Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (MALAYSIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2013 Proceedings
Publication year: 2013
Pages: 582-590
ISBN: 978-84-616-3847-5
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 6th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2013
Location: Seville, Spain
The decline in English language proficiency among Malaysian students especially the university graduates has been of major concerns of many quarters. To address this issue, universities in Malaysia are making continuous efforts in utilizing several teaching and learning approaches to assist students in improving their English proficiency. A group of teachers at a Malaysian public university adopted an innovative approach which replicates a mentoring-coaching approach coined as ‘circuit learning’ (CL). The circuit learning coaches low English proficiency students of the Foundation English course in smaller size groups of about 15 students per group. Students enrolled in the course are those who attained low level of proficiency bands 1 and 2 of MUET (Malaysian University English Test). This innovative approach is realized in a combination of a face-to-face and online learning settings which focuses on four specific components in the ESL teaching and learning namely: Confidence Building (CB), Language Awareness (LA), Text Understanding (TU) and Online Virtual Learning (VL). This paper presents the mechanism of the intervention approach and the extent of its effectiveness in the context of teaching and learning English in the course. It also highlights some preliminary observations of the students’ reactions towards this learning approach and teachers’ beliefs towards the effectiveness of CL. The information gathered indicated mixed reactions among teachers regarding their perceptions on the circuit way of learning. The data however, showed a positive interest among the students towards CL despite some reservations at the initial stage. These findings are taken into consideration in the further exploration of the circuit learning approach in two English courses at present.
English proficiency, low English proficiency students, innovative English learning, circuit learning.