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VIETNAM NATIONAL UNIVERSITY, HANOI UNIVERSITY OF LANGUAGES AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES FACULTY OF POST-GRADUATE STUDIES ------------------------------- ĐINH THỊ HỒNG THƯƠNG THE WASHBACK EFFECTS OF TOEFL-ITP ON FIRST YEAR NONENGLISH MAJOR STUDENTS’ MOTIVATION IN LEARNING ENGLISH (ẢNH HƯỞNG CỦA KỲ THI TOEFL-ITP ĐẾN ĐỘNG LỰC HỌC TIẾNG ANH CỦA SINH VIÊN KHÔNG CHUYÊN NĂM THỨ NHẤT) M.A. MINOR PROGRAMME THESIS Field: English Teaching Methodology Code: 60140111 HANOI - 2017 VIETNAM NATIONAL UNIVERSITY, HANOI UNIVERSITY OF LANGUAGES AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES FACULTY OF POST-GRADUATE STUDIES ------------------------------- ĐINH THỊ HỒNG THƯƠNG THE WASHBACK EFFECTS OF TOEFL-ITP ON FIRST YEAR NONENGLISH MAJOR STUDENTS’ MOTIVATION IN LEARNING ENGLISH (ẢNH HƯỞNG CỦA KỲ THI TOEFL-ITP ĐẾN ĐỘNG LỰC HỌC TIẾNG ANH CỦA SINH VIÊN KHÔNG CHUYÊN NĂM THỨ NHẤT) M.A. MINOR PROGRAMME THESIS Field: English Teaching Methodology Code: 60140111 Supervisor: Dr. Trần Thanh Nhàn HANOI - 2017 DECLARATION I hereby declare that this thesis represents my own work for the Degree of Master in TESOL at the Faculty of Post-graduate Studies, University of Languages and International Studies - Vietnam National University, and that it has not been previously submitted to this University or any other institution in application for admission to a degree, diploma or other qualifications. Hanoi,2017 Đinh Thị Hồng Thương i ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS First of all, I would like to acknowledge the debt of gratitude to my supervisor, Dr. Trần Thanh Nhàn for her helpful suggestions, invaluable critical feedback and encouragement in the writing of this study. Without her guidance and help, this work would not have been completed. My sincere thanks go to all the staff at the Department of Post-graduate Studies, University of Languages and International Studies, Vietnam National University, Hanoi for giving me assistance and the lecturers who conducted the Master's course for providing me with valuable knowledge. I would also like to express my deep sense of gratitude to all students, whose participation in and dedication to the research remains invaluable. Without their precious support, the thesis would not have taken shaped. I am also indebted to my colleagues at Thai Nguyen University of Technology for their enthusiastic assistance and co-operation. Finally, the support extended to me by the members of my family has been immeasurable. I would also like to express my thanks to my parents and my husband for their wholehearted encouragement. ii ABTRACT Test of English as a Foreign Language - Institutional Testing Program (TOEFL-ITP) is believed by authority makers to have positive influence on teaching and learning English. However, as observation of the author and belief of teachers, TOEFL-ITP has negative consequence in students‟ learning English. This paper explores the relationship between TOEFL-ITP requirements for graduation and program entrance and students‟ motivation in learning with regards to students‟ different learning background and various educational contexts and time schedule pressure of the test. A sample of 147 students from two learning programs was approached to take questionnaire responses and ten students and three teachers were interviewed for more intensive data. Both positive and negative impacts of TOEFLITP on students‟ motivation were clarified in the research. Limited source of data, sampling procedure and length of the survey period in this study suggested other data collection source, sampling method and more longitudinal time for data collection for later research. iii LIST OF TABLES Table 2. 1: Questionnaire items ................................................................................20 Table 3. 1: Students from Advanced program ..........................................................23 Table 3. 2: Students from standard program .............................................................24 Table 3. 3: Students take part in interview section ...................................................25 Table 3. 4: Teachers participated in interview ..........................................................26 Table 3. 5: Students‟ responses to Motivation intensity items .................................26 Table 3. 6: Students‟ responses to Integrative motivation ........................................27 Table 3.7 Students‟ responses to Desire to learn English ........................................29 Table 3.8: Students‟ responses to Interest in learning English items .......................31 Table 3. 9: Students‟ responses to Attitude towards learning English item .............33 Table 3. 10: Students‟ responses to Instrumental motivation items .........................33 Table 3. 11: Students‟ responses to Attribution about past failures item .................34 Table 3. 12: Students‟ responses to Need for achievement items .............................35 iv TABLE OF CONTENTS DECLARATION ......................................................................................................... i ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ........................................................................................ii ABTRACT ................................................................................................................ iii LIST OF TABLES ..................................................................................................... iv TABLE OF CONTENTS ............................................................................................ v PART I: INTRODUCTION ..................................................................................... 1 1.Rationale of the study ........................................................................................... 1 2.Purposes and significance of the study ................................................................. 2 3.Scope of the study ................................................................................................. 3 4.Method and procedure .......................................................................................... 3 4.1.Subjects .......................................................................................................... 3 4.2.Data collection method ................................................................................... 4 4.3.Data analysis procedure.................................................................................. 5 5.Organization of the study...................................................................................... 5 PART II: DEVELOPMENT .................................................................................... 7 CHAPTER 1: LITERATURE REVIEW ................................................................ 7 1.Theoretical backgrounds ....................................................................................... 7 1.1.Washback ....................................................................................................... 7 1.2.Language test .................................................................................................. 8 1.2.1.Definition of language test .......................................................................... 8 1.2.2.Nature of language tests .............................................................................. 9 1.3.Motivation ...................................................................................................... 9 1.3.1.Definition of motivation .............................................................................. 9 1.3.2.Components of motivation ........................................................................ 10 1.3.2.1.Intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation ........................................ 10 1.3.2.2.Integrative motivation and instrumental motivation .............................. 11 1.3.3.Role of motivation in foreign language learning ...................................... 13 2.Review of literature ............................................................................................ 15 v CHAPTER 2: METHODOLOGY ......................................................................... 17 1.The context of the study ..................................................................................... 17 2.Participants.......................................................................................................... 17 3.Instruments.......................................................................................................... 18 3.1.Questionnaire ................................................................................................ 18 3.2.Interview ....................................................................................................... 20 4.Data collection procedure ................................................................................... 21 5.Data analysis ....................................................................................................... 22 CHAPTER 3: DATA ANALYSIS, FINDINGS AND DISCUSSIONS .............. 23 1.Demographic information of participants ........................................................... 23 1.1.Questionnaire survey respondents ................................................................ 23 1.2.Interview participants ................................................................................... 25 2.Effect of TOEFL-ITP examination on students‟ motivation .............................. 26 2.1.Motivation intensity ..................................................................................... 26 2.2.Integrative motivation sub-system ............................................................... 27 2.2.1.Integrative motivation ............................................................................... 27 2.2.2.Desire to learn English .............................................................................. 29 2.2.3.Interest in learning English........................................................................ 31 2.2.4.Attitude towards learning English ............................................................. 32 2.3.Instrumental motivation sub-system ............................................................ 33 2.4.Attribution about past failures ...................................................................... 34 2.5.Need for achievement ................................................................................... 35 3.Findings and discussions .................................................................................... 35 PART III: CONCLUSION ..................................................................................... 38 1.Summary of methodologies ................................................................................... 38 2.Summary of findings .............................................................................................. 38 3.Limitations of the study and suggestion for further research ................................ 39 REFERENCES ........................................................................................................ 41 APPENDIX ................................................................................................................ I vi PART I: INTRODUCTION 1. Rationale of the study Testing plays a significant role in education. The vital importance of testing is revealed in the way test results are used to make decisions on curriculum, on teaching and learning, and on students‟ future studies and career opportunities (Shohamy, 1992, p.513). This is especially true in the context of teaching and learning English as a foreign language with a desire to foster students‟ English competence, increasing their competitiveness in the international market. In several countries, English proficiency tests as graduation requirements and program selection criteria were adapted in the curriculum, forcing students to study, teachers to teach and administrators to renovate the curriculum. That implementation can have negative, positive or no impacts on teachers, learners and policy makers. Of all participants influenced by such test scores, students or learners are directly affected from multiple aspects, especially their motivation in learning English. Recently, in Vietnam, for instance, English proficiency tests, such as the Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC) and the Test of English as a Foreign Language - Institutional Testing Program (TOEFL-ITP) have been used as exit requirements in various universities and colleges and as selection criteria for some learning programs. Among those educational institutions, Thai Nguyen University of Technology (TNUT), a technical university in Northern part of Vietnam, also adopts the TOEFL-ITP as a prerequisite condition for first year students to pursue their majors in Advanced Program (AP) and for other undergraduates to be accredited in this university. AP is the program that TNUT was granted from Vietnamese Government to offer two Bachelor of Science programs, major in Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering. The two courses have been implemented in English and established to meet the increasing trends of globalization on engineering items. As the medium of instruction of AP is 1 English, AP students have to obtain required TOEFL-ITP score according to the regulation of the program before starting learning their major and getting the Degree of Engineer. Additionally, in line with the National Foreign Languages 2020 Project, TNUT has set a minimum score in TOEFL-ITP for undergraduates who study other programs that do not use English in teaching (referred as other undergraduates in this study) as a graduation requirement since 2014. Policy makers or school administrator generally believe that tests have much power and therefore quite often try to use them to manipulate or implement educational policies (Shohamy, 2001a, 2001b). Not aside this perception, it is believed by the authorities of the university that TOEFL-ITP is a valuable and accurate instrument to measure students‟ English proficiency sufficient to students‟ learning in English environment and future profession chances, meanwhile, it is not that beneficial from teachers‟ and students‟ perspectives. Considering the relation between testing and its influence on learners, especially in terms of motivation in learning English, and the context of English teaching and learning at TNUT, there emerges a need to conduct this research on „The washback effects of TOEFL-ITP on first year non-English major students’ motivation in learning English‟. 2. Purposes and significance of the study The study aims to investigate the washback effects of TOEFL-ITP on motivation in learning English of students under two different educational policies (selection policy to study in English teaching-learning environment and graduation requirement policy), and different required test result agendas (in the first year for AP freshmen and before graduation for other undergraduates). The following research questions are addressed: 1) How does TOEFL-ITP affect first year AP students and other undergraduates‟ motivation in learning English? 2 2) Does washback effect of TOEFL-ITP on motivation in learning English of AP freshmen differ from that of other undergraduates? The study is believed by the researcher to provide a reliable and profound background on the relation between testing and English learning motivation, which can be used as reference for other studies on similar topics. Furthermore, this research depicts entire picture of this test in relation to students‟ incentive to learn English for the university leaders to consider when making policies. Moreover, it helps the researcher gain more knowledge and skills in this field during the research process. 3. Scope of the study Language testing and its effects are extensive issues. Due to limitation of time and references l and the context of the study, the researcher only focuses on washback effects of the TOEFL-ITP on English learning motivation of non-English major freshmen rather than other tests, other participants (i.e. teachers, policy makers, and so on), processes and products. 4. Method and procedure 4.1. Subjects The technical university recruited in this Survey Research has two types of programs namely the advanced and the standard program. The former consists of two educational majors, and all subjects included in the curriculum of this program are taught in English. Therefore, it is obligatory for AP students to have good English proficiency in order to utilize study materials in English and to embrace and implement all the knowledge transferred from either foreign lecturers or Vietnamese ones. These students have an entire year to learn and improve their English proficiency regardless of their low or high entrance scores. The latter, different from the former in terms of language used in teaching-learning environment and curriculum, includes seven majors. While AP‟s curriculum and syllabus are imported and adapted from the United States, the standard program has 3 its own curriculum and syllabus with the utilization of Vietnamese in teaching. Consequently, students from this standard program are not required to be proficient in English. They have to submit TOEFL-ITP results before graduation. The quality of a research depends not only on appropriateness of methodology and instrumentation but also on the suitability of the sampling strategy adopted (Cohen, Manion, & Morrison, 2007, p. 100). Base on the time available and the accessibility to the subjects when conducting the study, the researcher employed survey questionnaire as the major research method with a sample size of 147 participants. Convenience sampling was implemented. Although this method of sampling may limit generalizability, it can both identify important issues and trends and eliminate researcher‟s subjective ideas on the content of the questionnaire. With regard to the differences in language used learning environment and test targets, two subgroups of population was created, the group of AP freshmen, and the group of freshmen from the standard program who did not need to have this certificate immediately. 4.2. Data collection method This study consists of two phases, a survey phase followed by a semistructured interview phase. In the first phase, participants were asked to fill in questionnaires translated into Vietnamese. By this way, the researcher expected to eliminate misunderstanding of language used in the questionnaire and to put the respondents at ease (McDonough, J. & McDonough, S., 1997, p. 178). The questionnaire was adapted and developed based on the results of washback studies conducted by Cheng (1998) and Pan (2012, &2014) and Dornyei (1990) and Gardner (1985) study on motivation. The questionnaire had two parts, part one - the demographic information of participants and part two- the exploration to students‟ viewpoints of TOEFL-ITP relevant to their importance in enhancing 4 students‟ motivation to learn English. Before conducting the study, pilot questionnaire was delivered to some samples belonging to both subgroups to check for the wording and clarity of questionnaire items. Changes were made where necessary. Following the first phase, the second phase was for respondents from the survey phase who indicated willingness to be interviewed. The purpose of this phase was to clarify various points from the survey and to provide respondents with an additional opportunity to express their opinions regarding the washback of TOEFL-ITP. All interviews were digitally recorded and taken note for further analysis. Those respondents who complete both phases of the study received small gifts as appreciation and gratitude of the researcher. At the same time, the researcher also interviewed three teachers who were teaching those classes. 4.3. Data analysis procedure To carry out this study, the researcher used both qualitative and quantitative data. Quantitative data was gathered from the survey questionnaire, while the qualitative data was obtained from the interview with students and teachers. The quantitative data gathered has been cleaned, manipulated and analyzed by Analysis Toolpak in Excel software. The qualitative data has been analyzed by content analysis. 5. Organization of the study This study comprises of three main parts: part I- the Introduction to the study, part II – the Development, and part III – the Conclusion. The Introduction provides information on the rationale, scope, purposes and significance of the study. The Development is divided into three chapters. Chapter I includes theoretical framework and review on related literature on washback effects, 5 language testing and motivation. Chapter II addresses detailed subjects, instruments and methods of data collection procedure and data analyses. Chapter III presents and analyzes data collected from questionnaires and interviews. The Conclusion summarizes the washback effects of TOEFL-ITP on respondents‟ motivation in learning English, gives implication in education, evaluates limitations of the study and suggests further researches. 6 PART II: DEVELOPMENT CHAPTER 1: LITERATURE REVIEW In this chapter, the theoretical backgrounds and review of literature for the study are provided. The chapter focuses on introducing important relevant concepts, discussions of issues and ideas on theories of test washback, motivation and researches on testing and motivation. 1. Theoretical backgrounds 1.1. Washback There are multiple washback definitions. According to Alderson and Wall (1993), washback is referred to the concept that testing influences teaching (p.115). Biggs (1995) used the term backwash (p.12) to refer to the fact that testing drives not only the curriculum, but also the teaching methods and students‟ approaches to learning (as cited in Cheng and Watanabe, 2004, p.8). Bachman and Palmer (1996, p.29-35) describes washback in a broader view that it is a subset of test‟s impact on society, educational systems (the macro level) and individuals (the micro level). In this study, washback is defined as the effects that tests exert on students in term of students‟ motivation to learn English as a foreign language. Washback can be positive, negative or ineffectual. This depends on the education context that tests are applied, on the time and duration of using such tests and on different approaches used by varied participants within that context (Cheng and Watanabe, 2004, p.8). Hughes (1993) expresses that the nature of the test, either high-stake or low-stake test, may affect the perceptions and attitudes of the participants towards their teaching and learning tasks. These perceptions and attitudes in turn may affect what the participants do in carrying out their work (process), including practicing the kind of items that are to be found in the test, which will affect 7 the learning outcomes, the product of that work (as cited in Bailey, 1999, p.10) Additionally, Anderson and Wall (1993, p. 117) also point out that a test, either good or bad, can exert positive washback if it encourages activities and motivation in learning and teaching. 1.2. Language test 1.2.1. Definition of language test Language tests have been defined by different authors reflecting changing beliefs about the make-up of language proficiency. According to Brindley (2003, p. 312-313), from the 1950s to approximately mid-1970s, language tests are sets of “discrete-point”, “objective”, and “multiple choice” items testing one linguistic item at a time. These test types were very reliable and easy to administer but failed to provide “much useful information about the test-takers‟ ability to use the language in the real world”. It then follows that language tests should be redefined to reflect the notion of language ability and “what happens when people use language for communicative purposes” (Brindley, 2003, p.313) as Canale and Swain (1980); Bachman and Palmer (1996) have done. According to Alderson, Clapham and Wall (1995, p. 41), a language test is a set of test items. Each test item “consists of a method of eliciting behaviour or language, together with a system whereby that behaviour or language can be judged”. Along this line, Heaton (1990) holds that tests should be considered first as means of assessing the students‟ performance and then as devices to motivate them. Clearly, He gears tests to a way of inspiring students to study, reasoning that tests are often taken at the end of a semester; students will be encouraged to review their lessons in order to achieve their course and testing objectives. 8 To sum up, a language test is an instrument for assessing test-takers‟ use of language knowledge and skills for communicative purposes. It can also play the role of a motivating device for students in their learning process and for teachers to adjust their teaching accordingly. 1.2.2. Nature of language tests Language tests are of high-stakes and low-stakes nature. Shohamy et al (1996) defines a high-stakes test as one used in a context in which decisions about “admission, promotion, placement or graduation are directly dependent on test scores” (p.300), while low stakes ones do not entail these significant decisions. Among those tests, TOEFL-ITP is of high-stakes level (Anderson and Hamp-Lyons, 1996, p.296) 1.3. Motivation 1.3.1. Definition of motivation It is clearly seen that motivation plays an important part in the process of learning a foreign language. There are various theories of motivation that have been searched and discussed. However, it is not possible to give a simple definition of motivation. Instead, the focus is what specific factors work together to create motivation. Gardner was one of the pioneering researchers in second language acquisition to focus on motivation. He chose to define motivation by specifying aspects of motivation: a goal, effortful behavior to reach the goal, a desire to attain the goal, and positive attitudes toward the goal (Gardner, 1985, p. 50). Sharing the same point, Ellis, R. (1997, p. 75), stated that motivation is "the efforts which learners put into learning an L2 as a result of their own need or desire to learn". He also indicated that "motivation involves the attitudes and affective states that influence the degree of effort that learners make to learn an L2". Motivation to learn a second language in Ellis' point of view refers to the extent to which the individual works or strives to learn the language because of a desire to do 9 so and the satisfaction experienced in the activity. According to Kleigninna (1981, p.6), William and Burden (1997, p.120), Brown (2000, p.160) and Dornyei (2001, p.7), motivation is defined as the explanation for people to do something and for their efforts and persistence to pursue it. In short, although there are numerous different definitions of motivation, they all share the same point of view that motivation combines effort and desire plus favorable attitude and occur as a result of combination of external and internal influences. 1.3.2. Components of motivation As discussed in the previous part, motivation is not a single or a simple concept and so it is necessary to consider the range of factors which constitute motivation for learning, i.e. components of motivation. There are two trends for the construction of motivation. The first trend considers extrinsic motivation and intrinsic motivation as two components of motivation. The other one includes integrative motivation and instrumental motivation and some other elements as composition of motivation. 1.3.2.1. Intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation Moore, K.D., (1992) separates motivation into two main categories: extrinsic motivation and intrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation comes from within the student or from factors inherent in the task being performed. For example, students who love to read are intrinsically motivated to read - there is something about reading that they enjoy and that makes them want to do it even if there is no "reward" for it. According to Moore (1992), “intrinsic motivation is what learners bring to learning environment, that is, their internal attributes: attitudes, values, needs and personality factors”. Ellis (1994) also states that intrinsic motivation “involves the arousal and maintenance of curiosity and can ebb and flow as a result of such 10 factors as learners‟ particular interests and the extent to which they feel personally involved in learning activities”. The factors of support of intrinsic motivation are: competence (feeling that you know how to do things), autonomy (being able to perform an activity by yourself without external help) and relatedness (connection with your social environment like helping the others) Extrinsic motivation comes from sources external to the student and the task. It can come through praise, recognition, or a system of rewards. Paul (2002) states that extrinsic motivation is “motivation to engage in an activity as means to an end”. Moore (1992) gives easily understandable definition that extrinsic motivation originates outside the individual and is concerned with external environments factors that help shape students‟ behavior. Most writers agree that intrinsic and extrinsic interact with each other and play an important role in second language learning. As a result, learners can be either motivated by internal or external factors depending on the circumstances and conditions the activity is performed. 1.3.2.2. Integrative motivation and instrumental motivation Gardner and Lambert (1972) introduced the notions of instrumental and integrative motivation. In the context of language learning, instrumental motivation refers to the learner‟s practical benefit of the second/ foreign language proficiency, such as better employment opportunity or a higher salary, whereas integrative motivation refers to the positive attitude toward the target language group and the desire to learn a language to integrate successfully into the target language community. Integrative motivation was further specified to “interest in foreign language”, “desire to learn the target language”, “attitudes toward learning the target language”, “attitudes toward the learning situation”, “desire to interact with the target language community”, and “attitudes toward the target language community” (Gardner, 1982). Gardner and MacIntyre (1993) suggest that motivation consists of three 11 components: a desire to achieve a goal, an effort towards that direction, and a feeling of fulfillment when a task is completed. They also state that “Motivation itself is dynamic. The old characterization of motivation in terms of integrative and instrumental orientation is too static and restricted” (p4). In later research studies, Crookes and Schmidt (1991), and Gardner and Tremblay (1994) explored four other motivational orientations: reasons for learning, desire to attain the learning goal, positive attitude toward the learning situation, and effortful behavior. In his study in 1990, Dornyei theorized a motivational construct consisting of an instrumental motivational subsystem, and integrative motivational subsystem, need for achievement and attributions about past failures. Meanwhile the instrumental motivational subsystem remains the same as in Gardner‟s research, the integrative motivational subsystem includes interest in foreign languages, cultures and people, desire to broaden one‟s view and avoid provincialism, desire for new stimuli and challenges, and desire to integrate into a new community (p.68). He also indicated that instrumental motivation and need for achievement play a significant role in mastering intermediate target language proficiency, but integrative motives enhance the desire to go beyond this level. According to Harlen and Deakin (2003), three factors must be taken into account when considering motivation for learning. They are the way learner feels and thinks about himself/ herself, how learner perceive his/her capacity to undertake the learning task, and the energy and willingness the learner has for the task. In summary, despite its complexity, motivational construct in this study which may be affected by testing follows the components proposed by Dornyei (1990) and Gardner (1982). The first component is instrumental motivation which relates to learner‟s practical purpose of studying foreign languages. The second one is integrative motivational subsystem including learner‟s interest in foreign languages, attitudes toward learning English, and desire to learn English. The last two components are the need for achievement and learner‟s experience in past failure. 12
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