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Title: Teachers' contributions to the culture of language classrooms : the case of Spanish as a foreign language
Author: Lacorte, Manel
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1999
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This investigation explores the way in which teachers contribute to the development of the language classroom culture, defined as "a dynamic system of patterns created, changed and maintained by the participants in accordance with their pedagogic and social status, expectations and responsibilities". It draws its data from classrooms of Spanish as a foreign language in the United States, and seeks to analyse: Characteristics of the social and institutional context of the teaches and their classrooms. Teachers' views on language teaching and learning, their classrooms and their own teaching. Verbal and nonverbal means employed by the teachers in their instruction, and more specifically during the transitions between the instructional stages that make up their lessons. Relationships between the views of the teachers and linguistic and nonlinguistic features of their behaviour in the classroom. The courses involved in the study were conducted by five different teachers during the academic year 1997-1998 in four high schools - three public and one private - and a private liberal arts college, all of them located in Central Pennsylvania, USA. Data were obtained from a combination of methods/instruments intended to capture as much as possible the dynamic nature of the processes taking place in the classroom setting. These methods/instruments were: Background description of the social and institutional context of the teachers and their classrooms based on (a) bibliographical sources including brochures, course catalogues, student handbooks, etc., (b) consultations with administrative staff, and (c) research journal. Three rounds of semi-structured interviews with each teacher. The last interview included stimulated recall. On-site observation of (a) the physical organization of the classroom, (b) the non-verbal features of the interaction between teachers and students, and (c) the non-pedagogic events taking place during the instruction. Retrospective analysis (based on tape and real-time records) of the verbal interaction between teachers and students during the instructional stages and sub-stages that make up the lessons. Teacher journals with information about teaching experiences and other matters relevant to the classroom environment and the development of the research project.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available