Using American Teenage Musicals to Improve Motivation and Performance Among Chinese Middle School English Language Learners
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The purpose of this study was to design an extra curricular English program for students at Bohai Middle School. The school is located in a mountain area of the Huairou District of Beijing. As a result of the economic reforms and rapid development in China since the late 1970s, English teaching has become increasingly important in China. However, because of the text-oriented examination regimen (the zhongkao and the gaokao ), students focus on reading and writing and rarely develop their oral skill. In China this is referred to as acquiring "mute English". The problem is even more serious in rural areas like Bohai Middle School, where students have and few opportunities use English outside of class. Consequently, students regard English as important only for the purposes of passing the zhongkao and the gaokao examinations. They have little intrinsic motivation to learn English. This project consists of designing an extra curricular program for students at Bohai Middle School that is feasible to implement considering the educational culture and the general social culture of the school. The purpose is to increase the students' exposure to English and provide intrinsic motivation for learning English. The project involves forming an English Club after school for the purpose of watching and performing American Musicals to provide students with additional authentic exposure to English in a recreational setting. The project is intended to improve student engagement in regular English classes and improve oral skills. Indirect benefits may include improvements in examinations scores because of improved student engagement.
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