Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Award Winner

Recipient of the 2002 Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award.

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Availability

Open Access Dissertation

Keywords

English language--Study and teaching--Foreign speakers--Research; Teachers--Attitudes; School administrators--Attitudes; High schools--Madagascar;

Abstract

The language pedagogy literature stresses the importance of the quality of second/foreign language teaching/learning in learners' acquisition, development of communicative competence, or both. The change literature equally emphasizes the importance of the quality of innovation in change audience’s resolution to reconceptualize current practices and espouse the new practice being advocated. Both literatures underline the need to use multiple research strategies in order to depict the product and process of learning and/or shifting experiences. To contribute to the educational literature in these areas, the present research incorporated two different but interrelated studies.

Study One utilized both between- and within-method approaches (Denzin, 1978) to investigate the (in)effectiveness of cooperative consciousness-raising, an innovative teaching practice, to affect English as a foreign language learners’ pragmatic competence in the target language as compared to a traditional method of English instruction. This (in)effectiveness was measured by means of researcher-designed two-part English Achievement Test and five-point-Likert type Student and Teacher Attitude Questionnaire instruments. Results of t test analysis of quantitative data obtained from the responses of 28 out of the initial 40 students in the cooperative consciousness-raising group and 27 out of the 40 initial students in the traditional group indicated that the former scored significantly better than the latter in the three American English requestive behavior abilities being assessed. Qualitative data obtained support the quantitative findings. Results of t test analysis obtained from the ratings of 14 Student Questionnaire items by 18 available students in the experimental group and of 15 questionnaire items by their English teacher showed that students* attitudes toward the cooperative consciousness-raising teaching practice, compared to the traditional method of instruction, were significantly more positive. Similarly, statistical analysis results obtained from teacher ratings of 7 Teacher Questionnaire items indicated that the English teacher’s attitude toward the new practice was more positive than toward her traditional teaching method. Qualitative data obtained from rating justifications indicated that these informants’ more favorable attitudes toward the innovative teaching practice were connected to four interrelated categories including cognitive, affective, social, and general. An investigation of school personnel’s reactions to the introduction of the cooperative consciousness-raising teaching practice in Study Two revealed that their resolution to embrace it was not solely informed by its technical effectiveness. The four interconnected major themes that emerged from both outsider and insider perspectives of data analyses and interpretations indicated the critical role played by a complex interplay among their social and personal reality systems in decision making, shifting change process, or both. It was concluded that the cooperative consciousness-raising teaching practice is more technically-sound than the traditional method of instruction. The innovation technical rationale is essential to arouse change audience’s concerns about their teaching practices and help them engage in the innovation adoption. Equally critical is its social soundness in order to better assist individual targets o f change in their personal growth.

Year of Submission

2001

Year of Award

2002 Award

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Department

Department of Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Gregory Stefanich, Chair

Date Original

8-2001

Object Description

1 PDF file (xiii, 391 pages)

Language

EN

File Format

application/pdf

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