In the light of a recent curriculum reform to improve the teaching of English in primary schools in Malaysia, this study set out to investigate the extent to which teachers are adopting a communicative language teaching (CLT) approach in their teaching. A mixed-method approach incorporating systematic observation, stimulated recall and interviews with teachers was used to study 32 English lessons at Standard 1. Despite being urged to adopt CLT approaches, the data analysis revealed the underlying pedagogy of the teachers was made up of rote, recitation, instruction and exposition, and that it severely restricted opportunities for pupils to participate in dialogue and discussion. Implications for improving the quality of English language teaching in primary schools in Malaysia and other countries in the Asia-Pacific region are considered.
- Communicative language teaching
- Curriculum reform
- English in primary education
- Teacher-pupil talk