An Assessment of the Sociocultural Approach to Teaching Communication at Salahaddin University-Erbil (SUH)
This study investigates the sociocultural theories; it tries to confirm the extent of the implementation of the sociocultural approach in teaching and learning communication in English language departments in College of Basic Education, College of Education and College of Languages at Salahaddin University-Hawler. The participants are ninety-five students of the first and second grades of the three departments. This is to study and approve the implementation of the sociocultural approach. The sociocultural approach is the realization of the sociocultural theories. The main theories are mediation, zone of proximal development, regulations, verbal thought and activity theory. As well the preferred method of teaching according to the sociocultural approach is reciprocal teaching and the preferred method of learning is cooperative learning; that is to say, teaching and learning through social interactions that improve the processes of teaching and learning. Moreover, it enhances students’ thought, language and sociocultural competence. So the study is about social interactions and pedagogical implementations. It is to make the sociocultural approach to be realized by the teachers and students. Equally the methodology of the study is exploratory to confirmatory that is to say the sociocultural theories and approach are explored (investigated) and then confirmed in teaching and learning communication module. Also the method of researching is a questionnaire for students. It is carried out from the exploration of the sociocultural theories and approach of teaching and learning. Then the extent of the implementation of the sociocultural approach is confirmed via this tool, that the data is collected via the student’s perspectives. So the tool of data collection is aimed at the assessment of the sociocultural approach. On the other hand, Harvard style of citation and documentation is followed.
The purpose of the study is to assess the degree of the implementation of the sociocultural approach, and to add something to the literature of the sociolinguistics and to the methods of teaching and learning. It is to see and assess the extent of teachers’ being familiar with the implementation of the sociocultural approach in the English language departments. The study hypothesizes that some of the assumptions of the sociocultural approach might be implemented in teaching and learning but it is not a methodical implementation. Although the sociocultural theories had been the basics of many modern approaches of teaching and learning because it is also can be called pragmatic approach and it is meaning seeker, and its assumptions are unconsciously are implemented by many teachers but some teachers might not be familiar with all its advantageous assumptions of teaching and learning that provides students’ learning outcomes. Also the implementation of the sociocultural approach provides teaching objectives and leaning outcomes.
The study consists of four sections; the first section includes the literature review in the field and the exploration of the sociocultural theories and the structure of the sociocultural approach. The second one is about the structure of the sociocultural approach. The third section explains the methodology of data collection and the criteria of the tools and presents the analysis of the data of the students’ questionnaire. And the last section deals with conclusions and recommendations. It can be concluded that the Sociocultural Approach is not familiarized enough and it is not completely and methodically implemented in teaching and learning communication in the English language departments. The inductive strategies are not enhanced adequately by the deductive ones; that is to say the individual students are not developed by their teachers. So the intrapersonal could not always and methodically develop by interpersonal in the classroom settings. The classroom social relationships are not benefited sufficiently by cooperative techniques for classroom instructional interactions that develop the processes of assessment, teaching and learning to help students to acquire English Language sociocultural competence.
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