From 17/8/2009 to 21/8/2009 is my School Based Experience (SBE) week. In that week, I have to search for information and make observations based on my minor subject which is ELE 3102 Principles of English Language Teaching. The task has been given a week before the date and my chosen school is Sekolah Kebangsaan Pulau Mertajam.
This school was located at Penaga, Seberang Perai Utara, Pulau Pinang. This is not my fist choice but considering that my cohort, PISMP Semester 4 has been given order to execute the SBE outside of Kedah state so I don’t have a choice but to accept it.
This school is one session school (morning), and it was an A grade school. It also have total 306 students and only have two classes for each year which means that it only have 13 classes including a pre-school class.
The interesting part of the school is that they have been sponsored by the GLC and other corporate for supplemen program. Many program organized by the school has been sponsored and the school have been chosen to be the pioneer of KSSR which still in debates at the Ministry.
However, the task must be carry on and to complete the task I have to find an English teacher so I could make an observations during the English language class.
DAY 1: OBSERVING ENGLISH LANGUAGE CLASSES
17/8/2009, this is my first day at Sekolah Pulau Mertajam,(SKPM) Seberang Perai Utara, Pulau Pinang. After reporting to the school’s administration we were being told to go to the assembly. That morning, I was introduced to all members and staff of SKPM including the students.
Today I have to make an observation for an English language class. First thing after the assembly finish, I went to the office and check for English language teacher schedule and found a suitable person to observe. Her name was Pn. Noor Kamaliah, 3G’s English class teacher. So we make an arrangement that I would like to observe her teaching English language class and she nodded.
The task for today is to list various types of communicative activities used by the teacher in the classroom and analyse teacher’s instructional language and questioning techniques. From my observation and my interview with her, I found that she use cloze activity by practicing prepositions and Strip a story activity. Using communicative activites in the classroom encourageand require a learner to speak and listen to other learners as well people in the program and community. These activities have real purposes, like to find information, talk about self and learn about culture. And through these activities, it teaches students and prepares them to face the outside world in global term. For easy example, if we were going to tourism in foreign country so English could be useful, even more than that.
Next, about the teacher’s instructional language and questioning techniques. During the lesson, teacher should give clear instruction to the student especially when it comes to English language. This is because, students will imitate every single word spoken by the teacher and because English sometimes have many words that sound alike but not when we segment the word. So it would be a lot better if teacher can repeat the instruction to make students understand and convey the meaning in the correct term/ situations. Also, from my observation teacher always use easy words in giving the instructions so that the learning process becomes smooth. However, still there were students who can not understand the easy instructions in English. Thus, teacher helps to explain to them in their native language, in this case Malay language. I am not surprised with this scenario because sometime to teach students in English, native language does helping. But teacher should not use it so often because of it will affect students by trying to convey English words in native language using direct translations.
Another skill that a teacher should have is questioning technique. From my observations, the teacher Pn. Noor Kamaliah loves to ask question to the students. And I found that, she uses wait time technique, where she gives her students time to think before answering. This is good because it helps build self confidents within the students self besides trying to give an accurate answers. She also use redirection questions technique, by adding students participation to respond to the same question. So this will help students to develop critical thinking and creative.
In conclusion, to be a good teacher a person has to use correct instructional language and use good questioning techniques. Besides, when teaching English a teacher should use lot communicative activities because it can help students to practice the knowledge in their daily life based on the real situations.
DAY 2: OBSERVING FOR TEACHER AND LEARNER ROLES
18/8/2009, this is my second day in Sekolah Kebangsaan Pulau Mertajam. Task given today is to make an observation about teacher’s and learners’ roles. Again, I executed this task in class 3 Gemilang.
From my observations today, in related with teacher and learner roles I found that teaching and learning process took places effectively and this could not be done if there were no relations and chemical between teacher’s roles and learners’ roles.
First, we start with learner’s roles. In today lesson, the teacher roles are very traditional where she was the authority in the classroom. The teacher gives input to the students. However, the teacher was actively played her roles and she still manages to encourage students by giving praises. Thus, it gives student satisfaction that their work hard was valued. By doing so, it becomes some sort of motivation to help boost the students’ interest in learning and maximize their potential. Form another point, the student or the learners’ roles is they do as the teacher says so they can learn what the teacher teaches them.
I felt that even though the teacher play traditional roles and the students just follow what the teacher said, it does not matter. This method works eventually and it can be proven by that day learning objectives successfully achieved. I also learn that, in order to make a lesson succeed, we need both teacher and learners play their roles.
DAY 3: OBSERVING CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT
Today, 19/8/2009 is my third day doing the School Based Experience (SBE) in Sekolah Kebangsaan Pulau Mertajam. The task given for me is to make an observation about effective classroom management.
The students enter the class right after the assembly and sit on their own places. The class seating arrangements is divided into two major groups which I called A and B and the students in both group are organized based on the cooperative model or mixed up ability so they can cooperate in completing the given task by the teacher. Based on my experiences, I found this was rather different from most school in Kedah where the some school arranges their students based on gender or academic achievement. As a matter of fact, I took this chance to ask the teacher what is the purpose of using seating arrangement like this and she said because it enables her to observe all students at all times including their behavior and works. Other than that, it also enables the student to see the teacher and presentation without making a turning or movement.
The students greet as their teacher entering the classroom to show respect and the lesson begins. First of all, the teacher ask questions from general topic like their conditions and their attendance before going to the questions that related to the lesson topic on that day. Through my observation, I found that this is her strategies in order to gain the students attention towards the lesson. I also found that to maintain the students attention, she keeps calling their names to give answer and ask the same questions repeatedly.
About the resources, they were not organised according to the students’ level which I think was not good. All the resources are same for each student. Teacher should organize the resources according to the students’ abilities. The weaker has to do the remedial while the advance one does the enrichment activities. For the follow-up task, the pupils have to organize themselves according to the teacher’s instruction which it involves whole class activity. This is traditional method which the teacher stands in front of the class. The teacher has unique way to prompt their students so they would remember their task. She reminds the students about their rules in class including finishing tasks before they could go home and no work from other classes.
During the lesson, there are many things happened which involving the students and teacher movements, teacher’s strategies to encourage students to finish their work. The students moved with permission like going to toilet or when they have been told so, usually during the lesson where teacher ask them to answer the question in front of the class. Other movements than that is depend on the students as long they do not disturb others. The students can access and use the resource in their text books, worksheets and replace the resources after they finish it with the teacher.
Furthermore, l found that the teacher practiced pedagogical principles in her teaching in term of supporting students who finish their work quickly than the other. The teacher use contact and praises also the facial attention. Moreover, she also requests all students to give big applause. By contact, I meant to say that the teacher making a positive contact such as holding the student shoulder and at the same time praises the student. Sometimes, the teacher change her strategies by giving the facial attention like smiling at the students so that it could encourage the appropriate behaviors on future beside setting a good example for the rest. Indirectly, this will make the student to compete with each others and make the lesson more interesting and fun.
Managing the class involve teacher movements and monitoring. The teacher often changes her position, sometimes at the back of the class, at her desk where she can monitor clearly. However it was totally different when it comes to students’ needs. Through my observation, it was clearly that the teacher realizes that there were gaps among the students specially the low achievers where she will guides and helps them to complete the task given.
At the end of the lesson, the teacher makes a summary and asking questions to students to get their feedback about that day lesson and it was about five minutes. Then she gave homework to the students. After that, the students make a line, tidy and clean their places. All materials that have been used were return to their origins. Then they were all greets again to the teacher
During this class the teacher manage to control the class from inappropriate behaviors where threats were detected early before it becomes serious by monitoring students carefully and frequently. She also moves closely to the students and makes eye contact and use non verbal signal to stop the unneeded behaviors. Besides preventing inappropriate behaviors, she also deals with different requests by ignoring them. This is because she feels that it was unnecessary.
There are many classroom rules and it can be explicitly or implicitly depends on the situations. Implicit rules are guides that are not formally stated but define based on behaviors whether it was suitable to the situations or not while explicit rules are formally stated. For example, required toilet passes in class would be explicit rules.
There were many strategies has been suggested but in this lesson, it would be a positive reinforcement using behaviorism theories. The reinforcement is praises, hand clapping, smiling and applauses. The students are allowed talking to each other but in several conditions which is using low tones so they do not disturb other students. When it was a learning session, whoever wants to talk or answer questions must raise up their hand. They also have to speak in English and native languages are forbidden to encourage the student using English in social context.
DAY 4: TECHNIQUES IN TEACHING LANGUAGE SKILLS
Today 20/8/2009 I have to make notes and observe the teacher’s technique in teaching the language skills.
The presentation stage occurs a the very beginning of the lesson and typically does not last for very long. It is almost complete controlled by the teacher. The teacher’s production stage begin when she asking about that day lesson topic, transportations. She wrotes a couple of word with a blank so that student could give the appropriate answer. She then ask the student to close their eyes as she spell a word one by one (transportation word) and ask the student to say the word. In the early stage, the teacher has integrated the listening skills. This is to activate their previous knowledge about what they’re about to learn.
The practice stage comes after the presentation stage. During this phase, the teacher may still be in control although recent preference seems to be to have group work to maximize student talking time and practice. The English teacher asks the students to give a word (transport) and spell the word. At least, the teacher has integrated the vocabulary in this stage. Then the English teacher go to the next step which she wrote a sentence at the black board and asks the students to read it. Automatically, the teacher also has integrated speaking skills and reading skills in her lesson about transportation topic. Then she took out several flash cards/word card to chosen pupils. The card was unorganized and the students have to rearrange the word and form a right sentence which related to grammar.
The production stage is the last stage. In this stage, its enable teacher to evaluate her own teaching and the students’ learning and to prepare for further practice or remedial activities. The English teacher continues to the next step which she wrote exercises on the black board and ask the students to copy and complete the task.
We could see that all skills is integrated including grammar and vocabulary by using a single tpopic-transportation
DAY 5: TYPES OF REMEDIAL AND ENRICHMENT ACTIVITIES
Today is my last day in this school and I would like to complete the task given. The task is to collect the students’ samples of worksheets.
The enrichment is an interesting learning activities and challenging to enable students to promote their inquiry, independence, innovative and the leadership while the remedial is a practice given to the poor academic achievement students in order to consolidate a knowledge or skill in learning.
The enrichment activities is given to the students after they successfully master basic skills while the remedial activities is given to the students who less in mastering a basic knowledge, so the teacher will give give activities to help them to master the knowledge.
Through the enrichment, students will make use of the skills that they have mastered to add experiences and knowledge equal with their ability and interest in certain study field while the atudent who have pass the remedial activities will use whatever skills and knowledge they have to complete the enrichment activities before going to the next level.