Become Very Important In Our Present Education System Education Essay

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CHAPTER 1

The teaching of English has become very important in our present education system. People around the globe are really aware of the importance of English in today's modern era. The teaching of English should be effectively carried in order to ensure that students can be proficient in the language. In Malaysia, the teaching of English is very much prioritized in all level of education such as the primary, secondary and tertiary education.

As a matter of fact, teaching English consists of four skills which are (LSRW) listening skills, speaking skills, reading skills and writing skills. Teacher need to be creative in teaching the four skills to the students especially in Malaysian context in which the students are second language learner of the English language. Numbers of researches, observations and experiments have been done in searching for the most excellent formulae in teaching the four crucial skills in the English language teaching. In fact, throughout the eon, numerous of linguists and philosophers have created methods, techniques, theories and approaches to introduce new method in improvising the teaching of the four skills in the English lessons. These four vital skills actually need different ways of teaching in which will grasp students' attention, interest and expands the attention span. This new method should also be universal in which it will suit both normal and disabled learners.

There are bountiful theories in teaching speaking skills that can be applied to the classroom due to teach the students oral communication, especially for second language learner. For example; students in Malaysia in which their mother tongue is Malay and English is an alien language to them. Krish (2001) has explicated about this from his work that in recent times, the learning modus operandi (of the target language- English) have put the importance on the learners progress in their communicative aptitude rather than putting an emphasis on linguistic proficiency, in the past decades.

The dilemma faced by the teachers who teach foreign language is the complexity of the learners to integrate the target language in the real context, more specifically in the real life situations. As stated by H. Douglas Brown in his book 'Teaching by Principles an Interactive Approach to Language Pedagogy', there are many ways in integrating the four skills in teaching the target language ( in this context-English), such as content-based instruction, theme-based instruction, experiential learning and etc. Krish (2001) said that the teacher have to be innovative and creative enough to plan a lesson to teach the target language in vigorous, lively and simulating means so that the learners' oral aptitude could greatly inflate. One of them is by using role-play games.

As Larsen-Freeman pointed out in her book "Techniques and Principles in Language Teaching", "Role-plays are very important in the Communicative Approach because they give students an opportunity to practice communicating in different social contexts and in different social roles." "(p. 137, Larsen-Freeman) In order to help students in improve their listening, speaking and overall communicative skills, Irene Y. Huang have designed and conducted several role play activities for her students to practice and use English in a more meaningful way as a practical language, and the results of her students' learning are quite positive", (Irene Y. Huang ETMA Program, National Cheng Chi University (Taipei, Taiwan).

There are many advantages of using role play in teaching English. Furness (1976) stated that a child can enjoy and profit from a role play experience "in terms of improved communication skills, creativity, increased social awareness, independent thinking, verbalization of opinions, and development of values and appreciation of the art of drama."(p.19) He provided seventeen advantages of role-play.

Ladousse (2004) indicated that "role play is one of a whole gamut of communicative techniques which develops fluency in language students, which promotes interaction in the classroom, and which increases motivation." (p.7) In addition, he pointed out that role play encourages peer learning and sharing the responsibility for learning between teacher and student. He suggested role play to be "perhaps the most flexible technique in the range" of communicative techniques, and with suitable and effective role-play exercises, teachers can meet an infinite variety of needs. (Ladousse, 2004,p.7).

Stern (1983) suggested "role playing helps the individual to become more flexible" and "develop a sense of mastery in many situations". (p. 213) she suggested "through role play, L2 learners can experience many kinds of situations in which they will use the language; and as they develop a sense of mastery in them, they should be able to apply the language more easily to new situations." (p.213)

Statement of Research Problem

Nowadays, English language is very important because it is widely used in the whole world and English language is used as medium of communication in international trade, commerce and also in education field. In Malaysia, the Ministry of Education (MOE) highlighted on the importance of English language in National Educational Philosophy (NEP) and also the educational emphases. As an instance, in the year of 2003, the government of Malaysia has introduced the Teaching of English in Mathematics and Science as a way of boosting the proficiency among Malaysian students.

Basically, teaching and learning English involves four vital skills which are (LSRW) listening, speaking, reading and writing. Malaysian students can be categorized as second language learners. This is because most Malaysians speak Malay as their first language and English is a totally foreign language to them. In other words, they learn English formally as a second language.

Different students have different level of ability when it comes to learning a language. Teachers must always consider the learners' ability in carrying out the English lessons. Some students are advanced, some are intermediate and some are beginner. Therefore, the teaching of English must always be carried out in the manner of not discriminating students in all level of ability. In this aspect, teachers must also consider the ability of slow learners in delivering their English lessons.

In this research, the researcher proposes to use role play as an interactive tool in teaching English to slow learners. Children with borderline intelligence have several characteristics that make classroom instruction difficult. First, children with borderline intelligence have difficulty learning concepts that are removed from the context of their lives. If the material being taught does not have direct relevance to their day-to-day activities or is at least tied to previously taught information, then instruction becomes inefficient (Belmont & Belmont, 1980; Engelmann, Haddox, & Bruner, 1986; Singh, 2004).

At any rate, the difficulties of learning the second language have been the main issue for most learners especially for slow learners. The slow learners need a new way of learning process that associate the content of the lesson and their daily life (Rohaida Rahmat, 2003). Additionally, the identical reasons given by the educationists and researchers are the scarcity of practices and involvement in using the target language (Rahmah Daud, Malay Mail, 1994).

This study will explore the issues where language teachers are often reluctant to use role play as a tool in teaching English to secondary slow learners. In fact, slow learners have a very short attention span, the researcher is sure enough that teachers have tried a lot of strategies and methods to optimize slow learners' attention span in learning English but they are usually indisposed to use role-play as a tool in delivering their teaching.

1.3 The Research Objectives

This research will be carried out in order to obtain a number of objectives. The objectives of this research are:

a) to find out whether or not the teachers prefer to use role play in teaching slow learners.

b) to determine the reasons why teachers are reluctant to use role play in teaching

1.4 The Research Questions

This research is expected to answer all the following questions:

Do teachers prefer to use role play in teaching slow learners?

Why are teachers reluctant to use role play as a tool in teaching English for slow learners?

3.0 Methodology

3.1 Research design

This research is designed as a qualitative descriptive research on the topic "A study on teachers' perceptions on the effectiveness of using role-play as an interactive tool in Teaching English in the classroom for slow learners". The researcher has identified attention span as the dependent variable and role-play as the independent variable. The purpose of this study is to investigate teachers' perceptions on the use of role-play help slow learners expands their attention span during learning English in ESL classroom. This study is also interested in identifying and exploring what are the reasons of why school teachers are reluctant to use role play as a tool in delivering their teaching to the slow learners in the classrooms. Both qualitative and quantitative data will be collected through three survey instruments, an observation, a questionnaire and an interview schedule. This study is expected to answer the following questions:-

Do teachers prefer to use role play in teaching slow learners?

Why are teachers reluctant to use role play as a tool in teaching English for slow learners?

3.2 Population and Sample

A population is a group of possible participants that can be indiscriminate based on the result of this study. However, not all populations will be elected. The population of this study will be the English teachers in Sekolah Kebangsaan Shah Alam.

The sample of this study will be two English teachers from Sekolah Kebangsaan Shah Alam. The sample will be chosen through convenience sampling as those two teachers are already familiar with the researcher. They are:-

Puan Rajesh

Puan Hasnita Hashim

3.3 Data Collection

3.3.1 Instruments

Three major mechanisms will be used to extract the essential data. The questions for questionnaire and interview are adopted and tailored from diverse previous researches to enhance their content validity. They are:-

Observations in the classroom where teacher use role play as a tool in English teaching slow learners' classroom.

Interviews on two English teachers who teach English to slow learners.

Questionnaires for all English teachers in Sekolah Kebangsaan Shah Alam, Selangor.

A semi-structured interview method will be used to collect interview data in this study. A number of open-ended questions will be asked to explore their feelings and opinions with regard to the issue under study. The interview questions are consist of three parts; Introduction of the interview, leading questions and the concluding session. In the introduction, the purpose of the study will be explained and personal information of the participants will be asked. The second section includes leading questions to be asked to the participants. The last section includes closing remarks on thanks the participants and reminding them of possible follow-up questions in the future.

Two pilot interviews will be administered in order to test the instrument to increase the clarity and the likelihood of eliciting desired information. In the pilot test stage, both interviews are conducted in-person. The interview questions will be revised based on the feedback from this pilot study.

In addition, observation on students in standard 3 of Sekolah Kebangsaan Shah Alam, Selangor was conducted during the learning process using role-play in the slow learners' classroom. This observation is important to check whether the primary slow learners' attention span is increased in learning English when the teacher are using role-play as a tool in teaching English as a Second Language.

3.3.2 Protocol

Several protocols will be followed by the researcher to conduct this research:-

Preparing permission letter to visit the school.

Set an appointment with the headmaster of the school.

Preparing the questionnaires.

Pilot study is carried out in the Faculty of Education among the PKPG (Program Khas Pensiswazahan Guru) to check the reliability of the questionnaires.

Distributing the questionnaires to the respondents.

Respondents answer the questionnaire.

Expert's opinion (lecturer)

Preparing the questions for the interviews.

Conducting semi-structured interrogate with two teachers. (The interviews will be transcribed verbatim for analysis).

Observation is conducted in the particular slow learners' classrooms where the teachers are using role-play as a tool in teaching English in the classroom.

Researcher collects the data from the questionnaires and the interview, and analyzing all the data gathered.

3.4 Data Analysis

The data achieved from the questionnaire will be analyzed using Microsoft Excel and the results will be shown in the form of charts such as pie chart and bar chart. This is pie chart and bar chart will show the information on the perspective of the respondents in the statistical form. While, the interviews are transcribe into verbatim to gain clear picture on the data. All observations will be done in an informal way, to ensure that all students in the classroom are as relaxed as possible, so that they may communicate and conduct the role play games in the most innate way possible.

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