POLICY CHANGE IMPLEMENTATION: THE CASE OF THE CEFR IN MALAYSIAN ESL CLASSROOMS

  • Nur Ashiquin C. Alih Language Academy, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81300 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia.
  • Abdul Halim Abdul Raof Language Academy, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81300 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia.
  • Masdinah Alauyah Md. Yusof Language Academy, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81300 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia.

Abstract

Background and purpose: With rapid global development happening in the world today, the field of education has been awash with various change forces. In an effort to ensure its system is globally competitive, Malaysia has taken a step to align its English language education system to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). However, any change in policy is not without problems and challenges as studies have shown that challenges were inevitable and stakeholders’ buy-in on the new change is necessary. Hence, this study was undertaken to investigate the challenges faced by teachers in implementing the CEFR in Malaysian ESL classrooms, their belief on this new reform and their readiness to implement the CEFR.

 

Methodology: A mixed-method design was utilized with the use of questionnaire and semi structured interview as means for data collection. 365 English language teachers responded to the questionnaire while 15 English language teachers participated in interview sessions.

 

Findings: The data revealed five challenges namely teachers’ motivation, materials, time, students’ proficiency level and facilities. Despite facing multiple challenges, all teachers exhibited positive belief towards the adoption of the CEFR. The study also showed that although teachers were emotionally ready to accept the change, their cognitive readiness for change however is dependent upon three important facets namely time, collective effort and adequate materials.

 

Contributions: The study provides insights into the change in policy involving the CEFR implementation in the Malaysian English language education system which contributes to the scarce literature on the implementation of CEFR.

 

Keywords:  Policy implementation, challenges in policy change, teachers’ belief, Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR), readiness for change.

 

Cite as: C. Alih, N. A., Abdul Raof, A. H., & Md. Yusof, M. A. (2021). Policy change implementation: The case of the CEFR in Malaysian ESL classrooms.  Journal of Nusantara Studies, 6(2), 296-317. http://dx.doi.org/10.24200/jonus.vol6iss2pp296-317

Author Biographies

Nur Ashiquin C. Alih, Language Academy, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81300 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia.

Nur Ashiquin C. Alih is a PhD candidate at the Language Academy, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM). She obtained her master’s degree in TESL from UTM. Her research interest is on the English language education reform and change readiness in education.

Abdul Halim Abdul Raof, Language Academy, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81300 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia.

Abdul Halim Abdul Raof is an Associate Professor at the Language Academy, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. He obtained his PhD in Language Testing and Evaluation from the University of Reading, UK. His research interests include language assessment, English for Specific Purposes and speaking skills.

Masdinah Alauyah Md. Yusof, Language Academy, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81300 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia.

Masdinah Alauyah Md Yusof holds a PhD in Education from the University of Reading, UK. Her research interests include materials design, learner autonomy, writing skill and teacher development.

References

Abdul Aziz, A. H., Abd. Rashid, R., & Zainudin, W. Z. W. (2018). The enactment of the Malaysian Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR): National master trainer’s reflection. Indonesia Journal of Applied Linguistics, 8(2), 409-417.

Armenakis, A., Harris, S. G., & Mossholder, K. W. (1993). Creating readiness for organizational change. Human Relation, 46(6), 681-703.

Armenakis, A., & Harris, S. (2009). Reflections: Our journey in organizational change research and practice. Journal of Change Management, 9(2), 127-142.

Azman, H. (2016). Implementation and challenges of English language education reform in Malaysian primary schools. 3L: The Southeast Asian Journal of English Language Studies, 22(3), 65–78.

Badugela, T. M. (2012). Problems facing educators in implementing the national curriculum statement: The case of Tshifhena secondary school, Vhembe District, Limpopo Province, South Africa. (Unpublished master thesis). University of South
Africa.

Bérešová, J. (2011). The impact of the common European framework of reference on teaching and testing in central and Eastern European context. Synergies Europe, 6(2011), 177-190.

Berlinski, S., & Busso, M. (2017). Challenges in educational reform: An experiment on active learning in mathematics. Economics Letters, 156(1), 172-175.

Bouckenooghe, D., & Devos, G. (2009). Organizational change questionnaire – Climate of change, processes, and readiness: Development of a new instrument. The Journal of Psychology, 143(6), 559–599.

Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3(1), 77-101.

Broek, S., & Ende, I. V. D. (2013). The implementation of the common European framework for languages in European education systems. Directorate-General for Internal Policies, European Parliament.

Buckland, S. (2010). Using the CEFR to benchmark learning outcomes: A case study. Wall Street Institute, Spain.

Chin, H., Thien, L. M., & Chew, C. M. (2019). The reforms of national assessments in Malaysian education system. Journal of Nusantara Studies, 4(1), 93-111.

Council of Europe. (2001). Common European framework of reference for languages: Learning, teaching, assessment. Cambridge University Press.

Creswell, J. W. (2012). Educational research. Planning, conducting and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research (4th ed.). Pearson.

Day, C., Elliot, B., & Kington, A. (2005). Reform, standards and teacher identity: Challenges of sustaining commitment. Teaching and Teacher Education, 21(1), 563–577.

Deswila, N., Kustati, M., Yusuf, Y. Q., Raja Nor Safinas, R. H., Besral, & Rehani. (2020). Cultural contents in the ELT textbook prepared by the Indonesian ministry of education for secondary schools. Journal of Nusantara Studies, 6(1), 222-241.

Faez, F., Taylor, S. K., Majhanovich, S., & Brown, P. (2011). Teacher reactions to CEFR's task-based approach for FSL classrooms. Synergies Europe, 6(1), 109-120.

Fatima, S. (2019). Perceived view of teachers towards Pentaksiran Tingkatan Tiga (PT3) (Form three assessment) English language: A case study. Asian Journal of University Education, 15(3), 34-44.

Figueras, N. (2012). The impact of the CEFR. ELT Journal, 66(4), 477–485.

Fulcher, G. (2004). Testing second language speaking. Routledge.

Fulcher, G. (2010). The reification of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) and effect-driven testing. In A. Psyaltou-Joycey & M. Mattaioudakis (Eds), Advances in research in language acquisition and teaching (pp. 15-26). GALA.

Ghazali, N. H. C. M. (2016). An evaluation of teachers’ perception in implementing school based assessment. Jurnal Pendidikan Sains dan Matematik Malaysia, 6(1), 24-40.

Goullier, F. (2012). Policy perspectives from France. In M. Byram & L. Parmenter (Eds.), The common European framework of reference: The globalisation of language education policy (pp. 37-44). Multilingual Matters.

Harsch, C., & Martin, G. (2012). Adapting CEF-Descriptors for rating purposes: Validation by a combined rater training and scale revision approach. Assessing Writing, 17(1), 228-250.

Kenayathulla, H. B., & Ibrahim, M. S. (2016). Analisis terhadap pelaksanaan dasar pentaksiran berasaskan sekolah di Malaysia: Persepsi guru [Analysis about the implementation of school-based assessment in Malaysia: Teachers’ perception]. In H.
Ahmad & M. S. Ibrahim (Eds.), Transformasi pendidikan nasional: Antara aspirasi dan anjakan (pp. 395-423). Penerbit Universiti Malaya.

Komorowska, H. (2012). Academic perspectives from Poland. In M. Byram & L. Parmenter (Eds.), The common European framework of reference: The globalisation of language education policy (pp. 104-113). Multilingual Matters.

Kondakci, Y., Beycioglu, K., Sincar, M., & Ugurlu, C. T. (2016). Readiness of teachers for change in schools. International Journal of Leadership in Education, 20(2), 176–197.

Krejcie, R. V., & Morgan, D. W. (1970). Determining sample size for research activities. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 30(3), 607-610.

Lines, R. (2005). The structure and function of attitudes toward organizational change. Human Resource Development Review, 4(1), 8–32.

Lowie, W. M., Hainesa, K. B. J., & Jansmaa, P. N. (2010). Embedding the CEFR in the academic domain: Assessment of language tasks. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 3(1), 152–161.

Mahabadi, S. (2012). The role of localized materials in learning of FFL students. Journal of Languages and Culture, 4(5), 65-74.

Maldina, E. (2015). The impact of the common European framework of reference on foreign language instruction: The case of sociolinguistic and pragmatic competence. (Published master thesis). University of Toronto.

Masashi, N. (2012). The development of the CEFR-J: Where we are, where we are going. http://www.tufs.ac.jp/common/fs/ilr/EU_kaken/_userdata/negishi2.pdf

Ministry of Education Malaysia. (2015). English language education reform in Malaysia: The roadmap 2015-2025. English Language Standards and Quality Council, Ministry of Education Malaysia.

Mohd Don, Z. (2015). English language proficiency, graduate employability and the role of CEFR. http://repository.um.edu.my/98438/1/Asean%20Seminar%202015%20English%20language.pdf

Mohd Dzaquan, I. M. A. (2020). Practice of teachers’ teaching common European Framework of reference aligned writing syllabus for young learners. (Unpublished master thesis). Universiti Teknologi Malaysia.

Monihuldin, M. (2018). Discussion on use of foreign English textbooks in schools sparks debate. http://news.iium.edu.my/2018/01/14/discussion-on-use-of-foreign-english-textbooks-in-schools-sparks-debate/

Nakatani, Y. (2012). Exploring the implementation of the CEFR in Asian contexts: Focus on communication strategies. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 46(1), 771-775.

Che Musa, N., Lie, K. Y., & Azman, H. (2012). Exploring English language learning and teaching in Malaysia. GEMA Online Journal of Language Studies, 12(1), 35–51.

Nurul Farehah, M. U., & Mohd Sallehhudin, A. A. (2018). Implementation of CEFR in Malaysia: Teachers’ awareness and the challenges. 3L: The Southeast Asian Journal of English Language Studies, 24(3), 168-183.

Othman, I., Md Saleh, N., & Mohd Nooraini, N. A. (2013). The implementation of school based assessment in primary school standard curriculum. International Journal of Education and Research, 1(7), 1-10.

Sani, R. (2016, July 18). Journey to master English. The New Straits Times Online. https://www.nst.com.my/news/2017/03/159164/journey-master-english

Star, T. (2018, February 4). Let’s have our own textbooks. The Star Education. https://www.thestar.com.my/news/education/2018/02/04/lets-have-our-own-textbooks/

Sumaryono, K., & Ortiz, F. W. (2004). Preserving the cultural identity of English language learner. Voices from the Middle, 11(1), 16-19.

Vallax, P. (2011). The common European framework of reference for languages: A critical analysis of its impact on a sample of teachers and curricula within and beyond Europe. (Unpublished PhD thesis). The University of Waikato, New Zealand.

Van Huy, N., & Hamid, O. M. (2015). Educational policy borrowing in a globalized world: A case study of common European framework of reference for languages in a Vietnamese University. English Teaching: Practice & Critique, 14(1), 60–74.

Winardi, & Prianto, A. (2016). Various determinants of individual readiness to change and their effects on the teachers’ performance (A study on certified teachers in Jombang Regency East Java, Indonesia). IOSR Journal of Business and
Management, 18(2), 22-32.

Zheng, Y., Zhang, Y., & Yan, Y. (2016). Investigating the practice of the common European framework of reference for languages (CEFR) outside Europe: A case study on the assessment of writing in English in China. British Council.

Zou, W. (2012). Perspectives from China. In M. Byram & L. Parmenter (Eds.), The common European framework of reference: The globalisation of language education policy (pp. 183-196). Multilingual Matters.
Published
2021-06-30
How to Cite
C. Alih, N. A., Abdul Raof, A. H., & Md. Yusof, M. A. (2021). POLICY CHANGE IMPLEMENTATION: THE CASE OF THE CEFR IN MALAYSIAN ESL CLASSROOMS. Journal of Nusantara Studies (JONUS), 6(2), 296-317. https://doi.org/10.24200/jonus.vol6iss2pp296-317