Exploration of secondary EFL teachers' and students' perceptions of extensive reading in English and its implementation in Chinese secondary schools: a longitudinal case study
Item statusRestricted Access
Embargo end date14/03/2023
Set against the backcloth of increasing recognition and attention to the benefits of extensive reading (ER) on L2 acquisition (here and after, L2 refers to second language and foreign language), this PhD thesis research was conducted to explore secondary teachers’ and students’ perceptions on this pedagogical approach, and teachers’ practices together with students’ responses and feedback concerning ER implementation. Although ER is gaining increasing attention of the research community, there are some less or rarely charted areas. First, the overwhelming majority of research into ER is oriented towards testing the effects of ER on L2 learning, while rather limited attention has been paid to the actual implementation of ER, especially in secondary L2 teaching contexts. Second, among the scarce literature addressing ER implementation, little focus has been devoted to teachers’ and students’ perceptions, let alone the comparison between the voices of the two sides. This study mainly aims to fill these two gaps. To gain multiple perspectives from different teaching contexts, this study adopted a qualitative multiple case study approach, and data collection lasted for six months. Ten ER programmes, led by ten EFL teachers of varied teaching experience from eight secondary schools in three cities of China, were investigated. Data were collected through student questionnaire survey (N=501), two interviews with each teacher participant (at the beginning and the end of the data collection period), interviews with 90 student participants (including individual interviews and group interviews), teachers’ reflective journals, and documents related to the reading programmes. Thematic analysis was applied to data interpretation. Codes and emergent themes were first identified within each case, and final themes were generated based on the comparison between all cases. The findings of this multiple case study are presented in two chapters: three individual cases—a common case, an exemplar case, and an unsuccessful case (Chapter 5); the overall results of all the ten cases (Chapter 6). Findings of all the cases indicate that teachers and students shared positive attitudes towards ER, especially its benefits for English learning; meanwhile, they reported various difficulties involved in ER practices. For example, difficulty in allocating time for (teaching) ER, finding suitable materials, and learning/teaching strategies on ER. A salient finding of this study is that teachers’ scaffolding played a significant role in ER implementation. Without adequate scaffolding from the teacher and some other factors (e.g., lack of reading materials), three ER programmes only lasted two months, much shorter than those lasting for six months or even longer. Based on the findings, the term—scaffolded extensive reading (SER), accompanied with its ten principles and four elements (reader, text, teacher, and peers), is put forward. To provide practical guidance for the implementation of SER, a three-stage model, encompassing instructed ER, collaborative ER, and independent ER, is constructed and elaborated with rationales and instructional guidance for each stage. Pedagogical implications for L2 teaching, teacher education, and future research in this field are presented and discussed at the end of this thesis.