In service teacher training program at Hodeidah:Revitalizing the classroom ecology is the need of the hour [Archives:2006/945/Education]

May 11 2006

Hamoud Yahya Ahmed
II M. Ed. Student

Under the auspices of the Department of English, Faculty of Education, Hodeidah University, an in-service training program for teachers of English in the schools of Hodeidah was held from 10 to 12 December, 2005. The programme was attended by over sixty teachers of English from the schools of Hodeidah and over 200 students and luminaries of the University.

At the outset the Dean of the Faculty of Education, Dr. Ahmed Al Qudaimi in his inaugural address expressed his appreciation regarding the commendable work done by the Department of English. He appreciated the pioneering efforts of the Department under the leadership of the Head of the Department of English, Prof . A. K. Sinha and his team.

Then, the Vice Dean for students' Affairs, Dr. Abbas Abbas Al Harazi welcomed all the participants in this workshop. Dr. Radwaan Al Shaibani, Dean Faculty of Arts, spoke a few words commending the efforts of the Department for Teacher Development at the secondary level. After this the Head, Prof. A. K. Sinha, presented a detailed report on the purpose and the academic value of this workshop. Welcoming all the participants he remarked that the programme was intended to provide insights into teaching / learning English in the schools of Yemen.

The opening session had Dr. M. Kundu approaching the topic of teaching English in difficult circumstances in the context of teaching English in Yemen as an example. He showed the participants how to use “chain – drill” as an effective technique for teaching,while characterizing language learning as a “mental activity”. Then, he elicited some of the practical problems that the participating teachers faced in their teaching / learning situation in Hodeidah schools, suggesting some solutions. The post-tea session concentrated on “Trainees' brain – storming and interaction” with Dr. M. Kundu and Dr. A. K. Sinha. They highlighted:

– Some very general problems in ELT in Yemen.

– Some very common errors of Yemeni learners of English and some wrong strategies often adopted by teachers.

– Solving some of the practical EFL problems

– Principles of good teaching

– Guidelines for classroom management.

– Guidelines for the use of blackboard.

– Guidelines for correcting students' errors.

The meeting concluded with a question answer session.

The second day's session opened with Dr. V. S. Dubey's one hour session on “Teaching Spoken English” in which he highlighted the common problems and errors in pronunciation associated with some Yemeni learners, as well as the causes and cure of such errors. He ended his speech with the remark, “these are the problems, and, it is your responsibility to overcome them and to be careful about them while teaching

Then, came the presentation captioned “Teaching Literary Texts” by Prof. A. K. Sinha. The participants listened to three well-chosen short poems, followed by a feedback session. Prof. Sinha remarked that teaching literary tests should be done in such a way that it matches the needs and interests of our learners.

The second day's programme ended with Dr. Abbas N. Nama'a's observation on “Testing and Evaluation at the school level”. He gave some useful remarks about testing and evaluation of English at the school level. He presented samples collected from some schools in Hodeidah, and discussed with the participants the negative and positive features of these samples.

The third day's session began with a “One hour ELT World tour in Yemen” presented by Dr. M. Kundu in which he gave a quick and general survey on “Teaching English in Yemeni schools” with special reference to Hodeidah schools. He reflected on (i) the objectives of the College of Education, (ii) the major recent changes in Education all over the world, (iii) some problems related to teaching English in Yemeni schools, (iv) the Crescent package:strengths and weaknesses, and (v) some suggested methods and approaches to be adopted.

The presentation on “teaching grammar” by Dr. I. B. Sharma focused on “grammar” and “teaching grammar”. He offered some suggestions about how we should teach grammar in English classes. He analyzed some of the “common errors” observed in the written scripts of some students at the school as well as at the college level and remarked that we must carefully remedy these grammatical errors.