Understanding Your Students: An Investigation on Topics of Interest to Chinese EFL Graduate Student

| April 21, 2011
Title
Understanding Your Students: An Investigation on Topics of Interest to Chinese EFL Graduate Student

Keywords: topic of interest; EFL teaching; Chinese graduate students

Authors
Jie Xiaoping
Graduate School at Shenzhen, Tsinghua University

Bio Data
Jie Xiaoping is currently a lecturer at Graduate School at Shenzhen, Tsinghua University, China, and has taught EFL courses to Chinese graduate students for four years. She has an MA in applied linguistics, and her research interests include EFL learning and teaching, language assessment, and psycholinguistics.

Abstract
This paper is an illustration of a tentative study conducted to investigate the areas and topics Chinese Non-English major graduate students are interested in speaking, writing and reading about. A total of 172 Chinese Non-English major graduate students participated in this study. Each of the participants was required to (1) give an English mini-speech in public to their classmates on a topic chosen by the speaker, which should be interesting to themselves as well as their audience; (2) spend at least 20 minutes each week reading any English text chosen by themselves and at least 10 minutes each week writing in English on a free topic to the writer s interest, and briefly record their English reading and writing activities each week for 4 weeks. Based on the written speeches and weekly reports submitted by the participants, the obtained data are analyzed using the constant comparative method of analysis to identify and categorize the types of topics that the students have chosen to read, speak and write about according to their own interests. Implications are discussed for the design of syllabus, textbooks, programs and classroom activities for teaching English to non-English major postgraduate students in China.

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See pages 4-15

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Category: Teaching Articles, Volume 51