Can storytelling genre instruction make a difference: a study in a Chinese tertiary oral class

Mendes, Ashley (2011) Can storytelling genre instruction make a difference: a study in a Chinese tertiary oral class. MA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Since the opening up of China in the seventies, great emphasis has been placed on international communication and hence English language teaching and learning. Though the grammar-translation methodology has been the main methodology used in the classrooms, recent years have seen more of an emphasis being laid on gaining communicative competence. The focus of this study is the oral English classroom. Drawing on the researcher’s own experience in China and from anecdotal evidence received from other oral teachers, it appears that oral English lessons in Chinese university classrooms are sometimes hit and miss affairs. Lessons filled with speaking activities are put forward in the hope that this will improve students’ communicative skills. However, the lesson as a whole may be rather aimless and may leave students no further forward at the end of the course. Additionally, though Chinese language learners at university level have been studying English for six to seven years, they often still lack confidence in their speaking ability. This study examined whether the use of storytelling genres would make oral classes more purposeful and also help to increase Chinese students’ confidence in speaking. It was carried out in a college in Qingdao, China. English major sophomore students underwent eight weeks of storytelling genre instruction and practice, after which data was gathered from them via a questionnaire and semi-structured interviews. It was found that the use of storytelling genres provides a framework for the oral teacher to construct objective and structured lessons where real learning can take place. Furthermore, it can contribute towards a relaxed classroom atmosphere where students feel at ease to speak, can learn and can increase in confidence.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Languages and Area Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2011 12:16
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:24

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