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Integrating out-of-class digital literacy development and English literacy practices with classroom language learning and teaching in Thailand

de Groot, F. O. (2017) Integrating out-of-class digital literacy development and English literacy practices with classroom language learning and teaching in Thailand. PhD thesis, University of Reading

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Abstract/Summary

This thesis investigates the digital English literacy practices of Thai student-teachers in order to examine the pedagogical potential of these digitally mediated practices as they cycle through a network of linked social spaces inside and outside of the classroom. Thailand has been facing issues with English language education similar to those in other ASEAN member states. English language proficiency in Thailand is low and ineffective educational reform and traditional approaches to teaching have prevented the development of English language education and teacher education. However, Thailand’s high number of mobile internet subscriptions and high social media penetration suggests that there is great potential to explore learners’ out-of-class digital English literacy practices and the way they may contribute to our understanding of how digital media might be more effectively used in informal language learning contexts. The thesis takes a Mediated Discourse Analysis approach to studying student-teachers’ digitally mediated English literacy practices. A Nexus Analysis was carried out at a provincial teacher training academy in the center of Thailand in order to explore how student-teachers’ digitally-mediated social and literacy practices cycle through and co-exist with other practices in a network of social spaces. These practices and discourses were then traced to see how discourse and action at the microinterpersonal level are linked to wider socio-political and cultural relationships between various interest groups in English language education in Thai society. This thesis shows that the out-of-class digital English literacy practices of Thai student-teachers create affordances for their in-class learning practices as well as a way to mediate their anticipatory discourses regarding their future professional practices as English teachers. However, the pedagogical potential of these digital literacy practices are not effectively utilized due to the static nature of the Thai educational system, the strict social hierarchies it entails, and, the ambivalence between the ways digitally mediated English literacy practices are embedded in student-teachers’ individual historical bodies and the current dominant Discourses on English language education and the use of digital technology as a means to enhance language learning and literacy development in Thailand. Despite the limited utilization of this pedagogical potential, these findings do provide a better understanding of how digital English literacy practices, which are not directly observable, co-exist alongside other literacy and professional practices in a complex network of social spaces. These insights can help learners, teachers, and, administrators in the field of English language teacher education in Thailand and beyond develop the current learning and teaching practices and their application in future professional practices.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:Jones, R.
Thesis/Report Department:School of Literature and Languages
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Literature and Languages > English Language and Applied Linguistics
ID Code:78468

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