Date of Award

5-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

First Advisor

Gloria Park, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

David Ian Hanauer, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Sedef Smith, Ph.D.

Abstract

The ultimate goal of this current study is to investigate effective strategies that teachers can implement to enhance teaching and learning in their large EFL classes in secondary education in the Ivory Coast. But before that investigation, the study analyzes the effect of large classes on teachers and students and the beliefs Ivorian teachers hold about large classes and their coping ways. In order to get to a better understanding of the phenomenon an empirical study through personal interviews of five Ivorian English teachers has been conducted. The rationale behind the use of the first-hand experiences of those teachers currently teaching large classes in the Ivorian educational contexts is to see the beliefs they hold of teaching and learning in their large classes and the strategies they have used to enhance effective teaching and learning. Understanding what those Ivorian teachers experience in their daily practices in their large classes would constitute better guidelines that could inform the choice of strategies to match the needs of Ivorian teachers and improve teaching in their large classes. However, a thorough review of literature provided me with deep insights about the impacts of large classes and coping strategies teachers implement in peripheral contexts. The Ivorian teachers and the thorough review of the literature agreed that large classes do not offer optimal conditions and environment for teaching and learning to take place effectively. However, the research findings indicated that teachers, by allowing their students to play an active role in the teaching and learning process, involving them in all the decision making about the classroom life, they empower their students and motivate them to learn more autonomously inside and outside the classroom. Implications for professional development of EFL teachers of large classes and for improvement of teacher education curriculum to address the issue of large classes from the outset are discussed. Moreover, possibility for future research includes examining large classes on a local basis to help teachers meet the specific needs of their students. More research investigating the effectiveness of the suggested strategies could be an add-on as well.

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