ERIC Number: ED322754
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989
Is Class Size a Problem? Lancaster-Leeds Language Learning in Large Classes Research Project: Project Report No. 3.
Language teachers have responded to the special pedagogical needs created by large language classes as they arise rather than addressing them comprehensively. This may result from both guilt about the relatively small size of even the large language classes, and fear that expression of concern might be mistaken for trying to find an excuse for teaching problems. Limited research evidence suggests that large classes are not interfering with learning achievement. Further empirical research is needed on language pedagogy and on greater extremes of class size. Four alternative interpretations of the issue of class size are available. These include the following: (1) class size is not a problem, just an excuse; (2) class size really is a problem, but not interesting enough; (3) class size is a problem, but insoluble; or (4) class size is a problem, but a politically dangerous area to address pedagogically. It is wide open to imaginative research on both pedagogical and political aspects. The Lancaster-Leeds Language Learning in Large Classes Research Project evolved not to undertake research but to promote it. Its activities have involved discussion, development of a bibliography, design and administration of preliminary questionnaires, development of a mailing list, dissemination of research papers, and organization of awareness-raising events. (MSE)
Descriptors: Class Size, Language Teachers, Large Group Instruction, Research Methodology, Research Needs, Research Projects, Second Language Instruction, Second Language Learning
Overseas Education Unit, School of Education, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, United Kingdom (individual reports 0.50 pounds sterling, surface mail).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Leeds Univ. (England). School of Education; Lancaster Univ. (England). Dept. of Linguistics and Modern English Language.