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The issue of power and control shift in constructing learner autonomy in Chinese language classrooms


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While it is generally accepted that autonomy could be developed by ‘a shift in relationships of power and control within the classroom’ (Benson, 2011, p. 15), few empirical studies have been found to examine this shift closely in the Chinese context.
This paper reports part of a PhD study into teachers’ beliefs and practices about developing student autonomy in a private secondary school in northern China, focusing on the power and control shift in the day-to-day language classrooms. A total of 22 lessons by 9 English teachers were observed and discussed, and a semi-structured interview was conducted with each individual teacher afterwards. The data were subjected to a process of grounded analysis (Charmaz, 2006) to identify and then interpret key themes.
The findings revealed that the extent to which teachers genuinely relinquished power and control over the class agenda varied from teacher to teacher, and that divergences were detected between the teachers’ claims and their actual practices. The study calls for both teachers and educational administers to attend to these disparities so that policies and practices intended to promote learner autonomy can be better informed.

Item Type: Item presented at a conference, workshop or other event which was not published in the proceedings
Uncontrolled Keywords: Teaching, Learner Autonomy, Chinese language
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1028 Education Research
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2361 Curriculum
P Language and Literature > PE English
Divisions: Schools > Centre for Languages
Depositing User: Wang Yi
Date Deposited: 16 Jun 2017 01:06
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2023 04:41

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