Learners in transition: a longitudinal study of seven People's Republic of China students at the National University of Singapore

Fong, Yoke Sim (2014) Learners in transition: a longitudinal study of seven People's Republic of China students at the National University of Singapore. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

PDF - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (2MB) | Preview


This doctorate thesis reports on a qualitative research project to investigate the English learning experiences of seven People’s Republic of China (PRC) students during nearly five years of studies at the National University of Singapore (NUS). The research questions for this longitudinal, multiple-case study are:

1. What are some key learner characteristics of PRC students and what transitions, if any, do they make in their English learning journey as a result of studying in NUS?

2. What pedagogical implications can I draw from the findings?

For the purpose of triangulation, four instruments were used to collect data in two stages. In the students’ first year in NUS, the instruments were learner diaries and face-to-face interviews while those used in the students’ final year, were email interviews and an autobiography. This research design facilitated the broad to narrow approach adopted for the study, and made possible the collection of increasingly more in-depth data.

The analysis of the initial data, through coding, categorising and summarising, was carried out alongside the collection of the later data, similar to the grounded theory approach. However, this study also started with some a priori categories culled from literature and a decade’s teaching and research experience associated with PRC students.

The findings indicate that the traditional Chinese culture of learning as well as the NUS L2 context had an influence on the seven participants’ key learner characteristics. These students underwent a variety of transitions in their beliefs, strategies, motivation, affective dimension, and identity, agency and investment. However, certain aspects of their key learner characteristics also remained stable. Based on these findings, pedagogical implications were drawn and limitations stated to teachers of PRC learners to better equip themselves and their students to successfully navigate the latter’s transition from EFL to ESL/EIL contexts.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Sinclair, Barbara
Thondhlana, Juliet
Hughes, Rebecca
Keywords: students, college, university, national university of singapore, chinese
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher education
L Education > LD-LG Individual institutions
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > School of Education
Item ID: 27832
Depositing User: Fong, Yoke
Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2015 12:48
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2017 06:47
URI: https://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/27832

Actions (Archive Staff Only)

Edit View Edit View