Enhancing knowledge-building through communicative language teaching

  • Mildred Shingirirai Nyamayedenga Women’s University in Africa,
  • Lizette de Jager UP
Keywords: communicative language teaching, experiential learning, interactive activities, knowledge-building, socio-cultural, teachers’ preparedness


Zimbabwe’s new primary school curriculum aims at enhancing knowledge-building through the use of
communicative language teaching (CLT) to assist both the teachers and the learners to solve problems. In this
qualitative case study, we investigated the extent of teachers’ inclination to use the CLT approach. To do so, the
study was guided by Socio-cultural Theory (SCT) and the Experiential Learning Theory (ELT). Five
purposively selected participants in the Warren Park/Mabelreign District in Zimbabwe responded to semistructured
interviews and were observed while they were teaching. The analysis revealed that although teachers
understood that knowledge-building can be enhanced by CLT they are ill prepared to implement it because they
lack the skills and the knowledge, and they have to cope with inadequate resources. Consequently, teachers still
follow traditional pedagogic practices that do not lead to knowledge-building in learners. We recommend that a
number of workshops be offered to in-service teachers and stakeholders on how to employ CLT activities that
enhance knowledge-building.