Importance of English Language and Speaking Skills

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Importance of English Language & Speaking Skills Among
Fourth Year Students

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Table of Contents

List of Tables

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Abstract
The overall agenda for the research reported here grew out of semi-structured interviews with senior secondary students here in Davao City, Philippines. These Students were asked a number of issues, including the changing profile of secondary students, the changing nature of English curricula, the increasing need for English teaching staff to be adaptable, highly qualified and research-active, and the growing pressure on institutions to introduce English language proficiency benchmarking. Each of these issues can be related to the impact of globalization and, in particular, the impact of the globalization of English, on the education sector. Following a critical review of selected literature on the impact of globalization on the teaching and learning of English, each of these issues, as it affects the tertiary education sector in Davao, was explored.

Analysis of the Filipino national curriculum guidelines for schools, strongly influenced by academics in the secondary education sector, revealed a number of problems relating to a lack of proficiency benchmarking and a lack of coherence, consistency and transparency in some areas. These problems may be associated with the initial phase of transition from a grammar-based curriculum to a more communicatively-oriented, outcomes-centered one. Problems of a similar type were indicated in responses to questions relating to curriculum matters included in a questionnaire distributed to a sample of teachers of English in the secondary sector. Among other things revealed by questionnaire responses was the fact that many survey participants had received no training in English teaching. Although there appears to be considerable anxiety and uncertainty associated with the teaching of English at Secondary level in Davao City, Philippines, and some genuine cause for concern, there are also many positive indicators of future success. Teachers and educational managers are aware of the problems they currently face and appear determined to resolve them. Philippine academics are increasingly involved in language-related research and increasingly prepared to interrogate their own practices, and Philippines, unlike some other countries in Asia, is moving towards graduation proficiency benchmarking.

KEYWORDS: English language teaching in Davao City; the globalization of English; attitudes, perspectives and competencies of English language teachers in Philippines; English proficiency testing; backgrounds and perspectives of students of English in Taiwan.

Chapter I: Problems and Its Settings
Background of the Study
We are entering a phase of global English which is less glamorous, less news-worthy, and further from the leading edge of exciting ideas. It is the ‘implementation stage’ which will shape future identities, economies and cultures. The way this stage is managed could determine the futures of several generations.

David Graddol, English Next, 2006, p. 109.
This research project evolved out of the problems I and many of my classmates and schoolmates face as Fourth year student here in Davao City, problems relating, in a general sense, to the attitudes, motivation and proficiency achievements of students in their English. Many secondary-level teachers of English in Philippines feel themselves to be under constant pressure to improve the performance of their students, pressure that relates both to internal factors – the desire to do better - and external factors - the expectations of educational managers, parents and the students themselves, expectations that are reflected in ongoing discussion in the popular press about the need to improve the English...
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