The power of the communicative approach: An investigation of classroom practices of English teachers working in vocational high schools

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Karataş S., Caner M.

Psychology in the Schools, vol.61, no.7, pp.2778-2799, 2024 (SSCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 61 Issue: 7
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1002/pits.23191
  • Journal Name: Psychology in the Schools
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, ASSIA, IBZ Online, PASCAL, Applied Science & Technology Source, Child Development & Adolescent Studies, EBSCO Education Source, Education Abstracts, Educational research abstracts (ERA), ERIC (Education Resources Information Center), Linguistics & Language Behavior Abstracts, Psycinfo
  • Page Numbers: pp.2778-2799
  • Keywords: communicative approach, communicative competence, English language teaching
  • Akdeniz University Affiliated: Yes


This research examines classroom methodologies aligned with the communicative approach, gauging the perspectives of English teachers working within vocational high schools (VHSs). The study, employing a qualitative case study research design, engaged 10 teachers from diverse backgrounds. The participants volunteered for the study and were selected through a maximum diversity sampling technique, a purposeful sampling method. The research methodology encompassed data collection through interviews, observations, and document analysis. Content analysis was applied to scrutinize interview data, whereas observational and document-based findings were subjected to descriptive analysis techniques. The study revealed a prevalent utilization of teacher-controlled activities and a predominant teacher-centric classroom layout among teachers. Notably, a considerable proportion of in-class time was allocated to grammar instruction, whereas comparatively lesser emphasis was placed on fostering reading, speaking, writing, and listening skills. Moreover, it was found that multiple-choice tests and alternative assessment formats such as performance evaluations and projects were exclusively employed; using other alternative assessment approaches like observations, interviews, learning diaries, and portfolios was rare. It is also found that English instruction in VHSs heavily relies on textbooks, supplemented by the occasional integration of audiovisual materials. Overall, teachers expressed a consensus that there exists a need for enhancement in curricular frameworks, teaching aids, as well as assessment and evaluation tools within the English instruction domain.