Teacher Questioning and Verbal Feedback Behaviours and their Implications on Thai Undergraduate Student Participation

Yaowaret Tharawoot, Thailand, ID LLCE2016-210;         Nassaji and Wells described that “teachers’ selection of verbal feedback is much more important than the choice of the kinds of initiating questions for the development of classroom discussion” (2000, p. 400).  Based on their assertion, the researcher were interested in studying about teacher verbal feedback in postgraduate classrooms.  Two studies’ findings showed that both evaluative and interactional feedback could promote student participation (Tharawoot, 2010, Yaowaret, 2015).  Moreover, students were satisfied with their teachers’ verbal feedback providing (Tharawoot, 2015).  However, those findings have not proved Nassaji and Wells’ assertion.  Consequently, teacher questioning and verbal feedback behaviours are investigated because the researcher wonders whether teacher verbal feedback is much more important than teacher questioning or not.

This present study aims to answer these questions: 1) What types of questions does a teacher use? Is there a preponderance of any particular type? How much participation do questions generate from students?, 2) What function of verbal feedback does a teacher provide? Is there a preponderance of any particular function? How much participation does verbal feedback generate from students?.  The research instruments are a classroom observation, a questionnaire, and an interview. Three undergraduate English conversation classrooms are observed.  Furthermore, students are given a questionnaire and interviewed asking for their opinions towards teacher questionings and verbal feedback behaviours. The audio-taped data are transcribed and analysed both quantitatively and qualitatively. The quantitative approach addresses the frequencies and percentages of aspects of teacher questioning and verbal feedback behaviours.  Based on the quantitative data, a qualitative analysis of the transcripts is made to describe the occurrences of several aspects of questioning and verbal feedback providing.  Moreover, the qualitative analysis includes the interpretation of teacher questioning and verbal feedback to consider the degree to which teachers provide opportunities for student participation. 

Findings of this study is significant because they provide teachers, particularly English teachers knowledge and insights about asking questions and providing verbal feedback which will be able to enhance opportunities for their students to participate in classroom discussion and be appropriate for students’ abilities, interests and motivation.

 

Key words: Teacher questioning, Teacher verbal feedback, Classroom participation, Classroom research