The language that teachers use in the classroom has a valuable impact on their competency as teachers. The Language Teachers Target Language project (LTTL) addresses the inefficiency in the language teachers target language employs. Research suggests that while the teaching approaches have been given considerable analysis and consideration in training of teachers, the value of the target language while teaching has been severely undermined. It is because of this that the research seeks to determine the value of target language in the classroom as opposed to teaching approach (Korenev et, al,. 146). Teachers target language can have an important impact on the value of teaching training and the teaching practice.
The research aimed to discuss the value of target language in a classroom based on two metrics. These were the analysis of the language functions that teachers are required to use in teaching. The classroom context would offer the best assessment of the value of teacher target language on student performance. In an analysis of the language functions best suited for the teaching practice, the research went further and aimed to evaluate the capacity of teachers to use these functions. This second phase would analyze the potential for language functions impacting the teaching practice and assessing the use of language functions in class (Korenev et, al,. 146).
Some of the concerns in this part of the research involve the assessment of teacher fluency and pronunciation, sentence stress, lexical range among other important lingual competencies (Korenev et, al,. 146). To impact quality education, teachers are required to have good interactive communication skills. It involves the use of spoken interaction elements like listening, writing and reading. Class participation and student contribution are key examples of an interactive teaching approach. Trainers need to stress on the value of these concepts to teachers and even expand some of these ideas for practical implementation in the class.
The second goal of the research was to discuss the value of language functions to teachers in their professional capacity outside the classroom. Teachers are required to provide a holistic training program for the students (Korenev et, al,. 146). In doing this, teachers are also required to hold meetings with parents, write reference letters for their students, and coordinate with the administration and other teachers on student affairs. All these tasks are central to the teaching practice and often impact the value of education that students get in school. To ensure that the value of target language in the teaching practice is thoroughly researched, the paper also looks at this sphere the LTTL program (Korenev et, al,. 146).
The research tool a quantitate approach using questionnaires and interview methods to collect data. The research was primarily focused on Russia. 20 teachers from Moscow State University and 10 teachers from Briansk State University piloted the questionnaire phase of the research. The questionnaire was then digitally distributed through the National Association of Teachers of English portal. This phase realized 670 respondents and an additional 46 teachers from English as a Second Language teaching programs (Korenev et, al,. 147).
The research did not separate English as First Language programs from the English as Second Language programs. The reason for not separating the two was due to the value of the research to the teaching practice regardless of the program's teachers taught. The research aimed not to focus on specific teaching programs but acknowledge that teachers, regardless of the programs in which they teach, ought to be competent with language functions and teacher target language (Korenev et, al,. 147).
The results of research saw some interesting responses from teachers. For one over 70%, of the teachers were competent, in assessment and commenting on student written work, had developed their own language learning assignments, consistently advised students on their school work and even read on language teaching. The statistics, saw 98% of teachers having read extensively on language teaching. An important point to note was that the practices with which most teachers were competent were all based on the classroom (Korenev et, al,. 147).
The teachers did, however, fall short in several areas, with over 62% failing in some of the most important out-of-class responsibilities. Writing of reference letters and reflecting on ones teaching practice saw only 60% of teachers practice (Korenev et, al,. 147). To improve their skills or even further the academic opportunities of their students, teachers needed to improve on their implementation of these practices. Other out-of-class teaching functions that were grossly under-practiced include, communication with parents which only realized 12% of practicing teachers from the sample group (Korenev et, al,. 147).
Language training for teachers is an important practice from which teachers gain valuable skills that they can practice in the classroom and professionally outside the classroom. The research suggests that many teachers are competent in basic language functions competency and target language elements. Delivery of service, therefore, safeties the basic teaching competency requirement for most teachers. However, in practicing these standards outside, the classroom, teachers fall short in their responsibilities. It is, therefore, important to put emphasis on the value of understanding language functions and teacher target language in the classroom context and furthering these practices outside the classroom.
Korenev, Alexey; Westbrook, Carolyn: Merry, Yvonne; Ershova, Tatiana. Language Teaching; Cambridge 49.1 (Jan 2016): 146-148.
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