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Title: Questioning in the Saudi EFL University classroom : student perspectives and teacher practices
Author: Alshenqeeti, Hamza
ISNI:       0000 0004 5356 7254
Awarding Body: University of Newcastle Upon Tyne
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2014
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Questioning is perhaps the most common form of discourse between teachers and students in classroom settings, however, research interest in questioning in second/foreign language classrooms has largely applied to the measurement and development of teachers’ questioning skills. This focus on the teacher may however obscure the potential importance of student perspectives and practice preference towards questioning in the classroom discourse. Although questioning is a central aspect of any classroom discourse, it is still an under-researched area in the Saudi classroom context. This thesis is an investigation into some practices and perspectives pertaining to the questioning behaviour of teachers and students in a higher education English as a foreign language (EFL) classroom context. Participants included 12 experienced EFL teachers and 341 first-year students at a public university in Medina, Saudi Arabia. The study aimed to investigate student perspectives on questioning that was undertaken in their classes and to identify the functions of teachers’ questions and the question modifications (if any) that teachers employ in instances where students do not answer. The study also considered, however not as a main focus of attention, whether there are any gender-related differences or commonalities in the teachers’ and students’ perspectives and reported classroom questioning practices. In order to triangulate the sources of the study’s data, a mixed method approach for data collection was used. The study was conducted in two phases, one quantitative, using statistical formula; and the other qualitative, using principles of discourse analysis and content analysis. Three methods were utilised in order to obtain data for this study and establish a better understanding of the EFL classroom questioning under consideration. These were namely, questionnaires, video-recorded classroom observation, and stimulated recall and semi-structured interviews. The findings show that, in addition to functioning as elicitation tools, teachers’ questions possess different discursive functions, such as the assistance of students’ production of fluent L2 talk, the repair of communication breakdown, the invitation students’ guesses, and the management of classroom practice. Teachers also employed various question modification techniques to their unanswered questions. The results of this study’s discourse analysis, together with those from student surveys and teacher interviews, indicate to a number of implications and contributions as regards EFL classroom discourse and language pedagogy.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Saudi Arabian Government (Saudi Cultural Bureau in London)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available