Post-communicative pedagogies : revisiting the translation method of teaching English in East Asia

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


In the course of the development of EFL instruction, the so-called grammar-translation method was one of the earliest ones used. Later, EFL pedagogies evolved and other approaches were enunciated as alternatives to the old method. The most remarkable of these is the communicative (or direct) approach, built on the rationale that L1 stands in the way of L2 acquisition. It has been propagated with fervour in East Asian communities, especially in Hong Kong, as in many countries in the Third World. This article begins by contrasting Hadzantonis' Transition Model, aimed to eradicate all traces of local culture through English language instruction, as exemplified in the case of South Korea, with Canagarajah's resistance pedagogies, as used in Sri Lanka, and then uses this as the basis for a proposal to reintroduce, or reinvigorate, the Translation Method, which is not only pedagogically effective but also conducive to the formation of intercultural identities (rather than allowing East Asian values to be replaced by Western ones). The practicalities of EFL classroom instruction are related to the development of national policies in various parts of East Asia in which English learning is related to an urgent social need to nurture not only competent bilingual experts but also translation professionals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-90
Number of pages16
JournalTranslation and Interpreting
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • communicative approach
  • teaching English as a second language
  • translation method
  • pedagogies
  • ideology


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