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Communication Difficulties in Learners of English as a Foreign Language : whys and ways out

Abstract : This study explores the whys and wherefores of the communication difficulties experienced by Tunisian secondary school learners of English as a foreign language, and aims at offering ways out of the issue.It has been demonstrated that the issue proceeds broadly from the woeful dearth of exposure to and practice of the language and certain inadequacies of the teaching methodology.English seems to be learned as a mere curricular discipline, in that students have only a few weekly sessions confined solely to a classroom setting.The inadequacies of the teaching methodology are manifest in a number of aspects. The use of the mother tongue in EFL classes has proved to generate more harm than good. In the very framework, it has also been revealed that Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) has not been at the level of the expected outcome. Two CLT principal principles, focus on meaning to the detriment of form, and prioritizing oral fluency over written proficiency, as well as certain constraints, mainly the severe lack of instructional materials and large classes have intervened with its successful implementation in EFL classes. An added factor related to teaching methodology is the quasi‐absence of theoretical teaching as a prerequisite for the success of specific learning activities.Accordingly, exposing learners profusely to English in various ways inside and outside the classroom, adopting an only‐English eclectic approach to teaching the language, and combining theoretical instruction with practical teaching can considerably contribute to surmounting the students’ learning difficulties, and hence to the achievement of their communicative competence.
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Youssef Mezrigui. Communication Difficulties in Learners of English as a Foreign Language : whys and ways out. Linguistics. Université Rennes 2, 2011. English. ⟨NNT : 2011REN20057⟩. ⟨tel-00681272⟩

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