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CLASSROOM RESEARCH Assoc. Prof. Dr. Şehnaz Şahinkarakaş.

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Presentation on theme: "CLASSROOM RESEARCH Assoc. Prof. Dr. Şehnaz Şahinkarakaş."— Presentation transcript:

1 CLASSROOM RESEARCH Assoc. Prof. Dr. Şehnaz Şahinkarakaş

2 The aim of classroom research is to understand what is happening there. Classrooms constitute a distinct context for research.

3 P OSSIBLE D RAWBACKS I N C LASSROOM O BSERVATIONS Obtrusive Observers: Any observer in the classroom has the risk of being an obtrusive observer -events observed may not be represantative of the class in its typical behaviour (so data has limited validity) -quality of the lesson may be affected negatively: Ss may be more interested in the audio recorder or the observer than the lesson itself.

4 The Hawthorne Effect Named after a study was conducted at Hawthorne (a branch in an Electric Company). In the study the productivity of workers increased regardless of whether or not there were positive changes in working conditions. They were happy to receive attention from the researchers! In classroom research, the students (and teacher) may improve or modify an aspect of their behavior when they know that they are being studied.

5 C OMMON T ECHNIQUES FOR D ATA C OLLECTION IN C LASSROOM R ESEARCH Observation data are common in Second Language research: We can get in-depth information about types of language, activities, interactions, and events in ESL/EFL classes through observations. There are many different observation schemes developed by second language researchers

6 O BSERVATION P ROCEDURE AND C ODING S CHEMES There are many readily available observation schemes for L2 classrooms (Fanselow, Nunan, Allwright and Bailey…) These schemes can vary considerably in their organization and complexity (simple checklists for tallying behaviors or highly complex ones for judging the meaning) They may be low-inference (real-time) schemes: behavioral characteristics can be observed and high levels of agreement / reliability can be reached. high-inference schemes: requires judgement

7 N UNAN ’ S T ALLY S HEET (1989) Nunan’s tally sheet has low-inference categories. The categories are for classroom events such as the instructor’s praise, instructions, and explanations of grammar points as well as learners’ questions, answers and interactions with other students.

8 FOCUS (F OCI FOR O BSERVING C OMMUNICATIONS U SED IN S ETTINGS ), F ANSELOW, 1977 FOCUS consists of 5 general categories: Source (Who?) Medium (Purpose?) Use (What mediums?) Content (How?) Pedagogical purpose of a move These categories can be adapted to various settings and participants

9 TALOS (T ARGET L ANGUAGE O BSERVATION S CHEME ), U LLMAN & G EVA, 1985 TALOS has two parts: low-inference and high- inference The first part (low-inference) Live classroom activities: drills, dialogues, translation, etc Linguistic content: sounds, words, phrases, etc Skill focus: reading, writing, listening, speaking Teaching behaviors: drills, narrations, comparisons, etc Student actions: types of questions asked The second part (high-inference) Ratings on a 5-point scale for categories Enthusiasm Humor Negative/positive reinforcement

10 COLT (C OMMUNICATIVE O RIENTATION OF L ANGUAGE T EACHING ), A LLEN, F ROHLICH, & S PADA, 1984 COLT is intended to systematically describe instructional practices and procedures in L2 classrooms. It consists of two parts: Part A (real-time) Participant organization and activities Topic type, content and control Part B (post-observation) Student-teacher & Student-student interaction COLT is still an influential observation scheme to be used in many areas of EFL; e.g. student motivation, L1 vs L2 use, etc

11 A SAMPLE O BSERVATION S CHEME ON F EEDBACK Using the readily available observation schemes, it is possible to develop a scheme that would address your focus of inquiry. A sample scheme on feedback: You can determine the frequency of the use of feedback by instructors and students in language classes. You can also compare the frequency of feedback types, feedback focus and uptake in classes at different institutions or among learners with different ages or different language abilities.

12 P OINTS TO CONSIDER WHILE USING OR ADAPTING AN OBSERVATION SCHEME a) make sure it is appropriate for your research goal: your scheme should have a clear focus that is relevant to the research question. (validity) E.g. If your scheme focuses on teacher-learner dialogues, then you shouldn’t be focusing on the language use in the classroom b) If there is only one observer in the classroom (and if it is not video-taped), then only one rater observes and codes the data. (reliability)

13 I NTROSPECTIVE M ETHODS IN C LASSROOM R ESEARCH Introspective methods encourage learners to examine their own conscious thoughts and feelings. We can elicit learners’ perspectives on classroom events There are many methods in EFL. E.g. Uptake sheets Stimulated recalls Diaries

14 U PTAKE S HEETS Allwright (1987) defines uptake as whatever it is that learners get from all the language learning opportunities language lessons make available to them Uptake sheets are given to students at the beginning of the lesson, and they are asked to mark or note things on which the teacher is focusing

15 A SAMPLE U PTAKE S HEET ( BY M ACKEY, M C D ONOUGH, F UJII, AND T ATSUMI, 2001) In this uptake sheet, learners were asked to indicate a) which language forms of concepts they noticed (e.g. pronunciation, grammar, vocab..) b) who produced the reported items (e.g. learner, teacher, classmate…) c) whether the reported items were new to the learner In their study, Mackey, et al. gave these sheets to the learners at the beginning of class for six consecutive classes and asked them to fill the sheets out as they noticed the language forms of concepts during the instruction

16 S TIMULATED R ECALL In this method, the observer audiotapes or videotapes a lesson then plays the tape to a participant stops the tape periodically and asks what the participant was thinking at that particular point of time Stimulated recall can be used to provide the researcher with access to the learners’ interpretations of the events that were observed

17 D IARIES Diaries can produce useful data. They can be learners’ or instructors’ diaries Learner diaries Some structure can be provided for the diary entries Can address specific points (how well they have followed the lesson; what is enjoyable, etc) Can even be a part of the coursework (or assessment) Instructor diaries Generally focuses on classroom experiences, perceptions about student reactions and learning, instructional decision making, etc.

18 (tally sheet) feedback (feedback) (sample class-grammar)


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