ERG SES C 08, Secondary Education
Over the last decades English teaching in Bangladesh has seen a massive change with an aim to better equip its citizens by increasing their communicative ability in English. Like many European countries, English in Bangladesh plays an important role in education, administration, judiciary, trade and foreign communication. English is also considered as a vehicle for better access in the wider world which in turn expected to contribute to the economic growth. This paper will report part of my doctoral study, where a group of English teachers in Bangladesh secondary school context are studied in depth.
The term ‘effective teacher’ is an open ended matter and in the literature different terms such as good teacher (Cruickshank & Haefele, 2001; Hopkins & Stern, 1996), Effective teacher (Duffy & Hoffman, 1991; Stronge, 2007), Influential teachers (Rudell, 1995), Successful teacher, Star teacher (Haberman,1995), Excellent teacher (Radebaugh & Johnson 1971) Exemplary teacher (Ladson-Billings, 1994), Caring teacher( Thompson, 2010), Qualified teacher (Ingersoll, 2001) have been used to refer to successful teacher. Numerous interpretations and controversies can be found in terms of definition, interpretations, and characteristics of such teachers in the effective teacher research around the world. Effective teachers across different discipline share some common characteristics, but some characteristics are unique to the language teacher. Similarly, teaching strategies that are considered essential in language teaching (e.g. group work and pair work), may not so desirable in other subjects (Borg, 2006; Hammadou & Bernhardt 1987).
Over many years, Grammar Translation Method (GTM) was the dominant method of teaching English at secondary and higher secondary levels in Bangladesh. Textbooks at the secondary and the higher secondary level were mainly comprised of the different literary texts such as prose, poetry, short story etc. Reading and writing were the main components of the language and only students’ reading and writing capability were tested in the exam. In the grammar-translation based English curriculum, emphasis was on content memorisation instead of acquiring different language skills. As a result, after twelve years of formal schooling, students find it difficult to communicate in English.
To change the entire situation and to improve English language teaching at secondary and higher secondary levels in Bangladesh, many initiatives have been taken. A ‘Communicative’ syllabus was introduced in 1996, which replaced the previous Grammar-Translation based syllabus. The English Language Teaching Improvement Project(ELTIP) is one of the major initiatives which aims at implementing CLT approach to language teaching at secondary and higher secondary levels. The curriculum policy further revised in 2010.
The Bangladesh national curriculum policy, 2010, also emphasises communicative use of English and put much emphasis on using English in real-life situation. The new curriculum put emphasis on the importance of properly trained teachers to implement the communicative goal.
Despite many initiatives and different large scale projects, it is generally accepted that little has been changed (Hamid & Baldauf, 2008) in teaching and learning English in Bangladesh, and to some extent the standard of teaching English has been deteriorated. Some of the reasons behind this deterioration are often identified as different institutional and infrastructural constrains like large classes, excessive teaching loads, limited resources, inadequate teacher training, test-driven teaching, discrepancy between curriculum goals and implementation policy.
However, despite many barriers and with limited resources, some English teachers show excellence in their teaching in secondary schools in Bangladesh. This study aims to understand these excellent teachers’ characteristics, beliefs, teaching philosophy, motivation and classroom practices? What makes their teaching effective and what can other teachers in similar context learn from them? This paper aligns with the conference theme by addressing the still evolving teaching practices of secondary English teachers in Bangladesh.
Borg, S. (2006). The distinctive characteristics of foreign language teachers. Language Teaching Research, 10(1), 3-31. Cruickshank, D. R., & Haefele, D. (2001). Good teachers, plural. Educational Leadership, 58(5), 26-30. Duffy, G. G., & Hoffman, J. V. (1991). In Pursuit of an Illusion: The Flawed Search for a Perfect Method. Reading Teacher, 53(1), 10-16. Foster, M. (1991). Constancy, connectedness, and constraints in the lives of African-American teachers. NWSA journal, 233-261. Geertz, C. (1994). Thick description: Toward an interpretive theory of culture. Readings in the philosophy of social science, 213-231. Haberman, M. (1995). Selecting Star teachers for Children And Youth In Urban Poverty. Phi Delta Kappan, 76(10), 777-781. Hamid, M. O., & Baldauf Jr, R. B. (2008). Will CLT bail out the bogged down ELT in Bangladesh. English Today, 24(3), 16-24. Hammadou, J. A., & Bernhardt, E. B. (1987). On being and becoming a foreign language teacher. Theory into Practice, 26(4), 301–306. Hopkins, D., & Stern, D. (1996). Quality teachers, quality schools: International perspectives and policy implications. Teaching and teacher education, 12(5), 501-517. Ingersoll, R. M. (2001). The Realities of Out-of-Field Teaching. Educational Leadership, 58(8), 42-45. Ladson-Billings, G. (1994). The Dreamkeepers: Successful teachers of African American children: John Wiley & Sons. Miles, M. B., & Huberman, A. M. (1994). Qualitative data analysis: An expanded sourcebook: Sage. Patton, M. Q. (1990). Qualitative evaluation and research methods: SAGE Publications, inc. Radebaugh, B. F., & Johnson, J. A. (1971). Phase II: Excellent Teachers: What Makes Them Outstanding? The Clearing House, 410-418. Ruddell, R. B. (1995). Those Influential Literacy Teachers: Meaning Negotiators and Motivation Builders. Reading Teacher, 48(6), 454-463. Smith, J. A., Flowers, P., & Larkin, M. (2009). Interpretative phenomenological analysis: Theory, method and research: Sage. Stake, R. E. (2013). Multiple case study analysis: Guilford Press. Stronge, J. H. (2007). Qualities of effective teachers: ASCD. Thompson, S. W. (2010). The caring teacher: A multiple case study that looks at what teachers do and believe about their work with at-risk students(Doctoral dissertation). Available from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. (UMI No. 3412928) Yin, R. K. (2014). Case study research: Design and methods: Sage publications.
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.