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Title: Teaching listening in large sized classes : a case study in Hebei Normal University of Science and Technology in China
Author: Zhang, Ying
Awarding Body: University of Essex
Current Institution: University of Essex
Date of Award: 2014
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Influenced by the examination-oriented education system, Chinese students in primary and secondary schools are mainly taught to focus on the English reading and writing skills, having little chance though to develop their communicative skills of listening and speaking. Accordingly, listening is regarded as one of the weakest skills for most Chinese students who study English. With the remarkable expansion of university enrolment in China, an increasing number of students can access higher education. However, due to budget issues, inadequate facilities and the lack of English teachers, the teaching and learning of English in large classes is common in Chinese universities. The aim of this study is to explore both teachers' and students' perceptions of large sized listening classes, investigate teachers' listening teaching models and approaches adopted in the context of a large sized class, and attempt to identify the impact that large class size has on the shaping of the present listening teaching models. The data have been collected by administering questionnaires to 29 teachers and 181 students, and by conducting follow-up interviews with 16 teachers and 51 students from the Hebei Normal University of Science and Technology (HNUST) in China. The findings demonstrate that large class size is generally viewed in negative terms by both teachers and students. The challenges that arise from large sized listening classes are chiefly manifested in three dimensions: 1) teaching practices, including individualisation, interaction and activity organisation; 2) classroom management: attendance and student misbehaviour; 3) affective factors: anonymity and inattentiveness. It is found that the interrelation among factors such as large class size, limited teaching hours, coverage of contents, insufficient use of teaching facilities in language labs and students' mixed listening proficiency levels might result in the traditional teacher-centred teaching model that is generally employed in large sized listening classes in HNUST.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available