2.1. In-Service Teacher Training (INSETT) Programs
Based on various studies and research that has been conducted in regards to teaching and learning English in Libya, the teaching process in the country is regarded to be unsatisfactory. These studies show that most of the Libyan teachers who teach English at various institutions are not well-trained, or qualified to teach this subject. In addition to that; they still use the traditional methods of teaching English such as Grammar Translation Method, Audio-Lingual Method, and Direct Method in order to teach Libyan students English (Abrami214). These teaching methods, coupled with the fact that for majority of the students, English is not their first language has contributed immensely to the failure in terms of learning English in the country. This has been noted by the fact that; although both the Libyan students and even their teachers know about English in terms of pronunciation of words (especially for students who learn English through the Grammar Translation Method), they are unable to use English for communicative purposes with the native English speakers. Therefore, there is the need to introduce an effective Activity-Based training course in spoken English that will help the teachers to be in a good position to offer adequate training to the students that they teach in the classroom.
Significant research materials show that in order to enhance student learning, the type of teachers who are teaching a particular subject, and the quality of their teaching process has a significant impact on how the students learn (Chetty, et al. 2633-79). Most of the teachers who are in resource-poor environments normally face various challenges such as having limited knowledge, skills, or even motivation to conduct the teaching process, and it affects their teaching process. However, there are various intervention strategies, which if implemented can help in terms of improving the quality of teaching.
As has been demonstrated before, in situations where socioeconomic factors are controlled, teachers become the most important determinant to student learning. In regions such as the Chile, they have conducted studies to monitor the impact of good teachers on students over a certain period of time, and it has shown that the difference between good teachers and weak teachers in terms of learning is a standard deviation of 0.3 in Chilean secondary schools that were studied (Masino and Nino-Zarazua 53-65). It has also been deduced that for the teachers who are able to help students raise their overall test scores, normally have a positive outcome in relation to improving the students long-term outcomes in education such as increasing their probability of graduating in college, and seeking high-paying jobs.
Various education reviews also point out that improving the pedagogy and making it to be more student-oriented helps in terms of improving student learning in schools. In this case, the teachers may decide to carry out formative assessments or even conduct targeted instructions as the most appropriate interventions to ensure that they improve student learning (Kane, et al. 54-58). For instance, in Liberia, in an effort to improve student learning, the Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) program was introduced in the country. In this program, the teachers were trained to use initial reading assessment, and then conduct an assessment of the student performance. The teaching method that teachers are trained to apply in class is tailored in such a way that it is student-oriented, and it is meant to improve their learning process.
There are a range of factors that need to be placed into consideration when it comes to designing a teacher training program. The first factor or aspect that needs to be placed into consideration is the people that the teacher training program is designed for, and its purpose. In this case, the teachers will be the students in this in-service teacher training, and therefore, the principles of adult education need to be taken into consideration (Alderson, et al.18). It is important to point out that adult education is more effective is it is application-based rather than taking a theoretical focus. It will also be more effective, if it is designed in such a way that teachers of different experiences and levels are taught in different manner. It is in-appropriate to teach a newly qualified teacher, in a similar manner to a teacher who has at-least ten years experience.
There is also the need to take into consideration the quality of the trainers who are conducting the teaching process, as it is crucial to the learning process. The pedagogical ability, and also the information that is being relayed by the trainer are important, when it comes to imparting knowledge to the teachers that are undergoing the training process (Alderson and Huhta4). There is also the need to conduct an assessment of what it is that the teacher who is undertaking the program wants to learn. The teachers who are being trained need to carry out a formative evaluation in order to assess their progress in regards to their teaching goals. They also need to develop realistic goals that they hope to achieve from this training program.
When designing an INSETT program, it is also important to take into consideration the duration of the training process. Although there is no consensus in regards to how long these workshops should take in order to be effective, it is also important to note that one-off workshops are not that effective, despite them being commonly used in the school systems (Bernhardt37). In addition to that; having a subject-specific pedagogy (in this case focusing on teaching English) will be the most effective. The reason for this is that; in order to be able to teach different subjects effectively, there is the need to use different pedagogies. Also, the location where these teacher training programs will be conducted is of vital importance. When the teacher training program is conducted in schools it is considered to be most effective mainly because the problems faced in that specific environment will be raised (Bernhardt42). The teachers are also in a better position to receive adequate feedback on their teaching processes. However, there is also the need to evaluate the teaching environments. If they are difficult, then conducting training outside these schools can actually create more focus for the trainees.
2.2. In-Service Teacher Training (INSETT) programs in Libya (Needs a little more expansion-RESEARCH)
There is a growing awareness of the necessity of offering training for English teachers in Libya. The country has enacted several education policies to reform the pedagogy of English since the 1970s. For instance, in the 1970s, there was the introduction of grammar-based curricula. The problem with this education policy was that it was designed for non-native speakers of English, and it failed to meet the educational needs of most of the Libyan students at that time. In another effort to improve English teaching in Libya, the Ministry of Education in 2000 introduced a new English curriculum that was based on CLT principles that were to be implemented both in Libyan primary and high schools (Black352). It replaced the previous curricula that mainly focused on teaching students grammar and reading. Libyan English teachers are unable to ensure that the students acquire the learning objectives of this curriculum (Communicative Learning Teaching (CLT) principles) because they mainly use the Grammar Translation Method (GTM) and teacher-centered pedagogy to teach their students English (Black363).
It is important to note that teacher education and implementation in Libya is under-developed and does not meet international standards. The reason for this is that the country does not have standardized accreditation procedures for students applying for teacher training courses in the universities and colleges (Blades212). Also, the training courses are not developed. It is also important to point out that there is no alignment regarding the curricula that the teachers are using at primary and high schools in Libya in comparison to the one that is used by the lecturers at the tertiary institutions. This is to say that the teachers in most of the Libyan schools are not using the curriculum that was issued by its government and it affects the quality of English education in that country (Blades216). In addition to that; most of the Libyan EFL teachers lack professional training and development that is required to prepare them for their career. In most cases, the only qualification that these teachers have is that they hold a bachelors degree, and as soon as they graduated, they began teaching without attending any form of special training to prepare them for dealing with students whom they will teach English. Effective teaching, therefore, cannot take place because the teachers do not have effective teaching practices. They rely on their experience and come up with their teaching strategies most of which fail to assist the student to learn English.
There is the growing awareness in the country regarding offering in-service teacher training programs in Libya. There are also a variety of reasons that show the importance of designing effective training programs for (English as a Foreign Language-EFL) teachers in Libya such as:
It will ensure that quality teacher training is readily accessible to the teachers and even lecturers at the university.
Most EFL teachers have different qualification backgrounds, and it affects the overall teaching process of English in the country (Breen492).
Teachers normally are not adequately prepared for the teaching practice because they begin teaching immediately after graduating without necessarily undergoing any form of training.
Although the Ministry of Education in Libya enacted a new education curriculum (Communicative Language Teaching-CLT), most of the teachers in the country still rely on Grammar Translation Method (GTM) and teacher-centered pedagogy as their main teaching methods for EFL despite their in-effectiveness.
In-service teacher training is therefore looked at as a necessity for the EFL teachers because it will equip them with effective teaching skills, and also prepare them to teach students in the classroom.
When it comes to designing effective teacher training programs, there are important factors that need to be taken into consideration. The first factor that should be considered is the targeted learner. In this in-service teacher training, the teachers are the ones who are considered to be students. As was noted by Knowles et. al 72, adult education tends to be more effective if it uses an application-based, rather than a theoretical-based perspective (Knowles, et al. 72). Teacher training also needs to take into consideration the career levels of the teachers who are undertaking the training program. For instance, it will be an ineffective program, if it is designed for first-year teachers and the training course is being undertaken by teachers who have ten years experience in the field (Kraft and Papay 488).
Another factor that is required is the quality of the trainers who are in the program (they are important in determining the quality of the teachers similarly as to how teachers are crucial when it comes to student learning) (Bowden 158). The training program has to be designed in such a way that the teachers who are undertaking this course can monitor their progress, and it has to be designed in such a way that the training program has realistic goals. Also, the training course will be more effective, if it is subject-specific (Villegas-Reimers 33).
Most of the available INSETT programs that are being offered in Libya are being coordinate...
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