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Final Probation Report

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Company Name.

Name ........................................ Department ....................................

Designation ......................................... Date of Joining ..................................

Performance Factors Rating Key

1. Attendance Regular/Seldom regular/Irregular

2. Punctuality On time/ Seldom time/Often late/Always late

3. Performance Very Good/Good/Satisfactory/Poor

(Includes Job Knowledge, output, decision making)

4. Behaviour Very Good/Good/Satisfactory/Poor

(Includes obedience, relationship, attitude etc.)

5. Integrity OK/doubtful

(Includes dependability, reliability, honesty etc)

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A study into Trainee Teachers and how they teach English

There are 120 students from semester 7 and 120 students from Semester 8. As I picked ten percents from each of this group, only 24 students were involved in this study. The students are from Faculty of Education, UiTM Seksyen 17 Shah Alam who are doing their Bachelor of Education TESL program, who had undergone their practicum during semester 7. These students are taking two different minors which are Literature and Counseling.
4.3.1 Trainee Teachers’ Readiness in Teaching Literature in ESL Classroom

The first question was on trainee teachers’ readiness to teach literature in ESL classroom. This question was followed by two supporting questions 1) to discover whether trainee teachers were equipped with relevant knowledge of literature in terms of pedagogy, methodology, approaches, and strategies 2) to find out trainee teachers’ ability to apply or implement those methods, approaches, and strategies that they have gained in Methodology of Teaching Literature class.
Figure 1: Trainee Teachers’ Readiness in teaching Literature in ESL Classroom

From the data collected and analyzed, it is shown that 45.8 percents of the respondents think that they are well-equipped with pedagogical and methodological knowledge of teaching Literature as they have been exposed with those during Methodology of Teaching Literature class. However, they chose not to be abided with pedagogical knowledge because the implementation is very much depending on their classroom situations. These respondents who think that they are prepared and ready to teach literature are mostly taking literature as their minor courses.

Apart from that, another 25 percents of respondents think that they are not prepared to teach literature in ESL classroom. There are several similar reasons why they think they are not really prepared; first, since the new literary component has been introduced, they don’t think that Methodology class has helped them a lot because they were exposed to the old literary texts instead of the new one. Mostly, students in semester 8 faced this problem as they are the first batch to teach new literary texts. Second, most of respondents think that methods and approaches taught should be complimenting the classroom situations together with students’ participation. Most of them had to come out with their own strategies to teach literature as the methods and approaches taught is no longer relevant. This can be proven with Respondent R statement “The methods and approaches are traditional. I don't really find them suiting my students' level of proficiency which is intermediate.” Respondent A also added that if he sticks to the methods taught, it might take quite a long time to finish one particular lesson.

Another 16.7 percents of respondents conform to the idea that they are prepared but they are not equipped with enough knowledge on teaching literature. The also claim that they only applied the pedagogical knowledge when needed. Respondent B has stated that pedagogy and methodology did Giúp him, but real life classroom is much different from mock- teaching, therefore, it hinders him from applying those methods and approaches in literature teaching.

There are 12.5 percents respondents who stated that they are not prepared as they are not fully equipped with relevant knowledge to teach literature. As the result, they chose not to apply pedagogical and methodological knowledge learnt as the preparation to teach literature due to classroom situation.
4.3.2 Trainee Teachers’ Expectations and Experience in Teaching Literature

For question number 2, the respondents were asked on their experience on teaching literature in ESL classroom. This question is supported with another 3 questions. The first following question is to identify the differences that trainee teachers noticed between teaching during the micro/macro teaching in their methodology class and teaching in the “real” classrooms. The second supporting question is on the issues or difficulties they have faced when they taught literature in ESL classroom. The third following question is asked in order to recognize trainee teachers’ memorable or good experience when they taught literature in school.

Each respondent agreed that teaching in the real classroom and during micro teaching have vast different. Most of the respondents claimed the most obvious difference is students’ participation in the real classroom and their friends’ participation during mock-teaching. Their classmates were more supportive and helped them in achieving the objectives of the lessons, which made the lesson conducted less pressuring as compared to literature lessons conducted in schools. Students’ knowledge on literature also another difference that identified from the interviews conducted. As to compare with audiences in their mock-teaching, students in real classroom has no prior knowledge on the literary texts which caused the learning processes are longer than the ones during mock-teaching. Another difference that identified is students’ English proficiency level which contributes to the effectiveness of literature lessons as there are objectives to be achieved in each lesson. Teachers have to make sure these objectives are achieved in determining the successfulness of the lesson conducted.

Apart from that, the respondents were asked about the difficulties that they have encountered in literature teaching when they went for practicum. Generally, each respondent has given more than one difficulty faced to teach literature during practicum. The first difficulty that most respondents seem to encounter is students’ participation in literature classroom. According to Inong, in-class participation is the key success of students’ academic performance, yet, it requires teachers’ patience and understanding. Therefore, it still a big issue when students do not participate in the activities conducted during literature class as the objectives of the lessons will never be achieved. The second frequent difficulty to teach literature encountered by the respondents is when students have different English proficiency level. Having students with different proficiency level requires the teachers to pay more attention to weaker students, while good proficiency level students might get bored as the lesson is not up to their standard. This situation will only lead to another problem in teaching literature in ESL classroom. Hence, Brown has suggested in his Teaching by Principles, An Interactive Pedagogy to Teaching Approaches, teachers have to identify students’ level of proficiency when they enter the very first class, then it will be easy for them to plan lessons in the future. This issue on students’ proficiency level is somehow related to the next issue faced by the respondents which is to explain texts with ambiguous meanings to students. In literary text, the language used is quite different in terms of syntax, semantic, vocabulary, and grammar from that spoken or used in ordinary writing. Therefore, teachers must be equipped with relevant knowledge on literature and also the English language to ensure that they will be able to interpret literary texts correctly. This marks off the reading of literature as a special experience. The other three difficulties that have similar frequency are time management in conducting the lesson, respondents’ ability to vary the lesson, and to make students comprehend the lessons when they didn’t do prior reading. Respondent A claimed that “Literature in the real classroom was very challenging, yet it could be very stimulating all the same. The challenging part was when the students did not do their own reading prior the lesson. I believe this unfortunate predicament happens in every classroom. Therefore the daunting part was to get them understand the literary text when they did not do their own reading.”

The sixth issue that usually faced by the respondents is lack of resources as the new literary text have been introduced. The only thing the respondents could do to overcome this matter is by asking senior teachers who had gone for the new literary component short course held by the Ministry of Education as stated by Respondent G; “Difficulties in teaching literature could not be avoided especially when the new texts are being introduced and we, the TESL students did not get the chance to learn new texts in our methodology class. I need to ask the experienced teacher a lot of things regarding the new texts as the preparations for me before entering the class”

The issue of explaining literary devices in each literary piece is also rise during practicum teaching, however, that is just happened to minority of the respondents interviewed.

This study is also conducted to identify the respondents’ good or memorable experience in teaching literature during practicum. Through the interviews conducted, it is found that almost every respondents’ memorable experiences occurred when students participated well in the activities or lessons prepared. Most of the respondents also stated that by conducting stimulating or interesting activities, it helped them much in catching students’ attention during literature lessons. Stimulating activities conducted by respondents that were role-playing, singing, working in groups, short drama, and interactive games based on the literary texts provided. This finding is conforming to Lloyd Fernando’ statement in News Straits Times (4th July 2000) ‘in the hands of a creative, dedicated teacher, even the mundane of language activities can come alive in the classroom with effective learning transfer taking place’. This shows that one important aspect of teaching literature is how creative the teachers in approaching certain texts or themes. According to Moody (1983), by introducing variations into lessons, teachers will be able to keep their students alert and ready to react to different stimulus. Respondent A has stated in the interview that “…make the lesson interesting. English class in general is perhaps the only time when they are legally 'allowed' to have fun. Literature opens bigger doors when fun learning is concerned. Don't whine. Just do the extra thinking and you will be surprised at how easily things will go”.

Another memorable experience in teaching literature considered by the respondents is when the objectives of the lessons set earlier were achieved and students can comprehend the lesson conducted.

However, some respondents believed that they have no memorable experience in teaching literature. This happened due to students’ participation and time constraint.
4.3.3 The Aftermath of Teaching Literature in ESL Classroom

Basically, question number three is to find out trainee teachers’ perception on literature teaching after coming back from practicum. This question has three supporting questions. The first supporting question is on trainee teachers’ perception on the effectiveness of methods, strategies, techniques, and approaches used in helping students to comprehend literature lessons. The second supporting question is on the ability to implement those methods, strategies, techniques, and approaches planned before entering literature classes and what are the things that hindered them to apply those. The third supporting question is simply asking the respondents rating to their own literature teaching, during practicum.
Figure 2: The Effectiveness of Methods, Strategies, and Approaches in Helping Students Comprehend Literature Lessons

From the data collected, it is found 50 percents of respondents think that the methods, strategies, and approaches have helped them in ensuring students understand the literature lessons conducted. However, they did improvise the pedagogical knowledge in order to suit their students’ needs. This finding is complementing the findings of question 1 faced by the respondents when they taught literature as they have to vary and improvise the methods, strategies, and approaches to fit in the classroom demands and situations.

25 percents of respondents agree that these methods, strategies, and approaches have helped them thoroughly in making their students comprehend the lessons conducted.

16.7 percents of the respondents are not sure whether methods, strategies, and approaches have assisted them in making their students understand the literature lessons conducted. It is because they chose not to apply this pedagogical knowledge due to classroom situations and demands.

8.3 percents of respondents believe that methods, strategies, and approaches didn’t Giúp them much in making their students comprehend the lessons conducted.
Figure 3: Trainee Teachers’ Ability to Implement Pedagogical Knowledge in Teaching Literature

Besides, it is also discovered that 79.2 percents of respondents managed to implement pedagogical knowledge in teaching literature, yet, the claimed that these method, strategies, and approaches didn’t work all the time. This finding can be correlated to question number 2.2 which is the issues faced in teaching literature during practicum. It is because factors that hinder the respondents from applying these methods, approaches, and strategies are actually the same with the difficulties faced in teaching literature. The factors are 1) students did not participate in literature class, 2) time constraint in conducting literature lessons, 3) students’ different English proficiency level, and 4) students didn’t do prior reading before entering literature class.
Meanwhile, 8.3 percents of respondents think that they were not able to apply pedagogical knowledge in teaching literature. Another 12.5 percents of respondents believe that they managed to implement the pedagogical knowledge in literature, and it worked all the time.
Figure 4: Respondents’ Rating Towards Their Own Literature Lessons

The respondents then were asked to rate their literature teaching. 62.5 percents of respondents believe that their literature teachings are considered as good. 33.3 percents of them think that they are at the average level of teaching literature. Another 4.2 percents of respondents believe that their literature teaching should be rated as excellent.
4.3.4 Steps Taken in Solving Issues or Difficulties Occurred in Literature Teaching

In question four, the respondents were asked on how they deal with issues or difficulties encountered when they conducted literature lessons during practicum.

There are basically 5 ways in dealing with the difficulties occurred during literature lesson, retrieved from the data collected. This finding is actually reflecting question 2.2. Each respondent has given more than one steps to deal with difficulties in teaching literature. The most popular way in dealing with students’ participation issue is by creating stimulating and interesting literature lessons like role-play and games. Besides, most of respondents believe that the teaching process should be in a two-way communication, whereby teachers need to be realistic and understanding. Teachers need to identify students’ strengths and weaknesses, as well as their interest as stated by Brown. Apart from that, teachers should know how to improvise the methods, approaches, and strategies as suggested by most of respondents. Since the respondents were required to teach new literary texts, they were lacking of sources to refer to. Therefore, they referred to their mentors in school who has gone for short courses on new literature components. In fact, the respondents agree that time should be planned according students proficiency level and activity conducted.
4.3.5 Trainee Teachers’ Needs to Improve Literature Teaching in ESL Classroom

Question five is asked in order to identify areas or aspects that trainee teachers’ would want to improve for their literature teaching. This question is supported with two following questions which are 1) things/ aspects that they need in order to improve their literature teaching, 2) suggestions for future trainee teachers that can Giúp them in teaching literature.

Since this question is asked to identify things or aspects that trainee teachers might need in order to improve their literature teaching before leaving for practicum. From the data collected, it is found that most respondents think that future trainee teachers should be equipped with enough exposure on literature as its discovered from the data collected that students who are taking counseling as their minor courses faced bigger issues in teaching literature especially in explaining literary elements and ensuring the objectives set achieved at the end of the lessons. This is proven by Respondent G’s statement, who is doing counseling as her minor course; “There is always a room for improvisation and for myself, I want to enhance my knowledge in literature as it will Giúp me in explaining and teaching them with appreciation rather than rote learning. I have to be advanced and have the ‘literature intelligence’ skills within myself.” Respondent P believes that there is no short cut to be good in literature as he stated “Exposure-wise, teachers in the making should be made compulsory to enroll in other literature classes (hint: Minor in Literature) to sharpen their thinking. Teachers must be well-read, animated, passionate, and proficient in the language, creative, quick thinker and the list goes on. Students generally have this negative connotation when it comes to literature. It's mundane, lackluster, thick and dusty, vague and totally irrelevant. Therefore, it takes the teacher to change all these bleak opinions. Teachers must be well-read so that they can relate the literary text to other things in life to make the learning meaningful to the students”

The second aspect that needs to be taken into consideration is the exposure to implement and vary the teaching methods, strategies and approaches. Respondent K has stated that, in methodology class is emphasized on the theories of teaching literature instead of how to implement these theories into the real teaching. Therefore, he suggested that future trainee teachers should be exposed with the implementation of the theories and how to vary those theories in order to improve their teaching pedagogy.

“Students at their age are visual learners and they are the product of Blackberry and iphone. Thus, technology must be use widely. However, I never had the chance to use tech in my lesson because they are not occupied with the facilities. Thus, I believe the lesson would be more beneficial is the technology is applied. Movies, clips, song would Giúp big time.”

Respondent O

Based on this statement, the third aspect to be improved on is the usage of technology. The usage of computers and internet is really in trend and has been used widely all over the world. It provides easy access to retrieve information on literature. Therefore, both teachers and students should be exposed and equipped with this ICT knowledge. The usage of technology also promotes interactive literature learning as it is usually embedded with animated graphic and sound. It is also believed to least the burden of the teachers in preparing the lessons.
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