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Volume 7 Number 2, Summer 2010, Pages 1-359   

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Language Teachers' Beliefs and Practices Regarding the Appropriateness of Communicative Methodology: A Case Study from Thailand

    Chamaipak Tayjasanant and Roger Barnard

Analysts of curricular innovation distinguish two different versions. One is the documented curriculum, or the intended innovation, which presents idealized innovative prescriptions while the other is the realized version - that which is actually implemented in classrooms. This distinction reflects the complexity of curricular innovation which has been acknowledged by many researchers both in the mainstream education and in English language teaching and learning, especially in Asian contexts (e.g., Carless, 2001; Markee, 1997; Wang, 2008). This small-scale case study is an attempt to address the gap between curricular rhetoric and classroom reality by exploring how some teachers have implemented a curricular innovation in two Thai secondary schools. Data were obtained from classroom observation and in-depth interviews with eight teachers to identify what they believed about communicative English language teaching and the extent to which their classroom practices reflected their beliefs. In the course of the interviews, the teachers referred to a number of contextual factors which routinely constrained their practice, and this provides an opportunity for readers to consider the extent to which the same constraints to curricular innovation might occur in their own teaching and learning contexts.

Keywords: communicative curriculum, school teachers, beliefs, Thailand, case study