How to Respond to the Demands Set by the Communicative Approach? New Challenges Second-Language (L2) Teachers Face in the Classroom

February 2007

Source: European Journal of Teacher Education, Volume 30, Issue 1 February 2007, pages 63 – 73

This study investigates prospective teachers' language needs in L2 teacher training programmes. A questionnaire was constructed and administered to a total of 79 first, second and third year students in the teaching training school at the University of the Balearic Islands (UIB). The questionnaire attempted to elicit student teachers' views on the following aspects: a) L2 teachers' qualities; b) Relevance of a Methodology, a Theory and a Language Improvement component in training courses; c) Perceived command of the English language and d) Potential use of English in future classes.

The results confirm the value of including a Language Improvement component in teacher training courses to better meet the needs of future teachers and help them respond to the new demands set by the communicative approach. Results also suggest that a more balanced approach between both a Language Improvement and a Methodology component can play a crucial role in the successful implementation of the communicative approach in L2 contexts.

Updated: Jan. 16, 2008