English language classroom practices: Bangladeshi primary school children’s perceptions

Shrestha, Prithvi (2013). English language classroom practices: Bangladeshi primary school children’s perceptions. RELC Journal, 44(2) pp. 147–162.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0033688213488466


English language teaching (ELT) has been investigated from various angles including how English language teachers perceive what happens in an ELT classroom. How primary school English language learners perceive their experiences of ELT is rarely reported in the published literature, particularly from developing countries such as Bangladesh. This article reports on a study that examined Bangladeshi primary school learners’ experience of English language classroom practices in which technology-enhanced communicative language teaching activities were promoted through a project called English in Action (EIA). EIA is a large-scale 9-year long international English language development project in Bangladesh, funded by the UK government. A semi-structured group interview was conducted with 600 Grade 3 students from different regions of Bangladesh. The findings showed that the learners found communicative language learning activities such as dialogue and role play more effective than translation and memorising grammar rules for learning English, although they enjoyed reciting and drills. The results also showed that these learners’ English teachers tended to mix both traditional and communicative approaches in their lessons. The paper critiques EIA and argues that any major language development project needs to consider the local context and learners’ views on language learning for its success.

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