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Collaborative group work and autonomy: A case study of teacher practice and cognition in China


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While collaborative group work is recognized as an effective means of fostering learner autonomy in the classroom (Little, 1996; Benson, 2011), few studies have investigated this in the Chinese secondary education context. Moreover, according to Borg and Al-Busaidi (2012, p. 283) language teachers’ perspectives on what autonomy means have not been awarded much attention. This presentation reports aspects of a case study involving nine English language teachers in a private Chinese secondary school. Two questions are addressed: 1) to what extent and in what way do the teachers use collaborative group work in their class? 2) how do the teachers interpret their practice of using group work to enhance student autonomy? Findings show that group work is used in all observed lessons in various ways. However, the teachers’ reflections about their own practice reveal considerable differences in their understanding of the notions of autonomy and collaboration, and in the level of their trust in students’ ability to develop autonomy through group work. Implications for the professional development of teachers will be raised.

Item Type: Paper presented at a conference, workshop, or other event which was not published in the proceedings
Uncontrolled Keywords: Teaching, Learner Autonomy, China
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
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 01:08
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2023 04:41

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