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Type: Theses
Title: The development of vocational English materials from a social semiotic perspective: participatory action research
Author: Widodo, Handoyo Puji
Issue Date: 2015
School/Discipline: School of Humanities
Abstract: This study documents the design and use of vocational English materials informed by Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) as social semiotic theory. Extensive studies in language materials development have been undertaken particularly in English for Specific Purposes (ESP) programs in the higher education context (see Harwood, 2014) but only a few in the secondary vocational education sector (see Hua & Beverton, 2013). The study extends the scholarship of ESP materials development in the context of schooling, integrating context analysis, materials creation, and materials enactment (see Singapore Wala, 2013). Grounded in a participatory action research design, this study, conducted over a 13-month period, provides a detailed account of the design and use of the materials in one Indonesian vocational school. School administrators, English teachers, vocational teachers, and 142 students volunteered to participate in the study. Data for the study included field notes, non-participant and participant observations, curriculum documentation, focus group and individual interviews, reflective journals/diaries, and photovoice. The data were qualitatively analyzed using critical thematic and SFL based analyses. The context analysis revealed that while the current language policy provided teachers with full autonomy to design their own materials, the teachers consistently based their instruction on published textbooks, which contained decontextualized exercises geared towards school and national examinations. This situation did not provide students with opportunities to engage with vocational texts. With the support of the school, the teachers and the researcher in consultation with the students created and used text-based materials based on students‘ vocational specializations. The analysis of the actual use of the materials by the teachers and the students revealed that they had opportunities to explore different vocational texts, to analyze how language works in these texts, and to use the language as a tool for communication, knowledge building, and social participation. From a teacher perspective, the teachers viewed the materials development process as professional learning and a way to understand SFL theory and apply it to pedagogical practices, such as content based instruction and text based instruction. This study offers evidence of how social semiotic theory can contribute to ESP materials development and instruction.
Advisor: Mickan, Peter Frank
Walsh, John
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.) -- University of Adelaide, School of Humanities, 2015
Keywords: action research
materials development
secondary education
social semiotic perspective
systemic functional linguistics
Vocational English
Provenance: This electronic version is made publicly available by the University of Adelaide in accordance with its open access policy for student theses. Copyright in this thesis remains with the author. This thesis may incorporate third party material which has been used by the author pursuant to Fair Dealing exceptions. If you are the owner of any included third party copyright material you wish to be removed from this electronic version, please complete the take down form located at:
Copyright material removed from digital thesis. See print copy in University of Adelaide Library for full text.
Appears in Collections:Research Theses

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