English is taught as a compulsory subject in Pakistan from Kindergarten level in such a way that the students are supposed to write the letters of English in correct form. When these learners come to class one, they are given a whole book containing some lessons with some knowledge base activities and such type of learning lasts till their Matriculation level. Learners are given all type of grammatical knowledge that they are able to remember till matriculation level, with no consideration on the application of grammatical rules. The learners, as a result of these practices, can apply their knowledge of language for just two purposes i.e. reading and writing skills.
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The learners are taught English by focusing on translation of English lessons into Urdu and activities like answers, questions; fill in the blanks, make the sentences of the following words and use of grammar including tenses in the translation of Urdu sentences into English. When these learners come to the level of higher education, they fail in understanding the lectures of the teachers in English language and cannot speak in English which becomes the cause of their failure to cope with the difficulties they face in higher studies. These learners are not able to do research by using the internet that is totally based on English language. They cannot confidently interact with their teachers because they are hesitant about their poor English.
Generally, in Pakistan, listening and speaking skills are neglected in teaching English language. As a result of this negligence, these learners cannot pronounce the words properly. These students become unsuccessful in such situations. These students can pronounce it by joining the letters not by joining the sounds which causes the wrong pronunciation because they are unfamiliar of sounds. These learners can write in English very well but the problem lies in their speaking and listening skills. In fact, the teaching of English language in Pakistan is lame and the focus of authorities and teachers is on its two skills i.e. reading and writing.
Mostly, in Pakistan, English is taught against the natural acquisition order. The natural sequence of language starts from listening, speaking and then leads to reading and writing. This sequence has been observed in new born babies. The small children, first of all, listen to different voices and speech sounds around him. After this, these children start to speak starting from chunks of words leading to the complex sentences. When they become school going, they are taught how to read and write. So learning the second language also focuses the same sequence. But in Pakistan, English teacher lead the learners in learning the language on wrong sequence.
In this research, the focus of the researchers was on finding the more effective method of teaching of English language. During this research, the researchers took the opinions of the prospective teachers about the grammar base teaching and communicative language teaching. The grammar translation method of language teaching is widely used in Pakistan. The grammar base teaching is widely acceptable by English language teachers of Pakistan. Communicative language teaching is a modern method and most of the teachers especially teachers of government sector schools are totally unfamiliar with it. Because many of these teachers are B.Ed in which English is taught as optional subject. They teach their students in the same way that they have been taught. That is why, the researchers have collected the opinions of those prospective teachers who have been given knowledge of different methods of language teaching and have tried to find out their opinions in the selection of appropriate method in the view of available resources given to them.
Statement of the Problem
The purpose of this study was to investigate the more effective method of English language teaching either grammar based teaching or communicative language teaching in the view of prospective teachers.
Objectives of the Study
The study was conducted to achieve the following objectives:
To know the opinions of teachers about more effective method for teaching English language either grammar base teaching or communicative language teaching.
To know the opinions of teachers that to what extent modern methods of language teaching can be adopted in Pakistani context.
The study was conducted to find the answers of the following questions:
What is the more effective method of English language teaching either grammar based teaching or communicative language teaching?
Which method of English language teaching can be applied effectively for language teaching in Pakistani context?
Significance of the Study
The study will be significant on account of the following reasons:
The study will provide comprehensive information about the better method of teaching English in the view of prospective teachers. Various methods of English language teaching have been proposed which make a history. The research in the finding out the more effective method of English language teaching is still in process. The learning of English language has gained so much importance that learning English language is considered the passport of success and it is considered a way to success. Therefore, the researchers and the teachers of English language field are in the quest if finding more effective method of English language teaching which may give us fruitful results. This study is also an attempt of finding out the more effective method of English language teaching either grammar based teaching or communicative language teaching in the view of prospective teachers.
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The study will make us aware about the constraints that lie on the way of learning and teaching English language efficiently. It cannot be said that there is any method which is flawless. Every method has its limitations and advantages. Every method is suitable for specific context and situation. English language learning is a complex process. English is the second language for most of the learners which they learn after the acquisition of their first language for the sake of their own specific purposes. In the way of learning English language, the learners have to face many problems. This study will make us aware the hurdles in the way of learning English language.
The study will help to improve the teaching of English language in Pakistani context. It is found that the most desirable method of English language learning and teaching in Pakistan is grammar translation method which is most widely used in the school of public sector schools of Pakistan. There is a very little amount of schools of private sector where communicative language teaching is applying. The resources and conditions which are necessary for the application of communicative language teaching are not manageable in the public sector schools. The teachers of public sector schools are not well aware about the modern methods of language teaching that demand more effort on the part of teachers in the perspective of doing research for finding out the effectiveness of method and of being more creative.
Delimitations of the Study
The delimitations of the study were:
The research was confined to just two methods of language teaching i.e. grammar based teaching and communicative language teaching.
The population of this research was the prospective teachers who were studying in the programmes of English Language Teaching and Linguistics (ELTL) and secondary education offered by the Institute of Education and Research (IER) of the Punjab University.
Purposive sampling was used. The prospective teachers of ELTL and secondary education were selected who had studied the course about grammar based teaching and the communicative language teaching.
The opinions of the prospective teachers were gathered by developing the statements on likert scale about grammar based teaching and communicative language teaching.
Definitions of the Key Terms
Grammar translation method
Grammar translation method is a way of teaching language in which the student study grammar and translate words into their own language. They donâ€™t practice the communication and there is little emphasize on speaking. The teacher presents a grammar rule and the vocabulary list and then the students translate a written text from their own language into the second language (British Council).
Communicative language teaching:
The aim of the communicative language teaching is to develop learnersâ€™ ability to use a language to communicate with others in real life situation (Melrose, 1991).
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