Teacher as facilitator of pupil talk

Pao Yue-kong Library Electronic Theses Database

Teacher as facilitator of pupil talk

 

Author: Lam, Hok-wah Wanda
Title: Teacher as facilitator of pupil talk
Degree: M.A.
Year: 1995
Subject: English language -- Spoken English -- China -- Hong Kong
English language -- Study and teaching (Secondary) -- China -- Hong Kong
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Dept. of English
Pages: vii, 125 leaves : ill. ; 31 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b1224949
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/4601
Abstract: Students are always complained that they are passive and unresponsive in the English classes in speaking out though the teacher has been busy giving each of them a turn. It is understood, however, that students have stress in using a second language because of their fear of looking and sounding stupid, peer pressure and very often their lack of understanding to the questions or their inability in using grammar and vocabulary. These can be depicted in Brown and Yule (1983:35) where "a frequent exercise is to require a student to stand up in class and tell the class about "what" he did at weekend......He [the student] has to imagine how much background knowledge of the circumstances is shared by [his listeners], and he has to find the language appropriate to express what he wants to say. Many students speaking in their own native language finds this an appallingly difficult task." With such lack of motivation and communicative stress, speaking a foreign language in the classroom is very difficult. In fact, even a plain message transmitted has to be reshaped under negotiating before it is received, as in any talk in our first language. Fluency in speaking hence is not just an action without hesitations but an experience requiring substantial and active participation. The teacher, though "has to minimize his role in conducting the [speaking] activities" (Richards, 1991a:137), should act as the facilitator to help the students overcome the difficulties with the view to providing for them more opportunities to speak without worrying about the above fears. An experiment was therefore carried out with a group of students. The subjects were observed on their change in modifying their interactional input and maintaining the flow in communication as their fluency developed. After the experiment, it was found that the students (1) increased their quantity of talk as fluency improved, (2) manipulated their message so that it was comprehensible to the listeners, (3) had higher awareness after the experiment to self-repair rather than waited to be asked to clarify their own message, (4) were more able to defend their own ideas in a foreign language.

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