The Role of the Teacher in English Language Learning the Case of Secondary School Teachers in Great Soppo Buea
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This study is titled ‘The role of the Teacher in English Language Learning, the case of secondary school teachers in Great soppo Buea’. To go through this study, the following questions were asked; Does the role of the teacher influence English language Learning? Does teacher motivation influence English Language learning?
Does the Teacher-student relationship influence English Language Learning? These questions were later transformed into hypotheses to guide the study; literature was reviewed under the variables of the study. The survey research design was used; a stratified random sampling technique was used to select the schools while the questionnaire was used as the instrument for data collection.
The data were analyzed using percentages. According to the findings obtained, it was realized that; the role of the teacher influence or affects English Language Learning. Based on this finding some recommendations were made to teachers and school authorities. Suggestion for further studies was equally made by the researcher.
Background of the Study
The quality of education depends on, the ability, hard work and level of dedication of the teacher. If a teacher fails to keep himself in touch with the rapid scientific and educational developments, then he may become inefficient and ineffective. In post-colonial Cameroon, formal education is carried out essentially in two official languages; English (20%) and French (80%). The educational system is made up of two subsystems: the Anglophone sub-system and the Francophone sub- system.
The Anglophone sub-system is in vogue mainly in the two English- speaking regions, while the francophone sub-system is in vogue mainly in the eight French-speaking regions. However, in view of the policy of official language, bilingualism which aims at national unity and integration, the two educational subsystems are used in the country (Neh Mbuh 2010.p.87).
In the Anglophone subsystem, the first cycle of secondary education is made up of five years and the second cycle is made up of two years, with English as a compulsory subject in the first cycle. There are two certificate examinations: the GCE Ordinary Level which marks the end of the first cycle and the GCE Advanced Level examination which marks the end of the second cycle.
Education is a continuous process of training and developing the knowledge, skills, minds and characters of people. It is also the process by which the abilities of individuals are developed so that they may be useful to themselves and to society. Meaningful improvement in the quality of education that students receive is partially determined by the quality of the teacher. The English language is an indispensable tool of expression and communication.
Communication refers to the exchange of thoughts and ideas with the intention of conveying information. Acquiring basic skills in communication is essential for personal and professional growth; hence a student should not ignore communication basics. In a global context, students need language skills for their success both in education and career. Having this in mind, the English language teacher has to help students in developing good communication skills. (Tchombe 2011.p.54)
A classroom is a convenient place for imparting information and for developing many educational skills. The language teachers are concerned not only with informing students about the language but with developing their ability to use the language for a variety of written and communicative purposes.
In order to achieve this, die teacher has to cope with a number of obstacles such as the size of the class, the arrangement of the classroom, the number of hours available for teaching the language, the syllabus itself and particularly examinations.
This is why it is important to have a clear understanding and a firm grasp of the wide range of techniques and procedures through which the students can be developed. The role of an English teacher is to create the best conditions for learning. He/she is a means to an end, an instrument to see that learning takes place, but plays specific roles at different stages of the learning process.
These stages include a presentation (when he introduces something new to be learnt), practice (when learners work under the teachers’ direction) and production (when the teacher gives students the opportunity to work on their own).
The teacher also plays a key role as a motivator. Whatever he/she does in the classroom, his/her ability to motivate the students to arouse their interest and to involve them in what they are doing, depends on a number of key factors such as his/her performance and level of mastery of teaching skills.
Often these depend on his careful preparations, his selection and presentation of topics and activities and his personality, which in language teaching must be flexible enough to enable him to be both authoritative and friendly.
The teacher must master as much as possible, the language, that is, its grammar and vocabulary and its phonology. Teachers are challenged to understand new theories of learning, new approaches to teaching, new policies and a changing social context that affects students and communities.
The teacher monitors the strength and weaknesses of the learners in order to ensure that effective learning has taken place. Hence diagnostic tests and remedial lessons have to be organized from time to time. The teacher has to select adequate teaching materials. From the syllabus, teachers have to draw up their schemes of work, selecting materials from various sources. (Akum 1999.p.43).
The teacher should teach in such a way that students will be able to communicate properly, develop listening skills, produce correctly the sound system, intonation, stress, rhythm patterns of the language, contribute and respond constructively to discussions and put across their own ideas.( Owingo 2005.p.l9) The schools used for the research are; B.H.S, I.C.H.S and MACBICOL in Great Soppo Buea. This piece of work seeks to find out the role of the teacher in English Language Learning.
Significance of the study
It is the wish of the researcher that this piece of work be beneficial to teachers, researchers and the government.
It is believed that teachers through this research will be reminded of their roles in English language learning. Also, teachers will learn to motivate and establish a good teacher-student relationship to enable students to learn and perform well in the English Language.
To the Government
The findings from this work will enable the government to enact legislation to improve teacher education and professional development programs in order to recruit real professionals in the teaching field and these teachers will, in turn, develop the students in English language learning and thus improve the academic performance of students in the English language,
Statement of the Problem
Despite all the efforts made by the Cameroon government to promote the English language in schools by making it a subject on its own (compulsory) and employing teachers to teach English, some students still find it difficult to perform well during exams, especially the Cameroon GCE Ordinary level.
For the past four years, the percentage pass in the English language is lower than the percentage that failed. Darling Hammond (1997.P.23) says “a better teacher may make a difference for student learning at the classroom, school and district levels” In this light, the researcher seeks to find the role of the teacher in English language learning.
Objectives of the Study
The following are the objectives of this study:
- To find out if the role of die teacher affects English language learning.
- To find out if the teacher-student relationship affects English language learning.
- To find out whether the general academic ability and intelligence of teachers affect English language learning.
The following research questions shall be looked at
Does the role of a teacher in teaching affect English language learning?
Does Teacher-Student relationship affect English language learning?
Does teacher motivation of students affect English language learning?