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Education in the New Normal: The Plight of Junior High School English Language Trainers

  • Carlito Jr. C. Taclob
  • 1563-1587
  • Feb 10, 2024
  • Language

Education in the New Normal: The Plight of Junior High School English Language Trainers

Carlito Jr. C. Taclob

A Thesis Presented to the Faculty of the Professional Schools University of Mindanao Davao City

In Partial Fulfilment of the Requirements for the Degree in Master of Arts in Education Major in Teaching English

DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.47772/IJRISS.2024.801116

Received: 19 December 2023; Revised: 04 January 2024; Accepted: 08 January 2024; Published: 10 February 2024

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study was to document the problems, coping strategies, and key learnings of the junior high school language instructors. To analyze the lived experiences of junior high school language teachers during the “new normal,” this study used a phenomenology analysis, making it qualitative research. Ten junior high school English teachers from Panabo City Division who are either teaching or have experience with language education were the participants. These renowned teachers have first-hand experience training children for various competitions in the contemporary period. The tool utilized after a verified Interview Guide Questions (IGQ) was an in-depth interview. It was decided to use reflexive thematic analysis to produce the study’s findings. Furthermore, the findings revealed the various themes about the lived experiences of the study participants: difficulty in conducting online coaching, issues navigating online platforms, inadequate monetary support, intermittent internet connectivity, constrained training period, and multitasking with overlapping tasks. Secondly, their coping mechanisms are patience toward students’ capacity, effective time management, preparing resources beforehand, soliciting peer support, and participating in skills enhancement webinars. Lastly, the meaningful insights generated from the study infuse students with inspiration, maintain open communication, engage experts collaboratively, and decrease the excessive paperwork load of the teachers who are language trainers at the same time.

Keywords: education, new normal, lived experiences, phenomenology, Panabo City, Philippines 

INTRODUCTION

Training students has become one of the significant roles of language teachers in an educational system. It has been a part of their teaching experience. Aside from giving them joy and satisfaction, it is also one of the ways where they sharpen their skills. Language trainers are relevant to events in journalism, “Com Arts” festivals, and other English-related endeavors. They also take roles in their institution as ones who initiate English reading proficiency programs. However, what if the educational landscape, which has been a norm for years, suddenly shifted into a different new normal because of a severe global pandemic? As mentioned in the article published by Edreda et al. (1) by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) which was known to start its breakout last January 22, 2020, which tallied a total of 633 suspected cases as of March 1. This phenomenon has caused many economic and educational devastations and even many lives.

In the USA, as stated in the study of Piquero et al. (1079), in April 2020, as the coronavirus pandemic was wreaking havoc on the lives and economies of nations worldwide, governments around the world began to institute stay-at-home or directives for sheltering in place to prevent the spread of the virus. This pandemic dramatically affects many aspects of people’s lives. It also stops them from doing things daily, particularly in the educational system, which leads teachers and students to do their things at home.

In the Philippines, education has also been significantly impacted by the virus. According to the study of Tarrayo et al. (2), educators suddenly shifted due to the COVID-19 epidemic to distance education or online/remote learning. People in the educational system believed that education must occur in whatever circumstances. It is why the adoption of different modalities of learning has been applied. However, this gives struggles to the teachers. This scenario is new to all and requires many adjustments to deliver practical teaching.

However, let us focus on the English language trainers; in this new normal, competitions have been limited even though some have been realized online rather than face-to-face. As explained by Kaur (1), language instructors have encountered difficulties similar to other educators due to the “new normal” engendered by occurrences like the COVID-19 epidemic. These difficulties have significantly impacted their teaching strategies, student interactions, and general work happiness. It can be challenging for language teachers to rapidly adjust to online learning environments and technology, especially if they have yet to gain experience with them. Learning to use new technologies, such as video conferencing software and online learning management systems, was frequently necessary throughout this shift. A language trainer trains his/her delegates how to do things by using the appropriate Language. Teachers are assigned to coach their selected student representatives to battle competitions about Language.

In the past years before COVID-19, language trainers found it less of a hassle to train their delegates because they see them personally for the training and practices. However, in this new normal, it has become a severe struggle for the language teachers who are trainers of the different students joining competitions because they cannot really express their support to their students and cannot train them well due to many factors that hinder their time. Language trainers also balance their time to do different life roles. They have experienced many difficulties and sacrifices to fit into the new normal. Most teachers face substantial challenges, including a lack of resources, dealing with pupils, and workloads that cause stress and burnout (Robosa et al., vol. 7).

In Panabo City, the people behind the education system initiated different contests about the English language in a new platform. That is why the researcher, as a language teacher, observed a severe struggle in training students to join competitions. This notion leads him to devise a plan to study the plight of language trainers amidst the pandemic.

The pandemic has disrupted traditional modes of education, and understanding how junior high school English teachers have coped with training students remotely provides insights into the challenges and opportunities in ensuring access to quality education, as outlined in SDG 4.

The researcher gathered theories that further investigate and support the issue identified in this research study. Like many other educators, English trainers have faced several difficulties modifying their pedagogical approaches to fit the “new normal” imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. To support this study, first, the research provided a theory, which is the theory of resilience, by Dr. Norman Garmezy (460). Resilience, according to Garmezy, is only sometimes resistant to stress.

On the other hand, resilience is meant to stand for the capability to persist in adaptive behavior following an initial phase of retreat or weakness at the beginning of a stressful encounter. Garmezy makes the point that all children experience stress at some time. Resilient children are not “heroic” compared to those children who “meet similar situations with retreat, despair, or disorder.”To be resilient, Garmezy states that one needs to show “functional adequacy (the maintenance of competent functioning despite an interfering emotionality) as a benchmark of resilient behavior under stress.” According to De Villa et al. (145), online distance learning allowed students to study from home and professors to work from home during a community lock down and quarantine. More educational chances are seriously disrupted when schools shorten their scheduled courses. Delaying the start of the following academic year’s case intake allowed schools additional time to organize continuity plans and oversee other teaching methods. Schooling authorities decided to adapt and embrace the New Normal schooling because teaching and learning mainly occurred within the classroom and became the most vulnerable to disruption.

The above statement indicates that teaching English to kids has been extremely challenging since modifications must be made while considering educators’ demanding workloads during this challenging period. Transitioning from traditional in-person instruction to online learning environments might take time. It might be challenging for English language instructors to duplicate the interactive and conversational elements of language acquisition in a virtual setting.

Furthermore, as indicated by Andarwulan et al.’s study (771), educators at all levels and in all contexts discovered that they needed to reevaluate their roles, how they assisted their students’ learning goals, and the notion that their students were self-organizing learners, active citizens, and autonomous social actors. Real-time talks and group activities that include human connection benefit language acquisition. The prospects for impromptu communication and genuine language use may be restricted online.

Despite their challenges, primary education instructors demonstrated a resilient attitude to teaching and learning in the new normal. Teacher educators faced a new normal due to the COVID-19 pandemic, full of possibilities, problems, limitations, and strengths. During the pandemic, the teachers turned the deficiencies into opportunities for instruction (Jamon, 781). Teachers need help to keep kids engaged as a result. Keeping pupils interested and involved in an online setting might take more work. Distractions at home, fewer social connections, and screen weariness might impact students’ ability to concentrate and participate.

Understanding and resolving inequities in access to high-quality education requires an examination of the difficulties encountered by English trainers in the new normal. Regardless of their learning contexts, educators may work toward equitable opportunity for all students by recognizing and reducing impediments. Encouraging an atmosphere that facilitates efficient instruction and learning becomes feasible, helping teachers and students on their language learning journeys.

This study aims to determine the struggles of the Junior High School English Language Trainers. Aside from this main concern, this research undertaking will also serve as a tool of inspiration to other language teachers to keep transmitting language skills and knowledge no matter what difficulties they may face.

To facilitate the attainment of the above-mentioned purpose of the study, the researcher was guided with the subsequent research questions as follows: What are the lived experiences of JHS English Language Trainers in the New Normal? How do JHS English Language Trainers cope with these experiences? And what insights can they share with their peers and with the academic community?

METHODS

This section of the study describes in detail how the study conducted. Likewise, it presents the informants, materials/instruments, design, and procedures observed in the study.

Study Participant

The study participants were the 10 selected Junior High School English teachers of Panabo City Division who taught or had expertise in Language. These identified teachers have experience training students in various competitions in the new normal. The researcher used convenient sampling under non-probability because, as Edgar and Manz stated, the term “convenience sampling” refers to the practice of gathering samples from places that are conveniently situated nearby. This new way was the most convenient way of reaching out to the participants; the researcher had access to them. They were the best-qualified teachers because they had first-hand experience teaching Language in this new normal.

To gather enough data, the researcher took 10 JHS English language trainers in the public and private schools of the Department of Education, Schools Division of Panabo. Securing the study’s credibility is essential to thoroughly understand the topic of interest. This problem requires the study to interview enough people to get a good insight into the topic but not so many as to lose sight of the essence of the topic. Different textbooks suggest different samples for phenomenological research, but according to Creswell and Creswell, 3–10 individuals are sufficient for qualitative research. Practical issues, such as funding, time, and access to participants, do, however, often limit the sample size in many qualitative research studies.

The criteria for participant selection were 10 male or female Junior High School English Teachers in private and public schools within the Schools Division of Panabo City who participated and trained students in any English-related contest or event during the pandemic. English Language teachers who will not be qualified are those teachers from the Elementary and college levels who trained students during the pandemic. Participation of participants is voluntary. There are no consequences or lost rewards for refusing to engage in the activity.

Materials and Instruments

The researcher of this study collected primary data from junior high school English language teachers, for it is a must to hear all the information according to their perspective. This study became more significant once there was direct communication between the researcher and the selected participants. The nature of the linguistic features in context and explored the texts and the set of texts in the transcribed interviews and informal discourses with more depth, considering other variables. It can be best achieved if data sources are watchfully considered, even if it requires a more far-reaching situation. Data collection is essential to research since it helps grasp a theoretical framework. Edgar and Manz stated that the researcher used convenient sampling by obtaining samples easily placed near a site. They were randomly selected to avoid bias. They were chosen to willingly impart their knowledge as needed in the study.

The prevailing forms of data collection associated with qualitative inquiry are interviews and observation. In this case, the researcher utilized the In-depth interview to gather primary data from the participants. Individuals’ experiences, opinions, perceptions, beliefs, and attitudes towards a particular subject or research question are gathered through in-depth interviews, a qualitative research technique. The one-on-one format of these interviews enables the interviewer and participant to have a rich, honest dialogue. According to Roller (5), the in-depth interview (IDI) method’s potential benefits or strengths may be found in three main areas: the interviewer-interviewee connection, the interview itself, and the process’ analytical component. The interviewer-interviewee relationship developed in the IDI technique is close, which might boost the approach’s trustworthiness by minimizing response biases. Furthermore, qualitative data analysis is the most complex and crucial aspect of qualitative research.

Design and Procedure

Qualitative research is chosen because through this approach, to gain a deeper understanding of the lived experiences of the JHS English Language Trainers, the researcher will be able to discover theories and studies that support this study. Research approaches called ethnographic, naturalistic, anthropological, field, or participant observer research are called qualitative research. It stresses how crucial it is to consider elements in their natural environment. Detailed data is gathered through open-ended questions that provide direct quotations.

A phenomenological research study is a study that attempts to understand people’s perceptions, perspectives, and understanding of a particular situation (or phenomenon). Phenomenology is the philosophical name for investigating or inquiring into the meaning of our experiences. The method is phenomenological, reflecting on pre-reflective or lived experience. This design would look into the multiple perspectives of the situation and make generalizations of what it is like. This design depends exclusively on lengthy interviews with selected sample participants. In order to determine the results of this study, the researcher used Thematic Analysis to saturate data and come up with significant responses.

According to Braun, Clarke, and Hay field, Thematic analysis (T.A.) is a technique for locating, examining, and deciphering meaningful patterns (or “themes”) within qualitative data. Because it offers a method—a tool or technique, unrestricted by theoretical commitments—instead of a methodology—a theoretically informed and constrained framework for research—T.A. is distinctive in the canon of qualitative analytic methods. This is not to say that T.A. is atheoretical, as opposed to realist or essentialist, as is sometimes claimed. Instead, TA may be used with many theoretical frameworks and research methodologies.

One particular type of thematic analysis applied in this study is Reflexive Thematic Analysis. Virginia Braun and Victoria Clarke created the qualitative research technique known as reflexive thematic analysis. It assesses qualitative data, particularly textual data from surveys, written replies, or interview transcripts. While classic theme analysis and reflexive thematic analysis have similarities, the latter emphasizes the researcher’s reflexivity and awareness of their presence in the research process.

The foundation of research quality, integrity, validity, and reliability ensures that findings properly represent reality and can be accepted by stakeholders and the scientific community, who utilize them to make decisions and gain a better knowledge of the world. As stated by Coleman (204), validity and reliability are defined as an approach, and several techniques for ensuring the thoroughness of an inquiry are explored. Particular emphasis is paid to using instruments to promote validity and reliability in interviews since they are one of the most often used methods for collecting qualitative data. Maintaining the accuracy and credibility of your findings requires using research methodologies that adhere to standards of validity and reliability. To get validity and reliability in research, the researcher sought the expertise of the validators who have approved the instruments utilized in this study. The questionnaire for the interview portion was thoroughly checked and revised based on the suggestions given by the panels, including those from the validators. Reliable support and correctly and appropriately supported instruments are also used in analyzing the data to attain reliability and validity.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

In this section, the researcher of this study presents the results and engages in a comprehensive discussion of our research findings. This study aimed to address the plight of junior high school English language trainers. Through rigorous data collection and analysis, the research gained valuable insights into the lived experiences of JHS English Language Trainers in the New Normal, their coping mechanisms from the difficulties they experienced, and the relevant insights they shared with their peers and the general academic community. This analysis sheds light on the specific issues set out to investigate and contributes to a broader understanding of the plight of junior high school English language trainers. The following pages delved into the details of the results, examining the implications and potential applications of the findings, and considering how they align with existing literature and research in this domain.

This chapter presents mainly the following research questions: What are the lived experiences of JHS English Language Trainers in the New Normal? How do JHS English Language Trainers cope with these experiences? And what insights can they share with their peers and the academic community?

Table 1. Lived Experiences of JHS English Language Trainers in The New Normal.

THEMES CORE IDEAS / THEMATIC STATEMENTS
 

Difficulty in Conducting Online Coaching

• Student participants were trained via an online platform and could not quickly get the instructions.

• It was so challenging that coaching during the pandemic was done online.

• Most students find it difficult to fully understand the instructions in online coaching.

• The coach needs to repeat instructions several times.

 

Issues with Navigating Online Platforms

• Language trainers must learn to use virtual meeting platforms to meet the students.

• It is new and challenging for the teachers to use the video conferencing platforms.

• Teachers need to adjust to using online platforms.

• User interface complexity is one of the problems experienced by teacher-trainers.

 

Intermittent Internet Connectivity

• Teachers experience internet connectivity interruptions during coaching.

• It is frustrating when internet connectivity is interrupted while coaching.

• Issue of stable internet connection.

• While coaching online, trainers and students must have a reliable internet connection.

 

Inadequate Monetary Support

• Students cannot come during practice schedules due to inadequate monetary allowance.

• Most students cannot afford to defray the needed props, customs, and the like.

• The school does not have enough budget to cover the competition expenses.

• Financial assistance to our student participants is minimal.

Constrained Training Period • Trainers have minimal time for rehearsals and try-outs.

• Restrictions during the Pandemic hinder the ample time to practice.

• There is not enough time for practice and preparation since students cannot go out during the pandemic.

• Teachers trained students online for a limited period.

Overlapping Tasks • Teachers need to hold classes at the same time as coaching.

• Several pieces of paperwork to be done while having a special designation.

• Conflict in class preparations and schedules.

• Most of the time, trainers are bombarded with many academic tasks.

Shown in Table 1 are the emerging themes identified based on the participants’ responses. The first identified theme was “Difficulty in Conducting Online Coaching“. Online coaching is part of the new standard and can present particular challenges like any form of remote education or training. Here is some of the evidence about the identified theme, which refers to difficulties associated with online coaching:

Maybe one of the most unforgettable experiences I had is the sudden shift and adjustment of academic activities and trainings for both teachers and students. The paradigm of education has always been designed for face-to-face learning and its unexpected transition left us, educators, feeling as if we’re in cage or maze with no specific direction as to how we carry out our job especially those who are assigned in rural areas. Honestly, I was reluctant to train student-participants because the gadgets, internet, and other materials needed for the training were limited and we couldn’t take advantage of technology so much. It’s really frustrating, not to include the social restrictions imposed by the government. It is not easy coaching your students online, this was during the pandemic when we had our online spelling bee.  (RQ1 IDI-P 5,6, 8)

Teachers encounter difficulties in online coaching for various reasons, as the shift from traditional in-person teaching to an online environment presents unique challenges. As stated in the study of Gurung (17), he found out that since they have been used to delivering classroom instruction for many years, some teachers find that teaching online courses in and of themselves is a significant obstacle. Reaching/teaching students in remote areas is the biggest challenge for online teachers because there is only sometimes reliable electricity, vital internet access, or a source of income for parents who need help to buy a laptop or an Android phone for their kids. This notion means that transitioning to online teaching often requires a shift in teaching methods and strategies. Teachers must learn to engage students in a virtual setting, which may differ from their usual classroom practices.

In addition, as cited in the study of Retnawati et al. (43), the new mode of teaching and learning process, educating children in the new norm, has assessments that the teachers need to comprehend. They need help with creating the attitude evaluation tool as well. Additionally, the minimal passing mark requirements make it impossible for the teachers to do the assessment. These findings explain that implementing a new curriculum and assessment system takes time and adjustment for both teachers and students. Effective communication, ongoing professional development, and a willingness to adapt are crucial to addressing the challenges associated with these changes and ensuring a successful transition to the “new normal” in education.

The second theme is “Issues on Navigating Online Platforms”. Navigating online platforms can sometimes be challenging, especially for individuals who need to be more tech-savvy or are new to a particular platform. Here are some common issues participants faced when navigating online platforms:

It is hard to call for the learner. Especially during distance learning, we have to always create schedules ahead of time because some of the participants cannot readily access messenger. And now, the problem lies with the learners’ punctuality during practices. The ways of training students become more complex since you have to develop knowledge on the use of technology. When the pandemic strikes and face to face learning is discourage at that time, and we do not have any choice but to conduct the training via zoom, or online platform, I have to do a little adjustments, (RQ1 IDI-2,3, 8)

Navigating online platforms in the context of the “new normal” education can present several challenges for educators and students. As emphasized in the study of Xie et al. (182), Online learning is only suitable for some. Several factors can determine a person’s suitability for online education. In order to succeed in online education, a student must first possess fundamental technical know-how and have access to the bare minimum of equipment as required by the program. Examples of basic technological abilities are the capacity to create online platform accounts, install required software/programs, download and upload documents, traverse the Internet, use a word processing application, and use Internet search engines. A PC or laptop, high-speed Internet connectivity, the availability of multipurpose digital devices, and professional software programs like the Microsoft Office suite are often the minimal technology requirements.

Technical problems such as slow internet connections, software glitches, or device compatibility issues can disrupt the online learning experience. Addressing these issues requires collaboration between educational institutions, platform providers, and users. Regular feedback and continuous improvement in platform design, support mechanisms, and digital literacy education are essential for a smoother experience in the “new normal” of online education.

Next is the “Intermittent Internet Connectivity”. Intermittent internet connectivity can be frustrating and disruptive, mainly when you rely on a stable internet connection for work, education, or entertainment. Here is some of the evidence of why the said theme emerges:

We had problems in internet stability, availability of gadgets, finances to purchase load, and attention of the students. Internet, and other materials needed for the training were limited and we couldn’t take advantage of technology so much. When the pandemic strikes and face to face learning is discourage at that time, and we do not have any choice but to conduct the training via zoom, or online platform, I have to do a little adjustments, since some of my students connection are not stabled. The availability of the students and their access to internet during distance learning are some of the greatest struggles in the new normal. (RQ1 IDI-5 ,6, 8)

Intermittent internet connectivity is a significant challenge for teachers and students in remote and online learning during the “new normal.” According to Amponsah (9), internet access impacts students’ academic achievement in the modern day since those with it have demonstrated more growth in their work than those without it. The pace and delivery of your carefully prepared courses are ruined by an inconsistent connection, resulting in low-level behavior that obscures the learning.

Furthermore, as cited by Nolasco (2022), Online learning has the following drawbacks: regulating screen time, isolation, teacher training, and technological concerns. He did not simply mean complicated computers or other devices when he cited technological problems; he also meant a lousy internet connection. The quality of internet connections was tested because of the pandemic and the need for all pupils to use DL. Unfortunately, not all students have reliable internet access. Poor quality online learning may also be caused by intermittent connectivity. The process of teaching and learning might suffer as a result.

The fourth is “Inadequate Monetary Support”. The following is the evidence:

My student-participants could not go to school every day due to insufficiency of funds. We had problems in internet stability, availability of gadgets, finances to purchase load, and attention of the students. The struggles I encountered are Insufficiency of funds Less funds for the fare, costume, and props (RQ1 IDI-1 ,5)

Lack of financial resources during online learning can create significant challenges for students. It can affect their ability to access necessary tools, materials, and resources required for remote education. According to the study by Barrot et al. (2021), the most significant financial impact was the inability to pay for their online lessons due to the unemployment of their parents and the high cost of Internet data. A lack of financial support can exacerbate existing inequities in education. Students from disadvantaged backgrounds may face more significant challenges. Financial constraints can limit students’ ability to attend conferences, workshops, or networking events essential for building connections in their field of study or career.

According to several studies, financial limitations can significantly affect student achievement and retention rates in online learning. Financially challenged students may be more prone to struggle in class or quit out. As demonstrated in the study by Lassoued et al. (9), the inability to communicate remotely was cited as a problem for many professors and students. This finding is consistent with the results of an earlier study about some students’ difficulty obtaining computers, which is directly related to their inability to buy one for their endeavor.

Fifth on the list of themes is “Constrained Training Period”. This theme is evident based on the actual responses of the participants below:

In the new normal setting, we had very limited time to practice because student-participants were not allowed to go to school every day. Before pandemic, it was easier to train the student-participants compared this new normal because before we had unlimited time to practice and have in-person training. One of the greatest challenges is the learners’ punctuality. Many came late during practices which really takes up the time. It was slightly complicated since there was no regular meeting for the classes, so I had to set a schedule for face-to-face and online training. There were times that my student could not attend due to some conflicts or overlapping tasks (RQ1 IDI-2,7,8,10)

Balancing the demands of synchronous and asynchronous instruction, preparing digital materials, providing timely feedback, and attending to administrative tasks can be overwhelming. Teachers may struggle with time management, especially considering their students. The low levels of student engagement were one of the main issues faced by the teachers identified in Noor’s (39) research, which dealt with the confined training period. The main problems while delivering online coaching are poor student attendance and low-class participation.

Teachers face various time-related challenges during online learning, affecting their ability to effectively deliver instruction and support their students. According to Kebritchi et al. (19), one of the most prominent problems instructors experience is the demand on their time since it takes much effort to set up, arrange, and teach an online course. Online coaching often extends beyond traditional school hours due to the flexibility of remote learning. Teachers may work longer hours, including evenings and weekends, to meet student needs and expectations.

The last one is “Overlapping Tasks“. This finding explains the statements of the participants as follows:

In this new normal, I feel like I am accomplishing double of my task because of a lot of adjustment that I have been doing in school with my students who have more diverse characteristics and their health concerns as well. I struggled in Time, since DepEd officials love to give extra loads to teachers—thinking we’re Hercules or any other heroes without capes—spending time for their training while teaching academic disciplines and doing some paper works, and fitting the intended time for training to their schedule sometimes become a conflict. Whatever multi-tasking job you do, human as we are, we also have limitations hence, cannot give the 100% attention to trainees. It was slightly complicated since there was no regular meeting for the classes, so I had to set a schedule for face-to-face and online training. There were times that my student could not attend due to some conflicts or overlapping tasks. (RQ1 IDI-4,5,10)

Multitasking and managing overlapping tasks are common challenges for teachers during online coaching. Balancing various responsibilities while delivering effective instruction can be demanding. According to the research done by Jomuad et al. (48), teaching is a rewarding but challenging career. Due to their long workdays and demanding workload, teachers are vulnerable to burnout. Trying to balance several things at once might lessen attention and concentration on each one. This result may lead to less effective instruction and lower-quality work. Being able to multitask while still meeting deadlines and swiftly answering questions from students might be challenging. Burnout can result from persistent stress.

In his study, (Tahseen) also notes that instructors may experience stress because of the large quantities of paperwork they must do while instructing students. Teachers may find it challenging to communicate with pupils when handling overlapping activities. Misunderstandings, missing communications, or slow reaction times may result from this. Contrary to popular belief, multitasking can reduce output. Switching between activities might result in inefficiency and take longer to finish each activity.

Table 2. The Coping Mechanisms of JHS English Language Trainers on The Encountered Experiences In The New Normal

THEMES CORE IDEAS / THEMATIC STATEMENTS
Patience towards Student’s Capacity • Language trainers display patience regarding a student’s competence.

• Exhibiting tolerance towards a student’s skill.

• Tolerance for a student’s capability to learn and grow.

• Valuing students’ potential and competence towards the learning tasks.

 

Effective Time Management

• The efficient utilization of time management.

• Properly sorting things out to spend time effectively.

• Conducting rehearsal during spare time.

• Scheduling of practice during vacant time.

 

Advance Preparation of Resources

• It is easier to facilitate if materials are prepared in advance.

• Learning becomes more meaningful if learning materials and students’ tasks are well-prepared.

• It ensures that everything is in place and that you are well-prepared for the upcoming activity.

• Students are well-guided on the activities they are going to perform.

 

Solicitation of Support from Peers

• Language teachers seek advice from their colleagues.

• Acceptance that teachers do not know everything.

• Whenever a problem arises, reaching out to colleagues for help is advantageous.

• Trainers request input from colleagues to gain insight into challenging concepts or situations.

 

Participation in Skill-Enhancing Webinars

• To boost skills, language teachers participated in webinars provided by the school.

• Attend language webinars and trainings to hone language competence.

• Engage in webinars aimed at improving language skills.

• To better train or coach students, language teachers attend webinars.

The first theme identified in the coping mechanism of the participant regarding their struggles as a trainer in the new normal is “Patience towards Students’ Capacity.” The following are the evidence of the theme:

The adjustments have I made as English trainer in this new normal is…more patience and understanding on the student’s level and family/financial status…extend more patience…take a deep breath…empathize. I have to understand the students delay of responding. I got to be more patience, understanding and more innovative. (RQ2 IDI-1,6,9)

Extending patience is essential for teachers in online coaching, especially in the face of various challenges in the virtual learning environment. As an excellent teacher, giving teachings and insights to the learners, patience, and understanding are essential components (Zaugg). Educators need to recognize the distinct obstacles that come with teaching online. Set reasonable goals for yourself and your students, considering everyone may struggle to transition to online learning.

Because we know that something is learned fast if it relates to something already in store, teachers must devote a significant amount of class time to developing previous knowledge in pupils where there is none. It is critical to have compassion for our learners. Put yourself in the position of your students. Recognize that they could also be dealing with difficulties, such as technological difficulties, domestic diversions, or mental stress. Be understanding and empathetic when interacting.

The next theme is “Effective Time Management”.

I am very particular with time management. No second should be wasted.I also spent more time working with my laptop/ phone because I had to check the outputs so any corrections made could be noted and changed while the students were still online.(RQ2 IDI-1,5)

Actually, okay raman akong schedule. dili kayao ko busy before, and naa gyud koy time management. like if naa koy mga activities pag ka ugma. gina make sure gyud nako na ma supply nako sa ila as part of their activity (RQ2 IDI-8)

Actually, my schedule is fine, I am not so busy before and I have time management. Like, if I have activities for tomorrow, I made sure that I can supply the needed of my students to their activity.

Effective time management is crucial for online coaching teachers to balance their teaching responsibilities and maintain a healthy work-life balance. According to Martin et al. (113), a condition of a teacher’s preparedness for online education is called faculty readiness to teach. In their study, teachers ranked time management skills as being extremely important. They included scheduling time to create the course before it was delivered and allocating weekly time to assess assignments. In contrast to face-to-face education, when instructors can develop course content weekly, online instructors are expected to have the course ready before the semester begins.

Therefore, teachers as coaches must understand how much effort goes into dealing with the online course and that they should have some time. Teachers who provide online coaching share lesson preparation, teaching, grading, parent and student contact, and administrative duties. Effective time management allows them to assign time to these tasks without becoming overburdened.

The third theme that significantly answers the coping mechanisms of the participants is “Advance Preparation of Resources”.

The strategies I used in training my students, are…uhm…prepare learning materials beforehand and monitor their output…develop learning materials and make sure it is prepared beforehand. (RQ2 IDI-4)

If naa koy mga activities pag ka ugma, gina make sure gyud naku na supply nako sa ila as part of their activity…and mao nagahatag ko ug pointers sa ila as a guide for our coaching (RQ2 IDI-8)

If we have activities for tomorrow, I made sure that I can supply the needed things of my students for their activity… and that is why I give them pointers as a guide for our coaching.

Preparing the necessary materials in advance ensures a flawless and well-organized online coaching session. It lessens delays and disruptions throughout the class, enabling you to concentrate on your instruction and interactions with the students. Based on the book of Kyriacou (19), the creation of resources and materials will be considered during the teaching and learning process, which gathers all the necessary components, such as examples and materials. This finding signifies that as a coach, resources must be prepared in advance to save time during coaching sessions. Instead of frantically searching for or creating things, you may devote more time to educating, interacting with students, and answering their questions.

Furthermore, when you prepare resources ahead of time, you can adapt and customize them to meet the specific needs of your students. You can tailor materials to address different learning styles and preferences. Cited in the book of Nilson (127), you, as the instructor, must set its route and lead it in the appropriate direction if you want it to produce results and avoid turning into a free-association, free-for-all bull session. You must organize and regulate the conversation’s tone and behavior so that bluster does not derail it. However, you also must adapt to the winds from time to time in order to maintain its fluid and adaptability. Striking that fine line between structure and flow is your problem. Therefore, preparing resources before coaching online enhances the quality, efficiency, and effectiveness of the coaching experience. It allows for better organization, customization, and adaptability while ensuring students access valuable materials supporting their learning journey.

The following identified theme is “Solicitation of Support from Peers.”

I always do my research and ask assistance from people whom I believe are with more experience and knowledge. Whenever I face difficulties, I always seek for advice or assistance from other teachers. Since we were working in an unfamiliar set-up—new routine—I found an outlet to vent my frustration through different means. I sometimes went out to seek my friends’ company, who were fighting the same battle as mine. I also pushed myself to be acquainted with the new ways of training to avoid feeling left out in this fast-changing system. I ask advices and guidance in order to enhance me as a trainer. (RQ2 IDI-2,5,7)

Peers can share their experiences, techniques, and best practices to provide insightful analysis and knowledge in the new normal. Sharing expertise in this way raises the standard of training sessions. Numerous advantages of collaborative online group activities, such as setting expectations and modeling group standards, are supported by research. One is to start building a collaborative online feeling of community support; collaborative group activities should be entered. Introduce students to one another using introduction exercises to quickly accomplish this goal. Because collaborative community support has already been created, learners may be exposed to subsequent, more complicated collaborative activities without feeling intimidated or uneasy (Higley). This result helps teachers as coaches to efficiently deliver their instructions to the students. Engaging with peers provides access to diverse perspectives and ideas. Different approaches to coaching can be explored and adapted, enriching the coaching process.

Teachers helping each other during the new standard can have numerous positive outcomes, fostering a supportive and collaborative teaching community. As mentioned by Rasmitadila (104), the collaboration of parents, instructors, and the school is a second essential source of support. This undertaking may be done by developing a knowledge community to comprehend online learning techniques. This community’s learning resources may be built jointly to synergize home-based online learning. Teachers can work together to conduct coaching sessions while the other provides assistance or fills in specific responsibilities. This result can increase student involvement and provide various teaching philosophies. Teachers foster a cooperative and encouraging learning atmosphere by supporting one another during the new normal. Sharing information, tools, and resources fosters professional development, student achievement, and a more cohesive teaching community.

Moreover, the last theme that emerged for the coping mechanisms is “Participation in Skill-Enhancing Webinars.”

I really tried to join various seminars and training that will keep myself at phase with the new normal. Sending teachers to different webinars, letting them conduct their webinars, endorsing them as speakers to webinar-training workshops, and providing and offering school gadgets and wifi to use are just some privileges the teachers enjoy about their professional growth. Feedback also helped us see the things that need to be improved for the next competition. I would like to add more seminars on how to deal with the new normal kind of setup in coaching students and task school administrations to appreciate each teachers effort by recognizing them individually. Recognitions lessens the stress of us teachers/coaches. (RQ2 IDI-3,5,7)

Participating in skill-enhancing webinars is a valuable way for teachers engaged in online coaching to improve their knowledge and teaching abilities. During the online delivery of lessons, webinars provide a structured and convenient way to engage in ongoing professional development. They help teachers and coaches stay current with online education’s latest trends, technologies, and best practices. Zweig and Stafford’s research (413–414) revealed that professional development for instructors, especially those who teach online, is essential to the process. They have also stressed the potential value of further professional training for online instructors, particularly in fostering student engagement and perseverance in online courses. Even though more than two million students are being taught online, this highlights how little preparation for online teaching is provided throughout preservice education. Teachers must do both tasks as educators. Helping instructors manage the challenges of giving topic instruction and supporting students in the online learning environment—an environment many are unfamiliar with—needs more focus.

The field of online education is dynamic and continually evolving. Online skills enhancement webinars inform educators about changes in online teaching methodologies, tools, and regulations. In recent years, there has been a noticeable rise in the acceptance of online and blended learning. As supported in the study of Philipsen et al. (1145), many in-service teachers are expected to be at least adept at online teaching and grasp pedagogical theories and the subject they teach. Overall, attending skill-building webinars for online coaching is a worthwhile investment in career development and can result in coaching sessions that are more successful, successful, and successful for both teachers and their students. Education professionals may become more marketable on the job market and have more excellent prospects for career progression by developing new skills and keeping up with industry changes.

Table 3. The Insights of JHS English Language Trainers Shared with Their Peers And The Academic Community In General

THEMES CORE IDEAS / THEMATIC STATEMENTS
Infuse Students with Inspiration • Language teachers motivate students to appreciate their skills.

• Instilling to the students a strong desire to achieve something significant

• Creating a lasting impact that drives them to act and participate in activities.

• Encouraging them to pursue their goals with passion and determination.

Maintain Open Communication • Students should feel comfortable expressing their needs and areas of confusion to their teachers.

• As language teachers, there is a need to have an open dialogue with students.

• The teacher should be accessible for student inquiries.

• Teachers need to be accessible for student consultations.

Engage Experts Collaboratively • Teachers want to engage experts in specific fields and actively involve them and learners in sessions and workshops.

• Teachers must participate in training sessions to enhance coaching abilities for effectively training students.

• To cultivate skilled language learners, language instructors should engage in language-focused training.

• For better language instruction, teachers should actively join language workshops.

Decrease Excessive Paperwork Load • Language teachers’ sentiment is to decrease the paperwork load given to them.

• Minimize teacher paperwork so they can focus on teaching the language learners.

• Lessening the teacher’s workload can help them focus more on becoming more competent learners.

• To avoid physical and mental exhaustion, teachers should have a manageable paperwork workload.

Shown in Table 3 are the emerging themes and the core ideas regarding the insights JHS English Language Trainers shared with their peers and the academic community. The first one identified is “Infuse Students with Inspiration”. The following are the actual responses of the participants belonging to the mentioned theme:

Train the students under pressure. Motivate them all the time. Instill in their hearts and minds that they are doing well, and you are just behind their back. One technique is to make your students hold on to their way of expressing themselves, it is very helpful in building their confidence in storytelling. Just let the students do things on their own. They learn best if they do it the way they like it. As a teacher/coach, guide them and support them all the way. (RQ3 IDI-1,6, 7)

Inspiration serves as a powerful motivator for students. When inspired, students are more likely to be actively engaged in their learning, take ownership of their education, and persist through challenges. However, as explained in Hartnett’s study (115), learning motivation is situation-dependent and affected by online teaching strategies, the layout of learning activities and curricula, methods of evaluation, and the social components of tasks. This study’s result means that their motivation may change depending on the particular circumstance or setting in which students find themselves. This study shows that motivation is a quality that may be modified by outside influences rather than being a set characteristic. Student motivation is greatly influenced by how well online teaching strategies work. Higher motivation levels among online learners can be fostered via engaging and interactive teaching strategies.

Additionally, highlighting the importance of teachers infusing motivation to students in an online modality of learning, it is stated that one of the critical determinants of a learner’s success and performance in the language learning process, motivation is one of the main issues that teachers are concerned about (Esra & Sevilen, 11). Understanding these elements and how they interact is crucial for educators working in online education. It highlights the need for teachers to implement effective teaching techniques, develop engaging activities, and encourage a sense of social connectivity among students to create a stimulating learning environment. Teachers may improve motivation and encourage more fruitful online learning experiences by addressing these factors.

The second theme is “Maintain Open Communication.”

Stay communicative, approachable and keep activities interesting. Ask assistance from the school head and colleagues, and consistency.  (RQ3 IDI-4, 10)

It’s not so new to me because we are exposed to computer literacy programs since undergraduate years. However, it opened doors of opportunity for new learning as to how to enhance and develop our output that would catch the attention of the student-participants to be more attentive and interactive despite having virtual discussion. (RQ3 IDI-5)

Maintaining open communication between teachers as coaches and students in online coaching is crucial for creating a supportive and effective learning environment. An essential component of a teacher’s duties is communication with students and employing digital technologies among students. In online coaching, keeping lines of communication open encourages participation, trust, and a constructive learning environment. It guarantees that students get assistance and that their academic demands are properly satisfied (Ally, 310). Open communication allows students to seek clarification on course content, assignments, and expectations. It helps ensure that students fully understand what is required, reducing confusion and frustration. It enables teachers to provide timely and constructive feedback on students’ work. This feedback is crucial for student improvement and helps them track their progress.

However, even though it is a must in this type of modality, hindrances still need to be clarified for the need to communicate with teachers and students. Hindrances to communication between teachers and students during online coaching can arise from various factors. The order of challenges that arise in online learning changes when seen in the context of pandemic-related emergencies. The most significant issues are technological, followed by instructors’ poor online teaching style adaptation and lack of technical skills. However, students said their lack of engagement or poor interactions with teachers contributed to their low ranking. Given these results, research implications for academic institutions and researchers are considered (Coman, 1). These obstacles highlight how crucial it is to overcome communication issues in online coaching. Educators and institutions must offer technological assistance, encourage digital literacy, establish clear communication expectations, and build a friendly and inclusive online learning environment to enable successful communication between teachers and students. Additionally, encouraging a feeling of connection and community can aid in reducing many of these obstacles.

Third on the list of emerging themes for teachers’ generalizations regarding their experiences is “Engage Experts Collaboratively.”

I would invite an expert of the certain field and really engage teachers and learners in sessions and workshops. (RQ3 IDI-2)

 Always provide trainings based on need assessments. Provide expert resources speakers from other offices/institutions with different experiences and background knowledge so that teachers will always have something to bring after each training. Design also activities that are not in conflict to simultaneous tasks given to teachers. (RQ3 IDI-3)

Collaboration amongst professionals and even upgrading your skills have become the norm, especially in today’s complicated and fast-changing environment. Many problems call for knowledge from several domains. Collaboration between professionals from different fields results in a more comprehensive grasp of issues and potential solutions. As highlighted in the study of Ancho and Arrieta (26), the current state of teacher education emphasizes the need to advance professional learning as a critical factor in efficient teaching and learning. These are considered the cornerstones of enhanced teaching effectiveness, which produces positive outcomes in student accomplishment and professional practice. Teachers are crucial in advancing research-based teaching methodologies as they illustrate the theoretical foundations of principles and models of effective teaching and learning processes. It has become a must for language trainers in the new normal to be advanced with the help of someone who knows better what to do and how to do things accordingly. Experts often have access to valuable data, research, and information that can inform decision-making. Collaborative engagement facilitates sharing these resources, leading to more informed and data-driven decisions.

In conclusion, the professional development of language instructors results in improved and refined methods for practical application in the new normal (Trivio-Cabrera et al.,15). Engaging experts collaboratively in the new normal is essential for addressing complex challenges, promoting innovation, reducing risks, and ensuring that decisions and actions are based on the best available knowledge and expertise. It enables individuals, organizations, and societies to effectively navigate an increasingly complex and uncertain world.

Lastly, the “Decrease Excessive Paperwork Load” emerged as the final theme for the third inquiry.

If I were in the position, it would be nice if teachers could only focus on their jobs and not be dragged down with lots of paperwork and attachments to support our activities. They may hire personnel that would help the teachers accomplish the assignments. Letting the teacher do their primary job—to teach—and stick with it can make a huge difference and impact students’ lives. (RQ3 IDI-5)

Honestly speaking, sometimes it’s hard especially for the teachers who are assigned in small schools. It is because you are not only dealing with one task and all of the tasks needed your attention. (RQ3 IDI-10)

Language teachers have a significant workload, including lesson planning, grading assignments, and providing individualized feedback. Excessive paperwork takes up valuable time that could be better spent on more meaningful instructional activities. The research by Soriano et al. (732) detailed the difficulties faced by instructors as a result of increased workloads. Teachers used planning, goal-setting, task prioritization, managing paperwork, reducing interruptions, and limiting the amount of paperwork and reports they produced. Reducing paperwork allows teachers to focus more on teaching and interacting with students. It enables them to be more present in the classroom or virtual learning environment, fostering a better learning experience.

In the new normal, where education often involves a blend of in-person and online teaching, reducing the paperwork load for language teachers is crucial to optimize their effectiveness, improve their well-being, and enhance the overall quality of education provided to students. It allows teachers to adapt to the evolving educational landscape more effectively and create a more positive learning environment. Aside from being a teacher, as stated by Ancho and Arrieta (37), in order to learn more about cutting-edge ideas, particularly those that would direct them in online teaching and learning, they enrolled in graduate programs. Teachers prepared by attending webinars on education and technology since using technology in teaching and learning during the lockdown is inevitable. They should have spent more time locating the webinar that best fit their technology requirements. Many people take the initiative to prepare themselves personally in order to be prepared for online classes. They aided one another by exchanging their technology-related knowledge, abilities, and competence. In summary, reducing the excessive paperwork load for students in the new normal is essential for promoting effective learning, supporting students’ mental health and well-being, and creating a positive and engaging educational experience. It allows students to focus on what truly matters in their education and prepares them for success in an ever-changing world.

IMPLICATIONS AND CONCLUDING REMARK

Implications for Practice

The challenges faced by junior high school teachers, who also serve as language instructors in the new normal, offer valuable insights for educators and institutions. Examining their coping strategies and learnings provides a foundation for enhancing language teaching, training, and learning in junior high school settings.

Improving Teaching Skills: This study serves as a call to action for teachers to enhance their language teaching abilities. Ongoing professional development is crucial, especially in unprecedented times. Educational institutions should invest in training programs and resources, ensuring language instructors stay abreast of the latest teaching techniques and technology.

Mental Health Support: Teaching in the new normal presents mental and emotional challenges. Institutions should provide access to mental health resources, helping teachers manage stress and burnout. Collaborative opportunities and peer learning can foster a culture of support among language teachers, leading to the sharing of coping mechanisms and insights.

Investing in Resources: Educational institutions must allocate funds for professional development, instructional materials, and technological infrastructure. Mentorship programs, where senior language instructors guide younger peers, can help navigate the difficulties of the job. Investing in technology integration initiatives ensures effective use of digital tools in teaching.

Feedback and Improvement: Creating channels for teachers to provide feedback on their experiences informs institutional policies and improvements. Institutions should consider these findings when constructing curricula and implementing instructional methods.

Impact on Education Quality: Recognizing that teachers’ challenges and coping techniques impact education quality, institutions must ensure instructors have resources for top-notch language education. Teachers, armed with newfound knowledge, can enhance learning outcomes and student engagement. Institutions should consider the cultural competence gained by language teachers, benefiting students through exposure to diverse viewpoints and promoting intercultural understanding. Understanding coping processes helps in designing tailored learning strategies for each learner’s unique requirements and difficulties.

In conclusion, the difficulties faced by language instructors in the new normal underscore the importance of continuous improvement, support, and collaboration. Embracing these insights can elevate the quality of language education in junior high schools and foster a more resilient and adaptable teaching community.

Implication to Future Research

Long-Term Effects of Remote Teaching: Given the prolonged nature of the pandemic and the potential for continued reliance on remote teaching methods, future research could explore the long-term effects of these changes on junior high school English education. Investigate how students’ learning outcomes and teacher practices evolve over an extended period.

Comparative Studies: Conduct comparative studies between different regions, school types, or socioeconomic backgrounds to understand variations in the challenges faced by Junior High School English teachers during the pandemic. This approach can provide a nuanced perspective on the factors influencing the quality of education in diverse contexts.

Teacher Training Programs: Delve deeper into the effectiveness of teacher training programs implemented during the pandemic. Future research could evaluate specific training methodologies, identify gaps, and propose tailored approaches to better prepare English teachers for remote or hybrid teaching environments.

Student Engagement and Motivation: Explore the impact of remote learning on student engagement and motivation in English classes. Investigate strategies that can enhance student participation and interest in the subject, addressing the potential decline in motivation associated with online or hybrid learning models.

Technological Integration: With the increased reliance on technology in education, future research could focus on the integration of specific educational technologies in English language teaching. Evaluate the effectiveness of various tools and platforms in facilitating language acquisition and communication skills.

Psychosocial Impact on Teachers and Students: Investigate the psychosocial impact of the pandemic on both teachers and students involved in English education. Examine factors such as stress, burnout, and emotional well-being, and propose interventions or support mechanisms to mitigate negative effects.

Policy Evaluation: Assess the implementation and effectiveness of education policies developed in response to the pandemic. Examine how policy decisions at the national, regional, or school levels have influenced English language education and identify areas for improvement.

Hybrid Teaching Models: As educational systems move towards a potential hybrid teaching model, future research can explore the optimal balance between in-person and online instruction for junior high school English classes. Investigate the advantages and challenges associated with hybrid models and propose guidelines for effective implementation.

Concluding Remarks

The difficulties, coping strategies, and perceptions of junior high school teachers as language instructors in the new average highlight teachers’ tenacity, flexibility, and commitment in a fast-changing educational environment. Language instructors may have trouble adjusting to new technologies and digital teaching platforms in the new normal. The requirement to blend in-person and online learning presents logistical difficulties and necessitates changes to instructional strategies. Maintaining student enthusiasm and involvement in online classes may be a constant problem for language instructors. The increased effort and isolation of remote teaching may impact teachers’ mental and emotional health.

Language teachers continually look for professional development possibilities to improve their digital education abilities and adjust to the new standard. Educators embrace cutting-edge teaching strategies like gamification and multimedia technologies to keep students interested in online learning environments. Collaboration among educators and peer support groups is essential for exchanging knowledge and techniques for coping with the difficulties of the new normal. To manage the additional pressures, teachers are becoming increasingly aware of the need for self-care and mental health support. Language teachers display flexibility by regularly altering their lesson plans and teaching strategies to fit their pupils’ changing requirements.

Overall, junior high school teachers’ challenges, coping strategies, and insights as language instructors in the new normal illustrate the transformational nature of education in response to shifting conditions. These situations demonstrate how resilient and adaptable educators are as they deliver high-quality language teaching in a changing educational environment. The new normal has provided insights highlighting the potential advantages of hybrid learning approaches combining face-to-face and online training for flexibility and resilience. The new normal emphasizes the significance of digital literacy as a crucial element of successful language education for students and instructors. To satisfy the various demands of pupils in virtual environments, language teachers are discovering that tailored assistance and attention are essential. Insights stress the necessity of accessible and inclusive teaching methods to guarantee that all students can fully engage in online learning. The emergence of the new normal has boosted chances for cross-cultural interaction and worldwide collaboration, enhancing language learning opportunities.

APPROVAL SHEET

This thesis entitled “EDUCATION IN THE NEW NORMAL: THE PLIGHT OF JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL ENGLISH LANGUAGE TRAINERS”, prepared and submitted by CARLITO C. TACLOB JR., in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree, Master of Arts in Education major in Teaching English has been examined and is hereby recommended for approval and acceptance.

CELSO L. TAGADIAD, PhD

Adviser

PANEL OF EXAMINERS

APPROVED by the Panel of Examiners on Oral Examination with a grade of PASSED.

ELIZABETH M. MALONZO, PhD

Chairman

ANA HELENA R. LOVITOS, PhD                                          FABIANA T. EPONDULAN, PhD

               Member                                                                                                          Member

JOCELYN B. BACASMOT, PhD

Member

ACCEPTED in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree, Master of Arts in Education major in Teaching English,

Comprehensive Examination: PASSED

MARIA LINDA B. ARQUIZA, EdD

UP-RPC / Asst. Dean

February 2022

ACKNOWLEDGMENT

The researcher would like to express his sincere gratitude to all those who have been instrumental in the completion of this research. This academic journey has been a challenging yet immensely rewarding experience for him, and he is deeply thankful for the support and encouragement he has received along the way.

To his adviser, Dr. Celso L. Tagadiad, for his invaluable guidance, unwavering support, and insightful feedback throughout the research process; to the panel examiners: Dr. Elizabeth M. Malonzo, Dr. Ana Helena R. Lovitos, Dr. Fabiana T. Epondulan, Dr. Jocelyn B. Bacasmot, for their constructive criticism and valuable suggestions that enhanced the quality of my work. To the data analyst of the study, Dr. Larcyneil P. Pascual, thank you for his benevolence in extending his proficiency in interpreting the data.

To his homies, since2013 friends, Aiza, Milo, Bas, Seer Gee, Kasilak NHS Fam, and Sir Nath Dokie, who have been the researcher’s source of inspiration and strength, fostering a deep sense of courage. Special gratitude is extended to Rolando B. Acosta, as well as to the participants of the study, who have been integral contributors to the researcher’s academic journey, providing camaraderie and support when needed. And to his supportive parents, Mama Marilyn and Papa Carlito Sr., as well as his family, who have been witnesses to the researcher’s peaks and valleys in the journey called life.

Above all, the researcher is deeply beholden to the Almighty Father whose constant intercession guided him to gain wisdom and reach the zenith of His being.

– Carl Jr.

DEDICATION

I humbly dedicate this remarkable journey of my academic endeavor to our Almighty God, who has strengthened me in reaching this summit.

Wholeheartedly, I extend this dedication to my loving parents, Papa Carlito Sr. and Mama Marilyn, along with my 8 siblings, Kuya Charle, Marlon, Gang–Gang, Crislen, Long–Long, Amay, Bebe, and Telyn.

Their unwavering moral support and encouragement have been instrumental in propelling me towards the pursuit of my dreams.

Lastly, I dedicate this achievement to myself, acknowledging the perseverance and determination that prevented me from giving up on this cherished dream.

– Carl Jr.

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APPENDICES

Appendix A. Interview Guide

Education In the New Normal: The Plight of Junior High School English Language Trainers

Name (Optional)                :              ___________________________________

School                                 :              ___________________________________

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Research Questions Main Questions Probing Questions
 

1. What are the lived experiences of JHS English Language Trainers in the New Normal?

 

 

1.1  What are your unforgettable experiences as an English language trainer in this new normal? 1.1.1 How long have you been training or coaching your students? Can you specifically talk about ways you have trained/coached your students?

1.1.2 What specific contests related to English language have you joined where you have practiced your expertise as trainer or coach?

1.1.3 What joy or benefit being an English Trainer gives you?

1.1.4  What keeps you motivated to train your students?

1.2 What are the differences you have observed in training your student -participants before the pandemic happened and in the new normal? 1.2.1 Describe your experiences   as an English language trainer before the new normal.

1.2.2  Describe your experiences as an English language trainer now during the new normal.

1.2.3  What changes have you observed in training your students?

1.3 What are some difficulties or challenges you have encountered as an English language trainer in this new normal? 1.3.1 In training your students, what are the struggles you have observed in his or her part?

1.3.2 What do you think is the greatest struggle in this new normal with regard to training your students?

1.3.3 In your school or to your other co-teachers as trainers, what challenges have you observed in them as trainers?

2. How do JHS English Language Trainers cope with these experiences? 2.1 What are the adjustments have you made as English trainer in this new normal? 2.1.1 How do you usually manage your schedule as an English language trainer?

2.1.2 How do you deal with your students when it comes to schedules of training?

2.1.3 What strategies have you employed in training your students in this new normal?

2.2 What advices or help have you taken as an English language trainer? 2.2.1 Have you considered asking or listening to the advices from your superior or co-English trainers? Why or why not?

2.2.2 What do you usually do when there is a miscommunication during the training?

2.2.3 What motivations do you impart to your students?

2.2.4  What are your ways in coping with these new experiences?

2.3 How did you deal with the struggles you have experienced as English trainer? 2.3.1 What are your ways in order to address the problems you encountered as an English language trainer?

2.3.2 What do you think is the best way to train your students in this new normal?

2.3.3 What is the most effective strategy that is proven and tested when it comes to raining your students in this time of pandemic?

2.3.4 What kind of support does the school management provide in terms of the IMs, trainings, seminars, technology, etc?

 3. What insights can they share to their peers and to the academic community in general? 3.1 Describe your experience as an English language trainer in this new normal?

3.2 What are your realizations as an English language trainer in this new normal?

3.3 What message can you share to your co-English language trainer who has the same struggles and experiences from yours?

3.1.1 What practices, ideas and techniques can you recommend to language teachers/trainers or authorities who engage in training and coaching students in the new normal?

3.1.2 If you were a DepEd official or person’s in authority, how would you enhance the current training programs of the department and in your institutions?

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