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  • About
  • The Global ETD Search service is a free service for researchers to find electronic theses and dissertations. This service is provided by the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations.
    Our metadata is collected from universities around the world. If you manage a university/consortium/country archive and want to be added, details can be found on the NDLTD website.

Applying an intercultural approach to Chinese college language teaching

Qin, Shuoqian January 2015 (has links)
This thesis seeks to investigate how the integration of intercultural dimensions in an English as Foreign Language (EFL) syllabus can provide Chinese university students with opportunities to develop their intercultural communicative competence (ICC). It presents both theoretical and practical implications for constructing an ICC framework and intercultural methodology suitable for the EFL context in China. An action research study was planned and carried out over a six-week Intercultural English Course (IEC) among multi-majored undergraduate students in China through an action research study. The qualitative data gathered provides evidence of the development of learners’ intercultural communicative competence (ICC) and highlights learning and teaching practices that were effective in enhancing students’ learning. The findings indicate that the teaching content and instructional methods contributed significantly to improvement in a number of key areas: cultural knowledge, strengthened positive attitudes toward other cultures, and enhanced intercultural communicative skills. The theoretical conception of ICC represents a comprehensive set of criteria that provide both guidance and challenge. Application of such frameworks, past and future, ensures rigour in the design of intercultural language learning curricula and their associated learning objectives. This study argues that adoption of an ICC methodology together with use of relevant, contextualised content, will more effectively meet the needs of Chinese EFL learners. The intercultural approach arouses great curiosity amongst teachers and offers new perspectives for language learners. This study recommends the further development and implementation of contextualised ICC models that integrate culturally appropriate teaching materials and embrace creative student-centred learning strategies.

Improving pupils' attitude to English learning and cultural understanding through email exchange : an action research project in a secondary school in Taiwan

Wu, Fang-Hui January 2015 (has links)
Electronic mail (e-mail) has been widely used in communication for many years. The main purpose of this action research was to explore whether utilizing an email exchange project can enhance secondary school pupils’ motivation and attitude to language learning and improve their intercultural learning. This was a collaborative intercultural email exchange project between two secondary schools, one in north east of Taiwan and another one in the USA. The researcher sought to identify the attitudes of and concepts of learners and teachers towards the email exchange. This study adopted qualitative and quantitative methods. However, there was more focus on qualitative data in order to determine if the project improved the pupils’ attitude to learning English and develop their intercultural communicative competence. In order to ensure trustworthiness, multiple data collection instruments were employed in this study. The findings show that using e-mail can benefit pupils in their language and intercultural learning. The study examines outcomes and factors that made the project successful. It sets the research in the context of a theoretical framework and Taiwan education policy and suggestions for further work and research of this kind. The limitations of this study are also discussed.

Developing critical thinking through problem-based learning : an action research for a class of media literacy

Chen, Dai-Ling January 2015 (has links)
Higher education provides students with the platform for mobilising knowledge for practical use in the face of unforeseen situations. Referring to the area of media literacy, students nowadays are more likely to have access to a variety of information and publish their ideas; cultivating media literacy quality and skills thus takes on heightened significance. This requires critical thinking which encompasses knowledge and capabilities for achieving understanding, making appropriate judgement, and taking meaningful action, as well as a pedagogical approach to activating learning. The literature suggests that constructivist problembased learning (PBL) has the potential for enhancing critical thinking theoretically; empirically, studies in different disciplines argue for the importance of strategic implementation and supportive facilitation. This study defined critical thinking as a threshold concept and established the epistemological threshold framework with conceptual and practical levels to investigate how PBL contributed to the development of critical thinking in the news media literacy class through students’ learning experiences, academic performance, and perceptions of their development. Thirty-five Taiwanese undergraduates from an Applied English Department in Southern Taiwan participated in this research. Classroom action research was conducted with multiple methods including focus group interviews, questionnaires, and the teacher’s observations, together with assessments of students’ academic group work and individual writing tasks through the PBL process. It was found that the learning journey was explicitly transformative and troublesome, while the integrative, bounded and irreversible characteristics of a threshold concept emerged during the research process. The dynamics of peer and teacher-student collaborative work also suggested students’ and the teacher’s epistemological, practical, and ontological development associated with the cognitive, affective, and social aspects of learning. The data from this study were combined with existing research relating to critical thinking and the pedagogical implications of PBL to develop a reflexive framework for future practice.

Teaching and learning vocabulary through reading at Saudi universities

Altalhab, Sultan January 2014 (has links)
Vocabulary is a vital part of learning a new language. The more learners learn new vocabulary, the more likely they are to be able to use the new language effectively. In an EFL context, where opportunities for practising English in daily life may be more limited, one of the main sources of new vocabulary is reading of English texts. Several studies have reported the challenges that Saudi students encounter in learning English. However, all of these studies looked at schools as the context for investigation and focused on teaching and learning English in general. The present research investigates the teaching and learning of vocabulary through reading at Saudi universities. It examines three main issues. First, it looks at the vocabulary teaching techniques employed by teachers teaching English in Saudi universities. Second, it examines the vocabulary learning strategies (VLSs) identified by students as most useful and the ones they felt most competent in using when reading. Third, it explores both teachers' and students' attitudes towards learning vocabulary through reading. While investigating these issues, the thesis identifies specific issues in teaching and learning vocabulary through reading at Saudi universities, in order to conclude with suggestions and recommendations for EFL teaching practices and language policy. While most vocabulary research is quantitative, this study used a mixed methods approach of quantitative and qualitative data collected from a range of sources. One hundred and fifty students majoring in English from four different universities completed a semi-structured questionnaire and twenty-two of them were interviewed. In addition, nine teachers of vocabulary and reading subjects were interviewed and their classes observed. A systematic analysis for the prescribed textbooks was also conducted in order to explore the relationship between the vocabulary introduced by the textbooks and the techniques and strategies employed in the classroom by teachers and students. The findings revealed that the teachers were "textbook-centralised" with a high dependence on the prescribed textbooks although they also showed autonomy in their use of vocabulary teaching techniques and ways in which they made use of the textbooks. They employed diverse vocabulary teaching techniques, but the predominant techniques were: using synonyms, defining new words in English and using Arabic. The students used a range of VLSs and employed the strategies that they thought were "fast" and "easy" to use. They tended to avoid complex strategies. The VLSs that the participants thought they commonly used were also the ones believed to be most useful. Students identified specific benefits of using certain VLSs and they showed autonomy in employing the strategies that they most valued. These benefits were mainly in relation to providing them with accurate and diverse information on new words and helping their retention. The participants felt skilful in using most of the VLSs used in their classes and they made a link between the strategies that they used most often and their level of competence in employing these strategies. All the teachers involved in the study perceived reading as a useful strategy in learning vocabulary and most of the students shared this view. Both teachers and students were negotiating their autonomy on an ongoing basis, which means that the social context of learning has a powerful influence on what students learn. The thesis concludes that vocabulary learning is a social practice influenced by a range of factors, such as teaching techniques, VLSs, the textbook, participants' beliefs and attitudes, learners' interests, cultural values and learners' level of competence in English.

The contexts which shape the professional identity of newly qualified nurse teachers during, and on completion of, nurse teacher preparation

Proudfoot, Linda January 2014 (has links)
Nurse teachers work and learn in a complex socio-cultural landscape shaped by clinical practice and higher education as first and second order fields of practice. As a recognised specialism of nursing, nurse teacher preparation forms a crucial phase in nurse teacher development leading to professional recognition with the Nursing and Midwifery Council. However, the influence of such preparation in shaping the professional identity of nurse teachers is indistinct within the research landscape while the experience of nurses who are situated in clinical practice whilst undertaking nurse teacher preparation is under-represented. This research is positioned within socio-cultural and interpretivist frames and seeks to critically explore the personal, learning and professional contexts which shape the professional identity of newly qualified nurse teachers during and on completion of nurse teacher preparation. Drawing on a purposive sample of six newly qualified nurse teachers and five experienced nurse teachers, the multiple embedded case study adopts individual and focus group interviews and portfolio documents to elucidate perspectives on professional identity. The findings from cross case synthesis reveal professional identity to be a relational phenomenon shaped through mutual constitution of self and the nurse teacher landscape. Personal, learning and professional contexts distinguish this landscape from which eight contextual strands emerge as shaping the professional identity of NQNTs. Essentially, these strands connect the personal and professional in learning to teach. Conclusions from the study findings highlight areas for future research and recommendations for professional practice.

Learning nursing : gaining an insight into what helps students to make sense of nursing knowledge and practice

Young, Beverley January 2015 (has links)
Learning nursing is regarded as a challenging, complex and somewhat difficult process. It has long been established that students have difficulty in integrating theoretical knowledge and nursing practice. Most studies in the literature focus on the causes of the theory practice gap, students' difficulties in relating theory and practice and examining specific teaching and learning approaches that could be employed in order to bridge this gap. The aim of this phenomenological study was to gain an insight into what nursing students believe facilitates their learning and what helps them to develop cognisance of the complex relationship between theory and practice. Eleven pre-registration adult nursing students were interviewed and asked to share their experiences of learning nursing and what they believed enabled them to learn nursing and make sense of nursing knowledge and practice. Utilising Colaizzi's framework (Colaizzi, 1978), seven key themes emerged from the narratives with further analysis identifying situated learning as a key theme which permeated all of the students' narratives. This study considers constructivism, situated learning and being in a community of practice as the key factors involved in facilitating the eleven students to learn nursing knowledge and practice and gain cognisance of the complex relationship between nursing knowledge and practice. The study recommends providing students with a range of educational experiences which situate their learning in meaningful contexts, thereby enabling students to construct an understanding of the complex relationship between theory and practice.

Perceptions of the influences upon the parent-professional relationship in a context of early intervention and child protection

Whitters, Hazel Grace January 2015 (has links)
Relationship-based practice provides a medium for implementation of strategies in early intervention and child protection. Scottish policy promotes a parent-professional partnership based upon honesty and trust. Little is known of the impact from personal, social, and cultural influences. This study had four aims: to investigate these influences through perceptions of parents and professionals, to compare perceptions of service-users and service-providers, to compare perceptions of professionals from three disciplines, and to investigate contextual factors which accompanied a change in perceptions. Previous studies linked positive outcomes to convergence of perceptions. The methodological approach was interpretivism. Qualitative data was collected from an integrated team of 21 health, education, and social work professionals, and 9 birth mothers affected by addictions and mental health issues. Thematic analysis was applied to interview transcripts, and documentary analysis to a 12 year case file. Parent-professional communicational styles facilitated the creation of a therapeutic alliance and indicated direct informal signalling of need. This led to timely implementation of intervention in the pre-crisis period. Participants agreed on the transferability of this positive relationship to the post-crisis context. An established therapeutic alliance was used by professionals to support parents' relationships with other service-providers. Consensus of professional opinion suggested collective practice by this integrated team. Service-users perceived child protection as a positive, developmental influence. Conversely service-providers expressed negativity associated with physical and emotional harm, and forensic investigation. This variance represented potential weakness in the organisational capacity of the parent-professional dyad. Formation of perceptions was linked to the community culture through childhood experiences and observational learning. Documentary analysis identified a lack of professional response to positive change in a parent's perceptions. Findings indicated that personal, social, and cultural influences may be perceived as strengthening and weakening the parent-professional relationship. It is recommended that perceptions should be recognised within policy and practice in order to optimise positivity, minimise negativity, and to support convergence.

Perspectives on attitudes, engagement, expectations and aspirations pre- and post-secondary school

Gair, Elizabeth-Anne January 2015 (has links)
Amidst on-going initiatives aimed atraising attainment and promoting social inclusion, a key stage identified for improvement in the HMIE report: Improving Scottish Education (2006) is that of primary/secondary transition. Current programmes that can address this issue are A Curriculum for Excellence 3-18 (SEED, 2004) which allows schools curriculum flexibility and the Integrated Community Schools policy (HMIE, 2004) which offers a multi-agency approach to improving achievement, health and well-being for all pupils through collaborative working between cluster schools. International researchers have found that repetition of topics, disregard / distrust of transfer information and failure to build on the work of the primary school (McGee et al., 2003), inappropriate teacher support (Stemler et al., 2006), misinterpretation of pupils' attitudes by school / teacher (Gnaldi et al., 2005), inadequate parental support, difficulties in the family environment (Marjoribanks, 2005; Casanova et al., 2005) and exclusion by peers and student's self-image (de Bruyn, 2005) are possible contributors to post-transitional decline in academic effort. De Bruyn (2005) argues that engagement is a strong predictor of academic achievement and Marjoribanks (2003) hypothesizes that post-transition academic performance has a significant impact on the formation of adolescents' educational aspirations. This thesis seeks to discover perspectives in relation to pupils' attitude, their engagement in learning activities, and the aspirations of learners - pre- and post- transition to secondary school. The thesis also reports on the exploration of expectations - those of learners and stakeholders (parents, school management, teachers and home/school link staff) at this crucial point in an individual's education. Additionally, it explores whether the presence of aspirations before and after transition might relate to the formation of a positive attitude to learning and to providing focus for pupils engaged in the move to secondary school. The thesis compares learners' education and career aspirations with those of their parents. It reveals perceptions of the role of aspirations in influencing Primary 7 learners' and Secondary 1 students' attitude and engagement in learning, from the perspectives of the learners themselves, their parents and educators. The thesis finds that parental involvement and support, and the family work/study ethic are perceived as strong pre- and post-transitional influences on learners' attitude to, and engagement in learning, and on their aspirations for tertiary education and career. Additionally, given the sustained focus on transition within academic research and educational policy, this thesis finds an absence of written policies on transition and inconsistent practices between different schools - within and between clusters.

Peer-assessment within dental education

Tricio-Pesce, Jorge January 2014 (has links)
Background: Formative assessment with its feedback component has a powerful effect on students’ learning. Aim: This research aimed to appraise how teaching and assessment practices were organised in dental undergraduate teaching institutions to inform the development and piloting of a novel peer-assessment protocol for undergraduate dental students’ pre-clinical competence and clinical performance. Subsequently, the protocol’s utility as a framework for immediate dialogic peer-feedback to boost students’ academic learning and achievement outcomes as well as their reflective skills, was evaluated. Materials and methods: An initial review of the literature on peer-assessment together with a scrutiny of the King’s College London Dental Institute undergraduate curriculum and assessment practices of 39 selected international dental teaching institutions was undertaken. This underpinned the development of a novel longitudinal, formative and structured peer-assessment protocol based on traditional Workplace-Based Assessment forms to be used as a framework for immediate peer-feedback and self-reflection. Subsequently, the protocol was piloted and later implemented in a larger trained sample to judge its utility towards fostering students’ academic achievements and reflective skills. Thus, following a baseline quantitative reflection skills evaluation, volunteer students assessed their peers’ pre-clinical competence (BDS year-2) and clinical performance (BDS year-5) across the whole academic year. Students’ previous end-of-year examination and baseline reflection skills scores from the study and control groups (those who did and did not exercise the peer-assessment protocol, respectively) were compared to their current end-of-year examination marks and a second reflection skills evaluation score. Students’ feedback narratives and their reasons to participate or not in the peer-assessment protocol, were also analysed. Results and Discussion: Peer-assessment was only used by 19% of the surveyed dental schools. Both pre-clinical and clinical peer-assessment participating students demonstrated a reliable ability to identify those domains where they performed better as well as those which needed improvement. They also detected progress over time. Additionally, students’ peer-assessment scores were positively correlated to their end-of-year examination. Inasmuch as students exercised ten or more peer-assessment encounters, they significantly increased their higher order thinking skills and final examination scores. Peer-feedback narratives from pre-clinical and clinical students differed in their content and sign, but corresponded in their specificity. Previous negative feedback experiences played a notable role in students deciding whether to participate or not. Conclusions: Longitudinal (≥10 encounters), formative and structured peer-assessment and peer-feedback to encourage self-reflection of undergraduate dental students’ pre-clinical and clinical skills, can reliably help them to improve their academic achievement and develop higher order thinking skills.

Students' perceptions of two different dental simulators

Green, Tracy-Ann January 2014 (has links)
This research used the Theory of Planned Behaviour, the Technology Acceptance Model and general motivational models as the basis for investigating first-year, undergraduate dental students’ perceptions of two dental simulators: a virtual reality based simulator and a traditional plastic-based simulator. Until now an empirical measure of student perceptions of dental simulators has not existed. This research aimed to address this gap by firstly designing an instrument that could be used to measure dental student perceptions a simulator before empirically testing first-year, undergraduate dental students’ perceptions of two different dental simulators. The simulators were integrated into the year 1 undergraduate dental curriculum and were used to teach basic cavity preparation skills. A questionnaire based on the Theory of Planned Behaviour, Technology Acceptance Model and motivational models was developed. The students’ initial perceptions of the simulators before they had used them were assessed using this questionnaire. After using the simulators for one term the students’ perceptions were assessed again using the same questionnaire. Qualitative data regarding the students’ experiences of using the simulators was also collected using worksheets and the questionnaire. Statistical testing was then carried out in order to determine the students’ perceptions of the two simulators and how the variables from the different models were related to each other. Structural equation modeling was then used to develop a new model for the student perceptions of the simulators. All of the models showed acceptable levels of model fit. The variables Cognitive Absorption Heightened Enjoyment, Cognitive Absorption Focused Immersion, Subjective Norms, System Quality, and Perceived Usefulness were significant in the hapTEL simulator pre-usage questionnaire. The variables Perceived Usefulness, Perceived Ease of Use, System Quality, Emotion and Interest were significant in the mannequin-head simulator pre-usage questionnaire. The variables Perceived Usefulness, Subjective Norms, Interest, System Quality, Emotion, Self-Efficacy Technology and Perceived Behavioural Control were significant in the hapTEL simulator post-usage questionnaire. The variables Perceived Usefulness, Perceived Ease of Use, Task Value, Cognitive Absorption Heightened Enjoyment and Cognitive Absorption Focused Immersion were significant in the mannequin-head simulator post-usage questionnaire. The variables from the Technology Acceptance Model were found to be more useful in measuring the students’ perceptions of the simulators than the variables from the Theory of Planned Behaviour. Overall, the results showed that the students were initially positive towards using both of the simulators but after having had first-hand experience using them they became more positive towards using the traditional plastic-based simulator. The negative issues regarding the virtual-reality simulator included the levels of reliability, realism and Perceived Usefulness.

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