Print Сite this

English Literacy Autoethnography

Introduction

Second language acquisition is a challenging and complex process both for the teachers and learners. There are many teaching methods and approaches that can be used in teaching English to various groups of students. They often depend on the specific country’s approach to teaching foreign languages and the goals and objectives of language education. In this essay, I will discuss my journey as a native Twi speaker to English fluency and literacy and examine the teaching methods and processes employed by my teachers and myself.

We will write a
custom essay
specifically for you

for only $16.05 $11/page
308 certified writers online
Learn More

Background

In order to better understand my literacy autoethnography, it is essential to address my background and consider the role my country of origin, Ghana, played in my language acquisition journey. Ghana is a Commonwealth county in West Africa, and it was the first African colony to gain independence from the United Kingdom in 1957 (BBC, 2020). It has several official languages, including English, which can be viewed as a legacy of its colonial days (BBC, 2020). Overall, English is readily spoken in many communities, and there are numerous opportunities for learners to practice it outside of the classroom.

Teaching Methods and Processes

My journey to English language proficiency began in primary school. In Ghana, the curriculum is separated into different topics, and schools often provide the teachers with prepared books, videos, and assessment materials (Torto, 2017). In turn, educators build the classroom activities on the program they are given. However, the course’s successful implementation depends mainly on the teachers’ knowledge of the English language and teaching techniques and approaches.

As a second language learner, I have witnessed many teaching methods implemented by educators. According to Torto (2017), the English curriculum in Ghana is based on the integrated approach to help develop four language skills: speaking, reading, listening, and writing. The majority of classes, especially in primary school, were focused on developing reading proficiency. Furthermore, reading and listening were often taught together to establish a connection between the graphic and the phonetic forms of the word (Isozaki, 2018). For instance, learners were tasked with reading an English text while the teacher was reading it out loud. Research shows that it is an effective teaching method for both skills and positively impacts literacy development (Isozaki, 2018). Nevertheless, my pronunciation was somewhat affected by the teachers not being native speakers and having a noticeable accent.

There were few opportunities to practice speaking skills in the classroom, primarily due to a large number of students. Moreover, it was mainly implemented as a method to check comprehension of the reading and listening tasks rather than a separate activity. Thus, the teachers often asked us to answer the questions about the text, using the vocabulary that could be found in the discussed extract. Although these exercises were aimed at transferring and receiving knowledge, an essential aspect of speaking skills, they hindered fluency development (Dansieh, 2018). Other speaking tasks, such as role-plays, dialogues, and debates, were rare and based on articles provided in the textbook, and the structures from the texts were widely adopted in the answers. This resulted in the tendency to think about the answer first in my mother tongue, Twi, and then translate it into English if the required structures were not readily available in the text. The inclination is highly typical for learning languages in multilingual contexts (Dansieh, 2018). Nevertheless, there were many opportunities to practice English outside of the classroom and develop fluency through daily conversations with other students and people outside of school.

During my time in school, writing skills were developed primarily through exercises aimed at practicing grammatical structures and various essays. The product approach was employed to provide the students with opportunities to learn how to construct texts (Selvaraj & Aziz, 2019). Thus, the teacher often presented us with model articles to discuss and replicate. Although this approach effectively demonstrated how to compose different types of texts, it was very demotivating as it did not allow for any creativity. Peer scaffolding was also often implemented as groups of students were tasked with working together on the production of one text (Gholami Pasand & Tahriri, 2018). Although the approach to writing was somewhat limiting, it taught me to consider grammar and word choice carefully. In addition, I supplemented the school writing tasks with freewriting and journaling in English.

Conclusion

In summary, my path to English proficiency and literacy is defined by my education in Ghana and my personal efforts to improve my language skills. In school, the focus of the English language lessons was primarily on reading, with many tasks aimed at developing proficiency at the skill. Meanwhile, speaking and writing activities were limited and not very varied. Nevertheless, I had opportunities to supplement my English acquisition in school with language activities outside of it.

Get your
100% original paper
on any topic

done in as little as
3 hours
Learn More

References

BBC. (2020). Ghana country profile. BBC News. Web.

Dansieh, S. A. (2018). Teaching oral English in an ESL setting: Some challenges observed by teachers in upper-west Ghana. International Journal of English Linguistics, 8(6), 172–184. Web.

Gholami Pasand, P., & Tahriri, A. (2017). Peer scaffolding in an EFL writing classroom: An investigation of writing accuracy and scaffolding behaviors. Research in English Language Pedagogy, 5(2), 147–166.

Isozaki, A. H. (2018). Strategically Building Reading Fluency: Three Strands of New Listening-Reading Research. Journal of Extensive Reading, 4, 189–197.

Selvaraj, M., & Aziz, A. A. (2019). Systematic review: Approaches in teaching writing skill in ESL classrooms. International Journal of Academic Research in Progressive Education and Development, 8(4), 450–473. Web.

Torto, G. A. (2017). The implementation of the basic school English curriculum: The case of the Cape Coast Metropolis in Ghana. Journal of Education and Practice, 8(8), 166–175.

Cite this paper

Select style

Reference

StudyCorgi. (2022, August 4). English Literacy Autoethnography. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/english-literacy-autoethnography/

Reference

StudyCorgi. (2022, August 4). English Literacy Autoethnography. https://studycorgi.com/english-literacy-autoethnography/

Work Cited

"English Literacy Autoethnography." StudyCorgi, 4 Aug. 2022, studycorgi.com/english-literacy-autoethnography/.

* Hyperlink the URL after pasting it to your document

1. StudyCorgi. "English Literacy Autoethnography." August 4, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/english-literacy-autoethnography/.


Bibliography


StudyCorgi. "English Literacy Autoethnography." August 4, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/english-literacy-autoethnography/.

References

StudyCorgi. 2022. "English Literacy Autoethnography." August 4, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/english-literacy-autoethnography/.

References

StudyCorgi. (2022) 'English Literacy Autoethnography'. 4 August.

This paper was written and submitted to our database by a student to assist your with your own studies. You are free to use it to write your own assignment, however you must reference it properly.

If you are the original creator of this paper and no longer wish to have it published on StudyCorgi, request the removal.