PhD Dissertations

Student-Centered Approach to Lesson Planning and Classroom Management in English Language Teaching (High School)

Dissertation Title:

 Student-Centered Approach to Lesson Planning and Classroom Management in    English Language Teaching (High School)

Student:

 Nona kerdikoshvili

Scientific Supervisor(s):

 Prof. Dr. Natela Doghonadze

Defence Date :

 11.02.205

ABSTRACT

The topic of the dissertation deals with a very problematic issue concerning the student–centered approach. Debates about this approach have been a great issue in the 20th - 21st century. Nowadays both teacher-centered (TCA) and student-centered approaches (SCA), as well as a gradation between them, to teaching, including foreign languages are still very widely spread, however, the student–centered approach is being emphasized as answering the contemporary market demands of the democratic and technological society. Many achievements about the transition from teacher-centered to student-centered education have already occurred. On the other hand, success is still not as great as it is desirable. More investigation has to be done in order to overcome teacher and student resistance to its implementation. The above-said makes the topic of this research important.

The novelty, suggested in this research, deals with a “wider” interpretation of the term “student-centered teaching of the English language”, which involves all the stages of the educational process – planning, material presentation, practice and assessment. Students in such an approach are given a chance to choose and a vote on all these stages.

The hypothesis, formulated in the research, correspondingly, is:

The efficiency of English as a foreign language teaching will increase, if this teaching becomes more student-centered, which means that:

·         inductive teaching is used more often than deductive teaching;

·         students will be involved in topic, material and activity type, as well as formative assessment format selection;

·         students will participate in finding and making up reading /listening matter, making up some activities and formative assessment issues;

·         and last, but not least, students will shift the responsibility for learning to themselves (peer and self-assessment, responsibility model of discipline, organization and timing of learning)

An experiment was carried out at Georgian-American High School to test the hypothesis. Based on the findings of both literature analysis and the research chapter, a conclusion is made that the TCA to language teaching should be basically used starting with high school, involving pair and group work, inductive teaching, selection of topic, material, activity type and assessment format by students, and shifting the responsibility for learning to students).
Full Text is available at IBSU Library

 

Dual Language Instruction in the American School System and its Possible Application in Georgia

 

Dissertation Title : 

Dual Language Instruction in the American School System and its Possible Application in Georgia

Student :

Ekaterine Pipia

Supervisor : 

 

Defence Date : 

08.07.2010                                                  

 

 

ABSTRACT       

      This research was designed to determine the value of recently implemented dual language instruction for minority children in the United States of America and its potential adoption for minority children in Georgia. The study is significant for America due to the recent establishment of American dual language education, which is believed to be the new ground for building new studies and for Georgia, where no word has been mentioned on dual language instruction for minorities. The study addresses to the categorization of various theoretical models of dual language instruction. The use of the term immersion in the popular usage is contrasted with its meaning defined for language educators while describing programs implementation and determining enrichment educational principles and goals. All available resources have been applied to data collection during my stay in the States. Literature review is written through reading original books at the library of University of Northern Iowa. A

      Qualitative and quantitative approaches were adopted to collect the data considering practical and analytical issues. The handed out questionnaires (written and online) provided substantial empirical input into the academic debate about the effectiveness of dual language immersion programs in the States and its possible future in Georgian schooling system. The research examined: a) America - how the bilingual parents assess their children’s involvement in dual language programs. b) Georgia – how parents assess their children’s involvement in Georgian-American schools/universities. c) Georgia- how minorities would evaluate the future implementation of dual language instructions.

Full Text is available at IBSU Library

Analytical Approach to the Evolution of African American Integration in the United States in the Second Half of 20-th century that Paved the Way to the Obama Miracle: Georgian Perspective

Dissertation Title :  Analytical Approach to the Evolution of African American Integration in the United States in the Second Half of  20-th century that Paved the Way to the Obama Miracle: Georgian Perspective
Student :  Nino Gamsakhurdia 
Supervisor  
Defence Date :  08.07.2010
   

ABSTRACT

      Main goal of the dissertation is to make an attempt to find the answer to the question: Why did American people elect the African American as their 44th president after so many racial prejudices and turbulent two hundred and more years in terms of racism?

       In the first chapter I’ll try to analyze the complexity of Race in American life from the point of view of political, social and economic perspectives, and study the stereotypes that historically existed towards the slavery and still exist towards the African Americans; I’ll focus on the importance of Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation and the significance of African American church that played crucial role in the advancement of black people. In the second chapter I’ll deal with the leadership factor for African American community; analyze and differentiate leadership styles of the twentieth century African American lenders and single out main trends that led to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and concentrate on civil rights generation of blacks, as well as other blacks who proceeded Barack Obama, paving the way for his acceptance, and won elections by straddling the racial line and foregrounding their first class education and mainstream styles.

       In this chapter I’ll introduce my statistical survey analyses concerning African Americans and the Institute of presidency, slavery, Civil Rights Act of 1964, recognition test of famous African Americans, conducted among the undergraduate students of the American Studies direction of the International Black Sea University. In chapter three I’ll make an attempt to respond to such a vulnerable for Americans a question as: whether the election of Obama put an end to the racial problems in the United States? Which factors played the decisive role in Obama’s election? I’ll try to describe Obama as a new model of a black man as leader with his openness to whites, blacks and other minorities; I’ll touch upon his current activity in terms of his concentration on Domestic policy and Foreign Policy strategy.

Full Text is available at request  
 
 

Twenty First Century Secondary Multicultural Education in USA – Problems and Perspectives

Dissertation Title :  Twenty First Century Secondary Multicultural Education in USA – Problems and Perspectives
Student :  Irma Mesiridze
Supervisor :   
Defence Date :  13.07.2010                                                  
   

ABSTRACT       

      Nation-states throughout the world face the problem of how to deal with the racial, ethnic, cultural and religious diversity within their societies while maintaining national unity. The United States of America represents one of these nations experiencing this challenge. Political demographic, socio-economic and cultural changes challenge American secondary school in the21st century more than ever. Mainly three problems are addressed within the framework of my dissertation:

What opportunities in terms of secondary school education shall America provide for the multicultural society in the 21st century? How should the aims and goals of secondary education be reconsidered to adequately respond to the challenges America is destined to face in the new millennium?

What major changes and restructuring processes will most effectively direct and manage the problem of multicultural secondary education in the US, and what is the role of the community and the society at large in addressing the problem?

Which approaches should be elaborated to the English language usage in secondary education and what should be the policy towards the English language as a main language of instruction?

The dissertation examines the problems and perspectives of the multicultural secondary education in terms of reflecting diversity and unity. By examining this case, I clarify several intentions of the multicultural secondary education, among which are the following: 1) to build an understanding among racial and cultural groups and appreciation of different cultures; 2) to remedy ethnocentrism in the traditional curriculum; 3) to make curricula relevant to cultural traditions, experiences, and historical contributions of the nation’s diverse population; 4) to increase academic achievements of minority students and help them to integrate into the mainstream of American society.

Throughout of the study I also reveal the problems of multicultural education experiences on its way of implementation (20th-21st cc). The research also attempts to work out the prospective model of the U.S. multicultural secondary education for critical consideration.

The study proves that multiculturalism is a complex process and at the same time acknowledges the significance of multicultural secondary education as the grounds of the complex process of maintaining diversity and national unity in the democratic United States.

Full Text is available at request
 

United States Foreign Policy towards Georgia

Dissertation Title :  United States Foreign Policy towards Georgia
Student :  Darejan Khutsishvili 
Supervisor :   
Defence Date :  10.09.2010                                                  
 

 

ABSTRACT       

     Main goal of the dissertation is to make an attempt to find the answer to the question: Why did American people elect the African American as their 44th president after so many racial prejudices and turbulent two hundred and more years in terms of racism?

In the first chapter I’ll try to analyze the complexity of Race in American life from the point of view of political, social and economic perspectives, and study the stereotypes that historically existed towards the slavery and still exist towards the African Americans; I’ll focus on the importance of Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation and the significance of African American church that played crucial role in the advancement of black people.

In the second chapter I’ll deal with the leadership factor for African American community; analyze and differentiate leadership styles of the twentieth century African American lenders and single out main trends that led to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and concentrate on civil rights generation of blacks, as well as other blacks who proceeded Barack Obama, paving the way for his acceptance, and won elections by straddling the racial line and foregrounding their first class education and mainstream styles.

In this chapter I’ll introduce my statistical survey analyses concerning African Americans and the Institute of presidency, slavery, Civil Rights Act of 1964, recognition test of famous African Americans, conducted among the undergraduate students of the American Studies direction of the International Black Sea University.

In chapter three I’ll make an attempt to respond to such a vulnerable for Americans a question as: whether the election of Obama put an end to the racial problems in the United States? Which factors played the decisive role in Obama’s election?

I’ll try to describe Obama as a new model of a black man as leader with his openness to whites, blacks and other minorities; I’ll touch upon his current activity in terms of his concentration on Domestic policy and Foreign Policy strategy.

Full Text is available at request
 

Langston Hughes: The Way from Protest to Spirituality in the Context of African American History

Dissertation Title :  Langston Hughes: The Way from Protest to Spirituality in the Context of African American History
Student :  Giorgi Shaduri
Supervisor :   
Defence Date :  23.09.2010                                                  
 

 

ABSTRACT       

     This dissertation focuses on two different components of the poetry of African American poet and writer Langston Hughes, who is best known as a singer of Harlem Renaissance: protest through the prism of social problems of his time, and spirituality via religious motives rooted in African American folk tradition. Literary heritage of Langston Hughes is deeply rooted in and extensively fed by the history of African American people, which reveals itself in multiple allusions to social history as well as to literature of colored America. After the Emancipation, despite the great hopes of the Blacks, they had been betrayed by the elite and experienced what scholars called the Nadir of racial injustice. Therefore, the protest of African Americans had not faded out. Still, spiritual tradition of the Blacks remained their spiritual stronghold. These facts had been reflected in national literature. For Langston Hughes, Nadir is something which he grew and lived with. Hughes campaigns against unjust laws and regulations, unfair racial attitudes, and hypocrisy of clergymen, often affiliating himself with socialist ideology. However,

African American tradition influences him so much that, alongside, he remains faithful to the belief (religious consciousness) of his ancestors.

The problem of present dissertation is linked to the necessity of new vision regarding literary heritage of Langston Hughes after coming of new socio-political and socio-cultural era. XXI century demands revising and reviewing many of questions and issues, answers on which seemed axiomatic in previous century. With the fall of communist ideology, with the win of the rights of colored America, with religious awakening in former socialist camp, and religious crisis in many of established democracies, the questions put by Hughes in his poems require new insight. This leads to the hypothesis of the dissertation, which, summed up, says that: 1) As racial/social protest and religious spirituality are widely present in African-American literature, these two are intensively present in poems of Langston Hughes, thus making him an important successor of his predecessors; 2) Although the existing literature identifies Langston Hughes as a writer hostile to religion, religious motives are an important component of his literary heritage, which stems from his adherence to African-American tradition; and 3) In his creations, the poet manages to find the domain in which the motives of social protest are coherent with religious spirituality, where these two do not exclude each other.

 Using historical, literary, linguistic, and, even, statistic analysis, we can say with assurance that not only does the hypothesis have the right to exist, but it can be fully justified. Among else, we appeal to such a unique form of African American folklore as the blues, which Hughes used in his poems. The blues proves to be the domain where the poet manages to combine his motives of protest to those of spirituality bringing these two in harmonious synergy.

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American English in the Global Context – Current Status within the Kachruvian model and Prospects of Evolution into the Global Standard of English

Dissertation Title :  American English in the Global Context – Current Status within the Kachruvian model and Prospects of Evolution into the Global Standard of English
Student :  Diana Glonti
Supervisor :   
Defence Date :  04.07.2013                                                  
 

 

ABSTRACT       

     The phenomenon of globalization with its extremely complex and multidimensional nature has recently become one of the major issues of the on - going political, economic and scholarly debate. It has also triggered numerous controversial issues in modern applied linguistics. One of the most important is the question of a world-wide accepted standard of English. Linguists claim that, as soon as the world has come to learn about its linguistic diversity, the urgent need for standardization is felt, which is going to pose many difficult questions in the years to come within the 1) scope of communicative competence and 2) ELT. Research into the linguistic aspects of globalization presents the frontline of research interests of the 21st century’s applied linguistics. The current study attempts to investigate the status and function of American English in the global context with regards to its prospects to evolve into a global standard of the English language. The framework of the current research is inspired by the Kachruvian model of World Englishes, and includes literature review, interviews, questionnaire-based data collection, and experimental procedures. The study also attempts to prove, that the traditional triple standard-oriented Kachruvian model of users and uses of English worldwide requires serious review within the globalization paradigm. The research includes micro- (peculiarities of language use and function) and macro- (language status and planning) approaches. It also attempts to map Georgia within the World Englishes model in connection with the problems under investigation, which presents a total novelty and is of profound theoretical interest and practical significance.

Full Text is available at request

 

Comparison of Traditional and Alternative Assessment in English Language Teaching in High Schools (Georgian Case)

Dissertation Title :  Comparison of Traditional and Alternative Assessment in English Language Teaching in High Schools (Georgian Case)
Student :  Ramazan Goctu 
Supervisor :   
Defence Date :  05.07.2013                                                  
 

 

ABSTRACT       

Methods of assessment are a very important part of teaching methods. They motivate (or dishearten) students to learn, permit them to learn from their own and their friends’ mistakes, help teachers bring up students, make decisions concerning students’ placement and transfer from form to form, improve their own teaching and carry out research, etc. Oral and written exams that were used for this purpose for many centuries caused much dissatisfaction of students as being unfair. Teachers, administrations and researchers could not get adequate information either. Objective testing introduced in the beginning of the XX century helped to remove this problem, but turned out to be too mechanical, reproductive, non-communicative, not reflecting the requirements of real life, etc. This is why since the 1980s educational science has been looking for alternative (authentic/ performance and portfolio) - more adequate - methods of assessment.

This thesis compares different kinds of assessments and deals first of all with authentic assessment and one of its kinds - portfolio assessment. Authentic learning (including assessment) must be personally relevant and connected to the real world. An educational portfolio (similarly to painter’s, actor’s, etc. portfolio) is a collection of evidence (student’s essays, posters, exercises made up and/or fulfilled by the student that is selected by the student (probably on teacher’s advice) to show students’ learning outcomes to demonstrate their abilities.

In the thesis I did my best to view portfolio objectively, with all its advantages and disadvantages. Portfolio assessment, a process in which teaching and assessment activities are integrated and where there is student involvement and reflection, is the most popular today alternative assessment type. Portfolio, which provides richer, more authentic and valid assessment of student performance, enables us to have formative assessment rather than summative and to motivate students. However, it is time-consuming, difficult to assess and requires from the teacher to have special skills. This is why I believe in the necessity of combination of traditional assessment with portfolio, emphasizing on the advantages of both.

As I would like to contribute to effective introduction of portfolio assessment in Georgia, in order to obtain information about awareness of English teachers, parents of students and school administrations in Georgia on portfolio assessment. I held questionnaires.

The purpose of administering the questionnaire survey was to find out whether portfolio assessment was used by the aforesaid people and how it was used, as well as what their attitudes toward portfolio assessment are. It showed that much still has to be done in this direction.

The goal of the educational experiment (quantitative research) held by me was to check my hypothesis that a combination of traditional assessment with portfolio can really have a positive impact on teaching English (at high school, on upper intermediate level). The experiment showed that a combination of traditional and portfolio assessment yields higher motivation and, correspondingly, higher level of language skills than purely traditional assessment.

Full Text is available at request

 

Impact of Multiple Intelligence on Teaching Reading to Preparatory Program Students (Iraq case)

Dissertation Title : 

Impact of Multiple Intelligence on Teaching Reading to Preparatory Program Students (Iraq case)

Student :  Suleyman Çelik 
Supervisor :   
Defence Date :  06.07.2013                                                  
 

 

ABSTRACT       

Debates about the intelligence have been a great issue in the 20th century. So far more than 130 different definitions were announced about what the intelligence is. Generally intelligence has been seen as a unitary concept till Howard Gardner a professor at Harvard University in the U.S.A proposed in the book Frames of Mind (1993) that the intelligence is a pluralistic view rather than the unitary concept. In his theory of multiple intelligence, Gardner broadened the conceptions of intelligence to include not only the results of paper-and pencil tests but also knowledge of the human brain and sensitivity to the diverse of the human cultures. He also introduced the concept of an individual-centered school that takes this multifaceted view of intelligence seriously.

The purpose of this research is to examine whether the implementation of Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligence in EFL classes by Grouping students according to their dominant intelligence type and organizing respective type of activities for them can really have a positive impact on students’ reading skills. This study was carried out at preparatory school of English at Ishik University. 95 Pre-intermediate and intermediate level of English students involved in the experiment and this study lasted 64 hours within two academic semesters. During the experiment, I used both qualitative and quantitative data. I applied many different types of learning activities relevant to the theory of multiple intelligences in the learning centers concerning with the type of the intelligence.

The data for this study was collected from the subjects’ two different questionnaires and many other authentic assessment tools to identify their dominant intelligences. Another tool was students’ interviews on motivation and attitudes regarding multiple intelligence teaching approaches. In order to see their attitudes toward reading two surveys were applied. One was at the very beginning of the experiment the other was conducted at the end of the study. The last and the most concrete data collecting tools were the scores of the pretest, posttest and the achievement tests.

The results of the study showed that experimental group that was taught using the approaches of multiple intelligence theory performed much better than the control group which was taught in the traditional way not only in the exam results, based on their surveys and interviews, also in the stimuli of motivation and understanding the written language as well as vocabulary. According to the results of the post data tools, by using the multiple intelligence theories in reading classes, a great increase in the test results of the reading comprehension is seen. Moreover, even the lower level students showed a progress in everyday tasks such as doing homework, quality of homework, participating in the lesson and attending to the school.. Many students pointed out that learning should be individualized.

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Teaching Styles and Strategies in Teaching EFL Reading in Universities (in Iraq)

Dissertation Title : 

Teaching Styles and Strategies in Teaching EFL Reading in Universities (in Iraq)

Student :  Mehmet Numan Kanar
Supervisor :  Prof. Dr. Natela Doghanadze
Defence Date :  11.02.2014                                                  
 

 

ABSTRACT       

      The demand on communicative English language skills all over the world is increasing due to its contemporary status as a lingua franca. Graddol (2006) argues that the Internet is now the communication tool of choice for multilinguals to link diasporic linguistic communities, and it includes not only the western countries, but also the growing numbers of Mandarin, Spanish, Hindi, and Arabic speakers. On the other hand, there are countries where the greatest demand is on oral communication (listening and speaking) skills, however, in other countries, such as Iraq, the focus remains on reading skills as the resource of information, especially professional information.

Interest towards learning English (including reading skills) has increased in these countries due to the role and the possibilities of the Internet. Tilfarlioglu (2011) study which embraced 534 students from 6 universities and high schools in Turkey and Iraq, including the Erbil Ishik University where I work and where I conducted my study, at whichstudents’ mother tongues are Kurdish and Arabic, confirms the increased interest towards learning English since 2004 due to Internet developments.

Native language reading skills are emphasized at universities in all countries, as a huge volume of reading has to be done by all students. Reading skills an EAP (English in Academic Purposes) and ESP (English for Specific Purposes) are emphasized in those countries where they are indispensable for technological and industrial development, while a vast majority of population, even educated, does not need English so much for oral communication. EAP/ESP reading skills are especially important if the university is an international one, delivering all or the majority of classes in English.

This means that students have to be able to read in English (almost) as well as in native tongue.

Ahmed (2007) states that even postgraduate international students for whom English is not their native language and whose majors are both English and other subjects often have reading comprehension problems which seriously hinder their education process, however, students whose specialty does not deal with English, have greater problems.

As an intellectually demanding activity (decoding a written text, especially an academic or a scientific one demands background knowledge and high level cognitive skills) reading depends on and simultaneously contributes to the intellectual development of a person.

Shaywitz (2003) states that reading comprehension is an important life skill.It is one of the most important domains in education, because it is the best predictor of success in higher education as well as in job performance. It is a prerequisite for life-long learning (Elley, 1994).

Though teaching / learning reading is relatively easy psychologically (the text remains in front of reader’s eyes as long as necessary, which permits to use a dictionary, apply guessing strategies or more qualified reader’s help), students still have certain difficulties due to the linguistic difficulties (EAP and ESP require a very rich vocabulary, including terminology; sentences are long and complex), complicated contents and the need in general background knowledge. As a result, students’ reading skills are too often not relevant to the tasks that EAP and ESP courses pose in front of students.

Burchfield and Sappington (2000) report that, on average, only about a third of all students complete their text reading assignment on any given day. This finding confirms a body of research conducted over the last 30 years (McDougall and Cordiero, 1993; Self 1987; Marshall, 1974). Hobson (2004, p. 1) found that over 70% of the students will not have read the assigned course reading. A study by Brost and Bradley (2006) names among the causes of university students’ lack of desire to read by low quality of reading skills brought from school, lack of desire to learn in general, lack of understanding of the role of reading skills in education, and teacher behavior who often give some reading tasks, but later do not deal with the materials in tutorials or exams. According to Hamra and Syatriana (2012, p.1), the reading test results of the final semester of the freshman year and TOEFL prediction of the first semester undergraduate students are low. The reading comprehension of Indonesian students’ needs improvement(Kweldju, 2001, Syatriana, 1998; Mardiana, 1993; Hamra, 1993, 1996a, 1996b; Hamra and Syatriana, 2010); it is far from the needed level, which does not permit them to go to exchange programs to universities in other countries. The reading difficulties are caused by various reasons: surface interpretation of the texts, poor vocabulary stock, the use of inefficient reading strategies, and poor grammatical competence (Behroozizad and Bakhtiyarzadeh,

2012).Hamra and Syatriana (2012)conclude that the improvement ofreading comprehension of the students should be the focus of teaching and learning process.

A lot of research has been carried out concerning various aspects of teaching reading to undergraduate students (there are dozens in the references of this dissertation), however, the situation, as we have seen above, is still unsatisfactory. Besides, such an aspect of the topic as reading text selection for undergraduate students has been much less studied. And the teacher-centered practice in the sphere (students are seldom or never asked which topic they would like to read about and which text is interesting for them) does not contribute to the improvement of the situation. All this makes the topic of my research important /urgent.

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The Impact of Teacher Reflection via Recording of EFL Speaking Classes on the Quality of Language Teaching and Acquisition (Turkish University prep school students)

 

Dissertation Title : 

The Impact of Teacher Reflection via Recording of EFL Speaking Classes on the Quality of Language Teaching and Acquisition (Turkish University  prep school students)

Student :  Ayse Betul Sayin
Supervisor :  Prof. Dr. Natela Doghanadze
Defence Date :  12.02.2014                                                  
 

 

ABSTRACT       

      Speaking skills are regarded to be major skills while learning a new language. It is a general expectation of all learners to use the vocabulary and grammar rules they have learnt in the correct way in order to speak in the target language. English learners experience the same situation, and they want to efficiently speak in English. However, foreign language learning and also teaching is not as simple as some students and teachers may contemplate. It requires much effort, and mutual desire and support of teachers and students.

The tendency to prioritize the mastery of speaking is reflected in the tendency of society to make speaking skills as a measure of one’s mastery of English. Speaking is of primary importance (no speaking today means no communicative mastery of a language), it is the basis of reading and writing skills.

In fact, many students consider language fluency to communicate orally with others as more important than the ability to read or write (Nazara, 2011). Speaking is regarded as the most important and difficult skill among Turkish students; it reflects the mastery of students in language acquisition. Realizing the great importance of speaking skills in EFL programs, it is very important to find and use the best instructional methods, materials, activities, media and other requirements that will help learners master the speaking skills (Nazara, 2011).

Success is the development of speaking skills that largely depends on the teacher. Thus, the purpose of this study is to use video recording to improve teacher performance in speaking classes.

Reflective teaching is a contemporary and highly approved method that teachers use to provide self-awareness in their professional development. As part of reflective teaching, ‘reflective practice’ refers to the steps to be followed to achieve self-reflection and includes the action phase. The term reflective practice, coined by Schon (1987), focuses on the ways people think about their experiences and formulate responses as the experiences happen. This approach makes a clear distinction between “thinking on action” and “thinking in action”. Thinking on action is the way of analyzing experiences as they happen while thinking in action determines how responses are formulated (Krause, 2004 cited in Clarke, 2007, p.2).

Video recording of classes helps teachers during the process of reflective practice, as one of the well-known approaches of reflective teaching, besides the written reports of self and the peer observation. Video recording is becoming an efficacious observational process, especially for EFL teachers in the recent years. First of all, watching video promotes a self-look at the teaching and learning processes that happen in the classroom. Watching the video recordings of classes helps teacher to critically observe and examine the teaching methods of self, the behaviors of the students and the classroom management. Also it is an easy method to keep records for self and to use them later in order to compare the teaching actions. Besides, videos provide an objective assessment of self and others. Teachers themselves or others (colleagues, parents, school administration) may directly see the recordings instead of using written self-reports or peer observation evaluations.

While EFL teachers may use video recording for various educative reasons and for the observation of different types of lessons and classes, in this research study, the video recording method is used to observe English speaking classes at Turkish universities in the preparation classes.

Reflective teaching has already proved to be a successful method for individual practice of teachers, even though it has been used only the last few decades. Osterman (1990, p.134) wrote that reflection is “the mindful consideration of one’s actions, specifically, one’s professional action”. In other words, it is the realization of self-observation and self-assessment which elevates the teacher to a self-critism. The reflective practice is the process of implementation of reflective thinking and teaching together. By the use of reflective practice, the teacher aims to achieve professional development and to extend this ability into the classroom.

Video recording of classes is among the methods or approaches of reflective teaching which is used to ‘stimulate reflective practice’ (Wright, 2008, p. vi). Video-recorded reflection aims to provide an insight to the teaching methods of educators, and improve teacher methods.

The video recording method also desires to motivate the teachers to develop their skills, classroom performance, and to evaluate themselves.

The study focuses on teacher development and the role of teacher in the acquisition by students of speaking skills. In this respect, the thesis envisages that video recording positively effects the quality of language teaching and acquisition.

As an observational and experimental study, the thesis research is carried out in the

Preparatory School of a Turkish university, and views the case with three Turkish teachers of speaking and 56 students. Upon giving the theoretical framework of speaking skills, reflective teaching and video recording of EFL classes in the first chapter, the study continues to the second chapter with the practical implementation of the video-enhanced-reflection. The third chapter gives the details about the observation and the experiment, the analysis, the results and the conclusion. The research methods used are the video observation comments, teacher inquiry, peer comments, teacher and student questionnaires, and student exam results.

With this research study, I intend to prove the practicality, success and impact of video recording for teacher reflection and language acquisition in EFL speaking classes. The findings of this study suggest that video recording of EFL classes is a beneficial, less time-consuming, very motivating tool for Turkish teachers of English and foreign / second language teachers worldwide to achieve self-assessment leading to better performance.

Full Text is available at request

 

Implications of Different Cultures of ESL Classes in terms of Language Teaching Methodologies

 

Dissertation Title : 

Implications of Different Cultures of ESL Classes in terms of Language Teaching Methodologies

Student :  Nino Tvalchrelidze
Supervisor :  Prof. Dr. Ekaterine Pipia
Defence Date :  17.07.2014                                                  
 

 

ABSTRACT       

       It is known that teaching English as a second/foreign language acquired a great importance after the Second World War. English language started to be considered as the language of international communication and there was a demand for studying English by students, immigrants, refugees, and tradesmen. The search for the new methodology brought Communicative language teaching as a new orientation which emphasized the use of authentic material and which introduced the culture-specific phenomenon embedded in the language.

 The spread of the word ‘culture’ in European national languages was seen from the late 19th century. As with many other complex concepts, myriads of definitions of culture have been suggested by researchers from all the fields of inquiry into human societies, which tried to schematize different aspects of the word. The definition that tailors the nature of the research study is that culture is ‘a complex system of concepts, attitudes, values, beliefs, conventions, practices, rituals and lifestyles of the people who make up a cultural group, as well as the artifacts they produce and the institutions they create’ (Liddicoat, Papademetre, Scarino and Kohler, 2003, p.45).

Concerns with culture in language teaching have a long history and the connection between language and culture is well proved; ‘culture specific world views are reflected in language’ (Valdes, 2001, p.8). This means that how people think and speak is determined by their culture.

Byram (1989) observed that culture represents the ‘hidden’ curriculum in second language teaching and pointed out that language teaching implicitly implies teaching in a culture-sensitive way because language refers to speakers’ knowledge and perception of the world and concept of culture and cultural learning.

 What has become evident in recent decades is that pure language learning is insufficient for efficient communication. Only encoding the message does not lead to communication or interaction with a person. Communicative competence which is a well-admitted goal in learning the English language is defined as the linguistic competence and the behavioral expertise. Understanding of the interlocutor takes place only with the knowledge of language and culture from which the language derives. The interference of the lack of cultural knowledge in communication is better illustrated in the communication pattern between Non-Native Speakers and Native speakers as the knowledge of the target culture plays a vital role in understanding. 2 This is why I think that culture-sensitive English language teaching is vital for learners to achieve a communicative competence in the language. This makes the topic of my research urgent and important.

 

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The Impact of Teacher’s Discourse on Student’s Performance

 

Dissertation Title : 

The Impact of Teacher’s Discourse on Student’s Performance

Student :  Mariam Bandzeladze
Supervisor :  Prof. Dr. Tamar Shioshvili
Defence Date :  15.07.2014                                                  
 

 

ABSTRACT       

     Language acquisition is a complex process characterized by various features complementing one another until reaching the ultimate goal of fluency and/or communicative competence in the target language. Subsequently, teaching is a highly creative process having a significant implication on the language acquisition and largely determining the effectiveness of the whole process. Classroom interaction provides a forum for the interlocutors to bring different backgrounds on the forefront of the learning agenda and to integrate their skills, aptitudes, and techniques for reaching the ultimate pedagogic goal. Obviously, the key participants of the classroom discourse are a teacher and a student, who, though having different social backgrounds, co-construct context in order to achieve the major learning objective. Walsh (2006) suggests that classroom discourse refers to identifying the ways of interaction which takes place between teachers and their students in order to gain insights into class-based learning. Therefore, the overall goal of the classroom discourse is to find common grounds for a complex relationship between teacher talk, classroom interaction, and learning opportunities. On the other hand, it is impossible to visualize foreign language acquisition without input in some form. There are numerous acquisition models, but two distinctive features common for all the models could be identified: the type of input which is most facilitative to foreign language development, and the role of output in the developmental process.

 

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