I just read the paper on constructivism, and was trying to make links to my own context and teaching practice...
When I read the section on social constructivism, I was reminded of the shift in ESL/EFL toward "communicative language teaching (CLT)" (Nunan, 1991), and the need for authentic texts and contexts within teaching. Thus the implementation of activities such as role-play, survey, and task based teaching has become the new in vogue thing, with activities that increase motivation by providing so called 'real life' activities with a real purpose...Within my own teaching I have tried to take this on board, with both success and failure. Success, I mean in terms of student motivation, only when the activity provides enough of a challenge (not too difficult) and when the students themselves can see the real purpose of the activity. I am truly an advocate of CLT (when the activity is truly meaningful and challenging), however, I think we have to acknowledge that the classroom environment is still an artificial environment, with all the limitations that entails.
Having students from many different countries, I am also very aware of the cultural impact on learning. One of my favorite books on teaching is Culture learning, the 5th dimension in the language classroom by Louise Damen (1987), which discusses the impact of culture on language learning. How Students form Hong Kong, Taiwan and Mainland China (I have a class with these cultures and more) relate to each other, or even a minority culture, next to a majority from other places, or just a mix of different ethnic groups (such as in the old and politically incorrect series Mind Your Language) can all contribute to difficulty in achieving your teaching objectives.
Dougiamas, M.(1998). A journey into constructivism, Retrieved November 16, 2010