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This report explores an in service English teacher teaching of grammar in a second language classroom at Forsyth Technical Community College in Winston Salem North Carolina. The main objective is to focus on the perspective of personal pedagogical system, beliefs, knowledge, theories, assumptions, and attitudes that plays a significant role in shaping a teachers’ way of teaching. It throws light on the teachers' actual practices in an adult high intermediate ESL classroom. Forsyth Technical Community College is a preparatory type of institution that prepares ESL students to easily engage in the community, and bring their language skills to the required standard usage of English within the community. Enrollment into Forsyth Technical Community College is non-selective with incoming students being enrolled into different levels ranging from beginner to high intermediate. Enrolment using an in-house placement test is a priority, implying that students advance to upper levels when they improve their English language skills at that specific level. The institution set speciﬁc learning objectives for each level which were assessed by in-house tests and which teachers were required to teach towards. One set of objectives related speciﬁcally to the teaching of grammar.
The institution has two fully equipped writing labs and a small corner library at the main hall. The labs are equipped with fifteen computers with numerous software programs installed and the internet is accessible on each computer for the student use. Regular classrooms are arranged to accommodate 15-20 students and this ensures improved interaction between the teachers and students. The classrooms are carpeted and contain whiteboards, overhead projectors and a chair used by the teacher and students during presentations. All teachers working in the institution, including the participant of this report, teach full-time (20-25 hours per week). Students are mostly have Spanish as their first language. During the study, some students had recently arrived in the United States while others had been around for a period of time and they aged 25-35. The teaching context is a monolingual setting where all teachers are native speakers of English. The preparatory school does not have its own syllabus and in-house textbooks and the teachers are encouraged to select textbooks and adapt to a syllabus that suits their students or teaching contexts to ensure the success of the teaching process. This is because a curriculum is often perceived by teachers as being fairly rigid. The participant teacher background Data on this report was collected through five non-participatory classroom observations. I refrain from naming the participant and restrict the following information to only assist readers in making sense of the specific features of the context to protect his anonymity. Prior to conducting this report I made a pre-observation interview with the instructor to see if he would be willing before formally requesting his participation as I felt that would provide an improved overall picture in order to determine the kinds of teaching beliefs he was mostly interested in and to what extent he put those beliefs into practice in L2 teaching. The Participant of this report was a 36-year-old native English speaker with an overall experience of ESL of 7 to 10 years. He taught ESL classes at various levels from beginner to upper intermediate. He started his career at the elementary level for two years and then started teaching at the ESL adult-level for the last six years in programs which service adult refugee and continuing education populations. He had other teaching experiences prior to his present ESL positions. He held an ESL teaching certificate, as well as a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. Philosophy or beliefs about grammar teaching The perceptions the
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