CHALLENGES FACED BY TEACHERS OF ENGLISH IN FIRST YEAR UNDERGRADUATE CLASSES AT U.E.A., BUKAVU, DR CONGO

C. T. Buhendwa Rubango Jeff

Abstract


This article aims to identify some challenges faced by teachers of English in first year undergraduate classes at UEA, one of the major universities in Bukavu, DR Congo. The study focused on 5 Congolese male teachers of English at U.E.A and 750 regular learners (259 female and 491 male). The research was conducted in the first semester of the academic year 2015-2016. The research instruments were a survey questionnaire to teachers, analytical and comparative methods. Both qualitative and quantitative approaches were considered to produce an interpretation of the data. The findings of the study revealed that teachers experienced problems related mainly to large classes, time constraint, student behaviour problems, different ability levels, insufficient technical supports, and to the lack of National English Course Curriculum and didactic materials from the Ministry of Higher Academic and University Education of the DR Congo. Thanks to a placement test, teachers taught the first undergraduate students English at different levels. Such strategy is rare at most universities in Bukavu when English is taught to students of the same class. Teachers gave some learners practice and remedial lessons at the Language Resource Centre of UEA. They downloaded and freely shared many books related to the needs of learners. Meetings for sharing experiences and harmonizing the course outlines were regularly held by these teachers. Those were some specific strategies used by teachers of English at UEA to tackle most challenges and might be helpful for the development of the discipline.

 

Cet article vise à identifier certains défis auxquels sont confrontés les enseignants d'Anglais dans les premières années de Graduat à l'UEA, l'une des grandes universités de Bukavu, en RD Congo. L'étude portait sur 5 enseignants congolais d'Anglais à l'UEA et 750 réguliers apprenants (259 étudiantes et 491 étudiants). La recherche a été réalisée au premier semestre de l'année académique 2015-2016. Les instruments de recherche étaient un questionnaire d'enquête aux enseignants et les méthodes analytique et comparative. Les approches qualitative et quantitative ont été prises en considération pour l’interprétation des données. Les résultats de l'étude ont révélé que les enseignants ont connu des difficultés liées surtout aux classes pléthoriques, à la contrainte de temps, au mauvais comportement de certains apprenants, aux différents niveaux d’aptitudes, à l'insuffisance du soutien technique et au manque du programme national de cours d'Anglais et de matériels didactiques émanant du Ministère de l'E.S.U./RD Congo . Grace au test de niveau, les formateurs enseignèrent l’Anglais aux étudiants des premières années de graduat à différents niveaux. Telle stratégie est rare pour la plupart des universités de Bukavu lorsque l’Anglais est enseigné aux étudiants d’une même classe. Les enseignants donnèrent à certains apprenants la pratique et des leçons de rattrapage au Centre des Ressources en Langues de l’UEA. Ils téléchargèrent et distribuèrent gratuitement bien des ouvrages en rapport avec les besoins des apprenants. Des réunions d’échanges d’expériences et d’harmonisation de grandes lignes du cours furent régulièrement tenues par les enseignants. Voilà quelques stratégies spécifiques utilisées par les enseignants d’Anglais à l’UEA pour relever la grande majorité des défis; lesquelles stratégies pourraient être utiles pour le développement de cette discipline.

 

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challenges, teaching English, U.E.A. \ défis, enseigner l’Anglais, U.E.A.

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References


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