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Reconceptualising English teaching in Taiwan: action research with technical college students

Hsieh, Jessie Ju Chen (2009) Reconceptualising English teaching in Taiwan: action research with technical college students. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



English is now the primary language used amongst speakers from around the world for international communication. In response to this fact, there are calls for a paradigm shift in English language teaching (ELT) in respect of the increasing English users who speak English as an international language (EIL). For more than two decades, there have been heated debates and discussions concerning EIL teaching with issues such as standards and norms of EIL, ownership of EIL and identity of EIL users, culture(s) in EIL, etc.. With Taiwan's cultural politics background, English has long been portrayed and perceived as a prestigious foreign language which represents a passport to better economic gains, education, and social status. This perception of English has not only brought about a phenomenon of English fever, but also endorsed an economic pragmatic view in learning English as an international language. Consequently, it has reinforced ELT practices to aim at preparing learners of English for 'being competitive' instead of 'understanding of others’. Based on an educational philosophy that today's English language teaching should prepare learners as world citizens instead of global human capital, the purpose of this action research project is to provide an intercultural communicative way of teaching English. A total of 42 part-time technical college students and a teacher researcher in Taipei were involved in investigating the desirability and feasibility of such ELT pedagogy. Under a theme of 'A Visit from our Sister College', nine lessons were taught with cultural topics like name, hometown, food, and entertainment. The findings suggest that, with some minor technical modifications needed in the future, the proposed pedagogy can help learners not only find their confidence in learning and utilising English language in their daily life but also deep-learn cultures of self and others. Thus, it might result the learners in becoming world citizens in a gradual/progressive manner.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Education
Thesis Date:2009
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:08 Sep 2011 18:26

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