University of Oulu

Perceptions of language : how culture and identity shape English teaching practices in summerbridge Hong Kong

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Author: Wu, Kimberly1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Education, Educational Sciences
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.2 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Oulu : K. Wu, 2018
Publish Date: 2018-06-04
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Karjalainen, Magda
Reviewer: Jokikokko, Katri
Karjalainen, Magda
Language and culture play an important role in shaping one’s identity. How then do English language teachers in an education non-profit in Hong Kong realize their identities and perceptions of language in their teaching practice? Through this research, teacher perceptions of language were largely influenced by their own cultures and identities and can be shown in their teaching practice. By examining the teachers’ self-reflections, lesson plans, and researcher’s observations, the link between culture, identity, and practice are examined. The theoretical framework can be divided into two categories: language theories and language teaching theories. Language theories rely on a combination of a few theories, however the main theory used is the Context of Culture by Claire Kramsch. Other language theories used relate to identity, agency, and empowerment, and rely on the works by Cummins, Peirce, Norton, Morgan, and Duff and Uchida. The main language teaching theory is based on Content Language Integrated Learning (CLIL), namely the Coyle’s Four C’s Curriculum and Van Lier’s Theory of Practice. This research has characteristics of a case study and there were eight participants. The teachers’ reflections were divided into six themes: Language as Academic Subject; Understanding, Connections with People; Success or Opportunity; Teacher Professional Development; Self-reflexivity and Consciousness; and Change. Afterwards, the lesson plans were integrated into those six themes. Any gaps that the lesson plans could not fill, were supplemented with the researcher’s own observations in the classroom and during check-in meetings with the teachers. Therefore, a triangulation of the data was used to support the research question. The data revealed that the teachers own life histories greatly shape their ideas about language. Culture and identity influence how their life histories took shape and therefore affected how they have come to see language in various dimensions. It is through their interactions with their students that the teachers demonstrate a complex exchange of cultures and which they use to help empower their students to do better than they were at the start of the program. This research explores more in depth the teachers’ personal beliefs of language, how it is shared with their students, and what is actually taught in the classroom.
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Copyright information: © Kimberly Wu, 2018. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.