CLT is best for China - An untenable absolutist claim

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34 Citations (Scopus)


In his paper titled 'The need for Communicative Language Teaching in China', Xiaoqing Liao (2004) holds an absolutist view on the appropriacy of CLT for Chinese EFL classrooms, and claims that the methodology 'is best for China'. The absolutist claim is based on a problematic assumption of CLT's universal effectiveness/appropriacy, and ignores the diverse contexts of ELT in China. The arguments put forward by Liao to support his claim are specious, and the evidence presented is both scarce and unconvincing. Furthermore, the paper reveals a narrow, dogmatic understanding of what constitutes a proper method, and in the words of Harmer (2003:288), exemplifies 'an insensitive insistence on a rigid methodology at the expense of classroom and learner realities'.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-68
Number of pages4
JournalELT Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 12 Sep 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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