Director of Islamic University of Maldives Visits KAU    Israeli forces arrest 14 Palestinians in West Bank    Saudi Grains Organization to import 540,000 tons of wheat    Arab League Supports Morocco's Decision to Sever Relations with Iran    Saudi Press    Asia shares mixed    State Security Spokesman: Citizen Ahmed bin Mohammed Al-Derby repatriated from Guantanamo Bay prison, arrives home    Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz commends of Saudi Alzheimer's Disease Association    Meetings of 18th Hajj Research Forum Concluded in Makkah    SAMA Sends Final Ultimatum to Saudi-Indian Cooperative Insurance Company (WAFA), for Failing to Comply with Financial Adequacy Requirements    Simultaneous Heart, Lungs Transplants Put End to Saudi Youth's Suffering    A Special SAUDIA Aircraft is set to tour the world to mark the participation of the Saudi National Soccer Team Playing in Russia 2018 Mondial    Special Governmental Committee for Awareness Against Unauthorized Forex Activities Warns: Dealing in Unauthorized Foreign Securities' Activities is Fraudulent    Advisory: Please note this news item is a repetition of item No. 42 for correction    The Office TV show Executive Producer presents his experience in KSA    SFDA Wins Middle East Excellence Award for Government and Smart Cities    Ahmed Al-Sharbatly qualifies to world para-dessage championship in America    Partnership between Government Communication Center and Saudi Arabian Football Federation for Covering Saudi National Team's Participation in World Cup    Saudi Squash National Team Player Wins International Bronze Medal in Norway    Saudi cyclist wins two titles at Bahrain International Circuit    Mufti of Mount Lebanon: Saudi Arabia is Heart of Islamic World and Attempts to become Audacious Against it affects Feelings of Millions Muslims    Newcastle Beat West Ham 3-0 for their first Win of the Season    Mourinho insists Ibrahimovic must be good enough for Manchester United    More than 1,5 million pilgrims arrive in Saudi Arabia, so far    MWL allocates SR 7 million for Eid sacrifice project in 47 countries    Saudi Campaign provides educational and training services for Syrians in Al-Za'tari camp    Saudi student goes missing in Kentucky, US    Harvey lashes Texas US coast with high wind, torrential rain    North Korea tests short-range missiles as South Korea, US conduct drills    Samsung leader Jay Y. Lee given five-year jail sentence for bribery    Reforms have saved the economy from possible recession, say analysts    The King and Crown Prince congratulates Moldova's President    Known days    "MODON" Signs MoU with Chinese Goldwind Company for wind-turbines manufacturing in the Kingdom    Flyadeal, Saudi Arabia's new low-cost airline, scheduled to launch on September 23, reports    Joker, Harley Quinn movie in works with 'Crazy Stupid Love' filmmakers    Mastercard launches Masterpass in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia    Honda among 27 Japan players named for World Cup qualifiers    Madhuri Dixit to venture into Marathi films as a producer    Consumers warned against using some brands of face powder, hair products    Shraddha Kapoor wants people to help the needy    How 'GOT' makers made the frozen lake in 'Beyond the Wall'    Neymar targets improvement after phenomenal home debut    Politicizing the pilgrimage    Rakhi 2017: "Bond of Love" between a brother and his sister    World Conference on rights of prophet's companions, house of Prophet, his spouses, their virtue concludes    Senior Scholars Council: Assault on sanctified lives is divinely prohibited    Imam of the Prophet Mosque Receives Indian Preachers    

Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.

Dilemma of teaching English in the Kingdom
Dr. Ali Mohammad Al-Asmari & M Shamsur Rabb Khan

Mofreh, member of the Shoura Council's Education Committee, and other, in response, from Abdullah Al-Muqbil, the former secretary general of the higher committee for education policy at the Ministry of Education – on teaching English at primary level might be more confusing than surprise for many. While Al-Mofreh sees teaching of English at primary level a waste of money and human resources, Al-Muqbil advocates for greater motivation to schools and teachers, in addition to revising the curriculum to improve the performance of English teachers. Rather English is to be taught, as Al-Mofreh envisions it, intensively at high school where it can be compensated. However, he cites an unattractive learning environment, less time for English teaching and lack of specialist English teachers as the reasons for poor performance of elementary and intermediate students. In response, Al-Muqbil strongly supports the same yardstick for other subjects since no one can say that teaching other subjects is a waste of time.
The arguments of both sides have opened up an academic debate on teaching of English at primary level in the Kingdom. Al-Muqbil's views seem more pragmatic in the sense that not only it will help create jobs for Saudi youths, and which will be an addition in the ongoing Saudization program, but also prepare the Saudi students for taking subject like science, computer, and engineering at university level.
One big question as to how English can be compensated at high school level where both teachers and students have to start from ABC is a difficult question. And where and how can the school find more classes for English to teach them intensively? The problem is not that schools will start devoting more time and classes for English learner at high school level, but giving less time and classes at elementary level.
Al-Mofreh's comparison of achievement level when he sees “no big difference between students at public schools and private school students who study English at a very early stage” is entirely based on personal experience, not on research studies and real time scenario prevalent in countries where English is taught as second language. As teachers, when we compare our students in the college with those of private schools at high level, we find the latter more proficient and responsive. And a large number of Saudi students at the college level often complain of lack of good teachers at the high school level. Equally, a great number of expatriate teachers at university level find it difficult to create a fitting teaching strategy when they compare the curricula to the students' proficiency level. How can, if we go by Al-Mofreh's opinion of teaching English intensively at high school, compensate it when teachers are not qualified, trained and motivated? Al-Muqbil provides half of the answer: he asks for employing female teachers at the elementary level, as is the norm in India, China, and Pakistan, for better results. The other half answer is to create qualified and trained teachers for elementary as well as high school levels, in addition to motivating them for teaching English with equal enthusiasm and attention.
We see high interest among college-going Saudi students for learning English, and the number of students enrolled for English programs, for example, in King Khalid University is much higher than that in other subjects. What the students lack is general proficiency in English that they must have acquired at the high school level where they met with lack of a stimulating environment that could help enhance their motivation level. The same is the story at elementary level. Now when university teachers try to teach them “everything” that have not been taught at both elementary and high school levels, they face even a bigger problem. Many a new university teachers try to speak English fast, using vocabulary unfamiliar to students due to which required level of learning that is supposed to be accomplished is unfortunately not done. As a result, the students who even passed out BA lack the required proficiency and expertise level in English, and these are the same students, who are employed to teach students at high school level who possess the least proficiency and motivation level.
What we experience among students in classes at university level includes: they have short attention spans; they are easily distracted from tasks; they are less responsive; they show no interest and willingness for self-paced learning; and they are always dependent on teachers' assistance for completion of tasks. There emerges a clear mismatch between the interest and enthusiasm that new students who get enrolled to learn English program carry when they enter the university premises and the shrinking interest and enthusiasm that they exhibit after a few months of learning. Barring a few exceptions, a great majority of Saudi students at college or university level happen to learn via only one evaluation test, i.e., achievement test out of four fundamental tests. The rest three, ie, proficiency test, diagnostic test and placement test, they learn when they either opt for TOEFL, or going for a job. Teachers, both at high school level and college or university level, carry the onus of creating unfriendly learning envrionment
Employment of trained female English teachers at elementary level and appointment, training and evaluation of both male and female English teachers at high school level are the prerequisites for better results. An environment of competition can be inculcated through employing a few expatriate teachers at elementary and high school levels in all schools as well. Finally, Saudi students at elementary and high school levels need to be exposed to learners of English as a second language from sub-continent through education exchange programs.
The authors are vice-dean and assistant professor, respectively, at the College of Science and Arts, Muhayel, King Khalid University, Abha. __

Clic here to read the story from its source.