|Although ICC teaching/learning in foreign language classrooms has been explored over the past few decades, few studies have experimented with systematically planning and integrating ICC teaching/learning in the EFL classroom by applying ICC theories. Very few studies on ICC teaching have included data on classroom teaching practices collected by a multi-method approach. In the context of China, where the development of ICC is emphasized in the College English syllabus, there is dearth of empirical studies on ICC teaching and no studies have trialled systematically planning and integrating ICC teaching into the EFL curriculum/classroom for non-English majors in universities to investigate how it might motivate students to learn English and how it might develop students‘ ICC and ICC confidence.
This practitioner research sought to occupy the research space above. Based on an extensive review of the ICC teaching literature, this intervention study was carried out to trial applying ICC teaching and L2 learning motivation theories to the EFL curriculum/classroom, specifically an intervention class of non-English majors in a university in China through one semester. To investigate the associations of the intervention with students’ learning motivation, ICC and ICC confidence, a mixture of research methods was applied, including practitioner inquiry, action research, case study, mixed methods with explanatory design and triangulation design, and a quasi-experimental design. A multi-method approach to data collection was adopted including surveys, pre-test and post-test, students’ reflective journals, teacher‘s reflective journal and interviews. These data sets were analysed in ways appropriate to the data type, including thematic analysis and statistical analysis. The results of the qualitative and quantitative analysis were used to compare, triangulate and mutually illuminate both sets of results.
The findings indicate that students’ positive attitudes toward ICC learning were related to their identification with the importance of learning/teaching ICC in English classroom and the fact that the systematic ICC learning/teaching in their English classroom had stimulated their interest and increased their learning motivation. Associations were found between systematic ICC learning/teaching and students’ improvement in learning motivation, LS, ICC and ICC confidence. A number of effective ways of systematically planning and integrating ICC learning/teaching into the EFL curriculum/classroom were found, such as a division into three learning phases, a process of six stages in ICC curriculum planning, deciding certain ICC learning/teaching objectives, and other basic dimensions and components of the curriculum, including resource selection for the ICC learning/teaching and aspects of teaching method.
It is concluded that systematically planning and integrating ICC teaching into the EFL curriculum/classroom, based on the theories of ICC teaching and L2 learning motivation, has a great potential to develop students‘ ICC and ICC confidence, and promote their learning motivation as well, with a flow-on benefit to their language skills. This study is significant for its practical implications for the practice of ICC learning/teaching in the EFL curriculum/classroom; its contribution to the practical and theoretical development/support of ICC learning/teaching and L2 learning motivation theories; its applying a mixture of research methods and of data collection and analysis procedures to investigate ICC teaching. In one word, it is significant in its offering practical implications for curriculum implementation, practical implications for teacher education and language policy-making, methodological implications for research, and theoretical implications for the development of ICC teaching/learning in the EFL classroom.