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A Narrative Inquiry into the Impacts on Foreign Language Learners Through Theme-Based Instruction: A Case Study

Author: WuHuiFang
Tutor: HuangAiFeng
School: Zhejiang Normal University
Course: Curriculum and Pedagogy
Keywords: narrative inquiry Theme-based Instruction impacts on learners language proficiency
CLC: H319
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2011
Downloads: 36
Quote: 0
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In the past decades, the study of foreign language teaching approaches has been a heatedly discussed topic for their direct impacts on learners. In recent years, there has been a trend in language teaching, switching from much emphasis on vocabulary accumulation and grammar explanation to focus on teaching the language as a real tool to communicate. As one result of these teaching explorations, the innovation of language teaching named Theme-based Instruction (TBI), a language driven approach with a goal to develop language proficiency while focusing instruction on well-selected themes or series of topics by teachers and learners, is under way in language teaching field.This paper discusses the teaching approach Theme-based Instruction. The teaching model is based on learning theory of Constructivism, Krashen’s Affective Filter Hypothesis. This research, through narrating stories in a Theme-based Instruction context, attempts to inquire impacts on learners and their English learning. This study aims to answer the following questions:1) What impacts does Theme-based Instruction have on English learners’ individual development? 2) What impacts does Theme-based Instruction have on learners’ English proficiency? 3) How do teachers and learners implement Theme-based Instruction in English teaching practice?This study adopts narrative inquiry and case study to explore impacts of Theme-based Instruction on learners and their learning. It is a practical research of Integrated English course in a comprehensive university of Jiangxi province. This study lasts four months (a semester). Research subjects are 30 freshmen specializing in English and the practitioner researcher. Data collection based on classroom activities includes participant observation, interviews, research journals and teachers and students’ correspondence.This study stems from one practice that changes classroom from a teacher-dominated one to a more learner-centered one. The researcher in the study applies cooperative learning strategies and Dogme ELT strategies to the practice of Theme-based Instruction in English teaching from the beginning to the end. Through discussion and analysis of the narrative data, this paper argues that learners motivation can be motivated, learners autonomy can be fostered, learners’ critical thinking can be developed, learners’ spirit of cooperation can be cultivated, and English language proficiency can be enhanced through Theme-Based Instruction.

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CLC: > Language, writing > FOREIGN > English > Language teaching
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