Published on May 8, 2009
Chapter 3:A Collaborative Action Research Approach to Improving Vocabulary Teaching in Taiwan : Chapter 3:A Collaborative Action Research Approach to Improving Vocabulary Teaching in Taiwan Cheng, Y. & Yeh, H. (2006). A collaborative action research approach to improving vocabulary teaching in Taiwan. In P. McKay (Ed.), Planning and teaching creatively within a required curriculum for school-age learners (pp.41-57). Alexandria, VA: Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Language Background : Background Taiwan’s Ministry of Education has advocated creativity in education. Proposing an eighteen-month project Creative teaching: any form of teaching practice that goes beyond covering the content of the mandated curriculum The Curriculum Context : The Curriculum Context Two external constraints in Taiwan’s senior high The national curriculum The national joint college entrance exam The Curriculum Context continued : The Curriculum Context continued The teachers: Two novice teachers, Rita and Charlotte Sophomore classes in a public senior high school with approximately 2200 students 5 hours of regular English classes and 2 additional hours for testing or remedial teaching every week Intermediate-level students The Curriculum Context continued : The Curriculum Context continued The groundwork Warm-up stage Markee (1997) maintains that “it is individual end users’ subjective perceptions of newness, rather than any objective criterion of newness, that determine whether an approach to organizing language instruction counts as an innovation” (p. 55). The action research approach The Vocabulary-Teaching Innovation : The Vocabulary-Teaching Innovation Six phases of this action research Identifying a need for innovation Setting a goal Locating possible resources and models Implementing instructional innovations Evaluating the effects of innovations Setting the next goal Motivation : Motivation Their dilemma in vocabulary instruction Students should be more responsible for vocabulary learning. More class time should be devoted to reading and its follow-up activities Goals and objectives Increasing teaching effectives Helping students become active ad independent in vocabulary learning Making vocabulary learning enjoyable Implementation : Implementation Locating resources and models: relevant books and articles on vocabulary instruction experienced teachers known for vocabulary teaching. MS PowerPoint as a presentation medium Solving practical problems Teaching effectiveness: have students preview new vocabulary, reward students with extra points for answering questions, design interesting exercises (matching , crossword puzzles), vocabulary worksheets (parts of speech, derivatives, sample sentences, prefix and suffix) Implementation continued : Implementation continued Make vocabulary learning more enjoyable: PowerPoint slides Games---Volleyball Rotation Evaluating the Innovation : Evaluating the Innovation Gebhard and Oprandy (1999): the two teachers’ reflections on and evaluation of their own innovative activities were aided by asking questions. Did the innovation achieve its goal? Could the innovation be improved upon, and why or why not? Was there a principle that highlighted the creativeness of the innovation? Exchange ideas and reflections with each other The researchers examined their work in the monthly meeting. Evaluating the Innovation continued : Evaluating the Innovation continued Share their innovative teaching plans with practitioners in two workshops on creative teaching and receive feedback. Setting the New Goals : Setting the New Goals Give students survey Modify the course Charlotte---extend innovations into teaching reading Rita--- students use newly learned words in a broader context The cycle of action research continued. Conclusion : Conclusion Negative factors are the drivers for innovations. Full knowledge of the context is important Exposure to different resources is helpful. Action research helped them introduce and reflect on innovations, which in turn served as the basis of future innovations.