TEACHING BUSINESS ENGLISH: DO ENGLISH TEACHERS NEED TRAINING?
NOR AINI BINTI ABDUL RAHMAN, ISLAMIC UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF MALAYSIA &
FATIMAH BINTI ALI, UNIVERSITY COLLEGE of ENGINEERING and TECHNOLOGY MALAYSIA
English language teachers have to upgrade themselves constantly in order to keep up with the latest development in teaching the language. For English for Specific Purposes (ESP) teachers, the demand is even more pressing. Bearing that in mind, this paper investigates how Business English teachers equip themselves to teach Business English since Malaysian graduates with Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) degree are not specifically trained to teach Business English. To see how Business English instructors prepare themselves to teach the course, a set of questionnaire was distributed to forty-five course instructors from five public higher learning institutions in Malaysia. Results showed that the respondents employed various ways to teach the course.
The ultimate goal of teacher training is to provide qualified personnel for a nation. Society places high demands upon educators so as to ensure professional and social competence of both individuals and society. Continued education and training in new trends can help meet a great variety of educational needs and promote excellence in education.
Since teaching requires specific skills and an understanding of not only psychology but also human development, teacher training must be encouraged as it is an essential, continuous process. In line with that, Perraton (1993) and states that good education demands good teacher. This is because over the course of the twentieth century, as the teaching profession has grown, so have its standards risen....Society has steadily expected more of teachers in the variety of tasks they have to perform, the skills they need to master and in the imagination required of their work. Rising expectation has brought rising quality (p.1).
Hu (2005) contends that teacher education essentially concerns four areas: the knowledge base for teaching, pedagogical effectiveness in fostering knowledge acquisition and intellectual qualities that support continuing professional development, professional development in the community of practice and the coherence of professional development work. Solomon (1992) adds that there are four professional development models for teachers to consider : telecommunications networks to develop and conduct curriculum projects such as computer labs, distance learning, school district/university partnership and on-site camp.
Many studies have been conducted to look into the importance of teacher training. Among them were Blasé and Blasé (1999), Roth et al (1999), Curtis and Szestay (2005), Sivell (2005) and Burton (2005), Jacob and Lefgren (2004), Borg (2005), Gebhard (2005), Farmer(2005), Etus (2005), Godfrey (2005), and Eken (2005). These studies confirmed the fact that training is important and teachers do need training to improve their profession. These authors reiterate the importance of continued teacher development in order to deliver and promote quality education.
Teacher Training and Education in Malaysia
In Malaysia, the education policy sates that education in Malaysia is an on-going efforts towards further developing the potential of individuals in a holistic and integrated manner, so as to produce individuals who are intellectually, spiritually, emotionally and physically balanced and harmonic, based on a firm belief in and devotion to God. Such an effort is designed to produce Malaysian citizens who are knowledgeable and competent, who possess high moral standards and who are responsible and capable of achieving high level of personal well-being as well as being able to contribute to the harmony and betterment of the family, the society and the nation at large. Thus the Ministry of Education has specific teacher development programmes. They are:...
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