PART 1: TEACHING EVALUATION
In language pedagogy, the effective teaching plays an influential role in serving as a guide to help English as a Foreign Language (EFL) learners achieve particular objectives better (Al-Barwani, Al-Ani, and Amzat, 2012). For example, an English speaking class indicates the effective teaching since learners finally can complete what objectives the teacher has set up in the lesson plan. Besides, Hill’s (2014) study defines that effective teaching contributes to preparation for the teacher before starting the class. If teachers get aware of the effective pedagogy in their every lesson, they will become successfully following the right way in their career. Therefore, teachers are one of the indispensable parts which make the progress of teaching and learning more sufficiently (Younus, Farooq, and Tabassum, 2017).
However, many Vietnamese teachers still focus on traditional teaching methods which they tend to do most of the things whereas learners’ learning outcomes’ achievement after each lesson is quite vague. Therefore, that leads to the mismatch for teaching English effectively nowadays (Zhang, 2018).
Therefore, this paper focuses on finding out what is the most necessary factors that contribute to teachers’ effective language teaching framework for enhancing English learning of EFL learners in Vietnam. Hence, the next section reviews the relevant literature to come up with five key points for teachers’ effective teaching namely pedagogical knowledge, teaching methods and strategies, interpersonal skills, personalities, and professional characteristics. After literature review section, the paper gives an analysis and discussion on the effective teaching of a real classroom observation (Appendix 1). To sum up, this paper can be a contribution in helping the learning English of EFL learners in Vietnam better and more effectively thanks to the correct perception of EFL teachers toward the efficient teaching framework.
2. Literature Review
2.1 Pedagogical Knowledge
According to Al-Barwani, et al. (2012), the pedagogical knowledge is what every language teacher must have about their teaching subject and learners’ characteristics. About the English subject, except what teachers have got after graduating, relevant knowledge from training courses, workshops, or conferences is also beneficial and necessary. It is because the teachers can provide up-to-date information on the same topics for learners instead of keeping old contents from the textbooks that published several years ago. Besides, learners feel easier to understand and remember such practical information which saves more time for their more important practicing. Apart from the knowledge relates to the teaching subject, the teachers have a strong awareness of learners’ different characteristics and backgrounds is also an important point. Knowledge in learners’ background such as ages, learning styles, genders, preferences, etc. guides teachers in having appropriate behaviors or teaching methods. The study of Grant, Stronge, and Xu’s (2013) also shows that knowing learners’ differences helps teachers predict some problems or misbehaviors can happening during the learning process. Therefore, the additional teaching plan or solution for some special cases make teaching more smooth and effective. To sum up, the basic factor that teachers should have for the effective teaching is content knowledge of the subject they teach and learners’ differences which affect learning.
2.2 Teaching Methods and Strategies
The second feature needs considering to the effective teaching are the methods and strategies that the teachers use during their lessons. Since learners are various in learning styles or backgrounds, applying different and up- to- date teaching methods help teachers transfer new knowledge to a particular-characteristic-learner more easily and conveniently( Batool, Naz, Habib, Anjum, Goraya, Akram, Khalid, and Sadaf, 2015). According to Gebre, Saroyan, and Bracewell’s (2014) study, using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) teaching method skillfully makes teachers more successful than others who do not. In addition, Rahimi’s (2015) study illustrates the importance of using a variety of teaching methods to increase learners’ participation in the lesson and classroom activities. About strategies using in the class, Rahimi’s (2015) study mentions the frequency in using discipline strategies of the EFL teachers. It includes activities such as giving feedback, awards, and punishments. Primarily, learners are so excited with extrinsic motivation when getting some gifts like candies or bonuses from the teachers. However, what comes from learners’ hearts is better. Nguyen and Tran’s (2015) study states that the teachers carefully give learners informative and positive feedback can create learners’ intrinsic motivation for next- time better performance. Additionally, effective teaching seems not to work if it involves teachers’ punishment. According to Rahimi (2015), learners tend to have more problems since the anxiety and fear of losing face due to the teachers’ coercive strategies. Instead, some strategies such as questions- answers, active learning, self- learning, or cooperative learning are emphasized in the study of Batool, et al. (2015). They are all useful for stimulating learners’ critical thinking, autonomy, or problem- solving skill which relates to their behaviors in real- life situation. Generally, the second point forms the framework of effective teaching is teachers’ various teaching methods and positive techniques to motive learners.
2.3 Interpersonal Skills
The interpersonal skills which consist of communication, interaction, and self- confidence are the third vital factor for excellent teaching. Firstly, a qualified language teacher must initially have high-grade communication skills enough to provide information for learners smoothly. Besides, the teacher can also explain new terms or grammatical structures concisely and accurately. Secondly, since the teacher does everything during the lesson seems not suitable at the present, the two- way interaction between the teacher and students are actually necessary for an effective classroom (Hamre, Pianta, Downer, DeCoster, Mashburn, Jones, Brown, Cappella, Atkins, Rivers, Brackett, and Hamagami (2013). According to Palmer, Ballinger, and Peter (2014), learners become more confident if the teacher offers chances for them to improve their ability in thinking and using the language themselves. Besides, the teacher can create a non- threatening learning environment thanks to making eye- contact or moving to every place of the class. As a result, such actions can raise learners’ engagement and give the teacher more opportunities to understand his/her learners better. And finally, language teaching has a positive influence if the teachers maintain the self- confidence during the whole lesson. Learners will respect, believe, and follow all the teachers’ instructions when their teachers stand straight and handle any perverse situations. Besides, teachers’ confidence is useful in inspiring the love of English to learners. In conclusion, effective teaching appears clearly if the teachers put interpersonal skills such as communication, two- way interaction, and self- confidence into consideration.
2.4 Teachers’ Personalities
The framework for effective teaching truly needs involving personalities of the teachers such as friendly, helpful, charismatic, and humorous. According to Nguyen and Tran (2015), an effective teacher should be friendly and helpful so that learners feel more comfortable to share their thoughts or ideas. Those characters are observable when the teacher is willing to give a hand whenever learners have problems with learning. On the other hand, negative personalities like strict, aggressive, or talkative must be omitted in high- qualified teaching based on the study of Batool, et al. (2015). For example, speaking in front of a strict teacher with a cold face makes learners hesitate in their speech due to being afraid of making mistakes. The next is some personalities relate to teachers’ charisma such as beauty, charming, and sympathetic. The study of Gombos (2013) shows that good looking or charming teachers have not much positive effect on the teaching process. In contrast, what makes learners impressive is the role as good listeners of the teachers (Hill, 2014). Carefully listening and understand learners’ thoughts or difficulties shows the teachers’ respect towards their learners and helps teachers to get to know learners better. Last but not least, effective teachers should have senses of humor in language teaching because laughing makes the learning environment more effective and comfortable. Generally, some teachers’ characteristics such as friendly, helpful, sympathetic, and humorous are necessary for good teaching.
2.5 Professional Characteristics
The last but indispensable part of a useful teaching framework are professional characteristics of the teachers which relate to teachers’ performance and classroom management. First of all, a great performance requires teachers to be punctual and formal in appearance. Besides, showing the carefulness and high quality in each lesson contributes to effective teachers. Moreover, based on the study of Grant, et al. (2013), effective teaching is not always following steps in the lesson plan of the teachers, it shows in how teachers are flexible, spontaneous, and creative in classroom activities to match with appropriate classroom situation. Another important characteristic of the effective teaching framework is the addition of classroom management. An effective teacher has a clear awareness of managing learners’ misbehaviors, giving instructions, and the distribution of time and work suitably in every class. Firstly, a high- qualified teacher knows how to handle learners’ negative attitudes in the class. Besides, the teacher also knows various ways to change the learning environment for more learners’ participation. Next, effective teaching clearly illustrated in the teacher clear given guideline or instructions Zhang (2018). And the final point of successful classroom management is the amount of time and work that the teacher spends for each activity or learner should be suitable, appropriate and equally. A class in which the teacher spends most of the time for his/ her favorite learners or activities is an example of ineffective teaching. In conclusion, the effective teaching framework should include the final piece called professional characteristics which relate to the teacher’s performance (punctuality and formal appearance) and classroom management (misbehaviors, instruction giving, work, and time distribution).
The practical teaching framework which includes five factors such as the teachers’ pedagogical knowledge, teaching methods and strategies, interpersonal skills, personalities, and professional characteristics. This section then shows a clearer illustration when tending to analyze a real classroom observation of a particular unit.