Site Search:
 
TEFL International Supports Dave's ESL Cafe
TEFL Courses, TESOL Course, English Teaching Jobs - TEFL International
Job Discussion Forums Forum Index Job Discussion Forums
"The Internet's Meeting Place for ESL/EFL Students and Teachers from Around the World!"
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Incompetent instructors or whinging Saudis? Or both?
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Saudi Arabia
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Geronimo



Joined: 11 Apr 2007
Posts: 406

PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The British Council has recently published two global-wide surveys of
the provision of Primary sector EFL teaching.
They are available in pdf format at:-

http://iatefl.britishcouncil.org/2012/sites/iatefl/files/session/documents/eltrp_report_-_garton.pdf and

http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/sites/teacheng/files/B487_ELTRP_Emery_ResearchPaper_FINAL_web_V2.pdf

These reports state that whilst there is a strong global trend for teaching English as a Foreign Language to ever younger age groups,
there are plenty of teachers and educationalists who voice reservations about this development.

In the Literature Review of
"Investigating Global Practices in Teaching English to Young Learners"
the authors note:-

"The widespread introduction of English in primary
schools has been described by Johnstone (2009:33)
as ‘possibly the world’s biggest policy development in
education’. Even in countries such as Poland, Hungary
and Croatia, where a choice of foreign languages is
offered at primary level, English is overwhelmingly the
first choice (Enever and Moon, 2009; Nikolov, 2009b).

There are a number of reasons for this trend:
1. The widespread assumption that earlier language
learning is better (Y. Hu, 2007; Nunan, 2003).
2. The response to the ever-increasing demand for
English as a result of economic globalisation
(Enever and Moon, 2009; Gimenez, 2009; Hu,
Y., 2007). Such a demand leads to pressure on
governments from international economic forces
to ensure there is an English-speaking workforce.
3. The pressure from parents in the national context
who want their children to benefit socially and
economically from learning English (Brock-Utne
and Holmarsdottir, 2004; Enever and Moon, 2009;
Gimenez, 2009).

The growth in teaching English to young learners
has not been universally endorsed, however.
The assumed benefits of an early start are
controversial (see, for example, Nikolov and Mihaljević
Djigunović, 2006; Pinter, 2006), especially in situations
of minimal input, rather than language immersion
(Larson-Hall, 2008). There has also been widespread
criticism of policies that are generally imposed in
a top-down manner and often without sufficient
preparation (Enever and Moon, 2009; Gimenez, 2009;
Y. Hu, 2007; Lee, 2009). As Gorsuch (2000) points
out, national curriculum decisions and policies are
essentially political and address curriculum content,
but often fail to explain how such content should be
implemented (see also Nunan, 2003). In other words,
the pace of change has outrun the planning required
to ensure the change is successful."


One of the more recent significant examples of a key national curriculum decision is to be found in Indonesia.
The Indonesian government has now decided to end the provision of English classes in its Primary Schools...
http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2012/nov/13/elt-diary-november-indonesia-english

...and from yet another "Guardian" article...
http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2011/mar/08/japan-launches-primary-english-push?INTCMP=SRCH

"...many of Japan's 400,000 primary school teachers say they are ill-equipped for their new role as language instructors. In a recent survey, 77% said they needed to improve their language skills, while a similar percentage said they required more training.

'I've visited lots of schools and met teachers who are worried and lacking in confidence,' says Yuri Kuno, a visiting professor at Chubu Gakuin University, who has been lobbying education authorities to introduce English tuition at an early age since the 1970s.

'The trainers are themselves not trained and most of them have no experience of teaching at primary schools.'


What is 77% of 400,000? A lot!
So, for the TEYL trainers, there is still plenty of work to be done in Japan;
and in India's Maharashtra state, too, for that matter,...
http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2012/sep/18/elt-diary-september?INTCMP=SRCH


Geronimo
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Geronimo



Joined: 11 Apr 2007
Posts: 406

PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scot47 wrote:
Quote:
The verb is "whinge" which has a similar meaning to "whine" but is in a lower, ie more vulgar, register


Would you agree, Scot47, that its
"lower, ie more vulgar, register"
is derived from its strong collocation with "poms" ?

http://www.whingeing-pom.com/features/Feb09_You_know_youre_aussie.html

Geronimo
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Geronimo



Joined: 11 Apr 2007
Posts: 406

PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Tatweer Project is making a difference...

http://www.arabnews.com/school-transport-be-expanded-stages

and...

http://www.arabnews.com/1720-schools-will-have-virtual-labs

Geronimo


Last edited by Geronimo on Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:54 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Geronimo



Joined: 11 Apr 2007
Posts: 406

PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Johnslat,

I suspect that Al Mofreh's idea or stance would appear less "idiotic"
to your eyes if you were to examine some of the recent research
into the provision of English as a Foreign Language in
Elementary Schools.
Allow me to provide you with 3 examples.

One of the most influential European papers has been presented by Carmen Munoz of Barcelona University...

http://www.enl.auth.gr/gala/14th/Papers/Invited%20Speakers/Munoz.pdf

Research was undertaken in China by Zhiliang Liu and Guanying Chen.
Their report is available in pdf format via the link on this webpage...

http://www.ccsenet.org/journal/index.php/elt/article/view/333

And, from the University of North Texas, Jenifer Larson-Hall presented her
findings, following her research conducted with young Japanese English language learners...

http://peer.ccsd.cnrs.fr/docs/00/57/07/38/PDF/PEER_stage2_10.1177%252F0267658307082981.pdf

If Al Mofreh's stance is 'idiotic', why have these researchers
been wasting so much of their time?
Are they idiots, too?

With regard to your point about 'forbearance',
I'm seeking it -here, on this thread -
from those who have actually
taught a foreign language in primary schools.

Regards,

Geronimo
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12358
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Geronimo,

"Are they idiots, too? " Probably - I doubt any field has more idiotic research projects than "Education" does:

"What the New Stupid Looks Like

Today's enthusiastic embrace of data has waltzed us directly from a petulant resistance to performance measures to a reflexive and unsophisticated reliance on a few simple metrics—namely, graduation rates, expenditures, and the reading and math test scores of students in grades 3 through 8. The result has been a nifty pirouette from one troubling mind-set to another; with nary a misstep, we have pivoted from the "old stupid" to the "new stupid." The new stupid has three key elements."

http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/dec08/vol66/num04/The-New-Stupid.aspx

I have no idea why you are so obsessed with this man or his "theories," but you are entitled to believe anything you want.

However, this will be my last post of this topic as I am tired of belaboring the obvious.

Regards,
John
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Ixchel



Joined: 11 Mar 2003
Posts: 155
Location: The 7th level of hell

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Geronimo wrote:
Dear Johnslat,

I suspect that Al Mofreh's idea or stance would appear less "idiotic"
to your eyes if you were to examine some of the recent research
into the provision of English as a Foreign Language in
Elementary Schools.
Allow me to provide you with 3 examples.

One of the most influential European papers has been presented by Carmen Munoz of Barcelona University...

http://www.enl.auth.gr/gala/14th/Papers/Invited%20Speakers/Munoz.pdf

Research was undertaken in China by Zhiliang Liu and Guanying Chen.
Their report is available in pdf format via the link on this webpage...

http://www.ccsenet.org/journal/index.php/elt/article/view/333

And, from the University of North Texas, Jenifer Larson-Hall presented her
findings, following her research conducted with young Japanese English language learners...

http://peer.ccsd.cnrs.fr/docs/00/57/07/38/PDF/PEER_stage2_10.1177%252F0267658307082981.pdf

If Al Mofreh's stance is 'idiotic', why have these researchers
been wasting so much of their time?
Are they idiots, too?

With regard to your point about 'forbearance',
I'm seeking it -here, on this thread -
from those who have actually
taught a foreign language in primary schools.

Regards,

Geronimo

Geronimo,
I taught 10 years in a bilingual education program and 3 years in a dual immersion program at lower primary level. And at the end of the year students were administered standardized tests in both languages at the state level which they passed with flying colors.
Where I live there is no such thing as teaching a foreign language in isolation to small children, I mean there is in theory but it's not necessary, they can be taught all subject matter in both languages. It's immersion-a little difficult to explain in detail the actual setup in this small box but it works beautifully. It helps if there is an equal number of native and non-native speakers but doesn't really matter, even if the teacher is the only fluent speaker of the 2nd language the students become fluent by the end of one year. If you can find some classes to observe, you'll find it interesting.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Geronimo



Joined: 11 Apr 2007
Posts: 406

PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If the opportunity arises for me to observe
such a class as the one referred to above, Ixchel,
I'd be happy to take it.

However, as I'm sure you're aware, such a
"dual immersion program" is a world away from
the typical English language provision that will emerge
in the next academic year in the K.S.A.'s elementary schools.

Instead of "immersion", the students will probably be presented
with a couple of hours per week of Beginner level General English.
And, sadly, in many cases, their teachers will be struggling to master
the material themselves.

To my mind, the importance of the Barcelona Age Factor project,
led by Carmen Munoz, (now Professor of Applied Linguistics at the University of Barcelona),
is that it calls into question the notion that
minimal provision is better than none, - inevitably.

According to the BAF Project research,
the principle that "younger is better" doesn't hold for the
'minimal input' experienced in an elementary school in rural Saudi Arabia-
as opposed to the 'immersion' of the child of an immigrant family in a naturalistic setting.

The 9 year long BAF Project has found that the amount of input is
a very important key factor.

Carmen Muñoz reports that...

"The comparisons of the scores obtained by the different groups of learners in the
BAF Project, both in the longitudinal sub-sample and in the cross-sectional one, show
that the older learners generally outperformed the younger learners in all the
measurement times. This confirmed the superior learning rate of older learners or, in
other words, the fact that they are more efficient learners. A long-term superiority on the
part of the younger learners was not confirmed, however. At most, the differences were
reduced or became non-significant in the tests that were less cognitively-demanding. In
addition, the evolution of the more cognitively-demanding skills such as those elicited
by the cloze test or the dictation showed an influence of the growth in cognitive
maturity associated with puberty, which was not visible in the evolution of the less
cognitively-demanding skills, such as those elicited by the listening comprehension test,
or in the measurements of fluency, for example.

The results led to the conclusion that
“if the older learners’ advantage is mainly due to their superior cognitive development,
no differences in proficiency are to be expected when differences in cognitive
development also disappear with age” (Muñoz, 2006a: 34). In sum, the BAF Project
confirmed the rate advantage of older starters and provided significant evidence that
allowed to argue that in an instructed foreign language learning setting an early start
does not automatically confer an ultimate attainment advantage. This may be considered
to be a crucial age-related difference between a foreign language learning setting and a
naturalistic language learning setting."


...and she proceeds to underline this point about the difference between 'immersion' in a naturalistic setting on the one hand,
and ' minimal input' in the classroom-based setting, on the other, with this stark comparison....

"Although equating time of immersion with time of instruction is a gross
generalization, an estimate of the number of hours in which a naturalistic language
learner has access to L2 input after 10 years of residence exceeds 50,000 hours. The
distribution of this amount of hours into weeks with 4 one-hour periods of instruction
results in more than 200 years. The comparison may be absurd but it compellingly
conveys the idea that the magnitude of the difference in the quantity of input received
by naturalistic and instructed learners is enormous."


http://www.enl.auth.gr/gala/14th/Papers/Invited%20Speakers/Munoz.pdf

Does this really matter? So what?!
Well, there are a lot of unemployed young Saudis today!
And, if the effectiveness of English language were to improve,
more job opportunities would emerge for the future
high school graduates in the K.S.A.'s private sector.
Apparently, no less than 90% of the K.S.A.'s private businesses are staffed by expats!

A job creation target of 6 million new jobs has been set by the government. The rulers' current concern over the lack of success of the 'Saudisation' program is evident in the brief BBC report -
"Saudi Arabia's job creation push"...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-20553993

Of course, language proficiency is not the only factor
at work in the K.S.A's employment market. But it is a
significant one.

Geronimo
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Geronimo



Joined: 11 Apr 2007
Posts: 406

PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The British Council is currently recruiting no fewer than 80 trainers
for its Teacher Upskilling Project in partnership with
the Ministry of Education in Malaysia.

"Project Aim
This project aims to enhance primary English teachers’ ability to plan and deliver quality English lessons
based on the new National English Language Curriculum in 600 schools across East Malaysia
and to set up support structures that will facilitate
the teachers’ continuing professional development."


The project's objectives are set out at:-
http://www.britishcouncil.org/malaysia-about-us-the-english-language-teacher-development-project.htm

Maybe this project will offer up some guidance notes for
other countries, such as the K.S.A., which are also strengthening
the English as a Foreign Language provision in
their primary school sectors.

Geronimo
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Geronimo



Joined: 11 Apr 2007
Posts: 406

PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Despite the fact that it spends heavily on educating both men and women -
60% of those who graduate from Saudi's universities are female -
only 17% of women are actually in the job market.
That compares with 75% of men
."

King Abdullah has introduced reforms to the workplace
and more job opportunities for young Saudi women
are beginning to emerge...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-20723456

Is the major gender imbalance in the K.S.A.'s job market
about to change? Or not?!

Geronimo
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Saudi Arabia All times are GMT
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3
Page 3 of 3

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


This page is maintained by the one and only Dave Sperling.
Contact Dave's ESL Cafe
Copyright © 2011 Dave Sperling. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group

Road2Spain - TEFL and Spanish with one year student visa
EBC