little evidence of progression through the primary schools over five years, with the majority of students (78 per cent) being at Trinity College level 0 or 1 over the first five school grades. There was also little evidence of systematic progression through secondary schools. The majority of students (97 per cent) in school grades 7 to 10 had the same language ability as those students in grade 6 (EIA, 2009a). English teachers and professional development Government and government-registered schools are predominant in the education system at primary and secondary levels. All these schools follow the same National Curriculum, or a curriculum closely linked to it, and they all prepare students for the same set of national examinations. Initial teacher preparation Currently, some 100,000 primary and secondary schools are engaged in teaching English across Bangladesh (www.moedu.gov.bd/old/edu_statistics.php). Pre-service preparation to join the teaching profession shows some diversity in pathways and not all teachers may have received full training. In theory, teachers are now expected to be higher education graduates. In practice, many trainee primary teachers who follow pre-service programmes at the countryâ€™s 57 Primary Teacher Training Institutes (PTIs) are in fact in-service teachers. Due to general teacher shortages and a lack of capacity at the PTIs, many teachers have previously entered the profession qualified only with a school-leaving certificate. Primary teachers are expected to teach all subjects though the PTI training programmes have subject-specific components; for English this includes both English language proficiency development (subject knowledge) and English teaching methodology (pedagogic knowledge). Since the government, through the National Curriculum and Textbook Board, has actively sought to promote communicative language teaching and related approaches since the late 1990s, both the national school textbooks and the training materials have visibly reflected this concern. Moreover, with the phased introduction of the new Diploma in Education (first piloted in 2012 at seven PTIs, and extended to a further 21 since 2013), initial teacher preparation for primary teachers is now overtly placing considerable emphasis on reflective practice and extended periods of supported practical experience in schools directly linked to the institution-based input. At present, secondary-level teachers (working at grades 6 to 12) frequently enter the profession with no specific pedagogical preparation. Although all are higher education graduates, not all those who are assigned to teach English have a degree in English. Teacher Training Colleges (TTCs) offer two-year Bachelor in Education courses but only a limited number of serving teachers may have qualified at these institutions. A limited number of teachers are given opportunities to attend three-week refresher courses at TTCs or the National Academy of Educational Management (NAEM), though in reality for many of them this could be their first systematic pedagogic preparation. CPD/in-service professional development Apart from a generally held belief in the intrinsic importance and benefits of continuous professional development, both government authorities and funding agencies have long recognised the need for large-scale in-service programmes.
English in Action in Bangladesh |
Published on Aug 29, 2014
Published on Aug 29, 2014
The publication, edited by David Hayes offers global perspectives on the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) of English language teach...