Muhammad Khan, Ph.D, Hazrat Umar, Ph.D, Sherry L. Steeley
This article investigates the causes of the poor results of teaching/ learning of English at primary and elementary levels in Pakistan. Such a weak foundation of English language of young learners directly affects the subsequent levels of teaching/learning of English. The hypothesis is that objectives, content, learning experiences (methodology) and evaluation are not integrated. . In fact this study is an epitome of the real situation occurring throughout the third world countries. Consequently, teaching/learning of English as Second Language in Public sector schools at Primary and elementary levels are ineffective. This is the case in spite of extensive efforts over the past decade, including increasing basic English education from 7 years to 12, revising the English syllabus for those grades, and implementing various in-service teacher training programs. Our research through teacher interviews, observations, and test score results shows that Pakistani English teachers at the primary level lack motivation, language competence, and are fundamentally unfamiliar with basic curriculum and instructional planning. We believe that both pre-service and in-service training should focus on fundamentals of English teaching and learning, including alignment of objectives, content, learning experiences and evaluation in the instructional process, as well as improving communicative skills of teachers is critical to improving learning outcomes. Thus, a major effort to continue teacher education reform, both in content knowledge – i.e. English skills – and pedagogy of public sector English teachers in Pakistan is critically important to outcomes in this important subject area, which itself has implications for Pakistan’s population both nationally and internationally.
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