Taking an Ecological View to Research Taiwanese EFL Students’ English Literacy Learning

| September 20, 2011
Taking an Ecological View to Research Taiwanese EFL Students English Literacy Learning

Keywords: An ecological view, literacy, learning, pedagogy, social practice

Su-Jen Lai and Ming-i Lydia Tseng
Applied Linguistics from Lancaster University, U.K.

Bio Data
Su-Jen Lai is an assistant professor of English in Language Center at Chang Gung University in Taiwan. She has an MA in English Language Teaching for Specific Purposes (ESP) from Warwick University, and an MA in Education as well as a Ph.D. in Linguistics from Lancaster University, U.K. Her research interests include EFL/ESL literacy learning teaching, and TEFL/TESL theory and methodology. Ming-i Lydia Tseng is an assistant professor in Department of Applied Linguistics and Language Studies at Chung Yuan Christian University, Taiwan. She holds a Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics from Lancaster University, U.K. Her research interests include academic literacy studies, second/foreign language learning and teaching, qualitative research methodology, and discourse analysis.

This study aims to illustrate in what ways an ecological view of literacy, espoused in the New Literacy Studies, can be applied in the field of English Language Teaching in EFL learning contexts. We weave research areas of literacy as social practice, student learning in higher education, and L1 and L2 student writing. Following a qualitative multiple case study approach, we combine in-depth interviews with supplementary methods including questionnaires, reading tasks, students written assignments in English, and observation notes to investigate the two particular Taiwanese EFL undergraduates literacy learning. Data analysis illustrates the importance of adopting an ecological view of literacy to examine how the students English literacy learning is culturally embedded and socially constructed in the context of higher education in Taiwan. The research findings suggest that EFL teachers adopt a reflective curriculum, encouraging EFL students to take an ethnographic stance towards their English literacy learning. In short, this study offers a new perspective for EFL teachers, researchers and students from which to rethink how an ecological view of literacy can be implemented in an EFL literacy class, creating more opportunities for students to work together with their peers as well as to become more engaged in learning.

See pages 301-330

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Category: Main Editions, Volume 13 Issue 3