I WOULD like to express my dissatisfaction with Simulated Teaching for TESL Teachers (PBET 3101), a three credit hours course paper offered to those doing their Bachelor in Education (TESL) at Universiti Malaya (UM).
UM had recently done away with Teaching Practice which accounts for six credit hours (of the total 116 credit hours) to obtain a degree. I was one of those disappointed with the move but eventually accepted it with much regret. Having said that, I was really banking on this particular subject (Simulated Teaching for TESL Teachers) to compensate for the lost opportunity to put into practice what has been taught and learnt over the past three years.
To my dismay, this subject only requires students to make 40 and 80 minutes of lesson plans. This is absurd as the subject title states otherwise. The subject title should instead be Writing Lesson Plans for TESL Teachers.
Why call it Simulated Teaching when evaluation is not based on the student’s ability to teach but rather on his ability to put an imaginary class situation on paper? I'm sure teachers out there will agree with me that planning or writing a lesson plan is totally different from actual teaching in the classroom.
What baffles me more is that there are four lecturers designated to teach the subject, but none, I repeat none, of them appears to follow a uniform approach.
They teach according to their individual preferences. I feel that no clear instructions were given to them on how to go about handling this subject.
Since Teaching Practice was scrapped, I feel that this particular subject should have been emphasised and conducted well.
Some lecturers have asked their students to plan and submit 40 and 80 minute lesson plans individually which I feel is alright, but some lecturers allow students to prepare the lesson plans in groups of four. Why the difference? Is this the way UM evaluates students?
To make matters worse, there were lecturers who asked students to plan and present their simulated teaching only to tell them later that their effort would not be taken into consideration for grading purposes. Their performance would be evaluated solely based on the two lesson plans.
Why is it so and what is the rationale for the deception? Is this standard practice in all universities in our country or is it just Universiti Malaya?
I hope someone from UM's Education Faculty can shed some light on this matter.
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