It came as a surprise as I couldn’t understand the undergraduate’s reluctance in writing the reports since she was a qualified teacher who was now pursuing a degree programme in English.
It was only later that I found out that she could not write the report as she was not competent in English.
Needless to say, there are many questions that need to be answered. On what basis is the selection of English Language teachers done? What sort of training do they go through?
How is supervision and assessment carried out during the course ? Are they closely monitored? What remedial programmes are provided for them?
Even more worrying is the fact that the undergraduate and many more like her will soon become English Language teachers. For them to be language teachers, they must have an adequate grasp of the language to be effective whether they are posted to primary or secondary schools, or rural or urban schools after graduation.
If we are serious in improving the standard and performance of our students in the language, we must be fastidious and uncompromising in the selection of English Language teachers.
Could it be that, at the present time and level of English Language proficiency in our schools, we would be limiting the scope of choices available if the selection procedure is stringently carried out?
Whatever the reason, the logical thing to do is that candidates for any English teaching programmes must be made to sit for a written and oral test.
The test is to ascertain and assess the level of their competency in the language. We cannot compromise if indeed we are committed to providing our students with a strong foundation in English.
My purpose in writing this letter is to express the hope that the teaching and learning of English will improve over the years and not the other way round.
In this particular instance, one cannot help but conclude that quality had been compromised. I sincerely hope that the favour asked of me was an exception and not the norm.
Source: Education Home > Education Sunday May 8, 2011