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Title a British colony in 1858. Despite

Title
of the research: A Study of Language Learning Style and Teaching Style
Preferences of Hong Kong Community College Students and Teachers in English for
Academic Purposes (EAP) Contexts

Introduction

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English
has been primarily used as an official language since Hong Kong became a
British colony in 1858. Despite the fact that English has been taught as a
second language, Hong Kong students have very limited opportunity to practice
English outside the classroom. The study, particularly put the focus on college
students, who are required to take common English courses to strengthen
students’ English language foundation. Common English courses in community
colleges include General English, English for Professional Purposes and English
for Academic Purposes (EAP).

EAP
courses generally cover study skills which students are required to use in
tertiary studies, for example listening, academic writing and note-taking, presentation
skills and referencing skills. At the same time, grammar, vocabulary and basic
language skills are also involved in the courses (Amir & Jelas, 2010).

 

The
writer believed that the investigation on learning styles and teaching styles
in EAP classrooms at Hong Kong community colleges will be useful for teachers and
curriculum planners to maximize students’ academic outcomes and learning
experiences by comprehend the nature of learning styles and teaching styles, also
and the relationship between these styles in the English language classrooms, particularly
in the teaching and learning of EAP.

 

Objectives

This research
aims at investigating English language learning and teaching style preferences
in Hong Kong English for Academic Purposes (EAP) classrooms at community
college level.

 

The
present research adopted a mixed method approach involving both questionnaire
surveys and semi-structured interviews, in order to investigate the factors
influencing learning styles and teaching styles, and the relationship between
them. It attempt to provide rare information for curriculum design and teacher
training so as to provide Hong Kong community college students sufficient and
effective academic English language learning back up.

 

The
objectives of this research are as below:

1.      Identify
English language learning style and teaching style preferences of

Hong Kong community college students and also teachers in EAP
classrooms.

2.      Investigate
how different variables affect students’ English language learning style and
teaching style preferences in EAP classrooms.

3.      Assess
the relationship between teaching styles and learning styles in EAP

classrooms at community college level in Hong Kong.

4.      Furnish
baseline data which will be beneficial for future research on the language learning
styles as well as teaching styles in tertiary level Hong Kong English language
classrooms.

5.      Provide
deep insights into English language education at college level in Hong Kong.

 

Research
Questions

1)
What are the English language learning style preferences of Hong Kong community
college students in EAP contexts?

2)
To what extent do different variables relate to Hong Kong community students’
language learning style preference in EAP contexts?

(a)
 Level of study

(b)
 Discipline

(c)
 Educational background (e.g. Have the student study at local secondary
school, or abroad, such as in English-speaking countries or Mainland China? Have
the student attended an English-medium secondary school or Chinese-medium
secondary school? Have the student achieved any post-secondary education, such
as the Pre-Associate Degrees or Foundation Diplomas?)

(d)
 Other possible variables

(e)
 Cultural background

3.      What
are the teaching styles for English language of Hong Kong community college
teachers in EAP contexts?

4.      To
what extent do different variables regarding to Hong Kong community teachers’
language teaching styles in EAP contexts?

   (a) Teaching
experience

(b) Educational background / qualifications

(c) Cultural background

(d) Other possible variables

5.      What
is the relationship between teaching styles and learning styles in Hong Kong
EAP classrooms at community college level?

 

Methodology
and Research Plan

This
research adopted both quantitative and qualitative research methods so as to
investigate the research questions and enhance trustworthiness through
triangulation. Creswell and Clark (2007) stated that collecting, analyzing, and
combing quantitative and qualitative data in a study will provide a more
comprehensive understanding of research problems.

The
proposed research was carried out in two community colleges in Hong Kong which
provide programmes for local, mainland Chinese and international students.

Data
collection for this study was by means of questionnaire and subsequent interviews.
According to the results of the questionnaire, group interviews were conducted
with 60 community college students in order to comprehend their language
learning style preferences and also the factors affecting their styles. In the
research, questionnaire data was analyzed quantitatively, after that, interview
data were analyzed qualitatively.

The
questionnaire was introduced to collect information for four purposes: 1) To
set up an overview of students’ language learning style preferences in EAP
contexts 2) To find out the relationship between students’ language learning
style preferences and other factors 3) To select participants for the follow-up
procedures 4) To obtain students’ background information.

According
to DeCapua and Wintergerst (2005), interviews can provide a wide range of data
by asking participants more in-depth questions and allowing them to clarify on
their responses to questionnaires. The main aim of the interviews was to look
into students’ English language learning style preferences in EAP contexts more
deeply, and the possible factors which may contribute to their language
learning style preferences and their response to community college instructors’
teaching styles. The 30-minute interview was conducted after the completion of
the questionnaires. The interview questions comprised of various topics such as
their educational and cultural background, preferred ways of English learning
in EAP contexts, their beliefs toward the match between teaching styles and
learning styles and how they describe their EAP teachers’ teaching styles.

(983
words)

 

Reference

Amir,
R., & Jelas, Z. M. (2010). Teaching and learning styles in higher education
institutions: Do they match. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 7(3),
680–4.

Creswell,
J. W., & Clark, V. L. P. (2011). Designing and conducting mixed methods
research. Los Angeles, CA: Sage.

DeCapua,
A., & Wintergerst, A.C. (2001). Exploring the learning styles of
Russian-speaking ESL students. The CATESOL Journal, 13(1), 23-46. 

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