Friday, November 3, 2017

The English Teachers Have Done Their Best


TEACHERS have often been blamed for the poor standard of the English language in the country.

Many have argued that today’s English language teachers are not competent and can hardly speak English fluently and have no passion for teaching.

Some go on to blame the selection and training of teachers which is based on their academic qualifications.

If teachers are to be blamed for their poor language skills, it means that universities and teacher education institutes have failed in producing linguistically competent teachers.

A majority of today’s teachers are the product of the post 1970’s era when Bahasa Malaysia was the medium of instruction for all schools.

This was about the time when English language was taught as a single subject.

Before the switch, all subjects were taught in English except Bahasa Malaysia and the vernacular languages.

With regard to their selection and training, today’s teachers have excellent academic qualifications.

Many of the English language teacher trainees have obtained A1 or A2 in the SPM examination for the English language paper and go through a stringent oral interview to check their proficiency in the language.

In the teacher education institutes, the English language teacher trainees are drilled and grilled in grammar, language skills (Listening, Speaking, Reading & Writing), pedagogy, methodology and teaching practice.

When these teacher trainees graduate they are prepared and equipped to cater to the needs of their students and the schools.

Many rural schools are facing a shortage of trained English language teachers because trained and experienced teachers are not willing to teach in the remote areas.

In rural schools, non option English teachers (teachers who have been trained in other subject disciplines other than English language) are directed to teach the English language.

There are more than 10,000 non option teachers teaching English in the country. They have volunteered to teach English because of the shortage of English teachers in their schools.

Many of them are in their late 50’s and have an English schooling background. They are competent and proficient in the language.

It is not fair to blame these teachers for the poor state of English.

Some English language teachers have been accused of using workbooks, worksheets and revision books to teach English to cover up their oral and verbal interaction with the children in the English Language classroom.

English language teachers use workbooks and worksheets because of the emphasis on exam-based learning.

Teachers teach English for students to pass examinations. The emphasis is on examinations and testing.

Teachers are therefore unable to use interactive language games, songs and other fun activities in their teaching because they have to complete the syllabus and prepare children for the examination.

Let us not be too judgmental about the competence and proficiency of our English language teachers. They are doing their best despite the odds heaped against them.

SAMUEL YESUIAH


1 comment:

galaksi viral said...

It reminds me Adiwira movie again. huhu.