English Language Teachers’ Perception of their Role and Responsibility in three Secondary Schools in Jamaica

University essay from Malmö högskola/Lärande och samhälle

Abstract: This descriptive research paper looks at English teaching in Jamaica, and examines what perceptions upper secondary school teachers have of the teaching mission, the teacher role and the responsibility that comes with the teacher profession. The paper also examines the teachers’ attitudes towards Jamaican Creole and Standard Jamaican English and the relation between these two languages. The paper discusses inequality connected to language diversity in Jamaica and aims to explore attitudes, language ideologies and educational policies, in relation to English teaching in a Jamaican Creole speaking classroom. The study was carried out with a qualitative approach where semi-structured interviews were conducted with five teachers at three public upper secondary schools in Jamaica. The collected data was analyzed with an explorative approach. The main conclusion drawn from this study is that English teaching in a Jamaican Creole speaking classroom is affected by a number of factors. Firstly, the teachers expressed an ambivalence opinion about what language is or should be the first and second language. Secondly, teaching English in Jamaica is difficult due to the absence of a standardized written form of the students’ vernacular. Lastly, the teacher role is not limited to teach a first or second language, the teachers’ role is extended to include a great responsibility for the students’ future life

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