The past forty years have witnessed significant development in ELT methods, reflecting changes in learners’ language needs and the developing language/language learning theories in different times and places. This study aims to provide a systematic and comprehensive account of the changing ELT methods in Hong Kong’s secondary education, namely the oral-structural approach, communicative language learning and task-based language teaching (TBLT) between 1975 and the present. By adopting Richards and Rodgers’s (2014) three-tier hierarchical framework (i.e., approach, design and procedure), it examined how ELT theories have been transformed into local curricula (1975, 1983, 1999, 2007), public examination papers (1975-2017) and commercial textbooks (Oxford, Longman) using a detailed content analysis. The findings suggest that despite the promotion of global ELT methods in the curricula, the design of the public assessments and commercial textbooks tend to lag behind theories and pedagogical recommendations in the literature. Particularly, changes in textbooks were relatively small, although considerable attempts had been made to align textbook design with ELT trends. By considering various constraints in the theory-to-practice process, the paper offers suggestions for future research and language teaching particularly regarding the latest debate over the choice of the ‘weak’ and ‘strong’ version of TBLT in EFL contexts.
|Title of host publication||The 16th Asia TEFL International Conference|
|Publication status||Published - Jun 2018|