Competence and Performance in Language Teaching

Topics: Teacher, Pedagogy, Language education Pages: 11 (3846 words) Published: June 24, 2011
I. Background Information
Author| Jack C. Richards - Regional Language Centre, Singapore.| Title| Competence and Performance in Language Teaching|
SourceYear| at Victoria Univ of Wellington on January 3, 2011RELC Journal2010| II. Summary and responses
This article on the nature of competence and performance in language teaching is about the knowledge, beliefs and skills that language teachers make use of in their practice. A language teacher must master and combine certain dimensions of teaching knowledge and skills which are the language proficiency, the role of content knowledge, teaching skills, contextual knowledge, language teacher’s identity, learner-focused teaching, pedagogical reasoning skills, the membership of a community of practice, and professionalism. 1. The language proficiency factor

The more proficient on the knowledge and discourse skills, the more confident the teachers are regardless of whether they are native-speaker teachers or not. In this article, the author said that it is not necessary for a non-native speaker teacher to meet the native-like command of a language so that he or she can teach effectively. Non-native-speaker and native-speaker teachers have both strengths and weaknesses (Flores, 1997; Hertel & Sunderman, 2009; Medgyes, 1992; Pasternak &Bailey, 2001). The language proficiency factor does not depend on the teacher’s mother tongue, but the ability to achieve the knowledge. It is obvious that a language teacher must be proficient on the knowledge and discourse skills so that he or she can teach effectively. The teacher will not have to pay much attention and time to study the language which is going to be taught. He or she will have more time for the techniques used in his or her teaching instead. He or she just think about what is going to be taught, not how to teach well or enlarge the knowledge in the lesson, which destroys the creativity in teaching. A teacher who has not reached this level of proficiency will be more dependent on the resources (e.g. textbooks) less likely to be able to engage in improvisational teaching (Medgyes, 2001). A teacher who does not master the language he or she is teaching often feels unsure about solving unexpected problems. To be good at teaching, a language teacher must cover or even have much larger knowledge and ability to manage the classroom than what he or she teaches. It is another good point that the author of the article showed twelve things and four discourse skills which a teacher must have the ability to do. These are essential for a good teaching. Strictly following these things helps me deal successfully with my teaching as I did apply some these things. 2. The role of content knowledge

Content knowledge may be defined as “a thorough grounding in college-level subject matter” or “command of the subject” (American Council on Education, 1999). It may also include knowledge of concepts, theories, conceptual frameworks as well as knowledge about accepted ways of developing knowledge (Shulman, 1986). According to Richards, the content knowledge consists of two types of content knowledge (disciplinary knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge) and it is confusing to distinguish them. And the article will be easier to read when some of the terms are explained. Retrieved from Disciplinary is a term used to describe types of knowledge, expertise, skills, people, projects, communities, problems, challenges, studies, inquiry, approaches, and research areas that are strongly associated with academic areas of study (academic disciplines) or areas of professional practice (profession). For example, the phenomenon of gravitation is strongly associated with academic discipline of physics, and so gravitation is considered to be part of the disciplinary knowledge of physics. Disciplinary knowledge associated with academic disciplines and professions...

References: Anna Burns and Jack C. Richards (2009). The Cambridge Guide to Second Language Teacher Education. The United States of America: Cambridge University Press.
Briony Beaven (2010). IATEFL 2009: Cardiff Conference Selections. New York: IATEFL.
Ronald Carter and David Nunan (2001). The Cambridge Guide to Teaching English to Speakers of Other Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Scott Thornbury (2006). An A-Z of ELT. Thailand: Macmillan.
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