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English Language Education to Pupils with General Intellectual Giftedness

Eva Reid

The topic of English language education for pupils with general intellectual giftedness is rare in worldwide research areas. Even though research into English language education receives great attention and similarly does gifted education, the connection is not very common. The aim of this research study is to investigate the state of, and current challenges to, English language teaching in gifted education. Multiple methods (participant observation, interview and survey) were used under the «umbrella» of the case study with the aim to achieve an in-depth understanding of the case. Research findings reflect which principles, teaching techniques, types of activities and materials are used, what English teachers’ positions concerning their qualifications, experiences, beliefs and problems are, and what learning strategies gifted learners use when learning a foreign language.

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6 Analyses of research

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6.1 Observation analyses of English language lessons of gifted classes

The observed gifted class consisted of 13 pupils at the age of 9, out of which there were 8 boys and 5 girls. They had been learning English from the first year, but this particular teacher taught them English from the third year. The class was observed from September until the end of January, twice a week, and the total number of observed lessons was 40. This teacher was also a form teacher of this class. They had English classes three times a week. The Pearson Education Limited published course book “English Adventure 2” (Worrall, 2005) was used in this class.

The semi-structured observation schedule was created to observe the teaching process in the classes, including which principles, teaching techniques, materials, and type and number of activities the teacher used in her English language classes. Pupils were also observed for their feedback. On top of the 40 observed classes, I decided for intervention during four lessons. These lessons were taught at random intervals during the five months of the research.

For the analyses, a system of categories and codes was created. The five categories for principles of teaching gifted pupils were based on the theoretical background.

Tab. 1: Principles of teaching English to gifted pupils

Principles of teaching gifted pupils

1. Category: Creativity

(open ended and challenging questions, creating sentences, projects, playing games, etc...

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