This three-phase, sequential mixed methods study explores two aspects of communicative language teaching in Taiwanese senior high schools. Firstly, it examines the extent to which the communicative approach is implemented in the English classroom in Taiwan and secondly it investigates the attitudes of senior high school students towards their learning of English at school.\ud \ud This research study employed the dominant-less dominant mixed method design, with a combination of a dominant qualitative approach and a less-dominant qualitative data aggregation procedure.\ud \ud Results from the focus group interviews are mostly consistent with those of the classroom observations. The findings revealed that the traditional approach, which focuses on the teaching of vocabulary, grammar and the explanation of the textbook contents, still prevailed in the English classroom. Teachers’ classroom practices reflected students’ current learning purpose, which is to achieve good exam results, as revealed in the focus group interviews.\ud \ud The questionnaire survey found that despite their pressing need to “pass exams”, the majority of students had positive attitudes communicative activities in class, believing that the best way of learning English is to be able to use it in real situations outside of the classroom. Nevertheless, students exhibited contradictory attitudes in that they showed inhibitions about speaking or participating actively in class, even though they had the belief that English is best learned through speaking. Finally, the data analysis revealed that some variables, such as “gender” and “major”, played important roles in influencing learner attitudes towards English learning at school. On the other hand, there was little relationship between the variables “programme” and “mother tongue” and learner attitudes in this study
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