Potential Academic Staff Grant


(Ref: PY/2015/04479)

Executive summary:

In language curriculum planning, contexts influence the processes in curriculum development. The Industrial Training phase of tertiary education is akin to apprenticeship in Vygotskian ZPD theory because it provides a rich ground for cooperative learning. However, in Malaysia particularly, language curriculum developers do not include its significance in curriculum planning. This argument necessitates the need to analyse the apprenticeship contexts within the Cognitive Apprenticeship Theory (CAT) (Collins,Brown & Newman, 1989) from language curriculum perspectives. In reconciling the gap between English instruction and real-life English language needs of the learner, the elements of CAT could unravel the teaching learning symbiosis that occur during apprenticeship. These elements namely modelling, coaching, and scaffolding teaching methods should be investigated because they could help students acquire cognitive and metacognitive skills through processes of observation and supported practice.

This study will focus on elements of CAT that views “environment” as comprising “the content being taught, the pedagogical methods employed, the sequencing of learning activities, and the sociology of learning” (Collins et al., 1987, p. 1) that students would be exposed to during the apprenticeship period. This study takes the stance that Industrial Training, viewed from CAT, could have a significant impact on English language curriculum planning. Thus, the main goal of the present study is to identify elements of Cognitive Apprenticeship that could assist the students to meet the competency required at the workplace. The value of this research would therefore lie in the researchers’ discovery of a teaching-learning gap – a possible misconstrue of students’ future workplace oral communication needs. Clearly, this research will establish a significant case – that all the stakeholders of the tertiary education must be aware of the fact that besides classroom instruction, workplace that students are exposed to during the Industrial Training phase provide scaffolding for English language learning.