Investigating Practicum Students' Practices and Activities of Affording Learning Opportunities for Second Language Spoken English in Intermediate Classrooms in Saudi Arabia
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
Abstract Foreign language learning depends greatly on the quality of the classroom teaching and the extent of the input, output, and the interactions in which learners engage through responding to instructions, asking and answering questions, and undertaking activities both individually and with peers. The aim of this interpretive study was to gain insights into how trainee teachers’ practice activities provided opportunities for learners to speak English as a foreign language at two different public intermediate school classrooms in Saudi Arabia. The study had two types of participants: first, two trainee teachers in their final college year and undertaking their teaching practicum; and second, first-year and third-year students from two different intermediate schools. The aim was explored through research questions guided by the study’s theoretical perspectives of input, interaction and output (Long, 1996; Krashen, 1982; Swain, 1985). The qualitative exploratory data were collected using the triangulated methods of semi structured interviews (both before and after the lesson), lesson presentations, and my classroom observation notes, and contextualised data from the teacher’s preparation book and the pupil’s book were also gathered to situate the analysis and interpretation. The findings suggested that there were many more similarities between these teachers than there were differences. The trainee teachers used the pupil’s book as a transcript for classroom activities. They used their first language to explain second language words. The teachers had some basic knowledge about the role of students’ participation, working in groups and taking risks in language learning. There were limited opportunities afforded by the teacher-learner interaction, and these mostly emerged from students’ spontaneous responses based on real life situations. Indeed, overall, the nature of the speaking opportunities created by teacher-learner interaction in its totality (as a provider of input and as affording situations for output) in the classrooms investigated, was mostly ineffective for developing and enhancing students’ ability to speak English. Theoretical implications and recommendations for creating opportunities for students to speak English are provided.
EdD in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)