Problems of English teaching in Sri Lanka: how they affect teaching efficacy
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AbstractConcerned to comprehend the teaching efficacy of English teachers in Jaffna, Sri Lanka, this thesis investigated contentions by principals, retired teachers and resource personnel that Sri Lankan teachers’ lack of teaching effectiveness (teaching behaviours that influence student learning) accounted for students’ low English attainment; and counter claims by English teachers that their teaching efficacy (beliefs in their abilities to affect student learning) was undermined by classroom and other-related problems. This mixed-method research comprised two stages. In a preliminary study, 298 students and twenty-four teachers from twelve secondary schools participated in a survey designed to understand challenges encountered in the teaching and learning of English. With a similar purpose, thirty-four English lessons involving 320 students and ten teachers were observed. Interviews concerning the aspects underpinning effective English teaching were conducted with five principals, three English resource personnel and three retired teachers. In the main study, sixty-two teachers from thirty-five secondary schools were surveyed and twenty interviewed to identify factors which affected the teaching efficacy of English teachers. Participating schools were categorized vis-à-vis their students’ performance: low-performing and high-performing. Findings support English teachers’ views concerning their teaching efficacy. Teacher perception revealed associations between the lack of teaching efficacy of English teachers in low and high-performing schools, and teacher background/parental duties/self-development, classroom problems and inadequate educational resources. No explicit evidence was found that students’ poor English attainment in low-performing schools was due to their teachers’ lack of teaching effectiveness. Observations showed that students were deprived of external resources which assisted students in high-performing schools to become proficient in English. New insights about Jaffna teachers’ efficacy indicate the need for a more context-specific English language curriculum in Sri Lanka, informed by teachers’ knowledge of their students’ English learning needs at a local level if teaching efficacy and English attainment are to be enhanced.
CitationAloysius, M. (2015) 'Problems of English teaching in Sri Lanka: how they affect teaching efficacy'. PhD thesis. University of Bedfordshire.
PublisherUniversity of Bedfordshire
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted to the University of Bedfordshire in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy
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