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

“ Guess Who? ” is an activity in which students write letters and practice information questions, then they mingle the answers and when they find a person, should ask for that person’s signature next to the statement that identifies to the student. Likewise, an activity as “ mutual interviews ” is useful because the students can know what an interview is. Also, students can work in pairs and take turns to interviewing each other, for example, each pair joins another pair and introduces his/her partner to the foursome. In addition, the “ quick-write ” consists in dictating the sentence and the students cannot stop. When they cannot think, they may continue writing loops or write I do not know what to write, until the teacher stops them. Finally, in the groups, students choose and read the most interesting piece of writing. The last activity is names and adjectives in which the students form rows and they think of an adjective that describes them and that begins with the same letter of their names. After that, students say their names preceded by the adjective and all students will do the same in each row repeating the first students’ names and
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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

This research analyzed the influence of large classes in the English language teachinglearning process in Ecuadorian high schools. During the field research, five classes were observed to identify the instructional, social, and psychological implications that large classes have on the teaching - learning process. This study was carried out in five public and private high schools located in the city of Jipijapa, in the province of Manabí, Ecuador in 2013. The sample consisted of students from 8 th to 10 th year of basic education, where each class has more than 35 students. The methods used in this research were quantitative and qualitative in order to obtain accurate information about the main implications that influence the English language teaching-learning process in large classes. The results of this research show that the factors that influence the English language teaching-learning process are lack of skills in managing learning, class size, among others. The obtained results will benefit teachers and students who are involved in the teaching learning process because they will have better opportunities in their academic and professional lives.
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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 topic of this research is “The influence of large classes in the English language teaching- learning process in Ecuadorian high schools” and the purpose of this research is to determine whether or not large classes affect the English teaching- learning process. It is also focused on factors that may inhibit the output of students. The method used to analyze the data was quantitative, the contributors of this project were taken from one private Ecuadorian high school, located in Manta; the respondents were from ninth and tenth grade of Basic General Education and first and third year of senior school. The answers of the students were analyzed through a questionnaire with 21 statements divided into three sections, academic issue, social issue and psychological issue.
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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

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

On the other hand, there are two groups of students 6% and 3% answered that students do not have the opportunity to build relationships with their classmates because in large groups teachers find problems like different level of attention and behavioral mistakes. It is also proven that there is more interaction between the teacher and the student in smaller groups. In bigger groups the interaction between students and the teacher does not take place. About this topic Wharton & Race (1999) state that English is a complex language and it requires that teachers must structure the work appropriately; students should be comfortable with a simple request to do this in pairs, for a less experienced class, indicate who is to take which role, and give separate instructions for each stage of the activity. At the same time most of the teaching techniques are effective with small groups of students.
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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 opportunity to work with proficient English speakers can be motivating for students, while they are providing meaningful, goal-directed opportunities to use English. Striker, & Stephen (1997) manifest If the teacher knows how to effectively “shelter” the texts, making them accessible to the students at their level of proficiency, most students can benefit from the use of authentic materials in any content area, even if their linguistic skills are minimally developed. An important part of sheltering content is knowing how to grade activities and utilize a broad variety of teaching strategies; among these are using context effectively, exploring students `background knowledge.
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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

Seventy one students totally agreed that they feel they can act competitively with other students which correspond to 39% of the population. Fifty two students agreed with this statement, which correspond to 29% of the population. Thirty seven students partially agreed with this statement, which corresponds to 21%. Meanwhile, twenty students disagreed with this statement, which correspond to 11%. In all the observed classes, students were motivated to learn English when the topic was interesting according to their age. When TPR activities were done, they were very competitive and tried to answer any question; however, the physical space was not appropriate for them. When the teacher was doing competitive activities, there was no time to cheat or bother in class; yet controlling discipline was very hard. Harmer agrees with Richards (2001) TPR is a language teaching method built around the coordination of speech and action.
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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

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

Students get distracted by doing assignments from other subjects. Concerning this item, it can be seen that 5.92 % of students responded to this item as they totally agree while 17.07 % of students answered this item as they agree, which means that in large classes it is possible to do other assignments during English classes. Opposing to that point of view, 25.44 % of students have answered that they partially agree while 48.78 % of students marked the answers as disagree and 2.79 % did not respond. These results reflect that large classes do not allow students get distracted by doing assignments from other subjects; on the contrary, they are focused on the task that they are performing in the class. Maintaining students engaged and focused on the activities in a classroom with a lot of students requires teache rs’ permanent monitoring. Regarding monitoring UNESCO (2007) makes reference to having teachers constantly moving and monitoring the class while talking due to the fact that this might considerably reduce distraction. Jones (2007) adds that teachers ought to monitor students’ works discreetly, not only during pair or groups work but during any activity.
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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

Aduwa-Ogiegbaen & Iyamu (2006) based their study on three questions (a) Do secondary school teachers use instructional resources frequently in teaching English language? (b) Do the English Language teachers use appropriate methods in teaching English Language frequently? (c) Do secondary school students in Nigeria learn English language in an environment conducive to learning? The main instruments used for this study were a questionnaire and observation schedules. The researchers designed the questionnaire by generating a list of items, which solicited students' responses on teaching strategies, instructional resources/media used by the teachers and the teaching-learning environment. The specifications for each of the two data collection instruments used in the study were as follows: (a) Questionnaire: This instrument had four sections dealing with demographic. (b) Observation: Research assistants were trained to observe each classroom and some classroom proceedings during administration of the questionnaire noting the features or characteristics of the learning environment. Based on their results they claimed that the public secondary schools in Nigeria were far behind time in offering multiple pathways to the teaching and learning English as a second language. Public secondary schools in Nigeria should be provided with adequate and a variety of instructional media, technologies such as audio and video recordings, language laboratories and computers. These instructional media can be more effective teaching tools for English Language lessons as they offer an authentic learning experience when interwoven with existing curriculum.
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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 research conducted by Chowdhury & Shaila, (2013) was aimed to investigate how the English language teachers deal with large classes at the tertiary level, particularly when they evaluated students’ speaking skills. Some methods and techniques proved to be productive in teaching, evaluating and improving language skills. In the first place, spontaneous speech is referred to. It is an ice-breaking method, where every student of the class participates individually and is required to deliver short speeches with very little and quick preparation. Likewise, linked story telling can also be an ice breaking method. Usually the instructor takes the initiative by narrating a story or describing a scenario and then the students continue. Each student has two minutes to talk; they keep going until they complete a story. Simulation is mentioned secondly as a group assignment where the entire class is divided into several groups and each group chooses a real life situation to perform. Some simulation examples are: ordering food in a restaurant; counseling, pair activities where the instructor chooses a topic from
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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 previous studies, Finn, Pannozzo, & Achilles (as cited in Bray & Kehle, 2011) indicate that less than 20 students per class is considered small, and more than 20 is considered a large one. Both authors explained that the fact of having large or small groups in the classroom does not necessarily result in higher achievement or failure rates because there are different factors that are very important in students when learning another language. As a result, what really matters is how well teachers are prepared.
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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

participants and the end are likely to be left out the conversation with conference table, large portion of participants have eye contact with each other and large table useful for plenary group discussion but cannot break into small groups easily , cannot fit many participants around table and during general discussion, several sub- discussions may form and disrupt proceedings and circle and semicircles of chair, people can relax and interact well , participants able to adopt open poses , no natural top position for trainer , easy to move into various exercises and games and stops people sticking to a specific desk or chair but in this style no flat work surface , no tables on which to rest books or material , no physical barriers , so more openness needed and intimidate shy people . In large groups , participants sit far from these opposite them .
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