Thursday, 1 May 2014

Teacher Talk (32) : Feeling demotivated...

Calling teachers out there! What advice would you give to the following teacher?

To Me

Apr 29 at 10:04 PM

Salam Pn Rahmah,

I am a newly-posted teacher in an XXX in Kelantan. I feel so lost not knowing how to plan my lessons.I don't mean to underestimate or degrade my students but they all have very very low proficiency in English.I have lowered my expectation, methods and content of teaching but they still can't follow. They don't even know simple words like 'know', 'we', 'clothes' thus making it hard for them to construct sentences.  And these are form 3 and 4 students. In class, they refuse to speak. I tried asking them to just use BM but they still refuse to do so. 
The teachers here told me these students find it hard to pass their Bahasa Melayu, what more English. I'm starting to worry if I can't continue doing this anymore. I really need some motivation now to keep going and believing in myself again. Can you give me some tips, advices, methods or techniques that i can use to teach very weak students like this and helping them to score in exam?

Thanks in advance,

My Response:

Today at 3:51 PM
Wassallam XXX,Sorry for this late reply. I understand your predicament. Obviously you are teaching in a very challenging situation. You have done the right thing by lowering your expectations or else you would be demotivated. If your ss do not understand or know common words that you mentioned, then you are dealing with very weak students. I simply cannot understand if your school has high expectations on them performing in the SPM then.

I would do the following:

1. Forget about public exams (I'm being realistic if what you tell me is the real situation in your class) but instead get them to like English first. I mean is there a point in shoving exam materials down their throat when you know they can't handle them? Get them to like the subject through games, vocabulary activities etc.

2. Do sentence and paragraph level activities because writing a whole essay is too daunting - guided ALWAYS.

3. Provide a lot of support for poor learners e.g.s vocab list, options in answers, phrases
I know you are worried about the SPM but as you said they can't even handle BM which is a first language...Between what the school expects and what they can do is a lot of thinking on your part. As the teacher you know where they are now. Try to bring them to the next level even if that level is not the SPM. You shouldn't blame yourself. The children started learning English since primary school :) There are many stakeholders involved here :) Good luck!

The thinking teacher

1 comment:

  1. Find out what they like to do first. Usually with these young kids, they like loud, rock music. Introduce the language using what they like not what you think they like.


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