A study of the use of tasks in tertiary English as an additional language programme in New Zealand and China: Teachers' beliefs and practices and students' attitudes

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dc.contributor.advisor Tolosa, C en
dc.contributor.advisor East, M en
dc.contributor.author Guan, Lingling en
dc.date.accessioned 2019-06-20T03:48:03Z en
dc.date.issued 2019 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2292/47256 en
dc.description.abstract Tasks are the central elements of task-based language teaching (TBLT) and are used to engage learners in authentic language use in classrooms. TBLT has recently been recommended to be included in the new College English Curriculum Requirement in China (Ministry of Education, 2007; 2017) for students learning English as an Additional Language. However, little research has been conducted on English teachers' understandings and practices related to TBLT in China, other than in Hong Kong and some developed areas of mainland China. Furthermore, there are few comparative studies across two or more countries related to TBLT at tertiary level. To address the research gap, this study investigated six tertiary English teachers' beliefs of, and practices related to, using tasks in language classes, three in New Zealand and three in China; it also investigated the cognitive and contextual factors influencing these teachers' beliefs and practices. Additionally, the study elicited the attitudes of twenty Chinese as L1 speaking students in these teachers' classes towards tasks, eight in New Zealand and twelve in China, as previous reports on Asian students' attitudes towards TBLT in the literature have reported contradictory findings (Adams & Newton, 2009; McDonough & Chaikitmongkol, 2007). This study was situated within a qualitative paradigm, using semi-structured interviews and classroom observations in both classroom contexts. The findings from both interviews and observations were coded and categorized based on theoretical frameworks that inform TBLT and theories concerning teachers' beliefs. Data from the individual student interviews were coded to establish any patterns in the attitudes of students towards tasks in these teachers' classes. The findings reveal that teachers have differing understandings of tasks. Moreover, few tasks, evaluated against criteria for a task, were observed to be part of teachers' classroom activities. Teachers, however, appeared to adapt a range of task-like activities to fit into their teaching approaches, based on their beliefs and the contexts in which they were teaching. Teachers in China and New Zealand appeared to differ in the way they integrated tasks or task-like activities with in other approaches even though their tasks and task-like activities were strongly associated with communicative activities. A further apparent difference between the Chinese and New Zealand teachers was that, in China, teachers' use of tasks was influenced by web-based textbooks and their own reflective practices, whereas in New Zealand teachers' pre-service education programmes appeared to have a strong influence on teachers' practices. In addition, the findings suggest that, despite little experience with tasks in their classrooms, Chinese students in both contexts have positive attitudes towards tasks or task-like activities because they believe that tasks can satisfy their learning needs. This study contributes to TBLT research by firstly extending our understandings of teachers' beliefs and practices related to TBLT in two contrasting contexts, and identifying the factors influencing their use (or otherwise) of tasks. Secondly, the study identifies the most common features of tasks used by these teachers, as well as the features that appear to be absent in teachers' practices. Finally, it provides information for the development of language teacher education programmes based on TBLT, in particular in the China context. Implications of the study and recommendations for further research are also reported. en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof PhD Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA99265151211002091 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.uri https://researchspace.auckland.ac.nz/docs/uoa-docs/rights.htm en
dc.title A study of the use of tasks in tertiary English as an additional language programme in New Zealand and China: Teachers' beliefs and practices and students' attitudes 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 774944 en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2019-06-20 en

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