TBL in English language learning in Macau: effects on Chinese tertiary learners' beliefs and motivations
Lau, Ines (2009) TBL in English language learning in Macau: effects on Chinese tertiary learners' beliefs and motivations. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.
Developing effectiveness in learning is the goal of teaching. In order to achieve this goal and to bridge the gap between teaching and learning in the EFL classroom, SLA researchers in the past decades have become increasingly interested in pedagogical conceptions, such as Learner-centredness, Communicative Language Teaching, and Task-Based Language Learning (TBL). In particular, research into TBL pedagogy has had an important influence on the field of English language teaching in recent years in the West. However, there have been few studies into TBL in the EFL classroom in Macau. Thus, this study explores whether or not task-based learning pedagogy could be beneficial to Chinese tertiary learners of English. Based on the philosophy of constructivism, the study aimed to investigate Chinese tertiary learners’ beliefs about and motivations for English learning through research carried out before, during and after the implementation of a specially designed programme of task-based English teaching. Twenty-four undergraduate learners from different regions of China were investigated by quantitative instruments (i.e., BALLI, and Motivation Questionnaire) and qualitative instruments (i.e., field-notes, ‘motivation’ graphs and notes, learner diaries, and follow-up interviews) before, during and after the 15-week task-based EFL programme. Both quantitative and qualitative findings reflected that the learners’ self-concept beliefs and intrinsic motivation for English learning were increasingly enhanced by the task-based EFL programme, thus convincingly demonstrating that task-based learning pedagogy was beneficial to Chinese tertiary learners of English. The thesis concludes with a consideration of the implications of such task-based learning pedagogy for further research.
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