Implementation of the communicative approach techniques by teachers of french in secondary schools in Kabwe district, central province, Zambia.

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Mukayi, Elias Amsini
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The University of Zambia
French has been taught in Zambia as a Foreign Language even before independence. Manchishi and Chishiba (2016) indicate that French was introduced in African schools, as a subject, in the educational system of the then Northern Rhodesia in 1953. At that time, French was offered at Munali Boys Secondary School, in Lusaka and Chipembi Girls in Chisamba. In 1964, when Zambia obtained its Political Independence from Britain, the teaching of French spread to 12 other secondary schools. The French Language Syllabus for Secondary Schools recommends that teachers of French use CLT in their teaching to enable the learners develop Communicative Competence (MESVTEE, 2013). The study explored the implementation of CLT in Government Secondary Schools of Kabwe District. The purpose of the study was to establish how teachers of French as a Foreign Language in Kabwe District were implementing the Communicative Language Teaching Approach, as recommended by the Syllabus and the extent of the implementation. The objectives of the study were (i) to assess teachers’ understanding of CLT, (ii) assessing teachers’ Teaching Techniques in a French Class and establishing the possible challenges faced by teachers of French in implementing CLT. The study employed a descriptive design under qualitative approach. The study participants comprised of 14 teachers, 3 subjects specialists and 178 pupils who were purposively sampled. Data was collected through interview guides, naturalistic observation schedules and Focus Group Discussions guide and analyzed using thematic analysis. The study findings revealed that teachers had very little ideas that CLT aims at making learners attain communicative competence. In terms of teaching techniques used, the study revealed that CLT, to a large extent, was absent in all the lessons observed. Teachers have been using various techniques more especially the Grammar Translation approach, which is dominated by structure. Most of the lessons were organized around teacher centered whole class pedagogical activities without any noticeable form of communicative activities and CLT instructional procedures. As regards to challenges faced, the study revealed factors such as inadequate pre-service training, insufficient funding to procure Text books, negative attitudes of the teacher toward CLT, form-based examinations and pupils’ low French proficiency to be among other factors hindering teachers from implementing CLT. Bordering on the findings of the study, the following recommendations were made. Among them, them, the need for the trainers of teachers of French to be practical and not theoretical in their training. The study recommended that teachers of French be sensitized on the need to implement the recommended approach. The sensitization will act as a Continuous Professional Development (CPD) to remind them of the pedagogical requirements of the syllabus and also that monitoring of teachers by standard officers should be effectively done and there should be increased funding to schools, the French Section in particular so that equipment and materials to support CLT is procured. Key words: Communicative Approach, Communicative Competence, French as Foreign Language, Teachers, Understanding, Application, Challenges, Kabwe
Language and languages--Study and teaching--Technological innovations. , Communicative approach--French--Study and teaching.