EFL Oral Communication Teaching Practices: A Close Look at University Teachers and A2 Students’ Perspectives in Thailand and a Critical Eye from Serbia

  •  David Allen Bruner    
  •  Kemtong Sinwongsuwat    
  •  Biljana Radic-Bojanic    


This paper aimed to reexamine current EFL oral communication teaching practices from the perspectives of teachers and A2 students at two universities, namely Prince of Songkla University (PSU), Thailand and University of Novi Sad (UNS), Serbia. The main objectives were: (1) to analyze current practices from the perspectives of teachers and students, (2) to identify real problems encountered by teachers and students attempting to embrace Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) to improve oral English communication, and (3) propose practical solutions for classroom practices to improve the majority of students’ oral proficiency from the elementary level.

The findings were that oral English communication classes at PSU continue to embrace CLT and that the majority of Thai A2 students were frequently engaged in group activities rather than in individual and teacher-centered tasks. There was reliance on unrealistic, scripted role plays. Unlike the Serbian students, Thai students apparently needed to acquire more independent skills, become less passive learners, and interact more spontaneously in the target language. Other problems at PSU included mixed ability classes. Recommendations are placement tests, choices of more advanced elective courses, rigorous enforcement of upper enrollment limit, a balance between group and individual communicative tasks, and replacement of scripted with non-scripted role plays.

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