"Let the World to Hear Our Voice": Investment in Spoken English for English Majors in China

Open Access
Author:
Bastian, Sarah Elizabeth
Area of Honors:
Interdisciplinary in Applied Linguistics and Chinese
Degree:
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Xiaoye You, Thesis Supervisor
  • Nicolai Martin Volland, Honors Advisor
  • Sharon Smith Childs, Honors Advisor
Keywords:
  • investment
  • ideology
  • EFL
Abstract:
This study explores the investment of Chinese English majors in developing their spoken English, both within and outside the Chinese university classroom. Although much effort has recently been dedicated to developing teaching methods to increase students’ oral English production in the EFL classroom, the research has frequently neglected the voices of individual students. The present study addresses this issue by investigating individual EFL students’ broad investments in developing their spoken English across contexts, and then by situating their investment in the classroom within the broad context of their general investments. Data was collected through classroom observations, individual and group interviews, and reflective journals. The data have been analyzed according to Darvin and Norton’s (2015) investment model which includes ideology, capital, and investment, as well as the intersections among these three components. Findings indicate that EFL students’ investments in spoken English are complex, contradictory, and divergent within the same classroom context, and that ideologies play a prominent role in shaping investment both within and outside the classroom.