This chapter presents the background of the study, the statement of the problem, statement of the hypothesis, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms, theoretical framework and conceptual framework.
The field of second language teaching has undergone many fluctuations and shifts over the years. Different from physics or chemistry, in which progress is more or less steady until a major discovery causes a radical theoretical revision, language teaching is a field in which fads and heroes have come and gone in a manner fairly consistent with the kinds of changes that occur in youth culture.
Within the last quarter century, communicative language teaching (CLT) has been put forth around the world as the “new” or “innovative” way to teach English as a second or foreign language. Disappointment with both grammar- translation and audio-lingual methods for their inability to prepare learners for the interpretation, and negotiation of meaning, along with enthusiasm for an array of alternative methods paved way for its existence.
CLT is not exclusively concerned with face-to-face oral communication, its principles apply equally to reading and writing activities that involve readers and writers engaged in the interpretation, expression, and negotiation of meaning; in other words, the goals of CLT depend on learners needs in a given context.
CLT does not require small-group or pair work; group tasks have been found helpful in many contexts as a way of providing increased opportunity and motivation for communication. The essence of CLT is the engagement of learners in communication in order to allow them to develop their communicative competence.
By definition, CLT puts the focus on the learner. Learner communicative needs provide a framework for elaborating program goals in terms of functional competence. This implies global, qualitative evolution of learner achievement as opposed to quantitative assessment of discrete linguistic features.
Discussions of CLT are infrequently kind of questions about grammatical or formal accuracy. The perceived displacement of attention to many phosyntactic features in learner expression in favor of a focus on meaning has led in some cases to the impression that grammar is not important, or that proponents of CLT favor learner self-expression without regard to form.
While involvement in communicative events is seen as central to language development, this involvement necessarily requires attention to form. The nature of the contribution to language development of both form-focused and meaning-focused classroom activity remains a question in ongoing researches. However, for the development of communicative ability research findings overwhelmingly support the integration of form-focused experience. Hence, grammar is important, and learners seem to focus best on grammar when it relates to their communicative needs and experiences.
In attempting to convey the meaning of the CLT to both pre-service and in-service teachers of English as a second or foreign language in a wide range of context, Sandra J. Savignon found it helpful to think of a communicative curriculum as potentially made up of five components. These components are Language Arts, Language for a Purpose, My Language is Me: Personal English Language Use, You Be, I’ll Be; Theater Arts, and Beyond the Classroom.
Language Arts or language analysis, being the first component on the list is the topic of this study. Language Arts includes those things that language teachers of do best. In fact, it may be all they have been taught to do. This component includes many of the exercises used in mother tongue programs to focus attention on formal accuracy. In English Language Teaching (ELT), Language Arts focuses on forms of English including syntax, morphology, and phonology.
This statement is asserted by her another statement “through practice and experience in an increasingly wide range of communicative contexts and events, learners gradually expand their “communicative competence”, discourse competence, socio-cultural competence, and strategic competence”. Hence, communicative competence is the primary goal of CLT, and grammatical competence is one o/f its components.
While involvement in communicative events is seen as central to language development, this involvement necessarily requires attention to form. Communication cannot take place in the absence of structure, or grammar, a set of shared assumptions about how language works, along with a willingness of participants to cooperate in the negotiation of meaning.
According to Edward L. McVeigh in his Curriculum Reform, the implementation of K-12 curriculum presupposes a communicative classroom. With the advent of K-12 curriculum in our educational system, English language teachers throughout the country adapt CLT which seeks to develop students’ ability to understand and to express their thoughts in the English language; to foster students’ positive attitude towards communicating in the language, and to heighten their interest in language and culture, thus deepening international understanding.
Since CLT is the approach used in teaching English language on secondary schools throughout the Philippines, the researchers find it necessary to conduct a descriptive study that clearly unfolds its extent in the grammatical competence of the Grade 8 students of a certain secondary school (Bulbugan National High School). This study further focuses on the students’ competence in the field of phonology, morphology, and syntax.
Statement of the Problem
The main purpose of this study is to determine the extent of utilization of communicative language teaching in the grammatical competence of the Grade 8 students of Bulbugan National High School S.Y. 2014-2015. Specifically, it seeks to answer the following questions:
What is the extent of utilization of communicative language teaching as perceived by the Grade 8 students of Bulbugan National High School S.Y. 2014-2015?
What is the mean grammatical competence of the Grade 8 students of Bulbugan National High School S.Y. 2014-2015 in relation to:
Morphology and Syntax
Is there any significant relationship between the extent of utilization of communicative language teaching and the grammatical competence of the Grade 8 students of Bulbugan National High School S.
Statement of the Hypothesis
There is no significant relationship between the extent of utilization of communicative language teaching and the grammatical competence of the Grade 8 students of Bulbugan National High School S.Y. 2014-2015 .
Significance of the Study
This study benefits Bulbugan National High School particularly the Grade 8 students of S.Y. 2014-2015 for this study determines their grammatical competence in relation to phonology, morphology, and syntax. The result of the study can also serve as their guide on to what area of the language they should develop more to achieve high communicative competence.
This formal treatise also benefits the English teachers or educators as through this writing, they will gain awareness on the extent of utilization of communicative language teaching in the grammatical competence of the Grade 8 students. Furthermore, this helps them choose the most appropriate language teaching approach to achieve their desired ends in teaching. The study is also helpful to linguists and grammarians who are focusing on language innovations.
They may find relevance or connection between their study and this study.
Lastly, this research will also help future researchers who will wish to expand the ideas and theories that we laid in this writing. Through this, it will be much easier for them to glean specific facts concerning the concept of communicative language teaching in relation to grammatical competence. (i.e., phonological, morphological, and syntactic competence).
Scope and Limitation of the Study
The study was focused mainly on the extent of utilization of communicative language teaching in the grammatical competence of the Grade 8 students of Bulbugan National High School S.Y. 2014-2015. One hundred forty-three (143) respondents were the subjects in the study; this number of respondents was obtained using Slovin’s formula.
Administration of checklist and standardized test was the chief means of the study to determine the extent of utilization of communicative language teaching (CLT) and the grammatical competence of the Grade 8 students of BulHi S.Y. 2014-2015. Test retest method was administered with 10 Grade 8 respondents from Bulbugan National High School to test the reliability of the main research instrument. Spearman rho was the statistical tool used to measure the relationship between paired ranks assigned to individual scores on two variables of test-retest method.
The findings of the study were, therefore, descriptive of the Grade 8 students of Bulbugan National High School S.Y. 2014-2015 involved for the period of time which the investigation was conducted. The results and conclusions drawn were, therefore, true for this group of subjects and for the period of time.
The results could also be used as basis for similar studies that might be conducted at the other times and in other schools. Pattern of similarities might be observed and make use to any future plan regarding extent of utilization of communicative language teaching in the grammatical competence of the students in other schools inside and outside the country.
Definition of Terms
To facilitate understanding on the part of the readers, the researchers defined the terms below using operational definition.
BulHi. It is the shortened form of “Bulbugan National high School”- the institution whence the researchers conduct their study.
CLT. It is an abbreviation for “communicative language teaching”.
Communicative language teaching. It refers to a language teaching methodology that views language first and foremost as a system for communication. It is organized around notions (meanings such as spatial location, time, and degree) and functions (social transactions and interactions such as asking for information or complementing someone).
Extent. It refers to the degree to which something achieves results.
Grade 8. It is the second year level in the secondary school. In the study, it is the grade level of the respondents.
Grammatical competence. It refers to sentence-level grammatical forms, the ability to recognize the lexical, morphological, syntactic, and phonological feature of a language.
Morphology. The scientific study of the form of the English language.
Phonology. The study of the way sounds function in the English language. The way words are pronounced.
Syntax. The study of the structure of the English language. The rules that govern the structure of English language.
This study was supported by theories of several educators, researchers, and philosophers which were related to the present study. These theories helped in providing ideas and validity of the research work.
First, McKay’s theory (2013) in his Communicative environment — Language teaching states that the students learn the target language best in communicative environment where teachers are the facilitator of communication. He further states that undoubtedly, CLT is effective in producing students who are capable of using the target language in a well manner.
McKay’s theory has relation to the current study because it states that students learn the target language best using communicative language teaching (or communicative environment). Learning the language well can mean learning all the areas of the language well that includes grammar. Because CLT does not exclude grammatical competence in focus, this research is to find out its effectiveness/ineffectiveness in that area of English language.
Second, Mead’s theory (2012) in his Accuracy and Communication states that communicative approach enables students to use the target language competitively. In addition, if realized through a student centered curriculum with students taking part in content selection and working in groups to complete communicative tasks, it deals with the need for the students to take a more active role in class and makes them more responsible for their own learning.
This communicative approach helps students develop fluency sometimes as they are developing accuracy. It has been shown how a focus on whole language tasks and authentic communication in a learner-centered environment can increase student motivation to learn. She further points out that teaching method has to suit the beliefs of the society about what activities are proper for classroom.
Mead’s theory is relevant to this study because it states that communicative approach helps students develop fluency sometimes as they are developing accuracy. In this sense, fluency means the ability to use the language appropriately and cunningly. In the context of fluency, it includes grammatical competence which presupposes accuracy.
Third, Alcantara’s theory (2011) in his Purposive Grammar teaching claims that grammar teaching should be apparel with the real world as a possible. As very teacher can see the purposes of communicating in class should be the same as they are in real life.
Alcantara’s theory is related to the present study because grammar teaching should be relevant to communicating inside and outside the c
lassroom. Grammatical competence must therefore be applied in a spontaneous conversation.
Fourth, Critchley’s theory (2010) in his Strategies in ELT states that most approaches explicitly teach the more obvious strategies such as “asking for repetition” but often this is not enough with learners who have had very little chance to practice real communication. By applying CLT’s some useful strategies such as “interrupting or turn taking” teachers can impart to students more of tools they require to activate the grammar and vocabulary they have learned during their past school years.
Critchley’s theory has bearing to this study because it states that by applying some strategies of CLT or CLT itself, teachers can impart more of tools they require to activate the grammar learnt by the students. In other words, he impliedly states that communicative approach is effective in enhancing students’ retention and recall on the concepts of grammar.
Fifth, Hymes’ theory (2010) in his Definition of Language states language is a social construction with speakers using language to navigate conversations strategically. Thus, without which the “rules of grammar would be useless”, he went on to define subsets of communicative competence which included social task competence and strategic competences.
Hymes’ theory is relevant to this study because without the speakers using the language strategically, rules of grammar would be useless.
Thus, CLT is a seemingly appropriate approach to use to develop grammatical competence. Sixth, Littlewood’s theory (2009) in his Introduction to CLT suggested that learners need to develop the following skills:
- The learner must attain a high degree of linguistic competence. That is, he must develop skill in manipulating the linguistic system to the point where he can use it spontaneously and with flexibility in order to express his intended message;
- The learner must distinguish between forms he/she has mastered and the communicative functions which they perform; and
- The learner must develop skills and strategies for using language to get communicative meaning effectively in varied contexts and situations. He must learn to use feedback to judge his success and if necessary, remedy failure by using different language.
Littlewood’s theory has bearing in this study because the researchers also believe that the learners must distinguish forms he has mastered. This ability to distinguish forms of the language is also known as grammatical competence (a part of linguistic competence). Therefore, it is one of the functions of communicative language teaching (CLT) to develop grammatical competence among students and that’s what the researchers are to measure (whether it is effective or ineffective).
Lastly, Communicative competence theory (2009) by Bas states that language learners can only communicate successfully if they have more knowledge in grammar, wherein it is on how to create accurate utterances and use them correctly.
This theory is relevant to the present study because it explicitly asserted that grammatical competence is a part of communicative competence.
Conceptual Framework IV DV
Figure1. Paradigm of the independent and dependent variables on the extent of communicative language teaching in the grammatical competence of the Grade 8 students of Bulbugan National High School S.Y. 2014-2015. The single headed arrow represents the relationship of communicative language teaching and grammatical competence.