Tapping the Potential of Skill Integration as a Conduit for Communicative Language Teaching

  •  Shu-hua Wu    
  •  Sulaiman Alrabah    


The purpose of this classroom-based study was to discover the kinds of skill integration tasks that were employed by English teachers in Kuwait and to measure their attitudes toward implementing the skill integration technique in their classrooms. Data collection involved recording 25 hours of classroom-based observations, conducting interviews with the same group of teachers, and distributing a survey to further explore the teachers’ attitudes toward the skill integration technique. Data analysis involved categorizing skill integration tasks, analyzing the interview data, and counting the means and standard deviations of the survey data. Findings indicated that the participating teachers performed a wide range of transactional and interactional tasks that involved the simultaneous integration of speaking, listening, reading, and writing in their classrooms. The findings also revealed that even though the skill integration technique was adopted by most of the English teachers, they were ambivalent toward its implementation in their classrooms. This was partly due to the negative washback effect of traditional English tests that measure students’ accurate application of grammar rules but not their fluency and ability to use the L2 as a tool for communication. Implications for L2 pedagogy were drawn regarding the need for teachers to expose students of all proficiency levels to both transactional and interactional tasks in the classroom. To counter the negative washback effect of conventional discrete-point tests, English teachers were encouraged to develop communicative tests that involve skill integration and emphasize the development of the four language skills in their daily classroom activities.

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