Qualities of the Good English Teacher

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This paper is about a study on the qualities of a good English teacher as perceived by Saudi and Yemeni college students of English. The researcher (teacher) selected the samples purposively from students of English in both countries. He collected Data by asking the students an open-ended question to list the qualities of a good English teacher. The study tried to answer five questions related to
1) the general qualities of a good English teacher,
2)qualities that are specific only to English,
3) gender differences,
4) level of students’ differences, and finally
5) differences regarding contexts (Saudi vs Yemeni)
1. See discussions, stats, and author profiles for this publication at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/313328955
The Qualities of the Good English Teacher as Perceived by Saudi and Yemeni
College Students of English
Article · April 2013
DOI: 10.15580/GJER.2013.2.022313491
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2 authors:
Mahmoud Ahmed Thabet Al-maqtri Ahmad Thabet
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2. ISSN: 2276-7789 Impact Factor 2012 (UJRI): 0.7230 ICV 2012: 6.05
The Qualities of the
Good English Teacher
as Perceived by Saudi
and Yemeni College
Students of English
Al-Maqtri Mahmoud
Ahmad Thabet
3. Greener Journal of Educational Research ISSN: 2276-7789 Vol. 3 (2), pp. 072-079, April 2013
Research Article
The Qualities of the Good English Teacher as
Perceived by Saudi and Yemeni College Students of
*Al-Maqtri Mahmoud and Ahmad Thabet
Department of English, College of Sciences and Arts, King Khalid University, P.O.Box:101 Al-namas, Kingdom of
Saudi Arabia.
Corresponding Author’s E-mail: [email protected], Tel: 966-7-281-0095.
This paper is about a study on the qualities of the good English teacher as perceived by Saudi and Yemeni college
students of English. The researcher (teacher) selected the samples purposively from students of English in both
countries. He collected Data by asking the students an open-ended question to list the qualities of the good English
teacher. The study tried to answer five questions related to: 1) the general qualities of the good English teacher, 2)
qualities that are specific only to English, 3) gender differences, 4) level of students’ differences, and finally 5)
differences regarding contexts (Saudi vs Yemeni). The researcher categorized the findings categorized under four
main groups: English proficiency, pedagogical knowledge, socio-affective skills and organization and
communication. Though there was disagreement among the groups for the priority of the four categories, it was the
socio-affective category which was characteristic of all the different samples with preponderance towards the
Yemeni samples. Qualities under the socio-affective category are that the good English teacher is patient, relaxed,
good tempered, fair, helpful, encouraging, respectful, kind, loving and caring. It was also found that there were eight
qualities that were English specific. No major differences regarding gender were found. Differences related to level
were also limited. There were some differences between the Yemeni and Saudi samples. The Saudis, for example,
wanted more translation in class; they wanted teacher to give simple tests and assignments and they want him/her
to give them chance to talk to him/her.
Keywords: Good, qualities, English, Teacher, Saudi, Yemeni.
Who is the good language teacher (GET)? The words good and not good language teacher are a frequent
attributes to teachers of different subjects and at different stages: schools and/or colleges. We still remember
those school and college days when we used to identify one of our teachers as good and the other as not. As
Palmeiri (2009) observed 'We have all experienced at least one "great" teacher in our lives. His or her name is
still remembered.' We also still hear such impressive words from our students talking about their teachers saying
that they like teacher 'x' and dislike teacher 'y'." It goes without saying that teachers are among the factors that
affect students' learning achievement (Wichadee & Orawiwatnakul, 2012). In spite of the fact that our students
talk about their teachers as good or otherwise, yet we scarcely pay heed to this kind of informal assessment. In
other words, we do not take into account what our students say about us as this kind of assessment is an indirect
assessment to what they expect from us as their teachers. If this is the case, then finding out our students'
expectations can be of great help to us as teachers so that we get to know our own places and therefore what we
need in order to fulfill our students' expectations. It is also worthwhile to the students themselves and the whole
teaching and learning process. This is so because finding the points of strength and weakness of the teachers
means that these teachers are going to build on the former and mend the latter which, in turn, will be reflected in
the teacher's performance and thus in the teaching/learning process as a whole.
Why good English teacher? Does this make a difference if the teacher is not good? It is obvious that
students under the care and guidance of a good English teacher are in better position than those who are not
regarding their performance and comprehension. This is what is emphasized by Koinuma (as cited in Mizuno,
2004) when he indicates that " the students of good English teachers are working positively and independently
with a lively impression during class.
Why English teacher? First, English is the area of our concern and interest. Second, it has been found
(Koike) that the personality of the English teacher affects students twice as strongly as those of other subjects (as
cited in Mizuno, 2004). So we, English teachers, have to realize that our personalities do have influence on our
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own students whether positively or negatively. This paper therefore, is trying to find out what students say about
the English teacher. In other words, how they view the effective English teacher.
The Statement of the Problem
Knowing the qualities of the good English teacher as perceived by students of English (GET) from different levels
and contexts is hoped to help teachers have an idea of what their students think of them and thus reflect on their
teaching performance and behavior and then mend that accordingly, which, in turn can benefit the different
parties of the teaching learning process.
The Study Questions
1. What are the qualities of the good English teacher (GET) at the college level as viewed by college
students of English?
2. What are the qualities of the GET that are specific only to English?
3. Does the level of the students play a role in the nature of these qualities?
4. Are there gender differences as revealed by these qualities?
5. Are there differences with respect to different contexts (Saudi Arabia & Yemen)?
The Aims of the Study
This study aims at the following:
1. Finding out the students' assessment of who the GET is at college level.
2. Finding out if the gender factor plays a role in the nature of the qualities of the GET.
3. Finding out if the students' level plays a role in the nature of these qualities.
4. Comparing two samples from Yemen and Saudi Arabia as regards to these qualities.
5. Suggesting some ways to make teachers aware of what their students expect of them.
The Study Significance
The importance of this study stems from the fact that it gives us a picture of the students' perception of the good
English teacher. It is hoped that knowing the students' views about their teachers can bridge the gap between
teachers and their students' expectations. As a matter of fact, it can be advantageous to the different parties in
the teaching learning process. The students' expectation could be met and this in turn may positively affect their
interest and motivation. The teachers, on the other hand, will have to modify their performance and behavior
accordingly. This means they have to know themselves better in order to accommodate the students'
expectations. As for the teaching and learning process, the fulfillment of the students' expectation and the
teachers addressing what their students look for in their teachers may ensure better results in the whole teaching
learning process.
The Delimitation of the Study
The samples of the study are taken from college students at the Department of English Faculty of Arts, Ibb
University, Yemen and from the Department of English, College of Sciences and Arts, King Khalid University,
Saudi Arabia. Other types of students from other departments or other colleges are not included. Within these
departments level one and level four (year four) are selected as regard to the Yemeni sample and level one
(semester one) as regard the Saudi sample. Other levels are excluded. Generalization of results is not essential,
as we are concerned at the present about these particular groups. However, some indications can be helpful to
understand the general trend of the perceptions of these groups and similar ones.
Literature Review
The related literature is based on a number of studies that address the related issue intensively as follows:
In order to assess the qualities a teacher needs to help in providing intrinsic motivation, in 1970 a study by Denis
Girard attempted to address such a situation. A thousand children between the ages of 12 and 17 were asked to
put a list of teachers' qualities in order of preference. The children showed what their learning priority was by
putting these qualities in the following order: 1 most important and 10 least important.
1) He makes his course interesting, 2) teaches good pronunciation, 3) explains clearly, 4) speaks good English,
5) shares the same interest with all his students, 6) makes all the students participate, 7) shows great patience,
8) insists on the spoken language, 9) makes all his pupils work, and 10) uses an audio-language method.
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Students were concerned that classes should be interesting, and three of the top ten qualities (5, 6 & 7) are
concerned with relationship between teacher and student. In this study, the students were asked to list any
additional qualities they thought were important. The most popular were: 1) He shows sympathy for his pupils,
and 2) He is fair to all his students (whether good or bad at English).
Clearly this study, on its own, is in no way conclusive, but it does suggest certain conclusions:
1. The teacher has to make his class interesting
2. The teacher must be fair, treat his students equally, and as quick as possible to understand and act on
the worries and aspirations of his pupils.
3. The teacher must be a good model as the target language user.
4. The teacher must be a good technician; his students should understand what is expected of them, be
able to pronounce correctly, and be stimulated to introduce activity in the target language (Harmer,
Witcher (2003) studied students’ perceptions of characteristics of effective college teachers. Participants were
912 undergraduate and graduate students from various academic majors enrolled at a university in a mid-
southern state. Results analysis revealed the following nine characteristics that students considered to reflect
effective college teaching: 1) student-centered (58.88%), 2) knowledgeable about subject matter (44.08%), 3)
professional (40.79%), 4) enthusiastic about teaching (29.82%), 5) effective at communication (23.46%), 6)
accessible (23.25%), 7) competent at instruction (21.82%), 8) fair and respectful (21.60%), 9) provider of
adequate performance feedback (5.04%).
In an exploratory study, Borg (2006) tried to find out the distinctive qualities of language teachers,
namely English teachers. The study was an attempt to examine how English teachers are different from teachers
of other subjects. To achieve this target, 200 practicing and prospective language teachers were selected from
different subject areas: mathematics, history, science and chemistry. The findings of this study revealed that
language teachers are different from other teachers in the nature of the subject, the content of teaching, the
methodology, the teacher-student relationships and the native-non native contrast of speakers.
In a relevant study carried out by Kadha (2009) entitled "What Makes a Good English Language
Teacher?" aimed to investigate the teachers’ and learners’ viewpoints (at the University level in Yemen)
regarding their perceptions and conceptions of the qualities of a good language teacher and attempted to offer
directions to student-teachers and teacher-trainers. The study tried to find out answers to two questions
regarding the teachers' views and students' opinions on some qualities of a good English teacher, and the extent
to which these qualities provide direction and purpose to the teaching process which results in producing
effective and successful learning. The subjects of the study were fourth level students of English in three faculties
of education and arts affiliated to Hodeida University. The sample consisted of 90 students of both males and
females and 13 teachers. The instruments of collecting data were the interview and questionnaire. The result of
the study does not show a real difference between students and teachers regarding the qualities of the good
English teacher except in some few aspects. The results of the questionnaire reveal that high percentages of
students and teachers alike regard the preparation and presentation of materials, planning a lesson, making it
interesting and stating its objectives as well as motivating students and analyzing their needs to be the most
important criteria in a good EFL teacher.
Another study at the regional level conducted by Shishavan & Sadeghi (2009) attempted to characterize
qualities of an effective English language teacher (EELT) as perceived by Iranian English language teachers and
learners. A tailor-made questionnaire was administered to 59 English language teachers and 215 learners of
English at universities, high schools and language institutes in Iran. The results indicated significant differences
between teachers’ and learners’ views on some characteristics of EELTs. Teachers seemed to agree more
strongly than students that an EELT should assign homework and integrate group activities into the classroom.
Other areas of significant difference in opinions included preparing the lesson well, using lesson plans and
assessing what students have learned reasonably. Students, on the contrary, agreed more than teachers that
teaching English in Persian (first language of the learners) was one of the prominent characteristics of an EELT.
The qualitative analysis indicated that teachers perceived the features like mastery of the target language, good
knowledge of pedagogy and the use of particular techniques and methods as well as a good personality all make
an effective English language.
A study entitled "Teachers’ Use of Humor in Teaching and Students’ Rating of Their Effectiveness" aimed
to investigate the extent to which teachers' use of humour in teaching, and students’ ratings of their teaching
effectiveness in Migori district, Kenya. Purposive and random sampling procedures were used in the selection of
the sample of teachers and students from 6 secondary schools. The questionnaire tool was used to collect data
from 311 students and 35 teachers. The results indicated that the use of humour in teaching is generally good
and that there is a significant, moderate relationship between the use of humour and students' rating of teachers’
effectiveness. The results also indicate that the most commonly used styles of humour among the students are
the positive styles of humour (Affiliative humour and Self-enhancing humour). So it was concluded that teachers
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who use humor in teaching are generally rated effective in terms of motivation, creation of engaging lessons and
anxiety reduction in students. The teachers are also rated effective in terms of stimulation (Makewa et al., 2011).
Chireshe (2011) investigated university students’ perspective on effective and ineffective lecturers using
the design of qualitative survey. A questionnaire was used to collect the data from 77 students. The study
revealed that effective lecturers were well organized, competent, always involved students, friendly and readily
available. It was also found that effective lecturers were necessarily fair in their marking. On the other hand, it
was also found that ineffective lecturers did not plan their lectures, came late for lectures, were not
knowledgeable, were not contributing to students’ seminar presentations, were intimidating students, were not
involving students, were boasting about their qualifications and families and were biased in their marking.
Moreover, ineffective lecturers’ did not highlight strengths and weaknesses of students.
A quite recent study by Whichadee and Orawiwatnakul (2012) compared the characteristics of effective
language teachers on the basis of four categories: English proficiency, pedagogical knowledge, organization and
communication skills and socio-affective skills. This was so as these characteristics were viewed by low and high
proficiency students at Bangkok University. Two tools were used to gather data, a questionnaire and an
interview. The results showed that both low and high proficiency rated 'effective language teachers' in order of
importance as follows: organization and communication skills, socio- affective skills pedagogical knowledge, and
English proficiency. The results also revealed that there was a statistically significant difference between the two
groups in three categories: pedagogical knowledge, socio-affective and organization, and communication skills.
The data from the interview form showed that both groups perceived good teachers as those who provide more
activities or exercises to help them be better learners.
The Research Method
More than one techniques were exploited here. The survey is used with the purpose of exploring the selected
groups' views about the qualities of the good English teacher. Then the comparative technique was also utilized
to compare results at year, gender and country levels.
The Sample Selection
There are two types of students here: the Yemenis and the Saudis. In Yemen, there is coeducation in higher
education. Males and females at college and university levels study together. This is not the case in Saudi
Arabia. In Yemen, in the college from where the sample is taken and where I used to teach, the English
Department is more than 15 years old. It is already established and many batches have graduated from there. So
I selected two levels: one and four purposively. Level one was selected because the students were new and so
their perception about the English teacher may differ from those of level four, who on the other hand, have
already a long experience with English and English teachers. The whole classes of each level of the two levels
were asked to do the assignments of listing the qualities of the GET. Then the selection was done randomly from
the handed over papers or slips. The sample of each level consisted of 60 slips. Half of these (30) were by males
and the other half (30) by females. The Saudi sample consisted only of males as there is no coeducation in
higher education in Saudi Arabia. As the number of the students of the Saudi sample was round 30, all the slips
(writing assignments) of the group were taken.
The Procedures
With students of level four, they were asked to list the qualities of the GET in a slip of paper each and hand it to
me. As for students of level one (Yemeni sample) they were given a written task to write a paragraph about the
qualities of the good English teacher. This assignment was part of the writing skill, and they had to do it in
classroom. After they finished writing the assignment in a paragraph form, the written tasks were gathered. This
activity took them 30 minutes to finish. As this was done a random selection of 60 slips from the total group of
120 of each level was also done by choosing every 2 paper. The remaining papers were discarded. The Saudi
sample was asked to list the qualities in a voluntary basis; they were to do that in Arabic. Here the whole slips
(30) were collected.
Data Collection
The data was collected via a questionnaire with an open ended question in which the study groups were asked
to write a paragraph ( level one) or prepare a list of the qualities of the good English teacher (level four Yeminis
and level one Saudis). This kind of open-ended questions is preferred because it can precisely identify the
students' own perception of these qualities rather than giving them a readymade list to select from.
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Data Analysis
the three samples. The list from each sample was then tabulated. But as the list of the items is long (30 items or
more), shorter tables were used instead in which the highest top ten most important qualities were listed.
Therefore, the analysis is confined only to three tables that contained the ten most frequent qualities from each
level. Simple analysis techniques were used such as frequency and percentage to indicate the results. This was
applied to all samples.
For convenience, instead of the major tables (see appendix) that contain the whole lists of qualities obtained from
the groups of students, shorter ones are used in which the top ten most frequents qualities are given.
QUESTION1: What are the qualities of the good English teacher at the college level as viewed by college
students of English?
The answer for question 1 is shown in Table 1 below. For simplicity and convenience only top ten qualities are
given in this table. For the full list of quality a separate table in appendix 1. We will start with the Yemeni sample
(level four).
Results of the qualities GET as perceived by level 4 (Yemeni sample)
Table 1: Top Ten Qualities of GET as Viewed by Level 4 (Yemeni Sample)
No The good English teacher is who: Boys Girls
1 one that explains lesson clearly and in details 23 25
2 is punctual and respects time 24 20
3 speaks clearly and has a good accent 22 18
4 is patient, relaxed; does not get angry 09 24
5 gives advice to students 20 13
6 involves students 13 17
7 encourages students to be creative 14 11
8 shows respect towards his students 04 04
9 helpful and respects students needs 04 04
10 is kind, caring and loving 02 04
As can be seen from Table 1, these top ten characteristics as perceived by this group (Yemeni level 4) can be
classified under four main categories: 1) subject knowledge (English proficiency), 2) pedagogical knowledge and
skills, 3) management, organization and communication, and 4) socio-affective skills.(See Wichadee &
Orawiwatnakul, 2012). Two qualities of the GET came under the category of English proficiency (1 & 5). Only
one item (2) came under the pedagogical knowledge category. The majority of items came under the socio-
affective category; these included qualities (3, 4 , 6 ,7, 9, and 10). Under the management, organization and
communication category came one quality: (8). This result is applicable to males and females participants. The
differences between males and females were only in the number of frequencies and in other less important
features that were given in the major tables. As shown in Table1 above, almost in all items males scored more
than females except for one item (7) under the English proficiency category, where females scored seven and
males only two. Females were more concerned about good pronunciation.
Results of the qualities of GET as perceived by level 1 (Yemeni sample)
Table 2: Top Ten Qualities of GET as Viewed by (Level 1 Yemeni Sample)
No The good English teacher is who: Boys Girls
1 is one that is competent and qualified 20 14
2 is one that is well-informed with the different teaching methods 18 15
3 is patient 06 06
4 is honest 06 04
5 is good at English pronunciation 02 07
6 is fair and impartial 06 03
7 is able to control class 05 03
8 involves his students in class 04 04
9 is caring and loving 04 04
10 is helpful 02 04
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Table 2 shows the top ten qualities of level 1 English (Yemeni sample). This time the pedagogical knowledge
category came first with item (1): the good teacher is one who explains lesson clearly; it scored with the highest
frequency by both genders. Under the English proficiency came item (2) (Speaks clearly: has good accent). But
as shown in the table most of the qualities came under the socio-affective category (2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9,10). Under the
management, organization and communication came only one item (6) (s/he involves the students in class).
Coming to the females, the same classification was true; however, this time girls scored more than boys in four
qualities: that s/he explains the lesson clearly item (1) : 25 for girls against 23 for boys, item (4) s/he is patient
and relaxed : for girls 24 against 9 for boys, item (6) involves students: 17 against 13 for boys, and item (10) is
kind, caring and loving: 4 for girls against 2 for boys.
4.1.3 Results of the qualities GET as perceived by Level 1 (Saudi sample)
Table 3: Top Ten Qualities of GET as Viewed by the Saudi sample Level(1)
No. The good English teacher is who: Freq.
one that explains lessons and communicates information clearly 17
is well mannered:, friendly, understanding, and patient 16
has a good command of the language 13
makes tests and exams easy 09
invites the students to discuss the lesson 07
does a lot of translation 07
makes things easy for students 06
speaks the language fluently 05
never uses Arabic when talking with students 05
gives students the opportunity to talk to him in class 05
Coming to the Saudi sample, Table 3 shows the top ten qualities as follows: The items that came under the
knowledge of pedagogy category are item (1) with the highest frequency of 17, (5 & 6) with 7 each and items (9
&10) with 5 each. Under the socio-affective category, there were three items: (2) with a frequency of 15, (4) with
9, and (7) with 6. The category of English proficiency included two qualities (3) with 13 and (8) with 5.We can
notice that the category of management, and organization communication has no place with this sample. As
mentioned earlier the female factor was absent for the Saudi sample for practical constrains. Lever 4 is also not
available as this is a newly established college.
Results Discussion
As we can see from the results in Table 1 above concerning level 4 perception of the qualities of the GET, the
first quality that gets the highest frequency is : s/he should be competent and qualified. More than half of the
participants 34 (57% ) of both genders mention this quality. However, there is a difference between boys and
girls. While boys score 20 (67%) girls score only 14 (47%). It is difficult to explain this difference in gender. But it
is quite clear that both genders consider qualification as an important quality of the GET. The reason for giving
this a priority may be due to the participants encountering disqualified teachers. Moreover, these students have
already spent about four years studying English which means they have become more confident regarding their
knowledge of English so that they can judge the qualification of their teachers.
Students of level 4 are also concerned more with the socio-affective qualities (personality and behavior).
Five items (3, 4, 6, 9, &10) were among the first top ten qualities for this group. The teacher's personality matter
more for them after proficiency; they want teachers who are patient, honest, fair, impartial, caring loving and
helpful. Gender differences are not significant here. With respect to pedagogical knowledge, 58% of the
participants of both genders agree that good teachers are those who know different teaching methods. As for the
fourth category, management, organization and communication, the students want their teachers of English to
involve them in class. This is quite interesting and indicates that they are aware of this very important
requirement of taking active part to learn effectively.
Moving to level 1(Yemeni sample), the first of the top ten qualities, however, is not about proficiency but
rather the pedagogical, namely explaining lessons clearly and effectively. This is true of both group; males and
females. There is no real difference between males and females and for both of them this is priority. Giving
priority to pedagogical skills is quite natural with these fresh students who strive to understand what teachers say
in English.
Like level four, students of level one are very conscious about the teacher personality and behavior. For
them seven items out of ten came under the socio-affective (2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9 &10). The GET is punctual, patient,
relaxed, good tempered, encouraging, respectful, helpful to respects their needs, kind, caring and loving. This
can be attributed to the fact that they were new to college life and to the new language which means they need
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some time to adjust themselves to this new environment and this is why they are looking for the teacher with
good personal traits. Apart from the socio-affective features, these students look for the teacher who is proficient
and whose English pronunciation is good.
Coming to the Saudi sample, their priority is how to understand the teacher. In other words, the good
English teacher should explain lesson clearly and communicate information effectively. They share this with their
Yemeni counterparts. However, their perception of pedagogical skills of the good teacher seems to be a big
concern for them. Not only the first top quality has to do with pedagogical skills but also this is repeated again in
four more items, namely 5, 6, 9 &10. Next in importance for the Saudis are qualities that are concerned with the
socio-affective nature. Three items come under this category (2), (4), and (7). For this group, the good teacher
should be friendly, good tempered, kind, understanding, makes things easy whether tests, or assignments. What
is worth to note here is their demand that a good English teacher should make tests and other tasks easy. This is
even emphasized by their demand that the good teacher does much translation. All this goes along with their
actual behavior in class as they do not want to work hard; they always want tests to be very simple and, they are
so reluctant to do assignments, and they ask teacher to translate a lot. This makes the difference between this
group and their Yemeni counterparts. However, there are some students who are against the use of Arabic in
classroom as shown in item (9).
What is interesting for both the Saudis and Yemenis is that the Saudis want their teacher to give them
chance to talk to him/her. The Yemeni samples, on other hand, want their teacher to encourage them to be
creative. Both characteristics are worth paying attention to, as both characteristics are required for the modern
English teaching/learning. Both are also mentioned and emphasized by Miller (2012) as among the ten
characterizes of the GET.
From all the lists of qualities by the different samples of participants one can see that most of the
qualities are not necessary specific to English teachers. They are shared by other teachers of other subjects. For
level four, for example, only two items that we can say are relevant to English language teachers. The first (5) is
that the good teacher of English should pronounce sound English, and the second is partly relevant to English (8)
that he should involve the students in class. Otherwise, 80% of the qualities are common to all teachers whether
of English or of others.
The same is said about level one students. Only two (20%) out of ten of the stated qualities are English
specific. These are items (3&8), having good English accent and involving students in class. With the Saudi
sample, 3 qualities can be attributed to English. These are represented in items (3,10 & 6), having a good
command of English, doing much translation and allowing students to talk to him in English. All this shows that a
good English teacher is in many respects like all other teachers of other subjects, in that s/he must know his
subject, know how to deliver it effectively and above all be a good person, human and humane.
To conclude this article, we come to answer the study questions as follows:
QUESTION 1: What are the qualities of the good English teacher at the college level as viewed by college
students of English?
The answer is given in tables 1,2, and 3 as given earlier.
QUESTION 2: What are the qualities of the good English teacher at the college level as viewed by college
students of English that are specific only to English?
The answer to this question is shown in table 4 below.
Table 4: The Qualities of the GET that are Specific to English Across Groups
No Qualities Yemeni Yemeni Saudi M. F.
4 1
1. Competent and qualified *√ *√ 20 14
2. Good at English pronunciation *√ *√ 2 7
3. Involves his students in class *√ *√ 4 4
4. Has good command of English *√
5. Does a lot of translation *√
6. Speaks the language fluently *√
7. Uses English with students *√
8. Let students talk to him in English *√
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*√ Quality that is specific to English across groups
QUESTION 3: Does the level of the students play a role in the nature of these qualities?
As shown from Table 4 the level of students does not make a real difference in the nature of the qualities. Level
four and level one of the Yemeni samples share many qualities of the GET. Level 1 share two out of three items
with level 4, namely having good pronunciation and involving the students.
QUESTION 4: Are there gender differences in these qualities?
Again Table 4 above makes it clear that both males and females have almost the same perceptions as regards to
the qualities of GET. Differences are only in frequencies.
QUESTION 5: Are there differences with respect to contexts (Saudi Arabia vs. Yemen)?
The answer is yes. If we limit ourselves to the qualities specific to English given in Table 4, we can see that
though Yemenis and Saudis share some qualities, yet, Saudis have their own individuality regarding the GET.
The Saudis, for example, want the good English teacher have a good command of English, translate a lot, speak
English fluently, use English with the students, and give them chance to talk to him. Moreover, we have also
seen earlier in Table 3 that Saudis want the teacher to make things easy for them by giving easy tests and
assignments to all, of which are not shared by the Yemeni samples. The same concept is also mentioned in the
major table (other than top ten qualities) in which some say the good teacher does not give them much
homework. The only quality common to Saudis and level 4 Yemeni is that the teacher must be competent and
It is recommended that teachers of English should be aware of the qualities of the GET as perceived by their
It is suggested that a follow up study should be carried out with different groups from different colleges and levels
in both countries.
It is also suggested that females' views should be taken into account in both countries in a follow up study.
It is suggested that a readymade list be used instead of the open ended question in the follow up study.
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