Improving Teacher Questions and Feedback through Action Research


Teachers are constantly striving to improve student learning. One way teachers can do so is through action research within their own classroom. Here a case study is presented concerning the use of mixed methods research to investigate teacher feedback in a Japanese junior high school English class. This research project quantitatively classified the types of feedback given by the Japanese English teacher (JTE) and Assistant language teacher (ALT) into the following categories (as proposed by Lyster, 1998): Recasts, explicit correction, and negotiation of form. Teacher question types (display, referential, conformational, and repetition) were also quantified. Finally, a qualitative interview was performed, wherein the JTE watched a video recording of the lesson and reflected on possible improvements. The results of the analysis showed that the JTE and ALT primarily used negotiation of form (i.e. prompting student self-correction) in their feedback. Furthermore, display questions (where the answer is already known by the teacher) were the most used. A review of the lesson video recording by the JTE prompted the realization that there was a lack of open-ended questions asked, there was too much teacher talk in the class, and overuse of student praise. Thus by conducting action research teachers were able to self-identify areas to improve their lessons and create a more communicative classroom environment.

Author Information
Philip Head, Kochi City Board of Education, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: ACLL2015
Stream: Learner and teacher autonomy

This paper is part of the ACLL2015 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon