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postgraduate thesis: Mediating academic discourse development in a marketing course in Hong Kong : the role of bilingual resources

TitleMediating academic discourse development in a marketing course in Hong Kong : the role of bilingual resources
Authors
Issue Date2014
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Tong, K. E. [唐嘉雯]. (2014). Mediating academic discourse development in a marketing course in Hong Kong : the role of bilingual resources. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5137418
AbstractEducators in the English-medium community colleges in Hong Kong are being challenged to prepare students with diverse language backgrounds to learn through English as a second language. While some researchers advocate the adoption of an ‘English-only policy’ to maximise students’ exposure to their target language, others argue that bilingual learners’ accessibility to both their first language [L1] and second language [L2] as semiotic resources for learning may facilitate their mediation of cognitively-demanding academic tasks, and subsequently their academic discourse development. Adopting a social practice view of learning, this study explores how learners use their bilingual resources to mediate their academic discourse development in a marketing course at the sub-degree level in Hong Kong. A case study was conducted to trace how students use Chinese as their L1 and English as their L2 to make sense of the social practice of marketing in an integrated language and content learning environment. The focus of the study was students’ language use at different stages of a marketing project which required them to work collaboratively to research and analyse the marketing environment of a product, to write up a marketing plan of the product, and to deliver an oral presentation. The main data sources were the spoken and written discourse data collected from a 14-week semester from a project group’s out-of-classroom discussions, written report and oral presentation, which were analysed using Mohan’s (2007) model of social practice analysis – one that considers texts as the instantiation of both the language system and the system of meanings. Interview data on the functions of students’ language choices in the project were also used to triangulate the discourse data. The analysis of the student discourses shows the prominent role of learners’ L1 in mediating their meaning-making, and subsequently their L2 academic discourse development, in the theory-practice dialectic of learning in the marketing project. The findings indicate that the student-participants used both their L1 and L2 to help them perform the project tasks within the larger context of the marketing course. At the project preparation stage, the student-participants were able to use appropriate lexical-grammatical features of their L1 and/or L2 to (i) reconstruct their findings about the marketing practices of the selected company, (ii) reflect on such practices using their disciplinary knowledge, and (iii) scaffold their peers’ second language academic discourse development. Through their constant reflection on their academic practices in both L1 and L2, the student-participants were ultimately able to deploy effective L2 linguistic resources which correspond to the semantic structures of marketing to represent their disciplinary knowledge in both L2 oral and written academic discourses. This study has made contributions to the field of bilingualism and academic discourse socialisation. It helps to generate a deeper understanding of learners’ language use patterns in a marketing project – how bilingual learners use their linguistic resources to make sense of the disciplinary ways of knowing and thinking. The results illustrate the interdependent relationship of content, language and higher level thinking skills in marketing. With a better understanding of the language and cognitive demands of the marketing project, this study helps to draw implications for the pedagogical practices of disciplinary subjects at the sub-degree level and calls for the collaboration of both content and language teachers to derive more effective strategies for fostering students’ academic discourse development by drawing on the linguistic resources of bilingual learners.
DegreeDoctor of Education
SubjectEducation, Bilingual - China - Hong Kong
Discourse analysis
Dept/ProgramEducation
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/196057

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorTong, Ka-man, Esther-
dc.contributor.author唐嘉雯-
dc.date.accessioned2014-03-24T23:12:30Z-
dc.date.available2014-03-24T23:12:30Z-
dc.date.issued2014-
dc.identifier.citationTong, K. E. [唐嘉雯]. (2014). Mediating academic discourse development in a marketing course in Hong Kong : the role of bilingual resources. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5137418-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/196057-
dc.description.abstractEducators in the English-medium community colleges in Hong Kong are being challenged to prepare students with diverse language backgrounds to learn through English as a second language. While some researchers advocate the adoption of an ‘English-only policy’ to maximise students’ exposure to their target language, others argue that bilingual learners’ accessibility to both their first language [L1] and second language [L2] as semiotic resources for learning may facilitate their mediation of cognitively-demanding academic tasks, and subsequently their academic discourse development. Adopting a social practice view of learning, this study explores how learners use their bilingual resources to mediate their academic discourse development in a marketing course at the sub-degree level in Hong Kong. A case study was conducted to trace how students use Chinese as their L1 and English as their L2 to make sense of the social practice of marketing in an integrated language and content learning environment. The focus of the study was students’ language use at different stages of a marketing project which required them to work collaboratively to research and analyse the marketing environment of a product, to write up a marketing plan of the product, and to deliver an oral presentation. The main data sources were the spoken and written discourse data collected from a 14-week semester from a project group’s out-of-classroom discussions, written report and oral presentation, which were analysed using Mohan’s (2007) model of social practice analysis – one that considers texts as the instantiation of both the language system and the system of meanings. Interview data on the functions of students’ language choices in the project were also used to triangulate the discourse data. The analysis of the student discourses shows the prominent role of learners’ L1 in mediating their meaning-making, and subsequently their L2 academic discourse development, in the theory-practice dialectic of learning in the marketing project. The findings indicate that the student-participants used both their L1 and L2 to help them perform the project tasks within the larger context of the marketing course. At the project preparation stage, the student-participants were able to use appropriate lexical-grammatical features of their L1 and/or L2 to (i) reconstruct their findings about the marketing practices of the selected company, (ii) reflect on such practices using their disciplinary knowledge, and (iii) scaffold their peers’ second language academic discourse development. Through their constant reflection on their academic practices in both L1 and L2, the student-participants were ultimately able to deploy effective L2 linguistic resources which correspond to the semantic structures of marketing to represent their disciplinary knowledge in both L2 oral and written academic discourses. This study has made contributions to the field of bilingualism and academic discourse socialisation. It helps to generate a deeper understanding of learners’ language use patterns in a marketing project – how bilingual learners use their linguistic resources to make sense of the disciplinary ways of knowing and thinking. The results illustrate the interdependent relationship of content, language and higher level thinking skills in marketing. With a better understanding of the language and cognitive demands of the marketing project, this study helps to draw implications for the pedagogical practices of disciplinary subjects at the sub-degree level and calls for the collaboration of both content and language teachers to derive more effective strategies for fostering students’ academic discourse development by drawing on the linguistic resources of bilingual learners.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.subject.lcshEducation, Bilingual - China - Hong Kong-
dc.subject.lcshDiscourse analysis-
dc.titleMediating academic discourse development in a marketing course in Hong Kong : the role of bilingual resources-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5137418-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Education-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineEducation-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5137418-

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