The quality of pupil participation in ESL classrooms : an evaluation
Le Roux, Debbie
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Recent research into classroom processes has been motivated by the recognition that the successful outcome of language lessons may depend on the interaction occurring in the classroom. Literature dealing with the relevance of input and interaction in naturalistic language acquisition, both in first and second language acquisition, has been discussed. Important characteristics of "Motherese" and "Foreigner Talk", used in naturalistic settings, as well as "Teacher Talk" and "Pupil Talk", which occurs in the L2 classroom, were to discussed to determine the similarities between L 1 and L2 acquisition. Regarding the L2 classroom, it has been hypothesized that classroom interaction can be a major variable affecting SLA. Despite the research, however, there seems to be no clear evidence that the quantity of pupil participation can account for improvement in communication proficiency. The quantity is not as important as the quality of participation. This quality of participation appears to be determined by the degree of control pupils have over the interaction. This research indicates that the majority of pupil contributions are merely responses solicited by the teacher. Pupils also have a limited degree of control over the discourse. Additionally, this study focused on the affective atmosphere of the classroom as another factor which influences pupil participation. Tuckman's Teacher Feedback Form was used to gauge the affective atmosphere as perceived by the pupils. The results indicate that teachers, although generally warm and accepting, seem to be inflexible and lack dynamism when presenting the lesson content. This has a definite influence on pupil participation.
- Humanities