By Theron Muller
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Although ordinary class teachers may have used CLT to a lesser extent, they have used a range of NEC principles outside the classroom, such as encouraging students to produce an English newspaper to promote information exploration and encouraging participation in school English societies/clubs. Teaching the New English Curriculum 21 In top classes, a virtuous circle of CLT is observed: teachers are interested in CLT and they apply it in their classes; their students’ engagement motivates them to further explore and develop CLT strategies, which gain more interest from their students; and this leads teachers to further discovery and development.
All interviews were conducted in Chinese, transcribed, and then translated into English by the author. In addition, classroom materials such as handouts, quizzes, and tests were collected. Further insights were gained from interviewing 15 other teachers in the English Department and observing 38 demonstration lessons of teachers inside and outside the school. In total, data include 69 interviews, 107 classroom observations, documentation, and about 250,000 words of field notes. Data were analyzed following grounded theory (Strauss & Corbin, 1990); therefore, theories were arising from data, rather than constructed from previous theories or assumptions.
Referring to the Confucian concept of learning that is influential in China, knowledge accumulation is considered a prerequisite for reflection, creativity, and deep understanding. The idea of one right way to produce a product 20 X. Fang of an acceptable and recognized standard makes the Chinese believe in skill development first, after which there is something to be creative with (Gardner, 1989). Although research participants such as Anya voice a firm belief in learning by doing, their views seem to imply that it is additional to, and a consolidation of, learning by explicit instruction.