Teaching English In Low Resource-Environments: Problems And Prospects

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Gift Chidi-Onwuta. PhD, Nkechinyere Nkem Iwe, Christabelle P.C Chikamadu


English is often taught in low-resource classrooms. Although researchers have found strong relationship between rich resource settings and academic achievements, less is known about how teachers can cope in a resource limited teaching environment. This paper is aimed to reveal the common problems associated with teaching English in low resource environments (TELRE) and the prospects for teachers who found themselves in such undefined teaching settings. It also aims to establish if TELRE is prevalent across cultures. A self-structured and validated questionnaire in a closed ended format, open question format and scaling format was administered to thirty two (32) teachers across five countries: Nigeria, Cameroun Iraq, Turkey, and Sudan which sought their perceptions about accessibility and functionality of teaching material resources, the nature of teaching outcomes in resource-less environments, their levels of involvements in improvisation and the prospects associated with resource limitation. The study adopts situational language teaching theory (SLTT), which emphasizes a performance improvement imperative and need to make learning fun and enjoyable like playing a favorite sport just as in real life. Data were analysed using percentages and presented in frequency tables. Results showed prevailing inadequate productive resource materials in English classrooms across countries. The effect of low resource materials on teaching outcomes and L2 achievement is direct however; results show that limited resources promote flexibility, autonomy and a higher level of participation and engagement among students. Such environments also engender creativity and innovation amongst teachers. Results suggest project based instruction as a means to overcome low resource teaching environments.   

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