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Applied Linguistics Review

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A mixed methods study of “English Corners” funded by the Taiwan Ministry of Education “Program for Promoting Teaching Excellence of Universities”

Barry Lee Reynolds
  • Corresponding author
  • Faculty of Education, University of Macau, Room 1017, FED Building (E33), Avenida da Universidade, Taipa, Macau SAR, China
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Published Online: 2017-11-23 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/applirev-2017-0046


This investigation explored Taiwanese university students’ and professors’ perceptions of the effectiveness of “English Corner” in improving second language ability. Qualitative and quantitative data was collected through student attendee questionnaires (n=256); teaching logs (n=2); and teaching excellence university professor questionnaires (n=70). Item analysis and factor analysis was conducted to uncover factors affecting students’ perceptions of English Corner and qualitative content analysis using In Vivo and Emotion coding revealed themes affecting “English Corner” success or failure. Overall, findings indicate “English Corner” has the most influence on students’ willingness to speak in English and their enjoyment in speaking English. These results are encouraged by administration supported flexible teachers that apply various scaffolding techniques during lessons. However, analysis also indicated that success of “English Corner” is highly contextualized, with professors from teaching excellence universities possessing a dichotomized view of “English Corner” effectiveness.

Keywords: English Corner; informal learning; education funding; language policy; English as a Foreign Language; speaking


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About the article

Published Online: 2017-11-23

Citation Information: Applied Linguistics Review, ISSN (Online) 1868-6311, ISSN (Print) 1868-6303, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/applirev-2017-0046.

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