"Do you understand?": An analysis of native and non-native EFL teachers' questioning patterns at a Taiwanese cram school

Shin-Mei Kao, Wang Chi Weng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A number of young Taiwanese students take extra English lessons at cram schools where classes are taught in English by native speakers of English; however, not much has been studied in such settings in previous literature. This study investigated questioning patterns of four cram school teachers, two native and two non-native speakers of English, with high- and a low-level classes of young learners. Eight types of questions used by the teachers and students were identified from 12 video- and audio-recorded lessons. Questioning patterns were analyzed and compared in terms of the teacher's language background and the students' proficiency levels. The study found that the class level, but not the teacher's language background, influenced how the teachers formed questions. The teachers with high-level students used more communicative question types, while the teachers with low-level students preferred instructional questions. In addition, it was found that using the target language as the sole medium in the classroom did not guarantee a communicative learning environment. When instructional questions dominated the classroom discourse, the students became passive in the interaction. The study suggests that EFL teachers should monitor the functions and effects of their questioning techniques so as to facilitate genuine interaction, even with low-level EFL learners.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-68
Number of pages30
JournalAsian EFL Journal
Volume14
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Jan 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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