CLT as a language teaching

Thesis Statement and Annotated Bibliography

05 March 2010

Thesis Statement

Teachers usually use CLT as a language teaching method, however, in Bax’s opinion CLT should be replaced by Context Approach.

Annotated Bibliography

Bax, S. (2003). The end of CLT: a context approach to language teaching. In ELT Journal Volume 57/3 (pp. 278-287). Oxford University Press.

Bax’s article argues that CLT plays a hugely dominant role in language teaching, meanwhile neglecting the context in which teaching takes place. He agrees that CLT is a good method, that is why it is so popular, but it has its own shortcomings. He claims that the context in which language teaching takes place is more important, so teachers should focus on the Context Approach. Bax states that many teachers think that the country which does not use CLT is a backward country. He suggests that the main problem is that the main focus lies on the teacher’s methodology, which means that the focus is on teaching not in learning. He explains that the Context Approach is not a brand-new idea; it is just not within the CLT. His conclusion is that even though teachers pay attention to context, it is a secondary feature for them, although it should be the key factor both in language teaching and learning.

(141 words)

Harmer, J. (2003). Popular culture, methods, and context. In ELT Journal Volume 57/3 (pp. 288-294). Oxford University Press.

As opposed to Bax’s article, Harmer states that methodology in language learning can not be rejected. He agrees with Bax that the teachers’ training should not be like the PPP method, but disagrees with him in other aspects, such as the importance of the learners’ local and national culture in language teaching. His main argument in connection with that is the idea of the conflict between the teacher’s belief and the local culture in connection with the corporal punishment. He thinks that the problems are within the adaptation of the methodology not in its ideas. He mentions Dilys Thorp, who agrees with Bax, but offers another solution, meaning the teacher and the students should meet “somewhere in the middle”. Harmer concludes that in his opinion there is not a contradiction between methodology and context.

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(134 words)

Tomlinson, B. (2001). Humanising the Coursebook. In Humanising Language Teaching Year 3; Issue 5.

Tomlinson’s article is about his idea of humanising the coursebook. He states that for the learners the key point in language learning is affect. He thinks the best way is to replace the coursebook with other methods, strategies, and texts. He advises the partial replacement of the coursebook, too. He argues for localizing coursebooks because he thinks that the global coursebooks are not humanistic enough. Therefore he complains about the fact that the learners learn from them.

In my opinion this is a very helpful article because it introduces other, more humanistic ways of using a coursebook. The article shows both the positive and the negative sides of the books. It introduces new methodological and contextual approaches, so I can use it to support my argument.

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(275 words)