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postgraduate thesis: The participatory relationship among teachers, students and curriculum materials : a case study of four Chinese EFL (English as a foreign language) teachers at the tertiary level in mainland China

TitleThe participatory relationship among teachers, students and curriculum materials : a case study of four Chinese EFL (English as a foreign language) teachers at the tertiary level in mainland China
Authors
Issue Date2016
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Li, Z. [李展]. (2016). The participatory relationship among teachers, students and curriculum materials : a case study of four Chinese EFL (English as a foreign language) teachers at the tertiary level in mainland China. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR.
AbstractThis thesis examines how and why language teachers enact the prescribed curriculum materials at the tertiary level in Mainland China. Given that English textbooks are ubiquitous in language classrooms across China, there is a paucity of research on what teachers and learners actually do with these materials, both locally and globally (Larsen-Freeman, 2014; Tomlinson, 2012). The long-standing sociocultural status of prescribed textbooks as de facto curriculum in the centralised curriculum context of Mainland China highlights the need for an in-depth understanding of their use in classroom settings. By deploying sociocultural theories, this classroom-based research aims to conceptualise the enactment of curriculum materials in English language teaching (ELT) at the tertiary level in Mainland China in terms of unpacking this ostensibly straightforward yet complex phenomenon. This thesis conducts a qualitative multi-case study involving four Chinese ELT teachers who were using the same curriculum materials and teaching College English to non-English majors at similar language proficiency levels at a university in Mainland China and eight students, two from each teacher’s class. Drawing on data from baseline, pre-lesson and post-lesson interviews with teachers and baseline interviews with their students, lesson observations and documents over three successive semesters from March 2013 to June 2015 at the target university, teachers’ enactment of curriculum materials is generalised in a series of actions in three different phases: pre-lesson, while-lesson and post-lesson phases. Three particular ways that curriculum instruments mediate college faculty work are identified along with four domains of factors that affect teachers’ use of the curriculum materials. This variation in language teachers’ use of the same curriculum materials proves the participatory relationship among teachers, learners and curriculum materials at the tertiary level in the ELT context (Remillard, 2005). The process of enacting curriculum materials in ELT is mediated by the interactions among teachers’ resources, students’ resources and curriculum material resources. This study also clarifies the transformation of the curriculum materials into curriculum instruments in terms of teachers’ cognitive processes, which is the crux of enacting curriculum materials in classroom settings. The results of this study indicate the centrality of teachers in enacting curriculum materials in ELT at the tertiary level in Mainland China. Without the development of teacher knowledge regarding the use of curriculum materials, curricula could not be implemented effectively and efficiently. Further, teachers need consistent in-service support to analyse materials to identify potential teaching content, to strategically adapt and supplement their materials, and to develop a deeper understanding of the target curriculum. Without an in-depth understanding of the process of transforming ‘dead’ curriculum materials into ‘living’ instruction by focusing on the resources in curriculum materials and teachers’ instructional approaches that support students’ learning, enactments could work against the primary goal and potential benefits of reform-oriented curriculum materials. Both theoretical and practical implications are presented.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectEnglish language - Study and teaching (Higher) - China
Dept/ProgramEducation
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/250348
HKU Library Item IDb5846367

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorLi, Zhan-
dc.contributor.author李展-
dc.date.accessioned2017-12-30T15:01:03Z-
dc.date.available2017-12-30T15:01:03Z-
dc.date.issued2016-
dc.identifier.citationLi, Z. [李展]. (2016). The participatory relationship among teachers, students and curriculum materials : a case study of four Chinese EFL (English as a foreign language) teachers at the tertiary level in mainland China. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR.-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/250348-
dc.description.abstractThis thesis examines how and why language teachers enact the prescribed curriculum materials at the tertiary level in Mainland China. Given that English textbooks are ubiquitous in language classrooms across China, there is a paucity of research on what teachers and learners actually do with these materials, both locally and globally (Larsen-Freeman, 2014; Tomlinson, 2012). The long-standing sociocultural status of prescribed textbooks as de facto curriculum in the centralised curriculum context of Mainland China highlights the need for an in-depth understanding of their use in classroom settings. By deploying sociocultural theories, this classroom-based research aims to conceptualise the enactment of curriculum materials in English language teaching (ELT) at the tertiary level in Mainland China in terms of unpacking this ostensibly straightforward yet complex phenomenon. This thesis conducts a qualitative multi-case study involving four Chinese ELT teachers who were using the same curriculum materials and teaching College English to non-English majors at similar language proficiency levels at a university in Mainland China and eight students, two from each teacher’s class. Drawing on data from baseline, pre-lesson and post-lesson interviews with teachers and baseline interviews with their students, lesson observations and documents over three successive semesters from March 2013 to June 2015 at the target university, teachers’ enactment of curriculum materials is generalised in a series of actions in three different phases: pre-lesson, while-lesson and post-lesson phases. Three particular ways that curriculum instruments mediate college faculty work are identified along with four domains of factors that affect teachers’ use of the curriculum materials. This variation in language teachers’ use of the same curriculum materials proves the participatory relationship among teachers, learners and curriculum materials at the tertiary level in the ELT context (Remillard, 2005). The process of enacting curriculum materials in ELT is mediated by the interactions among teachers’ resources, students’ resources and curriculum material resources. This study also clarifies the transformation of the curriculum materials into curriculum instruments in terms of teachers’ cognitive processes, which is the crux of enacting curriculum materials in classroom settings. The results of this study indicate the centrality of teachers in enacting curriculum materials in ELT at the tertiary level in Mainland China. Without the development of teacher knowledge regarding the use of curriculum materials, curricula could not be implemented effectively and efficiently. Further, teachers need consistent in-service support to analyse materials to identify potential teaching content, to strategically adapt and supplement their materials, and to develop a deeper understanding of the target curriculum. Without an in-depth understanding of the process of transforming ‘dead’ curriculum materials into ‘living’ instruction by focusing on the resources in curriculum materials and teachers’ instructional approaches that support students’ learning, enactments could work against the primary goal and potential benefits of reform-oriented curriculum materials. Both theoretical and practical implications are presented. -
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.subject.lcshEnglish language - Study and teaching (Higher) - China-
dc.titleThe participatory relationship among teachers, students and curriculum materials : a case study of four Chinese EFL (English as a foreign language) teachers at the tertiary level in mainland China-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5846367-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineEducation-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-

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