Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Exploring South Korean Elementary EFI Learners' Construction of Investment: The Roles of Student-Centered Instructional Strategies
by Park, Hyo Na, Ph.D., Indiana University, 2019, 295; 13807367
Abstract (Summary)

Applying Kramsch’s (2012) notion of the multilingual learner as a subjective being, this study explores how South Korean elementary students construct their investment (Norton Peirce, 1995) in EFL learning in relation to their economic, social, and cultural capital (Bourdieu, 1986; Bourdieu and Passeron, 1977) as these emerge in their interactional patterns in their EFL classroom. Also, it explores how students perceive the introduction of student-centered instructional strategies and how they construct their investment in EFL learning before and after the introduction of these strategies.

The setting for the study was a sixth-grade classroom in a public elementary school located in the central district of a major South Korean metropolitan area. Of the twenty-two EFL learners in the class, ten were selected as participants in the study, and of these, three were chosen as focal students on the basis of their status as low-achieving learners. Data collection methods included ethnographic classroom observations, non-structured interviews with the learners, and their writing and drawing artifacts. For data analysis, thematic coding was employed to generate codes based on two interviews with each learner, which were then categorized to generate themes (Saldaña, 2016).

Three principal findings emerged: 1) learners’ EFL proficiency, peer relations, parental linguistic support, and linguistic support outside of the school provided significant forms of economic, social, and cultural capital in the EFL classroom; 2) the learners’ economic, social, and cultural capital played important roles in their linguistic achievement, but were not as relevant to their perceptions of and attitudes toward their EFL learning; and 3) the students reported that student-centered instructional strategies helped them to acquire self-confidence, strong resolve to learn English, and positive attitudes towards EFL learning. The instructional strategies appeared to be particularly effective in promoting the construction of investment by students with relatively low levels of social, economic and cultural capital. The study concludes that short-term applications of student-centered instructional strategies appear to provide some benefits to students who struggle with EFL learning. Implications include recommendations for further research into short-term and long-term applications of student-centered instructional strategies and their relationship to elementary students’ construction of investment.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Samuelson, Beth L.
Commitee: Coronel-Molina, Serafin M., Lester, Jessica N., Lewison, Mitzi A.
School: Indiana University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: DAI-A 80/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Bilingual education, Asian Studies, English as a Second Language, Elementary education
Keywords: Capital, Elementary EFL learners, English as a foreign language, Investment, Language education, Subjectivity
Publication Number: 13807367
ISBN: 978-1-392-03954-0
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