Class interaction Teacher ‘s characteristics/ behavior Class size Student’s characteristics Peer relation Gender Factors affecting class interaction
Class size 1.The larger the number of students in a class, the greater the amount of time devoted to classroom management rather than instruction. 2.Smaller classes allow for potential disciplinary problems to be identified and resolved more quickly. 3.The larger the class size, the less likely teachers are to develop lessons encouraging higher-level thinking. No more than 25 students should be permitted for a language class. No more than 20 students should be permitted in any writing class.
Gender 1.Female teachers were more interactive with their students either in single-gender or mixed- gender classes. 2.In mixed gender classes, male teachers were more interactive with boys than girls. 3.Female teachers were more supportive and patient. They gave more compliments to their students and used less directive forms. Thorne (1979), Canada and Pringle (1995), Francis (2004), Hopf and Hatzichristoo (1999), Kelly (1988) and Shomoosi et.al (2008).
Student’s characteristics and needs Age Personality Attitude Aptitude Motivation Learning styles and strategies Multiple intelligences
Teacher characteristics/behavior Way of questioning: Referential questions favor more class interaction than do display questions. (O.F.David, 2007) Teacher’s expectation of the class: More praise statements lead to a more supportive environment for class interaction. (Simon, 1966) Language: Rephrase or clarify queries in order to facilitate student comprehension.
Context-based teaching for improving class interaction: a sample lesson “The most important single factor influencing learning is the active engagement of the learner with the material. “
How people learn Social & Instructional Language Language of Language Arts Language of Mathematics Language of Science Language of Social Studies Preperceptions Facts Contextuse and application MetacognitionPreperceptions Facts ContextPreperceptions Factsuse and application ContextPreperceptions FactsMetacognitionuse / application ContextPreperceptions Facts
Teaching adverbial clause of reason in context: a sample of lesson plan Assess needs to identify goals Analyzing the learners Analyzing teaching material Identify possible problems Develop performance objectives Develop instructional strategy Select instructional material Conduct summative evaluation Learning context
ANALYZING THE LEARNERS Target group: Y1 English majors Class size: 31 students (29 female students and 2 male students), all from GD province. Prior knowledge to the topic area: Have a basic comprehension of sentences with adverbial class of reason, but do not have a systemic understanding of the grammatical point; are familiar with some expressions that are commonly used for introducing AC of reason General learning preference: Group work, multi-media instruction Academic motivation: Less motivated in general, with 22% of the students stating that they would not put forth much efforts to the major, while 29% show strong interest in the courses. Group characteristics: Most are not active participants in class activity and in the interaction with teacher; less confident in both academic achievement and interpersonal communication; have an average analytical ability.
ANALYZING TEACHING MATERIAL Topic: Adverbial clause of reason Total time required for the lesson: 75-90 minutes Difficult points: 1. differences between AC of reason introduced by “because, since, as, now that”. 2. distinguish between compound sentence introduced by “for” and the AC of reason introduced by “for”. …..
IDENTIFY POSSIBLE PROBLEMS Concerning the teacher: Poor management of timing and duration of class activity. Does not give timely feedback. Does not give clear instruction. …… Concerning the students: Break class discipline. Do not actively participate in the activity. Avoid interaction with the teacher. Fail to express themselves clearly. …….
DEVELOP PERFORMANCE OBJECTIVES Language proficiency: Have a better understanding of the difficult points being discussed. Analytical skill: Speculate about causes and put forth point of view clearly. Class interaction: Take an active part in informal discussions in familiar contexts.
SELECT INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIAL A Personal item of the teacher (amulet) Cards (12 in total, with pictures showing different superstitious practices) Passage for reading (with an selected topic on Chinese Superstition on New Year’s Day) Video clip (showing examples of western superstition)
DEVELOP INSTRUCTIONAL STRATEGY ActivityTeacher actionStudent action A one-minute talk (individual work) Modeling, scaffolding, blending Attending, discussing/articulating Game (Group work) Coaching, blendingCollaborating, articulating Reading (pair work )scaffolding, blendingReflecting, exploring Writing task (individual work ) AssessingReflecting, creating.
Teacher action (description) What the teacher does (examples) ContextWhat the students do (possibilities) Make a brief introduction to the topic. Field: the causes of people’s wearing different amulets. Tenor: restrained teacher-student relationship where interaction may bring about anxiety and unease. Mode: verbal Listen and take notes. Offer an example based on personal experience. “Because my mum told me that if I wore this I would marry myself off before I turn 30. And I did.” Laugh and ask questions about teacher’s personal life. Listen but do not initiate the interaction Use referential questions, vary intonation, make interesting statements. “What’s the story about it?” Avoid interaction with the teacher in general. One student volunteers to share the story and two are invited to give a talk. Encourage/elicit students’ participation. A one-minute talk (time consumed: 15 minutes)
Teacher action (description) What the teacher does (examples) ContextWhat the students do (possibilities) Give a game description and organize the class into groups. Gives a demonstration. Field: the reasons for various superstitious practice. Tenor: initiating a supportive and friendly teacher- student relationship. Mode: verbal Discuss and collaborate with their teammates. A few remained silent and less active. Monitor and facilitate while students perform the group work Reminds students to use AC of reason. Ask questions and turn to the teacher for advice. Encourage/elicit students’ participation. Show interest in the game/ topic. Give more information about the topic with supplementary material. Helps students distinguish among “because, since, as, now that’ Listen and take notes. Ask teacher to clarify some points (a rare case) Game (time consumed: 20-25 minutes)
Teacher action (description) What the teacher does (examples) ContextWhat the students do (possibilities) Teacher provides supports to help the student comprehend the passage. Uses both display and referential questions. Field: Superstition on Chinese New Year’s Day Tenor: reinforcing a supportive and friendly teacher- student relationship. Mode: written, verbal Do the reading and reflect on the teacher’s questions. Give answers to the questions in group. Integrate the written material with real-life experience. “Do your family practice the same thing?” Reflect on personal experience, with two or more students volunteer to share. Elaborate on the difficult points. Most students show an decrease in anxiety and more confidence when interacting with the teacher. Reading (time consumed: 20-25 minutes)
Teacher action (description) What the teacher does (examples) ContextWhat the students do (possibilities) Play the video clip and give instruction for writing. Draws the students’ attention to the difficult points. Field: western superstitious practice Tenor: reinforcing a supportive and friendly teacher- student relationship. Mode: visual, verbal, written Watch the video. Discuss with their partners. Observe and facilitate while students perform the task. Reminds the students to use AC of reasons. Reflect on the given topic. Make guesses. Assess the students’ work. Makes feedback on their performance. (about both the content and the grammar.) Summarize the causes for different superstitious practices in western countries and China. Four or more students volunteer to share their interesting guesses, which arouses more follow- up interaction between both S-S and T-S. Make a summative description. Writing task (time consumed: 20-25 minutes)
CONDUCT SUMMATIVE EVALUATION (concerning interaction only) Basis: class observation, questionnaire (all students), interview (≥20%). Items of the questionnaire: 1.The initiative to take part in class activity is determined by teacher’s instruction/ textbook. 2.Different techniques are used to implement classroom activities. 3.Students have a general awareness of the context for learning. 4.The environment is supportive and encouraging for the students to voice their own opinion. 5.The number of students in the class are suitable for carrying out different types of communicative activities. Questions of the interview: 1.What’s your overall attitude about grammar course? 2.Did you cooperate well with your groupmate/ partner? 3.Did the activities facilitate your learning? In what way?
Passage for reading: Chinese superstition on New Year’s Day Activity: Causes for various Superstitious practice. Writing task: Make interesting guesses on why people in western countries do that. Warm-up: A one-minute talk Level of interaction: LOW (They might be more interested in the amulets than in the topic.) Level of interaction: HIGH (Assessing the students’ work in class and giving timely feedback matter a lot!) Level of interaction: MEDIUM (A familiar context helps to arouse interest in a given topic.) Level of interaction: MEDIUM (A reinforced context helps to decrease anxiety and boost confidence in interaction with teacher.)
Passage for reading: Chinese superstition on New Year’s Day Activity: Causes for various Superstitious practice. Writing task: Make interesting guesses on why people in western countries do that. Warm-up: A one-minute talk Context of situation Context of culture Context awareness Level of interaction HIGH LOW
Get to know the students and have the students get to know you. Play some sort of name game or ice-breaker on the first day. Start the class with a one-minute talk. 1. Improve approachability.
2. Build a safe and supportive class environment. Explicitly tell the students that they are safe voicing their opinions. Show your own vulnerability. Design learning experiences that are relevant to students' lives.
3. Give effective feedback. Give students timely feedback at various levels apart from their language proficiency, including comprehension, values, analytical skill, etc. Make the feedback clear, specific, formative, supportive and deliver it in an appropriate environment.
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