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Volume 3 Number 4, Winter 2006, Pages 1-225   

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Bridging a Gap between Traditional Instruction and Communicative Language Teaching in a Foreign Language Classroom

    Larisa Nikitina and Fumitaka Furuoka

Communicative language teaching with its stress on meaning rather than form, employment of task-based instruction and "real-life" situations in the language classroom is often viewed in sharp contrast to traditional approaches to language teaching that employ the "presentation - practice - production" format and stress formal accuracy. Despite criticisms, traditional pedagogical practices in teaching foreign languages exhibit remarkable tenacity which is partially due to the learners' preferences for the traditional methods of language instruction. This paper suggests that socio-linguistic surroundings in which language learning takes place is an important factor to consider when determining the choice for the classroom procedure. An empirical analysis of learners' preferences for classroom activities was carried out in this research in an attempt to find a way to reduce a gap between the two pedagogical paradigms. Though the present study was conducted among the learners of the Russian language there are no obstacles to viewing discussion and findings presented in this article in a wider context of language learning and teaching.