Teachers’ Cognition Formation and Reformation for Teaching EFL Writing: A Study of College English Teachers in China

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dc.contributor.advisor Zhang, L en
dc.contributor.advisor Jesson, R en
dc.contributor.author Zhao, Huan en
dc.date.accessioned 2019-02-18T18:49:03Z en
dc.date.issued 2019 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2292/45187 en
dc.description.abstract English-as-a-Foreign-Language (EFL) teachers in China find that teaching English writing to students is less effective than teaching English listening, speaking, and reading. Although, currently, EFL teacher education is highly valued both by the policy makers and university administrators in China, little research has been reported on EFL teacher cognition about EFL writing. Because teacher cognition about their teaching is closely related to how they conceptualize the work they do and the practice in which they engage, it is imperative to investigate them. My review of the relevant literature shows that while much research has been carried out into teacher cognition about English grammar teaching, there is little research into teacher cognition about the teaching of EFL writing. This study, therefore, attempts to bridge this gap using a mixed-methods approach and to contribute to the literature on language teacher education in general and EFL teacher education in mainland China in particular. To address the overarching research question, "What is Chinese EFL teacher cognition about the teaching of EFL writing?" a questionnaire was developed and distributed to 332 teachers of College English (CE). CE is a general English course required to be taken by all students in universities in China. Using purposive sampling, seven EFL teachers were selected from those who participated in the questionnaire study for a follow-up study using pre-observation interviews, classroom observations, and post-observation interviews to seek an in-depth understanding of their cognition. The questionnaire presented a holistic picture of Chinese College English teacher cognition about teaching and learning EFL writing. The findings indicated that participants believed that the CE courses should focus on the structure and content of writing instead of grammar and vocabulary; the teaching of EFL reading indirectly played an important role in improving students' EFL writing proficiency; there was inadequate time allocated to EFL writing instruction; limited support from their universities contributed to the unsatisfactory teaching of EFL writing in China. Participants also reported that the available CE textbooks were ineffective as the major resource for the teaching of EFL writing. Teachers' criteria used to mark students' writing reflected their belief that the focus of teaching of EFL writing should include structure, content, grammar and vocabulary. Statistical analysis of teachers' backgrounds indicated slight differences in their cognition about the teaching of English writing to EFL students, related to age group, gender, academic qualification, professional qualification and years of teaching experience. Results of the in-depth study into teacher cognitionand practice showed that while agreeing with the need to include teaching of EFL writing in the CE curriculum, these teachers acknowledged the unsatisfactory outcomes of the teaching of EFL writing. They reported that they believed that the nature of CE writing teaching was to teach students to express their ideas in English through a logical and well -organized structure. However, it was observed that in classroom teaching practices their teaching focus shifted from writing strategy instruction to grammar, vocabulary and translation to improve students' language ability. Factors frequently reported by participants to hinder effective teaching of EFL writing included limited time allocated to the teaching of writing, students' low language proficiency, unmotivated students, large class size and the lack of policy support from universities. Adopting Bakhtin's "dialogism" as the theoretical framework, these factors were analysed, together with teachers' backgrounds, schooling, education and working experiences. They were found to serve as various "voices" in the dialogic formation and reformation process of teacher cognition. Systematic analysis of participants' (re)formation process of teacher cognition suggested the process was highly individual. It is hoped that the study will contribute to our knowledge about teacher cognition and practices in relation to the teaching and learning of EFL writing in Chinese universities. University administrators, CE textbook writers and teacher education policy makers could draw on the findings of the study to provide better resources for CE teachers in Chinese universities to implement the teaching of EFL writing more effectively. Implications of the study and further recommendations are also addressed in the thesis. en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof PhD Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA99265142914102091 en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. en
dc.rights Restricted Item. Thesis embargoed until 2/2020. Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. en
dc.rights.uri https://researchspace.auckland.ac.nz/docs/uoa-docs/rights.htm en
dc.title Teachers’ Cognition Formation and Reformation for Teaching EFL Writing: A Study of College English Teachers in China en
dc.type Thesis en
thesis.degree.discipline Education en
thesis.degree.grantor The University of Auckland en
thesis.degree.level Doctoral en
thesis.degree.name PhD en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The author en
dc.rights.accessrights http://purl.org/eprint/accessRights/OpenAccess en
pubs.elements-id 761763 en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2019-02-19 en

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