Students' participation in classroom discussions

TitleStudents' participation in classroom discussions
Publication Typeวิทยานิพนธ์/Thesis
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsKitiya Prompa
DegreeMaster of Arts -- Major in Teaching English as a Foreign Language
InstitutionFaculty of Liberal Arts, Ubon Rachathani University
CityUbon Rachathani
Call NumberPE K62 2019
KeywordsEnglish language--Study and teaching (Higher), English language--Study and teaching--Activity programs

This study aimed to explore undergraduate EFL students’ participation in classroom discussions, as they provide not only opportunities for the students’ exposure to linguistic input and ability to produce output, but also a platform to develop critical thinking skill. This qualitative research analyzed the nature of students’ participation in classroom discussions and examined their reflections on the discussions. The participants were 25 undergraduate students majoring in English and communication at the Faculty of Liberal Arts, Ubon Ratchathani University, Thailand. These students took a mandatory course aiming to develop their research and critical thinking skills. The data was collected through classroom observations and interviews. Eight class 3-hour meetings were observed in their entirety and analyzed for characteristics of the students’ participation in both whole class and group discussions. Later, ten students were randomly selected for interviews, which sought to understand the students’ experiences in discussions. The analysis shows that classroom discussions encouraged students to share their understandings and thoughts on lessons. Moreover, multiple signs of learning and second language (L2) learning process through discussion-based instruction were found. However, the degree of students’ participation in classroom discussions was related to different characteristics including size, question type, and topic of discussions as well as students’ individual differences. The finding also suggest that student-to-student and teacher-to-student relationships and students’ different levels of critical thinking, background knowledge, and linguistic competence, contribute to the degree of engagement in classroom discussions.

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