Does size really matter in university preparatory English language classrooms?
Wayne Jones, Kay Gallagher
Zayed University, United Arab Emirates
Khalifa University of Science and Technology, United Arab Emirates
The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of class size on the learning and teaching of English in an intensive pre-university program. Four 'larger' and four 'smaller' sized classes were created, and each class was populated with a mix of students in terms of achievement and motivation. Tutors were assigned to both large and small classes, and tutor quality was controlled for qualifications, experience, and demonstrated effectiveness. When student grades were analysed at the end of the course, no significant differences in student achievement were found in overall, end-of-course grades. However, for students at the elementary language level, class size had an impact on their success. In addition, it was found that tutors as well as students indicated a strong preference for smaller-sized classes at both elementary and intermediate language levels. The study adds insights from a rapidly evolving international higher education context to the existing body of research into the impact of class size on students and teachers.
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|Authors: Wayne Jones is Director of English Across the Curriculum at Zayed University in the United Arab Emirates. His research interests encompass English as a medium of instruction and English for academic purposes.|
Kay Gallagher (corresponding author) is an Associate Professor and is the Associate Dean in the College of Education at Zayed University in the United Arab Emirates. Her research interests include language teacher education, language-in-education and practitioner research in education.
Jessica Midraj is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English at Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. Her research interests include academic language learning instruction and assessment, language issues in STEM education, task and project-based learning, and bilingual education. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please cite as: Jones, W., Gallagher, K. & Midraj, J. (2020). Does size really matter in university preparatory English language classrooms?. Issues in Educational Research, 30(3), 988-1004. http://www.iier.org.au/iier30/jones.pdf