Rationale for Methodology
The purpose of my study is to examine the Saudi EFL teachers’ attitudes toward using the communicative language teaching approach. A quantitative method will be used in this study to determine the prediction of teachers’ perceptions and attitudes toward communicative language teaching principles and instructors’ genders, as well as their participation in training. The quantitative method of analysis will help in better understanding teachers’ attitudes toward communicative language teaching principles in elementary school settings. It also contributes to the field by providing results for scholars, practitioners, the Saudi ministry of education, and curriculum developers who are interested in improving teaching English as a foreign language.
This study will employ survey research to collect information about participants’ attitudes toward communicative language teaching methods and it will address the two research questions regarding teachers’ attitudes toward communicative language teaching in elementary schools in Saudi Arabia. This study will conduct a descriptive analysis on teachers’ attitudes toward using communicative language teaching regarding group/pair work, quality and quantity of error correction, the role and contribution of learners in the learning process, the role of the teacher in the classroom, and the place/importance of grammar. Also, a MANOVA test will be run for each independent variable gender and attending training. The study will utilize a Likert-type scale in the survey along with quantitative research methods throughout all phases of the research such as data collection, statistical analysis, and interpretation of the results.
The population of elementary school teachers in Alabama, Saudi Arabia is approximately 10,382. The participant pool for this study is approximately 300 elementary English language teachers as a representative sample size with a random sample of male and female teachers (Ministry of Education, 2019). I will utilize a previously held survey that was developed by Doukas in 1996. I obtained written permission to use it and transform it into an online survey format. The survey consists of 24 items and the attitude scales were grouped according to five subscales: group/pair work, quality, and quantity of error correction, the role and contribution of learners in the learning process, the role of the teacher in the classroom, and place/importance of grammar (Doukas, 1996). The Likert scale consists of five levels of responses with possible answers being “strongly agree, agree, uncertain, strongly disagree, disagree” (Doukas, 1996). The survey will be distributed by the Ministry of Education by using teachers’ e-mail addresses and social media such as Twitter and WhatsApp. Participants will have 2 to 3 weeks to complete the survey. A reminder will be sent after two weeks so that there will be an additional week to participate.
Definition of Terms
Communicative competence: Communicative competence can be defined as “the underlying system of knowledge and skills required for communication” (Canale & Swain, 1980, p. 3). It refers to an individual’s ability to employ language skills based on social norms. In other words, communicative competence implies that the language should be utilized appropriately in a manner that is understandable to the listener. Communication competence consists of four linguistic categories of grammar, sociolinguistic, discourse, and verbal and non-verbal communication strategies (Canale & Swain, 1980).
Communicative Language Teaching: Communicative language teaching is the strategy of foreign language instruction that aims to promote a student’s ability to freely utilize a foreign language for communication and interaction with others.
Saudi Ministry of Education: The Ministry of Education is frequently mentioned and cited in this paper in the context of English language instruction in Saudi Arabia. Therefore, it is vital to introduce this governmental agency. The Saudi education system is highly centralized, with the Ministry of Education (MOE) holding the highest position in the hierarchy. The MOE fully controls all aspects of the education system ranging from K-12 to higher education as well as any supplemental programs such as private language institutes. The MOE also creates and influences policy decision-making on any education-related matters in Saudi Arabia.
Summary and Organization of the Remainder of the Study
Communicative language teaching is the best available method for foreign language instruction or learning a foreign language through communication since it not only effectively improves the communication competence of students but also addresses language acquisition skills (Kapurani, 2016). Lately, this method has been commonly used in English curriculums in Saudi Arabia. When underutilized in English instruction as a foreign language, this modern teaching method has been associated with negative effects on students’ English language proficiency (Al-Awaid, 2018; Elyas & Al-Grigri, 2014, Alharbi, 2015). Teachers’ attitudes in Saudi Arabia serve a critical role in the efficacy of utilizing communicative language teaching in classroom instruction. Research demonstrates that studying prevalent teachers’ perceptions towards the communicative language teaching method will lead to improvements in the TEFL instructional competency in Saudi Arabia. This study’s primary purpose is to investigate Saudi teachers’ position towards communicative language teaching in instruction contexts of “group/pair work, quality and quantity of error correction, the role and contribution of learners in the learning process, the role of the teacher in the classroom, and place/importance of grammar.” Furthermore, the EFL teachers’ mindset towards the communicative language teaching approach will be examined for variation based on gender and training attendance.
The second chapter will provide an in-depth review of the literature and subsequent analysis of the research topic. It will include the historical development of the English language curriculum and teaching methods in Saudi Arabia. Furthermore, the communicative language teaching technique will be analyzed, with a discussion regarding its principles, benefits, and a comparison to other EFL methods. A comprehensive review of teachers’ opinions regarding communicative language teaching will also be addressed.
In Chapter 3, the methodology and procedures of the study will be outlined. These will include the methods of data collection, data analysis, statistical measurements, and tests that will be utilized. The problem statement will be restated along with the research questions being investigated in the study. A comprehensive description of the methodology and research design is offered in this chapter along with ethical and legal considerations are stated as well.
Chapter 4 will focus on the results of the study and subsequent analysis. Results will be logically presented to the reader and data analysis will be performed on the collected information. A combination of tables, figures, and graphs will be utilized for a more comprehensible and visual presentation of the data. In Chapter 5, a discussion of the results will be offered. It will attempt to determine the teachers’ attitudes towards communicative language teaching and compare it to existing research on the topic. The implication of the study results will be reviewed along with its contribution to the educational field. Based on this, recommendations will be made for further research and instructional implementation.
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