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A SURVEY ON CLASSROOM FACTORS AFFECTING THE IMPLEMENTATION SUCCESS OF 4TH CLASS ENGLISH LANGUAGE CURRICULUM IN SOCIOECONOMICALLY DIFFERENT PRIMARY STATE SCHOOLS

Authors:

Abstract

The importance of language learning is increasing day by day and for this reason Turkey national education ministry carries out extensive studies on English language programme. In consequence of these studies, there are regulations in the programme. With these regulations, English language learning starts at the 2nd level of primary school, it uses communicative language learning method, it focuses on listening and speaking skills and the schools need technology. The aim of this study is to research the implementation of English language learning programme in socioeconomically different schools, to decide its practicality and to state the factors affecting implementation in classrooms. In accordance with this aim, students in the 4th level of primary school and their English teachers in three socioeconomically different schools participated in the study. The data set was obtained by qualitative methods. It was revealed that socioeconomically good and avarage schools could implement English language learning programme thanks to the factors in classroom. However, socioeconomically inadequate schools could not implement the programme effectively due to inadequate classroom factors. This means most of the schools in the research implemented English language learning programme effectively however; it could not obtain the whole success.
Full Length Research Article
A SURVEY ON CLASSROOM FACTORS AFFECTING THE IMPLEMENTATION SUCCESS OF 4TH
CLASS ENGLISH LANGUAGE CURRICULUM IN SOCIOECONOMICALLY DIFFERENT PRIMARY
STATE SCHOOLS
*Duygu Öztekin Kaşko and Dr. Nadir Çeliköz
Tahtakale mah. Kuzey Yanyol. Avrupa Konutları 3 sitesi, 5B blok Daire 28, Ispartakule,
Avcılar, İstanbul, Turkey
ARTICLE INFO ABSTRACT
The importance of language learning is increasing day by day and for this reason Turkey national
education ministry carries out extensive studies on English language programme. In consequence
of these studies, there are regulations in the programme. With these regulations, English language
learning starts at the 2nd level of primary school, it uses communicative language learning method,
it focuses on listening and speaking skills and the schools need technology. The aim of this study
is to research the implementation of English language learning programme in socioeconomically
different schools, to decide its practicality and to state the factors affecting implementation in
classrooms. In accordance with this aim, students in the 4th level of primary school and their
English teachers in three socioeconomically different schools participated in the study. The data set
was obtained by qualitative methods. It was revealed that socioeconomically good and avarage
schools could implement English language learning programme thanks to the factors in classroom.
However, socioeconomically inadequate schools could not implement the programme effectively
due to inadequate classroom factors. This means most of the schools in the research implemented
English language learning programme effectively however; it could not obtain the whole success.
Copyright© 2017, Duygu Öztekin Kaşko and Dr. Nadir Çeliköz. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License,
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
INTRODUCTION
The world has become globalized and the necessity of
communication internationally, interculturally and
intersocietally have taken an important dimension in the 21st
century. As a result of these developments, language education
has become the goal of modern education systems to bring up
succesful individuals in the globalized world. In Europe when
developments about English Language Programme and
methods are examined, the beginnings of 1900s are called
reforment age because communication and communicational
methods get important( Smith and Howatt, 2014). In the issue
of language education in primary school most European Union
countries started English language education in primary school
in the year of 1990's ( EURYDICE, 2001). When the situation
in Turkey is examined, Turkish education system adopts the
principle of teaching a foreign language for every student.
English is taught as a foreign language in school programmes
because it is accepted as the language of many areas such as
science, technology and working. (Kırkgöz, 2010).
*Corresponding author: Duygu Öztekin Kaşko,
Tahtakale mah. Kuzey Yanyol. Avrupa Konutları 3 sitesi, 5B blok
Daire 28, Ispartakule, Avcılar, İstanbul, Turkey.
English Language Programme in Turkey has become
important since 1980 and changed, developed in accordance
with government policies. In the education year of 2012 and
2013, Turkey passed to the system called "4+4+4" with a
radical change. One of the general characteristics of English
Language Programme in 2013 is its focus on listening and
speaking skills (MEB, 2013). These skills are the basic point
of primary school programmes because young learners learn
by listening to songs, playing and doing activities after
listening (Cameron, 2001). With 4+4+4 education system, the
two hours English education in a week in 2nd, 3rd and 4th
classes is decided to be given by branch teachers (MEB,
2013). Krashen (1982) puts forward that learners who have
been engaged with language learning since childhood are
usually more succesful than adults in second language
learning. Another characteristics of the programme is that
visual and audial materials are used as much as possible in
classroom to create a real life learning environment (MEB,
2013). Vocabulary learning programmes, computer based
softwares, exercise programmes and internet create a suitable
environment in language learning for learners. Throughout the
language learning process thematic teaching and spiral
structure are among the goals (MEB, 2013).
ISSN: 2230-9926
International Journal of Development Research
Vol. 07, Issue, 06, pp.13115-13119, June, 2017
International Journal of
DEVELOPMENT RESEARCH
Article History:
Received 24th March, 2017
Received in revised form
29th April, 2017
Accepted 27th May, 2017
Published online 16th June, 2017
Available online at http://www.journalijdr.com
Key Words:
English Language Teaching,
2013 - 2014 Year's English Language
Teaching Curriculum,
Practicability,
Socioeconomic status,
Classroom Factors.
The Socioeconomical Status of Schools in Turkey
Socioeconomical status is the level of a group, structure or
person's education, economical income and profession. This
socioeconomical status affect student's success at school. The
learner who is in lower socioeconomical status is face to face a
lot of difficulties such as the shortage of sources. As a result of
this, lower socioeconomical level causes lower academical
performance (Caro, 2009). Studies in the last years put forward
that there is a meaningful relation between socioeconomical
root and school success of a learner ( Fındık and Kavak, 2013).
The effective implementation of 2013 year's English Language
Learning Programme is related to sociocultural and
socioeconomical situations of schools. Schools in Turkey are
various in sociocultural and socioeconomic aspects. The
socioeconomic status of schools shows differences in the same
city, province or even region. This research aims to search the
implementation English Language Learning Programme in
socioeconomically different schools in the 4th level and to
state the factors affecting implementation in classrooms.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Qualitative research technique is used to investigate the
implementation of the 4th level English Language Teaching
Programme in socioeconomically different schools and the
factors affecting this situation. Research model is stated as
case study. Case study is analyzing a sample or fact totally
(Merriam, 2009). A spesific situation in its natural
environment is investigated by observation technique to decide
about the implementation of English Language Teaching
Programme. Learrner and teacher interviews are done.
Participants
Schools which we can get the most reliable results are stated
by interviewing with branch directors in Küçükçekmece
ministry of national education, ministry staff and school
directors. The school which is located in Atakent district is
stated as socieconomically high school. Socioeconomically
avarage school is in Halkalı district. The school in Kanarya
district has inadequate socioeconomic status when compared
with other schools. Three schools in Atakent, Halkalı and
Kanarya district in Küçükçekmece in İstanbul, 6 English
teachers teaching at these schools and 24 students participated
in the study.
Instruments
Observation is a data gathering instrument to see the action
directly when there is a spesific research question and to
produce more reliable results (Merriam, 2009).
Implementation of the programme and the factors affecting
this are stated by observing the teacher in the education
environment, learner and lessons. The researcher observed the
environment in the role of participant researcher. Observation
was done for two lesson hours and in breaks in every schools.
Observation form was used in the observation stage.
Observations are told by "descriptive observation notes" one
by one. What each action means about English Language
Learning Programme is stated by "reflective observation
notes". The experiences, thoughts, senses and reactions of
person's were stated by interviews with learners and teachers.
Observation form was used during observations.
One by one interviews were done with 6 teachers. Focus group
interviews were done with 24 learners.
Data Analysis
The datas in this study were analysed with content analysis. In
content analysis, the data in hand gives a meaning, the data is
divided into sections and sections are labelled with codes.
These codes are controlled, eliminated and larger themes are
found. Finally the data is explained in a detailed way by these
themes (Creswell, 2012). Interviews were evaluated in this
sequence according to the content analysis; Firstly all
interview data is written, then it is reviewed and divided into
meaningful sections. After that this meaningful sections were
defined and codes were produced. Codes are gathered under
categories and thus themes are formed. Themes are explained
and presented. Observations are done to support the interview
data. The programme is evaluated in a detailed way to make
the research more valid. Interview questions and observation
points are evaluated with a proffesional. Objective datas are
gathered. The steps of the research are explained in a detailed
way. Interview data is varied as learner and teacher interviews
to ensure the reliability of the research. It is also supported
with observation data.
RESULTS
Four themes emerged as a result of examining the
implementation of English Language Programme in the 4th
classes in state schools and the factors affecting this. These
themes are divided into categories and results are gathered.
Theme 1: English Language Programme
Six categories in the name of "Listening Activities", "Book
Activities", "Active Lesson Process", "Evaluation", "Lesson
Duration" and "Materials" are obtained. When the datas under
the title of "Listening activities" and "Active Lesson
Duration" were evaluated, it revealed that listening activities
were done and lessons were active in schools in Atakent and
Halkalı regions. It was stated that the activities could not be
done due to lack of materials and crowded classes in the
school in Kanarya region. The lessons were grammar based
and they were not active in the school in Kanarya region.
Making listening activities, student centered lessons, active
lessons in most research schools increase the implementation
of the programme. However whole success is not obtained in
this category. When looked at the data about evaluation
category, all research schools adjusted the evaluation
processes the same as in English Language Learning
Programme. This data shows that the programme is totally
succesful in programme evaluation. About lesson duration
category the teachers and learners in all research schools
agreed about the inadequate lesson hours. The duration was
inadequate in observations too. The English Language
Learning Programme is not practicable in this aspect. About
"materials" category all of the participants said that English
Language Programme could be implemented only if there are
materials such as computers, internet, audio system and
projector. In the lack of these materials, programme loses its
practicality. When the datas about "book activities" were
evaluated it appeared that the book was used effectively in
schools in Atakent and Halkalı district. Doing the "book
activities" in most schools increases the practicality of the
programme.
13116 Duygu Öztekin Kaşko and Dr. Nadir Çeliköz, A survey on classroom factors affecting the implementation success of 4th class
english language curriculum in socioeconomically different primary state schools
However there is a school that can not practice "book
activities" and content of the book. This reduces practicality of
the book.
Theme 2: Characteristics of the class
Six categories are obtained under the title of "there are
materials", "Heat, Light and Cleaning", "the view of classes",
"classroom size", "Peer Support" and "Language Class" in the
theme of "classroom characteristics". All the necessary lesson
materials were present in schools in Atakent and Halkalı
district about "there are materials" category. There was not
enough materials to have an active lesson in the school in
Kanarya district. Having lesson materials in most research
schools increases the practicality of the programme. However
the total success can not be obtained. Having suitable physical
conditions in all research schools increases the practicality of
the programme about the "Heat, Light and Cleaning" category.
In most research schools, the appearence of classrooms
support language learning about "classroom view" and thus it
is practical. However teacher views and observation results
indicates some problems too.
It is stated that "classroom sizes" were suitable and practical
for English Language Programme in Atakent and Halkalı
districts. However the classroom sizes in Kanarya district are
crowded. About this, while the programme can be
implemented in most schools, there are schools which can not
implement the programme effectively due to classroom sizes.
About the category "peer support", it is stated that there was
peer support in langauge learning process in schools in
Atakent and Kanarya regions. The students in school in
Halkalı district said they could not have peer support. These
datas show that "peer support" can be practicle in most
research schools however the total success can not be reached.
There was a language classroom in school in Halkalı district
about the "language classroom" category. Having a language
classroom in only one research school is a negative factor to
implement the programme effectively.
Theme 3: Teacher's Characteristics
"Teacher's Characteristics" theme consists of six categories
under the titles "the native language of lesson is English", "our
teacher does listening activities", "interactive lessons", "the
lessons are not grammar focused","the most used technique
question-answer" and "teacher experience". It is stated that
the teachers do listening activities in Atakent and Halkalı
districts about "our teacher does listening activities" category.
The teachers can not do listening activities in kanarya district.
Doing the listening activities in most research schools
increases the practicality of the programme however total
success can not be obtained. It is stated that the native
language of lessons is English only in school in Atakent
district about "the native language of lessons is English"
category. The practicality of the English Language Programme
is not enough because English is not used as a native language
in lessons in most research schools. The teachers in schools in
Atakent and Halkalı distiricts provide teacher and student
interaction about " Interactive lessons" category. The teachers
in school in Kanarya district can not provide an interactive
environment. Providing interactive lessons in most research
schools increases the practicality of the programme however
total success can not be obtained. The teachers in schools in
Atakent and Halkalı districts use communicative methods
instead of grammar methods in "the lessons are not grammar
focused" category. The teachers in school in Kanarya district
uses grammar methods. Using communicative methods in
lessons in most research schools increases the practicality of
the programme however the total success can not be obtained.
Five teachers in six teachers who participate in the research
state that they have more than 5 years experience when the
"teacher experience" category is evaluated.
Theme 4: Learner Characteristics
"Learner Characteristics" theme consists of six categories
under the titles "I am happy in English lessons", "I prefer
learning English by listening", "Positive change in Learner
success", "Positive change in Learner interest"," Cognitively
ready students" and "Emotionally ready students" . It is
cleared that %92 of students are happy in english lessons when
the category "I am happy in English lessons is investigated.
This result is one of the factors that increases the practicality
of English Language Teaching Programme. It is stated that
most of the learners taking part in the research in "I prefer
learning by listening" category don't prefer listening method.
This result reveals that although they love learning by
listening, they haven't given up grammatical methods yet.
It is stated that learners are cognitively ready for English
lessons in schools in Atakent and Halkalı districts and learner
success increases as programme is implemented in classes in
"Learners cognitively ready" and "Positive change in learner
success" categories. The learners in school in Kanarya district
are not ready cognitively for the lessons, they have some
shortages and the learner success does not increase as they can
not implement the English Learning Programme effectively.
The results show that the programme is succesful in these
categories in most schools but total success can not be reached.
It turned out that most of the students who took part in the
research about “Positive Changes in Learners’ Interest” and
“Emotionally Ready Learners" categories, were emotionally
ready for English lessons and had a rising interest.
This data showed that the programme prepared students for
lessons emotionally and was successful in drawing their
interests. "Table 1" is the general result table which all the
topics in the research presented. When the practicality of the
4th class English Language Teaching Programme in
socioeconomically different primary schools was searched
Table 1. General Result Table Arranged for All Topics
The Research Schools "English Teaching
Programme" theme
"Class
characteristics"
theme
"Teacher
characteristics"
theme
"Learner
characteristics"
theme
General Result
The school in Atakent district + + + + +
The school in Halkalı district + + + + +
The school in Kanarya district - - - - -
General Result + + + + +
13117 International Journal of Development Research, Vol. 07, Issue, 06, pp.13115-13119, June, 2017
with themes in "Table 1", It is stated that the schools in
Atakent and Halkalı districts implemented the programme
effectively. In both schools the necessary conditions were
provided for all the topics to carry out “English Teaching
Programme” and it was carried out equivalent to the Ministry
of National Education Programme. It was stated that “the
English Teaching Programme” wasn’t carried out effectively.
When all the topics are analyzed, the implementation success
of the English Teaching Programme is proved to be inadequate
due to the deficiencies.
DISCUSSION
According to the qualitative findings of the research, it is
observed that the English Teaching Programme of the 4th
graders was successfully carried out in 2 of 3
socioeconomically different schools in Atakent and Halkalı
regions. The programme isn’t implemented effectively in the
school in Kanarya region. This result means that the English
Teaching Programme is applicable in most of the research
schools, but at the same time it has some deficiencies.
In the English Teaching Programme topic, it is observed that at
the most of the research schools, the listening skill is the focal
point of the lessons. Tok and Arıbaş (2008) assert that in the
European Union countries, the listening and the speaking skills
are taught in the first place at the the beginning of a foreign
language teaching. It is conferred that the duration of the
lessons is inadequate. This data is parallel to the previous
research results. Tanrıseven and Yıldıran (2015) assert that
two class hour per week is inadequate to carry out the
programme. The active learning process, which the
programme aims, can be achieved through sufficient
instruments. Instrument efficiency provides communication in
foreign language, creates real-like surroundings and make the
students active (Warschauer, 1996).
When “Features of Classroom Environment” is analysed, it is
proved that all the research schools has sufficient lighting,
heating and sanitary conditions. At that point, Uludağ and
Odacı (2002), put forward that the factors such as attendant
number of the students, the appearance of the classroom, heat,
lighting and cleanliness of the classroom are important
features of classroom environment. Başar (1999) makes it
clear that there is an intense relation between the success and
the low numbers of attendance, and as the number of
attendance increases, this relation become more apparent. In
the research, it is seen that while the programme is
successfully carried out in classes with 25-30 students, the
programme isn't implemented effectively in Kanarya region
within the classrooms of 40 students. The research shows that
various class equipments are required to implement the
programme. Studies in English Teaching field show that
effective english teaching can be achieved through the use of
technology and so, the necessary equipments are needed
(Steep-Greany, 2002; Klimova, 2015; Gezegin, 2014).
These results are obtained from “the Teachers’
Characteristics” theme: Being able to use the methods
appropriate for teaching process and ensuring the students to
speak English properly and comprehensible, are among
English teachers proficiencies (MEB, 2015). In most research
schools, teachers obtain the necessary proficiencies specified
in the programme. According to “Learners’ Characteristics”
topic, the learners are cognitively and emotionally prepared to
the English lessons which have communicational methods.
This result has the support of the previous studies. Merter,
Şekerci and Bozkurt (2014) indicate that to begin teaching
English in primary schools is suitable for students cognitive
readiness and the reason is “critical period process” in learning
foreign language. Yıldıran and Tanrıseven (2015) state that the
students develope positive attitudes towards language learning
through current programme and they point out the books, the
songs and the teacher’s role are reason to this attitude. The
critical period term can explain the conclusion that there is a
positive change in the students’ success. The critical period is
the biological age limit to learn the language easily and
permanently, and when the learning occurs in the critical
period, the success increases (Krashen, 1982).
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13119 International Journal of Development Research, Vol. 07, Issue, 06, pp.13115-13119, June, 2017
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