Chapter One Introduction
1.1 Background of the Study
In the trend of economic globalization, the exchanges between different nations in the world are increasingly frequent and the blending of different cultures is deepening. Against this background, English, as a cultural symbol, is particularly important. Only by understanding the language of a country, can it be possible to understand the culture of a country, and to be mutually beneficial. Communication provides a platform for dialogues. And with the improvement of China’s international status and the continuous development of foreign economic and cultural exchanges, oral communication competence will be paid more and more attention. It is imperative to improve students’ oral English effectively.
In October 2000, Higher Education Department of the Ministry of Education promulgated the basic requirements for the teaching of English in Higher Vocational education, which stipulates that students who are taught through two to three semesters, should have a good command of fundamental knowledge and skills in English, possess the ability in listening, speaking, reading, writing and translation, and can communicate simply in speaking and in writing, and standardize the writing of various kinds of texts for specific purposes. Students can be familiar with Chinese and English texts commonly used in the industry, consult scientific and technological materials with reference books and lay a foundation for further improvement of English communicative competence in the future. The teaching idea of “giving priority to practicality and aiming at application” is clearly put forward.
1.2 Purpose and Significance of the Study
By applying TBLT to the oral English classroom, we can explore whether TBLT is more effective than the traditional teaching method or not; specifically, whether it can improve the students’ oral English proficiency, enhance the students’ interest and confidence in oral English learning, and improve the participation in the classroom. In other words, the study is essentially to verify the effectiveness and feasibility of TBLT in oral English teaching in higher vocational colleges.
In the traditional teaching method, teachers are the tutors of the preparatory knowledge and the controllers of the English classes. As a result, students are the audience for classroom learning, the recipients and listeners of information. There is no communication between teachers and students. This kind of teaching method has certain limitations, which is not conducive to mobilize students’ confidence and initiative for oral English learning and stimulate students’ interest in oral English. The implementation of TBLT in oral English teaching can enhance students’ practical proficiency of English and advocates the importance of language communication and pragmatic functions. TBLT can vividly create the atmosphere of language learning and stimulat