can see, most public school teachers have a bachelor teaching degree, however, this does not mean they have a good English level or that their knowledge about teaching is wide. During the observed classes, a low English level and a poor pronunciation was evidenced. Teachers speak English with a strong accent and with lots of hesitation. Most teachers made mistakes such as wrong grammar structures and inappropriate tenses. A lack of vocabulary was also evidenced as they repeated the same words over and over while teaching. The question is how a person with a degree inEnglish teaching has such a low level and how can they be teaching English. Well, it is because university English teachers also have a very low level and consequently, the English teaching-learning process is being affected by this low teacher quality since, as we know, learners pick up languages as they are taught and if a teacher teaches wrong the student learns wrong. Plus, since most teachers were taught the same way in the university, they all have about the same English level. Therefore, there are not many options to choose from and those teachers were and are being hired.
Another method applied is Total Physical Response (TPR) which was developed with the purpose of avoiding stress when learning a new language. Richards & Rodgers (2001) argued that learners are exposed to input by the use of commands, drills or role plays directed by the teacher, this requires only physical responses. For this method, the main role of teachers is to provide the best language exposure to assure that learners can speak naturally after many hours of instruction. Whole Language Approach is centered on experiences and activities that are relevant to learners’ lives and needs by using authentic materials with natural
Woolfolk (2007) suggests that the way a person choose for learning indicates his or her learning style. According to the author, students can choose deep or surface - processing approach. On one hand, deep processing focus on understanding. On the other hand, surface approach focuses on memory. Indeed, they are motivated by grades. Lightbrown and Spada (2011) propose that learning style refers to Reid‟s (1995) definition that states the natural and personal way to acquire knowledge. Furthermore, learners are classified by their learning style. For instance, visual learners learn by graphic stimuli, aural students learn by listening, kinesthetic ones learn by movement. According to the author, learners are categorized on “field independent” learners when they are practical and “field dependent” ones consider details as a priority.
learning needs including their attitudes towards student-centered and traditional teaching approaches, culture learning in EFL program, attitudes towards authority in class, the main problems encountered in the course of their learning English, and their practice of language learning strategies, using both quantitative and qualitative research methods. In this empirical study, the subjects consisted of 210 English-major students from a multi- faculty university in North China. The questionnaire data were gathered in the last twenty minutes of the students' class time, via prior agreement with the teachers. The selection of student informants was completely at random with a view of accessing a large number of students from different levels. The students in this investigation show, on the whole, more favorable attitudes towards communicative classroom activities than non-communicative ones. In addition, the findings of this research will provide Chinese EFL teachers with insightful information on learners' learning needs as an input to syllabus and materials planning, to lesson planning and classroom instruction practice. The study demonstrates the importance of a good understanding of learner variables in TEFL programs at university level in China.
aim of feedback is to bring about self-awareness and improvement. It means that learners have the opportunity to correct their mistakes. Furthermore, Nunan (1995) says that feedback is classified in a positive and negative way, being the most effective the first since it focuses on giving praise to students so they can feel motivated. Hence, Gower et al. (1995) note that teachers need to focus on positive points of students when they give feedback, especially in oral and written works. In addition, feedback can be given through “ praise and encouragement; corrections; setting regular tests; having discussion about how the group as a whole is doing; giving individual tutoring ” (Gower et al 1995, p. 163). Therefore, the process of giving feedback offers teachers the opportunity to become assessor of their students.
The subjects in this research work were four adults of different ages and from different language backgrounds. The four learners were assessed in their Englishlanguage mastery. They were given two sets of sequential pictures, one at a time, with which they were supposed to write a story inEnglish, beginning with the first picture and ending with the last one. Next the learners were asked to write the same story in their native language. A second set of pictures was given to them to write a second story both inEnglish and in their native language. After the writing tasks, the four learners were video-taped while they were individually interviewed. They were asked to explain why and how they used a specific L1 or L2 structure in identified errors; they also needed to self-correct these identified errors in the L2 text. The Analysis of the learners’ L1 written texts was done with the help of native language
In the same way, students were given a series of sentences with missing words. They filled in the blanks with new vocabulary items or with items of a particular grammar type, such as prepositions or verbs with different tenses. One of the advantages of the use of this method is the easiest way of explaining meanings or words and phrases from one language into another. Any other method of explaining vocabulary items in the second language is found time consuming. A lot of time is wasted if the meanings of lexical items are explained through definitions and illustrations in the second language. Moreover, learners acquire some short of accuracy in understanding synonyms in the native language and the target language.
Regarding the results above, before explaining the results of observations did in the observed classes it is important to describe characteristics of some of the methods that teachers indicated to use in class. Nunan (1999) refers to the Task-Based language teaching (TBL) as an approach that focuses more in the use of language to explain different tasks rather than teach the linguistics features. In the observed classes, teachers assigned tasks to students such as completing charts, filling in the blanks, read texts and discuss answers, etc. However, teachers neither used English to explain the tasks nor students used the language to develop the activities; both used the Spanish language. About the Natural Approach, Richards & Rodgers (2001) remark that exposure to the target language and the amount of input received by learners is an important issue in this approach. Students in the observed classes did not receive appropriate language input because their teachers spoke in Spanish and only read instructions and pronounce vocabulary using the Englishlanguage.
Specific details about these three groups are given by Candlin & Mercer, 2001. Within cognitive learning there are field independent and field dependent learners: these refer to whether an individual tends to separate details from the general background or to see things more holistically correspondingly. ” (p. 35) Physiological style students are the students that need to add an action for an adequate learning process, these are called kinesthetic learners; they learn better when they are totally involved in an activity. Finally, affective style is based on the individual´s temperament or personality characteristics such as motivation, curiosity, persistence, anxiety, risk taking, and personal interests.
educational field. Kizildag (2009) investigated the problems and challenges encountered by Englishlanguage teachers teaching at public primary schoolsin Turkey such as having a poor institutional planning, instructional methods, and socio-cultural problems. This study concluded that the problems and challenges identified by the school teachers in Turkey were highly interrelated. It appears to be that one problem results into another through a chain reaction, giving as a result, ineffective teaching and learning activities. It is well documented that foreign language teachers start over from the beginning during each academic year. They re- teach what they had taught the previous year due to the limited use of languagein context and learners eventually forget what they learn.
Teachers, as tutors and leaders, should keep in mind many important details in order to manage the class correctly. Harmer (1991) states that the application of appropriate and organized techniques is not an easy task because not all the students receive the information in the same way that is why teachers have to manage their groups intelligently, using an appropriate language and grouping techniques for learners adequately according to the requirements of the lesson. Also, Teacher should find out the best way to feedback learnersin the right moment making them feel comfortable and interested. Despite the fact that language correction is vital in their progress, it is absolutely much better if they know what their achievements have been. At the end of the process, if teachers have done the best in the class, it is going to be much more rewarding and their efforts will be always a success.
Teachers used Task-Based-Language, because they assigned to students different tasks such as reading and classifying information, completing charts or schedules with information, writing short texts, drawing maps, etc. All those activities were related to the textbook assigned to each course, and correspond with the description given by Larsen-Freeman (2000) about the characteristics of this approach. But rather than interact between them, students worked individually doing the tasks assigned to them. In that way, learners rarely used the target language to exchange opinions or learn from each other. The observed teachers did not take advantage of the characteristics of Task- Based Language Teaching (TBLT) method, because of the number of students in the classroom. It is not easy for students and teachers to work in classes where the level of noise is not adequately controlled. Since TBLT demands that learners use speaking skills to exchange information and explain the development of activities, teachers did not collaborate adequately to implement the method in the observed classes.
In similarity with the method explained before we have the cooperative method, which informs us that not only it is important to ask our students to work in groups, but also we have to encourage the learners to make their arguments with formal ideas, this way all of the students will work together and each one will give his opinion. Having stated this manifestation we go against the problem that is very common in group work, which is that there usually exists one or two leaders and the rest of the members are left out and do not interact. Resulting from this method, will be a stronger connection between the students which means that they will begin to help each other. This means that after a short amount of time we will no longer have the “weak” or the “strong” students, which is how they were referred to in the past. A
capabilities of the Ecuadorians to a high level of education becomes one of the most important pillars to face the difficulties of a world that is undergoing major crisis and with little favorable conditions of life. At the same time, it also will help to improve the skills of the students and it enables them to be integral people and human beings of quality. For this reason, teaching English as a foreign languagein all stages of education is very important because it allows learners to understand different cultures, become competent in different areas and be able to get new achievements beating all the new challenges that they find on the way applying their own knowledge, experience, and cultural heritage.
According to the results, in statement one it is seen that a 55, 5% of students have answered totally agree, while a 33.5% have marked agree, this means most of the students think that it is possible to perform activities that permit to reinforce the four skills. On the other hand the 8% of learners have chosen partially agree, and a 3% have answered disagree. It means that there is a small group that does not think that large classes provide opportunities for putting into practice what they learn. It is important to mention that contrary to what is thought, that in large classes occur that the teacher is very motivating and the activities are atractive for the students since interesting activities motivate students to work and practice what they have learned. Another reason can be that students are really interested in learning, so they get engaged in the activities regarding the number of the students.
Other types of learning styles are the ones mentioned by Vermunt (1996), namely cognitive processing, regulation of learning, affective processes, and learning orientations. Learners with cognitive processing styles find reading and re-reading a lot instructional materials the most important processing activities. For students with regulation of learning style, monitoring processes are formed from the difficulties they experience when learning. Learners with affective processes style, in turn, are afraid of not being capable of coping with their studies, dealing with them well, and learning the instructional materials. On the other hand, students with learning orientations have doubts about their ability to achieve something successfully. To complement the types of learning styles briefly described above, it is worth saying that Clark (1968) mentions learning styles such as visual, aural, and physical. As it is known, visual learners are those who like to learn by retaining information through visual material, i.e., pictures. Aural students learn with the help of listening input such as audio dialogues, songs, etc. Physical learners love to get involved in doing things in order to learn actively.
resource to catch students‟ attention. As analysed no teachers used this type of resource to teach lessons which do not allow the learning process to be completed successfully. Lightbown & Spada (2006) also expose that other people who can be called aural learners, seem to learn better by hearing sounds or explanations. However, taking into account the observed classes just one teacher used a CD recorder to teach the lesson, during the time the lesson lasted students were aware of the topic and they get involved in it with no difficulty, since they enjoy doing this type of tasks where they receive oral input of different accents a part form the instructor. As a result, the lack of resources usage or the lack of frequency in using them is preventing them to master the use of the abilities mentioned before.
There is not such a thing as the perfect class size nor is there agreement about how much beneficial class size reduction is, if it really boosts performance or not, as well as to what kind of learners is supposed to be the most benefited by smaller classes. For instance, according to Hanushek (1999), class size is unrelated to better academic achievement; whereas Mosteller (1995) in his so called Tenesse study claim that a reduced class size does contribute to better learning and that those benefits persist over time. Yet as stated by Blatchford (2003) the benefits of smaller class size is more experienced by students with lower achievement than those with higher achievement. It is important to be cautious as this literature describes general instruction, not with a focus on foreign or second language teaching and learning.
Ramadevi (2002) explains that teaching a language, English for instance, is not like teaching other subjects where information is merely transmitted to learners. He emphasizes that “ Language is a skill subject, where the skills of language have to be actively practiced by the learner, if they are to be mastered and effectively used. ” If we consider this valid theory, then, having large classes becomes a serious problem. Let us think about it, how can a teacher ensure that all his/her students (40, 50, 60, or more) get enough practice in the use of the language so they may master it efficiently? It would certainly be quite difficult. The most a teacher in this situation would be able to do is to ask learners to repeat some vocabulary words out of a lesson, or to ask them to answer to a question in a chorus, and probably the method to be used more frequently would be the Grammar Translation one because of the facilities it provides.
manage discipline. Students chatted a lot between them, especially when they worked in groups. Surprisingly, teachers and learners expressed that they work effectively with the current number of students in the classrooms. There is a clear contradiction between teachers and stude nts‟ responses and the real context observed in the classes. Therefore, class size is another factor that affected the teaching-learning process in the observed classes because teachers showed poor skills in managing learning and some activities done were not suitable due to the amount of students. About that, Mayer (2000) explains that the number of students affects course content, pedagogy, and the type of technology used in the class. In addition, some studies have focused frequently in the relationship between class size and teachers ‟ ability to deal with disciplinary problems. Do teachers feel comfortable with the number of students they are working with?