The Perspectives of Students in the College of Basic Education on the Characteristics of Effective English Language Teachers

Article excerpt

Abstract

This paper presents a research study designed to investigate the characteristics of effective teachers of English and the uniqueness of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (EFL). The research is based on four general categories: English language proficiency, educational perception, organization and communication skills, social and emotional skills. These general categories will be viewed in the light of students' perception, the students of English Language at the Faculty of Basic Education in the State Kuwait. The sample was chosen randomly from students of the English Department to measure independent variables Academy in correlation with academic variables. For example, English language courses taken, years of schooling, and levels of English proficiency. The researchers based their research on data collected through a questionnaire based on Lickert's five-point rating distributed to 150 students. It is expected that the results reveal students' belief in the importance of the categories listed above with emphasis on the uniqueness of EFL teachers in comparison with teachers of other disciplines. This study contributes to the understanding of what students expect from EFL teachers; in addition, it will enable the understating of what students believe is required from them as teachers of English in the future. It is expected that this study will contribute to the field of EFL in the College of Basic Education and the Department of Education in Kuwait University, as it would reflect what the English Departments in these colleges need in order to increase students' awareness of the importance and role of EFL teachers.

Keywords: teaching, characteristics, language, teacher, EFL, awareness

1. Introduction

Teaching a foreign language has been investigated worldwide, yet limited studies were based in Arabic speaking countries in general, and Kuwait specifically. This paper takes a close look at EFL teaching and the perspective in the eyes of undergraduate students studying at the College of Basic Education in Kuwait. The paper is based on the assumption that EFL teachers are expected to be unique compared to teachers of other subjects. This uniqueness is investigated in the light of four main skill categories: language proficiency, teacher awareness, organisation and communication abilities, and social and emotional skills.

This paper will start by introducing a review of literature concerned with teaching characteristics in general. Afterwards, studies of the characteristics of language teachers will be viewed from the point of view of teachers, followed by the students' perspective. Research on the perspective of EFL teachers in the opinion of teachers and students in the Arab world will later be provided.

The second part of the paper involves a clear display of the methodology and instruments utilised in the current study, showing the justification for the use of certain methods and contents. This will be followed by a thorough introduction of the results and analysis of the numbers obtained. A discussion, in the next part, will demonstrate the relationship between findings of the current study and different studies, followed by a conclusion, which includes a brief review of findings, recommendations, and limitations.

It is necessary to point out that this study uniquely added independent variables to clearly demonstrate the effect of social and academic situations of Kuwaiti students on their perspective. Other studies on the characteristics of EFL teachers have not used the independent variables (later shown under 3.2). Yet, the authors feel that the use of such variables would be considered a valuable resource during analysis. It is hoped that this study will contribute to the field of EFL teaching, bringing into light the expectations and uniqueness of EFL teaching in Kuwait and internationally.

2. Literature Review

Teacher characteristics and teaching behaviour are crucial factors that affect student motivation and learning. …