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«By HAMID ALI KHAN A dissertation submitted to the School of Arts & Education of Middlesex University, London in part fulfilment of the requirements ...»

-- [ Page 1 ] --

A NEEDS ANALYSIS OF PAKISTANI STATE

BOARDING SCHOOLS SECONDARY LEVEL

STUDENTS FOR ADOPTION OF

COMMUNICATIVE LANGUAGE TEACHING

By

HAMID ALI KHAN

A dissertation submitted to the School of Arts & Education of

Middlesex University, London

in part fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of MA TESOL (2006-7)

SUPERVISORS: CLARE O’DONOGHUE/ JULES WINCHESTER

August, 2007

ABSTRACT

English language teaching has become very important because of the global status of English and people all over the world are learning this language. Communicative Language Teaching Methodology, being a modern and effective method of language teaching, has been implemented in many contexts of ESL/EFL teaching. This implementation has not been without problems in many Asian countries as CLT has been in clash with local cultures of learning. Pakistan is still following a traditional approach to English language teaching. This study was an effort to discover the learning needs of Pakistani state boarding schools students to assess the implementation of CLT in these schools at secondary level.

Questionnaire and informal telephonic conversation were used as an instrument of data collection. The data revealed that those students’ learning needs and styles supported the adoption of Communicative Language Teaching Method. Teachers’ attitude towards CLT was also investigated and the presence of a positive attitude was established. Subsequently, certain factors which do not allow the practice of CLT in classes are identified and recommendations are made which can help in initiating a shift towards CLT.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

I am thankful to all my tutors (Clare O’Donoghue, Jules Winchester, Sylvia Shaw and Gillian Lazar) for all their help, encouragement and professional guidance without which I would not have been able to complete this project.

I am obliged to my colleague in Pakistan, Mr Afsar Shah, who launched an all out effort to collect data for me. His help and support, whenever needed, was available.

I am indebted to my ex-Principal, Air Commodore (Retired) Muhammad Tariq Qureshi, who played a vital role in securing for me this opportunity of postgraduate study in UK and also to Pakistan Air Force for creating this opening.

I am thankful to my wife and little son for living without me, in Pakistan, for the whole year and sparing me from all domestic responsibilities for the completion of this postgraduate degree.

Finally and above all, I am thankful to my parents who always sacrificed their today for our tomorrow and prayed for my success.

PREFACE

This study of students’ learning needs in Pakistani state boarding schools (PSBS) is probably the first of its kind as despite the best efforts and use of all means of search no published literature related to this specific context could be discovered. The aim of the study was to establish the presence of a favourable environment for modernising English language teaching in these institutions by implementing CLT as a method of language teaching. This modernisation is important to make ELT more effective in these schools as one mission of these schools is to provide the country and its civil/ military institutions with a leadership which is competent in English language. This is because of the role of which English plays in material achievements of an individual. A person with good English language skills in Pakistan can hope for a good start in practical life. Chapter one of this study is introductory chapter which introduces the international role of English language, its role in Pakistan, the education and ELT profile of Pakistan, the PSBS and the situation of ELT in these schools. Chapter two is concerned with the concept of communicative competence, CLT and problems related to its implementation, the role of needs analysis in this context and a framework of needs analysis for the purpose of establishing the acceptance of CLT in a particular context. Chapter 3 reintroduces the research topic, parameters for this particular needs analysis, information regarding research method, research participants, data analysis, findings and conclusions in the light of data analysis. The chapter culminates on a presentation of teachers’ attitude, opinion and beliefs regarding CLT. Chapter four identifies factors which hinders the practice of CLT in the classroom and suggests recommendations for initiating introduction of CLT in PSBS context. The chapter also evaluates, briefly, the limitations of this particular study and possibilities of further research in this specific context.

This study must be suffering from many imperfections, as it has been completed in a very short period of three months.

This was imperative because it was an in-service course for the author and the condition for sponsorship was to complete this postgraduate degree within the specific period allocated before returning back to normal teaching duties. However, the study provides a useful insight regarding the learning needs of teenagers in PSBS. It can be regarded as the first step towards involving school children in the process of curriculum designing in an underdeveloped country like Pakistan. It also draws attention to the fact that an existing imposed curriculum may not be satisfying the learning needs of the students and listening to students’ voices is always important to make

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Abstract Acknowledgement Preface Table of Contents Chapter One: Background……………………………………….1

1.1. English as an International Language………………………...1

1.2. English Language in Pakistan………………………………….6

1.3. Education & ELT Profile Of Pakistan…………………………8

1.4. The State Boarding Schools…………………………………..10

1.5. The Situation of ELT in PSBS………………………………..11

1.6. Conclusion…………………………………………………...14 Chapter Two: CLT and Needs Analysis

2.1. Communicative Competence………………………………….16

2.2. Communicative Language Teaching………………………….19

2.3. Role Relationship in CLT…………………………………..…24

2.4. Implementation of CLT……………………………………….26

2.5. Needs Analysis………………………………………………...34

2.6. Conclusion……………………………………………………41 Chapter Three: Data Analysis and Findings…………………...42

3.1. Research Topic………………………………………………..42

3.2. Parameters of the Study………………………………………43

3.3. Research Method……………………………………………..44

3.4. Research Participants…………………………………………46

3.5. Process of Data Collection……………………………………47

3.6. Analysis of Students’ Needs………………………………….48 3.6.1. Domains of Language Use & Reasons for Studying English…...48 3.6.2. Role of English in the School Curriculum and Future Life……….51 3.6.3. Learning Preferences in Language Skills…………………………54 3.6.4. Importance of Language Skills……………………………………56 3.6.5. Preferred Learning Styles & Strategies……………………………58 3.6.6. Patterns of Learner-learner Interaction……………………………59 3.6.7. Role Relationship………………………………………………….60 3.6.8. Preference for Teaching Learning Activities……………………...61 3.6.9. Attitudes, Beliefs and Diagnostic Questions about Present Curriculum……………………………………………………………….62

3.7. Findings of Needs Assessment……………………………….70

3.8. Interpretation of Needs into an Approach……………………74

3.9. Teachers’ Attitude to CA……………………………………..76 3.9.1. Teachers’ Response Pattern……………………………………….77

3.10. Conclusion…………………………………………………..85 Chapter Four: Recommendations………………………………86

4.1. Factors Hindering the Practice of CLT……………………….86

4.2. Recommendations…………………………………………….89

4.3. Limitations of the Study………………………………………94

4.4. Conclusion……………………………………………………97 References………………………………………………………...98 Appendices………………………………………………………104

CHAPTER ONE: BACKGROUNG

English language plays a vital role globally, and in Pakistan, though Urdu is the lingua franca, the status of English is that of L2 and official language. Pakistani State Boarding Schools (PSBS) are playing an important role by grooming the potential civil and military bureaucracy elite, and leadership. One role of these schools is to develop English language proficiency of their students to enable them to secure good employment and also to prepare them for future professional development as English is a key to both. This chapter presents a perspective on the global role of English, its role in Pakistan, information regarding education and ELT profile of Pakistan, and an introduction to PSBS. The chapter culminates on a discussion of ELT situation in PSBS.

1.1. ENGLISH AS AN INTERNATIONAL LANGUAGE

Communication is the basic attribute of human life (Thompson 2003:1) and language is the main tool of human communication (Clark et. al. 1994:1). Initially this communication was within societies and communities at local level but it took a new dimension as people from various societies, communities and nations started interacting with each other. The period following the 1950s saw a tremendous increase in the need for communication among the people of the world in various spheres of international contact like politics, academics, economics, technology and culture. The world has started becoming a global village. This gave birth to the need and pressure of adopting a common lingua franca for this global village to facilitate communication and make it more practical for the people of various linguistic backgrounds (Crystal 1997:10). This phenomenon led to the emergence of an international language.

English was accorded this privilege and it became the language of international communication or international language. Whatever may be the political or economic reasons and factors responsible for entrenching English in this position, the reality is that these reasons and factors can not diminish the importance of English and its pervasive use in international affairs. Presently, English is the language of international economic system. It is a language which has secured a place for itself alongside local languages in multilingual communities and is also learnt by all classes of the society. Its acquisition can guarantee the availability of opportunities to employment, travelling, higher education, and even better life. These are some of the characteristics which according to Brutt-Griffler (cited in Mackay 2002:12) make an international language. Following are some of the evidence which can be presented to support the position of English as a global language and a language of wider communication.

 MacKay (2002:17) states that over 85 per cent international organisations in the field of international relations make some official use of English. In Asia and the Pacific 90 percent of the organisations use only English for their official proceedings (ibid).

Thus English is playing a vital role in political, social, educational, and economic concerns of the nations. English is the language of popular culture in the form of being the language of English films and music which entertain people all over the globe (ibid). The travel and tourism industries also rely on English as a common language of communication. The knowledge of English is also essential to access printed and electronic information and higher education as higher education is dependent on English in many countries (ibid). Thus “knowledge of English is necessary for accessing many discourses at a global level from international relations to popular culture to academia” (MacKay 2002:18).

 A huge industry of language teaching exists in many countries of the world. This includes private language teaching institutions as well as private and state schools (Mackay 2002:14).The number of the people who have some familiarity with English is growing and macro-acquisition of the language is also increasing (MacKay 2002).Macro-acquisition means acquisition of the language by various levels of society both at individual level and in groups.

Individually more and more people are learning it, and it is also finding a place in the academic curricula in various countries. The phenomenon can be explained by citing Crystal (1997:3) who states that English is now taught over 100 countries and is emerging as the chief foreign language being learnt and displacing other language in the process.

Graddol (1997:8) specifies the following domains of English in the

international arena:

1) English is the working language of international organisations and conference.

2) English is the international language of science and technology.

3) English is used in international banking, economic affairs and commerce.

4) Advertising for global brands is done in English.

5) English is the language of audio-visual and cultural products.

6) English is the language of international tourism.

7) English is the language of tertiary education.

8) English is the language of international safety in the fields of aeronautics and sea.

9) English is the language of international law.

10) It is a relay language in interpretation and translation.



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