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English language was officially taught as a foreign language at secondary schools in Cambodia only from 1989. Prior to 1975, the principal Foreign Language taught in schools had been French but 1970-1975 because of American involvement (politics and military) in Indochina War, the study of English was also encouraged (Nou, 2002). From 1975 to 1979, the study of foreign language had been forbidden due to the fact that this country had been plunged into civil wars (Nou, 2002). From 1979 to 1989 Vietnamese and Russian were the languages officially including in school's curriculum. The study of English/French was prohibited, if one was found to be learning them, they would be severely punished and even imprisoned (Nou, 2002). There was some anecdotal evidence from countless discussions with schools' directors, community of students' parents, and learners, that most students wanted to learn English but schools could not afford English Language Teaching to meet their demands because they lacked teachers, classrooms, and teaching and learning materials (Nou, 2002). 2
1.2.Problem Statement 4
Some of teachers of English did not have proper training but were appointed and promoted to become teachers due to the shortage of human resource supply because those students have been selected from upper secondary school students, who might have a poor background of English knowledge due to poor instruction from earlier English study (Nou, 2002). Furthermore, the pre-service training curriculum mainly addresses teaching methodologies and practicum rather upgrading and improvement courses, which focus on core English knowledge and those are extremely needed for teacher trainees. As consequence, those still have poor in English in term of reading, speaking, and grammar after graduation (MoEYS, 2001). 4
1.3.Research Objectives 5
Within education context, teacher part is a lead and plays a crucial role of education improvement and upgrading, thus, in-house training, teacher's competency and teacher's ability are directly involved and influence as well as contribution in teaching quality and teaching achievement, the purposes of this study is to explore their difficulties in teaching English language in term of teaching skills and methods; language improvement; subject matter knowledge; and motivation and teachers' perception towards the development of quality of English language instruction at upper secondary school level. 5
1.4.Research Questions 5
This study will be conducted in an upper secondary school in Takeo province based on following questions: 5
1.5. Significance of the Study 5
1.6. Definitions of Key Term 5
1.7. Proposed Chapter Organization 6
CHAPTER II 7
LITERATURE REVIEW 7
2.1. Teaching Skills and Methods 7
2.2. Language Improvement 9
2.3. Subject Matter Knowledge 11
2.4. Motivation 12
2.5. Conceptual Framework 14
Figure 4. Conceptual Framework of teaching English language to achieve quality and effectiveness 15
CHAPTER III 16
3.1. Research Design 16
3.2. Research Tools/Instruments 16
3.3. Site, population, sample size and sampling method 16
3.4. Data Collection Procedures 17
3.5. Data Analysis 17
3.6. Ethical Consideration 18
3.7. Strengths and limitation of method 18
CHAPTER IV 20
DATA ANALYSIS AND RESULTS 20
4.1. Teaching Skills and Methods 20
4.2. Language Improvement 27
4.3. Subject Matter Knowledge 28
4.4. Motivation 30
CHAPTER VI 33
Appendix A: Guided Questions for Individual Interview 39
Appendix B: Classroom observation checklist 40
Appendix C: Letter asking permission for a field visit 41
Appendix D: Informed consent form 42
Appendix E: Timeframe 44
LIST OF ABBREVIATION
ASEAN Association of Southeast Asian Nations
CamTESOL Cambodia Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
CLT Communicative language teaching
EFL English as a Foreign Language
ELLs English language learners
IHEs Institutions of Higher Education
L1 Native language
L2 Second language
M. Ed Master of Education
RUPP Royal University of Phnom Penh
UNTAC United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia
U.S. United States
English language is the worldwide language for over century ago and has been recognized in many countries around the world as well as it will be taken a lead for future (Crystal, 1997/2003). It is impossible to ignore its influence in any part of the world and English language represents the progression of globalization. Furthermore, English language teaching is a means of propagating not only the English language, but also the globalization that the language symbolizes (Igawa, 2010).
More importantly, fast development of a single global lifestyle is the proliferation of the English language. Language is a great agent of homogenization. If English is gaining a lock on global language, the implications are clear: the culture and other sectors of English Native Speaker countries will dominate such as building styles, infrastructure development, communication and transportation means, even governmental structure and the ways of practice, and even some of their ideologies (Naisbitt & Aburdene, 1990). David Graddol (2000) states "no single language will occupy the monopolistic position in the 21st century which has - almost - achieved by the end of the 20th century" (p. 59). David Crystal (1997) suggests that "a language becomes an international language for one chief reason: the political power of its people - especially their military" (p. 7).
Teachers of English are focal persons of this globalizing process and are providers of the impact that globalization on economy, employment opportunities, investment, science, information technology and international relation, particularly those teaching English as a foreign language in non-English-speaking countries, are recipients of globalization and its impact as well (Capella, 2000).
Background of the Study
English language was officially taught as a foreign language at secondary schools in Cambodia only from 1989. Prior to 1975, the principal Foreign Language taught in schools had been French but 1970-1975 because of American involvement (politics and military) in Indochina War, the study of English was also encouraged (Nou, 2002). From 1975 to 1979, the study of foreign language had been forbidden due to the fact that this country had been plunged into civil wars (Nou, 2002). From 1979 to 1989 Vietnamese and Russian were the languages officially including in school's curriculum. The study of English/French was prohibited, if one was found to be learning them, they would be severely punished and even imprisoned (Nou, 2002). There was some anecdotal evidence from countless discussions with schools' directors, community of students' parents, and learners, that most students wanted to learn English but schools could not afford English Language Teaching to meet their demands because they lacked teachers, classrooms, and teaching and learning materials (Nou, 2002).
MoEYS, however, has realized that all levels of the Cambodian people had been willing to learn English, and without any more delays, the study of this language had to commence from a very low resource base, with no curriculum, no textbooks, and with a very limited number of Cambodian Teachers of English (Pit, 1996). That is why there have been lots of constraints which firstly need to be thoroughly studied, and analysed before some appropriate solutions can be identified so that those constraints can subsequently be solved (Nou, 2002).
English is recently the most popular foreign language in Cambodia. It is the language used for business and education context internationally (Clayton, 2007). The main reasons that promoted the use of English in Cambodia including the presence of the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC) during 1992-1993 and full member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 1999 (Igawa, 2008).Furthermore, English language is only official language for this association and it is not only limited to politics, but also in the fields of economy and other sectors as well (Igawa, 2008). The Government and people of Cambodia have chosen English as the second language to communicate and do business with people, organizations and companies from abroad. In this respect, Cambodia shows a clear example of language policy and its impact on the people's life, education and future of a country in transition (Igawa, 2008).
English language education in Cambodia is growth very fast and more popular for learners because those people get a better job and a better pay if they are in good level of communicative competence in English language (Igawa, 2008). Also, the remarks by former U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia, Joseph A. Mussomeli, at an international conference of English language teachers in Cambodia (CamTESOL) mentioned:
"You are doing more than just teaching a foreign language. You are teaching a life skill that will be crucial to the future prosperity of this country. English, as I have often stressed, is no longer a language. It is, instead, a tool, a weapon, a vehicle. A tool to build a stronger society, a weapon to combat poverty and ignorance, and a vehicle for those who possess it to travel anywhere they choose throughout the world and be understood and understand" (Igawa, 2008, p. 344).
MoEYS has paid attention for foreign language, especially English language by integrating into national curriculum started from lower secondary school level and a part of national examination subject. However, there are many challenges for teachers of English at upper secondary schools in Cambodia recently; even thousand teachers graduated annually but a small per cent of those are interested in teaching at upper secondary schools, especially at rural areas (Igaw & Tsujioko, 2009). Furthermore, a majority of teachers of English language at upper secondary school in Cambodia nowadays lack of proper in-service training before teaching and their teaching skills and methods is the top challenges for them (Igaw & Tsujioko, 2009).
More importantly, most of teachers of English have no concrete training, especially accent and pronunciation due to lack of quality trainers and many teachers of English language train students to memorize chunks of English language, with more focus on grammar and vocabulary (Keuk, 2009) and the same finding points out teachers whose majors were not English but who knew English better than other were asked to teach English to students (Keuk, 2009).
Some of teachers of English did not have proper training but were appointed and promoted to become teachers due to the shortage of human resource supply because those students have been selected from upper secondary school students, who might have a poor background of English knowledge due to poor instruction from earlier English study (Nou, 2002). Furthermore, the pre-service training curriculum mainly addresses teaching methodologies and practicum rather upgrading and improvement courses, which focus on core English knowledge and those are extremely needed for teacher trainees. As consequence, those still have poor in English in term of reading, speaking, and grammar after graduation (MoEYS, 2001).
According to Nou (2002) indicated that there are six teachers' preferences to improve their professional careers in English language teaching including (a) make classroom climate pleasant and to equip those classroom with basic necessities; (b) suitably produce teaching materials for classroom using; (c) need to collaborate with teaching staff is determined factors in succeeding desirable achievement of English language teaching; (d) observation needs to be treated as part of language teaching, definitely scheduled, regularly done with the provision of feedback afterwards; (e) no negative reactions, except overwhelming preferences with it and (f) need a wide range of information concerning English teaching to function well in their classroom.
Furthermore, Igawa (2008) reveals that there are many important areas of improvement needs for teachers of English language. Those include teaching skills & methods, language improvement, communication skills, motivation, attending conferences, lifelong education, culture understanding, subject knowledge matter, and understanding students respectively.
Within education context, teacher part is a lead and plays a crucial role of education improvement and upgrading, thus, in-house training, teacher's competency and teacher's ability are directly involved and influence as well as contribution in teaching quality and teaching achievement, the purposes of this study is to explore their difficulties in teaching English language in term of teaching skills and methods; language improvement; subject matter knowledge; and motivation and teachers' perception towards the development of quality of English language instruction at upper secondary school level.
This study will be conducted in an upper secondary school in Takeo province based on following questions:
What difficulties do teachers have in teaching English language at secondary school level?
What do teachers think about the development of the quality of English teaching at secondary school level?
1.5. Significance of the Study
This study will be supportive and helpful for interested people, particular, teachers of English, schools and other educational institutions in some basic need indicators and evidence to improve teaching quality including in-house training development, input new teaching methodologies and priority sectors need to be addressed. Also, the study will find some critical challenge happening within that school by teaching side and several options will be raised in order to figure out those challenges in broad consulting with those teachers and input some good practices from previous findings that some of those options might be able to apply for next instruction at that school in order to improve English language instruction at upper secondary schools, particular at grade 10. More importantly, the study will be reflect to relevant educational institutions both public and private to see the strength and weakness of their curriculum and instruction whether they should still keep the same practices or need to be revised their recent curriculum and strategies to get more achievement and meet the society need.
1.6. Definitions of Key Term
Quality of Education: Basic skills, such as reading and writing, have to be regarded as essential parts of all quality education. The attainment of basic competencies is necessary before further progression can be made within a quality system. Furthermore, teachers must teach about values not just through the substantive content of their teaching, but also by using teaching methods, which will integrate democracy, interaction, equality, respect and co-operation as parts of the work in schools/institutions. In these areas teachers must be role models. This is only possible when teachers' professional status is recognized and when they are given the appropriate support to fulfill their tasks (UNESCO, n/a, p. 4).
Effectiveness: To be concerned with maximizing the benefits and quality due to educational provision within the constraints of cost or resource availability and to be concerned with selecting the least-cost alternative for securing the desired outcome and result. Also, it suggests that the most cost-effective will be the least costly of the alternatives compared, which is not necessarily the cheapest possible method of attaining the objective and goals. Clearly the implication is that it is only possible accurately to compare the effectiveness of educational activities which have the same 'outputs' (Aderson et al, 2001, p. 25).
1.7. Proposed Chapter Organization
The current chapter will serves as introduction by providing most of the context to the study. In chapter II, researcher will present the previous relevant studies related to selected professional development. In chapter III will be a detailed description of research methods and procedures. The findings and discussions section of the thesis, which will be presented discovery about professional development, is available in chapter IV, and researcher will present concluding remarks (e.g. implications and suggestions, future research options, the potential relevance of study beyond its immediate context, etc.) in chapter V.
There were several studies concerning to teaching English as foreign language but it is not in Cambodia context and largely on related studies in other countries. Those studies have been conducted related to teaching skills and methods, language improvement, subject matter knowledge, and motivation.
The documents were searched by using "teaching English language", "effective methods of teaching English", "teaching English language" and "difficulties of teaching English" as key words for searching. The main online searching machines were "Google scholar", "Chinese Journal of Applied Linguistics" and other databases and resources at my working place. The rest of documents and articles were hard copies from my supervisor, my M. Ed cohort 5 classmates and other sources.
2.1. Teaching Skills and Methods
A previous finding stated that class practices were categorized in two types including text-based and non-text based while non-text based activities were usually flexible and somewhat communicative at times could be non-communicative where students and teachers could interact each other as well as expressed their own thought without prepared in advance, thus, students could raise their local context to the class and their discussion was likely deeper and more confident; and for text-based was guided students with very specific areas as very thing were likely pre-prepared and no time to talk other topic freely. It would be useful and helpful as teachers had to explain students the whole class understanding. We could use text-based to ensure students were familiar the content in advance so they were able to complete and did exercises in the class with less burden and spent less time. For non-text based, students had opportunities to engage in regular communication as those did not generally require information gap and students were freely to use new words, sentences without concerning (Xiao, 2011). This paragraph is considered plagiarism. Please check your citation.
Another article addressed the models of teaching including (1) traditional within classroom basic that emphasized on structural-based models taken place in the context of textbooks, situationally-based models transformed from the textbook to standard daily life and functionally-based models was for communication skill. Also, communication practice encouraged students more aware of the language function in daily use that model would be applied to the standard daily context with more interaction between speakers; and (2) non-traditional beyond the classroom was used new technology as tools for practice in listening, speaking, reading and writing. Specifically, listening ability was developed mainly in a computer- and web-based environment, supplemented by classroom teaching, writing taught mainly in classroom, supplemented by a computer- and web-based environment. For speaking and reading were taught by both means (Chen, 2011). The same
Figure 1. Computer and Classroom-Based College English Teaching Model. Adopted from "Difference Models of English as an International Language and Their Implication of Non-English Majors," by Chen, W., 2011, Chinese Journal of Applied Linguistics (Quarterly), Vol. 34, No. 2, April 2011, p. 11.
Furthermore, teachers also needed to consider other factor at teaching sessions to be able students understanding quickly and preferred their learning sessions. And familiar and local context of text were another factors to push student learning achievement more improvement and better, especially on Reading Comprehension. According to Rabia (1996) stated "the students' performance was significantly better when the cultural content of the text was familiar and the scores for the inference tests that involved familiar cultural context were significantly higher, regardless of whether the text was in Hebrew or English" (p. 593). Likewise, allowing individual student to bring their own unique contributions to a particular learning, which it would become an inclusive exercise and got benefits as well as empowered to all relevant people. In addition, the person-to-person interaction under guideline and supervision was another factor to improve critical thinking among the students (Ahn & Class, 2011).
Of course, Malm, Bryngfor & Mörner (2011) suggested that Supplemental Instruction (SI) was a right and excellent method to allow students to be able to complete some difficult courses. The method successfulness was covered to all types of students history including who in the past low, average or high ability. It meant that those students performed likely better in overall after attending SI. Based on this study by comparing between SI attendees and non-SI attendees, there was significantly different as follows "SI attendees are a little more motivated to study, SI attendees are a bit better in working in groups, a slightly higher percentage of SI attendees come from families where a higher education is unusual, SI attendees are also characterized by a better learning strategy in that a) they have better attention spans and can study for longer period of time; b) they are less dependent on "last-minute" efforts; and c) they are used to helping/being helped by classmates in understanding difficult problems in a course" (p. 287).
2.2. Language Improvement
Of course, teaching chunks and pattern teaching, through Consciousness-Raising (C-R) activities, improved and promoted learners' English output related to accuracy, fluency, flexibility and use of idioms. If students had known the pattern of a word, they were more likely to use the word accurately and correctly. Also, Students would flexibly use alternative in case of they knew many patterns expressed one meaning (Nattinger & DeCarrico, 1992; Benson, Benson & Ilson, 1997; Huston, et al., 1997 as cited in Jiang & Shu, 2011).
In addition, C-R activities helped raise students' awareness of typical chunks and patterns, develop their analytical and inductive ability, promote the construction, testing and modify hypotheses about language. It inspired students to think, analyse language and draw their own conclusions rather than accepting and memorizing what they learned, enabled students to realize the close relationship between pattern and meaning, and promoted students' interest and confidence in language learning, as well (Jiang & Shu, 2011). Furthermore, students expressed that using difference of materials and activities were specifically beneficial as it was a part to promote students more active in learning and engagement (Santangelo & Tomlinson, 2009).
Another finding addressed related to advantages and benefits of peer review training to contribute to learning English language. According to Min (2006) indicated that trained peer review had reinforce leaners' capacity to more concentration and effective communication with other people. According to the same finding addressed that there were two important factors, which possibly shed light on the success of peer review training including individual teacher - reviewer conferences; and instructor's grading peer review comments. However, another instruction technique including grade assignment to peer review comments was another factor to enhance the effect of the peer review training. The instructor's grading likely served as a strong incentive to invest time and effort in following the four-step procedure to offer feedback.
A new progressive learning model, Partnership For Learning Model (PFLM), designed with educators, students and employers in mind. This model seeks to bridge academic experience with real life experience, thereby making formal education more meaningful and portable. The PFLM is a teaching approach that combines theory with direct experience. As result from this finding addressed that over 97 per cent of students who completed PFLM courses wished to take another PFLM course. They also feedback overwhelmingly rates the mentorship and life skills aspects as highly as the community based project work; students find the process energizing, rewarding and even intriguing. Furthermore, 87 per cent stated that PFLM experience was more meaningful than their internship experience as their internship was limited in scope and importance, while their PFLM experiences were perceived as significant contributions to the community, a feedback (Hugg & Wurdinger, 2007).
Figure 2. Learning and Performance in PFLM. Adopted from "A Practical and progressive Pedagogy for Project Based Service Learning," by Hugg, R. & Wurdinger, S., 2007, International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, http://www.isetl.org/ijtlhe/, Volume 19, Number 2, p. 197.
2.3. Subject Matter Knowledge
Some other articles was on the practicum and indicated that practicum was recognized as one most important tool and part for teaching capacity development and building, where pre-service teachers had opportunities to translate their learning from the classes into practice (Richards & Crookes, 1988 as cited in Farrell, 2007). And other finding stated that previous experiences could lead more influence on how information on teaching was conveyed into classroom practice in period of their practicum than other influence, but pre-services teachers might not know of this influence as students on their teaching for their practicum, thus, they would be encouraged to use their own experience into practicum (Bailey, et al., 1996; Johnson, 1994 as cited in Farrell, 2007).
An article by O'Neal, et al. (2008) finding also stated that teachers unlikely considered themselves well-prepared to teach the large number of students in their classroom. Teachers also faced classrooms where the majority of students were high and confident on their English capacity and who attended regular English language private tutoring with qualified tutors within their community. Teacher preparation programs did not well-prepared for student population after graduated from institutions to formally practice their skills and methods. Contrary, teachers' capacity and knowledge were at exceptional factors - effectively teaching including those who were outstanding students.
However, relation between teachers and students were another factor to affect to instruction and students learning as well. A finding demonstrated that knowledge and subject matter competence was largest category to improve if there was regular contact and good relation between teachers and their students than other categories (Inozu, 2011). The same finding found that "the majority of learning outcomes attributed to student-faculty contact concerned the knowledge and subject-matter competence: developing my linguistic competence (32.78%), following innovations in the field of study (32.78%), theoretical about field of study (22.95%), and knowledge of language teaching (21.31%)" (Inozu, 2011, p. 296).
Finding on the relationship between motivation types and identify changes demonstrated that (1) teachers needed attention beyond teaching of language skills; (2) productive bilingualism also served as an educational objective, teachers could push positive attitudes and beliefs associated with the target language and culture on the one hand, and the native language and culture on the other; (3) individual development motivation influenced self-confidence for learners, teachers could build up students' self-confidence in learning by helping students set up their goals in English study and incorporate them into their long-term career development; and (4) learners' immediate, short-term interests such as getting high test scores should carefully monitored and channelled to their long-term goals so as to avoid possible negative effect on learners' identify change" (Gao, et al., 2007).
Also, motivation to learn a second language (L2) was very different from the motivation learn any other school subject, this was because an L2 was not only a communication code, but also a representative of the L2 culture where it was spoken. Learning L2 thus usually entailed learning a L2 culture to some degree (Schmitt, 2002). The most important motivation to learn L2 were value and attitude (Schmitt, 2002).
Gardner's (1985 as cited in Schmitt, 2002, p. 173) stated that there were three concepts in particular had become well-known as follows (1) 'integrative orientation', which reflects a positive disposition toward the L2 group and the desire to interact with and even become similar to valued members of that community; (2) 'instrumental orientation', where language learning is primarily associated with the potential pragmatic gains of L2 proficiency, such as getting a better job or a higher salary; and (3) the 'integrative motive', which is a complex construct made up of three main comment: (a) integrativeness (subsuming integrative orientation, interest in foreign languages, and attitudes toward the L2 community); (b) attitudes toward the learning situation (comprising attitudes toward the teacher and the course); and (c) motivation (made up of motivational intensity, desire and attitudes toward learning the language).
In addition, Dörnyei (n/a as cited in Schmitt, 2002, p. 176) also identified four principal aspects of motivational teaching practice including (1) 'creating the basic motivational conditions' (establishing rapport with the students; fostering a pleasant and supportive classroom atmosphere; developing a cohesive learner group with appropriate group norms); (2)'generating initial student motivation' (enhancing the learners' L2-related values and attitudes; increasing the learners' expectancy of success; increasing the learners' goal-orientedness; making teaching materials relevant to the learners; creating realistic learner beliefs); (3) 'maintaining and protecting motivation' (making learning stimulating; setting specific learner goals; presenting tasks in a motivating way; protecting the learners' self-esteem and increasing their self-confidence; allowing learners to maintain a positive social image; creating learner autonomy; promoting co-operation among the learners; promoting self-motivating strategies); and (4) 'encouraging positive retrospective self-evaluation' (providing motivational feedback; promoting motivational attributions; increasing learner satisfaction; offering rewards and grades in a motivating manner).
To ensure students smoothly progressed in learning and academic excellence, especially at classroom, teachers had to encourage students considering their performance because it linked the progressing and displaying of skills and abilities in period of instruction course. If so, students would be competence and achievement. Teachers also instructed students on peer mentoring to allow students teach and learn from each other both in and out classes activities (Miller, 2009). Also, teachers had to be model role and exhibited the type of behaviour expected from students and this was a crucial part of encouraging students adopted (Singham, 2005 as cited in Miller, 2009).
Moreover, Jones (2009) introduced a model of motivating students to engage learning called "The MUSIC Model" by covering five components of the instruction including empowerment, usefulness, success, interest, and caring. The model also guided teachers to design courses, firstly, which delegated the control of learning to students and level of students controlled depending on the difficulty of the content and it was likely differently from one student to another one, but students had to believe that had some control aspect of their learning. Secondly, teachers needed to explain the purposes of lessons and clear on its relevancy and important for students and society as well, but level of understanding for student would be vary from one lesson to another one and some courses would do little but others might do more, and it also depended on its necessarily and advantages for students and their communities. Thirdly, course aspects could be successful if students had the knowledge and skills. The course design had to be feasibility and succeeded but it was not mean that the course had to be easy because students could be bored and unmotivated if the course was too easy. Also, teachers could design course to be challenged, provided feedback related to students' skills and knowledge as well as provide supplementary materials as well to ensure student could be manageable to succeed the course. Fourthly, activities or topics were very interested and attractive and teachers had to realize favourite things for students. Hidi and Renninger (2006 as cited in Jones, 2009) stated "The potential for interest is in the person but the content and the environment define the direction of interest and contribute to its development" (p. 277). However, teacher had to be more concentration on sustainable interest rather than short term interested and tried to explore local context into instruction aspects to foster students more enduring interest in the course content. Finally, the courses should be demonstrated by caring whether students were successfully meet the course objectives and purposes. The most important aspect of caring students' learning was that teachers cared about the students' well-being in period of instruction sessions.
Figure 3. A Model, based on a Social-Cognitive Theoretical Framework, in which Five Components Lead to Increased Student Motivation, Resulting in Increased Student Learning. Adopted from "Motivating Students to Engage in Learning: The MUSIC Model of Academic Motivation," by Jones, B., 2009, International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, http://www.isetl.org/ijtlhe/, Volume 21, Number 2, p. 273.
2.5. Conceptual Framework
There are many factors to improve teaching English language at secondary schools. This study will be focused on some selected teaching areas as below:
Teaching Skills and Methods: This part is addressed the ways of teachers' capacity to apply the various and proper ways of English teaching methods within the classroom and for daily instruction. Learning theories of teaching to give clear goals (reasons) of the activities to the students and to create effective activities in order to improve the students' skills (four skills).
Language Improvement: Specifically on the ways to improve four skills of English (listening, speaking, reading and writing) in the integrated ways. To be betters teacher should keep learning English and practice English as much as possible.
Subject Knowledge Matter: To have knowledge and proficiency of English. Teachers must have or get enough knowledge of English to teach, for example, grammar, words, phrases, and so on. To build up professional skills and to analyse the difference between English and other language as well as local language, especially that of sound structure.
Motivation: To see the ways of teachers motivate students to study English because most of students will not study (read) English any more beyond learning hours. To encourage the students who are not good at English to study it.
Factors to Improve English Language Teaching
Teaching Skills and Methods
Subject Knowledge Matter
Students English Learning
Figure 4. Conceptual Framework of teaching English language to achieve quality and effectiveness
3.1. Research Design
In order to get answers to the research questions and achieve the research objectives, this study employed qualitative method as semi-structured interviews (individual questionnaires and class observation checklist). It was designed in the forms of individual interview and class observation to be conducted at one upper secondary school in Takeo Province where school management agreed to allow researcher to conduct this study within that school because researcher has had a good connection with that school management. Creswell (1998) described a qualitative method as "a type of educational research in which the researcher relied on the views of participants; asked broad, general questions; collected data consisting largely of words (or text) from participants; described and analysed these words for themes; and conducted the inquiry in a subjective, biased manner" (p. 56). Merriam (1998) asserted that in qualitative research, "the researchers are interested in understanding the meaning people have constructed" (p. 6). Further, the researcher normally employed an inductive strategy to analyse data (Merriam, 1998). The major goal of qualitative research was to "understand a phenomenon by focusing on the total picture rather than breaking it down into variables" and to see "a holistic picture and depth of understanding, rather than a numeric analysis of data" (Ary, et al., 2009, p. 29).
3.2. Research Tools/Instruments
Information collected by the first individual interview by using (Appendix A) and classroom observation checklist sheet (Appendix B). Each individual interview was conducted for approximately 60 minutes and class observation was a two-teaching-hour for each teacher for further understanding and to ensure validity of answers related to sensitive questions.
Please detail your tools.
3.3. Site, population, sample size and sampling method
Participants were selected based on convenient-purposive criterion sampling because researcher aims to explore in detail participants related to barriers of teaching English language to achieve quality and effectiveness. Only five of all English (a total of 15 teachers of English) at that upper secondary school at Takeo Province were the respondents of individual interview and those were conducted class observation again one week later to reflect and additionally compliment to their first responses. All respondents had to teach at grade 9 or over without thinking on aging and gender.
Please describe your participants one by one.
3.4. Data Collection Procedures
The research was undertaken after data collection tools design completed, get approval from RUPP rector to conduct a field visit, get approval from the upper secondary school's director and the agreement from the prospective participants. Firstly, an official letter from RUPP (Appendix C) and detailed information about the study and informed consent form (Appendix D) were sent to the director for obtaining permission of the research conduction and researcher initially discussed with school director and teachers of English to arrange schedule to conduct the research following timeframe (Appendix E). Then, teachers of English were contacted and informed about the reasons and procedures of the study. Once the participants were identified, they must sign informed consent form for their agreement in the research participation, and the researcher made appointments with them for the interview and class observation respectively.
Please describe your data collection procedure from the beginning to the end.
3.5. Data Analysis
Referred to Gay, et al. (2009), data analysis was started from the initialing interaction with participants and pursuing the interaction and analysis throughout the whole study. It was time-consuming to go through a multi-stage process of organizing, categorizing, synthesizing, analyzing and interpreting. Berg (2009) introduced many types of qualitative analyses including discourse analysis, content analysis and others. Of these, content analysis was applied in this study to identify themes and develop categories based a careful coding of data. According to Berg (2009), content analysis was applied to examine and look at the patterns of the language used in the communication exchange. Thus the data collected through individual interview and observation were similarly categorized, encoded and grouped based on similar answers. The researcher listened to the tape recordings and took notes key themes as well as transcribed the interviews. To ensure the accuracy of the data Interview tape recordings was transcribed into Khmer first and translated into English into English language which involves the process of coding and categorizing the data. To avoid misunderstanding of the data, the responses were read carefully at least three times to identify the main themes and concepts and to code them subsequently.
Please tell readers how your analyze your data in detail.
3.6. Ethical Consideration
To ensure that the research findings were not be harmful to the participants and relevant bodies, "do not harm", the researcher treated carefully about the research ethic by critically writing to inform of the participants the following:
"This research will find the facts of teachers related to teaching professional development and teaching practice as well as their suggestion to improvement. The participants can make decision not to participate in the study at any time without giving a reason. Confidentiality will be maintained during the study and in any report of the study. All participants will be given a code and names will not be retained with the data. Individual participants will not be named or identified in any reports of the study, as only aggregated data will be reported. The storage and disposal of information is controlled by the code of ethic of researcher" (Elligate, 2007, p. 229).
Moreover, permission letter was sent/shown to the participants prior to their participation, including instruction that there will be free to withdraw from the study at any time, and that the information they provided was always be kept confidential. In addition, participants voluntarily signed the informed consent form of their participation after they understand and agree on the informed letter. This letter could be found in Appendix D.
3.7. Strengths and limitation of method
The strengths of the method were the application of the scientific method. The steps of the scientific method was used by the researcher, which consisted of selection and definition of a problem, semi-structured interview, class observation checklist, purposively selected participants in the execution of research procedure and analysis of data.
However, the limitation of the method could not be avoided during the application of the research study. Firstly, the limitation of the study only touched upon the issues of selection-professional development and sectors as indication (a. teaching skills and methods; b. language improvement; c. subject Matter Knowledge; and d. motivation). It did not look at any other variables such as school facility, local communities involvement, school management capacity, external factors influence or student side. A total of number of sample size was only five teachers of English and it was not be able to provide quantitative data support for any conclusive findings that may be directly representative of the whole Cambodian teachers of English population. Therefore, the results presented useful insights to support the use of teaching quality of English language at the upper secondary school.
Secondly, the using of observation approach was probably faced some challenges such as some respondents organized and prepared everything in advance and the instruction processes also followed the right methodologies as well as some extra activities might be initiated to express positive contribution and strength points as well. Thus, given information was probably untrue, unusual and unrealistic.
Thirdly, the researcher had close relationship with that upper secondary school and had known some of those teachers of English, which this probably affected the reliability and validity of the study. Although every effort was made in the implementations of the research instruments to remind the teachers of English to give their true and honest perceptions, the validity of the sampling of the teachers' views and perceptions were not conclusively established.
DATA ANALYSIS AND RESULTS
4.1. Teaching Skills and Methods
The ways to use activities and techniques for difference skills
Generally practicing within the secondary school, teachers only provide overall instruction, explain difficult words and walk around to help students; especially for low-capacity students.
Teachers can, sometimes, use mixed techniques and activities including provide some clues of answers to students for difficult articles and lecturing, for better understanding, notify pronunciation, understanding the full text, possible to conclude the articles. More importantly, using differences techniques for difference skills because one technique likely matches with for one skill and to encourage students more interested, fast understanding and attractive in learning.
Another suggests that use the same or difference techniques depend on students understanding. If one technique and activity is good for students, they have no any reasons to use more than one technique. However, use more than one is likely better use more than only one technique in period of one teaching session. In addition, using mixed techniques for teaching because it depends on students ability on English language at their study level.
However, teachers occasionally use the same activities and techniques in order to push student improve and memorize very fast, clear usage and full understanding. They also suggest that teaching hours unlikely match with course books and students ability because some students are high ability but some other are very low ability on English language. Teachers need to explore which techniques are suitable for using for one location context, the same and flexible based on students ability and time available rather than keep following instruction from MoEYS manual.
Teaching methods in the classroom
Teachers of English language are likely agreed together that student center approach is the favorite technique for them to instruct and obey within their classrooms and for their students as teachers just give topic and let students discuss for further detailed and deeper and allow students to have times to practice their learning, allow students to talk more than teacher or students are active and teacher is passive. Also, teachers give only instruction - just tell overall activities; and let student do by themselves to practice their understanding as whole class or small group work, and teachers just walk around for monitoring further instructions if need, provide some assistance, correct pronunciation, correct grammar, and finally wrap up at end of session. They also suggested that role of teacher is just facilitator, and then students do activities by themselves under overall supervision by teachers. In addition, teachers try to encourage student to find answer and solution by themselves rather than tell answers directly. At the end, spend a few minutes to share those answers with the rest before finally correct by teachers.
However, one respondent expressed that teacher-center approach is likely better for Cambodian students, especially at the rural areas in order to improve their language learning, speaking skill is the most in need to use the approach above.
Practice teaching methods and techniques within the classes
All respondents (teachers) generally adhered and followed the instruction and steps from MoEYS manual and guideline in each teaching lecturing. They always have applied their theory with their daily practice in the classrooms as well in order to be able students to catch up main purposes of each lesson.
There are generally three steps including pre-task, main-task and post-task for all skills including reading, writing, speaking and listening or even grammar guided by MoEYS curriculum and general practice in Cambodia secondary school teachers of English language recently.
One respondent suggested that he starts teaching session from opening and check attendance in order to alert students to know that it is on time for learning and lecturing, for discipline respectful and it is very important step of teaching session.
Other respondents always warm up around five minutes before start new lectures to revise latest previous lesson to ensure students still remember and understand previous lesion through playing games and other attractive activities. It is different activities conducted for all of them related to this step but they always revise old lecture through some play games including slap the board, what & where, word snack, brainstorm, word matching, word train to remind students memorization and understanding previous teaching session. They also indicated that main objectives of warm up are to link with new lecture (i.e. verb infinitive and let students to try to find its past tense). In order to students more interested and attractive or let students know that new lecture will similar or match like warm up;
Some of them addressed that each teaching session need to include set the scene within this step to highlight teaching purposes via Q&A (i.e. what can you see in the picture, what is it about?), allow a few minutes for student to see pictures and illustrates, as well as explain them explain teaching purposes. Sometimes, set the scene, where teachers introduce new lecturing through questions and answers, i.e. ask students see pictures at the text and answer the questions with very sample questions related to local context. The main objectives of this step are to persuade student more attention on lecturing. And other mentions that set a scene is teachers take pictures in the text to explain related to lecture, i.e. teaching about classroom, teacher can ask questions "how many chairs in the classroom" to learn how to listening and speaking, description ability - preferable for native speakers.
They also indicated that this step is to include pre-teach that teachers teach new vocabularies within articles and let a minutes for students to skim/scan or listen articles, attention on new vocabulary or new grammar - to introduce new vocabulary including Opposite (i.e. "what is opposite of word - CHEAP it means EXPENSIVE", synonym, antonym, translate). For popular activities regularly use - give examples because students know the way of use those words - it will take around 15 minutes of each lecture; teach new vocabulary - difference techniques including mime, translation, picture or explanation. The purposes to encourage students more interested, attractive, keep remembering for a long time. For examples, explanation: technician - a person who is specialize in scientific work, for example: repair radioâ€¦"; mime - show gesture "i.e. dance - teacher can dance" and translation - while student don't understand those words even teacher tried to explain them in English several times already.
However, one respondent instructs that his pre-task is to introduce and ask questions related to the article to push students understanding about lecturing by spend a few minutes for student scan or read briefly.
Another suggests that he starts by presenting and introducing new items/new language, what students need to be learnt - teach new vocabulary, read the article, try to understand of purpose's article. Teacher can ask a few questions to prompt students to be familiar with those articles. i.e. one article about football - teacher ask questions related to that matter without reading article, the purpose of the questions to know students' concept related to topic and teacher links to topic for lecturing.
Other respondent stated that he is orients student on revision by asking some questions related to previous lecturing, i.e. existing vocab, a few examples by teachers
All respondents address that this section is to introduce new content to students but they all have some differences techniques for their instructions including one teacher let students answers comprehension questions or students listen teacher for Listening Skills (questions within course books only), answers could be individual, pair or small group - teacher walks around and monitor students activities including helping them, encouraging - but not prompt answers; feedback on students' answers with whole class; and speaking activities can be applied in this step in order to students improve their speaking and conversation through questions within the course books and answers by students previously. Additional activities including Open Pair (student at front with student at back - it is normally for outstanding students for model other students), Close Pair (students sit nearby).
Another teacher stresses that this step is to introduce or lecture on Reading including new grammar - let students read text and find sample tense by teacher writes on board ad full sentence following finding from student - as individual reading by each turn around three examples. Then, provide some times for students to practice by student drill (repeat again and again), i.e. teach students how to use past simple, teacher can use one sentence, i.e. I go to school but students call "I went to school". Normally teacher write example on board and students can change by themselves (whole class or individual, small group). For first drill will be done by whole class and then individual (writing in their note book or board).
Also, teachers can ask students read articles very detailed and answer questions individual with silent. Answer small group and discuss among group. Teacher collected answer and write on the board, evaluate each group is the best and help for correction to group which are not full right answer through peer-review or by teachers.
Teachers start new lecturing such as teachers teach new vocabularies first, read article, after that teachers answers one-to-two questions first and allow students start to do in group to answer the rest questions and at this time, teachers walk around and help students when needs, all answers will be written at board and then teachers correct for any mistakes, before allowing students to copy those answers. Also, teachers ask a few questions related to lecturing, check students understanding which level of their catch up new lecturing.
Another respondent suggests that teacher teaches students on elicit new vocabulary with meaning, part of speech, usage through questions and answers related to those words as many as possible in order to explain students more understanding those vocabularies as well as to know student knowledge relate to articles. Then teacher let students to read the article. Teacher asks questions related to articles and answer within the article and other questions need more thinking in order to find the answers in order to encourage students more understanding on the article (normally those questions within the books and article). For questions related to article - group discussion (give clear instruction). Teacher walks around to see whether all students actively participate and support for any challenges happened at that time as well. Teacher then check groups' answers through each presentation and correct its answers through re-check or peer-review or by teachers.
Some teachers define this step to mainly focus on accuracy rather than fluency because the main purposes for this step to introduce students how to use correctly after instruction.
Some teachers also call this step as production or pre-practice activities or less control. This step is allowed teachers to follow up students' understanding on what they have learned and encouraged them to adopt some contents from lecture to real situation and local context. For example, please summary or describe about your schools or rice fields at your villages. At this step, teachers can provide homework to students related to local activities, as well.
It is time for students do activities by themselves, students give examples by themselves without any prompt or clues by teacher anymore. Teacher correct at that time while see any group give wrong examples or difference from instructions or correct in whole class after end of this step or sum up by teachers for some lessons or some instructions;
If lecturing related to "introduce", teacher needs to introduce new grammar or "practice" teachers ask students practice old grammar. Techniques including read article and select sentences related to old or introduce grammars. Then teach write those sentences on white board, highlight the target items (subject + verb + objective + objectives). Next step, teacher checks the meaning of sentences, check the use of the target items - take around 15 minutes.
Teachers tell some clues or key words and let students give examples, as volunteering or teacher can point any students, teacher writes those examples on the board - mostly individual. Less control: teacher lets students provide some examples with general broad for students to thinking without provide clues - to check their level of understanding with lecturing.
Time for students to do exercise, i.e. Joint the sentences by consideration about grammar. Teachers can provide a several minutes for free-activities, let students to do free without thinking accuracy, but thinking about fluency instead of. i.e. students can talk and do activities without thinking their mistakes.
For writing skills, students are encouraged to answer with full answers, usually considering about grammar structures and sentence structure plus encourage using conjunction, adverbs and adjectives to improve their part of speeches.
At end of each teaching session, all teachers agreed together to give some homework related to lectures to students, revise all lectures for further concrete understanding and provide some recommends to students for knowledge improvement.
Otherwise, one respondent strongly addresses that his teaching Grammar is reverse from MoEYS instruction and guideline obtained (Form To Use To Apply) to all related articles by explaining students any reasons of using those forms with those articles. In contrast with other respondents, he also indicated that Speaking and Listening Skills do not work for his practice and for Writing Skill, he need an exact sample for students to follow because students do not have ability on free writing without samples.
Suitable ways to improve English language teaching
There are variety suggestions and recommendations from respondents to improve English language teaching including increasing teaching hours, especially for upper secondary school level, English language needs to be categorized as compulsory subject in state exams, regularly organize competition within school and national level, regularly update and revise course books, revise teaching methods in order match with teaching methods from Regional Teacher Training Center.
Regularly conduct in-service training, encourage parents and community to actively encourage their children to learn English language, prepare advance for lesson plans for teaching and teaching materials, better payment or salary to support their basic need, give regular homework, regularly speak with native speakers, regular self-development and capacity, further studying on teaching methods - teaching proficiency, try to understand more about students - in order to use suitable techniques and activities with them, encourage teachers to use moderate way of teaching, course books and student ability need to match each other, see the whole class rather than a few of students, explain necessary of learning English since childhood, quality of teaching needs to be taken into account since primary school or starter in order to match with curriculum design (students ability match with course book - grade 10).
English language should learn and teach since primary or kindergarten level, well-prepared in advance - teacher need to make sure that full understanding first including definition, translation, stress, support materials, relevancy. Normally, in course books cannot cover all elements. After each lecturing, teacher gives questions for them to check their understanding. Even right answer, we can ask reasons why they choose that one. Well-prepared including personal attitude as well, and teacher needs to know lecturing's purpose and end test needs to cover all elements and contents of teaching.
Difficulties for instruction
Secondary students are generally at low capacity and mixed ability on English language. There are several factors encounter including some students have no course books and are likely careless to learn English language as well because this subject is likely supplementary rather than compulsory subject for state examinations - its marks is not effective to total mark in term of failing below average marks, but it is helpful if students can manage to earn more than average marks. Some respondents also suggest that no supplementary materials for teaching such as audio players and teacher resources and students know fewer words and their abilities are lower than the grade they are in.
Normally practice, teachers are somehow flexible and not fully follow instruction from the teacher guide, they must always use their own techniques in order to match with students' knowledge; instruct very detailed. Teachers only afford to capture on main purposes and activities in each lecturing and shorten some of activities.
Another challenge is budget related to further supplementary materials for teaching and learning and student ability is still another questions. Furthermore, students do not have any skills on Internet for finding further supplementary materials for their own learning besides waiting to get those from teachers. Another challenge is mismatch between student ability and course books. Teachers do not give instruction in English language as students are very low ability on English. Teachers do not have enough financial support for further research and in-house improvement. Teachers do not have enough sufficient capacity on internet and know those equipment and materials - matching, pronunciation, and further support supplementary materials.
To solve challenges and difficulties above, teachers read those articles and sections instead of and some teachers buy some teacher sources from outside by using their own budget. For big class, teachers organize work in group rather than in pair or individual in order to cover as many as students to involve and participate in each lecturing. Teaching hours are unlikely enough to cover all curriculum indicators, they also suggest increasing teaching hours. MoEYS also consider alternative ways such as teaching of English since primary school in order to allow students at least know how to write all alph