Framing professional development in language learning strategies for tertiary EFL lecturers

Ms Sujittra Intharatsamee (2009). Framing professional development in language learning strategies for tertiary EFL lecturers Professional Doctorate, School of Education, The University of Queensland.

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Author Ms Sujittra Intharatsamee
Thesis Title Framing professional development in language learning strategies for tertiary EFL lecturers
School, Centre or Institute School of Education
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2009
Thesis type Professional Doctorate
Supervisor Professor Richard Baldauf Jr.
Dr. Karen Moni
Total pages 275
Total colour pages 2
Total black and white pages 273
Abstract/Summary ABSTRACT The literature indicates that teachers need to have an adequate knowledge of language learning strategies in order to appropriately teach them. Teachers who have a clear understanding of language learning strategies are likely to integrate them to their language classes. Hence the teachers’ knowledge about language learning strategies is crucial for the language learning and teaching processes and should not be neglected by the teachers. However, there is a lack of research on teachers’ knowledge of language learning strategies, especially at the tertiary level. The focus of this study, therefore, is to closely examine English lecturers’ knowledge about and application of language learning strategies used in their teaching, and as a consequence to consider the need to develop those strategies through a professional development plan. To do this, a plan was developed for Udon Thani Rajabhat University to provide staff with professional development related to language learning strategies that would be appropriate to their local circumstances. Case study method was selected for the current study to investigate the knowledge, application and needs of a unique and specific group of people, English lecturers, and in the particular context, the teaching of English at the tertiary level at a Thai university. Seventeen EFL lecturers, 251 English major students, and the Vice President of the Academic Affairs Office participated in this study. Data were collected from the lecturers and students through questionnaires, semi-structured interviews, while university policies were also collected for use with document analysis. The questionnaire was adapted from Oxford’s (1990) the Strategy Inventory for Language Learning (SILL) Version 7.0 (EFL/ESL). The semi-structured interviews were conducted with nine EFL lecturers, 12 English major students, and the Vice President of the Academic Affairs. The data collected from documents which related to the university policies from Udon Thani Rajabhat University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and English program were analysed and combined into categories. The findings from the first phase of the study indicated that English lecturers knew about language learning strategies and reported being able to apply some of them in their teaching. However, they reported that they still needed professional development related to metacognitive strategies. Hence, a professional development plan was created to assist English lecturers to build knowledge about these language learning strategies. The professional development model used in the plan emerged from the research findings and literature, and draws on frameworks and activities from Communities of Practice and Peer Mentoring implementation models. The specific professional development activities needed to develop language learning strategies competence were designed to be undertaken over a seven-week period in a single semester. This study illustrates that a focused professional development program can be designed to meet the specific needs of academic staff members to improve skills critical to teachers in training. This model may also be useful for researchers in similar contexts in the tertiary sector.
Keyword Language learning strategies
Professional Development
Additional Notes Printed in colour: Page 215 and 241 Printed in landscape: Page 220-239

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Created: Tue, 17 Mar 2009, 12:27:43 EST by Ms Sujittra Intharatsamee on behalf of School of Education