The Communicative Orientation of English Language Teaching Classrooms in Moroccan Secondary Schools

  •  Abderrahim El Karfa    


The present paper addresses the issue of theory and practice in the implementation of the communicative approach in the context of English as a foreign language teaching in Morocco. It set to evaluate the communicative orientation of English language teaching classrooms in Moroccan secondary schools. This evaluation incorporates the investigation of the constraints imposed on teaching English for communicative purposes in this context. The results reveal the dominance of non-communicatively oriented practices and classrooms over their communicatively oriented counterparts. However, the dominance of communicative features in forty-one of the classes observed (34.16%) is relatively high given the current state of communicative language teaching in Morocco and the constraints that were found to impede its implementation in this context. These constraints are related essentially to the foreign language context, the formal nature of the classroom environment, the traditional nature of students’ personality traits and their conceptions of classroom participation and role-relationships, the nature of assessment procedures, lack of adequate and varied teaching materials and equipment, and the large size of classes. These findings suggest that English language teaching in Moroccan secondary schools has undergone important changes from the dominance of traditional and teacher-centred classrooms towards more communicative language teaching. They would also imply that the implementation of the communicative approach in foreign language contexts is not impossible, but rather feasible. To this end, this article presents some suggestions to enhance communicatively oriented attitudes and practices in English as a foreign language teaching classrooms in Morocco.

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