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An exploratory investigation into the relationship between perceptions of teaching strategies and student's use of strategies in reading English in China

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posted on 15.12.2014, 10:43 by Sue Jinfeng. Arazi
China, recognising the importance of English literacy, has made English language teaching a major imperative in universities. Reading is the major aspect within the National College English Teaching Syllabus, but despite its importance and the large number of students studying English, little is known about how Chinese teachers and students perceive their reading or which reading strategies are currently used effectively. This research provides an exploratory investigation into the relationship between Chinese teachers' and students' perceptions of English reading strategies through statistical analysis of questionnaires and follow-up questionnaires given to 115 teachers and 201 students in China and 100 students in Britain and interviews with 5 teachers and 5 students. The questionnaires were designed by incorporating reading strategies mainly from Grellet (1981) and Nuttall (1982) into Oxford's SILL Model (1990). The literature review and data analysis suggested the complexity of the subject and raised many questions regarding whether reading strategies are useful and, if so, how they may be learned. The research was therefore extended to answer these questions by investigating the related learning process. Teaching reading strategies in an interactive approach was suggested and illustrated in a material workshop to offer insights into the development of more dynamic language classes and a Spiral Model of Reading was developed to provide a representation of the learning process. The main results suggest: a significant difference between teachers' and students' perceived strategy use; the importance of teachers' qualifications and training in teaching behaviour; and the suggestion that students' use of strategies, learning attitude and motivation are strongly correlated with their performance. Models were derived to represent the relationships, degrees and directions of factors that influence the use of strategies and the Spiral Model of Reading combine strategies with reading levels to show how knowledge is acquired within the learning process and how the act of linking facilitates reading. Yet, many questions still remain unanswered and suggestions for future research are made.


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University of Leicester

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