A case study of a teacher's questions in an English Second Language (ESL) classroom

Nhlapo, Malefu (1998) A case study of a teacher's questions in an English Second Language (ESL) classroom. Masters thesis, Rhodes University.




This research study seeks to explore and understand the way a Form C (the third year of high school) teacher asks questions in an English second language (ESL) classroom in a high school in Lesotho. As this is a small-scale study on a teacher’s questions in a familiar setting, an ethnographic stance was adopted. The researcher adopted the role of non-participant observer, recorded three different lesson types and took observational notes. She transcribed the lessons and used the transcription to interview both the teacher and the students. The interviews were recorded and transcribed by the researcher. She then analysed the classroom and interview data and invited the teacher to respond to the analysis she had made. The interview was also recorded and transcribed. The findings indicated that the teacher asked most questions in the three lesson types. He asked mainly lower order question. However, the nature of the questions varied according to the intentions of the teacher, even when the lesson type was the same. Although it is difficult to generalize from a small-scale study like this one, it is believed that this study has been beneficial in raising awareness about the nature and role of questions in classroom interaction, and also in raising awareness of the teacher. Consciousness raising may be essential to educators and researchers. Moreover, this research may enable educators to theorize their practice. This research demonstrates the need for teacher development. It argues that knowledge should be linked with the skills. Therefore, it proposes the need for teacher education to include an explicit focus on questioning since questions are an integral part of teaching and learning. It further proposes the need for teachers to plan their questions carefully as good questioning strategies may facilitate learning. To my knowledge, existing research on teachers’ questions has not linked the cognitive, linguistic and pedagogic functions of teachers’ questions. This study draws from literature on these three areas while acknowledging the importance of taking into account contextual issues in analysing teachers’ questions. It therefore concludes that, content, curriculum, and the teacher’s intentions and his/her ideologies cannot be ignored in the study of a teacher’s questions.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords:English language, Teaching, Foreign speakers
Subjects:L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Education > Education
ID Code:2300
Deposited By: Mrs Carol Perold
Deposited On:01 Dec 2011 09:57
Last Modified:06 Jan 2012 16:22
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