An analysis of the teaching procedures used by ESL teachers in selected secondary schools
Mbennah, Ruth Jemima
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The aims of this study were to analyse the teaching-learning procedures used by ESL teachers in selected secondary schools in the Potchefstroom District and to determine the extent to which communicative procedures were being implemented. ESL teaching-learning procedures were described in terms of Harmer's (1991) communication continuum. An observation grid for ESL teaching-learning procedures was developed and used to observe ESL teaching-learning sessions in Grade 9 classes in four schools in the district. The grid was based on a taxonomy of ESL teaching-learning procedures and activities developed from literature. The analysis showed that the teachers used primarily ESL teaching-learning procedures that were non-communicative which, by implication, means that they focused on the presentation stage of language teaching-learning. The analysis also showed that communicative teaching-learning procedures were used in only about one-fourth of all ESL teaching-learning. These findings indicate that, although the Education Department stipulates that ESL should be taught communicatively, communicative teaching-learning procedures are not given first priority in the teaching-learning process. Teaching ESL primarily at the introduction stage level means that learners do not acquire sufficient knowledge and skills in the use of the language. This fails the main aim of ESL teaching-learning, which is to enable the learner to communicate in English as a second language. The limited use of communicative procedures in ESL teaching-learning in the district can be attributed to a number of possible reasons, among which are: • Inadequate proficiency in English language and the qualifications of teachers; • Inadequate training of ESL teachers in the use of communicative procedures; • The use of an authoritarian teaching style, which favours non-communicative procedures; • Poor socio-economic background and language proficiency of learners; • A mismatch of teachers' teaching styles with learners' learning styles • Poor facilities, such as lack of handouts and other materials necessary for implementing communicative procedures.
- Humanities