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Volume 7 (1); 25 March 2017


Research Paper

Teachers’ Understanding and Attitudes towards the Eclectic Method to Language Teaching in Zambia.

Mwanza DS.

J. Educ. Manage. Stud., 7(1): 01-15, 2017; pii:S232247701700001-7

Abstract
Zambia is a multilingual country and it is estimated that it has 73 dialects which can be collapsed into between 30 to 45 languages. English is the only officially sanctioned language for administration, commerce, judiciary and the media. It is the only compulsory language subject in the country and the sole medium of classroom instruction from grade 5 to University. Due to its hegemonic role and status, communicative competence in English is a must if one has to excel in official domains. As such, the teaching of English is of paramount importance. The Eclectic Method is the recommended method of teaching English at senior secondary school level in Zambia. This implies that teachers should have adequate understanding of the method and hold positive attitudes towards the method for them to effectively use it. Due to its relative novelty and complexity, this study sought to establish teachers understanding and attitudes towards the eclectic method as a recommended method of classroom instruction. Face to face interviews and a quantitative questionnaire were used to collect data from 90 conveniently selected teachers of English from 9 secondary schools in Central province of Zambia. The findings show that respondents had different degrees of understanding. While some understood it as the use of several methods in one lesson, others held misconceptions about the method. Their attitudes ranged from positive, negative to neutral. The study concludes that since some teachers lacked adequate understanding of the eclectic method and some held negative to neutral attitudes, it is imperative for teacher training institutions to improve their teacher training to adequately prepare teachers in the method. Further, there is need for continuous professional development to in-service teachers to familiarize them with the method and change their attitudes towards the method.

Keywords: Eclectic Method, Understanding, Attitudes, Teachers, English, Zambia, Secondary Schools 

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