Pity the poor English teacher?
The poor English teacher of today, with so many demands on his time and expectations. Sometimes we hardly know where to turn. There are more and more students in fewer and fewer classes, and even those classes are expected to be taught with fewer and fewer resources or fewer hours. The result, however, on both the learner and managerial side, is to produce better and better English language production skills.
Some critical influencing factors
Some of the key factors that English or foreign language teachers face may include:
o Large class sizes
o Limited time
o Insufficient resources
o Mixed ability students
o Pupils with learning difficulties
o behavioral problems
o Administrative requirements
o Personal Restrictions
Let’s briefly consider the first four of these and how they can negatively impact a classroom scenario for teaching and learning English EFL, ESL or Foreign Languages.
Large class sizes
How many learners are in your EFL or ESL courses? 10, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 50 or more? The average class size continues to creep up as administrators attempt to extract maximum profits from the institute or department’s gross income. The EFL or ESL teacher is then caught in the middle, struggling to teach English or foreign language skills to a growing number of learners in each class group.
Ouch! According to statistical data from language research institutes, the minimum number of hours for a successful English EFL, ESL or foreign language course is around five – that’s the minimum, they say. A growing number of universities, language institutes and elementary/secondary schools are reducing the number of teaching hours. Many such places are now providing learners with only three hours or less of actual language instruction per week.
“How many of you have all the resources you need to teach your English class?” When I asked this question to a group of my students in an EFL teacher training course, no one answered yes. Not only do they lack sufficient contact hours, but also sufficient teaching materials.
Mixed ability students
Regardless of what level you teach at, from pre-school to kindergarten, elementary to high school, or at collegiate and adult levels, learners within a given course group will exhibit different or mixed abilities. There is practically no such thing as a “homogeneous” group of learners in a class. Even when learners come from the same socio-economic background, from the same country, ethnic group or language group, there are bound to be large inequalities in their ability.
These four factors can have a significant impact on the effectiveness of the English EFL or ESL language teacher. With more and more students in fewer and fewer classes, and even those classes are supposed to be taught with fewer and fewer resources or fewer and fewer hours. The result, however, on both the learner and managerial side, is to produce better and better English language production skills. There is thus a need for solutions to an ever-worsening set of problems. This requires full collaboration from teachers, administrators and, to some extent, the learners themselves. Other factors that can negatively impact EFL or ESL classroom, teaching and learning are discussed in the next part of this series .
Thanks to Larry M. Lynch | #Factors #Negatively #Impact #English #Language #Teaching #Learning