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Title: A cognitive meta-linguistic approach to teaching English information structure for the development of communicative language ability among learners of English as a second language
Author: Huynh, Tuan Anh
ISNI:       0000 0004 2705 392X
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2011
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In the realization that second language learners’ grammatical competence does not always guarantee their communicative language ability and that meta-knowledge of English information structure might play an important role in developing their communicative language ability, I carried out a project in which the learners in the study, who were considered to have adequate grammatical competence but unsatisfactory communicative language ability, were given explicit instructions enhancing their meta-knowledge of English information structure as an initial step towards the development of their reading and writing skills and ultimately their communicative language ability. The approach adopted in the study is action research aiming at improving the teaching of academic reading and writing skills to undergraduate students for their communicative development and at the same time contributing the clarity of theories of language transfer, and the role of cognitive approaches in communicative language teaching. Answers to the following major research questions were to be sought. First, what problems do L2 learners have in their reading and writing in relation to their not having a clear and systematic understanding of English information structure? Second, to what extent are their problems influenced by their L1 meta-knowledge of information structure, and L1 strategies? Third, can a cognitive meta-linguistic approach to teaching information structure improve L2 learners’ understanding of English academic texts and structuring of written communication through which they might improve their communicative language ability? My teaching method is both knowledge-oriented and skill-oriented with each lesson being divided into two phases: meta-knowledge introduction and the follow-up skill development. Four data collection methods were applied: questionnaire, interview, test, and classroom-based methods. The data analysis suggests that the learners in the study encountered the reading and writing problems investigated and that they showed development in their reading and writing skills during and after the teaching phase. My conclusion is that there is a causal relationship between a meta-linguistic approach to teaching information structure to L2 learners and their communicative ability development.
Supervisor: Archibald, Alasdair Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: LC Special aspects of education ; PE English