Teacher vs. Student-centered Classroom Interaction at Isfahan University

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Volume 8-1 February 2012.

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Teacher vs. Student-centered Classroom Interaction at Isfahan University


Hafez Shatery (M.A.)

Department of English, Sirjan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Sirjan, Iran



Hafez Shatery M.A. from Isfahan University in 2005. He is a faculty member also a lecturer in Islamic Azad University (IAU) Sirjan Branch, Sirjan, Iran. He is especially interested in areas of EFL/ESL material design and evaluation, teaching of the four skills, and classroom interaction.


The present study was carried on to investigate the degree of teacher vs. student-entered classroom interaction in ELT classes of the English Department of Isfahan University to see if the degree of teacher vs. student-centered classroom interaction is affected by different levels of education; B.A., M.A., Ph.D. The hypotheses to be tested were: 1) teachers show more initiating behavior than students during ELT class activities as one moves down from one level of education to another, 2) Students show more responding behavior than the teacher during ELT class activities as one moves up from the B.A. level, through the M.A. level, to the Ph.D. level, 3) there are periods of silence or non-talk during class activities, 4) ELT classroom interaction varies at different levels of education; in other words, as one moves up from one level of education to another , classroom interaction becomes less teacher-centered and students have a bigger share in classroom discourse. The participants of the present study were teachers and students of 9 EFL classes in the Department of English of Isfahan University: three classes were selected at the B.A. level, three classes at the M.A. level, and three classes at the Ph.D. level. The courses under study were testing, methodology, and linguistics. In each of the classes under study a total of sixty minutes of classroom interaction was tape-recorded, thirty minutes of which was randomly chosen for the sake of the present study. The tape-recorded data were later analyzed based on Brown’s Interaction Analysis System (BIAS). A Univariate Analysis of Variance and t-tests were run to see if the differences were meaningful. A post hoc Sheffe test was conducted to shed light on those differences. It was revealed that B.A. level classes were more teacher-centered than M.A. level classes, and M.A. level classes in their own turn were more teacher-centered than Ph.D. level ones confirming all but not the second hypothesis.

Key Words: Student-centered, Teacher-centered, Classroom interaction, Level of education.

Category: 2012