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Title: Action Research as a tool for English Language Teaching syllabus design within the context of a university in Western Mexico
Author: Peralta Castro, Fernando Manuel
ISNI:       0000 0004 6496 5813
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2017
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This study investigates the ELT curriculum design and development process within a context, where English language is a compulsory subject across the undergraduate curriculum at University in Western Mexico. The study has adopted an four stage Action Research (AR) model proposed by Kemmis and McTaggart (1988). The research is predominantly qualitative aiming to produce a rich description of the research participants and their environment. The main data sources were interviews with the participants. They were supplemented with a survey, two language tests, diaries and documents from the research site. The findings of the study suggest that the use of AR as a tool for ELT curriculum design had a positive impact over areas such as syllabus design, teaching content and materials. The use of AR also helped to understand that the ELT syllabus design process must be underpinned by a systematic collection of data to make informed decisions, making a language course effective and efficient as a means of encouraging learning. Participants understood that AR creates knowledge based on enquiries conducted within specific and often practical contexts, and not necessarily in theoretical inputs generated by experts. Findings also showed that language teachers need to be aware of the complexities they face when deciding to conduct a process to innovate the language syllabus. To know about the experience of a group of language teachers participating in an AR cycle, reflecting about their practice, taking decisions, taking action and reflecting again about the impact of their actions over their work can encourage other language teachers from the same context or others to replicate the project and produce their own results. Data also shows the challenges that practitioners face when using AR to develop and design an ELT syllabus. The study concludes that AR can be used as a tool to improve the ELT syllabus design process conducted within a Higher Education Institution, where decision making tend to be centralised.
Supervisor: Archibald, Alasdair ; Wright, Vicky Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available