Document Type

Dissertation

Date of Degree

Spring 2016

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Teaching and Learning

First Advisor

Michael Everson

Second Advisor

Lia Plakans

Abstract

Many researchers have explored teachers’ beliefs in literacy and found that teachers’ literacy beliefs affect their instructional practices in foreign language (FL) or second language (SL) classrooms. Researchers have demonstrated that teachers’ literacy beliefs and instructional practices are generally consistent. There have been many studies regarding teachers’ literacy beliefs and classroom instruction in the context of FL/SL and more recent studies on teachers’ literacy beliefs presenting an increasing interest in heritage language (HL) such as Spanish and Chinese. However, less is known about Korean language teachers’ literacy beliefs and practices in the mixed classroom of heritage and non-­‐heritage learners.

This present study had two main purposes. First, it examined and described the literacy beliefs and instructional practices of a novice Korean language instructor, who struggled primarily with heritage learners in his teaching career. The second purpose was to seek an in-­‐depth view of a novice teacher’s literacy beliefs and practices toward two different student subgroups of heritage and non-­‐heritage learners in the same classroom. In addition, this study investigated incongruences between literacy beliefs and practices toward heritage and non-­‐heritage learners. In order to examine a novice Korean instructor’s literacy beliefs and practices toward Korean heritage learners and non-­‐heritage learners, this research employed a qualitative case study and collected data through a combination of a survey, semi-­‐structured interviews, and videotaped classroom observations. The Literacy Orientation Survey (LOS) and Taxonomy Of Techniques were adopted for a survey and classroom observation, respectively.

The results of the current study indicated that the novice teacher of Korean has general literacy beliefs compatible with a constructivist orientation, which is a whole-­‐ language approach and one that promotes transformative learning. For most of the instructor’s literacy instruction in the classroom, his literacy beliefs appeared to be congruent with his practices toward KHLLs. The novice teacher promoted differentiated literacy instruction by giving separate, more challenging, or instruction more connected to everyday life in an effort to meet each individual learner’s needs in literacy. Acknowledging heritage learners as mediators and community builders who could potentially promote literacy skills, the participant presented a broader understanding of literacy and multiliteracies, such as cultural and digital literacy, beyond traditional skill-­‐ focused reading and writing. However, his overall literacy beliefs were incongruent with his instructional practices toward KFLLs because of frequent accommodations for less proficient learners through more traditional or eclectic activities. This incongruence and distinctive literacy instruction toward two different learner subgroups were explained by several factors: university policy on teaching and learning, his educational background and teaching experiences, and the low proficiency of the Korean language learners.

This study of a novice teacher’s literacy beliefs toward different learner groups suggests that the embracing of comprehensive and constructivist approaches to literacy instruction and curriculum is only possible when pre-­‐ and in-­‐service teachers are aware of their own premises or propositions about literacy beliefs and instructions. The findings generated by this study can serve as a good starting point to guide FL/HL teachers to professional growth and expand the field of HL literacy studies in the future.

Public Abstract

Based on the finding that teachers’ literacy beliefs affect their instructional practices, recent studies on literacy beliefs present an increasing interest in heritage language (HL) because of the rapid increase in heritage learners’ enrollment. However, less is known about Korean language teachers’ literacy beliefs and practices in college classrooms where heritage and non‐heritage learners learn together. The present study aimed to first examine the literacy beliefs and practices of a novice Korean language instructor, who struggled with the challenges of teaching heritage learners during most of his teaching career. The second purpose was to investigate whether there were incongruences between his literacy beliefs and practices toward heritage or non- heritage learners. This research used a qualitative case study and collected data through a combination of a survey, interviews, and classroom observations.

The results indicated that the novice teacher demonstrated a constructivist literacy orientation, which is a whole‐language approach and promotes transformative learning. His literacy beliefs appeared to be congruent with his practices toward heritage learners but were incongruent toward non‐heritage learners. This incongruence was explained by university policy, his educational background, and the students’ low Korean language proficiency. Acknowledging heritage learners as mediators and community builders who potentially promote literacy skills, the novice teacher promoted differentiated literacy instruction and presented a broader understanding of literacy, such as cultural and digital literacy, to connect literacy skills to everyday life. This study suggests that the embracing of comprehensive and constructivist approaches to literacy instruction and curriculum is only possible through a teachers’ inner awareness of their own premises about literacy beliefs and instructions.

Keywords

publicabstract, Beliefs and practices, Heritage language, Korean as a foreign language, Korean as a heritage language, Literacy beliefs

Pages

xiii, 254

Bibliography

225-254

Copyright

Copyright 2016 Ho Jung Choi

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