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Volume 16 Number 4, Winter 2019, Pages 1069-1460 PDF Download

Why Communicative Language Teaching Has Yet to Work in Korea: Exploring Teachers' Viewpoints

    Yoon Jung Jin & Isaiah WonHo Yoo

To ascertain the existing challenges of employing communicative language teaching (CLT) in English classrooms in Korea, 52 English teachers in middle or high schools in Seoul were asked to complete a survey, two of whom were also interviewed to elicit more specific comments. The results of the survey and the interviews showed that CLT is still difficult to adopt in Korea. Although teachers were aware of the importance of implementing CLT to facilitate improving students' communicative competence, they depended on giving lectures and explanations primarily based on textbooks and failed to use a variety of activities that CLT features. Under the current educational system in Korea—which places heavy emphasis on helping students get into the universities of their choice—both teachers and students do not feel it necessary to take advantage of CLT in teaching and learning English. This unfortunate fact invariably leads to the teacher's preference for traditional L2 teaching methods and to many Korean students' inability to communicate effectively in English.

Keywords: communicative language teaching, Korean teachers' perception, EFL contexts, survey and in-depth interview