Graph 14 indicates that, 33% of the observed teachers consider that they have enough space to work with their group of students, while 67% of the educators mentioned thatthe classroom assigned for the lessons needs more space. During the observations, the space of the majority of the classrooms did not enable the teachers to encourage the interaction of the whole class because of the number of the students was large. Therefore, the educators were not able to make the learners do activities (i.e. role plays) which requires moving from one place to another. Besides, the teachers could not monitor thelearning and progress of the whole class and even some students started to be inattentive since their attitude toward the lessons was negatively influenced by the lack of space.
fin de titulación: “ Factorsthat affect the English language teaching-learningprocessinEcuadorianpublichighschools ” , de la Titulación de Licenciado Ciencias de la Educación mención Inglés, siendo Salcedo Viteri Karina Soledad director (a) del presente trabajo; y eximo expresamente a la Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja y a sus representantes legales de posibles reclamos o acciones legales. Además certifico que las ideas, conceptos, procedimientos y resultados vertidos en el presente trabajo investigativo, son de mi exclusiva responsabilidad.
Students need ample space because crowding causes problems. For example, a high-density school influences achievement negatively. The consequences of high density conditions that involve either too many children or too little space are: excess levels of simulation; stress and arousal; a drain on resources available; considerable interference; reductions in desired privacy levels; and loss of control. Coyne (2011) suggests thatthe capacity of students in a classroom is 25. About 30 to 40 square feet should be used per student. When giving instructions and tutoring in small groups, theschools should have small classrooms as well.
English is the language commonly spoken and applied to different purposes and areas around the world such as technology, business, and education; likewise, teaching English as a foreign language has become potentially important into educational context due to the fact that this language is widely used by people in every field. However, the lack of English knowledge in Ecuador is a problem that has been observed and limits our students´ academic performance. As a consequence, most of Ecuadorian students are not able to get an international scholarship. For this purpose, since 1992, Ecuador has developed a curriculum with the aim of improving all highschools students´ English proficiency.
Then fifteen observations, fifteen surveys, and fifteen interviews were carried out too. Thus, to perform all these activities, official requesting authorizations were needed to the principals and to the teachers of each of the educational institutions. All these documents were provided by the Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja. After that, the decision to look for educational institutions to allow me to do this research was taken. The support of some teachers and the indisposition of others were obtained during the observations of their classes of the English language; however, the research work had been started. Some teachers were surveyed by email, because they had told me they had not had time to answer the questions in classes. The students had helped me with the research work and they had participated actively inthe classes and inthe interviews. Finally, the data was collected and the statistical graphs were done. Parallel to these activities the theoretical framework had begun. With the data that was obtained, the analysis, interpretation, and discussion had begun. The activity had proved to be somewhat difficult due to the complexity of the results.
On the other hand, inthe last years the Ministry of Education and Culture in Ecuador has been done huge efforts to overcome the necessities inthe English subject area. One of these intents aimed to improve syllabus and in 1992 was established an agreement between the Ministry of Education and the British Council. The project was called CRADLE (Curriculum Reform Aimed at the Development of Learning). The main objective of CRADLE project was to provide secondary students with the supports inthe knowledge and handing of the language. Public education was provided of renovated books which contains topics related to theEcuadorian reality. The strategy was to use contents with focus on real world context through the development of the four skills of English: listening, speaking, reading and writing.
Thalher, M. (2005), researched to determine what effects (instructional, psychological or social) large classes have on students by investigating and analysing EFL students toward large classes. The findings of this study indicate that large classes affect students educational practices and performance. Large classes are considered a double-edged sword. Students believed thatin large classes there is a sense of competition and a friendly relationship among students, but on the other hand, there was a lack of concentration and attention because they felt neglected. It is important to point out thatthe instructional effects have the highest mean over the social and the psychological effect on EFL students, teachers should take into consideration social and psychological effects since these affects are interrelated.
Regarding feedback, Gower et al. (2005) state that it enables teachers to help students check their success and progress. These authors also mention that feedback can be given through praise, encouragement, correction, and discussions carried out individually or in group. Moreover, Littlejohn and Hicks (1999) point out that feedback can be given through evaluation activities and can be offered among learners and the teacher. Referring to this issue, the same authors say that it is better for students to give feedback with one another by forming pairs or groups of three classmates, especially those who are friends with each other, since this provides a clear focus when they are asked to do a re-written piece of their work drawing on what each learner has done.
by Oxford (1990) and a background questionnaire. In order to identify the language learning strategy patterns used by Thai and Vietnamese students when learning English, the scores gained from the SILL was calculated. To determine the three factors, the data obtained from the background questionnaire were analyzed. This study concluded that it is not clear which gender uses a wider variety of strategies to acquire another language. Although other factors affect the type of strategy chosen by them, highly-motivated students tend to reach a better proficiency in English than those lowly-motivated. Khamkhiem also refers to the strong goals that a highly- motivated student can have in order to learn a foreign language, such as complete course requirements, study abroad, etc.
Griffith and Kocsis (2010) suggested that there are seven essential parts in lesson design: title, pre-assessment, objective, techniques and sequencing, motivation, evaluation and follow-up, and classroom management. The title allows to know and give an overview about the lesson. The pre-assessment means that teacher has to know the students’ prior knowledge on the subject before continuing with the lesson. The objective draws on that teacher must have a clear purpose about how to teach English appropriately and how to get students to capture his explanations. Additionally, teacher has to bear in mind that each lesson almost always has secondary goals. It means that teacher has to have students develop skills about vocabulary, listening, speaking, and writing. The development of social skills like teamwork and politeness, and the development of a quantitative thinking are important too. On the other hand, the use of techniques and sequencing provide a great help to teacher. These include activities, demonstrations, questions, and reinforcements. The use of audiovisual aids, materials, grouping, etc., are also used here. Following with the parts of a lesson design, the motivation is very important. The motivation means that teacher has to motivate students by looking for attractive activities since through these ones, students will be able to learn the lessons more easily and quickly. Into the lesson design, it is also
A similar point of view is exposed by Savage & Savage (2010), for whom high number of students in a space is known as a student density. According to them thehigh student density in reduced spaces increases levels of anxiety, conflict and social interaction among learners. Moreover, students who do not work well alone tend to misbehave to obtain more attention from their teachers. Therefore, it is exhausting and difficult for teachers to work in overcrowded classrooms because they confront behavior problems and low levels of attention very frequently. In order to avoid that teachers and students feel stressed out in overcrowded classrooms, Mergen (n. d.) indicates, “The room needs a focus for the teacher's instruction and students need to be able to move around easily. The room must be spacious enough to accommodate everyone and allow for reconfiguring desks while maintaining clear lines of visibility ”. Therefore, it is necessary to have enough space for accommodating students without affecting lines of visibility. In addition, the author explains thatthe position of elements inthe classroom must be arranged in such a way that promotes effective learning.
Sánchez (2010) directed a study in order to know what thefactorsthatinfluencethe English learning as a foreign language in Retalhuleu were. The research was carried out by taking as a sample three institutions (highschools), from the official morning area in Retalhuleu-Guatemala, where the students from the third grade of basic, the principals of the institutions, as well as the staff laboring with those grades (teachers) were selected as participants. Only one questionnaire was applied for collecting enough information since the different points of view of all the participants in all of the chosen highschools. In conclusion, the results collected from the surveys, among others, were thatthe little interaction in English classes, the lack of methods` application, too short English-class periods, few didactic resources, overpopulation in classrooms, the lack of monitoring upon the instructors, and the teacher´s predomination within the classroom, these are all factorsthatinfluence especially the poor learning and instruction of English.
Harmer (1998) states some of the principal learning skills that may be affected by a large number of students; even though for listening comprehension or reading lessons, class size is not a real obstacle, for speaking and writing lessons do present serious problems because teachers do not have enough time to check all of the activities, and due to the group is really big, classroom management will become a real problem for the teacher, especially if it is an inexperienced teacher. Regarding this topic Snow (2006) also states thatthe main purpose of speaking practice is to have students work in pairs and small groups rather than having dialogues with the teacher and in big classes; they may not have the opportunity to make sure and check if students are in fact using the language while they are not near them. He also claims that concerning writing classes, correction may become a big issue for teachers, since they will have to respond to each piece of writing done by the students.
Larsen and Freeman (2004, p. 18) suggest thatthe purpose of language learning is communication; therefore, students need to learn how to ask questions as well as how to answer them. Richards (2001) agrees with most of characteristics that Larsen and Freeman (2004) state. This author defines as a main characteristic of this method the use of vocabulary and forming of sentences. For example, students must write many sentences using the new vocabulary that teacher explains during the class. While doing this activity they can remember the meaning and in what context they can use these new words. According to Richards (2001), this method was successful between 1980 and 1990 in private schools where parents could pay for well-qualified teachers that obtained their degrees inthe best universities around the world in comparison with publicschools, where parents could not pay a lot of money to hire a teacher with the same level of knowledge.
However, inthe observed classes it was found that teachers placed more emphasis in studying and following the contents and activities from the book, which are mostly resolve individually than group activities. However, in few classes was observed group work and group presentations, although the instructions were not clear, causing confusion and disorder. Therefore, the data expressed on the graph does not agree with the field observations, because the activities carried out in class did not involve, inthe great majority of the cases, group interaction. On the contrary, students were limited to individual performance. If there was any effort of group work, it was only in a couple of classes. In addition to this, inthe student’s questionnai res, it was found that most of them consider that their teachers make use
The importance of teaching- learning English as foreign language in Ecuador has been widely recognized inthe last years due to its everyday use in all fields. Having an advanced level of English has become into a tool, which allows facing the accelerated advance of globalization and the galloping development of technology. The unlimited access to the countless educational resources published in this language, as well as, to the information available in internet, updated every day; furthermore, a great deal of scholarships offered abroad directed toward students who master English language are the strongest reasons for students to achieve a B1.2 (CEFR) level at the end of third year of high school.
Abu-Rabia (1996) conducted other a research to determine how students’ attitudes and cultural backgrounds affect their reading comprehension of familiar and unfamiliar information in their first and second language. Eighty three students from two intermediate schoolsin southern Israel participated inthe study. Most of the participants in both schools were from families of low socioeconomic status, and they studied English 5 hours a week. The method used was quantitative. Data was collected through reading tests and questionnaires. During the research process, the participants completed a 15-rain pretest about the stories they were to read inthe investigation. A week after the pretest, the participants were administered a 20-rain questionnaire to assess their attitudes toward learning English. The reading tests were administered 2 days later; each group of participants received one story a day for 3 days.
The response of students to this individual work varies a lot one another, some of them seem to be very involved inthe activities given by the teacher but it seems most of the students lose interest in a determined moment. This is evidence that it is necessary that teachers have a variety of activities and resources in class in order to keep students ’ interest and motivation. Even though teachers are very concerned about discipline and assessment which is why they say to prefer individual activities instead of group activities, they should consider that both provide students great opportunities to learn when managed correctly.
Each part of the lesson must be complete according to the plan so the teacher must tell students how much time they have for a specific activity and they must finish it according to that. Instructions must be clear and logical. Feedback is not possible in all the classes but it helps to correct mistakes. As Spratt, Pulverness and Williams (2005) argue, feedback is really important because it helps learners to understand what their problems are and how to improve their learning. In some classes according to the observations teachers should control discipline in a better way. Tomlinson and Imbeau (2010) claim teachers can control discipline by using direct instructions, monitoring the class, with positive discipline, clear instructions and having the attention of everyone before starting the lesson.
English is one of the most spoken languages inthe world. It is used in different environments such as businesses, education, organizations and traveling. That is why many people are learning English as a foreign or second language. However, when teachers do not use appropriate methods, techniques and materials, students may not learn it effectively. Thus, the main topic of this research has to do with the different factorsthatinfluencetheteaching-learning of English as a foreign language. In order to develop this study, it is necessary to obtain theoretical support about themes related to this topic like the importance of teaching English in Ecuador, teaching methods, managing learning, lesson design, class size, classroom space, seating arrangement, teaching resources, classroom observation, learning styles and language aptitude. Also, there is information of previous studies which were carried out at different educational institutions referred to thefactors affecting foreign language teaching and learning around the world.