Learning strategies and materials selection in the English for tourism classroom : a study of learning strategies employed by learners in the British context, with consideration of implications for published materials selection
There are two enquiries undertaken in this work which is an investigation of learning strategies employed by students of English for Tourism in the British context, and an evaluation of textbooks already used for teaching this programme in Taiwan and relevant ones published in the United Kingdom. It is hoped that this work will have direct implications for pedagogy and learning processes of the English for Tourism programme in the Taiwanese context. This thesis is made up of four parts. The first part is Chapter 1 which investigates general broad backgrounds in the Taiwanese context. It also deals with the debate on the improvement of English language teaching in this context. It further discusses how this context relates to this work. The second part includes Chapters 2, 3, and 4, offering the theoretical framework on which an empirical research and a desk-based study of textbooks are based. Chapter 2 primarily examines the features of English for Tourism by taking account of the general key issues of ESP relevant to needs analysis, content and language, and methodology, and the specific crucial issues in relation to the target situation in the tourism industry, tourism education and training, and cultural content. It further postulates that communicative language teaching and learning strategies are closely relevant to the efficiency of ESP teaching. These are defined and explored in depth in Chapters 3 and 4 respectively. The third part consists of an empirical research and a desk-based study (Chapters 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9). Chapter 5 discusses research methodology indicating that a qualitative approach has been preferred to a quantitative approach. The empirical research will be based on participant observations (Chapter 6) and semi-structured interviews (Chapter 7). It will be followed by a desk-based study of textbooks (Chapter 9). Chapters 6 and 7 are mainly descriptive. Chapter 8 interprets the major findings of this empirical research, discusses the issues they raise and goes on to suggest improvements to the pedagogy and learning processes in the Taiwanese context. It indicates that social strategies and social interaction bothinside and outside the classroom are the most significant factors for learning processes. It suggests furthermore that a combination model of notional-functional and task-based approaches is essential for the effective English for Tourism syllabuses and methodologies in the Taiwanese context. Chapter 9 is a desk-based study of textbooks to evaluate and select appropriate and useful textbook for teaching English for Tourism in the Taiwanese context. The final part is Chapter 10. This chapter reviews the principal themes in the preceding chapters, and offers principles of approach which guide the teaching and learning of English for Tourism in the Taiwanese context.