Secondary EFL School Teachers’ Perceptions of CLT Principles and Practices: An Exploratory Survey

Document Type: Original Article


1 Shahid Beheshti University, Iran

2 Allameh Tabataba’i University, Iran


Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) is advocated by many applied linguists as a common vehicle to curriculum innovation in many ELT contexts. It represents a change of focus in language teaching from linguistic structures to learners’ need for developing communication skills. In recent years, the Iranian Ministry of Education has introduced the development of a new English curriculum for secondary schools with the aim of establishing the use of communicative activities in language classes. The present study was an attempt to investigate Iranian teachers’ perception of CLT principles and practices through a survey of 75 secondary school teachers in the context of the newly introduced English language curriculum developed based on CLT principles. Based on a combination of quantitative and qualitative data using a semi-structured questionnaire supplemented with interviews with a smaller group of teachers, the results of the survey revealed that a change in classroom arrangements is required before CLT can be practiced in secondary school English classes in Iran. The results also showed that the employment of CLT procedures at the local level is at its beginning stages and might take time to take root. The conclusion is that for the suggested changes in the curriculum to be implemented and realized in English education in Iran, the findings of more comprehensive surveys complemented with observation of teachers’ instructional practices is required to inform the change implementation.