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postgraduate thesis: The factors impacting on teacher's decision-making when handling language form in the university language classroom

TitleThe factors impacting on teacher's decision-making when handling language form in the university language classroom
Authors
Issue Date2015
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Keh, C. L.. (2015). The factors impacting on teacher's decision-making when handling language form in the university language classroom. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5690652
AbstractTeacher cognition—what teachers think, know and believe--has been found to directly impact the decisions teachers make in the classroom. The relationship between teaching cognition and practice is seen to be interrelated and complex, although not always consistent (Basturkmen, 2012). This qualitative study investigated the planned and unplanned form-focused decisions of four university English language teachers in an EAP (English for Academic Purposes) course—three local non-native English speaking teachers (NNESTs) and one non-local native English speaking teacher (NEST)—and their students’ responses to those decisions (including grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation following Doughty & Williams, 1998). The data collection instruments of this multiple case study included non-participant observations, stimulated recall semi-structured interviews of the four teachers and focus groups representing each teacher’s class. The findings reveal that the students’ responses—anticipated, perceived or actual—factored heavily into the decisions teachers made, both planned and unplanned. Generally, the teachers expected resistance from students to any grammar focus, although the teachers believed that such a focus was still necessary. The students also recognized a need for grammar instruction but in contrast to the teachers’ beliefs, the students were not resistant to grammar instruction per se, but rather resistant to grammar that was “too basic” and/or presented in a manner too similar to their past secondary schooling. More specifically, the teachers’ perception and anticipation of student responses (and resistance) stemmed from students’ evaluation of the teacher and SET scores, shared background with the students (linguistic, educational, cultural), and previous teaching experiences, which included previous experiences teaching the course (or lack thereof). It was found that concern for students’ responses were regarded more seriously than the course textbook or curriculum (and approach) prescribed by the course coordinators was revealed in the decisions the teachers made. Another factor influencing form-focused decision-making was the teachers’ language learning experiences particularly those of the NNESTs. These teachers demonstrated the strategies that helped them be successful in their own language learning with regard to acquisition of grammar and grammatical accuracy. Professional education was also seen to influence the decisions teachers made, especially when their language learning experiences were congruent with the messages given in their professional education courses. The unplanned data revealed that most of the decisions to divert from the lesson in progress were initiated by the teachers in order to address problems with accuracy (reactive feedback), to take up an opportunity to provide grammar instruction, and in one salient case to respond to (mis)perceived student confusion. The data also revealed some unplanned episodes that were student, rather than teacher initiated. In these cases the teacher was seen to react to the episode as more positively (as an opportunity) or more negatively (as a threat) depending on factors related to the teaching Self (Kumaravadivelu, 2012), and the teacher’s anticipation of, or preparedness to handle the student query.
DegreeDoctor of Education
SubjectLanguage and languages - Study and teaching (Higher) - China - Hong Kong
Language teachers - China - Hong Kong - Psychology
Dept/ProgramEducation
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/223142

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorKeh, Claudia Lynne-
dc.date.accessioned2016-02-19T23:10:01Z-
dc.date.available2016-02-19T23:10:01Z-
dc.date.issued2015-
dc.identifier.citationKeh, C. L.. (2015). The factors impacting on teacher's decision-making when handling language form in the university language classroom. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5690652-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/223142-
dc.description.abstractTeacher cognition—what teachers think, know and believe--has been found to directly impact the decisions teachers make in the classroom. The relationship between teaching cognition and practice is seen to be interrelated and complex, although not always consistent (Basturkmen, 2012). This qualitative study investigated the planned and unplanned form-focused decisions of four university English language teachers in an EAP (English for Academic Purposes) course—three local non-native English speaking teachers (NNESTs) and one non-local native English speaking teacher (NEST)—and their students’ responses to those decisions (including grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation following Doughty & Williams, 1998). The data collection instruments of this multiple case study included non-participant observations, stimulated recall semi-structured interviews of the four teachers and focus groups representing each teacher’s class. The findings reveal that the students’ responses—anticipated, perceived or actual—factored heavily into the decisions teachers made, both planned and unplanned. Generally, the teachers expected resistance from students to any grammar focus, although the teachers believed that such a focus was still necessary. The students also recognized a need for grammar instruction but in contrast to the teachers’ beliefs, the students were not resistant to grammar instruction per se, but rather resistant to grammar that was “too basic” and/or presented in a manner too similar to their past secondary schooling. More specifically, the teachers’ perception and anticipation of student responses (and resistance) stemmed from students’ evaluation of the teacher and SET scores, shared background with the students (linguistic, educational, cultural), and previous teaching experiences, which included previous experiences teaching the course (or lack thereof). It was found that concern for students’ responses were regarded more seriously than the course textbook or curriculum (and approach) prescribed by the course coordinators was revealed in the decisions the teachers made. Another factor influencing form-focused decision-making was the teachers’ language learning experiences particularly those of the NNESTs. These teachers demonstrated the strategies that helped them be successful in their own language learning with regard to acquisition of grammar and grammatical accuracy. Professional education was also seen to influence the decisions teachers made, especially when their language learning experiences were congruent with the messages given in their professional education courses. The unplanned data revealed that most of the decisions to divert from the lesson in progress were initiated by the teachers in order to address problems with accuracy (reactive feedback), to take up an opportunity to provide grammar instruction, and in one salient case to respond to (mis)perceived student confusion. The data also revealed some unplanned episodes that were student, rather than teacher initiated. In these cases the teacher was seen to react to the episode as more positively (as an opportunity) or more negatively (as a threat) depending on factors related to the teaching Self (Kumaravadivelu, 2012), and the teacher’s anticipation of, or preparedness to handle the student query.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.subject.lcshLanguage and languages - Study and teaching (Higher) - China - Hong Kong-
dc.subject.lcshLanguage teachers - China - Hong Kong - Psychology-
dc.titleThe factors impacting on teacher's decision-making when handling language form in the university language classroom-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5690652-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Education-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineEducation-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5690652-

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