Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 405

Search results for: teacher

405 Investigating Iraqi EFL University Students' Productive Knowledge of Grammatical Collocations in English

Authors: Adnan Z. Mkhelif

Abstract:

Grammatical collocations (GCs) are word combinations containing a preposition or a grammatical structure, such as an infinitive (e.g. smile at, interested in, easy to learn, etc.). Such collocations tend to be difficult for Iraqi EFL university students (IUS) to master. To help address this problem, it is important to identify the factors causing it. This study aims at investigating the effects of L2 proficiency, frequency of GCs and their transparency on IUSs’ productive knowledge of GCs. The study involves 112 undergraduate participants with different proficiency levels, learning English in formal contexts in Iraq. The data collection instruments include (but not limited to) a productive knowledge test (designed by the researcher using the British National Corpus (BNC)), as well as the grammar part of the Oxford Placement Test (OPT). The study findings have shown that all the above-mentioned factors have significant effects on IUSs’ productive knowledge of GCs. In addition to establishing evidence of which factors of L2 learning might be relevant to learning GCs, it is hoped that the findings of the present study will contribute to more effective methods of teaching that can better address and help overcome the problems IUSs encounter in learning GCs. The study is thus hoped to have significant theoretical and pedagogical implications for researchers, syllabus designers as well as teachers of English as a foreign/second language.

Keywords: Corpus linguistics, frequency, grammatical collocations, L2 vocabulary learning, productive knowledge, proficiency, transparency.

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404 Investigating Iraqi EFL Undergraduates' Performance in the Production of Number Forms in English

Authors: Adnan Z. Mkhelif

Abstract:

The production of number forms in English tends to be problematic for Iraqi learners of English as a foreign language (EFL), even at the undergraduate level. To help better understand and consequently address this problem, it is important to identify its sources. This study aims at: (1) statistically analysing Iraqi EFL undergraduates' performance in the production of number forms in English; (2) classifying learners' errors in terms of their possible major causes; and (3) outlining some pedagogical recommendations relevant to the teaching of number forms in English. It is hypothesized in this study that (1) Iraqi EFL undergraduates still face problems in the production of number forms in English and (2) errors pertaining to the context of learning are more numerous than those attributable to the other possible causes. After reviewing the literature available on the topic, a written test comprising 50 items has been constructed and administered to a randomly chosen sample of 50 second-year college students from the Department of English, College of Education, Wasit University. The findings of the study showed that Iraqi EFL undergraduates still face problems in the production of number forms in English and that the possible major sources of learners’ errors can be arranged hierarchically in terms of the percentages of errors to which they can be ascribed as follows: (1) context of learning (50%), (2) intralingual transfer (37%), and (3) interlingual transfer (13%). It is hoped that the implications of the study findings will be beneficial to researchers, syllabus designers, as well as teachers of English as a foreign/second language.

Keywords: L2 morphology, L2 number forms, L2 vocabulary learning, productive knowledge.

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403 The Use of Webquests in Developing Inquiry Based Learning: Views of Teachers and Students in Qatar

Authors: Abdullah Abu-Tineh, Carol Murphy, Nigel Calder, Nasser Mansour

Abstract:

This paper reports on an aspect of e-learning in developing inquiry-based learning (IBL). We present data on the views of teachers and students in Qatar following a professional development programme intended to help teachers implement IBL in their science and mathematics classrooms. Key to this programme was the use of WebQuests. Views of the teachers and students suggested that WebQuests helped students to develop technical skills, work collaboratively and become independent in their learning. The use of WebQuests also enabled a combination of digital and non-digital tools that helped students connect ideas and enhance their understanding of topics.

Keywords: Digital technology, inquiry-based learning, mathematics and science education, professional development.

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402 Development of a Small-Group Teaching Method for Enhancing the Learning of Basic Acupuncture Manipulation Optimized with the Theory of Motor Learning

Authors: Wen-Chao Tang, Tang-Yi Liu, Ming Gao, Gang Xu, Hua-Yuan Yang

Abstract:

This study developed a method for teaching acupuncture manipulation in small groups optimized with the theory of motor learning. Sixty acupuncture students and their teacher participated in our research. Motion videos were recorded of their manipulations using the lifting-thrusting method. These videos were analyzed using Simi Motion software to acquire the movement parameters of the thumb tip. The parameter velocity curves along Y axis was used to generate small teaching groups clustered by a self-organized map (SOM) and K-means. Ten groups were generated. All the targeted instruction based on the comparative results groups as well as the videos of teacher and student was provided to the members of each group respectively. According to the theory and research of motor learning, the factors or technologies such as video instruction, observational learning, external focus and summary feedback were integrated into this teaching method. Such efforts were desired to improve and enhance the effectiveness of current acupuncture teaching methods in limited classroom teaching time and extracurricular training.

Keywords: Acupuncture, group teaching, video instruction, observational learning, external focus, summary feedback.

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401 Educating the Educators: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Enhance Science Teaching

Authors: Denise Levy, Anna Lucia C. H. Villavicencio

Abstract:

In a rapid-changing world, science teachers face considerable challenges. In addition to the basic curriculum, there must be included several transversal themes, which demand creative and innovative strategies to be arranged and integrated to traditional disciplines. In Brazil, nuclear science is still a controversial theme, and teachers themselves seem to be unaware of the issue, most often perpetuating prejudice, errors and misconceptions. This article presents the authors’ experience in the development of an interdisciplinary pedagogical proposal to include nuclear science in the basic curriculum, in a transversal and integrating way. The methodology applied was based on the analysis of several normative documents that define the requirements of essential learning, competences and skills of basic education for all schools in Brazil. The didactic materials and resources were developed according to the best practices to improve learning processes privileging constructivist educational techniques, with emphasis on active learning process, collaborative learning and learning through research. The material consists of an illustrated book for students, a book for teachers and a manual with activities that can articulate nuclear science to different disciplines: Portuguese, mathematics, science, art, English, history and geography. The content counts on high scientific rigor and articulate nuclear technology with topics of interest to society in the most diverse spheres, such as food supply, public health, food safety and foreign trade. Moreover, this pedagogical proposal takes advantage of the potential value of digital technologies, implementing QR codes that excite and challenge students of all ages, improving interaction and engagement. The expected results include the education of the educators for nuclear science communication in a transversal and integrating way, demystifying nuclear technology in a contextualized and significant approach. It is expected that the interdisciplinary pedagogical proposal contributes to improving attitudes towards knowledge construction, privileging reconstructive questioning, fostering a culture of systematic curiosity and encouraging critical thinking skills.

Keywords: Science education, interdisciplinary learning, nuclear science; scientific literacy.

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400 How Children Synchronize with Their Teacher: Evidence from a Real-World Elementary School Classroom

Authors: Reiko Yamamoto

Abstract:

This paper reports on how synchrony occurs between children and their teacher, and what prevents or facilitates synchrony. The aim of the experiment conducted in this study was to precisely analyze their movements and synchrony and reveal the process of synchrony in a real-world classroom. Specifically, the experiment was conducted for around 20 minutes during an English as a foreign language (EFL) lesson. The participants were 11 fourth-grade school children and their classroom teacher in a public elementary school in Japan. Previous researchers assert that synchrony causes the state of flow in a class. For checking the level of flow, Short Flow State Scale (SFSS) was adopted. The experimental procedure had four steps: 1) The teacher read aloud the first half of an English storybook to the children. Both the teacher and the children were at their own desks. 2) The children were subjected to an SFSS check. 3) The teacher read aloud the remaining half of the storybook to the children. She made the children remove their desks before reading. 4) The children were again subjected to an SFSS check. The movements of all participants were recorded with a video camera. From the movement analysis, it was found that the children synchronized better with the teacher in Step 3 than in Step 1, and that the teacher’s movement became free and outstanding without a desk. This implies that the desk acted as a barrier between the children and the teacher. Removal of this barrier resulted in the children’s reactions becoming synchronized with those of the teacher. The SFSS results proved that the children experienced more flow without a barrier than with a barrier. Apparently, synchrony is what caused flow or social emotions in the classroom. The main conclusion is that synchrony leads to cognitive outcomes such as children’s academic performance in EFL learning.

Keywords: Movement synchrony, teacher–child relationships, English as a foreign language, EFL learning.

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399 A Study on the Factors Affecting Student Behavior Intention to Attend Robotics Courses at the Primary and Secondary School Levels

Authors: Jingwen Shan

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In order to explore the key factors affecting the robot program learning intention of school students, this study takes the technology acceptance model as the theoretical basis and invites 167 students from Jiading District of Shanghai as the research subjects. In the robot course, the model of school students on their learning behavior is constructed. By verifying the causal path relationship between variables, it is concluded that teachers can enhance students’ perceptual usefulness to robotics courses by enhancing subjective norms, entertainment perception, and reducing technical anxiety, such as focusing on the gradual progress of programming and analyzing learner characteristics. Students can improve perceived ease of use by enhancing self-efficacy. At the same time, robot hardware designers can optimize in terms of entertainment and interactivity, which will directly or indirectly increase the learning intention of the robot course. By changing these factors, the learning behavior of primary and secondary school students can be more sustainable.

Keywords: TAM, learning behavior intentions, robot courses, primary and secondary school students.

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398 Identifying Game Variables from Students’ Surveys for Prototyping Games for Learning

Authors: N. Ismail, O. Thammajinda, U. Thongpanya

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Games-based learning (GBL) has become increasingly important in teaching and learning. This paper explains the first two phases (analysis and design) of a GBL development project, ending up with a prototype design based on students’ and teachers’ perceptions. The two phases are part of a full cycle GBL project aiming to help secondary school students in Thailand in their study of Comprehensive Sex Education (CSE). In the course of the study, we invited 1,152 students to complete questionnaires and interviewed 12 secondary school teachers in focus groups. This paper found that GBL can serve students in their learning about CSE, enabling them to gain understanding of their sexuality, develop skills, including critical thinking skills and interact with others (peers, teachers, etc.) in a safe environment. The objectives of this paper are to outline the development of GBL variables from the research question(s) into the developers’ flow chart, to be responsive to the GBL beneficiaries’ preferences and expectations, and to help in answering the research questions. This paper details the steps applied to generate GBL variables that can feed into a game flow chart to develop a GBL prototype. In our approach, we detailed two models: (1) Game Elements Model (GEM) and (2) Game Object Model (GOM). There are three outcomes of this research – first, to achieve the objectives and benefits of GBL in learning, game design has to start with the research question(s) and the challenges to be resolved as research outcomes. Second, aligning the educational aims with engaging GBL end users (students) within the data collection phase to inform the game prototype with the game variables is essential to address the answer/solution to the research question(s). Third, for efficient GBL to bridge the gap between pedagogy and technology and in order to answer the research questions via technology (i.e. GBL) and to minimise the isolation between the pedagogists “P” and technologist “T”, several meetings and discussions need to take place within the team.

Keywords: Games-based learning, design, engagement, pedagogy, preferences, prototype, variables.

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397 Developing a Customizable Serious Game and Its Applicability in the Classroom

Authors: Anita Kéri

Abstract:

Recent developments in the field of education have led to a renewed interest in teaching methodologies and practices. Gamification is fast becoming a key instrument in the education of new generations and besides other methods, serious games have become the center of attention. Ready-built serious games are available for most higher education institutions to buy and implement. However, monetary restraints and the unalterable nature of the games might deter most higher education institutions from the application of these serious games. Therefore, there is a continuously growing need for a customizable serious game that has been developed based on a concrete need analysis and experts’ opinion. There has been little evidence so far of serious games that have been created based on relevant and current need analysis from higher education institution teachers, professional practitioners and students themselves. Therefore, the aim of this current paper is to analyze the needs of higher education institution educators with special emphasis on their needs, the applicability of serious games in their classrooms, and exploring options for the development of a customizable serious game framework. The paper undertakes to analyze workshop discussions on implementing serious games in education and propose a customizable serious game framework applicable in the education of the new generation. Research results show that the most important feature of a serious game is its customizability. The fact that practitioners are able to manage different scenarios and upload their own content to a game seems to be a key to the increasingly widespread application of serious games in the classroom.

Keywords: Education, gamification, game-based learning, serious games.

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396 The Use of Different Methodological Approaches to Teaching Mathematics at Secondary Level

Authors: M. Rodionov, N. Sharapova, Z. Dedovets

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The article describes methods of preparation of future teachers that includes the entire diversity of traditional and computer-oriented methodological approaches. The authors reveal how, in the specific educational environment, a teacher can choose the most effective combination of educational technologies based on the nature of the learning task. The key conditions that determine such a choice are that the methodological approach corresponds to the specificity of the problem being solved and that it is also responsive to the individual characteristics of the students. The article refers to the training of students in the proper use of mathematical electronic tools for educational purposes. The preparation of future mathematics teachers should be a step-by-step process, building on specific examples. At the first stage, students optimally solve problems aided by electronic means of teaching. At the second stage, the main emphasis is on modeling lessons. At the third stage, students develop and implement strategies in the study of one of the topics within a school mathematics curriculum. The article also recommended the implementation of this strategy in preparation of future teachers and stated the possible benefits.

Keywords: Computer-oriented approach, traditional approach, future teachers, mathematics, lesson, students, education.

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395 Motivational Orientation of the Methodical System of Teaching Mathematics in Secondary Schools

Authors: M. Rodionov, Z. Dedovets

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The article analyses the composition and structure of the motivationally oriented methodological system of teaching mathematics (purpose, content, methods, forms, and means of teaching), viewed through the prism of the student as the subject of the learning process. Particular attention is paid to the problem of methods of teaching mathematics, which are represented in the form of an ordered triad of attributes corresponding to the selected characteristics. A systematic analysis of possible options and their methodological interpretation enriched existing ideas about known methods and technologies of training, and significantly expanded their nomenclature by including previously unstudied combinations of characteristics. In addition, examples outlined in this article illustrate the possibilities of enhancing the motivational capacity of a particular method or technology in the real learning practice of teaching mathematics through more free goal-setting and varying the conditions of the problem situations. The authors recommend the implementation of different strategies according to their characteristics in teaching and learning mathematics in secondary schools.

Keywords: Education, methodological system, teaching of mathematics, teachers, lesson, students motivation, secondary school.

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394 The Desire to Know: Arnold’s Contribution to a Psychological Conceptualization of Academic Motivation

Authors: F. Ruiz-Fuster

Abstract:

Arnold’s redefinition of human motives can sustain a psychology of education which emphasizes the beauty of knowledge and the exercise of intellectual functions. Thus, education instead of focusing on skills and learning by doing would be centered on ‘the widest reaches of the human spirit’. One way to attain it is by developing children’s inherent interest. Arnold takes into account the fact that the desire to know is the inherent interest which leads students to explore and learn. She also emphasizes the need of exercising human functions as thinking, judging and reasoning. According to Arnold, the influence of psychological theories of motivation in education has derived in considering that all learning and school tasks should derive from children’s needs and impulses. The desire to know and the curiosity have not been considered as basic and active as any instinctive drive or basic need, so there has been an attempt to justify and understand how biological drives guide student’s learning. However, understanding motives and motivation not as a drive, an instinct or an impulse guided by our basic needs, but as a want that leads to action can help to understand, from a psychological perspective, how teachers can motivate students to learn, strengthening their desire and interest to reason and discover the whole new world of knowledge.

Keywords: Academic motivation, interests, desire to know, educational psychology, intellectual functions.

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393 Quebec Elementary Pre-service Teachers’ Conceptual Representations about Heat and Temperature

Authors: Abdeljalil Métioui

Abstract:

This article identifies the conceptual representations of 128 students enrolled in elementary pre-service teachers’ education in the Province of Quebec, Canada (ages 19-24). To construct their conceptual representations relatively to notions of heat and temperature, we use a qualitative research approach. For that, we distributed them a questionnaire including four questions. The result demonstrates that these students tend to view the temperature as a measure of the hotness of an object or person. They also related the sensation of cold (or warm) to the difference in temperature, and for their majority, the physical change of the matter does not require a constant temperature. These representations are inaccurate relatively to the scientific views, and we will see that they are relevant to the design of teaching strategies based on conceptual conflict.

Keywords: Conceptual representations, heat, temperature, pre-service teachers, elementary school.

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392 Factors that Contribute to the Improvement of the Sense of Self-Efficacy of Special Educators in Inclusive Settings in Greece

Authors: Sotiria Tzivinikou, Dimitra Kagkara

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Teacher’s sense of self-efficacy can affect significantly both teacher’s and student’s performance. More specific, self-efficacy is associated with the learning outcomes as well as student’s motivation and self-efficacy. For example, teachers with high sense of self-efficacy are more open to innovations and invest more effort in teaching. In addition to this, effective inclusive education is associated with higher levels of teacher’s self-efficacy. Pre-service teachers with high levels of self-efficacy could handle student’s behavior better and more effectively assist students with special educational needs. Teacher preparation programs are also important, because teacher’s efficacy beliefs are shaped early in learning, as a result the quality of teacher’s education programs can affect the sense of self-efficacy of pre-service teachers. Usually, a number of pre-service teachers do not consider themselves well prepared to work with students with special educational needs and do not have the appropriate sense of self-efficacy. This study aims to investigate the factors that contribute to the improvement of the sense of self-efficacy of pre-service special educators by using an academic practicum training program. The sample of this study is 159 pre-service special educators, who also participated in the academic practicum training program. For the purpose of this study were used quantitative methods for data collection and analysis. Teacher’s self-efficacy was assessed by the teachers themselves with the completion of a questionnaire which was based on the scale of Teacher’s Sense of Efficacy Scale. Pre and post measurements of teacher’s self-efficacy were taken. The results of the survey are consistent with those of the international literature. The results indicate that a significant number of pre-service special educators do not hold the appropriate sense of self-efficacy regarding teaching students with special educational needs. Moreover, a quality academic training program constitutes a crucial factor for the improvement of the sense of self-efficacy of pre-service special educators, as additional for the provision of high quality inclusive education.

Keywords: Inclusive education, pre-service, self-efficacy, training program.

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391 Assessment of the Illustrated Language Activities of the Portage Guide to Early Education

Authors: Ofelia A. Damag

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The study was focused on the development and assessment of the illustrated language activities of the 1996 Edition of the Portage Guide to Early Education. It determined the extent of appropriateness, applicability, time efficiency and aesthetics of the illustrated language activities to be used as instructional material not only by teachers, but parents and caregivers as well. The eclectic research design was applied in this study using qualitative and quantitative methods. To determine the applicability and time efficiency of the study, a try out was done. Since the eclectic research design was used, it made use of a researcher-made survey questionnaire and focus group discussion. Analysis of the data was done through weighted mean and ANOVA. The respondents of the study were representatives of Special Education (SPED) teachers, caregivers and parents of a special-needs child, particularly with difficulties in learning basic language skills. The results of the study show that a large number of respondents are SPED teachers and caregivers and are mostly college graduates. Many of them have earned units towards Master’s studies. Moreover, a majority of the respondents have not attended seminars or in-service training in early intervention for them to be more competent in the area of specialization. It is concluded that the illustrated language activities under review in this study are appropriate, applicable, time efficient and aesthetic for use as a tool in teaching. The recommendations are focused on the advocacy for SPED teachers, caregivers and parents of special-needs children to be more consistent in the implementation of the new instructional materials as an aid in an intervention program.

Keywords: Illustrated language activities, inclusion, portage guide to early education, special educational needs.

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390 Pupils´ Questions at School Attendance Beginning and Teachers´ Teaching Strategy

Authors: Marie Pavelková, Hana Lukášová

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Pupils´ inquisitiveness at the beginning of their school attendance is reflected by characteristics of the questions they ask. Clearly most of the classroom communication sequences are initiated by the teacher. But the teaching process also includes questions initiated by pupils in the need to satisfy their need for knowledge. The purpose of our research is to present the results of our pre-research strategy of occurrence of pupil-initiated questions in math lessons at the lower elementary school level, and to reveal the extent to which they are influenced by the teacher´s teaching strategy. We used the research methods of direct and indirect observations of fifth year classes in primary school. We focused on questions asked by the pupils in their math lessons. Our research sample for the pre-research observation method was a collection of video recordings available online. We used them for analysing the nature of pupils´ questions identified there. On the basis of the analysis, we hereby present the results concerning the nature of pupils´ questions asked in math lessons on the lower elementary school level. The interpretation of the collected results will be the starting point for the selection of research strategies in the next research stages concerning pupils’ questions in the future.

Keywords: Alternative strategies, 1ower elementary school level, pupil´s question, teaching strategies.

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389 Evaluation of the Quality of Education Offered to Students with Special Needs in Public Schools in the City of Bauru, Brazil

Authors: V. L. M. F. Capellini, A. P. P. M. Maturana, N. C. M. Brondino, M. B. C. L. B. M. Peixoto, A. J. Broughton

Abstract:

A paradigm shift is a process. The process of implementing inclusive education, a system constructed to support all learners, requires planning, identification, experimentation, and evaluation. In this vein, the purpose of the present study was to evaluate the capacity of one Brazilian state school systems to provide special education students with a quality inclusive education. This study originated at the behest of concerned families of students with special needs who filed complaints with the Municipality of Bauru, São Paulo. These families claimed, 1) children with learning differences and educational needs had not been identified for services, and 2) those who had been identified had not received sufficient specialized educational assistance (SEA) in schools across the City of Bauru. Hence, the Office of Civil Rights for the state of São Paulo (Ministério Público de São Paulo) summoned the local higher education institution, UNESP, to design a research study to investigate these allegations. In this exploratory study, descriptive data were gathered from all elementary and middle schools including 58 state schools and 17 city schools, for a total of 75 schools overall. Data collection consisted of each school's annual strategic action plan, surveys and interviews with all school stakeholders to determine their perceptions of the inclusive education available to students with Special Education Needs (SEN). The data were collected as one of four stages in a larger study which also included field observations of a focal students' experience and a continuing education course for all teachers and administrators in both state and city schools. For the purposes of this study, the researchers were interested in understanding the perceptions of school staff, parents, and students across all schools. Therefore, documents and surveys from 75 schools were analyzed for adherence to federal legislation guaranteeing students with SEN the right to special education assistance within the regular school setting. Results shows that while some schools recognized the legal rights of SEN students to receive special education, the plans to actually deliver services were absent. In conclusion, the results of this study revealed both school staff and families have insufficient planning and accessibility resources, and the schools have inadequate infrastructure for full-time support to SEN students, i.e., structures and systems to support the identification of SEN and delivery of services within schools of Bauru, SP. Having identified the areas of need, the city is now prepared to take next steps in the process toward preparing all schools to be inclusive.

Keywords: Inclusive education, special education, special needs.

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388 Management of English Language Teaching in Higher Education

Authors: Vishal D. Pandya

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A great deal of perceptible change has been taking place in the way our institutions of higher learning are being managed in India today. It is believed that managers, whose intuition proves to be accurate, often tend to be the most successful, and this is what makes them almost like entrepreneurs. A certain entrepreneurial spirit is what is expected and requires a degree of insight of the manager to be successful depending upon the situational and more importantly, the heterogeneity as well as the socio-cultural aspect. Teachers in Higher Education have to play multiple roles to make sure that the Learning-Teaching process becomes effective in the real sense of the term. This paper makes an effort to take a close look at that, especially in the context of the management of English language teaching in Higher Education and, therefore, focuses on the management of English language teaching in higher education by understanding target situation analyses at the socio-cultural level.

Keywords: Management, language teaching, English language teaching, higher education.

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387 The Use of Music Therapy to Improve Non-Verbal Communication Skills for Children with Autism

Authors: Maria Vinca Novenia

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The number of school-aged children with autism in Indonesia has been increasing each year. Autism is a developmental disorder which can be diagnosed in childhood. One of the symptoms is the lack of communication skills. Music therapy is known as an effective treatment for children with autism. Music elements and structures create a good space for children with autism to express their feelings and communicate their thoughts. School-aged children are expected to be able to communicate non-verbally very well, but children with autism experience the difficulties of communicating non-verbally. The aim of this research is to analyze the significance of music therapy treatment to improve non-verbal communication tools for children with autism. This research informs teachers and parents on how music can be used as a media to communicate with children with autism. The qualitative method is used to analyze this research, while the result is described with the microanalysis technique. The result is measured specifically from the whole experiment, hours of every week, minutes of every session, and second of every moment. The samples taken are four school-aged children with autism in the age range of six to 11 years old. This research is conducted within four months started with observation, interview, literature research, and direct experiment. The result demonstrates that music therapy could be effectively used as a non-verbal communication tool for children with autism, such as changes of body gesture, eye contact, and facial expression.

Keywords: Autism, non-verbal communication, microanalysis, music therapy, school-aged children.

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386 Inductive Grammar, Student-Centered Reading, and Interactive Poetry: The Effects of Teaching English with Fun in Schools of Two Villages in Lebanon

Authors: Talar Agopian

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Teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) is a common practice in many Lebanese schools. However, ESL teaching is done in traditional ways. Methods such as constructivism are seldom used, especially in villages. Here lies the significance of this research which joins constructivism and Piaget’s theory of cognitive development in ESL classes in Lebanese villages. The purpose of the present study is to explore the effects of applying constructivist student-centered strategies in teaching grammar, reading comprehension, and poetry on students in elementary ESL classes in two villages in Lebanon, Zefta in South Lebanon and Boqaata in Mount Lebanon. 20 English teachers participated in a training titled “Teaching English with Fun”, which focused on strategies that create a student-centered class where active learning takes place and there is increased learner engagement and autonomy. The training covered three main areas in teaching English: grammar, reading comprehension, and poetry. After participating in the training, the teachers applied the new strategies and methods in their ESL classes. The methodology comprised two phases: in phase one, practice-based research was conducted as the teachers attended the training and applied the constructivist strategies in their respective ESL classes. Phase two included the reflections of the teachers on the effects of the application of constructivist strategies. The results revealed the educational benefits of constructivist student-centered strategies; the students of teachers who applied these strategies showed improved engagement, positive attitudes towards poetry, increased motivation, and a better sense of autonomy. Future research is required in applying constructivist methods in the areas of writing, spelling, and vocabulary in ESL classrooms of Lebanese villages.

Keywords: Active learning, constructivism, learner engagement, student-centered strategies.

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385 Duration Patterns of English by Native British Speakers and Mandarin ESL Speakers

Authors: Chen Bingru

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This study is intended to describe and analyze the effects of polysyllabic shortening and word or phrase boundary on the duration patterns of spoken utterances by Mandarin learners of English in comparison with native speakers of English. To investigate the relative contribution of these effects, two production experiments were conducted. The study included 11 native British English speakers and 20 Mandarin learners of English who were asked to produce four sets of tokens consisting of a mono-syllabic base form, disyllabic, and trisyllabic words derived from the base by the addition of suffixes, and a set of short sentences with a particular combination of phrase size, stress pattern, and boundary location. The duration of words and segments was measured, and results from the data analysis suggest that the amount of polysyllabic shortening and the effect of word or phrase position are likely to affect a Chinese accent for Mandarin ESL speakers. This study sheds light on research on the duration patterns of language by demonstrating the effect of duration-related factors on the foreign accent of Mandarin ESL speakers. It can also benefit both L2 learners and language teachers by increasing their sensitivity to the duration differences and difficulties experienced by L2 learners of English. An understanding of the amount of polysyllabic shortening and the effect of position in words and phrase on syllable duration can also facilitate L2 teachers to establish priorities for teaching pronunciation to ESL learners.

Keywords: Duration patterns, Chinese accent, Mandarin ESL speakers, polysyllabic shortening.

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384 Governmentality and the Norwegian Knowledge Promotion Reform

Authors: Christin Tønseth

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The Norwegian ‘knowledge promotion reform’ was implemented in elementary schools and upper secondary schools in 2006. The goal of the reform was that all pupils should develop basic skills and competencies in order to take an active part in the knowledge society. This paper discusses how governmentality as a management principle is demonstrated through the Norwegian ‘knowledge promotion reform’. Evaluation reports and political documents are the basis for the discussion. The ‘knowledge promotion reform’ was including quality assurance for schools, teachers, and students and the authorities retained control by using curricula and national tests. The reform promoted several intentions that were not reached. In light of governmentality, it seemed that thoughts and intentions by the authorities differed from those in the world of practice. The quality assurances did not motivate the practitioners to be self-governing. The relationship between the authorities and the implementation actors was weak, and the reform was, therefore, difficult to implement in practice.

Keywords: Education politics, governance, governmentality, the Norwegian knowledge promotion reform.

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383 Constructing a Two-Tier Test about Source Current to Diagnose Pre-Service Elementary School Teacher’ Misconceptions

Authors: Abdeljalil Métioui

Abstract:

We discuss the alternative conceptions of students analysing the behaviour of electrical circuits. The present paper aims at, on one hand, studying the misconceptions of 80 elementary pre-service teachers from Quebec in Canada, in relation to the current source in DC circuits. To do this, they completed a two-choice questionnaire (true or false) with justification. Data analysis identifies many conceptual difficulties. For example, their majority considered a battery as a source of constant current: When a circuit composed of battery and resistors is modified, the current supplied by the battery remains unchanged. On the other hand, considering the alternatives conceptions identified we develop a two-tier test about source current. The aim of this two-tier test is to help teachers to diagnose rapidly their students’ misconceptions in order to consider in their teaching.   

Keywords: Two-tier diagnostic test, current source, pre-service teachers, alternative conceptions after teaching, qualitative study.

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382 Developing Islamic Module Project for Preschool Teachers Using Modified Delphi Technique

Authors: Mazeni Ismail, Nurul Aliah, Hasmadi Hassan

Abstract:

The purpose of this study is to gather the consensus of experts regarding the use of moral guidance amongst preschool teachers vis-a-vis the Islamic Project module (I-Project Module). This I-Project Module seeks to provide pertinent data on the assimilation of noble values in subject-matter teaching. To obtain consensus for the various components of the module, the Modified Delphi technique was used to develop the module. 12 subject experts from various educational fields of Islamic education, early childhood education, counselling and language fully participated in the development of this module. The Modified Delphi technique was administered in two mean cycles. The standard deviation value derived from questionnaires completed by the participating panel of experts provided the value of expert consensus reached. This was subsequently analyzed using SPSS version 22. Findings revealed that the panel of experts reached a discernible degree of agreement on five topics outlined in the module, viz; content (mean value 3.36), teaching strategy (mean value 3.28), programme duration (mean value 3.0), staff involved and attention-grabbing strategy of target group participating in the value program (mean value 3.5), and strategy to attract attention of target group to utilize i-project (mean value 3.0). With regard to the strategy to attract the attention of the target group, the experts proposed for creative activities to be added in order to enhance teachers’ creativity.

Keywords: Islamic project, modified Delphi technique, project approach, teacher moral guidance.

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381 A Mixed Method Investigation of the Impact of Practicum Experience on Mathematics Female Pre-Service Teachers’ Sense of Preparedness

Authors: Fatimah Alsaleh, Glenda Anthony

Abstract:

The practicum experience is a critical component of any initial teacher education (ITE) course. As well as providing a near authentic setting for pre-service teachers (PSTs) to practice in, it also plays a key role in shaping their perceptions and sense of preparedness. Nevertheless, merely including a practicum period as a compulsory part of ITE may not in itself be enough to induce feelings of preparedness and efficacy; the quality of the classroom experience must also be considered. Drawing on findings of a larger study of secondary and intermediate level mathematics PSTs’ sense of preparedness to teach, this paper examines the influence of the practicum experience in particular. The study sample comprised female mathematics PSTs who had almost completed their teaching methods course in their fourth year of ITE across 16 teacher education programs in Saudi Arabia. The impact of the practicum experience on PSTs’ sense of preparedness was investigated via a mixed-methods approach combining a survey (N = 105) and in-depth interviews with survey volunteers (N = 16). Statistical analysis in SPSS was used to explore the quantitative data, and thematic analysis was applied to the qualitative interviews data. The results revealed that the PSTs perceived the practicum experience to have played a dominant role in shaping their feelings of preparedness and efficacy. However, despite the generally positive influence of practicum, the PSTs also reported numerous challenges that lessened their feelings of preparedness. These challenges were often related to the classroom environment and the school culture. For example, about half of the PSTs indicated that the practicum schools did not have the resources available or the support necessary to help them learn the work of teaching. In particular, the PSTs expressed concerns about translating the theoretical knowledge learned at the university into practice in authentic classrooms. These challenges engendered PSTs feeling less prepared and suggest that more support from both the university and the school is needed to help PSTs develop a stronger sense of preparedness. The area in which PSTs felt least prepared was that of classroom and behavior management, although the results also indicated that PSTs only felt a moderate level of general teaching efficacy and were less confident about how to support students as learners. Again, feelings of lower efficacy were related to the dissonance between the theory presented at university and real-world classroom practice. In order to close this gap between theory and practice, PSTs expressed the wish to have more time in the practicum, and more accountability for support from school-based mentors. In highlighting the challenges of the practicum in shaping PSTs’ sense of preparedness and efficacy, the study argues that better communication between the ITE providers and the practicum schools is necessary in order to maximize the benefit of the practicum experience.

Keywords: Mathematics, practicum experience, pre-service teachers, sense of preparedness.

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380 Project Management at University: Towards an Evaluation Process around Cooperative Learning

Authors: J. L. Andrade-Pineda, J.M. León-Blanco, M. Calle, P. L. González-R

Abstract:

The enrollment in current Master's degree programs usually pursues gaining the expertise required in real-life workplaces. The experience we present here concerns the learning process of "Project Management Methodology (PMM)", around a cooperative/collaborative mechanism aimed at affording students measurable learning goals and providing the teacher with the ability of focusing on the weaknesses detected. We have designed a mixed summative/formative evaluation, which assures curriculum engage while enriches the comprehension of PMM key concepts. In this experience we converted the students into active actors in the evaluation process itself and we endowed ourselves as teachers with a flexible process in which along with qualifications (score), other attitudinal feedback arises. Despite the high level of self-affirmation on their discussion within the interactive assessment sessions, they ultimately have exhibited a great ability to review and correct the wrong reasoning when that was the case.

Keywords: Cooperative-collaborative learning, educational management, formative-summative assessment, leadership training.

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379 Factors Affecting Access to Education: The Experiences of Parents of Children Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

Authors: Hanh Thi My Nguyen

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The purpose of this research is to examine the experiences of parents of children who are deaf or hard of hearing in supporting their children to access education in Vietnam. Parents play a crucial role in supporting their children to gain full access to education. It was widely reported that parents of those children confronted a range of problems to support their children to access education. To author’s best knowledge, there has been a lack of research exploring the experiences of those parents in literature. This research examines factors affecting those parents in supporting their children to access education. To conduct the study, qualitative approach using a phenomenological research design was chosen to explore the central phenomena. Ten parents of children who were diagnosed as deaf or hard of hearing and aged 6-9 years were recruited through the support of the Association of Parents of Children with Hearing Impairment. Participants were interviewed via telephone with a mix of open and closed questions; interviews were audio recorded, transcribed and thematically analysed. The research results show that there are nine main factors that affected the parents in this study in making decisions relating to education for their children including: lack of information resources, perspectives of those parents on communication approaches, the families’ financial capacity, the psychological impact on the participants after their children’ diagnosis, the attitude of family members, attitude of school administrators, lack of local schools and qualified teachers, and current education system for the deaf in Vietnam. Apart from those factors, the lack of knowledge of the participants’ partners about deaf education and the partners’ employment are barriers to educational access and successful communication with their child.

Keywords: Access to education, deaf, hard of hearing, parents experience.

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378 The Impact of Information and Communication Technology in Education: Opportunities and Challenges

Authors: M. Nadeem, S. Nasir, K. A. Moazzam, R. Kashif

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The remarkable growth and evolution in information and communication technology (ICT) in the past few decades has transformed modern society in almost every aspect of life. The impact and application of ICT have been observed in almost all walks of life including science, arts, business, health, management, engineering, sports, and education. ICT in education is being used extensively for student learning, creativity, interaction, and knowledge sharing and as a valuable source of teaching instrument. Apart from the student’s perspective, it plays a vital role for teacher education, instructional methods and curriculum development. There is a significant difference in growth of ICT enabled education in developing countries compared to developed nations and according to research, this gap is widening. ICT gradually infiltrate in almost every aspect of life. It has a deep and profound impact on our social, economic, health, environment, development, work, learning, and education environments. ICT provides very effective and dominant tools for information and knowledge processing. It is firmly believed that the coming generation should be proficient and confident in the use of ICT to cope with the existing international standards. This is only possible if schools can provide basic ICT infrastructure to students and to develop an ICT-integrated curriculum which covers all aspects of learning and creativity in students. However, there is a digital divide and steps must be taken to reduce this digital divide considerably to have the profound impact of ICT in education all around the globe. This study is based on theoretical approach and an extensive literature review is being conducted to see the successful implementations of ICT integration in education and to identify technologies and models which have been used in education in developed countries. This paper deals with the modern applications of ICT in schools for both teachers and students to uplift the learning and creativity amongst the students. A brief history of technology in education is presented and discussed are some important ICT tools for both student and teacher’s perspective. Basic ICT-based infrastructure for academic institutions is presented. The overall conclusion leads to the positive impact of ICT in education by providing an interactive, collaborative and challenging environment to students and teachers for knowledge sharing, learning and critical thinking.

Keywords: Information and communication technology, ICT, education, ICT infrastructure, teacher education.

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377 A Framework for Teaching Distributed Requirements Engineering in Latin American Universities

Authors: G. Sevilla, S. Zapata, F. Giraldo, E. Torres, C. Collazos

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This work describes a framework for teaching of global software engineering (GSE) in university undergraduate programs. This framework proposes a method of teaching that incorporates adequate techniques of software requirements elicitation and validated tools of communication, critical aspects to global software development scenarios. The use of proposed framework allows teachers to simulate small software development companies formed by Latin American students, which build information systems. Students from three Latin American universities played the roles of engineers by applying an iterative development of a requirements specification in a global software project. The proposed framework involves the use of a specific purpose Wiki for asynchronous communication between the participants of the process. It is also a practice to improve the quality of software requirements that are formulated by the students. The additional motivation of students to participate in these practices, in conjunction with peers from other countries, is a significant additional factor that positively contributes to the learning process. The framework promotes skills for communication, negotiation, and other complementary competencies that are useful for working on GSE scenarios.

Keywords: Requirements analysis, distributed requirements engineering, practical experiences, collaborative support.

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376 Predominance of Teaching Models Used by Math Teachers in Secondary Education

Authors: Verónica Diaz Quezada

Abstract:

This research examines the teaching models used by secondary math teachers when teaching logarithmic, quadratic and exponential functions. For this, descriptive case studies have been carried out on 5 secondary teachers. These teachers have been chosen from 3 scientific-humanistic and technical schools, in Chile. Data have been obtained through non-participant class observation and the application of a questionnaire and a rubric to teachers. According to the results, the didactic model that prevails is the one that starts with an interactive strategy, moves to a more content-based structure, and ends with a reinforcement stage. Nonetheless, there is always influence from teachers, their methods, and the group of students.

Keywords: Teaching models, math teachers, functions, secondary education.

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