PDF superior The influence of large classes in the English language teaching-learning in Ecuadorian high schools

The influence of large classes in the English language teaching-learning in Ecuadorian high schools

The influence of large classes in the English language teaching-learning in Ecuadorian high schools

unmotivated because they struggle to be noticed among a large number of students. In addition, Saraswatti (2004, p.154) says that “A teacher cannot even get to know the names of all her learners in a large class. A personalized approach, very vital to the process of learning becomes impossible in a large class.” According to this author, large classes demand more effort from teachers than small ones because in a large class teacher is more concentrated on managing and controlling the students rather than working towards achieving lesson objectives. This author also believes that a personalized class is essential in the teaching learning process because the more attention teacher gives to his/her students, the more success he or she will have.
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The influence of large classes in the English language teaching-learning process in Ecuadorian high schools

The influence of large classes in the English language teaching-learning process in Ecuadorian high schools

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.
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The influence of large classes in the English language teaching-learning process in Ecuadorian high schools

The influence of large classes in the English language teaching-learning process in Ecuadorian high schools

chance to choose the class infrastructure, but he has to accommodate the large number of students within the space that he is assigned. In our Ecuadorian classrooms the space in each one is reduced and it does not permit the teachers to develop their activities correctly. For example: if the teacher has planned to have an activity in which students move around, and the space is not appropriate, this useful activity has to be changed for another one that does not imply movement. The seating organization has to change too when the space is limited. Not very variations can be made. This is an important point because we can have different seating ways for different activities. For example if we organize our students face to face one group in front of the other and give them an interesting topic to express our ideas about, it can help us have a good debate, or if we place our students in circle, we can have a nice conversation and practice our speaking.
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The influence of large classes in the English language teaching-learning process in Ecuadorian high schools

The influence of large classes in the English language teaching-learning process in Ecuadorian high schools

Students have reported that the environment is less stressful (item 13) because the teacher is not able to ask the same student several questions. This answer could be viewed as a negative finding since students know there is a small chance of being called on more than once; they may not be attentive enough to absorb the lesson. Results show that it was not easy for students to use technological devices, such as cell phones (item 14), in a large class. Almost half of those surveyed, 47.85% rated the ease of use of cell phones in class as unsatisfactory and 25.81% rated it as somewhat satisfactory. These results may be an indicator of teachers exercising excellent classroom management. In items 13 and 14 there is a trend emerging showing us that the students are not stressed. One reason students are not stressed is because they know they will most likely not be asked to answer more than one
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The influence of large classes in the English language teaching-learning process in Ecuadorian high schools

The influence of large classes in the English language teaching-learning process in Ecuadorian high schools

More information about managing large classes are given by , Davis & Pearse (2000) who report that in large classes are obviously much more difficult to achieve good results, because the learners may not all be able to see or hear you well, and teachers may not be able to see or hear all the learners well and it is very hard to get to know all the learners and their names, also there are too many pairs or groups for you to monitor and you cannot often give learners individual feedback on written work. According to these authors, the best way to teach is probably obtaining the learners' co-operation. If learners are adolescents or adults, teachers can discuss the challenges and options they face in their knowledge and teachers have to prepare some dialogues, role plays, talks, and present them at the front of the class
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The Influence of large classes in the English language teaching-learning process in Ecuadorian high schools

The Influence of large classes in the English language teaching-learning process in Ecuadorian high schools

The Ex-post Facto design was used in this study and the instruments for data collection were designed by the researchers. The data collection consisted of 18 items on four-point Like type scale, which measured teacher’s work quality in terms of teaching, assessment of a student’s academic performance and classroom control, as a result the analysis presented in , shows that the calculated F-ratio for all the sub- variables of the teacher’s work quality were each greater than the critical. The implication is that-teachers whose schools had low class sizes performed better than their counterparts whose schools had very high class sizes, indicating results that there was a significant influence of class size on all sub-variables of teachers’ work quality.
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The influence of large classes in the English language teaching-learning process in Ecuadorian high schools

The influence of large classes in the English language teaching-learning process in Ecuadorian high schools

thinking level because each team discusses the alternatives to solve an issue given by the instructor, then the team chooses a speaker to deliver the solution. Then the teacher makes a conclusion based on the students’ solution w ith a variety of alternatives given in order to show neutrality. In the case of visual aids, the teacher can decide whether to provide the material or to designate each presenting team to bring their own material. Some teachers have an interesting approach at this point, for example some teachers demand new ways of presenting with the warning of penalty if not complied. Under this situation, the students are compromised to use brainstorming, star bursting and other forms of creative data gathering. If the students properly do their research then innovation reaches a new level. With these tools the students can even imitate the sketches and tactics of TV shows in an effort to give an outstanding impression.
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The influence of large classes in the English language teaching-learning process in Ecuadorian high schools

The influence of large classes in the English language teaching-learning process in Ecuadorian high schools

At the end of each observed class a questionnaire was applied to each student. The questionnaire had some questions that would determine whether or not large classes affect the English language teaching-learning process. Students could give ideas and suggestions about the management of the English classes and how teachers could motivate them to learn English. Students were not worried about its large classes. They mentioned that teachers have to innovate their teaching methods and make English fun. A personal notebook or field journal was also used to take notes during each observation.
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The influence of large classes in the English language teaching-learning process in Ecuadorian high schools

The influence of large classes in the English language teaching-learning process in Ecuadorian high schools

Based on the above conclusions, a few recommendations can be suggested: First, regarding the instructional implications that large classes have on the teaching-learning process, this research suggests and recommend that teachers, as information facilitators of the students, keeping on the responsibility of increase and update their own knowledge, instructors should learn modern techniques and skills in order to improve the amount of activities, competitions, debates, games etc. so students can improve their knowledge in a better form, remember it and then apply this in their lives, according to the drift of the modern times.
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The influence of large classes in the English language teaching-learning process in Ecuadorian high schools

The influence of large classes in the English language teaching-learning process in Ecuadorian high schools

In addition, an adequate time management is necessary when working with large class because it is an essential part of the development of it, for this reason the teacher should arrive early to each class. Also, the teacher should use additional resources such as microphones, and audiovisual aids that permit an effective communication between the instructor and the students. Likewise, all assignments must be written on the board, explained orally, and written on a handout. The teacher must use strategies for distributing and collecting handouts, exams, homework, etc. so it does not take all class session (Chadha, 2008).
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The influence of large classes in the English language teaching learning process in Ecuadorian high schools

The influence of large classes in the English language teaching learning process in Ecuadorian high schools

however, all of the students should be given the chance to participate in many of them. The challenge lies in selecting the type of activity to match the purpose or objective of the lesson. Each student has a 2 or 3 minute opportunity to express his or her point of view on a given topic while others listen him or her. The teacher can also make a brainstorm where the students individually think about an issue or a problem, lists its possible causes and asks them to share their ideas and compile a list of possibilities. Another technique is called a concept model which consists on giving handouts to the students or listing words on the board. These words will form series of leading questions. Students work in small groups then figure out how something works or builds a conceptual model. According to graph N° 5, 39% of students partially agree with the use of role plays, debates and games, while 26% of them agree. In addition, 22 % of students totally agree, and 13% disagree. Regarding this aspect, the students appear to recognize that teachers apply activities such as role plays, debates, and games.
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The influence of large classes in the English language teaching-learning process in ecuadorian high schools

The influence of large classes in the English language teaching-learning process in ecuadorian high schools

mentioned by Hammer (1998). He explains that most students do not want to talk or participate in class, and the first reason could be their own timid behavior, another reason could be the existence of dominating and intimidating students, the silence habit presents in many cultures where women are not allowed to speak freely in mixed groups, or where the quiet behavior is a virtue or the simple fear to make mistakes in front of the class because of low language proficiency. The author continues and mentions that it is worthless to try to force such students into talking; it is better to try with other strategies such as pair work activities, controlling speak tasks, acting out, reading aloud, role plays, etc.
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The influence of large classes in the English language teaching- learning process in Ecuadorian high schools

The influence of large classes in the English language teaching- learning process in Ecuadorian high schools

Another study done by Nakabugo, Opolot-Okurut, Ssebbunga, Maani and Byamugisha (2008) consisted in three main purposes: to increase the number of teachers to allow more than one teacher per class, to provide schools with the necessary resources, and to enable teachers to develop the confidence and skills to improve the learning environment in large classes. Some difficulties that this research faced were the limited physical space for movement and interaction, few desks, and limited number of instructional materials. Students learned in such poor conditions and there were also danger of easy spread of infectious diseases such as flu and cough.
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The influence of large classes in the English language teaching-learning process in Ecuadorian high schools

The influence of large classes in the English language teaching-learning process in Ecuadorian high schools

The results about instructional issues show that students’ agreement is 12.12% over disagreement. Thus the majority of the interviewed students agree that teachers present activities that allow students to practice the four basic skills of the English language: speaking, listening, reading and writing. Moreover, those activities also help students to apply what they have learned in class. Even though the classes are large, most of the students are attentive and participate in the class activities which indicates that the chosen activities catch the students’ attention and engage them in the learning process. It is also seen that the class activities give students the chance to work individually, in pairs or groups. Additionally, the seating arrangements used help for the successful development of the different activities, students do not get distracted by doing other subject assignments and they are not allowed to cheat during the tests, so there are not major disciplinary problems in the researched classes. However, it is worthy to mention that students do not get regular feedback, and the activities that require whole class participation such as plays, competitions, debates or games are not being used because of the large number of students. About social effects, the opinions are almost divided. The level of agreement is just 1.08% over the level of disagreement, but the results show that students are able to interact between them and with the teacher and there are enough opportunities for interaction during the different lessons. Besides, students cannot use electronic devices without being discovered by the teacher. On the other hand, the teacher cannot remember all students’ names, and the same student is rarely asked to answer several questions because of the large number of them.
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The influence of large classes in the English language teaching-learning process in Ecuadorian high schools

The influence of large classes in the English language teaching-learning process in Ecuadorian high schools

Oberg (1993) conducted a study to determine achievement regarding class time in ESL large classes with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) students. This project was performed with the participation of ESL first grade students from two elementary schools with the largest LEP populations. One school worked 45 minutes ESL classes daily while the other one worked with its LEP students 90 minutes daily. The 45-minute program sample consisted of 13 first grade students with different first languages: Korean, Chinese, Spanish, Persian, Hindi, Serbo-Croatian, and Polish. The 90-minute program sample consisted of 17 first grade students with the following L1: Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Bulgarian, and Hebrew. A questionnaire was applied to nineteen first grade teachers in order to identify issues about general teaching experience, experience with ESL students and ESL methods, and teacher preferences on subjects and the amount of time for ESL instruction. The data were disaggregated to provide information on the regular classroom achievement.
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The influence of large classes in the English language teaching learning process in Ecuadorian high schools

The influence of large classes in the English language teaching learning process in Ecuadorian high schools

15 On the other hand, Gower, Phillips & Walters (1983) recommend that, when working with large groups, teachers need to make sure to give very clear instructions for the different activities performed into the classroom. In particular, students must know when to start and finish. Also, it is important to get the timing right. If the activity lasts too long, it will be boring. If it does not last long enough it will not give any sense of satisfaction. After the activity, it is often worth asking the students whether the activity was useful, what they learned in order to analyze if feedback would be necessary. Nonetheless, it is important to remember that there is no best way to teach large classes. Teachers must develop the approach that works best for them, based on their teaching style, the characteristics of their students, the goals and objectives of their lessons and curriculum. Going further on this topic, Page (1997), gives some
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The influence of large classes in the English language teaching-learning process in Ecuadorian high schools

The influence of large classes in the English language teaching-learning process in Ecuadorian high schools

to work with large classes, she gave some general suggestions to manage the class. For example, she proposed to memorize the name of the students of course is a large process, but with practice can be improved, use clear eye contact with individuals may produce a positive engagement, use other systems for attracting the attention of the students, such as hands up, ringing a little bell, use a whistle, to create a way that they speak and interact with a partner or in groups, challenge them to stablish a certain amount of routines, keep students involved from the start of the lesson. Even though Brown (1994) stated that language classes should have more than dozen students enough to provide diversity and students interaction, large classes present some problems such as individual teacher-student attention is minimized, teachers` feedback is limited, and student’s opportunities to speak are lessened. And he gave
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The influence of large classes in the English language teaching-learning process in Ecuadorian high schools

The influence of large classes in the English language teaching-learning process in Ecuadorian high schools

In the Audio-lingual Method, Díaz-Rico & Weed (1995) observe the use of this method in the decades from 1930 to 1970. It focuses on communicative skills, which were developed through the listening of particular sound patterns and the repetition of them acquire a correct pronunciation and the understanding of second language. This methodology was developed taking into account the way kids acquired their first language; they were taught to learn their mother tongue as a process of habit formation. This method used ordered structures in dialogues that created pattern, which turned into habits. The weakness of this method was the lack of creativity at the moment of talking since patterned drills were used. It is important to say that this method is used to teach idioms and greetings that are normally patterned. Similar observations are the ones from Richards & Rodgers (2001) who stated that the Audio-lingual method or Audiolingualism primary objective was to reach oral proficiency, leaving a second role for the study of grammar or with a little grammatical explanation however, the number of classes also limited of ten or less are considered optimal. In this method many procedures are repeated such as hear a model dialogue containing key structures that are the focus of the lesson. Pattern drills dialogues are taught to be memorized by students, expecting them to minimize mistakes production.
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The influence of large classes in the English language teaching-learning process in Ecuadorian high schools

The influence of large classes in the English language teaching-learning process in Ecuadorian high schools

teachers develop their own style of teaching according to their personality. Gower & Walters (1995) give some practical advice to follow when referring to instructions. They suggest to primary create a center of attention in the student to make sure everyone is listening and watching, to employ simple language and short expressions, and to use language at a lower level than the language being taught. Furthermore, teachers should use visual or written clues whenever possible utilizing real objects, pictures, gestures and mime. Making demonstrations if possible, illustrating what to do; break down instructions if the activity requires a series of procedures, provide simple commands in sections and check for understanding, rather than giving out all instructions at the start of the activity. It is also a good idea to target instructions in the sense of explaining the content only to the students who need it, instead of giving complete directions to the class as a whole. In addition, discipline is a very important issue in the classroom. It depends on a number of factors such as: age of students; evidently children require more discipline than adults. Usually young teenagers are considered to be the most complex when it comes to classroom control. Discipline is intimately related to the causes for learning and student motivation whether they are forced to be in class or whether they are there voluntarily. Class size plays an important role, as it is more difficult to keep an orderly atmosphere in a large class than in a smaller one.
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The influence of large classes in the English language teaching-learning process in Ecuadorian high schools.

The influence of large classes in the English language teaching-learning process in Ecuadorian high schools.

The authors above also pointed out that there are different and stimulating techniques to learn English. First, there are interesting tools for teaching English, such as jigsaw tasks, information gaps and solving tasks. Second, information-gap tasks show that students find out information missing from other students. Third, problem solving tasks where the students have to obtain information to solve a problem. Next, decision-making activities help students to get multiple results of information to solve a problem. And the last task, opinion exchange focus on students guide mutual expressions of opinions without worrying to reach a term.
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