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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.

The emotional experiences of United Arab Emirates EFL student teachers during the practicum

Abou-Assali, Mouna January 2013 (has links)
This qualitative study explores the emotional experiences, challenges and coping strategies experienced by EFL student teachers during their practicum. The sample consisted of 16 pre-service teachers: 6 males and 10 females. Data collection methods included focus groups interviews, in-depth semi-structured individual interviews and critical reflective documents. Interpretation of data indicated that participants experienced a wide range of positive and negative emotions, mainly focused around areas related to their classroom practices, language proficiency, professional knowledge and support received during their practicum. Challenges faced emerged within the same context and indicated the need for a reorganization of the teaching education programme and a clarification of the roles and responsibilities held by the stakeholders involved in the practicum (i.e. student teacher, college supervisor, school principal and class mentor). The coping strategies utilized showed that participants employed few positive effective approaches, whereas passivity, in reactions to the challenges encountered, shaped most of the other strategies used. This passivity in responding to practicum challenges necessitates the development of student teachers’ interpersonal and emotional intelligence skills. The findings also show an urgent need for more coordination and collaboration between the college and the schools of training. This study, being the first of its kind in the Gulf region and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), contributes to a better understanding of student teachers’ emotions during the practicum and highlights areas which need reconsideration by policy makers, educators and curriculum designers at the micro and macro levels of teacher education programmes.

Arabic and Chinese learners' production, perception and processing of past tense and verbal agreement morphology in L2 English

Kahoul, Walid January 2014 (has links)
This thesis is an attempt to locate the source of the difficulties experienced by adult second language (L2) learners of English in the production of past tense and verbal agreement morphology, observed as an alternation between the inflected and stem forms of verbs in contexts where only the former is accepted in target grammars. To this end, current competing syntactic, non-syntactic and phonological accounts of the phenomenon are tested against production, perception and processing data. Production was tested by a sentence elicited imitation task, which comprised of 50 aural sentences creating obligatory contexts for the properties under study. Participants were asked to repeat the sentences one by one and their response was recorded. Perception and processing were tested by a computerised picture-choice task, which consisted of 88 picture-sentence trials. Participants were asked to choose one picture, the choice of which depended on their perception of verbal morphology. Picture choice response, reaction times and eye movements were recorded in this task. Thirty-seven L1 speakers of Chinese and thirty-four L1 speakers of Arabic, who were matched in L2 proficiency at low, mid and high levels, in addition to a control group of ten native speakers of English participated in the study. The results of the production and perception studies similarly showed that while Chinese participants produced and perceived the morphology variably at all levels, Arab participants did so only at low and mid levels, overcoming variability at the highest proficiency level. Neither production nor perception data demonstrated phonological effects. Results from the processing study revealed that both language groups processed the morphology similarly at low and mid levels but they differed at the high level with only Arab participants’ data showing evidence for developing automatic competence. These findings strongly suggest that morphological variability is caused by absence of syntactic representations which are built up incrementally with rising proficiency supporting structure building accounts of L2 acquisition.

Questioning in the Saudi EFL University classroom : student perspectives and teacher practices

Alshenqeeti, Hamza January 2014 (has links)
Questioning is perhaps the most common form of discourse between teachers and students in classroom settings, however, research interest in questioning in second/foreign language classrooms has largely applied to the measurement and development of teachers’ questioning skills. This focus on the teacher may however obscure the potential importance of student perspectives and practice preference towards questioning in the classroom discourse. Although questioning is a central aspect of any classroom discourse, it is still an under-researched area in the Saudi classroom context. This thesis is an investigation into some practices and perspectives pertaining to the questioning behaviour of teachers and students in a higher education English as a foreign language (EFL) classroom context. Participants included 12 experienced EFL teachers and 341 first-year students at a public university in Medina, Saudi Arabia. The study aimed to investigate student perspectives on questioning that was undertaken in their classes and to identify the functions of teachers’ questions and the question modifications (if any) that teachers employ in instances where students do not answer. The study also considered, however not as a main focus of attention, whether there are any gender-related differences or commonalities in the teachers’ and students’ perspectives and reported classroom questioning practices. In order to triangulate the sources of the study’s data, a mixed method approach for data collection was used. The study was conducted in two phases, one quantitative, using statistical formula; and the other qualitative, using principles of discourse analysis and content analysis. Three methods were utilised in order to obtain data for this study and establish a better understanding of the EFL classroom questioning under consideration. These were namely, questionnaires, video-recorded classroom observation, and stimulated recall and semi-structured interviews. The findings show that, in addition to functioning as elicitation tools, teachers’ questions possess different discursive functions, such as the assistance of students’ production of fluent L2 talk, the repair of communication breakdown, the invitation students’ guesses, and the management of classroom practice. Teachers also employed various question modification techniques to their unanswered questions. The results of this study’s discourse analysis, together with those from student surveys and teacher interviews, indicate to a number of implications and contributions as regards EFL classroom discourse and language pedagogy.

Lateral (morpho)syntactic transfer : an empirical investigation into the positive and negative influences of French on L1 English learners of Spanish within an instructed language-learning environment

Witney, John Clifford January 2014 (has links)
This thesis explores lateral (morpho)syntactic transfer – non-native transfer at the level of morphology and syntax – from French among L1 English learners of Spanish in an instructed language-learning environment. A quantitative and qualitative study was conducted to investigate the positive and negative influences of L2 French and to identify learners’ foreign language experiences and strategies in making interlingual connections. The quantitative study focused on providing statistical evidence of morphological and syntactic transfer and comprised three groups: The EN/FR/SP Group consisted of 28 L1 English learners with five years’ instruction in French and two in Spanish; the EN/SP Group consisted of 22 L1 English learners with two years’ instruction in Spanish and no prior knowledge of French; the SP Group consisted of 36 monolingual Spanish speakers. The qualitative study was conducted through semi-structured interviews to gain a greater understanding of learners’ ability to apply interlingual connections and draw on prior language-learning experiences and strategies. Participants consisted of 10 L1 English learners with six years’ instruction in French and three in Spanish. It is argued that knowledge of a non-native language plays a pivotal role in the learning of a further typologically similar one at the level of morphology and syntax. The overall results suggest that positive transfer may be facilitated and negative transfer may be highlighted and understood through cross-linguistic comparisons, with important pedagogical implications for future research.

Bahraini school English language teachers’ beliefs and professionalism under new educational reforms in Bahrain: An interpretive perspective

Hasan, Mohamed Hasan Mohamed January 2014 (has links)
This study sought to explore Bahraini teachers’ beliefs about teaching and learning as they related to their daily work and their interactions with the contexts in which they worked and lived so as to construct a deeper understanding of their professionalism. It particularly investigated the effects of contextual factors, in light of the recent educational reform initiatives in Bahrain, on the professional lives of practicing Bahraini school English language teachers who completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) at Bahrain Teachers College (BTC) between 2008 and 2012. Research data were collected through face-to-face semi-structured in-depth interviews with twelve teachers in the primary, intermediate and secondary schools, whose experiences ranged between four to ten years at the time of the interviews. The research revealed that the teachers’ professional lives were influenced by three main contextual factors: intensification of teachers’ work, marginality of teachers and control in education. These factors were found to be complex as they were not only influenced by the educational system and the environment in which the teachers worked and lived but also by personality issues. Hence, although these factors significantly impacted upon the teachers’ professional autonomy and commitment, created moral dilemmas for them, and brought with them the question of what it means to be a teacher under increasing scrutiny, the findings showed that the consequences of these factors on the teachers’ professionalism varied from teacher to teacher and from context to context, emphasising that this impact was largely mediated by the teachers’ values and sense of professional identity. The study highlights the situated nature of teachers’ beliefs and the importance of considering teachers’ professional identities, values and moral purposes in any educational reform attempts that aim to improve teacher practice. This study also has implications for teacher beliefs and knowledge, teacher professionalism, and teacher education.

The English 'native speaker' teacher as a language resource : conversation analytic examinations of backstage interactions in Japanese high schools

Leyland, Christopher Patrick January 2013 (has links)
Faced with fewer employment opportunities at home, more British and American university graduates are moving abroad to teach English as ‘native speakers’. In 2013 Japan’s JET Programme employed over 4000 ‘native speaker’ ‘Assistant Language Teachers’ (ALTs)1. While ALT’s primary professional responsibility is widely considered to be teaching English to elementary, junior high and high school students, this study reveals they frequently provide their Japanese co-workers with English language help. After collecting around 80 hours of audio-recordings from two Japanese high school staffrooms, this study underwent a Conversation Analytic examination of English language learning encounters between ALTs and their Japanese co-worker English teachers. There is a considerable body of Conversation Analytic research examining Second Language Acquisition processes in formal educational environments. However, with second language users engaged in formal learning constituting but a small fraction of the global L2-user community, “[w]hy, then, are the doors of classrooms still locked?” (Wagner, 2004: 615). This study considers English language learning processes occurring outside the classroom - in Japanese high school staffrooms. Analysis reveals these language learning encounters invariably consist of three distinct actions: the English L2 user requests help, the English L1 user provides help and the sequence is closed. Within this basic structure, however, various phenomena occur. Rather than considering learning in the teachers’ “frontstage” setting of a classroom, this study examines learning occurring in the “backstage” (Sarangi & Roberts, 1999) setting of school staffrooms. Staffrooms are considered an important site for identity construction (Richards, 2007). Indeed, this analysis of language learning processes reveals complex identity negotiations. ALTs and their co-workers show themselves to be particularly resourceful communicators - utilizing different multilingual competencies, and dealing with various interactional ‘troubles’ and ‘hesitancies’. This study adds to the body of SLA research using a ‘social’ approach - thus contributing to a redressing of an imbalance in the field (Firth & Wagner, 1997), and examines language learning in an under-researched site. Furthermore, the findings indicate that language learning is interwoven with identity work related to knowledge. This utilizes and informs Heritage’s recent influential work on ‘epistemics’ (2012a, 2012b), applying it to L2 interaction.

Gender differences and the development of L2 English learners' L2 motivational self system and international posture in China

Jiang, Yu January 2013 (has links)
The study is based on Dörnyei's (2009a) L2 Motivational Self System and Yashima's (2009) International Posture (IP) with L2 English learners in China, and focuses on gender issues with regards to L2 motivation. A longitudinal research design with a mixed methods approach was used. The statistical analysis from the quantitative data of 240 participants (F = 178; M = 62) showed significant gender differences for ten motivational variables (criterion measures, ideal L2 self, ought-to L2 self, instrumentality A(promotion), instrumentality B (prevention), travel orientation, attitude to learning English, integrativeness, cultural interest and attitudes to the L2 community) within the L2 Motivational Self System and three variables within IP (intergroup approach avoidance tendency, interest in international news and having things to communicate to the world). Over a 12-month period, the repeated measure analysis revealed that female learners had more significant changes in motivational variables than male learners: eight variables for female learners (ought-to L2 Self, family influence, instrumentality A, instrumentality B, integrativeness, attitudes to the L2 community, fear of assimilation and English anxiety) and one variable for male learners (English anxiety). Both female and male learners had significant decrease in two IP variables: intergroup approach avoidance tendency and interest in international vocation/activities. The interactive relationships, over the 12-month period, between ideal L2 self and ought-to L2 self, and between ideal/ought-to L2 self and other motivational/IP variables were also different between female and male learners. Embedding the participants in their social values and L2 English learning contexts, we highlighted the influences of collectivism and social factors on the gender issues of the learners' L2 motivation. Within the L2 Motivational Self System, the social perception of gender bias in language learning and the dominant number of female L2 English learners positively affected female learners but negatively affected male learners' attitudes toward learning English. We argue that collectivistic social values enhanced female learners' ideal L2 self images and built a bond between the female learners' possible selves and their parents' hopes. Within IP, collective social values could prevent female learners from discussing contentious issues while the male learners' inherent interest in politics was also reflected in their L2 English learning.

The impact of teaching topical structure analysis on EFL writing with special reference to undergraduate students in Libya

Attelisi, Abdulhameed Ali Salem January 2012 (has links)
In the ESL writing literature, coherence, cohesion and other rhetorical features are still the main difficulties that face ESL learners. Coherence is claimed to be the most abstract but essential criterion of English writing, but it is difficult to describe, teach and learn. This study investigates the impact of teaching Topical Structure Analysis (TSA) on the writing performance of Libyan university students studying English as a foreign language. Its main aim is to explore the effect of teaching this strategy in promoting EFL students’ awareness of coherence and further improving it in their writing. TSA is a text-based analysis technique that refers to the semantic relationships which exist between sentence topics and the discourse topic. These relationships are studied by looking at sequences of sentences and checking how the topics within them work together through the text to build meaning progressively. Three possible types of progressions of sentences were identified: parallel, sequential, and extended parallel progression. In order to explore the impact of teaching TSA on EFL Libyan university students, quantitative and qualitative methods were adopted. quasi-experimental design, semi-structured interview and observation were used to collect the data required for the study. Sixty-three third-year university students whose major was English were divided into control and treatment groups. For three months, both groups were placed in the same conditions and taught the same traditional syllabus used in the university. The only difference was that the treatment group was explicitly taught TSA as a iii learning and revision strategy. In order to compare achievement in the two groups, pre- and post-tests were carried out. Students’ compositions were rated by three native English speaking teachers who used different approaches to scoring. Moreover, the essays were analysed according to TSA procedures, and pre- and post-test scores of both groups and the results of the structural analysis of pre- and post-test essays were compared. This was followed by interviews with six participants from the treatment group who were asked about their experiences, opinions and how they handled TSA. In addition to the experimental method and the qualitative interviews, the present researcher recorded observations of both groups to be used as another source for data of this study. The results demonstrated that the treatment group achieved significant progress, which was reflected in post-test scores which were higher than both their pre-test scores and the pre- and post-test scores of the control group. The topical structure analysis of the post-test essays further showed a balanced use of the three types of progression. On the other hand the qualitative data revealed that the participants in the treatment group were more aware of the essence of coherence. This was manifested by students’ consideration of the planning and revising stages, and they also tended to ask for feedback from the teacher and their peers and to write more than one draft before the final version of their compositions. Discussion of the findings suggests variant pedagogical implications for the teaching of writing in Libyan universities and other similar contexts.

A new form of peer feedback technique : an investigation into the impact of focusing Saudi ESL learners on macro level writing features

Alnasser, Suliman Mohammed Nasser January 2013 (has links)
Although many researchers have explored the use of Peer Feedback (PF) in writing (e.g., Hu & Lam, 2010), several have reported concerns with this technique, such as a tendency to shift most of the attention to micro features (e.g., mechanics, vocabulary) while giving little attention to macro features such as organisation and coherence (e.g., Van Steendam et al., 2010), even though macro features can be argued to be a highly important aspect of good writing (Truscott, 1996). This is one of the factors that have led researchers (e.g., Gielen et al., 2010b) to propose forms of this technique in which emphasis is placed on particular aspects of the PF process. This study introduces one such form of PF technique which requires learners to focus on macro features in writing and the teacher to focus on micro features, in order to give learners more time to critique essays at a macro level while receiving micro level FB from a reliable source. The study investigates the impact of the introduced form on: learners’ motivation to use PF and to learn writing; learners’ attitudes towards PF and towards writing; learners’ linguistic progress, and learners’ preference for giving and receiving macro and/or micro level feedback when practising PF technique. The research was conducted on 41 Saudi Arabian undergraduate students in their final year of an English degree course. An action research approach was adopted using a one-group design, with the PF activities divided into two consecutive phases. During the first phase, subjects practised the conventional use (i.e, providing PF on macro and micro features) of this technique (T1), while during the second phase they practised the new form of the technique (T2). The data were gathered over 15 weeks from pre-, mid- and post-tests; pre-, mid- and post-questionnaires; mid- and post-interviews; field notes; documentary evidence, and recording of several verbal protocol sessions. The findings suggest that both treatments can have a significant impact on the overall quality of learners’ writing, with the second treatment resulting in significantly better quality. Despite these findings, the learners showed a strong preference for conventional PF, suggesting they have difficulty in accepting the prohibition from providing PF on micro features owing to a negative transfer effect from their previous experience of approaches to teaching writing, which placed a great emphasis on the importance of micro features. It is likely that this transfer effect may be found in other contexts with a similar approach to teaching writing; further research is needed in order to test this hypothesis. In addition, in this study, the participants did not have the chance to see how much better they performed in their post-test, which raises the question of whether or not their views would have changed if they had.

Curriculum innovation through teacher certification : evaluation of a government intervention and its effects on teacher development and English language pedagogy in South Korea

Choi, Tae Hee January 2013 (has links)
Teacher certification schemes are used in increasing numbers of contexts worldwide, including Korea. Despite their high stakes such as their use in decisions regarding promotion, as well as the related cost, there has been relatively little documentation of their implementation procedures and subsequent impact. This thesis contributes to filling this research gap through documenting the procedure and impact of one such scheme.<br/>The aims of the scheme in question, known as the ‘Teaching English in English’ scheme, are developing teachers’ expertise in relation to building students’ communicative competence, promoting English as the medium of instruction, and increasing the quality of English education in Korea. The present research adopts a qualitative interpretive approach and a case study method. The data collected include policy documents and practical documents generated during the certification procedure; interviews with eighteen different stakeholders including the policy makers, teacher assessors, teacher trainers, and English language teachers; and observation of the procedures, including the assessed lessons and teacher training. This study draws on research about language teaching expertise, teacher cognition and development, English language teaching (ELT) innovation, policy enactment and teacher evaluation.<br/>The study contributes to understanding of curriculum innovations by establishing a tentative relationship among those factors which were identified as shaping the process and impact of curriculum innovations such as their characteristics, contextual constraints and supports, and the stakeholders’ personal beliefs and identities. It also presents a compexified view of the process and impact of teacher evaluation and teacher development. This study invites all who are involved in education to revisit the meaning of success regarding ELT-policy interventions, draws attention to the need for evaluating their realised process against a well-defined concept of localised ELT expertise, and contributes to our understanding of the requirements underpinning their success and the effect they have on teacher development.

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