Teachers’ Questioning Approaches in the Malaysian ESL Classroom

By Noorizah Mohd Noor, Idris Aman and Rosniah Mustaffa.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Teachers’ questioning has always been regarded as an effective tool to enhance and stimulate students’ learning. This elicitation method promotes memory, inquiry and acts as a stimulus for student talk, engagement and in-depth processing of complex concepts. It also influences the dynamics of classroom communication and serves as an important channel for the exchange of ideas between teachers and students. More importantly the act of asking a
good question is cognitively demanding as it requires considerable pedagogical content knowledge and it necessitates that teachers know their learners’ well.
However, limited research has been conducted to investigate the types of questions that are posed by teachers in the ESL classroom. Taking up this point, this paper explores the questioning approaches of four teachers from selected urban and rural Malaysian primary schools. All lessons,
approximating thirty minutes to one hour long, were audio taped and were later transcribed, coded and enriched with further information collected through classroom observation. The findings revealed that the majority type
of questions employed were display questions. These findings are important as they provide an awareness of the questioning techniques adopted in the classroom and the significant effects on students’ language learning. To conclude, the paper will discuss the implications of the findings and suggest some pedagogical considerations for instructional practice within an ESL context.

Keywords: Questioning Approaches, Teachers, ESL, Primary School, Classroom Discourse Analysis

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 18, Issue 7, pp.313-326. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 764.311KB).

Noorizah Mohd Noor

Senior Lecturer, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bandar Baru Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia

Noorizah Mohd. Noor (Ph.D) is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Language Studies and Linguistics, in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.

Idris Aman

Associate Professor, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bandar Baru Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia

Idris Aman (Ph.D) is an Associate Professor at the School of Language Studies and Linguistics, in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.

Rosniah Mustaffa

Associate Professor, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bandar Baru Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia

Rosniah Mustaffa (Ph.D) is an Associate Professor at the School of Language Studies and Linguistics, in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.

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