The teaching of English grammar based on the students’ age : Teachers’ and students’ cognitions and the classroom practice
Piergentili, Romina Soledad
López Barrios, Mario
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This thesis is a case study of six EFL classes in different educational settings in Bahía Blanca, Province of Buenos Aires, Argentina. It examines the cognitions of both teachers and students in these classes. The general aim of this work is to explore teachers’ cognitions about the teaching and learning of English grammar considering students’ age and compare them with both their students’ cognitions and their own classroom practices. In doing so, mismatches between teachers’ perceptions and students’ expectations may be detected, as well as discrepancies between teachers’ beliefs and pedagogical decisions. In order to achieve all this, a mixed methods design was adopted, using three different instruments (questionnaires, interviews and classroom observations), and content analysis and statistical analysis to interpret the data. Results show that, whereas half of the teachers coincide with their learners in their perceptions, the other half differed. In general terms, students seem to favour an explicit approach to grammar teaching and learning, especially adult learners. Instead, the teachers are more inclined towards implicit teaching and learning of grammar, regardless of the leaners’ age. However, for various reasons, their classroom practices were mostly explicit, often causing a mismatch. As previous research also suggests, those cases where inconsistencies are found emphasise the need to address teacher-student differences so as to avoid a negative impact on the teaching and learning process.
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