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Ho Chi Minh City Open University

Graduate School ± TESOL Programme
97 Vo Van Tan. Dist.3, HCMC, Vietnam

ASSIGNMENT COVER SHEET AND REPORT Master of Art in TESOL
Name of candidate: Huynh Thanh Thuy Tien Student No: TESOL5_37 Email address: huynhtien84@yahoo.com Name of coursework subject: Advanced Methodology for Language Teaching Title of this item of work: Assignment 1. Revision of Essay Name of lecturer: Prof. Alan Maley

Due date: June 27th, 2011

STATEMENT OF AUTHORSHIP:

I certify that the above assignment is my original work, and it is based on my own research. All sources used by me have been documented. No other person¶s work has been used without due acknowledgement. This piece of work has not previously been submitted for assessment in this or any other subject or course at this University or elsewhere.

Student¶s Signature«««««««««««««

Date: March 18th, 2011

Community Language Learning. many new teaching methods and approaches such as The Audio-lingual Method. 2005). Since The Communicative Approach was introduced in Vietnam as a new trend in English language teaching. In The Communicative Language Teaching. have been proposed as well as applied in teaching and learning at most of the Vietnamese schools and foreign language centers. The Communicative Approach has brought about challenges to the teachers of English in Vietnam. Those relate to four main factors: the teachers. it has quickly held a dominant position in which GrammarTranslation Method used to be for a very long time. To conquer such challenges. improving English in a country where it is used as a foreign language is uneasy. It is considered as an essential tool for Vietnamese people to integrate with the flow of the world development. However. . but master English. English now plays a crucial role then never before. To some extent. some views about the application of Communicative Approach in teaching English language in Vietnam will be clarified. 1983). The Communicative Approach ³integrates the teaching of listening and speaking over various situation´ (Willbrand & Riecke. the syllabus and the teaching context. Based on the perspective of a teacher of English who is now teaching a communicative English class at a foreign language center in Ho Chi Minh City. Up till now. etc. Currently. Vietnamese people do not simply learn English. This causes big challenges to both Vietnamese teachers of English and learners. the teachers no longer play the centered role. Functional-notional Approach. As The Grammar-Translation Method was the most traditional and popular method which has been used in English language teaching and learning in Vietnam for ages. they act as facilitators and monitors instead of controllers in class. The Communicative Approach is supposed the most suitable approach to satisfy the demand for improving the listening and speaking skill because it ³stand out from the rest of language teaching approaches in its emphasis on the communicative role of language for which English is primarily meant´ (Joseph. especially the listening and speaking skill which require a lot of communication and interaction. 2005). While The Grammar-Translation Method ³laid emphasis on the teaching of English through a systematic teaching of the grammatical structures of the language´ (Joseph. In other words the need to communicate fluently in English for Vietnamese people becomes more and more vigorous. the learners.In Vietnam. the application of The Communicative Approach in Vietnamese context apparently faces considerable challenges.

³language activities like role-play. 1992). and spend too much time ³explaining abstract grammar rules and guiding their students in choral readings´ (Hall & Hewings. Such students have been being accustomed to learning in traditional way since they were secondary school students. or argue with their teachers´ Also. Traditionally. 1983). the culture and social issues more or less relate to the . The use of the syllabus in the English teaching and learning process which help to develop students¶ communicative competence also shows many challenges. it is quite difficult for them to make any major changes their learning styles. thus. Students usually ³feel rude if they interrupt. Hence. However. Moreover. most of these syllabuses are written by foreign authors. 2001). however. the Vietnamese teachers of English are familiar with The Grammar-Translation Method which they received much training while being students at pedagogy universities. That explains why they find it difficult to change their method of teaching. the teachers.³Teachers in communicative classroom will find themselves talking less and listening more ± becoming active facilitators of their students¶ learning´ (Michael Swan. The case can easily be identified when observing teachers who are teaching at foreign language centers. fail to apply this approach. Although the communicative skills are strongly emphasized in each lesson and during the class. many foreign language centers with the aim of improving the learners¶ communicative skills are applying various kinds of syllabus in English language teaching. Those teachers of English. question. the environment outside the classroom does not provide them with opportunities for practicing the target language sufficiently. One of the basic features of The Communicative Language Teaching is ³the emphasis on learning to communicate through interaction in the target language´ (Nunan. problem solving tasks. Similarly. students rarely feel at ease and ready to join those activities. As a result. or information gap activities are strange to their culture of learning (Canh. students who are studying at foreign language centers experience the same situation. ideal class size with a small number of students which facilitate applying effectively The Communicative Approach in teaching. teachers always try to encourage students to take part in the communicative activities. students¶ listening and speaking skill are not able to be improved. Those teachers are supported such best conditions as teaching equipment. are sometimes ³incapable of teaching English communicating in their real classroom´. Currently. Not only the teachers but also the students are greatly influenced by The GrammarTranslation Method. 1999).

authors¶ background and the target language with which students are not very familiar. In general. If we take a further look at the larger scale. the students will . Indeed. Those challenges include the large class size. 1999). there seems to be many things that should be done in order to make the application of The Communicative Approach in Vietnamese context successfully. the allotted time for every lesson. there should be a co-operation among The Ministry of Education and Training. the results of official examinations pressure on both teachers and students at Vietnamese highschools and universities. This helps the application of The Communicative Approach in English classrooms practicable. The worry about failing the exams is a barrier preventing teachers and students at Vietnamese highschools and universities from focusing on communicative competence because they give their priority to the test which examine just reading and writing abilities. and the lack of teaching materials as well as the teaching aid equipment. teaching and learning English language in Vietnamese highschools and universities. Secondly. the teachers and students at Vietnamese highschools or universities face more challenges in comparison with those at foreign language centers. First of all. Therefore. more policies from The Ministry of Education and Training to reform the syllabuses and the examinations need to be taken into consideration. If the syllabuses are innovated in the ways that emphasize more on the communicative competence. they do not have to take any examinations or worry about their study result. and the learners. the Vietnamese teachers of English. The teachers are also the ones who help to attract students¶ interest in the lesson. Furthermore. we easily see that the application of The Communicative Approach is ³unrealistic and impracticable in Vietnamese settings´ (Canh. All the things mentioned above are just in a small scale in the English teaching and learning context in foreign language centers. while learners at foreign language centers may learn English with different purposes. Besides. authentic materials _ one of the most important features of The Communicative Approach is somewhat rare to be used in teaching because teachers do not find such materials to bring into the classroom. Students who register to study in communicative classes more or less desire to be able to communicate in English. The teachers play a key role in this co-operation as they are those who know very clearly in what ways they use effectively the course books to transfer the knowledge to the students. students find it difficult to understand and apply the language they have studied from the book into real situations.

Last but not least. it is quiet certain that the students may no longer completely focus on the grammatical competence and they will find it more interesting in studying English.get more benefits in their study. Similarly. especially in improving listening and speaking skill. . whenever he burdens of examinations are taken away. the students themselves should be aware of the importance of communicative competence so that they make their best effort to master this competence.

Le. Vol. R. for µTheoretical Bases of Communicative Approaches to Second Language Teaching and Testing¶ in Applied Linguistics.REFERENCES Canale. L.ac. µLanguage and Vietnamese Pedagogical Contexts. D.htm (accessed 15 August 2010) Nunan. & Swain. London: Routledge. V. (1992) Language Teaching Methodology: a Textbook for Teachers. & Hewings. M. R. Prentice Hall Willbrand. 1.th/hanoi_proceedings/canh.languages.ait. A. D. D (1983) Teaching Oral Communication in Elementary Schools New York : Macmillan . M. C. (2001) Innovation in English Language: a Reader. 1980 Hall. & Rieckie. M.¶ http://www.