Using a Learners-as-Researchers approach to raising discourse awareness among high school students learning English as a Foreign Language (EdD TESOL)

  • Ying-Yi Chen

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The study evaluated the usefulness of a learners-as-researchers (LAR) approach in raising discourse awareness among Taiwanese high school students learning English as a Foreign Language. It investigated their perceptions of learning English through this approach. The LAR teaching program included in-class instructions on how to do discourse analysis and out-of-class research on discourse by students. Before and after the implementation of the LAR approach, a questionnaire was administered. During the program, students created individual learning portfolios and a teacher's journal was recorded. Focus group interviews were carried out at the end of the program. The results showed that when the students had the freedom to select their own topics/discourse types for analysis these were related to class exercises, professional studies at school or their interest in English. The results indicate the LAR approach chelped raise students' discourse awareness. Most students held positive attitudes towards this learning approach, although they felt challenged. These findings confirm those reported in the related LAR literature and suggest that the approach can be used with high school students learning English as a foreign language.
Date of Award30 Jun 2017
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Queen's University Belfast
SupervisorAisling O'Boyle (Supervisor) & Katrina Lloyd (Supervisor)

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