Effects of the Communicative Language Teaching Approach on the English Learning Motivation and English Proficiency of Non-English Majors in a Technological and Vocational University in Northern Taiwan

  • Hui-Chin Chang

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The purpose of this study was to explore the effects of the communicative language teaching (CLT) approach on learner motivation and English proficiency. I was challenged to examine the feasibility of a Western-based pedagogy administered in a country where traditional grammar-based instruction has dominated for decades.Given that CLT studies on vocational university students in Taiwan have been largely unexplored, it is my concern in this dissertation as to whether and how the CLT approach would facilitate the learning process. Also, the present study aimed to examine the factors resulting in students’ non-engagement in a communication-based classroom. Prior to and after CLT instructional practice to 163 freshmen from avocational university, I administered motivation questionnaire surveys and English proficiency tests in listening and reading, and interviews were conducted to elicit their perceptions towards the teaching approach and in-class activities. The findings showed that CLT instruction enhanced subjects’ instrumental motivation and it had a beneficial effect on their English listening proficiency. Moreover, the conclusions were supported by the finding that the more intrinsic interest a learner displayed in learning English,the more gains there would be in his English listening proficiency. A number of factors that hindered learners’ engagement in classroom activities comprising the learner factor, the peer factor, the implementation factor, and the administration factor were also discussed. The outcomes of the study have yielded pedagogical implications as to what changes could be made in the CLT classroom to achieve the most facilitative effects on teaching and learning among Taiwanese vocational university students.
Date of AwardJul 2012
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Queen's University Belfast
SupervisorCaroline Linse (Supervisor) & Joy Alexander (Supervisor)

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