Toward a "working definition" of effective language instruction in the multicultural ESL classroom
AuthorBerlin, Lawrence Norman
KeywordsEducation, Language and Literature.
Education, Bilingual and Multicultural.
AdvisorMcCarty, Teresa L.
Wildner-Bassett, Mary E.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe purpose of this case study is to provide a working definition of effective language instruction consonant with the contemporary multicultural, university-level ESL classroom. Using a Grounded Theory methodology, it includes data from six months of teacher and student interviews, classroom observations, teacher evaluations, and questionnaires. Though attempts to categorize effective language instruction have been undertaken, previous taxonomies have been little more than altered models of teaching effectiveness from general education, offering little that is "new" or specific to the language teaching context. Furthermore, the shift from a teacher-centered to a student-centered classroom has not made great strides toward soliciting student input in the development of a contemporary definition of effectiveness. Thus, in approaching this working definition, I attempt to engage the fundamental principles of Critical Pedagogy to research by considering not only contemporary educational philosophy and the Communicative Approach to Language Teaching, but also students' needs and expectations based on their cultural and individual differences. Thus, the choice of pursuing a working definition rather than a definitive taxonomy emerges as a natural direction in the investigation. As it must be recognized that the microcontexts in the ESL classroom vary immensely in their makeup, the aim here is not to provide future second and foreign language teachers with a prescriptive formula, but rather a descriptive macroframework of domains which were abstracted and interpreted from the context of the ESL classroom. The qualitative, inductive case study approach used here enables teachers to identify elements derived from the organic data obtained in the classroom environment from its participants and apply it to their own situations. Thus, this framework can assist teachers in heightening their awareness and preparing them to participate effectively in a multicultural, university-level ESL classroom.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Second Language Acquisition and Teaching