In Ecuador, English is taught as a foreign languagein public and private institutions; however previous investigations developed in this country indicate that students are entering the university with little or no knowledge of theEnglishlanguage which is a huge problem because it limits the student’s ability to find, understand and use the latest information and studies in their work. A lack of Englishlanguage competency also means that they cannot apply for the vast majority of international programs and scholarships. For those reasons the Ministry of Education (2010) established educational politics to improve Ecuadorian students’ Englishlanguage level within both private and public institutions, to avoid the disadvantages in university studies.
environment is an implicit agent inthe system. In other words, you cannot expect to have the same result in two different schools with the same method and technique, because they have different backgrounds depending on factors such as their location, their institutional philosophy, their infrastructure, etc. Some attempts to improve methods and techniques have been taking place in Ecuador. One of them is what “Simon Bolivar School” in Quito has been carrying out for a time. In this school, different motivational techniques are firstly being applied to motivate teachers to update, refresh and renew their teaching strategies in class in order to improve the students´ Englishlearning, taking their personal needs into consideration primarily.
An additional study was held in City North Middle School, which is located in Fenghua, Zhejiang Province. The participants of the study were students from seventh grade (49 students in Class Four and 45 in Class Eight); these learners can demonstrate different attitudes through Englishlearning, considering they are now in a new environment which is high school. There were some negative reactions showed by students, the most common were anxiety, hopeless, boredom and low self- confidence. One of the reasons that could explain students‟ anxiety was
infrastructure. As a result of this study, it was identified that many teachers only use textbooks, dictionaries, workbooks and posters to teach English. Moreover, many schools have dilapidated buildings and these are used for classroom activities. Finally, the authors conclude that many schools have no adequate staff rooms and offices, and there are not enough supplementary materials to improve theteaching and learningprocess. During this study the authors did not find any limitations. Another important study was conducted by Subedi (2003) which had as purposes to identify how the interaction between instructional resources and class size is, which is the availability of the resources in every school observed, and how the class size affects the achievement of the students. As a result of this study, it was determined thatthe class size has influence inthe achievement of the students; the effect was very negative because teachers need more materials and resources in large classes, and they have no available enough materials intheschools. As
However, inthe observed classes it was found that teachers placed more emphasis in studying and following the contents and activities from the book, which are mostly resolve individually than group activities. However, in few classes was observed group work and group presentations, although the instructions were not clear, causing confusion and disorder. Therefore, the data expressed on the graph does not agree with the field observations, because the activities carried out in class did not involve, inthe great majority of the cases, group interaction. On the contrary, students were limited to individual performance. If there was any effort of group work, it was only in a couple of classes. In addition to this, inthe student’s questionnai res, it was found that most of them consider that their teachers make use
As mentioned before and based on observations, class size inthe sample is a great advantage for the teachers. Small groups allow them to offer one-on-one assistance at times and to meet the individual needs of their students. Most teachers who marked the 10 to 15 category for this question work with students whose level of English is basic. Students in such classes had various chances to participate and use thelanguage. Discipline could easily be managed and controlled. In addition, a sense of belonging could be felt in these environments. Though sometimes teachers find it quite challenging to keep their students interested and excited about learningin such groups, during the observed classes, teachers did not have this problem at all. Only in two
The teachers that responded affirmatively to this question stated that they use whole group activities because it helps students to become more confident using thelanguage with fluency for communicating their ideas. They remarked also that this teaching technique allows students to interact and they can develop the natural communication skills that are needed when learning another language. However, it was observed that those teachers did not use whole group activities in their classes though they consider them as a fundamental element for thelearningprocess; instead, teachers began their classes assigning students activities from the textbook.
Undoubtedly, it would be ideal if every student could have enough space to work, to move to and from their seats and to keep their material in such a way that they do not feel any discomfort. But if we contrast this with the real situation, we have to confirm that most of the classrooms visited do not denote enough space. As it was previously stated, there were overcrowded classrooms where learners could hardly see the teachers’ face; far less, material presented or written on the board. Similarly, students with any kind of impairments such as visual or hearing could not be placed where they needed to be sat. Left-handed students were so close to the right handed that their arms bang into one another. At the same time, the teachers did not have enough space to move freely along the rows and students did not either. Consequently, activities done by the learners could not be exhaustively monitored.
suitability of his resources for teachingEnglish. Although the teacher is himself or herself the most important resource in class, using adequate teaching materials can support learning and increase student success. When teachers were asked about this issue they expressed shared reasons to support their answers. First, using these resources helps teachers to keep the students´ attention. Learners focus on what is being taught and they are involved inthe lesson topic. Second, language skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing can be better developed by manipulating or exploring these resources. Third, when students´ senses are stimulated through interesting elements, they fell motivated to learn a language. Fourth, teachers found it easier for them deliver instruction and that were relaxed to students. Finally, some teachers indicated that they used technology and other materials because of the availability in their schools.
Thereafter reaching the goals, research studies have shown thatthe results will benefit the students, teachers, the educational institution and the authorities; since we will have detected thefactorsthataffectEnglishlearning. With this investigation, it will be possible to improve the present situation that occurs in our country regarding to theEnglishlanguagethat students are learning. Furthermore, students who have completed high school with a high level of English, it can be beneficial for their future and also their careers. There will be many possibilities to go beyond and it would give them access to communicate with others around the world.
Savage & Savage (2010) argue that environments send messages and create expectations, they cite an example of how a funeral site should have dimed down lights and be very quiet, these are also the characteristics of the behavior that would be expected in this setting. In a more open and joyful environment you will be able to run, to be louder, and to look happier. Teachers need to have the right setting and space for their classes in order to send the students the message of what they are supposed to do or not do in their classrooms. Silfast (2011) says that different types of educational settings have different demands, for example, conference rooms; pre- school, elementary, and high school areas; vocational or technical areas they all have different educational purposes and all of them have to have specific space demands.
The graphic above confirms that 100% of teachers interviewed use individual activities in class. They mentioned that individual activities including homework, studying, and making projects are less traumatic for students. There is less pressure to perform them and students have more time to complete such activities. Most of these activities are reading, writing, doing summaries, and answering questions. It was observed that students worked their activities at their own speed, taking their time, relaxing, and considering their own needs focusing on doing the best they could.
In an effort to improve students` performance, some educational researches have been made. Inthe year 2011 a research about thefactorsthataffecttheEnglishteaching- learningprocess was conducted in Venezuela by Joan Acosta. The purpose of this study was to find out which are the main factorsthataffecttheEnglish- teaching-learningprocessin Venezuelan public schools and develop some strategies to improve Englishlanguageteaching and consequently, Englishlanguagelearning. In his study, Acosta (2011) found thatthe most relevant aspects of Englishteaching-learningprocess is students` motivation, classroom space, size and resources. He clearly noticed that a lack of motivation, the fact of not having enough space inside a classroom, using insufficient classroom resources or having large groups of students will bring negative consequences to theteachinglearningprocess because it does not allow students acquire knowledge or it makes it more difficult. The biggest limitations Acosta faced were a lack of research, analysis and systematization of experiences or debates on this subject. Standardized tests are not applied to students from public institutions to measure the development of the communicative competence of theEnglishlanguage. Therefore, there is no data nor results that indicate the level of domain or that give clues about thelearningprocess. There is also an absence of supervision, support, monitoring or systematic evaluation of theEnglish teachers´ performance. Additionally, theEnglish program, as a curriculum guide that guides the processes of learningEnglish, has remained in use and without review since it was implemented over thirty years ago.
This study was carried out in Ecuador, province of Pichincha in Quito city. The five public highschools which were chosen for observations are inthe urban area of Quito. Two highschools are well recognized by people from the city, because of the transcendence that they have achieved through the time. The numbers of students these two institutions have make them relevant. The other three public highschools do not have important recognition. However these three highschools qualify to be studied because they are public highschools. Three teachers from each institution were selected to be observed, and one student from each observed class was randomly chosen to fill the student’s questionnaire.
It is very important to plan a lesson because the decisions thatthe teacher makes when planning are based on the needs, problems and interests of the students. Planning a lesson contributes to have a successful lesson learning. Some teachers plan because they want to feel more confident and get to know better the theme of the lesson. Other teachers plan because it is a school ‟ s requirement. Harmer (1991) suggests that a lesson plan must include a description of the class; a recent work; objectives; the content which contains context, activity and class organization, aids, language, possible problems; and additional possibilities.
It is also important to consider that through the interview applied to teachers, their English proficiency level was verified according to the standards provided by CEFR (Common European framework of reference). Six out of the fifteen teachers interviewed have C2 Englishlanguage proficiency level; 4 teachers have C1English level; 3 teachers have B2 English level, and only two teachers have B1 English level. In this sense, the teachers who have B1were not able to interact with students using appropriate language fluency. Moreover, the teachers switched to Spanish sometimes during the interview because they did not understand the questions appropriately. This means that teachers have basic skills for interacting with others and they cannot use English for social and academic purposes. Therefore, it affects students´
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, teachingEnglish 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.
available to teachers. Taking into account the observed classes, it was seen that just 1 of the 15 teachers (6.67%) used a CD recorder to play a song to complete a task inthe book. Other teacher (6.67%) used supplementary material to teach the class, there were some extra printed tasks, while the remaining 86.66% did not use any device or resource to complement their classes. According to Richards & Renandya (2002), teaching materials are a key component in most language programs. Whether the teacher uses a textbook, institutionally prepared material or makes his or her own materials, these resources are considered as the basis for much of thelanguage input learners receive in class. The role and use of materials in a language programs is a significant aspect of language curriculum development. In other words, because of the majority of teachers did not use any type of resource in their classes, they are not helping their students to receive the necessary input and practice second language enough in order to allow them to develop skills in acquiring English as a foreign language.
Feedback about the task is more effective when it clarifies misconceptions rather than adding more information about the assignment but the disadvantage is that it is only used in one task at a time. Feedback about the processing of the task guide students to do the activity; it is necessary that students assume roles to complete the given assignment. In Feedback about self-regulation, students are responsible for their own learning. Main problem is that this type of feedback is effective with learners that demonstrate and internal disposition to require more information in order to complete the task. Finally, feedback about the person shows several disadvantages because, as the author explains, it is not focused on thelearningprocess. In addition, the use of this type of feedback tend to create a false believe on students that intelligence is a fixed
education is the growing use of extra devices by which educators establish and connect accuracy concepts, and understanding. Among the many devices available for teachers, there are visual aids. The most common form is real objects, or better known as realia, pictures or photographs, maps, diagrams. Investigators suggested thatinteaching we ought to appeal to the mind generally through the visual and hearing sense organs, because researchers believe that possibly the 85 percent of learning is captivated by these senses. But not all public schools are privileged to have access to these devices. This may vary according to the institution, location and perhaps even the quantity and type of resources available to teacher. It has been point out thatin some poor areas, teachers have to improvise and create their own home made resources in order to continue teaching. And if the teacher’s budget is limited, he or she can always rely on tools, such as the dictionary which is a very accessible tool. The black board is an additional piece of equipment that teachers may use, even though they might feel that is standard piece of equipment, (Wood, 2011).