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2. The implementation of language skills integration in teaching and learning English as a Foreign Language (EFL): Jimma college of teachers' education in focus.

Introduction

Skills are the building blocks and effective elements in the process of language development. In order to make the comprehensive and complex process of language learning simple and effective, skills integration can be an integral part of teaching language. Integrating language skills helps language learners to develop their ability in using two or more of the four skills (i.e. listening, speaking, reading and writing) in contexts and real life situations.

All language skills are crucial in the teaching and learning process and a combination of the language skills has a positive effect on the students' success (Selma and Selen, 2010).

In language classrooms, skills need to be integrated and practised. According to Hinkel (2006), communication will be meaningful if it happens in integrated language skills, not through an isolated one. That is, communication does not run well if people use only one language skill at a time. Language skills should therefore also be integrated in the language teaching process and in real life. In order to provide more focused and significant learning situations, teachers must integrate the four language skills while teaching and practising the language.

For three decades, ELT experts have employed a whole language approach, focusing on teaching the four skills. This approach was conceived in the 1980s and put into practice in the 1990s and the 2000s, especially by US educators (Hinkel, 2006; Selma and Selen, 2010). It is considered an approach because it has key principles about language in general and teaching/learning language by integrated reading, writing, listening and speaking in particular. According to Richards and Rodgers (2001), the whole language teaching approach was developed to help teaching English as a second/ foreign language to children at primary, and young learners at junior, secondary and tertiary levels of education.

Nowadays the integration of the four language skills in the teaching-learning of English is widely practised in many countries of the world, mainly in Canada, the USA and the UK. This practice is gradually spreading to cover other parts of the globe (Brown, 2001; David, 1994; Oxford, 2001).

The Education and Training Policy instituted by the Government of Ethiopia in 1994 outlines the prescribed medium of instruction for primary, secondary and tertiary education in Ethiopia. For instance, the policy directs that English should be used as a medium of instruction at the secondary and tertiary levels. English is also used as a working language along with national or regional official languages for communication and correspondence in high schools, higher learning institutions, banks, hospitals, industries, government and non-governmental organisations; needless to mention the extensive use made of the language to conduct business between and among the diplomatic missions, as well as international affairs and relations offices.

Hence, this demands that graduates coming out of colleges and universities need to have a mastery of the English language with adequate conceptual and practical knowledge and hands-on practice on integrating its four skills, i.e. writing, speaking, listening and reading (Abraham, 2012). This is because the good command they possess on integrating these skills could have a significant and long-lasting effect in enhancing their academic success. The implementation of skills integration in a learner-centred and realistic fashion is therefore vital, as it enables learners to develop their communicative skills.

The researchers developed an interest in conducting this study to determine the extent of efforts exerted by EFL teachers towards achieving the integration of language skills during the teaching of EFL lessons. In this connection, several reasons can be cited. Firstly, it is one of the significant areas where language teachers usually encounter problems in achieving the integration of language skills. Secondly, there is no room for a language teacher to deal with discrete language skills favouring one over the other. Most educators also agree that students can benefit more when they are engaged in learning integrated language skills than segregated ones. Nunan (1989), for instance, stresses the need for establishing explicit connections between classroom language instructions and real world tasks so as to improve learners' English language proficiency.

Statement of the Problem

From preliminary observations made by the researchers at Jimma College of Teachers' Education, EFL teachers were found not paying adequate attention to practising the implementation of integrated language skills while conducting EFL lessons due to the following reasons. Firstly, the students' background or experience in learning language in a discrete way in high school did not encourage them to do so. Secondly, students' proficiency in using the four language skills seemed to be uneven, which is evident due to difficulties observed in expressing their ideas in speech and writing. Thirdly, the scarcity and inadequacy of contents of instructional materials, especially modules, negatively impacted on the implementation of integrated language skills.

Several studies have been conducted in the areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing skills, but without considering their interdependence during language teaching. Little attention has been paid as to what extent language teachers at Jimma College of Teachers' Education should implement this by integrating these skills.

At another front, a general consensus seems to exist about the need for integrated language skills teaching in Ethiopia. The language curriculum prepared by the Ministry of Education and Regional Education Bureaus for college teachers' education programmes, clearly shows that skills integration provided students with opportunities to practise micro and macro language skills and make them confident and effective users of the target language.

Even though language skills integration is assumed to have been implemented at Jimma College of Teachers' Education, to the best of the researchers' knowledge, no evidence has been systematically collected to verify whether this is being practically implemented in classrooms as planned. The researchers believe that, to make the best pedagogic decisions for the students, a systematic study on the implementation of language skills integration at tertiary level is important. In general, the findings of the study might enable EFL teachers, teacher-educators, and trainees to improve their teaching-learning practices by effectively implementing language skills interactively.

This study was undertaken to assess to what extent language teachers integrate language skills in teaching and learning EFL at Jimma College of Teachers' Education. To this effect, the researchers formulated the following leading research questions to be answered in the course of the study:

1. To what extent do teachers at Jimma College of Teachers' Education have adequate knowledge on the theoretical orientations of language skills integration in EFL classes?

2. How often is the integration of language skills teaching practically implemented in EFL classrooms?

3. What are the factors impeding the implementation of language skills integration in EFL classes, if any?

Methodology

A descriptive survey research design involving both qualitative and quantitative techniques was employed in this research.

Population of the Study

The sources of data constituted English language teacher-educators and first year EFL students at Jimma College of Teachers' Education. According to information obtained from the College in the 2012/2013 academic year, there were 6 EFL teacher-educators and 46 first year EFL students, i.e. a total of 52 in the study population.

Sample and Sampling Technique

There were only 6 EFL teacher-educators and three batches (first year, second year and third year) of students in the EFL Department. Among these, all first year students and all of the 6 EFL teacher-educators were selected through purposive sampling. The reason behind using the purposive sampling technique relates to the fact that the 46 first year EFL students were the only batch taking the course on communicative English during the second semester of the 2012/2013 academic year.

Data Collection Instruments and Procedures

The study primarily used quantitative data to identify, analyse and draw conclusions concerning the extent of implementation of language skills integration in the process of teaching and learning English as a Foreign Language at Jimma College of Teachers' Education. To complement this, qualitative data were collected using structured and open-ended questionnaires, observations, semi-structured interviews and document/content analysis of the teaching material/module.

Questionnaires

The questionnaire is used commonly to gather data for a descriptive survey. Thus, a set of closed and open-ended questions was prepared based on the objectives of the study and the review of related literature. Close-ended questions were included to give the respondents an opportunity to choose the options that best represent their views. It was prepared based on the five point Verbal Frequency Scale ranging from 'Always' to 'Never' and the five point Likert Scale ranging from 'strongly agree' to 'strongly disagree'. The administration of the questionnaires was carried out in the presence of the researchers to clarify questions that may be posed by respondents while filling in the questionnaires and to ensure 100% return.

Cronbach Alpha ([??]), which is an index of reliability and ranges between zero and one, is the most common reliability statistic used to measure internal consistency or reliability of the instrument. The students' responses to the questions were entered into SPSS Version 16.0 statistical software and checked for reliability. Accordingly, the reliability measure of 15 items was 0.85, which is good to be used as an instrument for data collection. This is because professionals have a rule of thumb for describing the reliability measure results using Cronbach alpha (when a value falls in the range of 0.7-0.8, it is acceptable, 0.8-0.9 good and above 0.9 excellent) (Dornyei, 2007). Since the number of instructors was very small, the internal consistency or reliability of the questionnaire used to collect teachers' responses was not checked.

Observations

Observation is one of the methods of data collection and it is a systematic, purposeful and selective way of watching and listening to an interactive phenomenon as it occurs (Kumar, 2005). The researchers prepared a classroom observation checklist to obtain firsthand information concerning the implementation of language skills integration, and to collect additional data and substantiate the results obtained through other instruments. The checklist was prepared based on the objectives of the study and the review of related literature, while its format was adapted from Parott (1993).

From the six EFL teachers in the College, two instructors teaching the course communicative English for both group one and two first year students were purposefully selected for classroom observation conducted three times for each. Thus, six observations were made without disturbing the teaching-learning process in any way.

Interviews

Semi-structured interviews, having similar contents as the questionnaire to cross-check the responses obtained from the questionnaire, were prepared based on the objectives of the study and the review of related literature. It was believed that such an interview would be appropriate to permit a greater depth of response which could not be obtained through any other data gathering tools. This ensures flexibility in which new or extension questions can be forwarded during the interview based on the responses of the interviewees.

Content Analysis

According to Krippendorff (1980), content analysis is used to make valid inferences from the data in context intending to provide insights, a representation of facts and practical guide to action. Accordingly, it was found important to examine the module to look at whether or not its contents were suitable for integrated language skills teaching and learning in EFL classes. The researchers took sample units that would be taught during the observation sessions.

Methods of Data Analysis

Questionnaires, interviews, classroom observations and content analysis were instruments used for collecting relevant quantitative and qualitative data from students, instructors, observation of classroom practices and reviewing modules from respondents. The data collected were keyed in, described and analysed using SPSS 16.0 to determine frequency, percentage, mean and standard deviations. Finally, qualitative data were analysed thematically by supplementing the quantitative data and, based on the results, conclusions and recommendations were given.

Results and Discussion

This study aimed at assessing the extent to which EFL teachers integrate language skills in teaching and learning English at Jimma College of Teachers' Education. To collect relevant data for the study, questionnaires, interviews, classroom observation and content analysis were employed. Table 1 below depicts the teachers' responses about their knowledge of the theoretical orientations of language skills integration in EFL classes.

Many ELT scholars, like Oxford (2001), as well as Selinker and Tomilin (1986), state that language skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking) and language elements (grammar and vocabulary) should be integrated in language skills teaching. Language skills can be organised around a task, a topic/theme or both around task and topic in lesson(s) (Nunan, 1989; Burgess, 1994). In this regard, items A1.1 and A1.2 were designed to ask if teachers understood the ways of integrating language skills in lesson(s). Table 1 above depicts that 3 (50%), 2 (33.33%) and 1 (16.67) of the respondents confirmed that they strongly agree, agree and have no idea respectively with regard to the claim "language skills can be integrated around a task in lesson(s)" (item A1.1). Likewise, in replying to item A1.2, 2 (33.33%), 3 (50%) and 1 (16.67) of the respondents respectively reported that they strongly agree, agree and have no idea with regard to the statement that "language skills can be integrated around a topic/theme in lesson(s)" (item A1.2). The mean values of these two items 4.33 [+ or -] 0.81 and 4.16 [+ or -] 0.75 inclined towards agree.

English language teachers need to know the various merits of integrated language skills teaching/learning so that they can help their students to be beneficiaries of the advantages of integrated language skills learning (Oxford, 2001). Due to this, items A1.3 to A1.6 were used to determine the respondents' awareness of the different uses of integrated language skills teaching/learning. Table 1 above demonstrates that the mean values 3.83 [+ or -] 0.75, 4.00 [+ or -] 0.63, 3.83 [+ or -] 0.98 and 4.33 [+ or -] 0.81for items A1.3, A1.4, A1.5 and A1.6 respectively reveal that the respondents 'agree' with the issues raised in these items. Generally, the data in Table 1 collected from the teachers showed that the majority of the respondents had no awareness of the implementation of integrated language skills teaching.

Similarly, in all the lessons observed, the teachers were not seen telling the students that they could practise/learn integrated language skills in the daily lessons, and many of the teachers were not seen following clear procedures (steps) that enable students to effectively learn language skills in integration. This probably further implies that the respondents hardly ever plan, implement and evaluate lessons that reflect integrated language skills teaching when they teach language skills in integration.

Table 2 above shows that the mean values, which are 4.33 and 4.16 for items B1.1 and B1.2 respectively, seem to indicate that the respondents in the English Department of Jimma College of Teachers' Education usually organise students in pairs, groups and the whole class and encourage them to express their ideas and to do their best when they teach language skills in integration. This is, however, inconsistent with what researchers observed in the classrooms. Almost all the teachers were not seen effectively organising students in different groupings and/or encouraging students to express their ideas to do their best. Atkins et al. (1996) argue in this regard that the role that English language teachers play is crucial in helping learners deal with the skills integration process. English language teachers should therefore organise students into different groups, monitor the students' involvement and practice in the integrated language skills learning process, and advise students so that they take charge of their work.

Finally, item [B.sub.1.6] was designed to find out if teachers use different instructional materials and equipment when they teach language skills in integration. It is quite revealing to see from Table 2 above that the mean value of this item (M = 2.66) inclines towards 'Rarely'. This shows that the respondents hardly ever use different instructional materials and equipment when they teach language skills in integration. The classroom observation result also confirmed this. That is, in all the observations, none of the teachers were seen using instructional aids and equipment other than the teaching materials or module.

Students' Responses

Item [A.sub.1] asked if the students learned integrated language skills when they learned English. In responding to this item, as Table 3 above depicts, 19 (41.30%) of the respondents confirmed that they learned language skills in integration when they learned English. The rest -27 (58.70%) of the respondents, replied that they had not learned language skills in integration. Similarly, from the data obtained during the classroom observations it was evident that the instructors were not teaching integrated language skills when they teach English. Their teaching methods were instead dominated by a segregated way of teaching language skills. From the data obtained through the students' questionnaire and classroom observations, it is possible to conclude that the instructors in the Department were not implementing integrated language skills in EFL classes at all.

As can be seen from Table 4 above, the mean score of item B1 (M = 4.04) is skewed towards 'Usually'. This would indicate that the teachers in the college do not always organise students into pairs and/or small groups, and give pair/group work tasks such as debates so that the students may practise two or more language skills at a time.

The students were also asked if their teachers encouraged them to ask questions and express their ideas freely (item B2); item B3 elicited whether or not the teachers gave constructive advice to students to enable them to take responsibility for the work they do when they learn language skills in integration. The mean scores for items B2 and B3 are 4.13 and 3.52 respectively, which is inclined towards 'Usually', are an indication which seems to suggest that the teachers did not always play their managerial roles expected by these items. This is consistent with what researchers observed in the classrooms, because almost all the teachers were not seen effectively playing their managerial roles (as advisor, monitor, organiser, facilitator and so on) in implementing the integration of language skills while teaching English.

Item B4 was designed to draw information from the students to determine if their teacher provides them with various project tasks in which they are expected to collect information, to organise, analyse and finally present it, so that they would practise two or more language skills at a time. The mean score of this item (M = 3.39) inclined towards 'Sometimes'. This would suggest that the instructors in the college did not always use project work as a means of helping students to practise language skills in integration.

As indicated in Table 4 above, the mean value of item B5 (M = 3.41) fell in the 'Sometimes' range and this shows that the instructors in the college did not always and/or usually try to relate tasks to the students' interests and language proficiency level when they taught language skills in integration. The table also delineated that the mean score of item B6 (M = 2.89) was skewed towards 'Rarely'. From this, it could be concluded that the instructors in the college did not give attention to making use of various instructional materials and equipment when they taught language skills in integration. Results of classroom observations also confirmed this.

In responding to item B7, "Our teacher asks the problems that we face when we learn language skills in integration, and he/she attempts to find solutions for the problems", 16 (34.78%), 11 (23.91%) and 9 (19.57%) of the respondents made it clear that their instructors usually, sometimes and always asked if students faced problems while learning language skills in integration, and attempted to find solutions for the problems, whereas 6 (13.04%) and 4 (8.70%) of the respondents replied that their teachers rarely and never did so. In this regard, Dornyei (2001) suggests that in the process of integrated language skills teaching-learning, language teachers need to explicitly discuss and elicit problems that students encounter when they learn language skills in integration, and suggest solutions.

On the other hand, the mean scores for items [C.sub.2], [C.sub.3], [C.sub.4], [C.sub.5] and [C.sub.6] are 2.73, 2.83, 2.65, 2.50, and 2.52 respectively, which inclined towards 'A serious problem'. This means that the shortage of teaching materials and modules in the college (item [C.sub.2]), students' lack of awareness about the merits of integrated-skills learning (item [C.sub.3]), the absence of a strong, cohesive learning group or absence of good intimacy among students (item C4), students' low English proficiency level (item [C.sub.5]), teachers' insufficient preparation to teach language skills in integration (item [C.sub.6]), and teachers' incapability to use various teaching aids and equipment when they teach language skills in integration (item [C.sub.7]), are the barriers to the teaching- learning of integrated language skills in EFL classes in the College.

Owing to the barriers discussed above, EFL first year students might not be beneficiaries of integrated language skills learning (Frazee, 1995; Oxford, 2001). Teacher respondents were therefore asked to mention factors, if any, which impede the implementation of language skills integration in EFL classes. The data collected from the teachers, using the questionnaire and interviews, were compiled and presented as follows.

Problems Related to the Students

According to the data collected from the teacher respondents using the questionnaire, interview and classroom observations, the following student related problems were found to have hindered the implementation of integrated language skills in the EFL teaching-learning process:

* Many of the students lacked language proficiency

* Inadequacy of basic knowledge and skills of the English language

* Students did not attach importance to their individual and/or group work activities while learning language skills integration, e.g. class work, as signments, and project work.

* Students had little interest and motivation to learn English.

Problems Related to the College/Department

The respondents claimed that the following problems impeded the implementation of integrated language skills in the EFL teaching-learning process:

* Lack of sufficient teaching aids and equipment such as audio/video cassettes and CD's

* Absence of a language laboratory

* Inadequate attention given to language skill integration

* Lack of induction and training to teachers concerning how to teach integrated language skills in EFL classes

Problems Related to the Teachers

According to the data collected from the respondents, the following problems were found to have impeded the implementation of integrated language skills in the EFL teaching-learning process:

* Many of the teachers responded that they did not have enough theoretical and practical knowledge on how to develop learning tasks, to teach language skills in integration and test students' performance in two or more language skills at a time.

* Some of the teachers thought that finding authentic teaching-learning materials for integrated language skills in EFL classes was difficult.

* Since the students did not have the interest and motivation to learn English, some of the teachers were careless in their work. As seen during the classroom observations, most of the students seemed deficient in English. Most of them could not even speak a correct sentence, let alone actively discussing in pair/group work using English. Besides, some students were seen copying notes from others, doing assignments by copying from others and laughing at and talking to each other.

Overall, the problems that hindered the integrated language skills teaching-learning in the college seemed to work in concatenation. For example, in addition to problems related to the shortage of materials appropriate for integrated instruction, large class sizes and the availability of teaching aids and equipment were directly or indirectly affecting teachers' effort in teaching integrated language skills in EFL classes.

Regarding the implementation of language skills integration in classrooms, most of the students commented that their teachers:

* Did not present lessons in a participatory way

* Did not organise them in pairs/groups

* Had no motivation and gave due attention to teaching language skills in integration

These responses clearly indicate the teachers' failure in discussing and helping their students with problems encountered during the process of integrated language skills teaching-learning.

Content Analysis

The module is the main source of contents that serves teachers and students during teaching-learning activities. The researchers therefore analysed the textbook/module used for EFL classes to identify and further analyse problems, if any, associated to the organisation of language skills and implementation of integrated language skills. Consequently, it was learned that the module consisted of five units: unit one (Travel Words), unit two (Sports and Pastimes), unit three (Travel and Tourism), unit four (The English Language) and unit five (Ethiopia's Water Resources). In so far as integrated language skills teaching is concerned, unit three--which deals with Travel and Tourism --was selected for classroom observation and for subsequent analysis.

The analysis of the organisation of contents in this unit was made based on the checklist prepared for this purpose. Findings indicated that reading and vocabulary, reading and grammar, reading and writing, reading and listening, and reading and speaking were not properly integrated in reading lesson(s). From this we can conclude that the unit hardly entertains the four language skills in integration in reading lesson(s).

The organisation of contents in the module and the attempt made to create a linkage and balance between macro skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) and language elements (vocabulary and grammar) was found to be inappropriate to the learners and learning situation, hence, not effective in supporting the development of learners' language skills. The skills integration and the development of discourse and fluency skills were therefore not given sufficient attention. It is possible to conclude that the availability of a module with well-organised and interrelated learning contents is vital for teachers to effectively implement integrated language skills instruction. It is from such a module that teachers know what language skills need to be taught in integration, what type of classroom organisation is suitable for integrated language skills teaching and so forth. Thus, without these, an effective implementation of integrated language skills teaching is unlikely to be achieved in EFL classrooms.

Conclusions and Recommendations

This study intended to assess the extent to which language teachers implement integrated language skills in EFL classes. The data gathered through four instruments were presented, analysed and interpreted, and finally conclusions and recommendations are drawn and forwarded as discussed below.

Conclusions

Based on the major findings of the study, the following conclusions are drawn:

* The teachers hardly taught the four language skills to achieve integration in speaking, writing, listening and reading lessons. From this it is clear that teachers conducting EFL classes at the Jimma College of Teachers Education were frequently utilising an isolated/discrete language skills mode of instruction at the expense of integrated language skills. In their response to the questionnaire, the teachers made it clear that they did not get adequate pre/in-service training opportunities on issues related to integrated language skills teaching. Therefore, it is this lack of theoretical orientations and practical knowledge on the organisation and delivery of EFL lessons which was solely responsible for difficulties encountered in the implementation and achievement of integration of language skills in the teaching of English as a Foreign Language.

* From an integrated language skills teaching and learning perspective, communicative tasks such as information gap tasks and role play tasks have vital importance in that they enable students to practise integration of two or more language skills at a time; actively engage in the process of teaching-learning integrated language skills in classrooms; and create an authentic language learning environment that facilitates positive student-to-student and teacher-to-student interactions (Oxford, 1994). Findings, however, showed that the teachers hardly ever used communicative activities when they taught language skills in integration in EFL classes.

* Most of the teachers were unable to successfully play their 'managerial roles' when they taught language skills in integration, a situation that made the implementation of language skills integration less effective.

* The contribution of appropriate teaching material/modules in facilitating the integration of language skills in EFL classrooms is quite obvious. However, the present study showed that the absence of such a tool tremendously limited teachers' efforts in planning and implementing appropriate lessons that would enable integrated language skills teaching become productive.

* Impediments associated with the College such as a shortage of teaching aids and equipment, as well as failure to train teachers on relevant theoretical and practical knowledge and skills on the implementation of integrated language skills were found to be factors that are, directly or indirectly, hampering effective implementation of integrated language skills teaching-learning in EFL classes.

Recommendations

Based upon the major findings and the conclusions drawn from the study, the researchers would like to make the following recommendations:

* It would be advisable for the teachers to use communicative activities and project work when they teach integrated language skills in EFL classes, as they create conducive conditions for the implementation of integrated language skills teaching and learning in EFL classes (Oxford, 1994).

* Instructional materials, modules, teaching aids and equipment are vital tools for the implementation of integrated language skills teaching in EFL classes and the College's administration must ensure that all the necessary inputs are fulfilled for the programme. Besides, contents of teaching materials and/or modules should be organised in a way that can allow teachers to implement language skills teaching in an integrated manner.

* It seems to be difficult to improve the situation in integrated language skills teaching classrooms unless teachers get adequate pre/in-service training on how to design instructional materials and practically and effectively teach language skills in integration, as well as test students' performance. In this regard, concerned bodies such as the College administration, Oromia Education Bureau and agencies in the Ministry of Education (for example, the ICDR office) should exert concerted efforts to organise and conduct appropriate training interventions to improve the knowledge and skills of teachers engaged in the provision of integrated language skills in EFL classes. This could be accomplished through workshops, seminars and pre/in-service training programmes.

* It would be helpful if teacher training institutions could be made aware of the gaps between teachers' knowledge on the theoretical orientations of language skills integration and their practical skills in teaching integrated language skills in EFL classes. Thus, they need to make the required adjustments to their curriculum and ensure that the knowledge is transferred to trainees concerning the theoretical and practical aspects of integrated language skills teaching in EFL classes.

* Further research should be conducted to assess the implementation of language skills integration in EFL classes at national level.

Acknowledgments

We would like to acknowledge the valuable contribution of Jimma Teachers' College EFL teachers and students for their co-operation in responding to the questionnaire and interview of this study, as well as the teachers who generously permitted researchers to observe their EFL classes.

References

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Dornyei, Z. (2007). Research methods in Applied Linguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Frazee, R. (1995). Integrated teaching methods: Theory, classroom applica tions and field based connections. Albany: Delmar Publishers.

Government of Ethiopia, Ministry of Education (1994). New education and training policy. Addis Ababa: St. George Printing Press.

Hinkel, E. (2006). Current perspectives on teaching the four skills. TESOL Quarterly, 40 (1), 109-131.

Krippendroff, K. (1980). Content analysis: An introduction to its methodology .Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.

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Education. Nunan, D. (1989). Designing tasks for the communicative class room. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Oxford, R. (1994). Integrating the language skills. System, 22 (12), 257-265.

Oxford, R. (2001). Integrated language skills in the ESL/EFL classrooms. ELT Journal, 22 (12), 78-97.

Parrott, M. (1993). Tasks for language teachers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Richards, J. C. & Rodgers, T. (2001). .Approaches and methods in laguage teaching (2nd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Selinker, L. & Tomlin, S. (1986). An empirical look at the integration and separation of skills in ELT. ELT Journal, 40 (3), 37-49.

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Desta Kebede, Lecturer, Department of English Language and Literature, Jimma University, Ethiopia

Getachew Seyoum, Assistant professor, Department of English Language and Literature, Jimma University

Authors' Bio Data

Desta Kebede Ayana is a lecturer in the Department of English Language and Literature, Jimma University, Ethiopia. He has a master's degree in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) from Jimma University, Ethiopia. He has four publications in progress. He offers courses to students majoring in English and other students of the University. His research interests are enhancing the quality of education, developing oral communicative skills, reflective teaching, as well as challenges and opportunities of teaching EFL in context. E-mail: destakebedeayana@gmail.com

Getachew Seyoum Woldemariam is an assistant professor in the Department of English Language and Literature, Jimma University, Ethiopia. He has a master's degree in TESP from Aston University, UK and a PhD in ELT from Panjab University, India. He published a couple of articles in teaching English as a foreign language in different journals. He offers courses to postgraduate students at Jimma University. His research interests are writing strategies, writing assessment, assessment for learning, vocabulary learning strategies, and reading. E-mail: getachews2004@gmail.com
Table 1: Teachers' responses about their knowledge of the
theoretical orientations of language skills integration in
EFL classes

Items No       SA          A           HI          DA

              F     %     F     %     F     %     F   %

[A.sub.1.1]   3   50.00   2   33.33   1   16.67   0   0
[A.sub.1.2]   2   33.33   3   50.00   1   16.67   0   0
[A.sub.1.3]   1   16.67   3   50.00   2   33.33   0   0
[A.sub.1.4]   1   16.67   4   66.67   1   16.67   0   0
[A.sub.1.5]   2   33.33   1   16.67   3   50.00   0   0
[A.sub.1.6]   3   50.00   2   33.33   1   16.67   0   0

Items No       SDA     Total      Mean [+ or -]
                                       SDV

              F   %   F    %

[A.sub.1.1]   0   0   6   100   4.33 [+ or -] 0.81
[A.sub.1.2]   0   0   6   100   4.16 [+ or -] 0.75
[A.sub.1.3]   0   0   6   100   3.83 [+ or -] 0.75
[A.sub.1.4]   0   0   6   100   4.00 [+ or -] 0.63
[A.sub.1.5]   0   0   6   100   3.83 [+ or -] 0.98
[A.sub.1.6]   0   0   6   100   4.33 [+ or -] 0.81

Key: SA = Strongly Agree, A = Agree, HI = Have no Idea,
DA = Disagree, SDA = Strongly Disagree

Table 2: Teachers' responses to the experience of teaching
integrated language skills in EFL classes

Items No       A           U           S           R

              F   %       F   %       F   %       F   %

[B.sub.1.1]   3   50.00   2   33.33   1   16.67   0   0
[B.sub.1.2]   2   33.33   3   50.00   1   16.67   0   0
[B.sub.1.3]   1   16.67   3   50.00   2   33.33   0   0
[B.sub.1.4]   1   16.67   2   33.33   3   50.00   0   0
[B.sub.1.5]   1   16.67   1   16.67   3   50.00   1   16.67
[B.sub.1.6]   0   0       1   16.67   2   33.33   3   50.00

Items No       N      Total     Mean

              F   %   F   %

[B.sub.1.1]   0   0   6   100   4.33
[B.sub.1.2]   0   0   6   100   4.16
[B.sub.1.3]   0   0   6   100   3.83
[B.sub.1.4]   0   0   6   100   3.66
[B.sub.1.5]   0   0   6   100   3.33
[B.sub.1.6]   0   0   6   100   2.66

Table 3: Students' responses on whether or not they
learn integrated language skills in EFL classes

Items No      Yes          No           Total

            F    %       F    %       F    %

[A.sub.1]   19   41.30   27   58.70   46   100

Table 4: Students' responses to the integrated language
skills learning in EFL classe

Items       A            U            S            R
No

            F    %       F    %       F    %       F    %

[B.sub.1]   14   30.43   23   50.00   6    13.04   3    6.53
[B.sub.2]   17   36.95   20   43.48   7    15.22   2    4.35
[B.sub.3]   11   23.91   15   32.61   9    19.56   8    17.39
[B.sub.4]   10   21.74   13   28.26   15   32.61   5    10.86
[B.sub.5]   12   26.09   17   36.95   8    17.39   6    13.04
[B.sub.6]   7    15.22   8    17.39   11   23.91   13   28.26
[B.sub.7]   9    19.57   16   34.78   11   23.91   6    13.04

Items       N           Total
No

            F   %       F    %     Mean

[B.sub.1]   0   0       46   100   4.04
[B.sub.2]   0   0       46   100   4.13
[B.sub.3]   4   8.69    46   100   3.52
[B.sub.4]   3   6.53    46   100   3.39
[B.sub.5]   3   6.53    46   100   3.41
[B.sub.6]   7   15.22   46   100   2.89
[B.sub.7]   4   8.70    46   100   3.43

Key: A=Always, U=Usually, S= Sometimes, R=Rarely, N=Never
Note: Always=5, Usually=4, Sometimes=3, Rarely=2, Never=1

Table 5: Students' responses to factors impeding the
implementation of language skills integration in EFL classes

Items No   ASP          AMP          NP          Total      Mean

           F    %       F    %       F   %       F    %

C1         11   23.91   31   67.39   4   8.70    46   100   2.15
C2         36   78.26   8    17.39   2   4.35    46   100   2.73
C3         38   82.61   8    17.39   0   0       46   100   2.82
C4         34   73.91   8    17.39   4   8.70    46   100   2.65
C5         30   65.22   9    19.56   7   15.22   46   100   2.50
C6         29   63.04   12   26.09   5   10.87   46   100   2.52
C7         29   63.04   13   28.26   4   8.70    46   100   2.54

Key: ASP = A Serious problem, AMP = A Minor problem,
NP = Not a Problem.

Note: A Serious problem = 3, A Minor problem = 2, Not a Problem
= 1 As indicated in Table 5, the mean score for item C1 is 2.15,
which is inclined towards 'A minor problem'. This suggests that
the seating arrangements used in classrooms were comfortable for
pair and/or group work; hence, the teachers did not encounter
problems to organise students into different groupings when they
taught language skills in integration.
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Author:Kebede, Desta; Seyoum, Getachew
Publication:Nawa: journal of language and communication
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:6ETHI
Date:Jun 1, 2015
Words:6505
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