Students’ Perceptions Of The Effect Of Teacher’s Competence And Methods On Their Use Of English Language
1.1 Background to the Study
The term competence first appeared in an article authored by R. W. White in 1959 as a concept for performance motivation. Over the years other scholars have also adopted the use of the term competence. Some scholars describe it as a combination of practical and theoretical knowledge, cognitive skills, behaviour and values used to improve performance; or as the state or quality of being adequately qualified, having the ability to perform a specific role (Wikipedia). In a general description, competency is the requirements of human beings in organizations and communities.
The word competency is increasingly being used in education circles today, it is a description of one’s ability and measurement of one’s performance. A person’s competencies maybe defined in terms of one’s knowledge, skills and behaviours. Usually competency in education is in reference to teachers i.e. Teacher ability, to understand the competencies required of a teacher we must first define the job of a teacher. A teacher is closely tied to the nature of the classroom. The modern classroom calls for a teacher to prepare virtually all students for higher order thinking and performance skills once reserved to only a few (Darling Hammond, 2006: 300).
There are certain competencies a teacher in the 21th century classroom need to possess, some of these competences are: Professional practice, Leadership and Management and Personal effectiveness.
A competent teacher seizes every opportunity to encourage learning, believing that all students can learn. A competent teacher knows that learning is not restricted to the classroom, the teacher takes every opportunity to improve on his or her own professional practice, in order to provide quality learning. Also, a competent teacher is a teacher who wins the hearts and minds of the students. The teacher sees value in developing and working with others, which includes parents, colleagues and actively seeks out professional collaboration within and beyond school. A competent teacher understands that it is important to develop oneself before one can provide support for others. As a professional, the teacher maintains high standards of personal and professional integrity when carrying out all duties and responsibilities.
Meanwhile, English language is a West Germanic language that was first spoken in early medieval England and is now a global lingua franca (Wikipedia). In Nigeria the English language is studied as a second language, it is Nigeria’s official language (it is the language of politics, law, and business and so on). The overall aims of the English language curriculum are:
- To provide every learner of English with further opportunities for extending their knowledge and experiences of the cultures of other people as well as opportunities for personal and intellectual development, further studies, pleasure and work in the English medium.
- Also, to enable every learner to prepare for the changing socio-economic demands resulting from advances in information technology (IT) – demands which include the interpretation, use and production of texts for pleasure, study and work in the English medium.
- It is also important for learners of the English language to speak the language correctly, considering the grammar and phonology.
Nigeria Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) 2008 revised the curriculum on English language with the following objective that learners should be able to: interact effectively in a variety of situations; access and make use of information from a variety of sources and media; present information in an organised manner; appreciate literature and other cultures, and develop linguistic awareness.
As a result of the reasons stated above, it is compulsory for teachers and schools to prepare the students to learn the subject well and be able to use the language in different settings. The present study is meant get the perception of students on the competence and methods of teachers on their use of the English Language.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Generally, it has been observed that the students interest or opinions are not being taken into consideration especially in the subject English language which is compulsory right from the primary level to the tertiary level. It is important to assess the students’ perceptions of the effect of teacher’s competence and methods on their use of English language. This is a reflection of how well the students understand and learn what they are being taught. Student’s perception on their teachers would help to investigate:
- Teacher’s method of teaching.
- Teacher’s knowledge on the subject.
- Teacher’s attitude towards ensuring that students understand what they are being taught and are able to use the English language in different contexts.
1.3 Purpose of Study
The general purpose of this study is to examine students’ perceptions of the effect of teacher’s competence and methods on their use of English language. The specific objectives are:
- To examine the effect of teachers’ competence on students’ academic performance in English Language from the students’ perception
- To investigate the effect of teachers’ teaching experience on students’ performance in English Language from the students’ perceptions.
- To examine the effect of teacher’s qualification on students’ performance in English Language based on the perceptions of students.
- To find out the effect of teachers’ methods on the students’ use of English Language from students’ perceptions.
1.4. Research Questions
The study in an attempt to take into consideration the perception of students on their teacher’s competencies and how it helps them (the students) understand the English language well, the following questions were addressed specifically;
- What is the students’ perception of their teachers competence?
- What is students’ perception of the methods the teacher uses to teach English language?
- Are the teacher’s methods of teaching adequate for learning to take place in the classroom?
- Does the competence of the English language teacher impact positively on the students’ use of the English language?
- Has the teachers’ methods impact positively on the students’ use of English language?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The researcher intends to test the following hypotheses;
Ho1: Teachers’ competence does not have any significant effect on students’ academic performance in English Language from the students’ perception
Ho2: Teachers’ teaching experience does not have any significant effect on students’ performance in English Language from the students’ perceptions.
Ho3: Teacher’s qualification does not have any significant effect on students’ performance in English Language based on the perceptions of students.
Ho4: Teachers’ methods do not have any significant effect on the students’ use of English Language from students’ perceptions.
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