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Title: An exploration of scaffolding in relation to gestures and code switching : a case study of a private university, Thailand
Author: Scheb-Buenner, Patcharee
ISNI:       0000 0004 2741 4238
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2012
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This study reports on how five Thai teachers in a private university scaffold their students in an EFL classroom in relation to gestures and code switching. The context of this study is described as teacher-fronted instruction and focuses on low proficiency students. Using the qualitative-based method of a case study, observation is a principal data collection tool. Interview and field notes are employed to supplement the data. The study reveals basic types of instructional activities: focus on form and focus on meaning from the observational data. Scaffolding is first explored using frameworks adopted from Wood et al (1976) and van Lier (1996). The findings illuminate that the verbal interaction of Thai teachers with their students reflects scaffolding features described by Wood et al (1976) while slightly reflecting what van Lier (1996) describes as attributes. The exploration includes gestures as they naturally accompany verbal communication (Harris, 2005). Additionally, code switching to Thai is also investigated as Thai is the mother tongue of the teachers and the students. Gestures are found accompanying scaffolding features and related strategies. Three gestures are identified in this study. Illustrative gestures are found to be the most common, followed by regulative and emotional gestures. The study concludes by summarising the features of scaffolding in the teacher-fronted style of teaching. This embraces all the findings in relation to form- and meaning-focused activities. Scaffolding in the form-focused activities illuminates long sequentiality, less gestures, long utterances of code switching to 1 Thai, less contingency, and contextual support, while scaffolding in the meaning-focused activities consist of short sequentiality, more gestures, short utterances of code switching, more contingency, and contextual support. More and less effective scaffolding strategies are also proposed regarding to what extent they can promote the learners' engagement. The study offers the EFL teachers dealing with low proficiency learners and teacher-fronted instruction the pedagogical implications for gaining the learners' engagement by focusing on employing gestures and code switching. It also suggests that scaffolding is a practical technique which should be promoted in pedagogical training.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available