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postgraduate thesis: Cultivating English learners' critical literacy in mainland China through the four resources model in blended learning

TitleCultivating English learners' critical literacy in mainland China through the four resources model in blended learning
Authors
Issue Date2015
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Ruan, Q. [阮全友]. (2015). Cultivating English learners' critical literacy in mainland China through the four resources model in blended learning. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5689278
AbstractCritical literacy, bringing literacy education into a wider socio-cultural context, has become an important focus in literacy studies. The global academia has contributed rich theories and educational models to this field. Recently, although the deficiency in English learners’ critical literacy has caught an increasing attention in Mainland China, the pedagogical solutions to this problem are still in urgent need. Drawing on the Four Resources Model (4RM) and the principles of critical literacy, this thesis seeks to explore how to cultivate English learners’ critical literacy in blended learning. By taking a qualitative action research (AR), this project was designed to include two inter-linked studies (Study 1 and Study 2) in a first-year English class at a university in Central China over a two-semester period. Study 1 investigated the status quo of the research site to map the weaknesses in Chinese English education. It involved 28 students and 5 English teachers. Data were collected through students’ first written reports of English learning experiences and the interviews with the participants. It finds evidence to prove the claim of English learners’ deficiency in critical literacy in China, moreover, extends the boundaries of the current discussion from focusing on this problem at the college-level to involving evidence from students’ pre-tertiary education. Finally, Study 1 offers suggestions to design the following AR process in Study 2. Study 2 was designed from three aspects that emerged from Study 1: learning materials, learning environment, and pedagogical changes. Participants were the same group of students as in Study 1. Data were collected to examine students’ critical literacy development across time, including their second and third written reports of English learning, classroom observations, interviews, and the data from Moodle activities. Study 2 finds that, by implementing the AR intervention suggested by Study 1, students’ critical literacy was shown to improve with noticeable evidence as follows: 1) more texts were involved from the outside world into English learning in both classroom and Moodle activities, 2) students’ participation and the increase in critical practices in the classroom and Moodle activities, and 3) the process of students’ gradual empowerment developed in shifting from teacher-led, to teacher-facilitated, and finally student-led patterns in the whole-class discussion, group discussion, and textbook learning activities, particularly in student-initiated English Salons. Finally, this project drew on the findings to discuss new insights into the 4RM and blended learning. Moreover, it offered a Confucian model for the process of critical literacy practices to promote the dialogue between theories from China and the world in future research. This study may contribute to future critical literacy projects in China by highlighting five points: 1) involving multiple learning materials into the process of connecting texts and the outside world; 2) building a blended learning environment to provide more opportunities for critical practices; 3) involving a progression of constant negotiations with multiple texts, viewpoints, and learners’ linguistic and cultural identities; 4) engaging teachers’ bottom-up initiatives for knowledge sharing and policy development; and 5) localising the critical literacy theory and practice from the Chinese socio-cultural perspective.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectCritical pedagogy - China
Blended learning - China
Literacy - Social aspects - China
Dept/ProgramEducation
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/222361

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorRuan, Quanyou-
dc.contributor.author阮全友-
dc.date.accessioned2016-01-13T01:23:11Z-
dc.date.available2016-01-13T01:23:11Z-
dc.date.issued2015-
dc.identifier.citationRuan, Q. [阮全友]. (2015). Cultivating English learners' critical literacy in mainland China through the four resources model in blended learning. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5689278-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/222361-
dc.description.abstractCritical literacy, bringing literacy education into a wider socio-cultural context, has become an important focus in literacy studies. The global academia has contributed rich theories and educational models to this field. Recently, although the deficiency in English learners’ critical literacy has caught an increasing attention in Mainland China, the pedagogical solutions to this problem are still in urgent need. Drawing on the Four Resources Model (4RM) and the principles of critical literacy, this thesis seeks to explore how to cultivate English learners’ critical literacy in blended learning. By taking a qualitative action research (AR), this project was designed to include two inter-linked studies (Study 1 and Study 2) in a first-year English class at a university in Central China over a two-semester period. Study 1 investigated the status quo of the research site to map the weaknesses in Chinese English education. It involved 28 students and 5 English teachers. Data were collected through students’ first written reports of English learning experiences and the interviews with the participants. It finds evidence to prove the claim of English learners’ deficiency in critical literacy in China, moreover, extends the boundaries of the current discussion from focusing on this problem at the college-level to involving evidence from students’ pre-tertiary education. Finally, Study 1 offers suggestions to design the following AR process in Study 2. Study 2 was designed from three aspects that emerged from Study 1: learning materials, learning environment, and pedagogical changes. Participants were the same group of students as in Study 1. Data were collected to examine students’ critical literacy development across time, including their second and third written reports of English learning, classroom observations, interviews, and the data from Moodle activities. Study 2 finds that, by implementing the AR intervention suggested by Study 1, students’ critical literacy was shown to improve with noticeable evidence as follows: 1) more texts were involved from the outside world into English learning in both classroom and Moodle activities, 2) students’ participation and the increase in critical practices in the classroom and Moodle activities, and 3) the process of students’ gradual empowerment developed in shifting from teacher-led, to teacher-facilitated, and finally student-led patterns in the whole-class discussion, group discussion, and textbook learning activities, particularly in student-initiated English Salons. Finally, this project drew on the findings to discuss new insights into the 4RM and blended learning. Moreover, it offered a Confucian model for the process of critical literacy practices to promote the dialogue between theories from China and the world in future research. This study may contribute to future critical literacy projects in China by highlighting five points: 1) involving multiple learning materials into the process of connecting texts and the outside world; 2) building a blended learning environment to provide more opportunities for critical practices; 3) involving a progression of constant negotiations with multiple texts, viewpoints, and learners’ linguistic and cultural identities; 4) engaging teachers’ bottom-up initiatives for knowledge sharing and policy development; and 5) localising the critical literacy theory and practice from the Chinese socio-cultural perspective.-
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.lcshCritical pedagogy - China-
dc.subject.lcshBlended learning - China-
dc.subject.lcshLiteracy - Social aspects - China-
dc.titleCultivating English learners' critical literacy in mainland China through the four resources model in blended learning-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5689278-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineEducation-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5689278-

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