Shaping cultural realities: Simulations in teaching English as a foreign language.

VICK, Eileen Sylvia Joy. (1999). Shaping cultural realities: Simulations in teaching English as a foreign language. Masters, Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom)..

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Abstract

Simulations have increasingly been used in education since the 1960s in various fields, such as politics, geography, psychology and sociology, with the aim of providing students with an opportunity to apply their theoretical knowledge to practical, often communicative contexts. They are also regarded as a useful vocational training tool for people working in jobs requiring an ability to communicate, such as diplomats, members of the medical professions, business people and administrators.The existence of umbrella organisations which aim to provide opportunities for a multi-disciplinary exchange of views and experience between practitioners, such as the Society for the Advancement of Games and Simulations in Education and Training (SAGSET) or the International Simulation and Gaming Association (ISAGA) reflects experiences with simulations in a wide range of contexts and puts this diversity in an institutional framework.Against this background teachers of English as a foreign language (EFL) have adapted simulations originally written for students of other subjects, or designed new ones specifically for their particular context, usually emphasising language practice in a realistic communicative situation. This has been of particular relevance in the area of teaching English for specific purposes (ESP).Much of the wide range of literature that has been written on the use of simulations in language teaching is in the form of articles presenting conclusions drawn by individual teachers or designers from their individual experience of using a specific simulation in a particular context. There is, however, little consensus among designers as to exactly what a simulation is or what purposes it can usefully serve in a language-learning context.In the first chapter of this study, I present my own first practical experiences of using simulations in the EFL classroom.Chapters 2 to 5 examine the diversity of practitioners' understandings of the term 'simulation' and three other key concepts which appear so frequently in the literature on simulations for language-learning as to be regarded as leitmotifs: 'reality', 'communication' and 'culture'. My aim isnot to define these terms, but to show how and to what ends designers use them.Chapters 6 and 7 critically examine specific examples of simulations which are, or could be, used in language-learning contexts under two broad headings: simulations for developing communicative competence and simulations within intercultural education in EFL.A final chapter sums up the development of simulations used in EFL since the late 1970s and suggests how they are likely to develop in the future.My approach aims to come to a critical understanding of simulations and their development by engaging in a metacriticism of designers' approaches to them.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Additional Information: Thesis (M.Phil.)--Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom), 1999.
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2018 17:23
Last Modified: 24 Jun 2018 00:22
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/20831

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