About this book
The volume makes an important contribution to our understanding, particularly of how predominantly a western construct is received in the Chinese learning context. It brings new sociocultural perspectives to bear on aspects of innovation in language teaching by pursuing a comprehensive and in-depth approach to the application and utility of collaborative learning in two Chinese HE EFL classrooms. No previous background knowledge is required, and the book will be of interest to language teachers, student teachers and researchers in applied linguistics and TESOL. The scope ranges from a general understanding of collaborative learning to specific discussions, and brings together a variety of debates ranging from theory to practice.
In light of the narrowness of some previous research, the empirical part of the monograph employs mixed methods and offers a holistic view of how collaborative learning impacts student learning from social, learning and motivational perspectives. It touches on issues of students’ interactional behaviors in collaborative learning and changes in their learning preferences, motivation and attitudes. The book also examines aspects not found in most other texts on the subject, such as how collaborative learning actually works and how it shapes students’ interactional competence. It also differentiates between similar concepts in the field and captures the intricacies and complexities of Chinese L2 classrooms. Some unique sociocultural aspects of Chinese L2 teaching are also revealed. In view of the rare use of collaborative learning in Chinese HE EFL classrooms to date, this work also considers aspects regarding its design and implementation in the language learning classrooms relevant to this context. The book closes with discussions concerning the theoretical, methodological and pedagogical implications and offers extensive practical tips for fieldwork. Directions for future research are highlighted in the final part of the book.