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2nd Article Review

Review of Jason M. Carpenter's "Effective teaching methods for large classes"

Lecture, lecture/discussion combination, jigsaw, case study, and team project are some effective teaching methods for large classes applied in colleges and universities in the United States with the purpose of gathering information about their effectiveness. One advantage is that institutions do not have to hire many teachers, so they save money and their economical sustainability. A disadvantage is that teachers do not feel comfortable teaching large classes; for instance, they do not do their job properly. The purpose of this exploratory study is to recognize what teaching methods function better in a large class context. The research questions are “What teaching methods are effective in the large class environments?” and “What are students’ perceptions of these methods?”.

This exploratory study and a quantitative research emphasizes on the application of the teaching methods to an introductory level retailing class, during five chapters, where specific learning objectives were set. In order to assess the teaching methods used, students were pretested and post-tested about what they saw during classes using multiple choice questions. The researchers use a survey instrument to obtain information about student’s assessment of the course, preferences for class size, and perceptions of the teaching methods. The first instrument has a Likert scale from completely agree to completely disagree; then the survey has questions about the teaching methods teachers used when giving classes. At the end students answered what teaching method they consider the best and their preferences for large classes; in addition, general questions about gender, major, and class rank. The results show that differences among the teaching methods result really appreciable; in addition, students’ performance improved the level behind the lecture method comparing with the lecture/discussion method.

In the English as a foreign language (EFL) classroom many factors affect students’ learning. One of these factors involves the size of each group because the fact of having a large class affects the students’ behavior and as consequence, the students’ learning. If a teacher has many students in his classroom, discipline is difficult to control; for instance, being aware of each student’s needs is a challenge. “Class sizes at the primary stage are too large, so teaching and learning, and children’s educational progress, can suffer” (Blatchford, Goldstein and Mortimore, 1998). That is why teaching a certain number of students involves the application of different teaching methods to be able to teach because class reduction is not the solution. The article is significant in the EFL field because it focuses on teaching to large classes. It shows methods like lecture, lecture/discussion combination, jigsaw, case study, and team project which were proved to discover if those methods are applicable and can provide a solution for the issue.

Having information related to large class teaching results really useful when thinking of writing about that topic. In Mexico teachers face the problem of having many students in their classes. This problem is because lots of children have to go to school and just few schools are available. Teachers cannot reduce the number of students they have, so they have to deal with this issue. That is why instructors have to implement functional teaching methods to control the class and have the students take advantage of their classes. This research is helpful as basis of future studies where other teaching methods for large classes will be studied.


Blatchford, P., Baines, E., Kutnick P., and Martin, C. (2001). Classroom contexts: connections between class size and within class grouping. British J of Educational Psychology, 71, 283-302. Retrieved September 23rd, 2011 from

Carpenter M. (2006). Effective teaching methods for large classes. Journal of Family & Consumer Sciences Education, 24, 2, 13-23. Retrieved September 23rd, 2011 from

Cakmak, M. (2009). The perceptions of student teachers about the effects of class size with regard to effective eaching Process. The Qualitative Report, 14, 3, 395-408. Retrieved September 25th, 2011 from

1st Article Review

Review of Muna Thaher’s “The Effects of large class on EFL Students at An-Najah National University”

This article focuses on three effects that large classes could have on EFL students at An-Najah National University: instructional, psychological or social. The theory talks about what many researchers have investigated and the ways large classes should be taught; for example using the Whole Language Review capitalization rules.  Did Richards (2001) capitalize this? approach which is based on teaching language as a whole, integrating the four skills (Richards, 2001). The article presents eight research questions which are answered through the this research. Some of these questions seem to be the same, but they differ just in one word; also some others have a code or an equation that does not let common people understand. Examples of the research questions are: What are the instructional effects of large classes on non –English major EFL students at An-Najah National University? Are there any significant differences at (α = 0.05) in students’ responses toward large classes due to students’ gender variable?

This article is a field research paper because it is made in an EFL classroom at An-Najah National University, so the researcher is part of the scenario and is involved directly with the issue What kind of research is this: qualitative, quantitative, or mixed method?. The methodology consists of six parts: subjects, instrumentation, validation of the questionnaire, reliability of the instrument, and statistical analysis. The subjects are students of a university who study English as requirement. The instrumentation talks about Avoid this phrase. the procedure and data collection which means that the researcher asked students for feedback about the class size; in addition, the questionnaire contains five possible answers based on the Likert scale and dependent and independent variables. The validation of the questionnaire is about a discussion with teachers that have faced the experience of teaching, and then given to four referees for feedback. The Cronbach Alpha formula is the one that was used to calculate the reliability of the instrument, having a coefficient of 0.81. The statistical analysis is presented through the analysis with different strategies for data collection such as percentages and independent T-Test. The study results are presented question by question using an analysis rank from very low (less than 50%) to very high degree (80% and more).

The effect of large classes can have a really interesting impact on students learning English. It is nteresting because the effect can be positive or negative; it depends on how students feel in each context. A similar research about class size is focused on students’ performance and retention, so large classes can have many different effects on students’ learning. The authors come up with this finding: “as class size increases, the probability of receiving an A is lowered, but at a decreasing rate” (Kale and Partell, 1997) which tells that class size is an issue that has to be considered for English classes at any contexts. You were asked to include a citation in the third paragraph.

The article is well written talking about grammatical aspects, but it has some format mistakes. Some parts of the article are written with a different font size; it seems that the writer wants to emphasize some ideas, but some other letters from other sentences are mixed. Sometimes the article seems to be confusing because of the mixture of font size, even though the purpose seems to make it clearer for the reader. In addition, the article is written in two languages (English and Arabic), so it looks confusing and messy. The information is helpful and interesting, but most of the literature is just citations and comparison of what different experts have investigated, for instance that make it seem a document over cited and with little discussion. How does this article help you as a teacher?

References (Don't forget the heading.)

Keil, J. & Partell, P. (1997). The Effect of Class Size on Student Performance and Retention at Binghamton University. Retrieved from't italicize.

Ping, Z. (n. d). Implementing the Whole Language Approach in “Selected Readings of English and American Literature” course Check APA. Retrieved September 10th, 2011 from

Thaher, M. (2005). The Effets of large class on EFL Students at An-Najah National University.An-Najah Univ. J . Res. (H. Sc.), Vol. 19 Check APA.(3), 1048 to 1088

References: Types of papers

  • Literature paper:

Alexander, L. & Link, B. (2003). The impact of contact on stigmatizing attitudes towards people with mental illness. Journal of Mental Health, 12, 271-289. Retrieved September 23rd, 2011 from

  • Research paper:

Sullivan, N. & Pratt, E. (1996). A comparative study of two esl writing environments:a computer-assisted classroom and a traditional oral classroom. System, 29, 4, 491-501. Retrieved September 23rd, 2011 from

  • Case study paper:

Martinez, A. (2004). A case study illustrating the interply between psychological and somatic dissociation. Revista Interamericana de Psicologia, 38, 001, 115-120. Retrieved September 23rd, 2011 from

  • Action research:

Brown, H. (2004). Action research in the classroom: process that feeds the spirit of the adolescent. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 3(1). 3. Retrieved September 23rd, 2011 from