Perception of English Beginning Teachers in Middle Schools about Teaching Competencies

By Xu, Jie | Canadian Social Science, May 1, 2015 | Go to article overview

Perception of English Beginning Teachers in Middle Schools about Teaching Competencies


Xu, Jie, Canadian Social Science


Abstract

This paper is trying to make an effort to get a glimpse of English beginning teachers' perception about teaching competencies. 142 beginning teachers from 70 middle schools in 8 cities in Guangdong Province were taken as the samples. They were asked to rank the items of teaching competencies about the importance and the lack of the competencies. As a result, the top five important teaching competencies are English pedagogical knowledge, Class management skills, Doing teaching reflection, Choosing and utilizing proper teaching methods and techniques and Knowledge of subject matter. Meanwhile, participants believed the five items including Class management skills, Choosing and utilizing proper teaching methods and techniques, Doing teaching reflection, Assessing teaching and learning and Having knowledge of students' learning situation are what they need most to improve. As for field dimension, English language comprehensive competencies are considered as the most important ones for beginning teachers; when it comes to the shortage, Assessment and evaluation is rated in the first place, which means beginning teachers are most lacking in.

Key words: English beginning teachers; Teaching competencies; Perception; Importance; Shortage

INTRODUCTION

Having outstanding and comprehensive teaching competency is necessary to successfully complete teaching work in middle schools. The level of teachers' teaching competency is directly related to the quality of teaching, including the teaching effects and teaching efficiency.

Teaching competency has been a heated research topic for a long time. Much research has been done on the teachers' teaching competency items from the perspective of all teachers, however, not much research is done from the angel of the developmental period of teachers and the certain subject. According to CNKI, a most widely-used database in China, from January 1st, 1980 to 2015, there are 3,680 articles on teaching competency, but only 192 articles talk about the teaching competency of English teachers, and only 45 of them are about teaching competencies of English beginning teachers' or English new teachers. With more and more research on teachers' professional development, researchers are paying more attention to the beginning teachers.

Teaching competencies are considered as comprehensive individual characteristics, which refer to the knowledge, skills and attitudes to support and to meet the needs of the effective teaching performance in various teaching environment (Dineke, 2004). A Chinese scholar, Sun (2004), believes that teachers' teaching competencies are to ensure the effectiveness of teaching, and to achieve the expected teaching goal, which includes teaching planning and design, class organization and management, verbal expression, evaluation and feedback, adjustment and control, the understanding and communication, scientific research and other comprehensive competencies needed in the whole process of t.

Perception is of great significance in the attainment and practice of competencies during the professional development of beginning teachers. Having finished the initial teacher training program, beginning teachers have already established certain beliefs and value of teaching competencies to some degree. Their perception is sure to play a significant part in developing teaching competencies to be a competent teacher. With the clear perception about teaching competencies, beginning teachers are able to realize the importance and functions of competencies, so as to raise their awareness and build up confidence to promote the development of teaching competencies.

1. WHAT IS A BEGINNING TEACHER?

Usually teachers who are experiencing their first three teaching years are considered as beginning teachers because it takes three years for a teacher to finish teaching a round of Junior/Senior 1 to 3. Being in the induction phase or career adaptation, which is the critical period of growth and development, the first three years of beginning teachers is also considered as a difficult period and test of the transition. …

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