Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) as a methodology was first proposed in England in the 1970 (Ozsevik, 2010.p.1). This methodology was regarded as revolutionary since it placed an essential emphasis on communication in language learning classrooms. Being primarily an ESL (English as a second language) methodology, it rapidly gained a widespread acceptance in the Western countries. Following the emergence of CLT in English-speaking countries, it began to spread all over the world. Signifying the new and being endorsed as a reaction against the traditional language teaching methodologies, CLT has served as a major source of influence on English language teaching practice in both ESL and EFL (English as a foreign language) environments.
Although CLT to be well known approach, there have been controversial views on the appropriateness, as well as the feasibility of implementing CLT in EFL contexts. Some ELT (English language teaching) scholars have accentuated the significance of the local needs and the conditions of the particular EFL contexts, and the benefits of the traditional methods of language teaching (Bax, 2003; Harvey, 1984; Incecay & Incecay, 2009 (Ozsevik, 2010.p.1) Nevertheless, the majority of the ELT scholars have advocated the idea that neither of these extremist positions will benefit English teaching and learning in Asian contexts, (Ozsevik, 2010.p1.)
Many approaches and methods has been applied in teaching such as the Translation Method, the Situational Language Teaching, the Audio-lingual Method, the Communicative Language Teaching, and other approaches although with less influence which can also give us much inspiration. All of them were once quite the rage, but till now, the Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) is more and more popular and becoming the mainstream in the second language teaching classroom, (Yuan. 2011). although have controversial and resistance of CLT from education stakeholders. While they oppose It spreads widely and constantly develops.
Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) is an approach to the teaching of second and foreign languages that emphasizes interaction as both the means and the ultimate goal of learning a language. It is also referred to as “communicative approach to the teaching of foreign languages”. (elt.wikia.com)
Bearing all these issues in mind the study aims to draw a clearer picture of communicative language teaching. It will be carried out through the following questions:
1. What are the controversial issues to stakeholders (teachers, students, school administrators, parents) in implementing communicative language teaching (ELT) as an approach?
The significance of this study is to know and identify the problems of CLT to stakeholders and identify the characters and methodology of communicative language teaching for English foreign language teachers.

2.1. Brief view of communicative language teaching (CLT)
According to Chomsky’s (in Savignon, 2002) the characterization of the linguistic competence of the ideal native speaker and, distinction between competence and performance, proposed the term ‘‘communicative competence’’ to represent the ability to use language in a social context, to observe sociolinguistic norms of appropriateness. Hymes’s (in Savignon, 2002). ‘‘communicative competence’’ can be seen as the equivalent of Halliday’s ‘‘meaning potential.’’ Similarly, Hymes’s focus was not language learning but language as social behavior. In subsequent interpretations of the significance of Hymes’s views for learners, methodologists working in the United States tended to focus on the cultural norms of native speakers and the difficulty, if not impossibility, of duplicating them in a classroom of non natives. In light of this difficulty, the appropriateness of communicative competence as an instructional goal.
Communicative language teaching derives from a multidisciplinary perspective that includes, at the least, linguistics, psychology, philosophy, sociology, and educational research.(Savignon, 2002)
The communicative approach could be said to be the product of educators and linguists who had grown dissatisfied with the audio-lingual and grammar-translation methods of foreign language instruction.
The origins of Communicative Language Teaching are to be found in the changes in the British languages teaching tradition dating from the late 1960s. Interest in and development of communicative style teaching mushroomed in the 1970s; authentic language use and classroom exchanges where students engaged in real communication with one another became quite popular.

a. The Principal Characteristics of CLT
The role of the instructor in CLT is quite different from traditional teaching methods. In the traditional classroom, the teacher is in charge and "controls" the learning. In CLT the teacher serves as more of a facilitator, allowing students to be in charge of their own learning.
Language is used for communication. For this reason, CLT makes use of communication to teach languages. CLT emphasizes real-life situations and communication in context. While grammar is still important in the CLT classroom, the emphasis is on communicating a message.
Social Context
CLT also stresses social and situational contexts of communication. In CLT, students learn about language in social contexts, such as the difference between speaking with an elder and a peer. (Li Shengxi)
Comparison of Different Teaching Method
Method Teacher’s Roles Learner’s Roles
Situational language Teaching Context Setter
Error Corrector Imitator
Audio-lingualism Language Modeler
Drill Leader Pattern Practicer
Accuracy Enthusiast
Total Physical Response Commander
Action Monitor Commander
Action Monitor
Community Language Learning Counselor
Paraphraser Collaborator
Whole Person
The Natural Approach Actor
Props User Guesser
Suggestopedia Auto-hypnotist
Authority Figure Relaxer
Communicative Language Teaching Needs Analyst
Task Designer Improviser
Resource: Li Shengxi, hand out)
1.2. Controversial to Educational Change

In education the term controversial often couples up with change. In fact, controversial marks open or hidden opposition to a change issue for the purpose of stopping or slowing it down for self-conservation measures. As such, controversial is a strategic device put forward by the resistant who is not convinced enough or who does not perceive the benefits or the nature of change. In the literature, many factors are said to bring about controversial in the educational field (Rogers, 1995. Fullan, 1991, Graeme & Kevin, 2002 in Drame). The following ones will be mentioned for illustrative purposes:
1. Misunderstanding of the change context;
2. Lack of interaction and communication;
3. Inadequate training and development;
4. Inappropriate instructional materials/input;
5. Violation of social, cultural, behavioral norms;
6. Fear of the unknown;
7. Loss of control, social status or power;
8. High operating costs;
9. Time constraints;
10. Etc.
Given these factors, how does controversial operate in an educational context? If the school is taken as "a change unit" as suggested by Muncey & McQuillan in Drame 2004, controversial can operate at three overlapping levels: (a) the school, (b) the classroom and (c) the individual stakeholder.
1. The school level
At this level, school administrators often argue against change on the grounds of curriculum constraints, school environment and equipment, school rules and regulations, exams requirements and standards, shortage of rooms, large classes, time-tabling problems, etc.
2. The classroom level
Very often, teachers and students hide behind the following factors in order to resist change (Tsui, 1996 in Drame): syllabus specifications, class size, classroom physical context, instructional materials, activity/task types, students' learning modes, learning styles, the school head's management style, etc.
3. The stakeholder level
As argued earlier, stakeholders always have different interests in any educational change project. So, they usually fall into different pressure groups ready to fight their interests to prevail over others. These struggles can, sometimes, be aggravated by social, cultural or professional differences or conflicts which must be taken into account. Therefore, both change agents and stakeholders are advised to ponder over these words of wisdom: "The road (to change) won't always be easy and everyone won't always agree which path to take when the road forks... but with mutual respect, honest work and understanding that we all have to live with the results, we can get where we need to go". (Ellsworth, 2000:3 in Drame 2004).
According to researched of Drame, 2004. He have two questionnaires research instruments to know the resistance of teachers and students in applying communicative language teaching: one destined to English teachers and the other to students of different levels and streams. Both questionnaires aim to assess teachers’ and learners’ perceptions of communicative language teaching in their working situations. In the teachers’ questionnaires, respondents are requested to spell out their standpoints with regard to identified potential sources of resistance by ticking one of the boxes ranging from: strongly agree, agree, disagree, and strongly disagree. As for students, their questionnaire aimed to rate activity effectiveness (I learn very much; I learn much) or ineffectiveness (I learn little; I learn very little) among the most currently used ones.

2.2 Results of Drame, research Instruments for teachers' and students questionnaires in Dakar. Senegal

There were 66 teachers took part in the study. Here teachers are asked to say whether they have positive perceptions (strongly agree; agree) or negative perceptions (disagree; strongly disagree) of areas identified as being potential sources of resistance. Below are the results of their responses expressed in percentages.
Results of teachers’ questionnaire
No Potential sources of
resistance Teachers’ positive perceptions of identified sources of resistance
Teachers’ negative perceptions of identified sources of resistance
1 Problem with materials
68.93 % 31.07%

2 Inadequate training
59.09 % 40.91%

3 Unsatisfactory working conditions
56.92 % 43.08%

4 Students’ resistance
52.27 % 47.73%

5 Insufficient command of
40.1 % 59.9 %

6 Resistance from other
interested parties
38.64 % 61.36 %

7 Other factors (please specify)See teachers’comments

Grand total 56 % 44 %

With an overall percentage reaching 56 % surveyed teachers have strongly sided with
Potential sources of resistance identified in the questionnaire. Yet, with opposing views rating up to 44 %, they have also sent a strong message to say that resistance also stems from sources different from the ones identified in the questionnaire. A close look at the results shows clearly that teachers blame resistance partially on the problem of materials which tops all the others with 68.93 %. This high rate just indicates that teachers are far from being satisfied with existing materials which are well below communicative standards while with 59.09 % just behind materials development, training and development is still a great source of worry.
The working conditions take the third position in this survey (56.92%). From the teachers’ point of view, students’ resistance to CLT is also quite high (52.27 %) and it holds the fourth position in the survey. With 61.36 %, teachers have rejected significantly the idea that resistance only stems from the sources identified in the questionnaire. In their mind, resistance comes also from other interested parties: parents, school administrators, students and some teachers. The latter seem to doubt the capacity of CLT to make the students meet the exams standards. Yet, they do not seem to blame it on CLT as an approach but on its side effects in a foreign language context and the mismatch between classroom procedures and exams formats (Baccalaureat, BFEM in Drame).
1.3. The result of students questionnaires
Analysis of the results of students questionnaire in Drame shows clearly that they are favorable to communicative methodology (63.36 %), yet by rejecting 36.64 % of the questionnaire suggested activities they also want teachers to know that some of their activities are not as effective as they believe they are. Nevertheless, it is surprising to see that 'writing grammar exercises' takes the first place on top of the other activities (86.4 %.). The foreign language context may explain this because they believe that to know a language is to know the grammar of that language. Another surprise comes from the third position held by the item 'correcting mistakes' (80.8 %).
It is interesting to note that students seem to prefer 'pair work' (80 %) to 'group work' (70.4 %). With a gap of 10,4 % the difference is significant enough to be meaningful. Here students seem to say that they like group work as an activity but they dislike its side effects: noise, time waste, chat, local/first language(s) use, social/psychological difficulties, etc. This is why they prefer 'pair work' which has proven to be more effective in overcrowded classes. By holding the second position (85.6 % ), 'information sharing' and co-related issues (information processing, information transfer) demonstrate that students are not against communicative methodology. Yet, a close look at rejected activities shows for example that students do not think they are learning effectively when they are engaged in activities like: 'interpreting diagrams' (69.6 %), 'drawing' (65,6 % ), 'improvising' (59.2 %), 'dramatising' (58.4% ), 'working with maps' (54.4 %), and singing songs (53,6 % ). These results show that surveyed students are not bodily-kinaethetic learners (they do not like improvising, dramatising, singing songs, dancing), nor are they spatial ones (they do not like learning through visual representations like diagrams, drawings, maps, etc). This means that
students are rather shy when it comes to speaking the target language. This derives from the point made earlier that they are afraid to make mistakes (Tsui, 1996 In Drame).


Throughout this study an attempt has been made to understand educational change in general and communicative language teaching as a change issue in a difficult context. Subsequently, the study has assessed the degree and the nature of resistance to CLT in these specific conditions. More thoroughly important sources of resistance as well as hindering factors have been identified and analyzed.
1. Stakeholders (school administrators, teachers, students, parents) oppose no resistance to communicative language teaching as such, but they fear its side effects make the students fall short of exams standards still designed upon traditional criteria (grammar, syntax, lexis );
2. With 61.36 % teachers believe that resistance to CLT relates to other sources than to CLT proper: system-bound obstacles: overcrowded classes, shortage of rooms, mismatch between teaching and testing principles and procedures, inappropriate instructional materials, inarticulate in-service programmes, students’ low motivation resulting from the status of English within the curricula.
3. Students like communicative methodology, but they prefer pair work (80 %) to group work (70.4 %), because of the side effects outlined earlier;
4. Students have significantly rejected bodily activities like drawing, improvising (58.4 %), dramatising (58.4 %), improvising (58.4 % ), singing songs (53.6 %), role-playing (52 %), certainly because they do not want to lose face through such engaging activities.

Drame, Mamadou. Resistance to communicative language teaching in a Foreign language context: a senegalese case study. English Department, FASTEF Université Cheikh Anta Diop Dakar,Senegal. Available online: fastef.ucad.sn/LIEN12/drame.pdf. September 27 2011
Ozsevik, Zekariya. (2010). The Use Of Communicative Language Teaching (CLT): Turkish EFL Teachers’ Perceived Difficulties In Implementing CLT In Turke. Thesis. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Savignon, J. Sandra.2002. Interpreting Communicative Language Teaching. Yale University Press New Haven and London.
Shengx, L. Second/Foreign Language Teaching Methodologies. Available online: english-e-corner.com

Yuan, Fang. (2011). A Brief Comment on Communicative Language Teaching. Huaiyin Normal University, Jiangsu, China

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