The Construction of Multi-Dimensional Teaching Environment: A Qualitative Study on the Redesign of All-Encompassing Teaching Materials 1

By Gang, Yang | New Waves, December 2014 | Go to article overview

The Construction of Multi-Dimensional Teaching Environment: A Qualitative Study on the Redesign of All-Encompassing Teaching Materials 1


Gang, Yang, New Waves


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Introduction

All-encompassing teaching materials (AETM, ...) refer to the teaching packages with the integration of traditional paper textbook and multimedia teaching resources (including disks, audios, videos, electronic products, etc.) as well as web-based and Internet-based teaching resources. It takes full advantages of various media to inspire multiway interaction and makes teaching design flexible in accordance with different courses, learners and contexts. Therefore, AETM could help to form an open, complete and diverse language teaching platform and meet the teaching requirement of diversity, individuality as well as practicality (Yang & Chen, 2013). Currently, the new requirements of college English course teaching at tertiary institutions in China advocate teachers to use teaching materials flexibly and creatively. The redesign of all-encompassing teaching materials (RAETM, ????????) mainly refers to teachers and students cooperate to moderately add, delete and/or adjust textbook contents and rationally choose and develop other teaching resources (e.g. the Internet resources) to better meet the specific needs to establish a multidimensional teaching environment in order to promote students' language ability development. This study aims to construct a multidimensional teaching environment so as to create an open educational system, in which each element in EFL teaching, such as teachers, learners, teaching contents, contexts, media, facilities and even cultural atmosphere could interact, influence and effectively change through RAETM. Currently, AETM has widely applied in college English teaching in China's universities, but there is a lack of research on AETM use. This study of language teachers' and students' AETM use and its relation to the construction of multi-dimensional teaching environment provides valuable findings and suggestions which add to the existing knowledge of the college English teaching and learning field.

Literature Review

Researches on Foreign Language Teaching Environment

In China, the foreign language teaching system covers three elements: teaching construction, teaching process and teaching environment (Zhao, 2011; Dong, 2008). In an English as Foreign Language (EFL) teaching system, teaching environment directly influences learner's motivation, learning strategies, academic achievement, etc. However, the previous researches on foreign language teaching mainly focus on teaching construction and teaching process, with less attention paid and empirical studies done on teaching environment comparing with the other two elements (Yu, 2012).

Tracing back to the 1930s in the worldwide scale, the earliest researches on foreign language teaching environment were mainly concerning the interactive relationship of students to students and teachers to students; in the early 1960s, teaching environment was gradually developed into a relatively independent research area and laid emphasis on the physical factors of teaching environment. In the late 1960s, researchers began to take socio-psychological factors into account, mainly focusing on the cognition of teachers and students towards the relationship between teaching environment and student's learning behaviors. After the 1990s, many researches on teaching environment from the perspective of constructivism emerged with the development of computer and networks, information technology and psychological theories, particularly constructive learning theories (Jonassen & Land, 2000; Fisher & Khine, 2006).

Researches on the All-Encompassing Teaching Materials

Teaching material is vital in EFL curriculum and its teaching, enjoys high status and plays a key role in EFL teaching theory and practice. Foreign language teaching material is the important carrier of both language and culture in language teaching. According to its developmental stages, foreign language teaching materials can be divided into four types: the text selection type, the grammatical type, the dialogical type and the communicative type. …

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