TEACHERíS PERCEPTION ON THE LEARNING DIFFICULTIES AND DEVELOPMENT OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE SKILLS AMONG HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS: INFLUENCE OF CLASSROOM TEACHING AND WORKBOOKS

S. Paul Douglas

G. Srinivasa Rao

M. Eswara Rao

Madanu Rayappa

 

INTRODUCTION

English occupies an important place in the world today.Every country, every citizen of the world prefers to learn English.English has become the channel of communication in the present scenario in all sorts of communication gadgets operating with English as the medium.Much of the communication at the administrative level and organisational level is being done in English with little emphasis on regional or local languages.English is playing a significant role in the overall the development of the individual and society to share knowledge, information, beliefs and feelings. Countries like India, are introducing English at a later stage in the school education.With the stress on Mother Tongue, Environmental Education,Mathematics and other life skills taking a major part in the early part of education, much of the education in Government and Public schools, English is being introduced at a later stage.This is influencing the overall language development of the individual.The effect of mother tongue or local native language, which the student is learning at initial stages, is influencing the English language skills of the learning both in articulation, reading, writing and pronunciation.So the method adopted by the teachers is crucial in teaching better English language skills to the youngsters.This article makes an in depth analysis of the effect of methods of teaching and the workbooks on the overall language development of the students studying in the schools.A number of research studies have been carried out to improve the English language teaching in primary schools and high schools in the background of English as a second language.Not much has been really brought from research into practice in the schools.Much of the research is confined only to the reports but not propagated to the practitioners.Hence, the present study has been taken up to study the Influences of Classroom Teaching and Workbooks on the learning difficulties and development of English Language in the school children.

 

OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

*To study the learning difficulties and the development of English Language skills in Secondary School students.

*To study the influence of classroom teaching on the development of English Language Skills

*To study of the influence of workbooks on the development of English Language Skills.

*To compare the perceptions of teachers based on variables like Gender, School Management, Medium of Instruction, Professional Qualification and Experience on the development of English language skills.

 

METHODOLOGY

A descriptive survey type of research has been conducted for this study.The information has been collected from the teachers on the difficulties faced by the students and the development of English Language and on the influence of classroom teaching and workbooks.

 

Tool, Data Collection and Scoring:

An opinionnaire consisting of 30 items has been used for the collection of data.The final tool was prepared from a tool prepared with 40 items and based on the item analysis and difficulty index, discrimination index and the reliability of the tool and was finalised and adopted for the purpose.Each of the test item of the tool had three options namely, Agree, Undecided and Decided and the teachers are advised to choose any one option. The data were collected from a total of 50 teachers in Vizianagaram District of Andhra Pradesh who are teaching for the Classes VI and VII.A stratified random sampling technique was used to choose the sample, as this study was of a very limited duration. The responses of the subjects were quantified by duly assigning the numeral values of 3, 2, 1 to responses Agree, Undecided and Disagree in the case of positive statements and the values were reversed in the case of negative statements. The data were entered using MS-Excel and the analysis was done using SPSS13.0 software.Statistical measures such as Arithmetic Mean, Standard Deviation, significance of t-ratios and Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) were calculated for analysis.

 

Limitations

Keeping in view of the time of the study, the study is limited to finding out the opinions of students from only the town of Vizianagaram District in Andhra Pradesh only.Only 50 teachers who are teaching for classes VI and VII are chosen for this study as these two classes are most crucial in learning the fundamental concepts and learning skills in English language. The information is collected only from the teachers

 

FINDINGS

This study reveals that teachers are under the opinion that there is a significant influence of method of teaching and the nature of workbooks and the way they are being used in the classroom on the overall development of English language development in the students.Almost all the teachers felt that only the classroom practices, methods of teaching, communication in the classroom and effective utilisation of the textbooks and workbooks only provide the effective learning of English in all areas i.e. reading, writing, listening and speaking.The teachers are under the opinion that there is a tremendous influence of mother tongue on learning English in these students and the effect of non usage of English other than the classroom is one of the major factors influencing the English language development. There is significant difference among the teachers working in English and Telugu Medium students on the overall development of English language in the students.The learning difficulties are less and language development is more in English Medium Students when compared to Telugu medium students.This is an indication that the medium of instruction is playing a pivotal role in the English language development in the students. Regarding the process of instruction, the teachers are under the perception that writing is more useful to learn the language only for writing purpose.Much of the workbooks are providing the students the writing part of language but not the oral communication part of the English.This shows that, there is a lot of opportunity for the teacher to use oral communication in the classroom to develop listening, reading and speaking skills in the classroom, which the teacher has to develop through various methods and modes of instruction.More opportunities should be provided to students to develop pronunciation, intonation, stress, etc. in the language teaching.The study also found out that there is no significant difference in the perception of teachers based on their gender i.e. male and female, management of school i.e. Government, Private and Aided Schools and qualification of the teacher i.e. D.Ed. B.Ed. or M.Ed. on the language development of the child.This is an indication that any of the factors like gender, nature of the school or the qualification of the teachers are influencing except the method of teaching, nature of activities in the classroom, nature of use of workbooks and the exercises therein and the medium of instruction.This is showing a significant contribution that the method of instruction is playing a significant role in developing English language in the students.

 

EDUCATIONAL IMPLICATIONS:

This study has a greater influence on the initiation of various modes of activities in the language teaching at primary and secondary stages.As the need for English education is increasing day by day and the need for the eligible students who can communicate in effective and correct English is increasing day by day, this study is throwing light on the formational years and the methods of teaching. As per this study, the teacher has to play a greater and pivotal role in developing English language and communication skills in the early years of schooling. The correct communication styles in classroom teaching, usage of English language in and out of the classroom and the usage of better tools are very much important to minimise the learning difficulties in English language teaching and in enhancing the language development in the students.