Title a British colony in 1858. Despite
Titleof the research: A Study of Language Learning Style and Teaching StylePreferences of Hong Kong Community College Students and Teachers in English forAcademic Purposes (EAP) ContextsIntroductionEnglishhas been primarily used as an official language since Hong Kong became aBritish colony in 1858. Despite the fact that English has been taught as asecond language, Hong Kong students have very limited opportunity to practiceEnglish outside the classroom. The study, particularly put the focus on collegestudents, who are required to take common English courses to strengthenstudents’ English language foundation. Common English courses in communitycolleges include General English, English for Professional Purposes and Englishfor Academic Purposes (EAP). EAPcourses generally cover study skills which students are required to use intertiary studies, for example listening, academic writing and note-taking, presentationskills and referencing skills. At the same time, grammar, vocabulary and basiclanguage skills are also involved in the courses (Amir & Jelas, 2010).
Thewriter believed that the investigation on learning styles and teaching stylesin EAP classrooms at Hong Kong community colleges will be useful for teachers andcurriculum planners to maximize students’ academic outcomes and learningexperiences by comprehend the nature of learning styles and teaching styles, alsoand the relationship between these styles in the English language classrooms, particularlyin the teaching and learning of EAP. ObjectivesThis researchaims at investigating English language learning and teaching style preferencesin Hong Kong English for Academic Purposes (EAP) classrooms at communitycollege level. Thepresent research adopted a mixed method approach involving both questionnairesurveys and semi-structured interviews, in order to investigate the factorsinfluencing learning styles and teaching styles, and the relationship betweenthem. It attempt to provide rare information for curriculum design and teachertraining so as to provide Hong Kong community college students sufficient andeffective academic English language learning back up. Theobjectives of this research are as below: 1.
IdentifyEnglish language learning style and teaching style preferences of Hong Kong community college students and also teachers in EAPclassrooms. 2. Investigatehow different variables affect students’ English language learning style andteaching style preferences in EAP classrooms.3.
Assessthe relationship between teaching styles and learning styles in EAPclassrooms at community college level in Hong Kong.4. Furnishbaseline data which will be beneficial for future research on the language learningstyles as well as teaching styles in tertiary level Hong Kong English languageclassrooms.5.
Providedeep insights into English language education at college level in Hong Kong. ResearchQuestions1)What are the English language learning style preferences of Hong Kong communitycollege students in EAP contexts?2)To what extent do different variables relate to Hong Kong community students’language learning style preference in EAP contexts?(a) Level of study (b) Discipline(c) Educational background (e.g. Have the student study at local secondaryschool, or abroad, such as in English-speaking countries or Mainland China? Havethe student attended an English-medium secondary school or Chinese-mediumsecondary school? Have the student achieved any post-secondary education, suchas the Pre-Associate Degrees or Foundation Diplomas?) (d) Other possible variables(e) Cultural background3. Whatare the teaching styles for English language of Hong Kong community collegeteachers in EAP contexts? 4. Towhat extent do different variables regarding to Hong Kong community teachers’language teaching styles in EAP contexts? (a) Teachingexperience (b) Educational background / qualifications(c) Cultural background(d) Other possible variables 5. Whatis the relationship between teaching styles and learning styles in Hong KongEAP classrooms at community college level? Methodologyand Research PlanThisresearch adopted both quantitative and qualitative research methods so as toinvestigate the research questions and enhance trustworthiness throughtriangulation.
Creswell and Clark (2007) stated that collecting, analyzing, andcombing quantitative and qualitative data in a study will provide a morecomprehensive understanding of research problems. Theproposed research was carried out in two community colleges in Hong Kong whichprovide programmes for local, mainland Chinese and international students. Datacollection for this study was by means of questionnaire and subsequent interviews.
According to the results of the questionnaire, group interviews were conductedwith 60 community college students in order to comprehend their languagelearning style preferences and also the factors affecting their styles. In theresearch, questionnaire data was analyzed quantitatively, after that, interviewdata were analyzed qualitatively.Thequestionnaire was introduced to collect information for four purposes: 1) Toset up an overview of students’ language learning style preferences in EAPcontexts 2) To find out the relationship between students’ language learningstyle preferences and other factors 3) To select participants for the follow-upprocedures 4) To obtain students’ background information.Accordingto DeCapua and Wintergerst (2005), interviews can provide a wide range of databy asking participants more in-depth questions and allowing them to clarify ontheir responses to questionnaires. The main aim of the interviews was to lookinto students’ English language learning style preferences in EAP contexts moredeeply, and the possible factors which may contribute to their languagelearning style preferences and their response to community college instructors’teaching styles. The 30-minute interview was conducted after the completion ofthe questionnaires. The interview questions comprised of various topics such astheir educational and cultural background, preferred ways of English learningin EAP contexts, their beliefs toward the match between teaching styles andlearning styles and how they describe their EAP teachers’ teaching styles.
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