Curriculum innovation and listening comprehension within the national English teaching reform in China
Li, Ying (2010) Curriculum innovation and listening comprehension within the national English teaching reform in China. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.
The ‘National English Teaching Reform’ at university level, also known as the Reform of College English, was initiated in China in 2003. The new mode of English teaching was a combination of classroom teaching and student self-access learning via CWISs (Campus-Wide Information System). The emphasis of the Reform was on developing the students' all-round ability, especially the ability of listening and speaking. The purpose of this study was to research the implementation of this curriculum innovation in a specific university. The research applied both quantitative and qualitative methods, namely, questionnaires, interviews, listening comprehension classroom observations, and document review. According to the data collected, multi-media facilities were more widely used than before but individual self-access facilities were insufficient for every student to get access when needed. At the same time, full advantage of the facilities was not being taken of. With regard to English Listening Comprehension, students spent more time in practising, but rather than being motivated by a wish to improve their all-round ability, many of them regarded it as necessary primarily for the purpose of passing the nationwide College English Test (CET), a qualification highly regarded by employers. A general finding was that autonomous study had not yet been realised in the university. Various reasons for this are explored, among them the fact that teachers did not provide a bridge between classroom instruction and self-access learning. Teachers' own difficulties in coping with the technology are also considered. Four series of English Listening Comprehension textbooks were designed for the Reform and were recommended by the Ministry of Education. However, the researched University used another textbook package because it was evaluated to be more suitable for students.
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