Teachers and studentsí perceptions of teaching and learning English in small classes: a case of Ecuador

 

ABSTRACT

The English language teaching learning process in small classes may turn challenging for some teachers but also rewarding because of the results obtained. In our country, the majority of high schools have a big number of students in the English courses and this may be one of the causes for language low achievement. For this reason, this study is aimed at exploring teachers and studentsí perceptions on the benefits, strategies and resources, studentsí feelings, and the possible limitations the teaching and learning of English in small classes may yield to promote changes in the number of students in Ecuadorian English classrooms. The findings show that small classes help teachers design, apply activities, use strategies, and resources that make it easier for students to interact, participate, and receive appropriate feedback. Regarding students, they feel relaxed and motivated to learn English among few students; however, the fact that teachers' control of the small class allows them to address students more frequently, make students feel anxious.