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Understanding Chinese EFL Teachers' Beliefs and Practices in the Textbook-Based Classroom


Xiaodong Zhang

Textbooks have long been considered a pivotal learning and teaching resource in classrooms. However, there is a paucity of research on how teachers use textbooks in relation to their beliefs, with analytic methods in such studies mainly restrained to content-based thematic analysis. To this end, from the perspectives of Halliday’s (1994) systemic functional linguistics (SFL) and Vygostky’s (1978) socio-cultural theory (SCT), this book explores how a Chinese college English teacher acts upon his beliefs and uses textbooks to mediate his students’ English learning in his classroom.

Drawing on constructs of the SFL-based appraisal and speech function as well as interview excerpts, the study reveals that in the textbook-based classroom the Chinese college English teacher acts upon his beliefs that are constructed by diverse contextual factors. Implications of this study include using SFL and SCT to explore educators’ beliefs and practices and also providing effective teacher education for Chinese college English instructors to reshape their beliefs so that they are better prepared to use textbooks in classrooms.

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5. Methodology of the Study


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5.   Methodology of the Study

Chapter 5 focuses on the methodology of this study. Following a revisiting of the research questions, section one of this chapter justifies the use of a qualitative case study. Section two discusses the research site and participants as the context of situation of this study. Section three provides a description of the researcher’s role and the ethical issues in the process of data collection. Section four elaborates on the data collection process while section five shows how the data was transcribed and coded. Section six provides a sample analysis and section seven reports the limitations of this study. The last section summarizes the chapter.

5.1   A Qualitative Case Study Approach

As mentioned in the introductory chapter, this study has two purposes. One is to contribute to the literature on the study of language textbook use and its connection to teachers’ beliefs. The other is to show how SCT and SFL can contribute to an understanding of teachers’ beliefs and textbook use. Therefore, the pertinent research questions are as follows:

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