MOTIVATION FOR USING THE INTERPRETIVE/CONSTRUCTIVISM PHILOSOPHIES

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CHAPTER 3 THE NATURE AND SCOPE OF CLASSROOM INTERACTION

INTRODUCTION

A broad scholarly review is extensively dealt with in this chapter in order to provide further insight into this study. The study of Henning (2004:27) indicates that the literature review is often a separate chapter in the research in which the researcher synthesises the literature on the topic and engages critically with it. She further clarifies that this is a second phase of the literature in the research. In fact, Creswell (2005:79) demonstrates why this review is necessary. Firstly, Creswell affirms that you conduct a literature review to document how your study adds to the existing literature. Secondly, the literature review serves to convince the graduate committee that the researcher knows the literature on the topic and can summarise it. Thirdly, the review reveals new ideas and shares the latest findings with others. Fourthly, the review also builds research skills of using a library and being an investigator. Lastly, the review is used to find useful examples and models for the researcher’s own research. This chapter is therefore the demonstration of the epistemological view of classroom interaction and interactive activities accumulated in literature perusal for this study

CLASSROM INTERACTION AND INTERACTIVE LEARNING

Classroom interaction

The study of Allwright (n.d:2) defines classroom interaction as the methodology that contributes to language development simply by providing target language practice opportunities. Therefore, the main contributing factor to the classroom interaction standpoint is the creation of opportunities for practicing the target language. In fact, the teacher as a facilitator of the interaction has the responsibility to provide approaches that urge learners to practice the additional language.

Participants in the classroom interaction

There are regular ways of organising the interaction in the classroom. Komar and Mozetić (2004:129-130) demonstrate that participants in the classroom are teacher to learners, teacher to learner/a group of learners, learner to learner, and learners to learners. They also provide the explanation, roles, and times when these forms of participation can take place during the interaction in the classroom.

  • Teacher to learners

According to Komar and Mozetić (2004:129-130), this form of interaction is established when a teacher talks to the whole class. Then the teacher plays the role of a leader or controller and decides about the type and process of the activity. Hence, the primary function of such interaction is controlled and practicing of language structures or structures modelled on the teacher. This type of practice is also referred as ‘drill’.

  • Teacher to learner or a group of learners

This form is conducted when the teacher refers to the whole class, but expects only one learner or a group of learners to answer. Normally it is often used for evaluation of individual learners. This arrangement can also be used for an informal conversation at the beginning of the lesson or for leading learners into guided activity (Komar & Mozetić 2004:129-130).

  • Learner to learner

This is called ‘pair work’ according to Komar and Mozetić (2004:129-130). Learners get an assignment which they have to finish in pairs. In this case, the teacher plays the role of a consultant or adviser, helping when necessary. Then, after the activity, the teacher puts the pairs into a whole group and each pair reports on their work.

  • Learners to learners

This is called ‘group work’ and functions in the same way as pair work. Komar and Mozetić (2004:130) confirm that learner to learner and learner to learners are particularly useful for encouraging interaction among learners. As a result, such work encourages independent learning and passes on some responsibility for learning to learners since it approaches real life communication where learners talk to their peers in small groups or pairs.

Teacher and learners talk

Allwright and Bailey (1996:67) maintain that talk is one of the major ways in which teachers convey information to learners, and it is also one of the primary means of controlling learner behaviour. Similarly Nunan (1991:189) states that teacher talk is of crucial importance, not only for the process of the classroom but also for the process of language acquisition. Certainly it is important because it serves as a model learners have to build on for interaction to take place. Kennedy (1996:30) also agrees that whatever the classroom context, teacher talk in the additional language serves as an important linguistic model for learners as the teacher guides them through classroom process and activities, and provides explanation and feedback or corrections.
For that reason, learners’ talk across the curriculum is about enabling learners to use spoken language in a variety of contexts within the classroom environment. This involves giving them the opportunity to extend their vocabulary in different subjects as well as the means to reason and to present information clearly and effectively.
In fact, learners have to be made aware that there is a difference between talking and writing but that they are of equal value. Along these lines, Armitage (1998:81) suggests that to see the interdependence of talk and writing the learners can be asked the following questions:

  • How can you record what you have just discussed so you won’t forget it?
  • What questions do you need to ask?
  • Where can you put answers to your questions?
  • How can you show others what you have just talked about?
  • How will you show your work to others?
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With reference of the above, Rudham (2005:35) insists that teachers should not become preoccupied with written texts because they are tangible, measurable and more convenient. Although speaking and listening lessons require more of teachers, these skills develop the learners’ reading and writing capabilities. Thus, the ability to clarify thoughts, to tailor the structure of an argument, to sequence ideas, to listen and recall main points, to answer questions all arise from speaking and listening. Rudham maintains that allowing learners to tussle with language in more learner-centred, active way, through role play, debate or discussion, gives learners time to think for themselves and fosters confidence.

  • The role of the teacher

A study on the topic by Holderness (1998:157) indicates that the first step to successful EFAL teaching is to appreciate the nature and importance of the role of the teacher, especially the teachers’ attitude to the target language learners, and the readiness to support, serve as a model to the rest of the learners.
In fact Gosh (2010:2) argues that the role of the teacher during the classroom interaction is passive yet very crucial. It is the responsibility of the teacher to create a learning atmosphere inside the classroom. Gosh further points out that it is through these interactive sessions that the teacher can extract responses from learners and motivate them to come up with new ideas related to the topic. Gosh adds that the teacher is an observer who helps the learners to construct an innovative learning process through group discussions, debates and many more. Hence, the teacher defines himself or herself as a planner who plans the best of the modes of interaction that would be effective to invite the learners to join in classroom interaction.
Likewise, Littlewood (1981:92) comments that in the classroom interaction environment, the teacher is a facilitator of learning and the teacher’s roles include the following:

  • a general overseer of learning, who coordinates the activities so that they form a coherent progression from lesser to greater ability;
  • a manager, who is responsible for grouping activities into lessons and for their overall organisation;
  • a language instructor, who presents new language, controls, evaluates and corrects learners’ performance
  • a consultant or adviser in free communicative activities helping where necessary. So the teacher may move around the classroom and monitor learners’ progress, strengths and weaknesses; and
  • a co-communicator who sometimes participates in an activity with the learners, encouraging the learners without playing the main role.

Littlewood (1981:92) further shows that the teacher can focus on learning instead of teaching by:

  • preparing learners to find out their inner self;
  • inspiring learners to work hard to receive information through various sources;
  • hunting for novel ideas;
  • creating new trends and tendencies;
  • supporting the carrying out of project proposals suitable to core subject; and
  • facilitating learning in a practical way as is highly recommended for cross-cultural growth.

Finally, De Vimeenakshi and Meheswari (2012:179) concur with Brown (1980) that the teacher’s role is to be a facilitator and guide who provides a nurturing context for learning

Types of classroom interaction activities

Allwright (n.d:2) asserts that through careful design of classroom interaction activities, involving various forms of more or less ‘realistic’ practice, learners become skilled at actually doing the things they have been taught about (turning ‘knowledge that’ into ‘knowledge how’). Ghosh (2010:1) proposes that the classroom interaction can be categorised under five main heading. Choosing between several types of classroom interaction activities, in this study the researcher concentrated on the suggestions of Gosh because, being practically involved in the learning and teaching interaction, the researcher had come to realise that these five activities fit well in different language genres. They are:

  • discussion;
  • story telling;
  • role-play;
  • reading aloud; and
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According to Wisener (2008:26) classrooms are communities in which most learning takes place in the context of social interaction. Therefore, establishing a good relationship with learners and creating an active classroom conducive for learning is extremely important. Accordingly, the role of classroom environment in supporting learners’ language acquisition cannot be ignored. Meaningful exposure to language is not enough; learners need more opportunities for language interaction. Swain and Lapkin (1998:328) propose that a classroom in which learners work together to solve problems and produce projects, supports their language development in several ways. They add that such a classroom gives learners authentic reasons to communicate and aids in refining their language production. Moreover, it provides learners with the realisation that their verbal communication is not always understood by the others. Herrell and Jordan (2012:4) emphasise that this realisation helps to move learners from receptive semantic processing (listening to understand) to expressive syntactic processing (using information of words and sentences to communicate). Herrell and Jordan further explain that if learners are simply left to listen and observe without the opportunity or necessity to communicate, they remain in the productive stage for an extended period of time.
Furthermore, Bertrand and Stice (2002:86) emphasise that the classrooms that establish non-threatening, no-directive, cooperative environments have the best chance for encouraging continued oral development in general and the development of standard language pattern in particular; for instance, Huff (1991:87) reports that in a classroom in which the environment was favourable and purposeful talk was encouraged, one teacher recorded twenty different types of problem-solving talk naturally employed by the learners. Huff found that when the learners were genuinely interested in the problem being discussed, both highly verbal and quiet learners participated successfully. Huff concluded that learners who believe their ideas have value to both peers and teachers willingly share and participate in classroom events. When they engage in authentic speaking and listening; they take risks and acquire self-confidence. Then they find their own voices and take greater control over their self-expressions and over their own learning

CHAPTER 1 ORIENTATION TO THE STUDY
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
1.2 RATIONALE
1.3 CONTEXT
1.4 THE PROBLEM STATEMENT
1.5 RESEARCH PURPOSE AND QUESTIONS
1.6 RESEARCH ASSUMPTIONS
1.7 RESEARCH PARADIGMS
1.8 SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
1.9 THE TRUSTWORTHINESS AND CREDIBILITY OF THE STUDY
1.10 ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS
1.11 STRUCTURE OF THE THESIS
1.12 SUMMARY
CHAPTER 2 CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK UNDERPINNING A CLASSROOM INTERACTION APPROACH
2.1 INTRODUCTION
2.2 AN OUTLINE OF THE CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK
2.3 MOTIVATION FOR USING THE INTERPRETIVE/CONSTRUCTIVISM PHILOSOPHIES
2.4 SUMMARY
CHAPTER 3 THE NATURE AND SCOPE OF CLASSROOM INTERACTION
3.1 INTRODUCTION
3.2 CLASSROM INTERACTION AND INTERACTIVE LEARNING
3.3 INTERACTIVE ACTIVITIES
3.4 SUMMARY
CHAPTER 4 TEACHING METHODS AND CLASSROOM INTERACTION ACTIVITIES ACROSS THE CURRICULUM AND ASSESSMENT POLICY STATEMENT
4.1 INTRODUCTION
4.2 BACKGROUND KNOWLEDGE AND TEACHING METHODS
4.3 TRADITIONAL CLASSROOMS VERSUS CONSTRUCTIVIST CLASSROOMS
4.4 TEACHING APPROACHES IN THE NATIONAL CURRICULUM STATEMENT GRADES R-12 OF SOUTH AFRICA
4.5 STRATEGIES TO INITIATE CLASSROOM INTERACTION
4.6 CURRICULUM POLICY CHANGE: FROM RNCS TO CAPS
4.7 CLASSROOM INTERACTION ACTIVITIES ACROSS THE CURRICULUM
4.8 SUMMARY
CHAPTER 5 RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODLOGY
5.1 INTRODUCTION
5.2 PARADIGMATIC ASSUMPTIONS
5.3 THE RESEARCH DESIGN PROCESS
5.4 BRICOLAGE METHODOLOGY WITHIN THE DOMAINE OF QUALITATIVE RESEARCH DESIGN
5.5 RATIONALE FOR CHOOSING FOUR TYPES OF BRICOLAGE FOR THIS STUDY
5.6 ETHICAL CONSIDERATION
5.7 DATA COLLECTION
5.8 REFLECTIVE JOURNAL
5.9 DATA ANALYSIS PROCEDURE
5.10 TRUSTWORTHINESS OF THE STUDY
5.11 SUMMARY
CHAPTER 6 PRESENTATION, ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION OF RESULTS
6.1 INTRODUCTION
6.2 DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION OF THE PARTICIPANTS
6.3 THEMES
6.4 SUMMARY
CHAPTER 7 SUMMMARY, DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS, LIMITATION, RECOMMENDATIONS AND AREAS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH
7.1 INTRODUCTION
7.2 SUMMARY OF CHAPTERS
7.3 DISCUSSION OF THE FINDINGS
7.4 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
7.5 CONTRIBUTION OF THE STUDY
7.6 RECOMMENDATIONS
7.7 RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FUTURE RESEARCH
7.8 SUMMARY
CHAPTER 8 FRAMEWORK FOR THE USE OF CLASSROOM INTERACTION IN EFAL IN THE INTERMEDIATE PHASE
8.1 INTRODUCTION
8.2 COMPONENTS OF A FRAMEWORK FOR THE USE OF CLASSROOM INTERACTION AS A TEACHING STRATEGY IN EFAL
8.3 SUMMARY
8.4 CONCLUSION
BIBLIOGRAPHY
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