Teaching English Grammar through Communicative Language Teaching Approach (CLTA) in the Context of Bangladesh

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Teaching English Grammar through Communicative Language Teaching Approach (CLTA) in the Context of Bangladesh.


Communicative Language Teaching Approach is the most discussed of all language teaching-learning approaches in the last few decades. Many approaches are introduced, but these are rethought again and again whether a fusion is possible with CLTA. Any language without grammar can bring us back to the atavistic world of mere sounds and body language. This study aims at defining why and how grammar fits in CLTA in the perspective of Bangladesh.


World Englishes, Grammar Translation Method (GT Method), Audio Lingual Method (ALM), Communicative Language Teaching Approach (CLTA), Language Competency.

Background of the Study

            Communicative Language Teaching Approach is the most talked approach in last few decades. Many approaches are introduced, but these are rethought again and again whether a fusion is possible with CLTA.  A language without grammar can bring the modern people to the atavistic world of mere sounds and body language (sarwar, 2011). For this reason, why and how grammar fits in CLTA is a concern of this study. Though Grammar as a method of language teaching-learning has been followed since the Greek and Latin period (B.Kachru, 2006, World Englishes), yet its definition is vast and dynamic. Depending on one’s theoretical orientation, different linguists define grammar differently according to their own way. Geoffrey Leech et al (1982) consider grammar as an important component that relates phonology and semantics, or sound and meaning. Hudson (1992) opines that grammar embraces any kind of information about words since there are no boundaries around grammar. Grammar as consisting of morphology and syntax was believed by Huddleston (1988). Cobbett (1984) defines grammar as constituting rules and principles that help a person to make use of words or manipulate and combine. H.W. Fowler(1983) states grammar as the branch that deals with a language’s inflexions, with its phonetic system, and with the arrangements of words in sentences, George Snell (1649) thinks that Grammarians through grammar are getting language to a ‘fixed and immutable state‘, James Barclay (1743) emphasizes on grammar claiming that writing will be improved with rules concerning the justness of expression…the force and harmony of certain phrases, the proper meaning of words, their connection one with another, and the necessary skill of placing them all in regular order (p-660). Rutheford (1987) defines grammar as „a necessary component of any language teaching programme“ (p.9), and thus, he further says that it plays an important role in language teaching. However, the focus on grammar in language teaching was challenged with the emergence of teaching methodologies based on different learning theories and in the context of socio-economic infrastructure of a country. Such a challenge influenced not only the content and the curriculum in language teaching of the particular context, but also the implication for teaching grammar. Undergraduate education of Bangladesh is no exception in this regard. So, a fresh and revised look at the role of grammar was necessary causing linguists and language educators to rethink the status and strategy of grammar in language teaching and learning. Thus, a constant debate is led among language educators and linguists regarding the nature and type of grammar instruction aiming at how second languages should be taught or learned.


The Problem to be addressed

In spite of a recent soaring interest in teacher’s belief in the systems of mainstream education studies, the beliefs of ESL teachers about grammar and the influence of such beliefs on their intentions, decisions and action in classroom practices remain relatively unexplored. The present study would seek to fill the knowledge gap left by insufficient researches in this area. More precisely, this study would investigate teachers and learners belief of grammar teaching and examine the congruence and incongruence of their beliefs with the classroom practices in undergraduate English in the context of Bangladesh. It would also examine the contextual existing and feasible factors that support and impede in materializing with a view to establishing the beliefs into practices, and the accommodative strategies teachers would adopt when coping with contextual constraints as undergraduate education is the most crucial junction in the context of Bangladeshi education system.

Considering various second language teaching methods, teaching grammar through Communicative Language Teaching Approach is the most talked. Though it may be assumed that the role played by the Grammar and the role of communicative language Teaching are the two opposite poles, but actually these comments are only misconceptions. Fusion of these two terms is needed for the better performances and from utilitarian point of view. Fusion of Grammar and CLT is to be rethought from Bangladeshi perspective in line with present world context.

Teaching grammar in the undergraduate level through appropriate language teaching approach in Bangladeshi perspective is to be re-considered as the students/learners learn grammar every year till their Higher Secondary level and read English as a compulsory subject in undergraduate syllabus of Bangladeshi Universities, they learn almost the same grammatical items every year, still they cannot use it properly and go for some commercial language canters to practice communications. If the grammar is taught with Communicative Language Teaching approaches (CLTA), they could straightly go to national and international job markets to prove their competency. Now to find out the possible ways to teach grammar through CLTA are to be defined in such a way that the language teachers can forget their traditional role of active instructor and educator, instead the students role have to be emphasized keeping in mind the classroom size in Bangladesh, teachers quality, salary, resource constraints, economic and infra-structural conditions, possibility of teachers training from appropriate CLT concept, tendency of changing syllabuses by the policy makers, learners age, interest, motivations, needs etc. in Bangladesh. Major role can be played by the Teachers of Bangladesh if they can come out from the traditional concept of teaching grammar as an instructor and become a Facilitator, a suitable role for Communicative Language Teaching Approach. Teachers can work in partnership with students and thus can help them in raising their language competency. Learning grammar, which has been an unpleasant and phoebia for the students since the teaching-learning English language has been started in Bangladesh. Van Ek (1975) stresses on ‘A teacher who is a facilitator tends to be more student-centered and less dominant in the classroom than in other approaches. The facilitator may also take the role of mentor or coach rather than director‘. The British Council (Campaign in Asian countries) identifies the need of functional syllabus based on ‘communicative acts such as making introductions, making requests, expressing opinions, requesting information, refusing, apologizing, giving advice, persuading‘  which  is often used in communicative language teaching. As teaching-learning of grammar to ESL/EFL learners is beyond question, and as it is to be done in an attractive and acceptable way remembering economical and infra-structural condition of Bangladesh as well as the class size, belief of teachers-students relationship, average facilities provided by Bangladeshi government and the educational institutions. The remarks of Finocchiaro and Brumfit (1983) regarding the CLT syllabus can be remembered and rethought.

a. Meaning (function) is emphasized

b. Contextualization is important

c. Language learning is learning to communicate

d. Language is created through repeated trials and errors

e. Fluency is primary whereas accuracy is secondary.

Wu (1998) suggests that structural activities in textbooks need to be supplemented by communicative activities. Accordingly, five activities are suggested (as in the PhD research ‘A Communicative Approach to Teaching Grammar: Theory and Practice‘ by Siaw-Fong Chung, 2005): games, natural contexts, activities that balance skills, personalization, and adjustment of teacher role.

In Bangladesh, what are being followed is obsessed with previous and traditional structural method. In line with the contents, the way of teaching should also be reconsidered. Teacher’s active inclusion and involvement in students learning activities and passive role in giving instructions can accelerate in creating the CLT teaching-learning environment. The traditional concept of teacher-student relationship should be changed from learner’s early stage. A tension free friendly relationship is essential and a pre-condition for creating CLT approaches in Bangladesh. Learners involvement in the classroom depends on the removal of their psychological phoebia came from shyness or from other sources. Implementing more learner’s activities such as educative puzzles, games and sports, quizzes, brain works, pair revision, scheduled open discussion etc can help in making a CLT environment. The learners should be given the importance on achieving fluency at first, and then accuracy will come automatically if selective grammar items are taught in their learning progress. A teacher may try to enhance the multidimensional intelligence such as   : ‘linguistic intelligence, logical and mathematical intelligence, spatial intelligence, musical intelligence, bodily-kinaesthetic intelligence, interpersonal intelligence, intrapersonal intelligence, and naturalist intelligence‘, Gardner (1999). These can be enticed and aroused by selective texts in their syllabus and some active roles played by the teachers to activate student’s active role. Halliday (1992) ascribes the means to perform the CLT approach through some functions as proponent instrumental, regulatory, interactional, personal, heuristic, imaginative and representational. In Bangladesh, all prevalent facilities of developed countries may not be available. So, the measures to be in taken in implementing CLTA in Bangladesh may differ. The role of teachers in Bangladesh, especially in rural areas  are to be trained to come out from their cocoons of traditional methods  to  cope with CLTA. Games of Bangladeshi taste and type in English can be innovated for creating and igniting initial interest. Song with language background can be practised. Long or mini dialogues can be used where the essence of motivation will be prominent. Peer revisions, works and discussions along with groups can be utilised carefully with the mastery of teacher’s role. Evaluation can be made at first by the students by their pair work and then by teachers. Teachers must try to increase the analytical strength at first and then can proceed the process of evaluating among them by them. As a facilitator, a teacher can be trained by experts how to achieve it. Oral communication activities can be encouraged from controlled and guided to freer communication and environment. Questions and answers can be encouraged from the learners own experience. Teachers may play their role as ‘Needs Analyst‘, ‘A Counsellor‘ or ‘A Group Manager‘ or ‘A Classroom Manager‘. Teachers should not wait for the formal teaching rather can start from the beginning so that learners can be psychologically prepared for the fluency and performance first and then accuracy and perfection. Learners should be always reminded that ‘communicative competence‘is the first priority;‘ language competence‘ will come after that.

In CLT approach, student’s role is usually active. In Bangladeshi perspective, Syllabuses of different public universities, and in all undergraduate levels (General education, Technical Education, Madrassa Education ) the variations of syllabuses might be one of the vital reasons for not reforming syllabuses on the basis of meeting the demand of the practical world.  All the texts included in the existing syllabuses may not reflect the aim of the communicative syllabus. Though no relevant research has been done for identifying the actual condition lying in the texts, it can be assumed that most of the grammar activities in the text books of the stated level still feature the traditional  set pattern rather conforming to the principles of the communicative syllabus. Though some parts of the textbooks attempt to integrate the communicative elements, most exercises are mainly structural with the inclusion of grammar-rule explanation that shows the affinity of the earlier Grammar-Translation Method. Grammar items should be chosen keeping the view in the mind that it must reflect the concept of CLTA so that the teaching-learning process can be proved useful in the present context.

Objectives of the Study:

Diverse language teaching methods have been applied from time to time in undergraduate education in Bangladesh. Many critics assume that Grammar Translation Method could not continue to hold its popularity as ‘It requires few specialized skills on the part of the teachers. Tests of grammar rules and of translations are easy to construct and can be objectively scored. Many standardized tests of foreign languages still do not attempt to tap into communicative abilities, so, students have little motivation to go beyond grammar analogies, translations, and rote exercises‘   Brown (1994:53).  After that, direct method became popular as a method of teaching English language especially in the first two decades of twentieth century. Grammar was taught inductively but it could not sustain as it was a method meant for short-term and quick success based on some set things.  Audio lingual method appeared in a context for short-term use during world war. It based on some drilling of set things and continued to become popular in the middle of twtienth century till 1960’s. Situational language teaching became popular in parallel with Audio lingual method and grammar rules were basically taught by oral practices. As the theory focused on achieving accuracy through oral practices and mistakes were discouraged, this method soon gave a question of sustaining among the linguists. Communicative Language Teaching Approach (CLTA) appears as a challenge as it differs from the other methods in many respects.  According to Hymes (as cited in Larseen-Freeman, 2000), communicative competence is „knowing when and how to say what to whom“(p-121). According to David Nunan the communicative approach to language teaching is a cluster of language teaching techniques and methodologies, it is not a single methodology.

Dissatisfaction caused by situational approach and structuralism, Communicative Language Teaching was appeared in 1970’s and supported by Council of Europe and linguists of United States of America particularly from California. ‘However, in the 1970s, particularly in California, a new type of pedagogy arose and started becoming popular in response to the greatly increased number of ESL learners, who outnumbered native English speakers in some school districts. Many of these learners knew grammar rules but could not use the target language communicatively, and others urgently needed immediate survival competency in English. The related humanist approaches were also developed in the late 1970s and 1980s as communicative activities designed to give learners positive feelings toward the instructional process so that language acquisition was facilitated.‘ (Lawrence Eribaum Associates, NJ, 2002). The focus came on the point of the learners that they knew the grammar rules but could not use them in the target language. This gave a new thought of urgency of the Communicative Language Teaching Approach. Yalden (1987:61) focuses on CLT, as a summary on the essence, ‘It is based on the notion of the learners as communicators, naturally endowed with the ability to learn languages. It seeks to provide learners with the target language system. It is assumed that learners will have to prepare to use the target language (orally and in written form) in many predictable and unpredictable acts of communication which arise both in classroom interaction and in real-world situations, whether concurrent with language training or subsequent to it‘.

After introducing CLT in many countries, many English textbooks were designed attempting to accommodate the expectations of the communicative syllabus. When grammar teaching is concerned, CLT focuses on „communicative proficiency rather than mere mastery of structures“ (Richards and Rogers, 1986:64). ‘Communicative language teaching (CLT) refers to both processes and goals in classroom learning‘ (Savignon, 2002). The central theoretical concept in communicative language teaching is ‘‘communicative competence,“ a term introduced into discussions of language use and second or foreign language learning in the early 1970s (Habermas 1970; Hymes 1971; Jakobovits 1970; Savignon 1971). Competence is defined in terms of the expression, interpretation, and negotiation of meaning and looks to both psycholinguistic and sociocultural perspectives in second language acquisition (SLA) research to account for its development (Savignon 1972, 1997). Identification of learners‘ communicative needs provides a basis for curriculum design (Van Ek 1975). So, curriculum design is very important in Communicative Language Teaching Approach.

Some critics say that there seem a conflict between Communicative Language teaching and Grammar because of their ultimate goal in terms of results such as fluency and accuracy. But the remarks in favour of the contradictions between Grammar and Communicative Approach are irrelevant and the search for the proper way to teach grammar through Communicative Language Teaching now has become a prime concern in many countries. It is believed that ‘…the more thoroughly a learner masters the grammatical system of the language, the more effectively he or she can use this language for communication‘ (Sayeedur Rahman, 2005).      The aim of learning English is to be able to communicate in the official and business world in changed perspective of the world. Since it is not needed as a language under compulsion in Bangladesh from anthropologist and ethnographic point of view, the main target is for communication which can convert our population as resource and manpower in the world economic market. Hence, among the most used language skills are Listening and speaking both in and outside the classroom. Speaking is an interactive process of constructing ‘Meaning‘ that involves producing, receiving and processing information (Florez, 1999; Brown, 1994), Kumaravadivelu (1999). So, the time has come to reconsider the selection and use of grammar terms in the changed needs of Bangladesh. The research is very important because it demonstrates discourse bridges, the relationship between language structure and the immediate or the recent social context where it will be used. Here, classroom is a ‘Mini society‘-an exercise centre of predictable and unpredictable situations with its own activities and rules. Pennington (2002) hints of „action grammar“ in which grammar of language should meet the need of real use: „it must be interactive in nature and relative to specific discourse communicates and their communicative practices“ (Fall 2005 Issues in EFL Vol.3 No.2 187). So, students usually should produce sounds, gestures, writing for each other using basic grammatical structures for purposeful actions.

 Penny Ur, in her interview with The British Council in Chennai, London, Delhi and Israel, suggests some factors that can be useful for CLTA. These are considered as TacitMyths of CLTA. According to her, ‘Some amount of explicit teaching was necessary to correct, explain and raise awareness about grammar usage. Students may talk and listen but unless explicitly taught grammar, they may not speak correctly.‘ She added that solution lies in reaching a balance between communicative grammar and theoretical grammar…. Instead of fill-in-the-blank type exercises, students needed creative exercises to encourage original thinking‘.  She also adds ‘Fluency and accuracy are two factors which determine the success of the students in the future‘. She further says ‘Students should not be asked to learn lists of words‘ and ‘Memorizing chunks of language such as How do you do? And its proper response, idioms, phrases, proverbs and the rest, equips students with a readymade vocabulary of grammatical combinations that could be adapted to suit different situations.‘ About grammar, she continues  ‘Grammar is an arbitrary system, so the more we talk the better it is because that’s the only way non-native speakers can pick up language and grammar‘

‘In terms of language teaching methodology, the communicative approach provides the learners with an opportunity to use language for communication purposes without focusing on accuracy‘ (Bygate, 2001). The aims of the communicative approach are (a) ‘to make communicative competence the goal of language teaching and (b) develop procedures for the teaching of the four language skills that acknowledge the interdependence of language and communication‘ (Richards and Rodgers, 1986: 66). Regarding Communicative Language Teaching, Howatt (1984) suggests the possible mix of Grammar and Structure with Communicative Language Teaching Approach. According to him, ‘…attempts to integrate such activities into a wider program of language teaching…. advances the claim that language is acquired through communication, so that it is not merely a question of activating an existing but inert knowledge of the language, but of stimulating the development of the language system itself‘. So, mix of Grammar and Communicative Language Teaching Approach can be considered a fruitful method for the desired level.

In fact, the linguists and the researchers felt that the students are not learning enough realistic English language. Despite knowing the rules of English grammar, they could not communicate well in social environment using proper social language with expressions. English seems to be confined in bookish knowledge; learners are not getting the benefits of English for communication in their real life. The language competency seems to be absent. The aim of teaching- learning English is not achieved the desired goal.

As Steven Pinker explains Chomsky’s Language theory, he classifies the language competency through four parts of competency level. These also reflect the importance of teaching grammar for achieving language competency. He clarifies these as following:

1. Grammatical competence is how well a person has learned that features and rules of the language. This includes vocabulary, pronunciation, and sentence formation. The main question is: How well does a person understand English grammar?

2. Sociolinguistic competence is how well a person speaks and is understood in various social contexts. This depends on factors such as status of those speaking to each other, the purpose of the interaction, and the expectations of the interaction. The main question is: how socially acceptable is the person’s use of English in different settings?

3. Discourse competence is how well a person can combine grammatical forms and meanings to achieve different types (genres) of speaking or writing. The main question is: How well does one properly combine all the languages elements to speak or write in English?

4. Strategic competence is how well the person uses both verbal forms and non-verbal communication to compensate for lack of knowledge in the other three competencies.

The existing condition of the stated level is to be analyzed through scientific method. If any actual CLT is being practiced, that is to be identified and would be analyzed for further studies to mark its‘ actual version, adaptability, from utilitarian point of view. Howatt (1984) classified CLT into ‘strong‘ and ‘weak‘ versions. Communicative features are the vital concern of the strong version on the other side; the weak version promotes the integration of structural practice into the communicative elements. If the former could be described as ‘learning to use‘ English, the latter entails ‘using English to learn it‘. Howatt (1984: 279). This research can include the feasibility of introducing the view that both structural and communicative elements can have a major role to play in EFL and ESL teaching in the Asian setting especially in Bangladesh. One of the most probable reasons of this feasible implementation is that may be the traditions and norms of practicing the structural syllabuses in Bangladesh for last three decades can not be changed radically, rather can play a role of active agent or a catalyst. Another reason may be ‘…communicative proficiency will become easier to achieve only when one has grasped the necessary knowledge of language (such as grammar). For societies whose first (and second) language is not English, there is still a need for structural practices so that the foundation of linguistic knowledge can be built up before further‘ (William Littlewood, English Centre, University of Hong Kong, 2006). So, presence of grammar in CLTA is indispensible because ‘…the notion that grammar and communication are incompatible opposites is based on serious misconceptions about the nature of language and language use‘ (William Littlewood, 2006), and ‘The notion that an individual can develop anything other than a rudimentary communication ability without an extensive mastery of the grammatical system is absurd (David Wilkins in the journal Applied Linguistics, 1981). So, it is necessary to find out possible and effective bridge between grammar and CLTA, which is the prime concern of the present research. The more elaborately a learner masters the grammar of a language, the more effectively he or she can use the targeted language for communication. This position was strongly established by David Wilkins, whose work in the 1970s provided one of the major impetuses to the communicative approach i.e. ‘The notion that an individual can develop anything other than a rudimentary communication ability without an extensive mastery of the grammatical system is absurd ‘ ( Applied Linguistics, 1981).

Some research works have already been done regarding the communicative approach of teaching grammar in some Asian countries specially in China {a survey carried out by Maley (1986:104)}, in Taiwan {Siaw-Fong Chung (2005:33-50)}, in Nepal {Koirala, Sanjel  et al (NELTA Vol. 10, 2005 )}, in Malaysia ( Siti Rohani Bt Md. Zain, PhD Thesis, 2007), in India {Annika Hohenthal(1998)}. These researches do not reflect the environment of Bangladesh, because the position of English Language in Bangladesh is not same like these countries. Even with the most nearest neighbouring country India. In a small country like Bangladesh, the scope of using other language instead English was very limited from emotional and utilitarian point of view. India is a vast country having a huge variation of language difference, Malaysia, Taiwan, Singapore these types of developing countries have to depend on their tourism and resources and people from different countries have migrated over there. Naturally, as a part of their integration and political unity, English has been chosen emphatically. So, the scenario is quite different in Bangladesh. But the things are changing with the emphasis given by the government emphasizing on a new era of using skilled manpower as well as exploring the scope of multinational jobs. Now time has come to re-consider English language teaching approach in Bangladesh, because undergraduate syllabuses do not reflect the Communicative Language Teaching Approach rather these still reflect the structural approach. The rise of so many local and foreign English skills training centers are indications of that. If the policy makers would give attention, FM method, Saifurs, Mentors etc. could not promote the language courses as the replacement to the undergraduate English courses of universities. English is needed in Bangladesh not solely for internal use, rather mostly for international use. Bangladesh, as an underdeveloped and overpopulated country of the third world can make her human resources useful in the world perspective, where she is still facing a hard competition and sometimes lagging behind in terms of knowing useful communicative English. The recent government policies can accelerate the Bangladeshi linguists‘ endeavours in innovating a right approach in the right moment. The approaches to be implemented in Bangladesh should be based on local conditions considering the practical factors.

Significance of the Study

‘Bangladeshi students are learning English from utilitarian point of view, rather than integrative motivation‘ (Asian EFL Journal, June, 2005). So, it is necessary to find out the appropriate approach for Bangladeshi students. It involves to analyze the feasible texts and techniques befitting Bangladeshi socio-economic perspectives  because  ‘An approach is a set of co-relative assumptions dealing with the nature of language teaching and learning…it describes the subject matter to be taught…where method is an overall plan‘ (Richards & Rogers, p-14-30, 2002)

The history of English teaching in Bangladesh is rather less smooth in comparison to that with neighboring countries as it had to face some problems. Before the independence of Bangladesh, status of English language was tagged with the crucial policy taken by the authority who tried to impose their mother tongue as national language of Bangladesh. So, the attention of the Bangladeshi educational policy makers was to stay with Bangla language, perhaps, they didn’t find the ample scope to improve the English or could not go for researches as the concentration was from emotional point of view. After liberation in 1971, the scenario started changing. After the freedom war of 1971, Bangladeshi curriculum in undergraduate levels were mostly based on English as Urdu was hated, and Bangla text books were not prepared in a large scale. So, the importance was given on Grammar-Translation method as the policy makers were influenced and pre-occupied by structural methods. The syllabuses of secondary, higher secondary and undergraduate levels were influenced purely based on by the extracts or texts from English literature and language ruled by grammar. World trend of CLT was almost absent in that time. The emotional implement of ‘The Bangla Procholon Ain-1987′ was a shock to the progress of English. It actually restricted the use of English in any type of official communication and correspondences and thus English was ignored from the socio-cultural domain.  The policy makers were influenced by the BPA act, 1987 because it influenced as ‘background to the policy decisions and the current status of English‘ (Banu & Sussex, 2001). The necessity of learning English language was felt tremendously and so, in the year 1989, English was introduced as a compulsory subject in colleges and universities covering the Higher Secondary and Undergraduate syllabuses. The necessity and urge of improving English was felt much more than ever. The syllabuses were mostly based on structural type followed by Grammar-translation method and after that Situational method. The new era of English flourished in the beginning of twenty-first century, i.e. after 2001, because of changes taken place in the policies of teaching English in neighboring and in many other countries. The growth of the jobs in the private sectors and in multinational companies created the demand of the persons who know effective English practically needed for communication across the national borders. Hence, the emergence of the Communicative Language Teaching Approaches in Asian countries has given a new thought of rethinking on the policy to be implemented because the graduated people could not use English effectively. It is felt in Bangladesh lately, but it was felt earlier in many countries since many  of these learners knew grammar rules but could not use the target language communicatively, and others urgently needed immediate survival competency in English.'(Rogers, 2002). Emotional attachment, socio-economic conditions, post liberation war unstable conditions, restlessness in mind-setup regarding political issues hindered the way of improving educational sector in Bangladesh as well as English also.

Thus the concept of teaching English grammar seems to have been provided with the idea of the failure of the cited methods to teach English grammar effectively in Bangladesh. For this reason, this study emphasizes how teaching grammar through communicative language teaching approach (CLTA) is functioning in the context of Bangladesh.

Research Questions:

This paper seeks to understand teaching grammar through communicative language teaching approach (CLTA) in the context of Bangladesh. Despite many teaching approaches of English language, CLTA seems, at present, an appreciable method very often discussed among the academics and is heard as a popular language teaching approach in the globe. Actually students in Bangladesh from class 01 to class 12 have English courses on their syllabus but unfortunately most of them are remaining below the competent level with a very few exceptions. At the same time, even many university graduates cannot reach at least the communicative level of speaking and writing English language using correct grammar. In such a situation this paper attempts to address the possible problems causing the barriers for learning English grammar in Bangladesh with the following questions. 

a)      Is teaching English Grammar important for the students at the undergraduate level?

b)      Are Grammar-Translation methods, Audio lingual method, Berlitz Method (Direct Method) and so on not effective to teach English grammar?

c)      Does the undergraduate syllabus have sufficient elements to satisfy the present need in the field of communication?

d)     Are the students capable enough to learn grammar clearly for communicative perspective?

e)      Do the teachers have sufficient knowledge and adaptability to accept teaching grammar through CLTA? What role is being played by the teacher, a facilitator or a dictator?

f)       Is the policy of Bangladesh suitable to nourish the technique of teaching grammar through Communicative Language Teaching Approach?

g)      Are the socio-economic and infra-structural condition impediments for this approach?  

Research Methodology:

Multiple methods would be used in the investigation including interviews, classroom observations, journal writings and analysis of lesson plans. Data would be analyzed and categorized for common themes and patterns in the undergraduate level of English teaching including various sectors under Public Universities, National University and Madrassa level.  The central theme of the analysis would highlight the interactive relationship between beliefs, knowledge and instructional contexts in teachers‘ personal framework of teaching grammar and learners‘ inherent belief in the practical context.

The primary & secondary data would be sought on the basis of practical experience. Basically the secondary data will be considered as per the set standard of the Native & Non-Native English experts. The method may include Questionnaire with closed and open type among controlled group after data are being selected randomly. For a smooth study, questionnaire would be distributed among teachers and learners. Likart scale may be used in setting methodology. The Questionnaire would consist of demographic information and their statement. Obviously, it will be made clear to the respondents before their answer in a scientific way. There will be followed a standard version of questionnaire for perfect data collection. The whole data analysis will be furnished through SPSS version 18.0 


The history of English Language in Bangladesh is not new. Though, Bangladesh had been a colony of The Great Britain as were India and Pakistan, and again a part of Pakistan, the scenario of English is quite different here. ‘The role of English in Bangladesh is purely functional as English is used as an international link language. Unlike India, English is not used as an interpersonal and inter-institutional communication and there is seemingly no possibility of English becoming the lingua franca in Bangladesh‘ ((Asian EFL Journal, June, 2005). Since the socio-economic conditions are different than India and Pakistan, the need of English is important for the international perspective than national need. In Bangladesh, the role of grammar in teaching-learning English at undergraduate level is to be redefined so that, the learners can get the befitting knowledge in the new era of e-world of national and international job market and at the same time, the prestige and standard of  English education at the stated level would be renovated and up-dated.  


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Source by sarwar alam

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