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The Use of CLT to Teach English Grammar within Chinese Rural Schools - Case Study Example

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This paper "The Use of CLT to Teach English Grammar within Chinese Rural Schools" discusses whether or not the introduction of CLT into the Chinese education system by the government has been successful in terms of teachers actually using such an approach for the teaching of grammar…
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The Use of CLT to Teach English Grammar within Chinese Rural Schools
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Download file to see previous pages Prior to the 1970s, the goals of teaching English was to impart correct, error-free language; emphasis was placed more on form than on use, thus the Grammar Translation Method was very popular. As the name implies, the focus was on the rules and structures of the language, used to translate from the mother tongue to the target language, and the oral/aural skills of listening and speaking were ignored in favor of reading and writing.

Except for the period of the Cultural Revolution Chinese governments have been committed to the teaching of foreign languages and although Russian was popular for a while, English has been regarded by the new communist regime as significant to modernization (Ji Fengyuan 2004). The teaching of English has always been teacher, textbook and exam focused and so the GTM has been the ruling approach to the teaching of English, with students taking a passive role in the learning process. In traditional classrooms, therefore, language learning is reduced to mastery of the grammar and lexicon, and students attain more knowledge of the language in terms of perfect grammatical structures reproduced in grammatical exercises and exams, than their ability to use it in real life.

Led by British linguists such as Halliday and Firth and in reaction to GTM, CLT was advocated as the new method in language teaching, addressing the need to acquire communicative competence with natural exposure not teaching, to all four skill areas of reading, writing, listening and speaking, and implicitly incorporating grammar and vocabulary. In distinction to GTM then, CLT takes the endpoint as the use of language not “an examination of language structures and their practice” (Yalden 1987, p. 26).
Advocates for CLT claim it makes learning more interesting with students actually using it in meaningful tasks with the teacher acting as a facilitator rather than a higher authority. So CLT materialized in the West in the 1970s and began its infiltration into Eastern countries, including China in 1992, since when it has been the basis and principles upon which the English curriculum has been developed in China (Jin et al 2005).  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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