Teaching Skills And Methods Education Essay

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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. For non-text based activities were usually depended on the reality 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 deeper and more confident because those were with them every day; and for text-based had a specific rules and regulation for students to practice and follows as well as all activities had been 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 those two types and teacher had to use mixed in order to all students enable to catch up the major contents. The purpose of using text-based to ensure students were familiar the content in advance where teachers spent short time to explain and practice its exercises. Otherwise, for non-text based, students had more opportunities to talk and discuss together freely and no any specific areas for them to disciplines (Xiao, 2011).

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Another article addressed the models of teaching including (1) traditional practice, where teachers always followed from the textbooks and conveyed contents from textbooks to apply with daily life. This practice was encouraged students to have more confident on communication skill and more aware of the language function of daily use as well as more interaction between speakers; and (2) non-traditional was used modern technology as tools to practice the four skills and listening skills was always developed to use with technology equipment and through online for further support teaching in the classroom (Chen, 2011).

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Figure 2.1. 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

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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 2.2 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 Knowledge Matter

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.

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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).

2.4. Motivation

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.