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Teachers as Therapists (Kimberley

Theme: Special Education/Counselling 

According to a review of recent theoretical articles (Hayes, 1995; Mackey & McQueen, 1998), applied literature (Carlson, 2001; Maguson, 1996)and empirical  research (Franklin, Biever, Moore, Clemons, & Scamardo, 2001; Quinn & Cowie, 1995), teachers may act as therapists for students in their classrooms, taking on a role in conversation and instruction that, at times, seems to transverse the student-teacher relationship boundaries (Nichols, 1998).  Such approaches may be deliberate and follow a specific program and particular psychological theory (Barnes, 2000).  Other times, involvement is more informal, perhaps to the point of being inadvertent (Hayes, 1995).  Often, such intervention by teachers happens more with students needing special education assistance or greater individual attention (Peach & Keeny, 1991).

Little recent empirical research is available that outlines how teachers view their potential or existing therapeutic role, or how they feel they are teaching therapeutically (one example is Bauman, 2002).  The purpose of this proposed project is to examine if teacher  participants are either inadvertently or deliberately acting as therapists towards their students, and whether they feel such involvement is necessary or appropriate.  This research will also provide a comparison between the approaches of  classroom teachers and special education teachers.  The primary research questions include: Are teachers using a therapeutic approach when teaching? How do teachers describe themselves as therapists? What are the ethical implications of teachers acting as therapists?


Abstract (Thinan)

Indicators of Effective English as a Foreign Language (EFL) Instruction in Thai Universities

To date, there have been no studies in Thailand of EFL teaching effectiveness comparing public universities (non-profit institutions funded primarily by the government), autonomous universities (non-profit institutions funded by a combination of government money and funds from other sectors), and private universities (for-profit institutions funded by tuition fees, private endowments, and venture capital). The autonomous administrative system in a university is considered relatively new to the Thai educational system. One of its policies is that the autonomous universities in Thailand consider English language as a key instructional element to distinguish themselves from other universities. More research is needed to explore the parameters which lead each of them to have effective EFL instruction.

Four Thai universities (Burapha University, Srinakharinwirot University, Mae Fah Luang University, and the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce) will be examined in this study. Burapha University and Srinakharinwiroj University are public universities, Mae Fah Luang is an autonomous university, and the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce is a private university.

The purpose of this study is two-fold. First, it will attempt to identify key indicators of effective EFL instruction in a general way (e.g., proportion of native English speakers in instructional staff; proportion of foreign-educated Thai instructors, etc.). Second, it will compare these indicators among the selected universities to see if they may have an impact on learners’ performance (implying that they may be selectively emphasized to improve the EFL-training effectiveness in lower-performing institutions). Both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies will be used for this study.