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Communicative Language Teaching Approach in a Saudi Context: A Critical Appraisal

Abeer Shujaa Alharbi
Department of English, College of Education, Majmaah University, Al-Majmaah, 11952, Saudi Arabia
Keywords: Communicative Language Teaching (CLT), Saudi Arabia, Sociocultural Factors, Washback Effect, EFL Classes. ,


This research investigates impediments to the successful implementation of Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) in Saudi English as a Foreign Language (EFL) classrooms. Going beyond typical discussions on teacher training and curriculum development, the study explores entrenched resistance stemming from traditional teaching methods among teachers and students. The examination system, emphasizing rote memorization and grammar, poses a significant obstacle to CLT's communicative goals. Sociocultural factors, including a conservative view of education and perceived threats to Arabic identity through English acquisition, contribute to the resistance. Conclusively, the research highlights the interconnectedness of these challenges, proposing that transforming English assessment methods could gradually reshape student perspectives and boost motivation for communicative language acquisition. The study advocates pragmatic solutions such as curriculum adjustments aligned with cultural norms, comprehensive teacher training, and adaptations to the testing system to evaluate real-life language use. These strategies aim to cultivate an environment conducive to CLT adoption in Saudi EFL classrooms, moving beyond theoretical considerations to actionable steps. The research underscores the need for ongoing exploration through future studies, assessing the long-term impact of these strategies on learner attitudes and language acquisition outcomes. It emphasizes a sustained commitment to refining language education practices in Saudi EFL contexts and beyond.