The Implementation of the Mixed Techniques in Teaching English in Public Elementary Schools

  •  Salwa Al Darwish    


Kuwait, an Arabic-speaking country in which English serves important functions, has adopted so many methods in teaching EFL in public schools which in 1993 started with the Grammar-Translation and continued until 2005 the eclectic method was applied. In 2005 the emphasis on communicative techniques and almost entirely through listening and speaking in the first grade was used. This qualitative investigation of the opinions and teaching practices of twelve first grade teachers found that certain communicative techniques were seen by many of the teachers to contribute to slow academic progress and motivational problems: not translating vocabulary, not overtly correcting errors, not teaching reading and writing, and not giving formal tests. In spite of the important functions of the English language in Kuwait, it appeared that most of these first graders were not hearing English outside the classroom, which appears to be important for the success of the communicative method. Most teachers and some parents were concerned that the children were not being prepared for formal examinations in their future. The conversational frame of the drills and recitations probably contributed importantly to students’ understanding of English as a functional language. However, the communicative aim of encouraging students to absorb English through hearing it conversationally was undercut when the non-native-speaking teachers modeled English mistakes.

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