Thursday, January 21, 2016

Is your child’s English teacher qualified to teach English? How to confirm?

The profession of teaching includes several aspects such as skill, training, qualification; dedication etc. in almost all of the nations, the profession of teaching the English language at the school level requires some sort of professional training in order to be recruited. However in universities, a high level of education or qualification is preferred or required. University teachers with added qualifications and professional training are more likely to be recruited / retained by the institution. It has come in to notice that in the Gulf and Middle Eastern region, several of the English teachers employed there do not even meet the basic criteria or requirements; good subject knowledge, developing professional qualities, academic qualification and innovation etc.

Teachers with mere certificates and no understanding of the subject should not be hired to teach. Similarly someone without any professional qualification and education should not be employed only on the basis of their spoken English. Currently there are several teachers working via a professional certificate achieved just months earlier, however they have not studied the subject i.e. English language or literature. They are most certainly capable of speaking fine English however since they are teachers they have to have theoretical knowledge. Most of these English teachers have obtained degrees in history, politics, management, science, management and sociology etc. After some time, they attain English certificates. These English teachers have been previously employed as truck drivers, bus drivers, plumbers, farmers and managers. Many foreign nationals who are employed as English teachers usually speak several different national languages. However they are still not qualified to teach their national language in their country without proper certification, hence those well versed in medical field or health terminology cannot give out medicine or operate pharmacies.

Similarly a pharmacist may know several facts and information about medicine or pharmacology however he cannot be a practicing doctor. Simply said, most people learn to drive before the legal age, however they cannot drive a vehicle legally without obtaining a proper driving license and becoming of age. This question about the effectiveness of teaching arises as the learners are not successfully or sufficiently proficient in the language which they desire to teach and hence their seniors or fellow teachers are disappointed with the results.

Several reasons can be given for this disappointment. Teachers are most responsible for the enlightenment or enhancement of the learner.  Although the teacher might be in possession of the tool of communication, they may be lacking in a thorough understanding and deep knowledge about the language. Similarly the teacher might be well versed on the subject matter, however will lack the communication tool. In essence some teachers may lack in one aspect or another which causes a decline in quality of education or a lower overall standard of education.

Keeping all of the above in mind, a good and effective teacher must be communicative, knowledgeable, and equipped with a deeper understanding to be most effective in the class room.

Source: Saudi Gazette

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