Sin – An Observation on the Language Teaching Course

An Observation on the Language Teaching Course

Article by Sin (Pemuda PSM)


There has been a widely accepted doctrine within teaching on the objective of it; teaching requires objective input and the output must be objective as well. In a sense, values of right or wrong and true or false are placed on a continuum with distinctions made on the output. Students are taught prescriptively to reach towards the accepted notion of true and right while breaking away from what is deemed false and wrong. This axis forms the plane in which teaching stands. The values accepted are concrete and materialised upon choices and projection of the students. Subtlety and drive is collateral to the goal. This doctrine has been revised with the awareness on reconstructing the values of teaching. Teaching has been made to oppose the out-dated teacher centred learning and the prescription of concrete values amongst other changes. However, the reality of the teaching course particularly for Language Teaching course does not put up with the revision.


In Methodology subjects, the students of the course are taught of the methods within the field of Language Teaching. Theories of Language Acquisitions and Applied Linguistics, Philosophy of       Education, Ethics of Educators are also among the subjects made compulsory for this course. However, the landscape in which the students as well as the educators are fitted in bears differences with the objective of the teaching of those subjects. In Ethics of Educators, disappointingly the students of this course are taught of the values that perfected the teaching vocation as an industry instead of teaching vocation as a noble pursuit. Philosophy of Education is saturated with theories that the students themselves ended up not comprehending for themselves and instead for paper purposes. Theories of Language Acquisition is a collateral subject in understanding the learners of language instead of the focus in which the students are to apply within the teaching environment that they will face. Methodology bears the methods in application within the teaching and learning environment but it bears as well the shortcoming of students not applying it in the environment they will find themselves in. The drive in perfecting the teaching vocation is pure, but it is severely misdirected.


The misdirection comes in various forms. The direction of the objectives and subsequently the prioritisation of the teaching vocation are no longer placed upon the defining values of educators as a pursuit of purely teaching service and instead towards the saturation of holistic values. While it is an agreed notion that students are in need of an enhancement within the personal core of themselves, the enhancement are futile if it strives not in the direction of what an educator is supposed to. What is conceptualised is an absolutist requirement instead of a relativity that caters to the needs of teaching vocation. What good can come out of teachers that are well equipped in technological skills if they are sent to a rural teaching environment that lacks the basic infrastructures of technology?

Another misdirection of the value is on the concept of an educator. Educators are rich in history. In Tanah Melayu itself, educators were on the frontline of revolutions. They were the one preaching freedom from the traditional and conservative norms that shrouded the common people of the land. Radicalness forms educators. They are the one that breathe a fresh beginning towards the future of Nation of Intent. Sadly, radical is now an agenda erased into a vacuum of oblivion. Educators in universities adopt the reconstruction of education field but perceive and project it traditionally. Authoritarian holders of power dictate the education and the progressivism which was abundant is now the new tradition not to be opposed. Dogmatic concept of education prevails. It faced revisions, but it is nevertheless a conceptualisation of the common belief on education of this age. Innovation in education falls flat for its function only to piece together what is lacking instead of providing an alternative in education. The students of teaching courses are not given the chance to be creative even though they are taught so. They are taught not to rebel against the norm as if the norm of teaching is an absolution.


The misdirection of the objectives is also apparent in the goal of service. Teaching is a selfless pursuit because of its goal in providing for the people. The reality is however, the service is centralised upon the authorities that demands out of their ability to demand. It is a self-enriching venture that clouds the path of teaching vocation. The system demands more educators to fill the gaps perceived through the reality of the lack of number. Consequently, the enrolment of students in teaching course is primarily driven by the need to provide for themselves instead of the drive to provide for the people. Altruism is a value taught but not a value enriched. Selflessness takes a backseat with personal ventures driving the whole education field. This resulted in the neglect of the people whom the education field is supposed to be in service of and cater.


I demand a return to the values of educators as a rebel, a charity, an innovator and as an individual. I believe that the reality of this field severely lacks educators as a provider of the people instead of the system and its demands. The change may not be in the near future but I do hope so because we are in need of educators that may be imperfect in the perception of the industry, but satisfies the needs of humanity as a whole.


Semoga kita terus berbakti.