A case study of the implementation of the communicative approach to English second language progress testing in one secondary school in the Alexandria Circuit of the Eastern Cape Department of Education

Ssemakalu, John (1997) A case study of the implementation of the communicative approach to English second language progress testing in one secondary school in the Alexandria Circuit of the Eastern Cape Department of Education. Masters thesis, Rhodes University.

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Abstract

This study explores the implementation of the communicative approach (CA) to English second language progress testing in an African secondary school which falls under the Eastern Cape Department of Education. The goal of the research is to establish how teachers access, conceptualise, and apply the CA to language testing in their specific working conditions. The report of the findings of the research reveals that teachers' understanding of the CA to testing differs from that of the linguists, curriculum designers, innovators, and syllabus writers. This is caused by a combination of factors including teachers' poor working conditions, the lack of focused pre-service training and effective in-service structures for their empowennent as the agents of innovation, coupled with the poor circulation and a lack of clarity in official documents on the CA to language testing. These constraints made it impossible for teachers to implement the CA to language testing. In order to carry on with their work, however, teachers developed coping strategies by drawing, probably unconsciously, on a mixture of structuralist, sociolinguistic-psycholinguistic, communicative and any other testing practices they may have acquired during their years of service. Although based only on one school, the findings of this study indicate that for fundamental innovations such as the CA to take root, there is a need for the adoption of more dedicated, reflective implementation strategies involving proper planning and monitoring, as well as evaluation and re-evaluation of the entire process. This necessarily slow process must go hand-in-hand with a dedicated pre-service and in-service empowerment program based on consultative communication between innovator and agent; and a persuasive education/re-education approach which will encourage teachers to change their entrenched practices.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Communicative competence in children, English language, Foreign speakers, South Africa, Eastern Cape, Language and languages, Second language acquisition
Subjects:P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PE English
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Humanities > English Language and Linguistics
ID Code:2846
Deposited By: Ms Chantel Clack
Deposited On:22 May 2012 08:30
Last Modified:22 May 2012 08:30
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