A critical appraisal of the communicative approach in selected Lusaka basic schools

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Munakaampe, Yvette Hamusonde
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The purpose of this study was to establish the level of implementation of the communicative approach to English language teaching and possible constraints expressed by teachers. The study focused on four areas, i.e., the training that teachers had received, the presence of real life communication and pupil response during English lessons and the creation of conducive classroom and school environments. Ninety Grade Five class teachers from selected Lusaka basic schools participated in the study. Data was collected through questionnaires, interviews and observations. The results indicated that regardless of the type and amount of training, teachers were not implementing the communicative approach and that they did not understand the underlying psychological processes of language learning. It was also found that 76% of the teachers did not see it as the best approach to English language teaching at Grade Five. It was further found that there were no communicative exercises in the classrooms, pupils displayed little activity during the English lessons and that the school environments were not conducive for the approach.Based on the findings it is recommended that the Ministry of Education embark on deliberate support programmes such as introducing training intervention for all teachers implenenting the communicative approach , a monitoring structure that will include teacher trainers, and reducing English classes to manageable sizes. It is further recommended that the support services should include supplying material resources such as supplementary readers, activity kits, charts, cue cards, and picture rolls to classrooms. Lastly, it is recommended that the Grade Seven English examination should test communicative skills.
Communication -- Study and teaching -- Zambia , Communication in education , English language --Study and teaching