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Teacher-learner behaviour and classroom processes in large ESL classes in Pakistan

By Fauzia Shamin


The thesis presents a descriptive-interpretive account of teacher-learner behaviour and classroom processes in large ESL classes in Pakistan. The fieldwork for the study was\ud done in 6 secondary schools in Karachi, Pakistan; a total of 232 classes of varying size were observed; furthermore, 20 teachers and 21 groups of learners from the same classes\ud were interviewed. The major findings of the study are as follows:\ud \ud 1) Numbers seem to be necessary but not sufficient for defining class size. Other factors which influence participants' perceptions of class size include participants' previous experience, the average class size in the immediate educational context, the size of the\ud room and the ease or difficulty of doing certain activity types in the classroom.\ud \ud 2) Participants tend to view their difficulties in teaching-learning in large classes in relation to the ease in doing the same kinds of activity types in classes of a smaller\ud size.\ud \ud 3) All teachers use a set of 'core' activity types and accompanying teacher-learner behaviours in their classrooms, irrespective of the size of their classes. This indicates the presence of a shared culture of teaching and learning in school classes in Pakistan which cuts across the variable of class size. On the other hand, though enhancing activity types are used by different teachers in both larger and smaller size classes, individual teachers seem to find it more difficult to use enhancing activities in larger as compared to smaller classes.\ud \ud 4) It seems that teachers do not change their teaching style if two (or more) classes are perceived by them to be in the same 'size category' in regard to their threshold levels of class size.\ud \ud 5) In large classes, the location of the students in the front or the back of the classroom seems to affect the pattern of teacher-learner interaction and the degree of learner participation in the classroom. This, in turn, has consequences for the classroom behaviour, and the motivation and learning of students at varied locations in the classroom

Publisher: School of Education (Leeds)
Year: 1993
OAI identifier:

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