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Timor leste collaborative project: a short report

This report discusses findings from a small-scale scoping study, which is part of a larger curriculum project—a collaborative venture between staff from the Universidade Nacional Timor Lorosa'e (UNTL) and a New Zealand university. The aim of the wider project is to develop a context-sensitive English language curriculum for students at UNTL who are undergoing pre-service training to be teachers of English as a foreign language in local secondary schools. (Details of the institutional and linguistic context are provided in the appendix.) According to Norton (2000), investment by learners is a key factor in the successful implementation of a new curriculum: "if learners invest in a second language, they do so with the understanding that they will acquire a wider range of symbolic and material resources, which will increase their value in the social world" (Norton, 2000, pp. 165-166). Thus, when designing the curriculum, it is important to ensure that the students will not only understand how to use the specific learning tasks but that it also expands their repertoire of skills and knowledge for application in their subsequent professional and social lives. The report begins by outlining the history and objectives of the project before explaining the specific research questions posed for the scoping study. The means of collecting data will be outlined and examples of the participants' attitudes will be presented based on open-ended questionnaire responses. These findings will be discussed in terms of how they might lead to the design of a curriculum which is internationally-framed and context-sensitive in terms both of its content and implementation. The report will conclude with the further steps that are being taken to move the project to its next phase.
Journal Article
Type of thesis
Amaral, M. A., Field, J., McLellan, J. & Barnard, R. (2009). Timor leste collaborative project: a short report. New Zealand Studies in Applied Linguistics, 15(1), 47-55.
Applied Linguistics Association of New Zealand
This article has been published in the journal: New Zealand Studies in Applied Linguistics. Used with permission.