The Challenges Faced in Student-Centered Learning Implementation by Teachers at English Department at Al-Mergib University
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Since there are two basic approaches to teaching: teacher-centered and student centered approaches, there is a discussion about them which is the best to use in classes and which one is the more effective. In fact, it is difficult to identify if any one approach is better than another, because there are so many factors can affect the effectiveness of teaching, e.g.: student’ attitudes, abilities and learning styles and teachers’ beliefs, experiences and abilities. However, most researchers agreed on that effective teaching is often characterized by the active involvement of students, student collaboration, and an emphasis on academic achievements. They asserted that the role of the teacher is seen as a facilitator of learning rather than a source of knowledge. Therefore, it is essential for teachers to adopt student-centered leaning approach in their teaching to achieve effective teaching. It is not said that using teacher-centered approach should be avoided at all. Teachers can combine the two approaches or select which one fits their aims, classes, and students. One of the aims of this research is to find out which approach is more used by the teachers of English at English Department at Al-Mergib University. This study assumes that the teachers of English at English Department at Al-Mergib University rarely use student-centered methods in their teaching. Since the first step towards problem is identifying the reasons finding the solution for any for that problem, it is necessary to know the reasons that hinder teachers from adopting the more modern approach of teaching, student-centered learning approach. The researcher tried to discover if the reason of this is that the given teachers are not convinced in this new approach or there are some challenges that prevent them from adopting it. This research also aims at identifying such challenges and trying to suggest some solutions for each one. To achieve all these aims, the researcher decided to formulate a questionnaire consisting of four questions. Each question achieves one of the aims of this study. The participants of this study are almost all the teachers of English who are working at English Department at Al-Mergib University in Khoms in the academic year 2016-2017. Their number is 24. They are native speakers of Arabic and varying in their teaching experience. The results of this study revealed that most participants do not implement student-centered learning in their teaching. The results also showed that most participants were aware of the great benefits of this new approach, but there were some obstacles that prevented them from the implementation of student-centered methods in teaching English. Some solutions were suggested by the participants to overcome these obstacles. The results of this research will be very beneficial for all educators (teachers, administrators, curriculum planners…etc.) who are interested in student-centered approach and trying to adopt it in teaching college students.