The Communicative Orientation of Classrooms where Dutch is Taught as a Second Language

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The Communicative Orientation of Classrooms where Dutch is Taught as a Second Language

Type: Research master thesis
Title: The Communicative Orientation of Classrooms where Dutch is Taught as a Second Language
Author: Rahmeh, Samah
Issue Date: 2019-08-30
Keywords: COLT coding scheme, communicative competence, active role, orientation, type of output, length of output
Abstract: The current study aimed to pinpoint some of the factors underlying the communication difficulties faced by Arabic-speaking immigrants learning Dutch as a second language (L2). To this end, six classrooms where Dutch is taught as L2 were selected in order to investigate the level of the communicative orientation they foster. Part A of the COLT coding scheme (Fröhlich et al., 1985) was slightly modified and used for the classroom observations. That part of the scheme describes classroom events at the level of activity and contains categories related to participant organization, student modality, content and materials. The materials that seemed to highly control the classroom activities were also analysed in terms of their communicative orientation and in terms of the type and length of output they require from students. The results of the classroom observations revealed that that the communicative orientation was different among the six classes observed. It was minimal at some classes where the teacher was the dominant speaker and the sole controller of the topics discussed. Contrastively, students were passive learners who provided short, prescribed answers without involving in any kind of discussion. Classes with a minimal level of communicativeness were also characterized by being form-focused with minimal integration of meaning and by being highly controlled by the course materials. Other classes fostered the communicative competence at a moderate level. At these classes students were limitedly active, the integration of meaning was higher and group/pair discussion was present. The third type of classes observed was highly communicative. At these classes teachers and learners alike involved in open discussion and they both determined the topics to be discussed. Most of these topics were of broad reference. The analysis of the materials ascertained that the course books used were not communicatively oriented as they stimulate limited output from learners; both in terms of type and length. Nevertheless, a shift in the communicative orientation towards the more communicative end was traced throughout the two books.
Supervisor: de Jong, Nivja
Faculty: Faculty of Humanities
Department: Linguistics (Research master)
Specialisation: Research Master in Linguistics
ECTS Credits: 30

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