Adapting Communicative Language Teaching Approach to China’s Context

2844 Words Apr 1st, 2012 12 Pages
1. Introduction
With the development of market economy, China is accelerating its steps to join the world family in commerce and cultural partnership. With the recent accession to the WTO, the long-awaited Olympic Games in Beijing, China has made learning English a national priority. English, with its unique status, has been taught in China for more than 100 years. Today, English is becoming more and more popular. It is a compulsory course for all Chinese students from primary school to university.
Clearly it is relatively easy to demonstrate the importance of English in current China. This essay intends to argue that to achieve success in English learning for Chinese students the methods of teaching must be reconsidered. Therefore this
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(2) This method rejects mother tongue in English teaching. It only sees the disadvantages of mother tongue, but never makes use of mother tongue to facilitate students’ comprehension. (3) After learning English for a long time, some students may understand simple oral English but not complicated sentences and have poor grammar skills. (4) The class size should be small in using this method. So this method is just suitable to teach English beginners, and cannot be fully applied in the large country—China.
2.3 Audio-Lingual Approach
This English teaching method puts listening and speaking in the first place. It uses sentence pattern as the base of teaching and tries to avoid mother tongue in class. When using this method in learning English, students should first listen and then speak. After a long time practice, students can automatically express what they had heard.
Because this method relies on repetition and drills, the main limitations are: (1) It over emphasizes the mechanical practice and ignores students’ English skills training and learning flexibility. (2) This method focuses too much on the language structure and ignores the meaning of the language, so students’ reading and writing abilities are poor.
2.4 Communicative Language Teaching Approach (CLT)
In the early 1990s, a new English teaching method was introduced to China—Communicative Language Teaching Approach. This method emphasizes how to use language as a media to communicate. Teachers should not only