Central Tehran Branch
Faculty of Foreign Languages- Department of English
“M.A” Thesis

On Teaching English

The Effect of Team-Teaching on Second Grade of Junior High School Students’ Vocabulary Achievement

Dr. Abdollah Baradaran

Dr. Sholeh Kolahi

Ehsan Khodabakhshi
Spring 2014
I find it difficult to find words fitting enough to express my appreciation of all those who made this possible, and supported and encouraged me every step of the way. I have to thank so many people for the important role they played in the development of this study. First, I am greatly indebted to Dr. Abdollah Baradaran whose help and support during this study manifested in more ways than I can say without writing a whole other dissertation on the subject. I also acknowledge the cooperation and assistance of Dr. Sholeh Kolahi, who provided me with useful comments, which enabled me to convert turgid prose into readable English.
I would also like to acknowledge and express my gratitude to Dr. Maalamiri who evaluated the end product of this study.
Special thanks also go to my fellow school instructors at Hafez Guidance School of Islamshahr, Mr. Abloghasemian who helped me in the painstaking process of data collection. I would also like to thank the students (second grade) at Hafez Junior High School who spent hours of their precious time responding to the research instruments.
To all, many thanks again for your assistance and encouragement. May we all continue to learn from each other.
Improving students’ vocabulary achievement has always been a matter of interest for teachers, because of the diverse essence of the vocabulary, but current approaches; methods have not been successful enough in teaching and enhancing students’ word knowledge (Shen, 2003). Moreover, the practicality of most of these approaches is dependent on the teachers (Carten, 2007). The present study has examined the possible effects of team-teaching on the vocabulary achievement of Iranian junior high school students. To this end, 114 intermediate EFL learners participated in the study. To ensure their homogeneity, initially, the researcher administered a Key English Test (KET). Those who scored one standard deviation above and below the mean were selected as the participants of the study. After excluding the extreme scores 76 participants remained, who were randomly assigned to experimental and the control groups. Then, to ensure the homogeneity of the participants in terms of their vocabulary knowledge of the current study a vocabulary test was given to both groups. A t-test was run and it was observed that there was no significant difference between the scores of the students in both groups. Both groups were taught six lessons of their formal textbook for about 24 sessions (12 weeks, each session about 75 minutes). The students in experimental group received the instruction by two teachers. Finally, a post-test was administrated to both groups. To see whether team-teaching had any statistically significant impact on vocabulary achievement of the students or not; an independent sample t-test was used. The analysis of the results showed that the participants receiving the treatment in the experimental group mastered taught vocabularies better. So team-teaching had positive effect on the vocabulary achievement of Iranian EFL learners.

Table of Contents
CHAPTER I Background and Purpose
1.1 Introduction2
1.2 Statement of the Problem8
1.3 Statement of the Research Question10
1.4 Statement of the Research Hypothesis10
1.5 Definition of Key Terms10
1.5.1 Vocabulary achievement10
1.5.2 Team-Teaching11
1.6 Significance of the Study11
1.7 Limitations and Delimitation13
1.7.1 Limitations of the study13
1.7.2 Delimitation of the study13
1.8 Assumptions13
CHAPTER II Review of the Related Literature
2.1 Introduction15
2.2 The characteristics of co-teaching17
2.3 Different version of co-teaching19
2.4 Issues Involved in Team Teaching23
2.5 Related studies27
2.6 Vocabulary teaching30
2.6.1 Presentation of new lexical items32
2.6.2 Review and consolidation of lexical items35
2.6.3 Studies on the vocabulary:38
CHAPTER III Methodology
3.1 Participants46
3.2 Instrumentation46
3.2.1 Homogeneity vocabulary test46
3.2.2 Language Proficiency test47
3.2.3 Vocabulary achievement post test48
3.2.4 Observation and conversation49
3.2.5 Questionnaire49
3.2.6 Materials50
3.3 Procedure50
3.3.1 Piloting the tests50
3.3.2 Homogenizing the Participants50
3.3.3 The Treatment51
3.4 Design56
3.5 Statistical Analysis:57
CHAPTER IV Results and Discussion
4.1Introduction .59
4.2Results and Discussion60
4.2.1 Descriptive Statistics for the Piloting KET Proficiency Test60 Descriptive Statistics of the KET Main Administration for Homogenization61
4.2.2 Descriptive Statistics of the grammar Pre-test63
4.2.3 Analysis of posttest65
4.2.3Analysis of Student Questionnaire67
4.2.3 Analysis of Teacher’s Questionnaire69
CHAPTER V Conclusions, Pedagogical Implications, and Suggestions for Further Research
5.1Restatement of the Problem76
5.2Overview of the Study76
5.3Pedagogical Implications76
5.3.1 mplications for Teaching and Teacher Training77
5.3.2 Implications for Materials Development77
5.4Suggestions for Further Research77
List of Tables
Table 2.1: different type of co-teaching ……………………………………….…….19
Table 3.1: The contents and titles of the lessons …………………………………….52
Table 3.2 Teacher’s Actions during Co-Teaching ……………………………………53
Table 4.1: Descriptive Statistics for KET Proficiency Test piloting…………………60
Table 4.2 Descriptive Statistics for KET Proficiency Test ………………………….60
Table 4.3: Reliability of the KET Proficiency Test Piloting ………………….……..61
Table 4.4: Descriptive Statistics for KET Main Administration for Homogenization.61
Table 4.5: The Results of Normality Check of the Distribution of scores on KET…..61
Table 4.6: Independent Sample T-test for Control and Experimental Groups’ KET scores …………63
Table 4.7: Descriptive Statistics for the Results of the Pre-test……………….……. 64
Table 4.8: Results of Normality of Distribution of Scores for vocabulary homogeneity test …….….64
Table 4.9: Independent Samples T- Test for Pre-test ………………………………..65
Table 4.10 Group Statistics of the team-teaching and normal class Participants for post test scores …….……65
Table 4.11 Independent Samples T-Test of the team-teaching and normal class Participants for post-test ……67
Table 4.12 Student Responses to Social Validity Questions ……….………….…….68
Table 4.13 Teacher’s Responses to Social Validation Questions ……………………69
List of Figures
Figure 4.1: The Histogram of Scores of KET Main Administration ………………62
Figure 4.2 Comparing scores obtained from post-test ……….…………………….66
Figure 4.3 Student Responses to Social Validation Questions ……………………69
To those who have tried to wipe out unawareness and darkness and finally they died in Anonymity.
Background and Purpose
1.1 Introduction
Nowadays English is known as the language of the science, everyday communication and most widely used language in the world. Although it is a well-known fact that Mandarin Chinese is the most commonly spoken language on the planet, we should know that “while English does not have the most speakers, it is the official language of more countries than any other language” (Flamiejamie, 2008). English, also, is the language in which the sciences are most often discussed and presented. A study done in 1997 indicated that 95% of scientific publications and submissions, even at that time, were done in English ( Therefore, it seems that learning English is a need for everyone who wants to keep himself updated and in touch with real out world. In learning English, language skills and language components cannot be separated. Language components can complete the language skills. In order to learn English the students should be able to use suitable structures and master grammar and vocabulary. Vocabulary is an important language component for forming words and building English sentences. Harmer also claimed, “Language structures make up the skeleton of language and it is vocabulary that provides the vital organs and the flesh.” (Harmer, 1994 as cited in Baniabdelrahman, 2013) There is no doubt about the importance of vocabulary. “It is necessary in the sense that words are the basic building blocks of the language, the units of meaning from which larger structures such as sentences, paragraphs and whole text are formed” (Read, 2000, p 1). “Without a good working knowledge of words and their meanings, both written and verbal communication will be muddied or poorly understood” ( Wilkins (1972) believed that, without learning grammar very little can be conveyed and without learning vocabulary, nothing at all can be conveyed. Researchers suggest that early elementary students’ word knowledge is a determinant of reading comprehension both in early elementary school and throughout their schooling (Hansen, 2009). Some research findings also disclose that students who have acquired more vocabulary items, they will be more likely to articulate and communicate the massage. Therefore, as a result their achievement in speaking skills is better than those who are short of vocabulary understanding or have acquired less vocabulary items. Since vocabulary is important in communication, the students should master it. In this regard, Hippner-page also believes that “vocabulary is the key component which guarantees acquiring a second language and becoming a functional and fluent reader and writer of a second language” (2000, p. 7).
Baumann and Kameenui (1991) believed that we need to have a good vocabulary size to speak and write naturally and effectively. Students’ word knowledge is also linked strongly to their academic success (As cited in Baker, Simmons, & Kameenui, 2007). Moreover it is believed that “perhaps the greatest tools we can give students for succeeding, not only in their education but more generally in life, is a large, rich vocabulary and the skills for using those words” (Pikulski & Templeton, 2004). If we are not sure that Knowledge of this vocabulary will guarantee success, it will be clear that lack of knowledge of vocabulary can ensure failure (Biemiller, 1999 as cited in Jobrack, 2010).
Some researchers (Harley, 1996; Yoshii, and Flaitz, 2002) point to vocabulary learning as a vital part of each student’s life, while other researchers though accept the importance of vocabulary acquisition in language proficiency and academic achievement; their ideas about how vocabulary should be learned have varied widely. (Ghabanchi & Anbarestani, 2008) Unfortunately, learning vocabulary is not easy for students and most of students believe memorizing and learning vocabulary is a difficult, boring, and tedious task. Moreover, what is hard to learn, is easy to forget. So finding ways to increase students’ vocabulary growth throughout the school years must become a major educational priority.
Everyone remembers some words better than others, because of the nature of the words, the circumstances they are learnt under, and the methods of teaching (Ur, 1996). The attention drawn to the important role of vocabulary unveils the importance of vocabulary and the most effective ways to teach vocabulary. Here the teacher plays the most important role in creating the learning context and choosing methods used in the classroom. Especially in EFL contexts in which there is a little chance for the students to encounter English language out of the classroom. In addition, Hedge believes that “Although the teacher’s ultimate role may be to build independence in students by teaching them good strategies for vocabulary learning, s/he will frequently need to explain new words” (2008, p. 112). Books and materials developers provide teachers with different ways of presenting new words to the students such as using synonyms, antonyms, translation, minimal pairs, description, illustration, using context, association of ideas, examples, and many other ways, which usually demand qualified and knowledgeable teachers to put the most proper in practice. It was claimed that learners need to be given explicit instruction of vocabulary strategy in order to facilitate their awareness of vocabulary learning strategies that they can use to learn their own outside the classroom (Atay & Ozbulgan, 2007 as cited in Chen & Hsiao, 2009). Moreover, there is no doubt that “the teacher’s role in vocabulary development is critical” (Yopp, Yopp, & Bishop, 2010).
As mentioned before, there are different techniques and strategies by which the teachers can teach a new vocabulary; but most of them are teacher-dependent and their practicality or impracticality is a function of teachers’ performance. Since different teachers have different abilities, capabilities, resources, personalities and characteristics teaching vocabularies by two or more teachers (known as co-teaching) sharing their knowledge and competence may be efficient and helpful in teaching vocabularies. Teaming can bring out the creative side of teachers. Woodrow Wilson once said, “I not only use all of the brains I have, but all I can borrow” (28th president of US, 1856 – 1924). His acknowledged reliance on others may fit our co-teaching context as well. This also shows the fact that “A community of peers is important not only in terms of support, but also as a crucial source of generating ideas and criticism” (Sykes, 1996, as cited in Jang, 2006).
The very binging point of co-teaching was in 1975, in which Congress passed the Education for All Handicapped Children Act. This act stated that free and appropriate public education (FAPE) must be provided for all children (Right, 2010). After that, a very important project (No-Child Left behind) in USA was applied in which they tried to provide a better teaching context for students with disabilities (either physical or mental) and facilitate their learning by using two teachers in the classroom. In those classes, they used a pull out model in which these types of students; were pulled out by the second teacher and there they were taught individually and privately. A similar approach was used in classes in which most of the students were emigrants whose native language was something rather than English. In these classes one of the teachers was mainstream teacher (e.g. math, geology) and the second teacher was an English teacher who tried to eliminate the speaking and listening problems of the students. The setting of the classroom and the role of teachers in those classes shaped different models of co-teaching.
Co-teaching has many benefits for both teachers and students; it can reduce the stigma often associated with being identified as having a disability. It creates a stronger system of support for effective instruction among the adults responsible for educating students (Friend, 2008 as cited in Mulgrew & Gentile, 2010). It also develops respect for differences, teamwork skills, and an appreciation for diversity(flexibility), it also provides peer models, empathetic skills, affirmation of individuality; beside that co-teaching enhances instructional knowledge base, increases ways of creatively addressing challenges, foster better peer relationship among students in the classroom and promotes a more rigorous curriculum, teachers will learn from each other’s expertise and expand the scope of their teaching capacity(Rosario, Coles, Redmon, & Strawbridge, 2010; Walther-Thomas, 1997; Leavitt, 2006; Nickelson, 2010)

Cook and Friend (1996) described five forms of variations in co-teaching:
(1) One teaching/one assisting: a technique in which one teacher takes an instructional lead while the other assists students when necessary.
(2) Station teaching: dividing the class content and room arrangement, with each teacher working on a specified part of the curriculum and classroom, so that students rotate from one station to the other.
(3) Parallel teaching: both teachers plan the instruction but divide the class into two halves, each taking responsibility for working with one-half of the class.
(4) Alternative teaching: organizing a classroom into one large group and one small group, where one teacher is able to provide main instruction, the other to review a smaller group of students; and
(5) Team teaching: teachers take turns in leading discussions or both playing roles in demonstrations.
Among mentioned diversities of co-teaching, team-teaching has received special attention and if we go through the history of co-teaching this approach has been applied more (e.g. teaching ESP), which may be because of its advantages over the other approaches. Despite the potential for problems to arise through a lack of collaboration and cohesiveness within a team, there are potential pedagogical advantages for those willing to adopt this form of teaching. Historically, team teaching has been seen as a practice suited for gaining better control of large groups of students (Ivins, 1964 as cited in Wang, 2010). When team teaching is organized and carried out effectively, students, parents and school faculty feel positive effects. Research shows that students taught using a team teaching approach have higher levels of achievement. Additionally, schools that employ team teaching have teachers who are more satisfied with their job, resulting in an improved work climate (Flynn , 2010). Leavitt believes that “team-teaching boasts many pedagogical and intellectual advantages: it can help create a dynamic and interactive learning environment, provide instructors with a useful way of modeling thinking within or across disciplines, and inspire new research ideas and intellectual partnerships among faculty”. (2006, p.10)
On the other hand, team teaching gives teachers the opportunity “to teach in a different way, and to learn in a different way” (Leavitt, 2006, p. 16). Poor teachers can also be observed, critiqued, and improved by the other team members in a nonthreatening, supportive context (
Team-teaching also allows teachers to respond effectively to different needs of their students, lower the teacher-student ratio, and empower teachers with a professional expertise that meets their students need. Team-teaching also aims to facilitate students’ understanding of concepts from a variety of viewpoints (Hanusch , Obijiofor, & Volcic, 2009).
In team teaching classes, students can develop critical-thinking skills by synthesizing multiple perspectives and relating the information to a larger conceptual framework (Davis, 1995 as cited in Yanamandram & Noble, 2006). Students’ experience also benefits from team-taught course structures. For example, Wilson and Martin (1998) found that students who participated in team-taught classes reported improved teacher-student relationships.

1.2 Statement of the Problem
During last decades of English teaching, vocabulary has received little attention. Beside “grammar has always been at the center of attention in teaching English but vocabulary received little attention and mostly has been neglected in the literature of English language teaching and learning despite the fact that errors of vocabulary are potentially more misleading than those of grammar” (Hedge, 2000, p. 111). Nowadays the effect of vocabulary knowledge on the other areas of language learning has made it to gain its importance (e.g. “appears that teaching of lexis has been acknowledged or re-acknowledged to be important for improving students’ reading comprehension” ( Hyde, 2002, p. 7))
To be a fluent and accurate speaker of English language you need to know a body of English words and vocabularies. According to statistics, “An Average educated speaker needs to know about 17,000 words” (Goulden, Nation, & Read 1990, as cited in Hedge, 2000, p. 111). Researchers have found that vocabulary knowledge in primary school can predict how well students will be able to comprehend the texts they read in high school (Biemiller, 2001). The importance of vocabulary achievement is so much that Wilkins (1974) believes that “Without grammar, very little can be conveyed. Without vocabulary, nothing can be conveyed”. This importance is much more brilliant in primary levels so that “the National Research Council (1998) concluded that vocabulary development is a fundamental goal for students in the early grades” ( Based on National Reading Panel (2000), vocabulary is one of the essential elements of reading. (Nikoopour & Amini Farsani, 2012). During the past 10 years, Jeanne Chall and his colleague (1989) focus on the study of vocabulary and how vocabulary growth might be encouraged. They had come to the conclusion that vocabulary growth was inadequately addressed in current educational curricula, especially in the elementary and preschool years and that more teacher-centered and planned curricula were needed. (1983, as cited in Biemiller, Teaching Vocabulary Early, direct, and sequential, 2000)
According to Maleki and Zangani (2007), one of the most serious problems that Iranian EFL students face in their field of study is their inability to communicate and handle English after graduating from university. This is due to their weaknesses in general English, which influence their academic success especially in upper levels. It is also heard that Iranian university students abhor English-base and English-related books (e.g. technical language). This is because of their infirmity in reading comprehension, which is mostly related to the vocabulary knowledge of the students. One of the concerns of teachers, especially in junior high school classes that serve as a basis for upcoming levels, especially in Iran in which language learning policy has put reading comprehension as its major and most important goal, is that they wonder which approach or style will best meet the students’ need and help them in achieving new vocabularies. However, it seems that students always face lots of difficulty in learning and memorizing English words and teachers have not been that much successful in teaching vocabularies. They believe that it is very difficult and problematic task. Here teachers play the most important role in enhancing students’ vocabulary achievement; because not only they try to apply the best technique to teach any special vocabulary but they also serves as good models whose learning strategies can be helpful for the students.
Current strategies used to teach vocabulary in primary levels of learning English have not been successful and effective enough (Wright, Henion, & Geary, 2013). Although there have been a huge number of studies regarding the best ways of instructing new vocabulary to the students because of the diversity and miscellaneous essence of vocabulary finally put most of the responsibility on the shoulder of the teachers to be selective and eclectic whose experience, knowledge and personality may be a determinant factor there. (E.g. Block & Mangieri, 2006; Komachali & Khodareza, 2012; Nilforoushan, 2012; Mukoroli, 2011)
A new approach that has recently come into existence, is co-teaching which has five known different types among which team teaching and parallel teaching are the most known. Some studies have been done on the effect of team-teaching on some area of language but no special one is done about the vocabulary achievement. (e.g. Fearon, 2008; Igawa, 2009; Benjamin, Achor, & Jimin, 2012)
This study was an attempt to examine whether instructing new vocabulary to a group of Iranian junior high school learners by two teachers sharing their knowledge and experience through team teaching has any significant effect on the vocabulary achievement of the students or not.
1.3 Statement of the Research Question
Q: Does team-teaching have any significant effect on the vocabulary achievement of Iranian intermediate EFL learners?
1.4 Statement of the Research Hypothesis
The null hypothesis this study aimed to test is
H0: Team-teaching does not have any significant effect on the vocabulary achievement of EFL learners.
1.5 Definition of Key Terms
1.5.1 Vocabulary achievement
Vocabulary achievement refers to the knowledge of stored information about the meanings of words necessary for communication. (Antunez, 2002)
Knowing a word means knowing the semantic value of the word. (Richards, 1976)
In this research, vocabulary achievement is operationally defined as the students’ scores on the teacher-made post-test, containing 50 multiple-choice items.
1.5.2 Team-Teaching
“A co-teaching approach in which both teachers share the responsibility for delivering the main instruction to the whole group”. (Friend, 2009).
It is one type of co-teaching in which the teachers share leadership in the classroom; both are equally engaged in the instructional activities like planning, presenting, and assessing.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The findings of this study can be used to validate the efficacy of using a teaming program and to further develop a more comprehensive teacher-training program aimed at preparing English language teachers for the co-taught classroom. The study also provides the educators and the students in co-taught classes the opportunity to comment upon their experiences. Their shared experiences of team-teaching after the instructional program intervention are useful in providing a measure of social validity. The education policy makers may also revise Teacher Training Courses (TTC) and try to instruct them in way to be able to cooperate with another teacher and get team-teaching skills.
Up to now, many researches have been done upon the co-teaching, but, most of them do not mention the type of co-teaching, which they have applied, or even some of them confused or ignored diversities of co-teaching and misused them instead of each other. For example, Maroneym (1995) Robinson, and Schaible (1995) have mentioned different types of co-teaching as different versions of team-teaching. If we go through the history of co-teaching in most cases, a combination of the expertise of an ESL teacher with a grade level or subject-area teacher (ESP Classes) is formed to shape a co-teacher or team teacher environment. In few or even none of the cases, both teachers are English teachers. Besides, it is wealth worthy to say that most of the researches (e.g. Igawa, 2009; Fearon, 2008) in this area are qualitative while this study is a quantitative research. Moreover, no research has been done upon the effect of team teaching on the vocabulary achievement of the students, neither in Iran nor in other countries, and in some related issues, they have just searched the effect of team teaching on the general proficiency of the learners or their attitude toward team-teaching and English language.
One of the most intriguing question that crosses every teacher’s mind or anyone who has something to do with language learning and teaching is “How to facilitate learning English vocabularies?” Since the result of this research proved that team-teaching has positive effect on the vocabulary achievement of EFL learners, this may help the education policy definers to pave the ways for holding classes by two teachers in teams in order to increase the vocabulary achievement of the students and decrease the difficulty the teachers may face while teaching vocabulary and make it an easier and more comfortable and pleasant activity for both teachers and students. Consequently, students’ reading comprehension ability will also be promoted as a skill, which is related to the vocabulary knowledge. Teachers may decide to run their classes in this way and try to apply materials related to this special technique.
Moreover, it not only will provide the opportunity for unemployed but knowledgeable, talent graduated students to become active part of their country’s education system; but it also give them the chance of having a job.
Material developers also may prepare teacher’s guidebooks, which inform the teachers the ways and approaches, which are best to be used in this way.
1.7 Limitations and Delimitation
1.7.1 Limitations of the study
Because of the formal rules and regulation of the researcher’s country (Iran), the males are not allowed to teach females so the research was only done on male students. Therefore, the results of this study are not generalizable to female students.
Since the students were previously placed in different classes, and because of some other reasons such as management problems and strict rules that makes any changes in the class setting impossible, the researcher had no chance to have a completely randomized selection.
1.7.2 Delimitation of the study
The researcher delimited his study to the junior high school students because this is the elementary level of formal English learning in his country and students usually start vocabulary achievement in this level.
1.8 Assumptions
One of the most important factors in applying team-teaching technique is that both teachers have an acceptable level of collaboration and team-working abilities. In this study, it has been assumed that both teachers have a great sense of cooperation and eagerness to work in-group and have received team-teaching instruction in advance.

Review of the Related Literature
2.1 Introduction
Education has been around since human has stepped on the Earth. He learnt from infinite sources all around him. As his needs grew, his life became more compartmentalized. Specialization, and consequently the need for getting specialized Education in different fields, became the norm in his life. In that time since the number of the population was less than what it is now, it was like tutor teaching. Although the best type of teaching is tutor teaching, industrialization, the rapid growth of population and consequently the need for formal schools in which one teacher had to teach more than 30 students became a norm. This causes teachers to pay most of their time controlling and managing the class and to have less time for teaching process. This problem was more salient in those classes in which there were weak students with disabilities (either physical or mental). So they started programs like No-Child Left behind and some other similar programs to help this students enhance and facilitate their learning. This movement is a starting point for co-teaching approach in which two or more teachers were responsible. The setting of the classroom and the role of teachers in those classes shaped different models of co-teaching among which team-teaching is the most difficult to follow but at the same time most applicable one. In order to get familiar with team-teaching at first we should answer following questions:
1- What is collaboration?
2- What is inclusion?
3- What is co-teaching?
4- What are the characteristics of co-teaching?
5- What are different versions of co-teaching?
The concept of collaboration is not new to education, although traditionally teaching is a profession mired in norms of privacy” (Lacina et al., 2006, p. 42).
Let us see what “collaboration” means. It comes from “co-labor” which means to work together. Cook and Friend believe that Collaboration is a style of interaction between at least two co-equal parties voluntarily engaged in shared decision making as they work toward a common goal (1995). Co-teaching is one model for collaboration.

May be one of the main points affecting and causing teachers to co-teach is “inclusion”. “Inclusion refers to the notion that all students should be welcomed members of a learning community, which all students are part of their classrooms even if their abilities differ.” (Friend, 2009)
Different authors have defined lots of definition for co-teaching, which here we will consider some of them and their commonalities and after that, we will mention the conditions and Do’s and Don’ts of co-teaching.
“Co-teaching is traditionally defined as the collaboration between general and special education (SPED) teachers for all of the teaching responsibilities of all of the students assigned to a classroom”. (Gately & Gately, 2001, as cited in Dove & Honigsfeld, 2010).
Glaeser believes that co-teaching is a type of collaboration in which two or more teacher “share responsibility for planning, delivery and evaluation of instruction for a heterogeneous group of students”; while these teachers work in a “coactive and coordinated fashion” to meet divers needs of the students. (p 4, 2012)
Cook and Friend believe that co-teaching is “two or more professionals delivering substantive instruction to a diverse or blended group of students in a single physical space.” (Cook & Friend, 1998 as cited in Murawski & Swanson, 2001)
They also believe that “Co-teaching occurs when two or more professionals jointly deliver substantive instruction to a diverse, or blended, group of students in a single physical space” (Cook & Friend, 1995, p.1)
2.2 The characteristics of co-teaching
By studying different definition of co-teaching, we will find that different authors and theorizers believe that any co-teaching approach should have the following characteristics:
1- Co-teaching must include two or more than one educators.
2- The instruction is provided to a heterogeneous group of students.
3- Co-teaching occurs primarily in the same physical space.( i.e. a single classroom )
4- Co-teachers should always co-plan, co-instruct, co-assess, and co-manage students. (Means a sharing of teaching responsibilities this means that both educators fully participate, although it may be different, in planning, instruction, and students’ assessment.)
The Origins of Collaborative Teaching (co-teaching):
The very early beginning of collaborative teaching can be tracked back to the progressive education movement of 1960’s, but came into attention in 1975 with Individual with Disabilities Act program. (Villa, Thousand, & Nevin, 2004, as cited in Fearon, 2008)
At the same time, increasing speed of immigration to English language countries and in some ESP classes the need for teaching English language (which was the medium of instruction) was expressed. Therefore in those schools in order to meet diverse needs of non-English native speaker students and helping main stream teachers they started to use an assistant teacher, whose duty was to solve speaking and listening problems of the students and helping them enhance their language proficiency.
This very important and effective movement reconstructed in 2004 and 2007 in which passage of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA 2004) and the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) programs were revived. This movement again caused more attention on the importance of being respective to children diverse needs, and empowers reasons for teachers to form collaborative partnership.
Why co-teaching?
Although co-teaching has some disadvantages, its benefits are enough convincing to use this approach in classrooms:
1- To move from feelings of isolation to feelings of community and collaboration. )Villa, Thousand, & Nevin, 2004(
2- Meeting the learning needs of the many students. )Friend, 2009(
3- Stronger peer relationships.
4- Increases individualized instruction.
5- Sharing of knowledge, skills, and resources.
6- Opportunity for professional growth. (The teachers learn from their partner and increase their teamwork and collaboration skill).
7- Reduces student-teacher ratio.
8- Enhances sense of community within general education classrooms.
9- Practicing disagreeing amicably. )Robinson, 1995(
2.3 Different version of co-teaching
There are a number of different approaches to co-teaching that can be used in a classroom. Different authors refer to slightly different names for the categories, but there are significant similarities in the combination of approaches that can be used. They usually differ in the way teachers set their roles and the setting of the classroom.
For example, Villa, Thousand, and Nevin recognize four different kind of co-teaching in their book, “A Guide to Co-Teaching: Practical Tips for Facilitating Student Learning.” Which are as follow:
Table 2.1: different type of co-teaching
Supportive Teaching One teacher leads and the other observes or offers assistance Parallel Teaching Teachers work with groups and present the same information. Complementary Teaching A teacher enhances the instruction provided by the other teacher (i.e., mini lesson) Team Teaching Both teachers share the planning and the instruction in a coordinated fashion.
However, Friend (2007) outlined six possible approaches to co-teaching:
• One teaching, one observing
• Station teaching
• Parallel teaching
• Alternative teaching
• One teaching, one assisting; and
• Teaming.
With the supportive teaching approach, one teacher leads the instruction and the other observes or assists students. This approach is often overused, as it requires the least amount of change. This approach also does not capitalize on the expertise and talents of both teachers.
Parallel teaching involves both teachers presenting the same content to different groups of students. While the content is the same, there may be somewhat different adaptations or modifications for each of the groups. A variation on this approach is called “Station Teaching”, which is sometimes considered as another variation of co-teaching. In this case, each teacher presents different content to small groups of students. Students rotate through the stations provided by each teacher. One of those stations may require students to work on their own. This approach provides more individualized support and allows students to receive content from two different teachers. It can, however, create an increase in the noise level and some students may find it distracting.
The complementary approach involves one teacher enhancing the instruction of another. This can be accomplished by performing a demonstration or providing a mini-lesson within a lesson. This approach capitalizes on the teaching strengths of both teachers, but requires more planning time, more flexibility, and a higher degree of trust than the first two approaches. A variation on this approach is what is called “alternative teaching”. With this approach, one teacher teaches the whole class, while the other pre-teaches, re-teaches, or enriches the lesson to a small group of students. This approach can provide greater individualized instruction, but if the same students are always in the small group, you have really just created a special education class in the back of the room.
The idea of team-teaching seems to have originated from the USA, with the publication in 1957 of Dr. J. Lloyd Trump’s Image of the Future, written on behalf of the Commission on the Experimental Study of the Utilization of Staff in the High School. (Curzon, 1994, as cited in Rini, Widiati, & Widayati, 2008). Team teaching involves both teachers sharing in the planning and the delivery of the instruction in a coordinated fashion. Lessons could be divided based on each teacher’s strengths or both teachers could instruct simultaneously in an almost conversational manner. This approach requires a good working relationship between the teachers and a high level of trust.
Sometimes researchers use other terms when they want to refer to team- teaching. For example in a study named “Refining the General Education Student Teaching Experience through the Use of Special Education Collaborative Teaching Models” the researchers believe that since sharing is the most important feature of team teaching and it is characterized in the literature as the approach of best co-teaching practice, and other approaches as somewhat lesser forms of team teaching; they have replaced the term “team teaching” with “shared teaching”. (Dynak, Whitten, & Dynak, 1997)
Among existing co-teaching models, shared teaching is perhaps the most difficult to achieve. This model requires that both teachers equally share all components of the cycle of teaching practices. One teacher may assume the

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