Grammar in Communicative Language Teaching: Teacher Beliefs about Theory versus Practice (Published)
Considerable evidence indicates that, in language learning classrooms that adopt a communicative language teaching (CLT) approach, explicit grammar instruction helps learners master specific syntactic features of the target language. The degree to which teachers themselves conceptualize explicit grammar instruction as an integral part of the CLT approach is less clear. The current study investigates the relationship between stated beliefs and reported practices among English as an Additional Language teachers regarding the integration of explicit grammar instruction into learner-centered CLT classrooms. Questionnaire data from 28 participants reveal unanimous adoption of both the CLT approach and moments of explicit grammar instruction, thus aligning in reported practice with a “weak” version of Howatt’s (1984) model of CLT. However, participants held differing and sometimes conflicting views on whether or not explicit grammar instruction constitutes a violation of CLT methods, indicating a need for greater clarity in promoting the “weak” version of CLT.