effective use of a communicative approach in an average Pakistani primary school EFL classroom.

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