Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) in Botswana: Perceptions of Implementation by some Teachers in Botswana’s Junior Secondary Schools
This paper reports on the first phase of a research project that focused on understanding the perceptions of teachers regarding the implementation of CLT in the English Second Language (ESL) classrooms in Botswana’s Junior Secondary Schools (JSSs). CLT has been the dominant English language teaching paradigm in Botswana for fifteen years. Educators and commentators often refer to an inadequate mastery of English at tertiary institutions and in the workplace, indicating a potential disenchantment with the implementation of CLT in English in Botswana. The data reported in this article come from a questionnaire survey conducted among JSSs English teachers located in Botswana’s urban areas (n=135). The data indicate a conflicted view of CLT among the participants. On the one hand they believe that they have been trained well to implement CLT and their responses to some questions indicate that they have some knowledge about CLT. On the other hand, responses to some questions indicate a lack of knowledge of CLT and that the participating teachers believe that CLT does not necessarily lead to improved English proficiency among their learners. The data seem to point to a certain disjunction between perceptions, theoretical knowledge and views of the usefulness of CLT for English in Botswana. Future studies should consider to compare these views with actual classroom observations.
Keywords: Botswana, Communicative Language Teaching, English Second Language Teaching, Perceptions