An Experimental Study of Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) in University Comprehensive English Class

Lu Wei, Wan Zumusni Wan Mustapha, Suryani Binti Awang


The purpose of English language teaching should lie in cultivating the students’ communicative ability. The traditional teaching method is mainly teacher-centered, paying attention to the impartation of knowledge, and this will neglect the students’ creativity and communicative ability. However, Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) which advocates student-centered classrooms and learning foreign languages through communication, takes communicative competence as the ultimate goal of foreign language teaching. This paper presents the research on the connotation, characteristics and advantages of the communicative language teaching method, while paying attention to the difficulties encountered in its promotion in the process of English teaching in universities. Prior to exposure to CLT approach, the respondents had been exposed the traditional English language teaching and learning in a comprehensive English class. In order to understand the basic situation of the cultivation of university students’ English communicative competence in Ningxia Medical University, 200 non-English major students responded to a questionnaire survey. The four aspects of university comprehensive English class are the learning objectives of English class, basic learning tasks in English class, students’ interests, and difficulties in improving English communicative ability were analyzed using SPSS 23.0. The results reveal that communicative activities such as role-play, ask and answer activities, discussion and debate, and story-telling can be used by teachers to help students develop communicative competences. It is important to highlight that there are a variety of corresponding strategies besides the activities mentioned that can be incorporated in language teaching to improve the communication skills of students and English teaching in universities.

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