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ERIC Number: ED530621
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 237
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1247-7038-3
Information Structure of Native English-Speaking ESOL Teachers in Grammar Explanations
Malupa-Kim, Miralynn Faigao
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Alliant International University, San Diego
The Problem: The purpose of this study was to identify and analyze the information structure of native-English speaking (NES) ESOL teachers in giving explanations in a grammar class at an Intensive English Program (IEP) at a university in southern California Method: This mixed-method study employed a sequential-exploratory design. Six grammar teachers participated in this study. Data collection involved three phases: the preliminary phase was obtaining the teachers' educational background, teaching experience, and other related information. The main phase was conducting a total of two classroom observations where the audio transcriptions of the teaching were collected. Lastly, after completing the two classroom observations, the follow-up phase was gathering information about the teachers' beliefs and practices in teaching (and learning) grammar through face-to-face and/or phone conversations and email exchanges. Results: The results of this study indicated that some syntactic constructions are used frequently in various stages of the lesson containing the grammar explanations when (1) the teacher presents the grammar point, (2) students ask for clarification, and (3) students go over the answers from an in-class activity or exercise with the teacher. The most frequent syntactic constructions found were "This/That"-initial sentence and "It"-initial constructions, followed by "Because"-clauses and "if-clause" + present tense. Syntactic constructions varied across proficiency levels. Although the same syntactic constructions were found among teachers of all proficiency levels, these constructions become more complex in structure (e.g., sentence length, anaphoric references) as the student proficiency levels increased. The mean T-unit length (MTUL) across proficiency levels also showed a pattern of increasing complexity, especially from beginning to intermediate levels. In examining the teachers' beliefs and practices in teaching (and learning) grammar, all teachers mentioned that explanations should be simple, should have less metalinguistic talk, and should contain examples. In the actual classroom observations, some of these elements were demonstrated in the classroom by a majority of the teachers. Some teachers were textbook-dependent, which may indicate a lack of confidence in explaining the grammar point(s) in their own words and providing their own examples. This study provides evidence that teachers need to be trained how to explain important language concepts, such as grammar points. Learning to plan a lesson is one skill, but delivering and executing the lesson is another. This study provides a start-up framework to help teacher-trainers evaluate teacher talk and assess teachers' skills according to the purpose and context of the teacher talk in the language learning classrooms. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California