A QUALITATIVE ASSESSMENT OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHER’S PREPARATION IN THE UNIVERSITY OF CALABAR, CALABAR CROSS RIVERS STATE

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1   Background to the Study

Teaching is an active engagement that always has a result in view and no matter how energetic a lecture period is, it’s quality will always be measured in relation to students percentage of having grasped what was taught. So that each discipline, faculty, department and corresponding department keep tabs of how the lecturers are handling the courses allocated them. In a country where there is a high level of work apathy due to a list of factors, there is always more and more need to supervise the teaching skills and preparedness of workers and lecturer particularly. The job description in any establishment determines the method of recording output. Some jobs can easily and productively be measured in terms of numbers and visible results.

However, others can prove to be more difficult with a qualitative assessment of input and consequently output. By quantitative assessment we are referring to those types of work assessment that:

express their results in numbers. They tend to answer questions like “How many?” or “How much?” or “How often?” When they’re used to compare things – the results of community programs, the effects of an economic development effort, or attitudes about a community issue (Phil Rabinowitz)

When it comes to the issue we are grappling with namely the degree of preparedness of lecturers who teach the English language in the University of Calabar in Cross River, Nigeria, this number based method of assessment does not suffice. If one relies on student performance to assess this, one runs into the discrepancies that would be created by differences in cognitive abilities of student thereby calling for an assessment method that is more organic than statistical.

1.2   Statement of the Problem

Owing to the recurring habit of low preparedness in the teachers of the English Language in the department of English and their sister Use of English units of the School of General studies, it is evident that there should be put in place a feasible method of assessing the level and quality of preparation on the side of these teacher. It is not surprising that this is directly proportional to the students' overall performance in the course and their good command of the object of study- the English language. This is the problem that has birthed the present research work which aims to use a qualitative assessment method on the above.

1.3   Research Questions

1.3.1      what are the factors that bear upon the low level of preparation in the teachers of English language in the said university.

1.3.2      What are the methods that will see to a holistic assessment that will only arrive at clear feedback on the object of study.

1.4   Objectives of the Study

The purpose of the present research work is to qualitatively assess the teacher preparedness in teaching English language in the university of Calabar. Calabar Cross Rivers State of Nigerian. This objective will be achieved by targeted delineation of this bulky task into it’s various area.

First, the teachers in question are going to be made to write an essay detailing the protocol, whether departmentally designed of personally developed, by which they prepare for their lectures and the handling of the courses allocated them in general. This way the research will show the present or lack thereof of an adequate preparation.

1.5   Significance of the Study

On a holistic view, this research work will show a pattern that informs a high level of preparation or a low level of preparation of teachers in the department. The implication is that what needs to be done to combat a low level of preparation which consequently will affect student performance will be revealed and measures will be put in place for it.

This research work is highly significant in that it’s findings and the recommendations it will make in the last chapter can be implemented in many other tertiary institutions within and outside Cross River state including other departments whose mode of lecture deliverance and preparation bears great structural resemblance to that of the English departments.

This work is particularly significant seeing the nature of the course in question. English language is a second language in Nigeria which presents both grammatical, phonological, syntactical issues for both the students and teachers. Therefore, the teachers as well need even more preparation before teaching the course as anything learned in it through time becomes etched in the psyche of the students who would later become teachers in the future. The findings here would assist both the school and teachers in keeping a meticulous tab on the quality of what is delivered in the classroom.

1.6   Research Hypothesis

This research work was conducted with an initial assumption that student grade output and lecture duration will not show a reliable assessment of the problem taken up here. It is believed here that whatever method to be used should focus on the teachers' own methods.

1.7   Scope of the Study

This research is focused on the teachers in the department of English in the University of Calabar Cross Rivers State, Nigeria which it sees as a microcosm of other related departments across the country with similar curriculum objectives hence a required level of preparation.

The assessment will engage only the teachers in the department and exclude every other class situation outside the requirements of course like make up seminar classes that features more of inputs from the students.

The mode of assessing the teachers will include a direct observance of their teaching on the spot and informal interviews targeted at providing a patterned methods of preparation.

1.8   Limitations of the Study

The first limitation encountered in the course of this research is the lack  of a sincere feedback from the teachers. Most of them are prone to constructing preparation methods that are not followed in the end.

Lack of manpower is another one. To observe each of the teachers takes time and financial resources which are not adequately covered by the research grant awarded this work.

 

1.9   Definition of Terms

Qualitative Assessment

These are methods of assessment that do not depend on numbers, data and a superficial enquiry into something but rather delves into the motivations of the situation.

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