RAPPORT-BUILDING STRATEGIES: SNAPSHOTS FROM SAUDI EFL CLASSROOMS

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Number of pages: 304-315
Year-Number: 2017-21

Abstract

This case study reports the motivational strategies that English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teachers use to actively engage their students in classroom discussions. It is a small-scale study that focuses particularly on rapport-building strategies. Discourse analysis studies that investigate the effects of teacher-sourced motivational strategies and the relationship of this strategy type to the quality of EFL classroom interaction are scarce. The majority of the available studies on the teaching of motivational strategies have examined the topic by means of quantitative observational measures and/or surveys. Some qualitative or mixed-approach studies have employed interviews, but there has been no demonstration of teachers’ motivational practices from the stance of classroom discourse analysis. This study demonstrates the rapport-building practices of three EFL teachers of different nationalities (Saudi, Pakistani, and British), all of whom were teaching at the same Saudi college. The data was collected from EFL classrooms. The analysis of the audio-recorded lessons was conducted according to the principles of Conversation Analysis (CA) methodology. The rapport-building strategies that have been identified in this paper are empathy, humour, and the act of encouraging pairs of students to join in whole-classroom discussions. It is hoped that this study will help EFL teachers to reflect on their rapport-building strategies with the aim of promoting interactive learning.

Keywords

Abstract

This case study reports the motivational strategies that English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teachers use to actively engage their students in classroom discussions. It is a small-scale study that focuses particularly on rapport-building strategies. Discourse analysis studies that investigate the effects of teacher-sourced motivational strategies and the relationship of this strategy type to the quality of EFL classroom interaction are scarce. The majority of the available studies on the teaching of motivational strategies have examined the topic by means of quantitative observational measures and/or surveys. Some qualitative or mixed-approach studies have employed interviews, but there has been no demonstration of teachers’ motivational practices from the stance of classroom discourse analysis. This study demonstrates the rapport-building practices of three EFL teachers of different nationalities (Saudi, Pakistani, and British), all of whom were teaching at the same Saudi college. The data was collected from EFL classrooms. The analysis of the audio-recorded lessons was conducted according to the principles of Conversation Analysis (CA) methodology. The rapport-building strategies that have been identified in this paper are empathy, humour, and the act of encouraging pairs of students to join in whole-classroom discussions. It is hoped that this study will help EFL teachers to reflect on their rapport-building strategies with the aim of promoting interactive learning.

Keywords