Enhancing EFL Learners’ Communicative Competence through Interactive Activities: A Case Study of Grade Four Students at an Educational Complex in Fujairah

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
Abstract The attainment of communicative competence stands as a basic goal for learners of the English language. Interaction and communication play significant roles in the language development of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) students. Interactive activities provide opportunities for students to engage in meaningful interactions, practise language in a communicative setting, negotiate meaning, and develop their fluency and accuracy in English. This study aims to uncover the connection between interactive activities in the classroom and the communicative competence of primary school EFL students. Many such students encounter difficulties in language learning, whether related to acquiring a second language or experiencing challenges in communication. Exploring communicative competence allows for the identification of the specific challenges faced by young learners, facilitating the creation of targeted interventions or instructional approaches to improve their language development. Integrating interactive activities in the EFL context emerged as a promising solution. This study sought to investigate the impact of incorporating interactive activities on the communicative competence of primary EFL students. These activities were grounded in principles aimed at enhancing students' communicative competence. This qualitative research involved 30 participants (10 males and 20 females), all fourth-grade students at an educational complex in Fujairah during the 2023/2024 academic year. Various interactive activities, including role-playing, pair-work, discussions, and online vocabulary games, were designed and implemented in the classroom to foster the development of the students' communicative competence. Data were collected through classroom observations and reflections, with qualitative data being analysed based on the observations. The findings demonstrated a significant enhancement in the communicative competence of the students participating in the interactive activities. Enhancing language skills is of greater significance during the elementary school years. Therefore, examining how children develop their communicative competence in this context provides insights into language acquisition and enhancement. The findings of this research offer valuable guidance for EFL educators and curriculum developers, highlighting the benefits and challenges associated with integrating interactive tasks into language instruction aimed at improving communicative abilities.
communicative competence, communicative language teaching, interactive activities, EFL classroom, primary schools