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Title: Investigating Chinese students' academic reading practices in a UK university : a New Literacy Studies/Activity Theory approach
Author: Cheng, Xiao
ISNI:       0000 0001 3542 5429
Awarding Body: Lancaster University
Current Institution: Lancaster University
Date of Award: 2006
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The research study reported in this thesis explores Chinese postgraduate students' academic reading practices in Lancaster University (UK) from a combined New Literacy Studies (NLS) and Activity Theory (AT) perspective. It attempted to investigate the academic reading practices that the students in question undertook while writing their assignments, with a view to revealing some of the interacting historical, social, cultural, and institutional factors that were seen as influential in shaping the nature of their current reading practices. The data were gathered mainly through ethnographic interviewing, observations of lecture sessions, and document collection in the academic year 2004/05. The findings indicate that the students' individual characteristics, their prior educational experiences under the Chinese education system, and the current contexts of their masters' programmes jointly affected their reading practices and experiences. In particular, the students' self-perception and long-established attitudes towards learning and reading remained fundamentally similar during their studies in the UK and played essential parts in shaping their reading practices. Also, in the context of their current studies, the clarity and explicitness of tutors' requirements, tutor-student communications, the availability of tutor support, the differences in the academic conventions between China and the UK, and so on, were additional important influences in this matter. The thesis also discusses the pedagogical implications for EAP and subject-area teaching, with an attempt to indicate how more beneficial and rewarding academic reading experiences for Chinese students might be achieved in the UK higher education context. It likewise demonstrates and discusses the advantages of using a combined NLS and AT framework for throwing new light on academic reading in an L2 context.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available