|dc.description.abstract||This study investigated the dynamics of tertiary students’ English learning experience in extracurricular contexts (LEC) in China. Informed by Vygotsky’s social constructive theory (Vygotsky & Cole, 1978), particularly the concepts of the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) (Vygotsky & Cole, 1978), scaffolding (Wood, Bruner, & Ross, 1976), interaction (Vygotsky & Cole, 1978) and autonomy (Holec, 1981), the research examined learner perception of English learning in a non-target language environment beyond the classroom.
Learning in extracurricular contexts (LEC) involved a range of extracurricular activities which were non-credit bearing programs designed by teachers to “entertain, instruct, and/or provide exercise of interests and abilities” (Taylor & Chiogioji, 1988, p. 102). This study provided a detailed analysis of LEC materials and tasks, levels of scaffolding, interaction patterns and ways to promote autonomous learning. The triangulation of data sources was achieved using the mixed methods of document collection, questionnaires, interviews and learner diaries. Quantitative data from 304 questionnaires were analysed via the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) 18.0 and qualitative data from related curriculum programs, interviews and learner diaries were transcribed, analysed and categorised by opening and axial coding.
Findings from the data analysis were consistent with studies from relevant research (Li, An, & Sun, 2005; Sanprasert, 2010; Tian, 2014), such as extracurricular activities which could serve as an effective supplement to College English teaching and could have an effect on students’ perceptions of English language learning in the aspects of students’ confidence, interests and motivation. Furthermore, the provision of a good range of engaging activities could better motivate learners to learn the target language in an informal linguistic environment. Learning structured in a relaxed setting might help lower the affective filter and enhance learners’ language interest. This, in turn, could effectively consolidate the students’ language ability in the short term and allow them to develop their communicative competence in the long term. Nevertheless, it was observed that Chinese EFL (English as a Foreign Language) students tended to participate more in mechanical English learning activities instead of communicative tasks. Moreover, one salient feature of the data was that students’ extracurricular activities participation (EAP) frequency was closely related to their personality and English proficiency. There was a correlation between the changes in students’ EAP and changes in their perceptions of English language learning. For example, a high EAP frequency of LEC could lead to increased learner interest and confidence in English extracurricular activities, improved motivation for their English studies and an enhanced understanding of how language should be learned.
The results helped establish an empirical and theoretical base for developing a conceptual framework, informed by learner autonomy, interaction, the ZPD and scaffolding, to guide College English learning and teaching in China. Based on the findings, a dynamic language learning framework was developed to better inform the design and delivery of College English learning in the EFL extracurricular context. The study concluded that LEC could positively impact students’ English learning perceptions. Suggestions for the development of extracurricular activity programs were provided. A key implication for the English curriculum in the Chinese EFL context was to develop a framework for EFL pedagogy that included extracurricular activities as an integral part of English teaching and learning in China. The framework might also be replicable in teaching and learning English in similar educational contexts.||en_AU|
|dc.publisher||University of Sydney||en_AU|
|dc.publisher||Faculty of Education and Social Work||en_AU|
|dc.rights||The author retains copyright of this thesis. It may only be used for the purposes of research and study. It must not be used for any other purposes and may not be transmitted or shared with others without prior permission.||en_AU|
|dc.title||Learner perception, interaction and autonomy: college English learning in extracurricular contexts||en_AU|
|dc.type.pubtype||Doctor of Philosophy Ph.D.||en_AU|
|dc.description.disclaimer||Access is restricted to staff and students of the University of Sydney . UniKey credentials are required. Non university access may be obtained by visiting the University of Sydney Library.||en_AU|
|Appears in Collections:||Sydney Digital Theses (University of Sydney Access only)|