How Far Does the Influence of Cultural Differences Go on the Implementation and Outcome of a Pedagogical Approach? Implications from Two ESL Classrooms

Abstract

While contextual influences on teaching and learning are now widely recognized, it is interesting to see how far such influences may go. To investigate how far cultural differences may affect the implementation and impact of a pedagogical approach, a study was conducted in the naturalistic settings of two ESL writing classrooms at the same grade level in a single-sex girls� secondary school in Hong Kong, with one of the classes being taught by a local English teacher (LET) and the other by a native English-speaking teacher (NET) from the UK. The study aimed to find out whether teachers from different cultural backgrounds would implement the same pedagogical approach differently, and how such differences, if any, may affect the outcomes. Both teachers were asked to teach their classes writing using the same multiple-draft process writing approach over a semester. The two classes� changes in terms of their autonomous skills and attitudes in writing, which the process approach was believed to have the potential to foster, were compared after the writing programme. Data from the classes were collected quantitatively through a questionnaire and qualitatively through learner journals, self-assessment forms and classroom observations. Data from the teachers about their teaching beliefs and actual practices were collected through in-depth interviews and classroom observations. The results suggest that while the cultural background and teaching beliefs of the implementer may have important mediating effects on the overall outcomes of a pedagogical approach, the approach may still have some similar effects on learners of similar sociocultural backgrounds.



Author Information
Marine Yeung, Tung Wah College, Hong Kog

Paper Information
Conference: ECLL2014
Stream: Cross-Cultural Communication

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