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The Process of English Language Teaching and Learning experienced by Teachers and Students in Two Contexts: China and New Zealand

This study investigated the process of tertiary English language teaching and learning as experienced by teachers of English as a foreign language (EFL) and English as a second language (ESL) and their Chinese EFL and ESL students in the two contexts: China and New Zealand. Specifically, it explored classroom practice in terms of six key perspectives: instructional approaches, language pedagogy, use of textbooks, student modalities, error correction and classroom tasks by means of questionnaires, the Adapted Communicative Orientation of Language Teaching (COLT) Observation Scheme, stimulated recall interviews (SRIs) and interviews. Data for this study were collected from six regular scheduled lessons randomly selected and videotaped in the two tertiary contexts, as well as from the perspectives of 120 Chinese students (104 EFL and 16 ESL) and their 6 teachers (3 in each context) who experienced and/or viewed these videotaped lessons. This thesis uses three theoretical strands: (1) English language teaching (ELT) contexts - definitions and distinguishing EFL and ESL; (2) ELT approaches - the Grammar-Translation method (GTM), Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) and the Task-Based Language Teaching (TBLT); and (3) ELT classroom practice - instructional approaches, language pedagogy, use of textbooks, student modality, error correction and classroom tasks. It revisits the background of Chinese traditional educational culture and its influences on Chinese English education, discusses the GTM and CLT in the Chinese EFL context, and covers the literature on ELT classroom practice in both contexts. These strands are used in theorizing the current research. This research aims to enable the views of Chinese EFL and ESL tertiary students and their EFL and ESL teachers on ELT in these two contexts to be heard or studied. It is an attempt to better comprehend the various factors which might aid or hinder the development of Chinese EFL and ESL students' English communicative competence in these English language classes. This includes addressing how EFL and ESL teachers might best help their Chinese students to achieve communicative competence in the classroom setting and which teaching approaches are the most effective in doing so. The findings showed that a conventional teacher-centred instructional approach continues to have considerable purchase for Chinese EFL and ESL students in both contexts. The findings suggest that it is important and also necessary, to some extent, to have teacher-centred instruction and grammar teaching according to students' needs and students' language levels. Nonetheless, it also revealed that the Chinese ESL students who shared the same Chinese culture and English education background as the Chinese EFL students had different perspectives on classroom tasks conducted in the Chinese EFL context after they experienced the Western English education for a short time in New Zealand. Another finding of this study was that age-appropriateness should be taken into consideration by ESL teachers when they design their classroom tasks for Chinese ESL tertiary students.
Type of thesis
Wang, X. (2009). The Process of English Language Teaching and Learning experienced by Teachers and Students in Two Contexts: China and New Zealand (Thesis). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/3291
The University of Waikato
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