Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 8. Number 3.  September, 2017                                         Pp. 90 – 105

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Spoken Language Teaching: What Do Teachers Believe in? 

 Salmiza bt Abdul Rahim
General Studies Department, Sultan Azlan Shah Polytechnic
Behrang, Perak, Malaysia

Hamidah bt Yamat
Department of Education Policy & Leadership
Faculty of Education, National University of Malaysia
,Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia

Parilah bt Mohd Shah
Department of Innovation in Teaching & Learning
Faculty of Education, National University of Malaysia
Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia


This paper is a qualitative case study that aims to explore beliefs and practices of four English lecturers, by focusing on two components related to content knowledge of spoken language teaching, namely spoken forms (grammar and vocabulary), and interactional skills. It also aims to see how their held beliefs influence their teaching practices. To fulfil this purpose, four English lecturers teaching communicative English subject, contextualized in one polytechnic in Malaysia, were purposively selected as participants of the study. The data were gathered through interviews, non-participant classroom observation, as well as collection of relevant documents. The Atlas t.i. program was used to manage the data and thematic analysis was applied in data analysis. Generally, the findings indicate that the participants viewed the knowledge about spoken form as a relevant exposure to students, but it should not be the focal attention of the lesson. They also believed that interactional skills could be acquired through frequent speaking practices, and these beliefs are consistent with their teaching practices. The data also revealed some misconceptions about certain concepts in spoken language, and the teaching of the components in focus is found to be limited. This indicates a lack of depth content knowledge among the lecturers in these specific areas, hence recommendations for appropriate trainings and professional development programs are made to facilitate teachers to be more well-informed with their pedagogical decisions in classroom. In conclusion, this study illuminates the salient role of content knowledge among practicing teachers, as it potentially affects their teaching practices.
Keywords: interactional skills, spoken forms, spoken language teaching, teachers’ beliefs

Cite as: Abdul Rahim, S. ,  Yamat, H., & Shah, P. M. (2017). Spoken Language Teaching: What Do Teachers Believe in?. Arab World English Journal, 8 (3).