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A Study of Contemporary Trends and Challenges of English Language Teaching in Myanmar
- This article details a mixed methods study conducted during the 2015 academic year at Mandalay University, Department of English in Mandalay Myanmar. It contributes to discourse examining contemporary patterns and challenges of English language education. Methodology from both qualitative and quantitative paradigms was systematically combined. A survey questionnaire was distributed to 70 participants and ten focus group interviews were conducted with 33 participants. A second set of participants included university students from institutions in the Mandalay region. Results suggest that English language teaching in Myanmar mirrors other Asian contexts in terms of the rising influence of globalization for English teaching, a concern for teachers' English proficiency, and the disconnect between policy and practice. Teacher confidence, disconnect between curriculum and preparation of students; low salary, overreliance on the transmission model, and large class size were also reported as challenges. Recommendations call for steps toward a foundation of reflective practice using action research as a starting point and secondly to encourage English language educators representative of the creative class, defined by Florida (2002) to align as a public group of professionals. Future research should examine the elements that make English an important language in the Myanmar context and based on this, consider what concept of English, what variety of English, and what methodologies of English language teaching are most productive for Myanmar as a nation in transition.
- International Conference on Burma/Myanmar Studies