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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/4019

Advisors: Mr. John Norrish
Copyright: Mar-2001
Date Added: 27-Nov-2012
Publisher: AAU
Abstract: The need to understand the causes of the decline in the standards of Ethiopian education in general and of secondary school students' English language knowledge in particular provided the motivation to undertake this study. The research focuses on teacher behaviour in teaching English as a Foreign Language (EFL) in large classes at Bahir Dar Secondary schools, the teachers' conceptions of the problems caused by such classes, and the teachers' performance in class. The purpose of the study, therefore, is to identify the factors that influence the teachers' conceptions and actions in their classes. In other words why they view their classes the way the do and act the way they do. It also investigates the learning opportunities provided in these teachers' large classes and how effective their teachings are. A questionnaire, originally designed by the Lancaster-Leeds Language Teaching and Learning in Large Classes team was first piloted on 20 English teachers at the two senior secondary schools of Bahir Dar. This was followed by the main study in which the improved version of the questionnaire was distributed to 25 teachers of the same schools. An interview session which included 10 of the teachers was conducted to probe further on the questionnaire. This was again followed by classroom observations and a video recording of seven of the 25 teachers who taught five lessons. The data from the three instruments were triangulated. The study's findings show that the majority of the teachers view class size as a major problem while others view it as one of their major problems that prevents them from making learning student centered. They cannot employ innovative techniques, except resorting to the lecture style of teaching which the situation has forced them to adopt. As the result of classroom observation and evidence from the video recording indicate, the learning opportunity provided in those classes are limited in that classroom talk lacks meaning negotiation and the students are unable to guide the teachers towards their needs as they have come through large classes straight from elementary schools and therefore cannot speak English. The findings, however, indicate that large class problem is not the sole cause of teacher difficulties. Large classes are the result of economic constraints, but are not the only aspect of economic stringency to cause problems. Other factors which are the result of economic and non economic constraints also aggravate teachers' classroom problems. The research comes to an end with the discussion of large class problems in the Ethiopian socio economic context and the feasibility of reducing class size. It recommends that other causes of teachers' problems which are both economic and non economic but not related to class size can be tackled immediately whereas, the problem of class size is not easy and, therefore to be tackled gradually, provided the awareness to the problem is there.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/4019
Appears in:Thesis - Teaching English as a Foreign Language

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