Being an English teacher, I observe this problem in a lot of schools. The researcher observed that this is not only the student who fails in the subject of English at the secondary level there are other factors too, like the non-availability of English expert teachers, proper environment for teaching English, syllabus up-to-date etc.
The study is hoped to bring about the weakness and shortcomings in the teaching of English at the secondary level.
The study is hoped to formulate a guideline for the improvement of the environment of teaching/learning situations in the classroom. The study will have an impact on the policy of the Govt for encouraging the teaching of English as an instructional and the language of science and technology in our country.
The researcher has tried her best to make her study descriptive and to find out all the faults and shortcomings related with the subject of English that causes failure of students at the secondary level, like the following:
The prevailing system of examination → testing also contains a lot of mistakes. It may also be called a bookish system. Students of the secondary level cannot express their ideas in the written form.
They can only produce the material that they have studied in the coursebook. There is also a lake of general knowledge while examining the students. Another more important factor is that in the language test or examination there is no place for oral. The students are only examined theoretically. From the written material we judge the students how much he/she is good or bad in the subject of English.
The researcher has also pointed out that usually the papers are not set or designed by a subject specialist. In our country, as respect we select the senior person or an experienced person for paper setting without keeping in mind the point of whether the selected person teaches the subject (English) or not. Or in other words, whether he/she is a subject specialist or not.
As to the personal observation of the researcher it is also found in most of the schools that usually English is not taught by the English teachers. Teachers having a master in other languages like Urdu, Arabic are assigned to teach the English subject with a reason that the selected teachers are master in language and hence they can teach English because English is too a language. Most of our students fail due to this reason. English to a language doesn’t mean that it will have the same sounds, intonation, structure, or word formation as the other languages have. The command and competency of the teacher is very necessary.
Propaganda against English is also a good cause, due to which a large number of students fail in this subject at the secondary level. At this level the students get awareness and according to the English is against their religion, so they show dislikes for this subject and mostly only tries to just pass this subject.
Medium of instruction also plays very important role in the teaching / learning process. Each and every subject requires a separate medium of instruction. English being an international language also requires medium of instruction, for this subject medium of instruction must be English and if necessary where students are of low level its medium must be changed time to time according to the need of the students. In this regard the teachers’ correct pronunciation and his / her teaching methods are considered very important. If the teacher teaches English subject in his / her own language it causes failure of students in the subject of English.
English belongs to the western branch of the Germanic group of the Indo-European family. Anglo-Saxon, an old Teutonic or German language, forms the backbone of English. This period is usually known as Anglo-Saxon 450-1066. in 1066, however a very important event took place. This event brought about many changes in the
English is known as the language of the world or international language or in other words English enjoys an international value because it is the reservoir of knowledge, it is the language of the global village, it is an official language and the medium of instruction in higher education and research through out the world.
English is the most widely spoken language of the world. Millions of people living in
English as language + subject in
Teaching of English at the secondary level necessities well selected contents, graded vocabulary, and well directed teaching strategies. Provision of instructional materials and adequate grooming of teachers.
The aims of teaching/learning English in
1. To identify the problems faced by teachers/students while teaching/learning English.
2. To examine the standard of English at secondary level.
3. to know about modern techniques used in school for facilitating the English language learning.
4. To determine the effectiveness of syllabus of English at secondary level.
5. To know about the applied methods for teaching English at secondary level.
6. To know about the professional and academic qualification of English teachers for secondary level.
7. to know whether the English teachers have the facilities of A.V aids, electronic devices etc while teaching English.
8. To find out the teachers’ interest in teaching English at secondary level.
The study of the problem as faced by a large number of students at secondary level related with the English is of great importance. Not only the students but all bilingual people like
Standards terminology in sciences and technology is available in English. In the modern world, scientific advance is a co-operative effort in which all the nations participate. We cannot hope to take and effective part in this field of co-operation, unless we learn and use the language science that is in English.
English is very important for higher education and research. By giving up the study of English we run the risk of knocking the bottom off our higher education for which we mainly draw upon its resources and hospitality.
With the growing complexity of modern world no nation can boast of being self sufficient. Inter dependence is ever on the increase with the knowledge of English language, the industrialists can use the latest methods of production and distribution.
Thousands of scholars and scientists working in the laboratories and libraries in many lands present the results of their research in English. It is an ever expanding store-house of knowledge, classical and modern, human and scientific, unsurpassed in all the languages of the world.
English is undoubtedly the most important and widely spoken language in the world today. The latest statistics show that more than half the world directly makes use of English. It is the language of the united nations organization and the international court of justice at
English is an indispensable attainment for all professions open to educated men. That is why all the vernacular schools in the country had to introduce English as a required subject. The knowledge of English throws open the prospects of employment at home and abroad.
A common observation is held that English should be taught from a broader point of view. English being a language of modern scientific culture is conductive to mental training. The study of modern people in any and every aspect of their national life, of which the languages are the best instruments.
The above few point clearly show that English has great importance in the field of education, commerce, service etc. the people in this sub-continent also want to learn English because it is the language of the rulers. English is the only language through the medium of which we can keep pace with the competitive world.
3) Most of the teachers in
7) Medium of examination also leads to the failure of students in the subject of English. Most of the teachers appointed as invigilators for examination do not have any command over English and cannot explain the paper to the students.
Language is a tool of communication. It is a human speech produced by the human speech organs and received by the ears. Whenever there is a human society, there is language. Language lets us exchange ideas, facts, and even emotions. It is a source of knowledge and a source of enjoyment. It is one of the most fascinating and essential tools possessed by humans. It is our ability to use language that separates us from the rest of the animal world.
Spoken language is the most frequently used method of communication. In addition to speaking and listening, however, we obtain much information and enjoyment from reading. To read, we must rely upon written languages. The written language uses symbols to represent spoken language.
According to linguists, there are more than 6,000 languages spoken in the world today. To know more about language let us have a look upon the history of language.
Linguists are scientists who study many aspects of language. All linguists agree that the origin of human speech is still a mystery. No one knows when and how humans began to speak. No one knows how language started. There are, however many theories about the origin of language some are religious-language was considered a gift from the gods. Others are scientific-language started as an imitation of sounds occurring in nature. For example, humans heard a dog barking, they imitated the sound they heard and said “Bow-wow”.
Although linguists have not been able to solve the mystery of the origin of the language, they have been able to study and analyze almost all of the world’s languages.
The people learn the language other than the mother tongue because they need it for their several needs. In the case of English we have a great variety of needs and desires for learning English by our students
English is a foreign language and involves learning of linguistic habits with conscious, efforts. In acquiring habits and skills motivation plays a vital role. So emphasis should always be on relating teaching of English to the need and interests of the students. The process of learning linguistic habits and skills is very difficult and slow. Learning of a second language denotes the forming of fresh speech habits and skills, and this is not an easy task. In learning English greater efforts for both the teacher and the taught are required and this should always be kept in mind.
The second vital point in learning a language is “intensive practice”. This practice should comprise on all linguistic skills i.e. listening, speaking, reading and writing and sufficient volume and standard be acquired by the teaching in these skills. The standard of teaching in high school is to enable a class X student to acquire a practical command of the language e.g the student of class X should be able to understand English when it is spoken or written and also be able to speak and write it.
Here are many important reasons for learning a second language among them are the following:
1) Learning a second language increases your range of communication. For example, if you speak only English, you can communicate with over 400 million other people.
2) By learning another language, you gain knowledge of the customs and ways of life of other nations. While learning French, you find out how French people live, behave, and think.
3) A second language can help to add to your knowledge of your own language. For example, by studying Latin, you can improve your understanding of many of the thousands of English words that have their roots in Latin.
4) Learning of the second language helps you add. to your general stock of information. It can be a key that unlocks new fields of knowledge. If you learn German, you will be able to read books written in German on almost any subject you may wish to study.
5) Knowledge of a second language can help you gain a spirit of broad human tolerance. You will find that other people may think, speak, and act in ways different from yours. But these ways are not necessarily less desirable than your own.
An English teacher in
a. Suitable literature on methods is not available:
An English teacher needs to have a dozen different methods of teaching English at his finger-ends and a number of sills at his command. Moreover, to keep abreast of modern techniques, he has to study books and magazines. But the books to serve this purpose are not available in our country.
b. Needs of an English teacher:
An English teacher needs to be well conversant with the modern techniques of teaching English. Modern techniques depend on bringing into use more A.V.Aids. But the schools lack such material. Gurrey in his book has enumerated the three basic needs of the foreign language teacher. Knowledge of the best and most effective method to use, an understanding of the purpose and aim of each method he uses, and confidence and skill in his handling of them.
c. The problem of pronunciation:
The exact pronunciation of English words is a major problem of the English teacher in our country. Particularly the students mispronounce the words with constant clusters in the initial position.
As no effort has ever been made to find a solution to this difficult problem, every teacher involved his own convenient way of pronouncing these words with constant clusters.
d. Problem of Literal Translation
Our pupil is proving to literal translation. Some times they blunder in translating from Urdu to English. This habit is formed by incompetent teachers teaching this language.
e. Lack of Resources:
Modern methods emphasize the oral approach in the teaching of English. But the oral Work in the classroom seems to be impossible without proper A.V.Aids like objects, pictures, charts, diagrams, and maps. But adequate funds are not at the disposal of the English teacher to equip his classroom with these A.V.Aids.
f. Overcrowded classes:
Usually, the classes are overcrowded. The strength of each section is very thick. It is almost impossible for the teacher to attend all the students individually. English cannot be taught effectively unless the teacher pays individual attention to each student. The modern techniques demand at the most 30 students in a class, whereas, in
English is suffered and is suffering for lack of purpose on the part of all those concerned with the job; students, teachers, and parents. The teacher’ .never bother about the aims and objective of the teaching of English in school and colleges. The teachers teach this subject since it is included in the syllabus and the students learn it because they will be examined in the subject.
Faulty Method of Teaching
The teaching of English in
Dearth of Competent Teachers
English is a difficult subject. Only competent teachers can teach them efficiently. But in our schools, this subject is only in the hand of incompetent teachers. They are either trained in old methods and have never cared to look for something better in new techniques or there are those equipped with new techniques but never apply these in the classroom situations.
Textbooks are not written according to the needs of the students. No effort is made to select graded vocabulary for use in the textbooks. They also do not care about the need to use new methods of teaching English as a foreign language.
Illiteracy of Parents
Teacher Parent Communication:
The child is strolling like a stone in the hands of teachers’ parents. Parents and teachers should coordinate so that both may harmoniously build the personality of the student.
The Use and Place of Formal Grammar
A language can degenerate. The teacher of English is concerned to keep English alive. He is therefore bound to search for a means of maintaining speech habits. The criteria for distinguishing good from bad usage are notoriously fallible and subjective: they are such things as euphony, educated teas to and consent, clarity, ability to communicate. In so far as anyone can see and defend a genuine distinction between forms (for example, between ‘shall’ and ‘will’) he has a duty to maintain the Forms-Vet, as is happening in the case of the example given, the distinction may die out. Other factors than defensible to enter, and powerfully: the language is learned by imitation, and by acceptance of custom, but it is revivified by a sort of organic growth-by the power of new writhing, of new thinking, and of there-lived experience of old. It is because there is never enough time to ensure this organic growth that the writer has questioned the wisdom of allocating a period or its equivalent to formal grammar in the lower school.
Improvement in the teaching of the modern language can come to the schools and colleges only through the simultaneous improvement of a number of factors which concern the organization of classes, curriculum material and teacher training and through the co-operation of administration, psychologists and teachers and public, — American and Canadian Committee: Summary of Reports.
These factors may be examined under the following heads:
A. The pupils undergoing instruction
B. The instructor
C. The school External factors
The Pupil Factor:
Size of class: The number of pupils undergoing instruction is a a vital consideration for productive speech but not for the receptive side. Because it is a difficult task for teachers .to teach effectively to large a number of students.
Mental and Cultural Standard: Ultimately it is the pupil himself who will determine the degree of attainment, pupil himself who will determine the degree of attainment, as proficiency M a second language, must bear some relation to the mastery of the mother-tongue and to general intelligence and. culture.
The mental and cultural standards of the pupils must be taken into account for every phase of long-range training involving aims, subject matter and methods.
Composition of Class: In school teaching, harmonious progress depends greatly on the composition of the class. While this factor is applicable to every subject, it is particularly decisive in. foreign-language teaching where speech is a major aim.
Language classes are usually composed of pupils belonging to the following main categories of types.
a) Those with a natural aptitude for language, who master the second language with ease and require only, extended. experience;
b) Those of high intelligence who may acquire speech with effort but respond well to the intellectual and aesthetic sides of language at the higher levels;
c) The average student with moderate attainments who has little intuition and Must be stimulated by devices:
d) The weak pupil who tends to treat language more as knowledge then skill and is dependent on rules and rote learning;
e) The apparently non-linguistic pupil who does not respond to ordinary stimuli and requires individual attention.
Attitude: Through the course the teacher Will be called upon to overcome resistance on the part of the pupils. Without the will to work, satisfactory progress cannot be expected. It is therefore imperative to promote a favourable attitude to the subject.
Discipline: The efforts of both teacher and class ought to be exclusively devoted to the subject so as to exploit the time element to the maximum. It requires considerable pedagogic skill, whether intuitive or acquired, to control a class of pupils at any age, and get .there to work collectively and harmoniously. It is in this sense of willing co-operative activity that the term discipline is used here.
Interest: The most vital source of interest is the reading material, which series as the basic of most of the lessons. However skilful the teacher are, they cannot be expected to arouse or even evince interest in dull and stultifying matter. Tile textbook is more than a tool; it is instrument and material combined.
The other means of infusing interest are the devices adopted as didactic aids. These include: games, competitions, play-acting, singing, drawing, correspondence, projects, audio-visual aids (gramophone, films, picture-strips).
b. Teacher Factor:
In view of the nature and range of the Subject, it should be obvious that no generalized discussion of the qualifications of the- foreign) language teacher is profitable. The type of instructor, for instance, who is suitable for the practical training, is not necessarily capable of dealing successfully with the theoretical side of language; conversely, the teacher with high academic qualifications may prove an utter failure with beginners of any age. It would be well, then, to approach the question from the language angle by defining the stage as elementary, intermediate or advanced and noting the required qualifications for each level respectively.
Elementary: It is in the first year that foundation habits are laid for the new language and it is his experience in this stage, which will often determine the general attitude of the pupil to the subject. The main qualification of the teacher of this stage should therefore be:
a. General pedagogic training.
b. Special training in the theory and practice of Foreign language instruction.
c. The possession, of a good voice.
d. Good handwriting.
e. Ability to sing and sketch
Intermediate. The chief aim of this stage may be assumed to be reading, with speech as a secondary aim. While a sounder knowledge of the language is called for, in addition to the other minor qualification a certain histrionic ability is desirable.
Advanced. When pupils reach the advanced stage they may still be fat from proficient in the basic skills, but they will already be dealing with a vocabulary considerably beyond that for ordinary use, and their powers of expression in Writing may correspond to their ‘educational level. At this level pupil will study texts intensively, deal with grammar theoretically. and possibility on a course of literature. They therefore require a highly educated and cultured teacher”.
c. External Factors:
The pupils are only too sensitive to external factors. They will feel more inducement to treat the subject seriously if English ranks as a major subject that affects promotion.
The influence of the schools authority may be more positive, taking the form of direct interference with the work of the teacher. The head master, principal, or other authority to follow :a prescribed. programme covering not only aims but also methods may call upon the teacher.
The one thing that matters here is .that there should be co-operation between the teacher of English and the rest of the stair The teacher should welcome discussion of all aspects of his subject, but he .should in turn be accorded latitude in applying the methods that constitute his art.
It is not precisely known what `governs aptitude to learn a second language. Having mathematical ability or possessing a musical “ear” have been proposed as possible connections to a person’s inherent ability to learn a second language. Some people believe that the student’s ability to learn a second language in the classroom is somehow related to the amount of formal training received in the native language. Factors such as knowledge of tense word forms. and parts of speech in the native language contribute to wards the student’s aptitude for learning second language.
Adults generally have a greater long-term memorizing ability than children, which gives them a greater advantage for foreign language learning. This long-term memorizing ability aids in the repetition and response of sounds, symbols, and words. It also provides an organization of newly acquired language structures, enabling the students to have greater recall and understanding.
Foreign language learning can be greatly influenced by motivation. Students may be motivated bar financial as well as psychological needs to communicate effectively in English.
d. Native Language Interference:
When learning another language, students encounter certain pronunciation and structural difficulties because of their native language. This has an effect on their ability to acquire English.
The conceptualization of English teaching has a long fascinating, but rather tortuous history. For over a century educators have attempted to solve this problem, however not fully succeeded but advanced mainly by conceptualizing teaching in terms of teaching methods.
The following are some well known and prevailing methods of teaching English.
1. Direct Method
The direct method is characterized by the use of the target language + subject (English) as the means of instruction and communication in class room by the avoidance of the use of translation as a technique. The standard procedure in this method involves the class room presentation of a “text” by the teacher using direct method for teaching English, oral practice is needed in the beginning and this oral practice / oral method is considered the most natural method of learning a language.
In Pakistan most of the teachers like this method for teaching English, as good and easy method however it is too a fact that this method is good only for the development of speaking skill, more over two major problems have persistently troubled direct method teaching, one has been how to convey meaning with out translation and secondly how to safeguard against misunderstanding with out reference to our mother tongue.
2. Reading Method
As a creation of the 20th century this theory / methods was advocated by British and American educators. This method deliberately restricts the goal of English teaching to training in reading and comprehension. This method of teaching can only develop the reading skill and inner speech is regarded as an important aid is reading comprehension.
3. Traditional Method or Grammar Translation Methods
No full and care fully documented history of grammar translation exists, there is only evidence that the teaching of grammar and translation occurred in 1928. As its name suggests this method emphasizes the teaching of English grammar, its principal practice technique is translation from in to the mother tongue or national language, [in a country where different languages are spoken]
It is also called an economical method that saves teacher’s time and needs no A.v aids.
It helps in enhancing the students’ vocabulary in English, it is also an appropriate way of giving the meaning of words which stand for abstract things of qualities.
However, it is also a fact that this is a mainly book oriented method of working and learning the grammatical system of the English language. It lays little or not emphasis on the speaking of English or listening to English and an unnatural method that uses the “Eyes” only and ignores the “ear”. In this method there is word by word translation that destroys the child’s fluency and spontaneity of speech.
4. Structural Approach
Structural approach means the arrangement of words in such a way to form a suitable pattern of sentence. The underlying idea of this approach is that in learning a foreign language “Master of structure” is more important than the acquisition of vocabulary. This approach teaches the fundamental skill in orderly manner, its also correlate the teaching of grammar and composition with the reading lesson. It can be used easily by an average trained teacher.
Most of the teacher teaching to the 9th and 10th classes like this method, but it is also a fact that this approach is most suitable for lower classes at the stated level it over looks the linguistic habit. Much of the aids are needed for teaching this approach.
5. The Audio Lingual Method
This method of the sixties has several distinctive characteristics.
1) Separation of skills.
2) Use of language laboratory.
3) Use of dialogues.
In the audio lingual method, the dominant emphasis is placed on the fundamental skills i.e. listening and speaking while reading and writing are not neglected, listening and speaking are given priority and in teaching sequence precede reading and writing.
The teachers play important role in this method. All activities are dominated and directed by the teacher. The main emphasized is one pronunciation. This method is liked because it possesses the strength of the direct method. However, grammar receives much less attention in this method. This method is not effective for teaching of a foreign language to adults. Every thing in this approach is rigidly controlled and directed by the teacher.
Nature of the study is descriptive. It involves collecting, analyzing and interpretation of practices about English subject at the secondary level and its importance. A questionnaire is used as a means for the collection of data.
From a varied scattered sources descriptive study, a questionnaire is the major instrument of the research for the collection of data. However, it is also an admitted fact that a poorly constructed questionnaire creates a certain amount of contempt and confusion and the result will be disappointed and would provide false and untrue basis for generalization. But a carefully constructed the questionnaire can provide the true data and information and for the construction of a carefully, right questionnaire a good deal of time, patience, skill and hard work is required.
In the construction of the questionnaire all the necessary points were kept in view. The questions in the questionnaire are belonging with the skills, environment and teacher professional skills. In the start of questionnaire questions related wit the skills are placed. As they are easy to answer and fulfill the requirement of a language learning. These four skills are listening and understanding, speaking, reading and writing. If a student as well as a teacher is aware of there basic skills, there is little possibility of students’ failure in a language subject.
In the second part questions related with environment are asked here the researcher means with the term environment not only the classroom environment, but the environment of whole teaching and learning situation, like the availability of the language laboratory, the content of textbook according to the mental level of the child, necessary A.V aids used in the teaching of English, students’ performance in the subject of English etc etc.
In the third and last portion some questions are placed to get some knowledge about the teachers, like to know whether they have any professional training in this regard, whether they have gone through any English language session, to what extent they have command over this language / subject.
In short in the construction of questionnaire easy questions are in the start and the more difficult and technical are in the mid and last of the questionnaire. The questionnaire consists of more than 10 questions. Areas of questions are, skills, environment, and teachers’ competency. The questionnaire is of two-point scale, means having answers in Yes or in No.
The desired questionnaire was administered personally by the researchers in different schools of the university campus. Male and female both type of teachers was given the questionnaire for the purpose of collecting data.
For the administration of questionnaire for data collection a prior permission was obtained from the respective principals of the school, with the help of Heads / Principal the process of questionnaire administration became easy one. The cooperation of the English subject teachers was also desirable and appreciative.
As mentioned earlier that the problem is to find out the causes of students’ failure in the subject of English at secondary level, in the questionnaire, mostly those questions are included which are mainly related with the language learning and especially English language / subject.
As we know that English owes an international position in the world. Therefore, it needs competent and skilled teachers are trainers in service. So to fulfill this requirement the question related with teachers’ competency and command are also included in the questionnaire.
The total number of respondent is twelve, four English subject teachers from each school, consisting of male and female in equal number. The questionnaire was administered personally among these school teachers so that the data could be collected easily and accurately.
Three secondary schools of the campus were selected for the research.
1) Iqra School Chargali.
2) The Rustam Model School Rustam.
3) Sudum Children Academy Rustam.
To arrive at meaningful conclusion and purposeful analysis the data is arranged. The category for the analysis is as under:
1) Questions are designed in a sequent or logical order from easy to difficult.
2) Responses of the concerned teachers are arranged.
3) The number / percentage of yes and no is recorded.
4) Finally, the researcher reaches to a point to find out the causes due to which a large number of students fails in the subject of English.
After completing chapter 3 which was about methods and procedure. Now in this particular chapter, the researcher started the planning of all the collected dated and showing them in the form of tables. The tabulation of the data is according to the questions of the questionnaire as discussed in detail in chapter 3. The questionnaire was distributed in three schools on a university campus. Four English subject teachers were given the questionnaire in each school. The total number of the respondent is twelve.