Academic journal article Studies in Literature and Language

A Social Constructive Study on Optimizing College English Teaching Strategies

Academic journal article Studies in Literature and Language

A Social Constructive Study on Optimizing College English Teaching Strategies

Article excerpt


College English teaching plays a significant role in college education, which pays a way for the university students to be more competitive in multinational talent market. Therefore, appropriate and effective college English Teaching strategy applied in the process of college English teaching is considered greatly important. Constructivism which originated and evolved from dissatisfaction of Behaviorist and Cognitivist view of learning and knowledge, posits that learning is a constructive process in which learners build an internal knowledge and a personal interpretation of experience, therefore, knowledge is constructed by individuals or groups as opposed to passively received from the world or authoritative sources. Considering learning process under the perspective of constructivism, college English teachers should adopt some corresponding methods under the guidance of the theory of social constructivism to optimize their teaching strategy. The flexible teaching model, modularized teaching content, perfect teaching assessment system and specialized professional team are advocated to make college English teaching conducted in an effective and positive way.

Key words: Learning theory; College English teaching strategies; Social constructivism


Learning theories describe how learning happens from different perspectives. Therefore, it is undeniably true that learning theories are of pivotal important in guiding effective pedagogical practices. The roles that they play in the aspects of guiding for planning instruction, evaluating current pedagogical problems, diagnosing problems in the classroom, as well as evaluating research on theories are specified by Gredler (2005). On the other hand, one has seen it a proven fact that learning theories have been undergoing evolution, development, and refinement. In the practical College English study, it is the task for university students to learn English and the duty of teachers to give them guidance and instructions, thus more appropriate way of teaching is the main goal of what college English teachers always pursue. Since learning is a constructive process in which the learner builds an internal knowledge and a personal interpretation of experience, teachers should design different tasks to engage students in collaborative problem-solving activities under their proper supervision and coaching. The creativity and initiatives are attached great important in teaching process. What's more, more scientific teaching program and perfect evaluation system should be considered as a whole to optimize college English teaching process.


1.1 Underlying Epistemologies

Constructivism can be traced back to several centuries ago. According to Duffy and Cunningham (1996), the embryonic idea of Constructivism should be attributed to the Italian philosopher Vico who asserted that people could know nothing but the cognitive structures they themselves put together. Despite the fact that insufficient amount of attention was paid to Vico's epistemological grounding, several philosophers in the 20th century advanced and reinforced the Constructivist view that knowledge is constructed by individuals (Yilmaz, 2008).

1.2 Key Assumptions

With such a core notion of individual's imposing meaning on the world rather than vice versa, Constructivism embraces the following notions as its assumptions (Karagiorgi & Symeou, 2005): a. Learning is an active process; b. Learning is situated in the context in which it occurs; c. Knowledge is not innate but constructed by the learner; d. All knowledge is socially constructed; e. Learning is essentially a process of making sense of the world; d. Experience and prior understanding play a role in learning; f. Social interaction plays a role in learning.

Along the same lines, the basic premises of Constructivism were identified by Marcum-Dietrich (2008): a. Knowledge is constructed, not received; b. …

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