STUDENTS’ OPINIONS OF PARTICIPATING IN CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES
Pınar A.WAHID 1**, Canan AVAN 2***
ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study is to determine what students think about participating in classroom activities and to make students achieve better proficiency in the target language by classroom participation. Some students hesitate to participate because of some specific reasons. There are several points presented about how to foster students to be involved in participation. A good learning environment helps to improve learning outcomes and this makes students engaged in the classroom actively. Students’ opinions of classroom participation and their attitudes toward it are the main focus in the study. Also, encouragement and the learning environment have been affecting factors for students. The study was prepared to learn what students of ELT department think about classroom participation. In this study, descriptive method was used and the data was collected through questionnaire.
Keywords: classroom activities, classroom participation, encouragement, learning environment
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Many researchers investigating students’ perceptions about language learning have made it clear that there are too many reasons that affect the students’ participations. The main purpose of this study is to tell the reader students’ attitudes toward classroom activities and what they think about participating in certain activities. The current research aims to answer the following questions:
1. Why are some learners hesitant in participating in classroom activities?
2. How can learners be encouraged to participate in classroom activities?
3. Does the learning environment have an effect on participation?
The first question indicates that students are hesitant in participating in classroom activities, because of some specific reasons. These are as follows: Fears and anxiety to foreign language, teachers’ high expectations and error treatment techniques, introversion. The second question aims at making all students participate in classroom activities voluntarily. The third question emphasizes on learning environment which is effective for learning foreign language. It is noted that the following four guiding principles define a good learning environment:
✓ A good learning environment helps to improve the learning outcome.
✓ A good environment provides the learner with care and support.
✓ A good learning environment inspires and boosts the learning spirit.
✓ A good learning environment cultivates responsibility in the learner (Chang and Shu, 2000: 34).
Participation usually means that students speak in class, answer and ask questions, make comments and take part in discussions. Students’ opinions of participation should be more important in the choice of any teaching method. Nunan (1999) suggests that ‘the choices of what and how to teach should be made with reference to learners. The purpose of language teaching is to get learners actively involved in the learning process: learning by doing.’
Most studies defined classroom activities in broad terms, such as conversation, error correction, and discussion (Peacock, 1998: 246).
These terms may provoke different understandings and not define the real terms of classroom activities. In recent study, the teachers greatly emphasized on communicative activities instead of traditional ones. However, the students’ opinions were quite divergent. Students preferred traditional activities, such as pronunciation practice, error correction, and teacher’s instruction. In some studies, students enjoyed communicative activities, but they hesitated to abandon traditional activities. The present study was designed to investigate.
The Research paper on engaging primary school students in learning science by using Active Worlds – Study
... K-8 classrooms, Swan, Van Hooft, Kratcoski, and Unger (2005) reported that the students’ motivation to learn and engagement in learning activities was improved ... , and PowerPoint. A group of ten students (4 boys and 6 girls) were selected to participate in this study. Their average age ...
In this study the factors why students hesitate to participate in classroom activities and ways to encourage participation are presented. Also, whether learning environment has an effect on participation is dealt with. 30 students participated in the study. All of participants are second grade students of English Language Teaching of Faculty of Education. Participants are not to give demographic information, because it is not necessary.
2.2. The Instrument
Data is collected and prepared by researchers. The questionnaire includes 20 items in which responses are coded according to Likert scale. There are 5 alternatives for each item as follows: strongly agree, agree, not sure, disagree, and strongly disagree.
2.3. Data Collection and Analysis
Only percents are given to write the results. Strongly agree-agree and disagree-strongly disagree are counted together. Not sure is evaluated alone. The quantitative research is selected for this questionnaire and is done.
3.1. Why are some learners hesitant in participating in classroom activities?
In our study, 63, 3% of the students have fears about pronunciation. 70% of the students become anxious when they speak. 50% of them are introverted. Because of all these factors, they hesitate to participate in classroom activities. However, teachers may also affect students’ participation in some ways. 33, 3% of the students agree that teachers have high expectations from students and other 33, 3% of them is against this idea. 43, 3% of participants think that teachers’ error treatment techniques may prevent participation. 40% of them do not think that they are worse at speaking than others. 53, 28% of the students have no fears about being laughed when making an error.
... her own motivations alongside those that find the student in the classroom at the same time. One can understand motivation ... 1998) and often reveals a .".. joyous absorption in the activity" (Csikszentmihalyi 1975) through "a facility for learning that sustains ... / he can group students according to strengths and needs; students interact in direct peer-to-peer activity; students enjoy a greater sense ...
|Items |SA |A |NS |D |SD |
|1 |30 |33,3 |0 |26,7 |10 |
|2 |40 |30 |6,67 |16,7 |6,67 |
|3 |13,33 |20 |33,3 |23,3 |10 |
|4 |20 |23,3 |33,3 |13,3 |10 |
|5 |23,33 |26,7 |20 |20 |10 |
|6 |10 |16,7 |33,3 |26,7 |13,3 |
|7 |20 |10 |16,7 |40 |13,3 |
3.2. How can learners be encouraged to participate in classroom activities?
70% of the students agree that learning goals should be set by teachers. 70% of them think that being responsible for their own learning encourages participation. 76, 6% of the participants want to correct their own errors to be responsible for their own learning. 73, 3% of them think that they should experience of success and satisfaction to be motivated for classroom participation. 60% of the students are encouraged if they speak and participate when feeling ready. 70% of them agree that they should work and interact with other students. 76, 6% of participants want their teachers to focus on what students do well and how they progress. 73, 3% of them think that they should use native language when necessary. 80% of the students think that teachers should focus more on how students progress rather than whether they are perfect.
|8 |20 |50 |20 |6,67 |3,33 |
|9 |23,33 |46,7 |10 |13,3 |6,67 |
|10 |10 |66,7 |10 |10 |3,33 |
|11 |26,67 |46,7 |3,33 |13,3 |10 |
|12 |26,67 |33,3 |16,7 |10 |13,3 |
|13 |26,67 |43,3 |16,7 |10 |3,33 |
|14 |26,67 |50 |13,3 |6,67 |3,33 |
|15 |40 |33,3 |13,3 |10 |3,33 |
|16 |43,33 |36,7 |3,33 |6,67 |10 |
... draughty balcony. People also can influence a comfortable study environment. Some students prefer a group study than individual, because they ... good study environment A proper and comfortable environment to study is very important to student; it can influence student mood and ... can arrange for others activity to take a break, example like sport activity they like, club society activity, have a high ...
3.3. Does the learning environment have an effect on participation?
76, 6% of participants think that in bright and colorful environment, they are encouraged to participate. Since warm and inviting environment reduces anxiety, 80% of them agree that this kind of environment is an effective atmosphere for classroom participation. 83, 3% of the students think that motivational environment helps them take part in all activities in class. 76, 6% of them think that in low-anxiety environment, they can be involved in the activities taking place in class.
|17 |26,67 |50 |16,7 |6,67 |0 |
|18 |43,33 |36,7 |10 |3,33 |6,67 |
|19 |56,67 |26,7 |6,67 |3,33 |6,67 |
|20 |46,67 |30 |13,3 |6,67 |3,33 |
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... emotionally beneficial. This can only be achieved if classrooms environment stimulates students creativeness. The problem lies in the fact that ... finesse.Therefore, when it comes to designing an art classrooms environment, I would strongly recommend teachers to resort to ... success, when it comes to establishing a proper art classrooms environment, on the part of a teacher tastefulness, avoidance ...
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