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Title: Teaching the new English curriculum in a Chinese school : an ethnographic study
Author: Fang, Xi I.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2686 4309
Awarding Body: Sheffield Hallam University
Current Institution: Sheffield Hallam University
Date of Award: 2009
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In 2004, the Ministry of Education (MOE) of China disseminated a new English curriculum (NEC) for high schools. The NEC promotes communicative language teaching (CLT), particularly task based language teaching (TBLT). This thesis reports an ethnographic study exploring the experience of five Chinese teachers of English in their implementation of the NEC. The researcher worked as a temporary English teacher in a high school in Southeast China between September 2007 and July 2008 gathering data through participant observation. Research data include interviews, classroom observations, documentations and fieldnotes. Grounded theory was used for data analysis. The study highlights the complexity of teachers' work. Four main 'push' factors are identified as pushing the teachers to implement the NEC and five factors are considered to be the main obstacles for NEC implementation. Some forces act both as constraint and possibility for all teachers, and some forces may act as constraint for one teacher, but may serve as possibility for another teacher. Many issues discussed by earlier studies of TBLT implementation in China and other Asian countries are also referenced in this study, although some issues are experienced in different ways by the research participants. The role of teacher agency is confirmed by the findings and the influence of social and institutional context is recognised. The importance of teacher cognition in their implementation of the NEC is also supported by findings. A construct of teacher beliefs is proposed and an interwoven relationship between teacher cognition, social context and practices is identified. Practical recommendations are suggested for curriculum developers, teacher educators and researchers. The study has extended knowledge in some important areas that are identified as being needed for further research: situated policy enactment and teacher agency; provided empirical data for policy planning and teacher education; extended understanding of teacher cognition in a global context and offered insights for applying multiple methods and theories in research projects.
Supervisor: Garland, Paul Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available