Attitudes towards Communicative Language Teaching: The Case of EFL Learners and Teachers

Keywords: communicative language teaching, teachers' beliefs, learners' beliefs, English as a foreign language, CLT tenets


Although in recent years a great number of studies have been conducted on the use of communicative language teaching (clt) in English as a foreign language (efl) settings, relatively few have specifically dealt with comparing and con-trasting the foreign language teacher’s beliefs with those of their own students concerning the clt approach. Hence, this study was designed to delve into teach-ers’ beliefs and learners’ beliefs regarding six main tenets of the communicative approach within the efl context of Iran. To this end, a Likert-type attitude scale was developed and administered to 154 teachers and 242 learners of English. The results revealed that although both groups of participants held favorable attitudes toward clt, teacher participants had significantly higher levels of perception regarding clt tenets in terms of the role of grammar, the learner’s role, the teach-er’s role, and error correction/evaluation. However, no significant differences were found between language learners and teachers concerning group/pair work and native language role. The participants’ favorable attitudes were taken to indi-cate positive signals for the implementation of clt in the Iranian context because its core tenets seem to be welcomed in the context of this study.

= 385 veces | PDF
= 275 veces| HTML
= 0 veces| XML
= 0 veces|


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Mohammad Khatib, Allameh Tabataba'i University
Ph. D. in TEFL, Allameh Tabataba'i University, M. A. and B. A. English Literature, Tehran University. Associate Professor, tefl, Allameh Tabataba'i University, Tehran, Iran.
Arezoo Ashoori Tootkaboni, Allameh Tabataba'i University

B. A. English Literature, Guilan University, M. A. in tefl, Shahid Beheshti University. Ph. D. in TEFL, Allameh Tabataba'i University, Tehran, Iran


Anani Sarab, M. R., Monfared, A., Safarzadeh, M. M. (2016). Secondary EFL school teachers’ perceptions of CLT principles and practices: An exploratory survey. Iranian Journal of Language Teaching Research, 4(3), 109-130.

Asgari, S. (2015). An investigation of teachers' beliefs and classroom practices in English language institutes and high schools in Iran. International Journal of Educational Investigations, 2(1), 156-170.

Ashoori Tootkaboni, A. (2019). Teachers' beliefs and practices towards communicative language teaching in the expanding circle. Revista Signos. Estudios de Lingüística, 52(100) 265-289.

Ashoori Tootaboni, A. & Khatib, M. (2017). Exploring EFL learners' beliefs toward communicative language teaching: A case study of Iranian EFL learners. Journal of English Language Teaching and Learning, 9(20), 109-134.

Carless, D. (2003). Factors in the implementation of task-based teaching in primary schools. System, 31, 485-500.

Dörnyei, Z. (2010). Questionnaires in second language research: Construction, administration, and processing. New York, NY: Routledge.

Gorsuch, G. (2000). EFL educational policies and education cultures: influences on teachers’ approval of communicative activities. TESOL Quarterly, 34(4), 675-710.

Horwitz, E. K. (1988). The beliefs about language learning of beginning university foreign language students. Modern Language Journal, 72(3), 283-294.

Huynh, V. H. (2006). English language teaching in Vietnam: A comparison of teachers’ beliefs and practices, and learners’ perception. Unpublished thesis, Michigan State University.

Jarvis, H., & Atsilarat, S. (2004). Shifting paradigms: from a communicative to a context-based approach. Asian EFL Journal, 6(4).

Karavas-Doukas, E. (1996). Using attitude scales to investigate teachers' attitude to the communicative approach. ELT Journal, 50(3), 187-198.

Kern, R. G. (1995). Students' and teachers' beliefs about language learning. Foreign Language Annals, 28(1), 71-92.

Larsen-Freeman, D. (2000). Techniques and principles in language teaching (2nd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Lewis, M. & McCook, F. (2002). Cultures of teaching: Voices from Vietnam. ELT Journal, 56(2), 146-153.

Littlewood, W. (2007). Communicative and task-based language teaching in East Asian classrooms. Language Teaching, 40(3), 243-249.

Maftoon, P. (2002). Universal relevance of communicative language teaching: Some reservations. The International Journal of Humanities, 9(2), 49-54.

Mangubhai, F., Marland, P., Dashwood, A., & Son, J.-B. (2005). Similarities and differences in teachers' and researchers' conceptions of communicative language teaching: Does the use of an educational model cast a better light? Language Teaching Research, 9(1), 51-86.

Matsuura, H., Chiba, R., & Hilderbrandt, P. (2001). Beliefs about learning and teaching communicative English in Japan. Japan Association for Language Teaching, 23(1), 69-82.

Ngoc, K. M. & Iwashita, N. (2012). A comparison of learners' and teachers' attitudes toward communicative language teaching at two universities in Vietnam. University of Sydney Papers in TESOL, 7, 25-49.

Nguyen, T. H. A. (2002). Cultural effects on learning and teaching English in Vietnam. The Language Teacher, 26(1), 2-6.

Nishino, T. (2008). Japanese secondary school teachers’ beliefs and practices regarding communicative language teaching: an exploratory survey. JALT Journal, 30(1), 27-51.

Nunan, D. (1988). The learner-centered curriculum. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Phipps, ‎S. ‎& ‎Borg, ‎S.‎ (2009).‎ Exploring ‎tensions ‎between‎ teachers’ ‎grammar ‎teaching‎ beliefs and practices. System, 37, 380-390.

Richards, J. C. (2006). Communicative language teaching today. Cambridge University Press.

Richardson, V., Anders, P., Tidwell, D. & Lloyd, C., (1991). The relationship between teachers’ beliefs and practices in reading comprehension instruction. American Educational Research, 28(3), 559-586.

Richards, J. C., & Rodgers, T. (1986). Approaches and methods in language teaching: A description and analysis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Savignon, S. (1997). Communicative competence: Theory and classroom practice (2nd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.

Savignon, S. J. & Wang, C. (2003). Communicative language teaching in EFL contexts: Learner attitudes and perceptions. International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching, 41(3), 223-249.

Schulz, R. A. (1996). Focus on form in the foreign language classroom: Learners’ and teachers’ views on error correction and the role of grammar. Foreign Language Annals, 29(3), 333-364.

Sullivan, P. (1996). English language teaching in Vietnam: An appropriation of communicative methodologies. Unpublished doctoral thesis, University of California.

Taguchi, N. (2005). The communicative approach in Japanese secondary schools: Teachers’ perceptions and practice. The Language Teacher, 29(3), 3-9.

Wagner, J. (1991). Innovations in foreign language teaching. In Phillipson, R. et al. (Eds.), Foreign language pedagogy research: A commemorative volume for Claus Færch. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

Wilkins, D. (1976). Notional syllabuses. London: Oxford University Press.

Yook, C. M. (2010). Korean teachers' beliefs about English language education and their impacts upon the Ministry of Education-initiated reforms. Applied Linguistics and English as a Second Language Dissertations. Paper 14. Retrieved from:

How to Cite
Khatib, M., & Ashoori Tootkaboni, A. (2019). Attitudes towards Communicative Language Teaching: The Case of EFL Learners and Teachers. Íkala, 24(3), 471-485.
Empirical Studies