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Title: Developing whole-class interactive teaching : meeting the training needs of Syrian EFL secondary school teachers
Author: Rajab, Taha
ISNI:       0000 0004 2737 8409
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2013
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This study explores teacher instructional practices within EFL secondary school class-rooms in Syria. In 2004, the Syrian Ministry of Education introduced a new national curriculum, English for Starters, which recommends a shift in EFL teachers’ instruc-tional practices. Despite this costly innovation, there has been no attempt to check whether it was working. Adopting a socio-cultural perspective on learning, the study looks at teacher-student interaction and discourse taking place during teacher-fronted whole class talk. Using a mixed-methods approach comprising classroom observa-tions, teacher interviews and a structured questionnaire, teacher beliefs and classroom practices are investigated to help in the identification of teachers’ training needs. Despite official attempts to introduce a Communicative Language Teaching approach, detailed discourse analysis revealed a traditional textbook-directed, teacher-controlled transmission mode of teaching, focusing on rote learning and mechanical practice ra-ther than meaningful interaction to develop language skills and understanding. Stu-dents were afforded few opportunities to participate meaningfully in classroom inter-action, as teachers controlled not only the topics of academic learning, but also the way students learned the content. Based on the analysis, the study highlights the need to invest in teachers’ professional development, particularly during the critical phase of curriculum innovation, to pro-mote communicative approaches in the Syrian educational system. Drawing on the findings of the study regarding the interactional and discourse practices of Syrian sec-ondary EFL teachers, the thesis explores the training needs of teachers in the light of recent reforms to the English language curriculum.
Supervisor: Hardman, Frank Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available