A proposed model for training English medium of instruction teachers in South Africa
Uys, Amanda Helena Christina
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Even though English is the second language of the majority of South African learners, this language is still the preferred medium of instruction. The purpose of the study was to analyse the present situation regarding the teaching of language skills in some second language medium of instruction (L2MI) content classrooms and to determine content teachers' willingness and ability to incorporate language teaching into their content teaching. The study furthermore aimed to establish whether South African content teachers require a specific training programme for teaching through medium of English and to compile a profile of the effective L2MI teacher reflecting the language, methodological and presentational skills that such a teacher uses. By establishing the nature and level of the language proficiency required for effective L2MI, this study proposes a model for a course for improving the language proficiency of L2MI teacher-trainees and, finally, an integrated training course for L2MI teacher-trainees based on the profile of an effective L2MI teacher. A description of the implemented course, together with a review by both the students and the instructor, is also provided. A survey of the relevant literature, as well as qualitative and quantitative research methods, was used in this study that consists of 4 articles. Different research methods and instruments were used in each of the articles. Article 1 supplies an analysis of the L2MI situation in some subject content classrooms in South Africa and Namibia. The article shows that, despite acknowledging responsibility for teaching language skills, the majority of these teachers failed to perform language-teaching duties in the content classroom. The reasons for these teachers' inability are ascribed to a number of reasons, including a lack of appropriate training programmes for L2MI teachers. Article 2 supplies answers to the question relating to the characteristics of the L2MI teacher. The research conducted in this article combines information from all the relevant fields of English medium of instruction in order to introduce a profile of the effective L2MI teacher. This profile allows teacher trainers and course designers to develop training programmes that will deliver a supply of teachers meeting the target of the ideal teacher. v Article 3 focuses on the competences necessary for effective communication through medium of Classroom English, the related knowledge and skills, as well as the situations and domains of communication (i.e. teaching activities). A hybrid model for course design, developed from a combination of the Outcomes-Based and Backward Design models for course design, is used to provide an outline for a language development course for teachers who are second language speakers of English. Article 4 describes a training course for L2MI subject content teacher-trainees that will enable the trainee to develop knowledge and skills in all the aspects required for effective L2MI. The integrated L2MI course suggested for teacher training in Article 4 is based on the model for course design proposed in Article 3. It uses the information from previous articles relating to the profile of the effective L2MI teacher, and the nature of the language proficiency required by the teacher who is a second language teacher of English to propose Critical and Learning Outcomes, Evidence of Performance, and Assessment Standards. This article then describes the implementation and review of the integrated course. The outline of the course, the example of the Instructional Plan used for this course, as well as the exemplary lesson plan provided, can enable future course designers to adapt and develop similar courses, streamlined for the specific needs of their students. A checklist for planning an L2MI lesson and an observation sheet for effective L2MI developed for this course provides students with a strategy, or tool, for taking cognisance of, and giving consideration to, the required skills and strategies when planning a subject content lesson.
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