AD's English Literature : Ten Common Difficulties in Teaching English to TEFL Students

Monday, April 6, 2015

Ten Common Difficulties in Teaching English to TEFL Students



" I pay the schoolmaster, but 'tis the schoolboys that educate my son."

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 - 1882)

The teacher of English generally faces certain difficulties in connection with the teaching of it. A TEFL teacher artificially constructs an environment to teach and to serve this purpose. The most famous and widespread artificial way is to mimicry the western standards. As today, English is used in more countries as an official language or as the main means of international communication than any other language, the real TEFL  teacher as well as real institutes is a rarity. The TEFL teacher and the academic authority, while laying down the principles of teaching English, shall take into consideration value education, fuming up child’s knowledge, potentiality and talents; Development of physical and mental abilities to the fullest extent; Learning through activities, discoveries and exploration in a child friendly and child-centred manner;  Medium of instruction shall, as far as practicable, be in English; Comprehensive and continuous evaluation of child’s  understands of knowledge and his or her ability to apply the same.



But instead the teachers face these problems en route to his/ her goal accomplished.



(i) English as a foreign language differs to a great extent from any of the Indian languages, for example, in various respects. So a special method is required for its teaching. But for a long time there was the want of the right kind of method for the teaching of English and this made the teacher’s task very difficult. Read More Teaching English


(ii) With the introduction of various subjects in the reorganize pattern, and change in the medium of instruction, the time available for the teaching of English has been very short. Moreover, since the other subjects in the curriculum are too bookish and theoretical, more time is required for their teaching.


(iii) In most of the cases the teacher has no clear idea about the standard of achievement in the subject. He does not know what type of work should be done and what method should, be followed at a particular stage. The standard to be aimed at is generally pitched very high. As a result, there is an unnecessary wastage of time producing most disastrous result.


(iv) The old speech habits in the mother tongue generally interfere with the formation of new speech habits. So it is very difficult to form the new speech habits in the children. In reading or speaking English, words are pronounced in the peculiar way in which the words in the mother tongue are pronounced. So it is very difficult for the pupils to practice pronunciation, phrasing, accentuation, intonation etc, peculiar to English. Read More Teaching English


(v) The modes of expression in the mother tongue sometimes influence the modes of expressions in English and as a result the pupil has a tendency, to fall back into vernacularisms e.g. leg-fingers for toe. He says good English for they speak good English which are very difficult to eradicate.


 (vi) There is still a great dearth of specially prepared text books containing suitable subject matters, vocabulary and sentence patterns with proper gradation and arrangement.

(vii) The defective system of examination encourages cramming in the children and forces the teacher to discard the modern techniques of teaching and fall back upon the stereotyped method.


(vii) The strength in the class is generally so large that it is practically impossible for the teacher either to give individual drill or to correct the composition work of the children.

(ix) The standard of achievement in English, specially is rural areas, is very low and in most of the cases the unqualified teachers in the hands of whom the task of teaching English is placed in the early stages, are greatly responsible for it. Read More Teaching English

(x) despite of the goal of Making the child free of fear, trauma and anxiety and helping the child to express views freely, English become the subject of fear due to lack of good teaching or follow up process(tabooed).


Thus while Teaching English to TEFL Students, A school-based continuous and comprehensive evaluation system be established in order to  reduce stress on children, make evaluation comprehensive and regular, provide space for the teacher for creative teaching, provide a tool for diagnosis and producing learners with greater skills. The entire process should be simple, flexible and implementable in any type of school from the elite one to a school located in rural or tribal areas.


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An English Teacher;    M. A.(English) , D. Ed., B. Ed., UGC- NET Qualified

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