Social Constructivism Theory in a Sociolinguistic Classroom
Najla Alghamdi
TAIF University

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This paper aims to examine the efficacious of using social constructivism in teaching sociolinguistics. The students of a bachelor’s degree in a department of English language and linguistics used to suffer in doing sociolinguistic projects and some of them failed in doing so although they obtained good marks in the written exams. This noteworthy dilemma led the researcher to conduct an action research as an attempt to discover the causes of this problem and to propose solutions. This action research took place in a sociolinguistic classroom for a one academic semester. The researcher decided to modify her teaching method by applying social constructivism theory which is embodied in student-centered method. Furthermore, the instructional scaffolding was used in the classroom to facilitate the knowledge flow and the students learning. The data was collected from the students’ performance in three related sociolinguistic tasks and to test the progress in the students’ cognitive and linguistic skills another data was collected from the course final project. The data revealed that students are struggling with the high level of cognitive abilities such as, applying, analyzing, justifying and thinking critically. Furthermore, students also lack some crucial linguistic and research skills such as, do phonetic transcription correctly, explain the findings based on the sociolinguistic theories and principals, highlight the importance of their work, steer clear of pilgrims and avoid redundancy in writing. The results of the action research showed that implementing social constructivism theory, which is based on the concept of learning by doing, in sociolinguistic classroom helped the students to absorb and digest the knowledge simultaneously with developing their cognitive skills.


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