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Novice Teachers of English as a Foreign Language in the Czech Republic and their Drop-Out Intentions

Abstract

Problems with staffing play a crucial role among factors influencing the quality of English language teaching at Czech primary and lower secondary schools. Since 1990 the shortage of teachers of English as a foreign language has been repeatedly reported by the Czech School Inspectorate. The shortage is largely caused by the reluctance of English language teacher education study programme graduates to accept teaching positions at primary and lower secondary schools. A drop-out syndrome in the early stages of the teachers’ career is another factor that may contribute to the lack of teachers of English. Unfortunately, it has not been researched in the Czech Republic and it has not been systematically monitored by the state. In the research study focusing on novice teacher drop-out, conducted in 2015–2017, we deal with the process of socialisation of novice teachers in schools and with external factors that influence the socialisation and that can be seen as predictors of novice teachers’ decision to stay in their current school or leave either the school or the teaching profession. The current paper presents partial findings related to drop-out intentions of novice teachers of English as a foreign language in comparison with teachers of other subjects. Our findings indicate that drop-out intentions are more frequent in teachers of English as a foreign language than for other teachers and that teachers of English evaluate their cooperation with colleagues and leadership at their schools more critically than other teachers.

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New Technologies, Multiple Literacies and Teaching English as a Foreign Language

English as a Foreign Language Classroom . Masters Dissertation of University of Lisbon, 2017. Carretero, Stephanie, et al. DigComp 2.1: The Digital Competence Framework for Citizens with Eight Proficiency Levels and Examples of Use. EU Science Hub , 2017, EUR 28558 EN, DOI:10.2760/38842. Churches, A. Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy , 2009, www.goo.gl/BSpbyP . Accessed 18 Nov. 2017. Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment (CEFR) – Companion Volume with New Descriptors. Provisional Edition. Sept. 2017, www

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in e-TEALS
Book-Talk: An Activity to Motivate Learners to Read Autonomously in a Foreign Language

Abstract

In the last decade, extensive reading (ER) had been incorporated into English as a foreign language (EFL) education in various Japanese institutions. It restored the once broken balance of accuracy and fluency in traditional English education, and assisted reluctant EFL learners to start reading. However, ER required rather longer term for elementary learners to enjoy its benefits and the learners needed an extra encouragement to continue ER for the longer term. Book-talk was such an activity to encourage learners to read voluntary and to improve their language skills additionally. In a book-talk, several learners sat around a table, introduced the books they had read during the week, and accepted questions and comments from the others in turn. It also fitted well in lessons because 3-minute talks and 2-minute Q&A of six members took only 30 minutes. We will report how the activity motivated elder students, who had three or more years’ experience of ER, to continue their reading outside the class, and how it encouraged autonomous ER of adult EFL learners, who were reading English books borrowing from the college library. A combination of few talks and many readings worked well in EFL settings.

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On Competence-Based Approaches to Teaching English as a Foreign Language

Abstract

The paper discusses some elementary concepts and issues in competence based education (CBE) in general and in a competence-based approach to teaching English as a foreign language in particular. It is shown how some basic assumptions and concepts apparently widely adopted in CBE and language pedagogy are confusing, misguided, and incoherent and how some of the incoherence and inconsistencies may be resolved.

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English as a Lingua Franca and Its Implications for Teaching English as a Foreign Language

Abstract

The analysis of English as a lingua franca (ELF) has received considerable attention over the years. There has been a lot of research done both on the morpho-syntactic properties of ELF interactions and the communication strategies used by ELF speakers in order to facilitate communication and avoid misunderstandings. Given the fairly large number of findings, the question arises whether ELF should be introduced in the curriculum or replace EFL (English as a Foreign Language). I believe that although ELF data are significant and can benefit teaching English as a foreign language, they cannot replace EFL, especially because English as a lingua franca is primarily a communication tool and not a language variant. Also, while there have been other models suggested as alternatives to teaching a standard version of English, none of these models seem practical enough or have proven applicable in the classroom.

After giving an overview of the research done on English as a lingua franca, with a special emphasis on the notion of lingua franca core, the study reflects on the repercussions of ELF findings on teaching English as a foreign language.

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A General Overview Of English As A Foreign Language In The Contemporary Romanian Higher Education

Abstract

It goes without saying that the lingua franca’s significance in our day and age is fundamental. International and European integration, as well as the modern process of globalization have lead to the incremented usage of the English language. As a result, English as a foreign language has become a relevant subject taught for a minimum of one year within almost all bachelor programs in the Romanian higher educational system. As an integrated part of the European Union, Romania is constantly undergoing a process of delivering higher education – services at European standards; thus, EFL courses, seminars and practical courses in Universities are becoming an important mile stone in the European development of students.

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Teaching Cultural Differences through Korean Canadians: Teaching Material Development for English as a Foreign Language Classes

Abstract

Introduction: Students of English as a foreign language must possess intercultural communicative skills in order to be able to interpret and discuss the cultural diversity that surrounds them when they use English for communicational purposes. This paper claims, and is based on the conviction, that the development of these skills takes place primarily through teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) in most educational contexts. This approach is facilitated by the fact that the English language functions as the most widely used foreign language in the context of culture teaching.

Methods: Based on these considerations and with a view to theoretical and practical aspects concerning teaching material development, the presented study discusses some fundamental concepts associated with the relationship between teaching EFL, teaching cultural information and developing students’ intercultural skills. After reviewing potential theories, it adopts Byram’s (1997, 2008) Intercultural Communicative Competence model as a theoretical foundation for creating teaching materials for the purpose of developing students’ intercultural communicative skills.

Results: The study presents the results of this endeavour through the example of author-designed worksheets focusing on Canadian content, and analyses a worksheet that covers Korean immigrant culture in Canada in order to demonstrate, with the help of this example, how theoretical considerations can be put into practice in the scope of developing teaching materials with Canadian content focusing on the development of intercultural communicative skills.

Discussion: Within the scope of English as a foreign language, Byram’s (1997, 2008) Intercultural Communicative Competence model proves a very practical model to be used for the purpose of designing worksheets that develop students’ intercultural communicative skills: this is proved on the basis of the analysis of the above-mentioned worksheet. It is also demonstrated that teaching intercultural communicative skills through Canadian contents is a feasible and practicable way of introducing students to the concept of interculturality through the cultural heritage of an English-speaking country.

Limitations: The theoretical background and the teaching material development project described below can serve as a potential model for designing similar worksheets, but the actual use and efficiency of this and similar worksheets depends on the applicable national curriculum and the specificities (primarily the language and motivational levels) of the class where such materials are intended for use. This also means that some aspects of the project are worth reconsidering when one intends to design their own teaching materials.

Conclusion: For the design of worksheets developing intercultural communicative skills, this study provides a tried and tested methodological model to follow and presents a worksheet that can function as a potential model. In addition, this paper hopes to generate further research in the field of developing teaching materials focusing either on the development of intercultural communicative skills or on Canadian culture, and, through setting an example, it encourages the creation of worksheets of a comparable design or topic.

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Integrating Multiple Intelligences in Teaching English as a Foreign Language - Seeu Experiences and Practices

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to discuss the Theory of Multiple Intelligences and to answer the question of appropriateness of the MI theory in the field of foreign language teaching. The paper also exemplifies the adaptation of the theory in the context of teaching English as a foreign language and foreign language teaching and learning in general by describing a set of activities and a lesson plan using the MI approach. The article reviews the types of intelligences described and defined by Howard Gardner and authors who followed and revised the theory in terms of language teaching. In addition, the article discusses the different modes of application of the theory of Multiple Intelligences in language teaching with young adults and adult learners of foreign languages. The article proceeds by grouping and listing possible activities and tasks which are appropriate for language learners with different sets of abilities or intelligences. In addition, the article provides a brief summary of the potential issues recommendations and conclusions regarding the implementation of theory of Multiple Intelligences and provides a sample lesson plan which provides activities and language learning tasks for the majority of intelligences defined

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Learner Perspective on English Pronunciation Teaching in an EFL Context

Abstract

This paper reports on an interview study with EFL learners that aimed to explore learners’ perceptions and views on English pronunciation teaching. The participants of the present study were ten EFL learners studying in the public educational system of Finland. Six of the participants were pupils attending basic education class nine, i.e. 15- to 16-year-old lower secondary level pupils. Two were primary level pupils attending basic education class four (aged 10), and two were upper secondary school pupils (aged 18). The interviews were thematic, and the learners were encouraged to speak freely about the English pronunciation teaching they were receiving and their opinions on this. In addition, they were asked to discuss their goals in English pronunciation, and to consider their pronunciation learning in class and out of class. The interviews were part of a wider study, mapping English pronunciation teaching practices in the context of Finnish schools.

On the basis of the findings, the learners do not seem to have aspirations to native-like pronunciation, but rather aim at achieving intelligible and fluent speech. Only few reported an accent preference (British or American). The primary level learners expressed satisfaction with the amount of pronunciation teaching, whereas most of the lower and upper secondary level learners claimed that pronunciation teaching was insufficient. Despite their criticisms of their pronunciation teaching, the learners reported that they had learnt English pronunciation at school. In addition, many of the learners described learning pronunciation outside school, e.g. through media and personal encounters.

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“What is the date today?”: A dialogist perspective on expert EFL teachers’ classroom interaction

Abstract

This article presents a micro-analysis of an EFL classroom episode in which the teacher and the pupils worked on the concepts “date” and “day” (and relatedly saying the date in English), which the learners had not fully internalized yet. Conversation analysis (CA) and concepts from sociocultural theory (SCT) are used in the analysis to reveal how the mutual understanding proceeded. It is argued that the presented dialogist perspective can cast light on the intricacies of the teaching and learning processes.

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