English language is the main international English. It is also said that English is the language of progress and development. In this age of internet and globalization, the use of English has increase tremendously. Most of the non-speaking English countries take great importance in English education. China and Malaysia being one of them.
Ministry of Education (MOE) in Malaysia has been trying for years to improve the standard of English language especially in communication and writing by implementing efforts such as research on methods that could be applicable in Malaysian schools. English language has been accorded for second language in Malaysia as stated on Article 152 and been given due attention for years.
Teaching English can be declared as challenge in Malaysia because the subject has always been argued, doubted, changed for many times that the issues has never been completely resolved. Meanwhile, MOE keep trying to improvise the teaching and learning process in schools from early education to the highest level by employing suitable means and aids such as bringing in modern teaching methods from Western countries.
Communicative teaching methods and grammar-translation has been discussed, implemented on English language teaching in China based on the article by Jin, Singh, and Li (2005). This paper will provide the critical review of it, and the relevance of the methods in Malaysian Schools.
2.0 COMPARISON BETWEEN COMMUNICATIVE LANGUAGE TEACHING AND GRAMMAR-TRANSLATION
Based on the article by Jin, Singh and Li (2005) the CLT and Grammar-Translation method might not be applicable to all teaching situation. While the final result of the study was in favour of CLT methods, the gaps between the results on test paper for two groups are low. Futhermore, the research done by Rao (2002) concluded that students claim that using Grammar-translation method will be more suitable for class session in China.
Since teaching is deeply rooted in the local philosophy, culture, and basic concepts of education, the students’ learning styles and habits in language acquisition must be considered. Although the grammar-translation method is out of favor, students accustomed to this method may still derive benefit from it. For example, Chinese students generally show great interest in language structures and linguistic details when they are learning a language. "We would like to know what happens, because if we understand the system, we can use English more effectively" (Harvey 1985). Therefore, in teaching English to Chinese students, appropriate grammar analysis is essential, especially for beginners. Limited utilization of translation from or to the target language is an indispensable part of teaching. Vocabulary work and pattern drills are also ways of familiarizing the student with sentence structures. This information helps learners acquire linguistic competence.
The main features of GT are:
1. It is teacher centred and does not cater for the learner’s individual needs 2. The emphasis is on grammar learning through verb drills, the translation of written texts and the memorization of wordlists 3. The focus is on the product rather than the process of learning; 4. Language is viewed as a body of knowledge rather than an instrument for communicating and functioning effectively in the real world 5. Linguistic practice is confined to the memorization of words and rules 6. Instruction aims at the mastery of the written medium rather than oral communication 7. Accuracy rules over fluency
8. Correction is all-out and punitive
9. The L2-model adopted is elitist and so is the educational philosophy 10. Feedback on learner performance is not likely to be helpful as it is solely accuracy-based
But instead of teaching grammar traditionally and drilling grammar patterns, teachers need to relate teaching grammar and pattern drills to meaning and use. In other words, language structure...