As it is shown in graph 19, 67% of students mention that their teachers useEnglishlanguage to explain something in class, while 33% of them express that the teachers use both languages. During the observations conducted, we verify that most ofthe class time teachers speak English rather than Spanish. Thus, teachers clarified the meaning of new words through context or by eliciting questions and answers. Regarding theuseof target languageinthe classroom, Cummins and Swain (cited in Richard, 2006, p. 14) claim that “the teacher needs to maximize theuseof target l anguage due to learners need as much exposure as possible because the greater amount of input, the greater the gains inthe new language” . However, Polio and Duff (cited in Brandl, 2007) report that theuseofthe mother tongue inEnglish lessons is exclusively used when it is necessary; for instance, to explain grammar, to manage the class, and to help students when they have problems to understand. As it was observed, some teachers talk Spanish only when students have problem understanding abstract words or instructions for the tasks.
None ofthe teachers like to work with large classes. Handling large classes can be a challenge for experienced teachers, and even more for those teachers who do not have enough management skills to control discipline, to avoid problems by changing seat arrangements, or having private conversations with the students or their parents can be helpful. Assessment and feedback are also issues teachers have to deal with when having large classes. At the same time having large classes could represent advantages such as having more ideas and insights to learn from, having a better experience at speaking in front of large groups, better social opportunities, greater efficiency inuseof educational resources.
At last, the implications related to how feedback is dealt to the students will also be a matter of discussion of this work. Assisting every students’ requirement may turn to be impossible in big classes. Feedback is important for both, students and teacher; however, it has to be planned in a way that saves time and unnecessary work. This study puts forth that a little more than half ofthe students, 51.60%, show disagreement with the fact that they cannot benefit from a good feedback, though the difference with the ones who feel that the class lacks this benefit, is not big. The reason for this little margin between the ones who agree andthe ones who disagree is simple to explain, the teacher can only answer so many questions due to the lack of time common in large classes, so the students who have questions with no answers, feel as if they were left aside, growing a negative feeling towards the teacher’s way to work out the students’ doubts. Truscott (1999) and Krashen (1994) have discussed the effect of feedback in students. It must be given out the appropriate way to avoid the students’ self-limitation in their participation because of possible public embarrassment, but it cannot be left onthe side.
17 Snivicki, Rice, Chism, and Bickford (2002) claim that if the number of students is about 16, the position face to face is more advisable; onthe other hand, there is another way to arrange the chairs: they can be placed around the tables which is called “café style”. The advantage of this type of organization gives a successful result because learners are in a comfortable position, since “café style” offers students the possibility to work in pairs or in groups. Also, the authors explain that during the ‘open pair work’ two students discuss some topics under the supervision of their tutor, while the other students can hear the discussion, they do not move from their chairs, which give them the possibility of establishing communication; moreover, the teachers could arrange the seats in a circle and learners can move easily.
This research “Theinfluenceof large classes intheEnglishlanguageteaching- learningprocessin Ecuadorian highschools” is aimed to determine whether or not large classes affect theEnglishlanguageteaching-learningprocessin Ecuadorian highschools. Three research questions were proposed to carry out the investigation; and, a questionnaire was structured and applied to two hundred nine students from three public educational institutions and one privatehigh school inthe city of Quito who were selected at random. They were attending to eight year of basic to third year of secondary and their ages oscillated between 12 and 18 years old.
One classic idea that allows large classes to flourish are activities that are centered around pair or pair work. Lewis and Bedson (1999) consider that to control a large class is one ofthe hardest tasks facing even the most experienced teacher. It is a simple fact ofteaching life that the large the group, the more difficult it becomes to set up activities which promote active languageuse. The teacher can play some games with large classes, especially those based on total physical response, such as “line - ups”. “Simon Says”, but they tend to elicit passive responses to prompts.
The importance ofteaching- learningEnglish as foreign languagein Ecuador has been widely recognized inthe last years due to its everyday usein all fields. Having an advanced level ofEnglish has become into a tool, which allows facing the accelerated advance of globalization andthe 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 Englishlanguage are the strongest reasons for students to achieve a B1.2 (CEFR) level at the end of third year ofhigh school.
and those without it. The research was carried out adopting the pre-posttest quasi experimental/control groups design. Two instruments were designed by the researcher and two research assistants. These instruments are namely Onuka Mathematics Achievement Test and Onuka EnglishLanguage Achievement Test. The research was conducted on experimental and control groups. 280 students were involved inthe investigation. At the beginning of each lesson a short test ofthe knowledge gained inthe previous lesson was given. The scripts were collected and redistributed to the students after they had worked the solutions onthe board, however, ensuring that no student got and marked his/her own paper. The teacher worked out the solutions onthe board and then asked the student to randomly exchange their notebooks and mark strictly under his supervision with support ofthe research assistant. The results were organized and recorded at the end ofthe lesson. The teacher then proceeded to teach. The exercise lasted for eight weeks. A pre-test was given to each subject group (experimental and control) at the beginning ofthe investigation. At the end ofthe eight weeks, a post – test was administered to find out whether or not the treatment had had any effect onthe students’
Some ofthe reasons that teachers gave for having a preference for small classes were that this allows them working with the students individually andin a personalized way, giving feedback, correcting errors, and motivating them. Other important reasons given were that with smaller numbers it is possible to carry out certain types of group activities and some ofthe teachers simply stated that this allowed them to teach better. This information given was corroborated inthe classes that were observed because in small classes it was easier to control discipline, assess the students, and give them feedback individually. Onthe contrary, inthe classes with big number of students occurred the opposite just as Hayes (1997) states that English teachers think that large classes hinder them from teaching efficiently
Other authors suggest other games that are helpful when working with large classes. Carbone (1998) has many suggestions for fun activities. One activity consists in pasting a famous person´s name behind each learner, and each learner must guess who it is by asking questions. Another game focuses on spelling words correctly based on a specific theme. Besides, teachers can simply play with the students by making them write do wn a question to the teacher’s answer depending onthe specific theme. Another game is about naming a certain category and then each student must say another word that relates to the category named. When a learner is not able to name a word pertaining to the category, that student loses and must name a new category for the remaining students to continue playing. The student that wins is the one who names all the words.
Onthe other hand, Total Physical Respond developed by Asher (1977) pointed out that children before they speak do a lot of listening accompanied by physical responses. He relates speech and action, teaches language through physical (motor) activity that came from the right-brain function preceded by the left-brain language processing. Asher in this method creates a positive mood inthe classroom among the learners in order to facilitate learningand to reduce the stress through students. But unfortunately like other method had its limitations in reading and writing activities, for this reason ‘The Natural Approach’ came about.
Additionally, Li Wai- Shing (2008), has targeted his focus from a different perspective, but oriented to an effective management learning as an essential aspect that contributes to a positive classroom environment. Within this premise, effort and attention make the most relevant elements with teachingand instructional roles. This means that knowledge and skills to maintain the desirable discipline have been given a secondary importance. The writer rather focuses onthe motivation as a parallel element to achieve effective management learning. This processandits results, basically depend onthe setting andthe culture and idiosyncrasy in which they perform their teaching activity. Thus, classroom management is closely linked to socio cultural and moral values of both teachers and learners.
The success of a lesson relies onits planning and design. The importance of timing and feedback during a class has been explained above, thus the design ofthe lesson is the key to an effective lesson plan. Planning for a class must include certain aspects, such as considering thelearning needs ofthe class, making each task meaningful and inspiring students to compromise (Woodward, 2001). The teacher can start the design by identifying the aims ofthe particular class, developing the different procedures to achieve such goals, obtaining the right materials and resources, and establishing an evaluation system at the end ofthe lesson as feedback ofthe class (Gower, Phillips & Walters, 2005). There are several approaches regarding the lesson design, but most of them coincide on having an anticipatory phase, a developing activity frame and finally an evaluation time for content understanding to overcome the difficulties that students could have experienced. All these aspects must be met by the teacher for the next day lesson.
As stated by Harmer (2008), the techniques used by a teacher depends in some way onthe class size. This author also explains that teachers who manage a large class may ask themselves about how to give personal attention to each student, promote enough interaction and set effective organization for the classroom. Most people think of a big class as more difficult to teach than a smaller one, but this is not true. Research has shown that student learning depends more on quality ofteaching than on class size, opportunities for learning are similar in both, large or small classes (UNESCO, 2006). Furthermore, the definition of large class may be different around the world, in some areas a class of 25-35 students is big, while in others this is still a small one, inclusive some teachers would say for them a large class has 60 or 80 students, as a conclusion a large class has no exact size (Harmer, 2008; UNESCO, 2006).
Additionally, at the end ofthe class, one student, randomly selected; had to answer a questionnaire, written in Spanish to avoid misperception. The questionnaire inquired questions about how students perceives theEnglish subject, the activities done by the teachers, how they feel about thehigh school and their classrooms facilities. Inthe same way, teachers filled out a questionnaire that included twenty questions about own teacher´s education level, the student´s needs, methods, planning, instructions, feedback, timing, and also aspects that related to the educational institution. A personal interview was done, orally, to each teacher in order to identify, their level of acquisition; this survey was made
The next study was conducted by Aduwa & Iyamu (2006), whose purpose was to analyze three factors: the resources, methods and environment. This study examined the frequency of instructional resources used by secondary school teachers; the accuracy of methods applied in class was also observed; and finally, it studied the type of environment conductive to learning. The research concluded that very basic resources as posters, English textbooks and workbooks were frequently used; the methods and techniques were limited mostly to lectures and reading activities; and that inadequate installation and resources do not provide a suitable learning environment. No limitations were found in this study.
Kral (1994) argues that time is very important for our lives but it is really important inside the classroom, because inthe classroom we have different types of students andthe different way how they apply the knowledge and time has an important role. Teachers must keep in mind the algorithm to be used, it means explain students the steps to follow inthe class including the time assigned for each activity, also the class must include a warm-up, introduction to the topic, and all the steps considered in a lesson plan; besides this, students must have the time to copy the important information from the board at the end ofthe lesson, but ¨slower students¨ must have more time to copy the necessary information.
Harmer (2007, p.175) designed a structure that he called “technology pyramid” with the purpose of classifying all the appropriate audio-visual devices for teachingandlearningEnglish. Onthe top of this pyramid are included the resources considered as educational technology such as: fixed data projectors, interactive whiteboards, computers, the Internet. The next scale is formed by traditional material like whiteboard, overhead projector (OHP), tape recorder, blackboard and exercises books. At the bottom ofthe pyramid there are not resources related to educational technology or other learning aids. There are hardly any boards and books. However, Harmer believes that even with minimal aids learning is possible if the teacher use creativity.
According to Haycraf (1996) there are different aids for each specific purpose, for instance objects can be more evocative than pictures, onthe other hand, some pictures can be more motivating than objects and it could be easily to handle; to make dialogues or situations the teacher can use wall chart with objects at the same time. Haycraf (1996) describes some teaching resources: objects that can be found in every place andinthe classroom, there are hundreds of simple ones; drawing where the teacher draw simple objects onthe board and students try to determine what was drawn. Using mimic, It could be useful to teach verbs or actions such as eating, drinking, jumping, tripping, etc; pictures can be found in magazines, newspapers, books, etc to teach specific vocabulary such as: kitchens, clothes, cars, inside and outside parts and so on; the blackboard provides a focal point of attention for the whole class, it is inexpensive, available and one ofthe most important visual aids; flash cards can be drawn or printed and they are used for consolidating vocabulary, practicing structure and word order or for a variety of games; wall charts are useful for practicing present continuous, prepositions, questions words as well as for drills. Wright (1976) added that wall charts illustrate aspects of a topic involving reading and writing.
interviewed were not fully aware oftheuseof these strategies which suggested that strategy training was not introduced in their teaching. This study offered an understanding about the difficulties students face when dealing with learningEnglishand how they try to overcome them to succeed in their learningprocess. They create mental linkages, deduct, compare and contrast; and doing this requires a plenty of time and previous preparation. As a result teachers need not only to master thelanguage they are teaching, they must have also a full understanding ofthe procedures and techniques that can be used for students to learn effectively.