Thai Nguyen University
Socialist Republic of Vietnam
Batangas State University
Republic of Philippines
NGO THI THU HUONG
ENGLISH LANGUAGE MACRO SKILLS
OF FRESHMAN VIETNAMESE STUDENTS
IN SELECTED COLLEGES IN BAC GIANG CITY:
INPUT TO INTERVENTION MEASURES
Speciality: English language and literature
Ph.D DISSERTATION SUMMARY
OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE
THAI NGUYEN, 2014
The Dissertation was completed in:
THAI NGUYEN UNIVERSITY
Advisor: Matilda H. Dimaano, PhD
Reviewer No.1: .............................................
Reviewer No.2: .............................................
Reviewer No.3: .............................................
The Dissertation will be evaluated at the State Council held at:
At: hour ... date ... month ...year 2014
Dissertation can be found at the libraries:
- National library of Vietnam;
- Learning Resource Center - Thai Nguyen University;
- Library of International Training and Development Center;
- Library of Batangas State University, Philippines.
In this summary dissertation, all figures and tables are numbered as
With the increasing integration of Vietnam into the world,
English has proved its significant role as a medium of
communication which brings Vietnam to the world and brings
knowledge of the world to every individual who knows how to make
use of it. English has gained a strong position in Vietnamese people
when more and more people learn English with clearly-defined
purpose in mind. For students, English enables them to get access to
a wide variety of materials which help them to meet their study and
Studying at colleges or universities can be well regarded as a
preparatory period when students accumulate enough basic
knowledge and skills to get ready to their later work. At Bacgiang
colleges, more and more attention has been paid to English language
leaning, especially general English language for first year students.
However, there are difficulties of second language learners in macroskills. Among the difficulties second language learners experience in
learning are having difficulties with reading, writing and spelling;
pronouncing or reading multi-syllabic words; having reduced or
limited vocabulary and word knowledge in comparison to their
peers; having poor retrieval of information due to problems with
meaning; and having poor literacy in their first language.
behaviours manifested relative to these deficiencies learners
easily destructed include: poor organizational skill; show reluctance
to learn or get involved in classroom activities, work slowly or too
quickly and inaccurately; demonstrate lack of motivation and have
poor self- esteem.
On the part of the teacher, mastery of the elements or features of a
language is significant in the second language situation since it helps
assess the needs of the learners on the aspect of communication
As a college instructor teaching Basic English Course at Bac
Giang College, I am interested to investigate the English Language
Macro Skills of Freshmen students with the end view of proposing
an Intervention measures to enhance the Macro skills of freshmen
1.1. BACKGROUND OF STUDY
In learning, there are five macro skills that are needed by learners
to communicate effectively and these are listening, speaking,
reading, writing and viewing. In communication process these skills
are very essential.
These skills may approach or solve future
problems in communication most especially in our day to day tasks
such as in learning or gaining information, presenting, or holding a
The knowledge regarding the use of these five macro skills is of
vital importance. Consistently seeking improvement along these
macro skills will contribute to the self-development, effective
communication and success in many different environments and
contexts of the learners. Absence of these macro skills to a person
pose difficulties on his movement through life and to thrive in the
varied areas such as education and career.
Attaining the language skills on the part of the learners need
mastery of the language which takes years to learn. But, it can be
attained for teachers are required to note the oral and written
difficulties encountered by learners and address the difficulties by
energizing students to varied learning activities gearing towards
enhancing language proficiency.
It is of vital importance for teachers to determine the needs and
difficulties of students for her to design appropriate instructional
materials for the enhancement of learner’s language proficiency.
Fully aware of the fact, the researcher is encouraged to investigate
the English Language Macro Skills of Freshmen students with the
end view of proposing an Intervention measures to enhance the
Macro skills of freshmen students.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
This study focuses on the Freshmen Vietnamese students’ English
Language Macro Skills among selected Colleges in Bacgiang City.
Specifically, it seeks to answer the following questions:
1. What are the learning contents of a general English course offered
to Freshman students?
2. What is the level of students’ performance in the macro-skills of
2.1.1: Word recognition skills
2.1.2: Comprehension Skills
2.1.3: Utilization Skills
2.2.1: sharpening writing skill
2.2.2: sentence correction
2.1.3: grammatical accuracy
2.4.3: correct stress of the word
2.4.4: use of words
3. Are there significant relationships between pairs of macro- skills
in English language?
4. What difficulties do students have in the following macro-skills?
5. Which among the difficulties appear to be more relatively
6. What intervention measures may be proposed to enhance macroskills of students?
1.3. SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
This study was focused on the English Language Macro skills of
First Year College students among selected Colleges in Bac Giang
It covered the learning contents of a general English course
offered to Freshmen students as well as the level of students’
performance in the macro-skills of reading, writing, speaking and
listening. This also determined the significant differences among the
macro-skills in English language and the proposed intervention
measures to enhance the macro-skills of the First year students
among the selected colleges in Bac Giang Province.
The study covered the three (3) colleges in Bac Giang City
namely: Vocational College, College of Technology and Bac Giang
Ngo Gia Tu College.
This study is limited on the results of the
gathered data. Fifty one 51 faculty members who were presently
teaching Basic English and 299 students from the three (3) colleges
were part of this study. Results of the study was limited on the
information from the respondents in the Academic year 2013-2014.
1.4. SIGNIFICANT OF THE STUDY
Administrators of Bac Giang College. This study can guide
them in the Curriculum development by evaluating the different
English proficiency enhancing activities. This study will serve as a
guide for the realignment of the existing curriculum of Basic English
to meet their institutional goals and objectives.
Faculty of Basic English. This study will serve as a guide to the
faculty teaching Basic English as they may be aware of the present
level of students’ performance in macro-skills.
This study will
provide them insights on what classroom learning activities will be
appropriate to enhance the Language proficiency of their students.
First Year Students. The findings of this study will make them
aware of their present level of macro skills. This would give them a
challenge to improve their weak points and enhance their over all
performance in Basic English.
Parents. Through this study, parents of the first year students
will become aware of the English performance of their children
which will make them more supportive and cooperative in school
activities specifically on the improvement of the skills in the Basic
English of their children.
Future researchers. This study will serve as reference for their
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE AND STUDY
2.1. REVIEW OF RELATED STUDY.
This section presents of some literatures related to the topic.
2.2. RESEARCH PARADIM
A. Learning contents
of a general English
B. Level of students’
performance in the
C. Difficulties of the
Figure 1: Research Paradigm
The research paradigm explains the relationship of the inputprocess-output of the study. The input covers the learning contents of
the general English course, level of students’ performance in the
macro-skills and the difficulties of the students in the macro-skills;
the process is assessment through documentary analysis and teacher
made test; while the output is the proposed intervention measures for
first year students in Bacgiang colleges.
3.1. RESEARCH DESIGN
The study made used of the descriptive method of research. It will
be deemed appropriate for this study in determining the required
information through analysis and interpretation of the information
which will be gathered.
To accomplish the objectives of the study, information were
gathered pertinent to the present undertaking through teacher made
test for the student respondents.
3. 2. SUBJECTS OF THE STUDY
The subjects of the study are composed of 299 first year college
students taking up Basic English course in the three colleges in
Bacgiang namely Ngo Gia Tu College, Industry and Technology
College and Vocational College.
Table 1 shows the distribution of student respondents in the three
Table 1: Distribution of student respondents in the three colleges
Name of Colleges
Bacgiang Ngo Gia Tu
Of the 299 recovered answer sheets, one was not included in the
analysis due to incomplete answers. Thus only 298 answer sheets
were subjected to statistical analysis.
3.3 DATA GATHERING INSTRUMENT
This study made used of the following data gathering instruments.
Documentary Analysis. This was used to gather information
regarding the learning contents of the subject Basic English course I.
In Bac Giang Ngo Gia Tu Colleges, this was used through the
Detailed Outline of General English I for Diploma Degree Program
with English Language as field issued by the Ministry of Education
and Training of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
Teacher Made Test. This instrument is designed to determine
the English language macro-skills of Freshman Vietnamese students.
Macro-skills pertain to the four macro-skills in communication
which are listening, speaking, reading and writing. These macroskills are the basic skills required to communicate effectively in the
English language. The macro-skills of the students are evaluated
based on the component skills of each macro-skill. One test question
is formulated corresponding to the subcomponent items of each
component skill or macro-skill. The component skills in reading
include word recognition skills with six subcomponent items such as
context clues, phonetic analysis, root words, contractions, compound
words, ands syllabication, In comprehension skills the six
subcomponent items are finding the main idea, sequence, finding
details, predicting outcome, recognizing cause and effect, and
distinguishing between fact and opinion. and utilization skills with
five subcomponent items namely: skimming for information, using
titles in lessons, using index, classification, and outlining.
In writing, the skills involve are sharpening of writing skills with
five subcomponent items such as spelling, using words effectively,
making smooth transition, sentence, paragraphs and messages, and
structuring phrases and clauses and sentence correction. As for
listening skill, this includes five subcomponent items namely;
comprehension one, homonym, comprehension two, correct stress of
the word, and the use of words.
In speaking three subcomponent items are included. These are
pronunciation, comprehension, and grammatical accuracy. A total of
32 test items are included in the test for reading, writing and
listening. Three scoring areas are listed as additional items to capture
the rating of the students in the speaking test. Their audio-recorded
speech is rated based on the three scoring areas as they answer the
three given questions: The Likert scale followed for these three
5- No error
4- Few errors (1-3 errors):
3- Moderate errors (4-6 errors):
2 - Several errors (7-10 errors):
1 - Plenty of errors (>10 errors):
3.4. DATA GATHERING PROCEDURES
A test questionnaire for students was constructed and submitted to
the adviser for review and comments.
Through the help of the
adviser, the final drafts were produced. The teacher made test was
pilot tested to college students of Batangas State University to test
the strength and weaknesses of the said test.
In validating the instruments, letters of requests were then sent to
the members of the panel and expert on the field to go over the
research instruments, to give their comments and suggestions for the
improvement of the questionnaire.
After incorporating all the
suggestions, final copies of validated test were produced for
Another set of letters of request was written for the administration
of Bacgiang Colleges for permission to administer the teacher made
test to students. With the approved letter of the administrators, the
questionnaires were administered to the 299 student respondents.
After the administration of the test, test papers were retrieved,
checked, tallied and analyzed. The speaking test was conducted last
with each participant taken to a separate room where they were asked
to answer the questions one by one with their replies audio-recorded.
The recorded data were later scored following the scale above.
3.5. STATISTICAL TREATMENT OF DATA
The study applied the following statistical treatment:
Cronbach alpha. This was used to measure internal consistency
of the scores of the respondents.
Frequency Distribution and Percentage. This was used to
provide meaningful description of the respondents’ performance in
macro skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening.
Weighted Mean. This was used to quantify the student’s
performance in the macro skills of reading, writing, speaking and
Standard Deviation. This was utilized to determine the level of
students’ performance in the macro skills of reading, writing,
speaking and listening.
Student’s T- test. This was used to test the significant difference
among the macro skills in English Language.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
This chapter presents the results of the data gathering process
from the respondents of the study, the data analysis and its
Learning Contents of a General English Course Offered to
Level of Students’ Performance in the Macro-Skills of the
English Language: Performance of student respondents in the
different skill areas of the Reading test, Writing test, Listening
test and Speaking test
Performance of student respondents in the different skill areas of
the Significant Differences in the Students’ Performance among the
Macro-Skills in English Language: Student's t-test comparison of
the mean % scores for each test group shown as p-values
Difficulties Students have in the Macro-Skills of the English
Language: difficult item for student respondents in the teacher-made
tests on macro-skills in English language. Rank of 1- Most Difficult
(MD), Mean % of < 50% - Difficult (D), Mean % > 50% - Not
Difficulties in Macro-Skills that appear to be relatively more
serious: Most difficult items for student respondents in the teachermade tests on macro-skills in English language
Intervention Measures that may be proposed to Enhance the
Macro-Skills of students
SUMMARY, FINDINGS, CONCLUSION, RECOMMENDATION
This study aimed to assess the Freshman Vietnamese students’
English Language Macro Skills among selected Colleges in
Bacgiang City. This study sought to find out the learning contents of
a general English course offered to Freshman students, the level of
students’ performance in the macro-skills of reading, writing,
speaking and listening, the relationships between pairs of macroskills in English language, the difficulties students have in the
macro-skills, the difficulties appear to be more relatively serious and
the intervention measures proposed to enhance macro- skills of
The study made used of the descriptive method of research to
Vietnamese students among selected colleges in Bacgiang. There
were 299 students from three colleges of Bacgiang and 30 teachers
who were the respondents of the study.
Based on the objectives of the study, the findings are as
1. Learning Contents of a General English course offered to
General English courses cover skills of speaking, listening,
reading and writing as well as essential vocabulary, idioms and
colloquial language. They are designed to give students confidence
to communicate effectively in real life and provide them with
effective training in English for work, study and travel.
In Bac Giang Colleges, the course General English I required
students to attend and participate in all class activities and do
homework and this is given ten percent weight. Students are also
required to take progress test in grammar, vocabulary, reading and
writing and assigned also ten percent of weight and a midterm test in
the same area with twenty percent allocated weight for each.
General English I Course is given five units credits with 60
hours- time allocation for the first semesters.
English I has the
learning objectives of providing students with guidance in the study
of English Alphabet, vowels, consonants, stress, intonation and,
English basic structures; develop their ability to use these structures
in different contexts; enrich their knowledge in vocabulary and
grammar and improve their ability to communicate effectively by
providing comprehensive re-enforcement activities in the four
macro-skills of English language.
competencies in these skills like in listening, it is expected that
students can listen and understand basic words or phrases and answer
simple questions to oneself while in speaking, students are expected
to communicate, ask and respond to questions. In terms of reading, it
is expected that students can employ scanning and skimming in
searching for main ideas or details in varied reading while in writing,
expressing in written language topics such as completing a form,
informal email, etc. are expected to students.
In addition, the course outline of General English I course is
divided into five units where each unit has six components namely:
grammar, vocabulary, reading, writing, speaking, and listening.
Each unit also comprises overall objectives.
In unit I, the overall objectives are for the students to get to know
to each other and introduce themselves and other people. Each unit
has its respective learning contents covering the four areas in
reading, writing, listening, and speaking.
In Unit II, the overall objectives are for the students to be able to
ask for personal information. Given focused are Grammar, and
In Unit III on the other hand are for the students to be able to use
the present simple with personal pronouns.
For Unit IV, the overall objectives are for the students to use the
present simple, to talk and to write about shopping, likes and
dislikes, free time and leisure activities and for the students to be
familiar with situations in an English class.
As Unit V, the objective is for the students to describe the place
where students live and for them to ask and to give directions. The
learning contents of this unit include grammar, reading covers the
practice of scanning for specific information; writing gears toward
describing a holiday through a written report; speaking focuses on
talking about stories and practice police interview and in listening
the focus is on listening for specific information.
2. Level of students’ performance in the macro-skills in reading,
writing listening and speaking the English language
The level of students’ performance in the macro-skills were
analyzed to probe the different component skills under the macroskills of reading, writing, listening and speaking. In reading, 17
students’ skilIs were grouped under three major skills namely: word
recognition skills which include six items, comprehension skills
which include items seven to twelve and utilization skills which
include items 13 to 17. The mean % of correct score of the students
in all the items is widely distributed across different values ranging
from 4%to 96% with equivalent description of borderline to superior.
This means that the macro-skill of the freshman students in reading
are widely distributed and highly dispersed. This suggests that the
students’ performance is on the average level based on the given
population of student respondents.
In writing, a range of scores was obtained by the student
respondents from mean % correct score of 15% to 86% with
equivalent ratings of low average to high average. Majority of the
skills however had a rating of average that is six out of ten items.
This is confirmed by the total scores where the mean % score is
49.5% and a percentile rank of 49% or equivalent to average which
means that the students’ performance in writing is on the average
level of the given student population. When the skill items were
grouped under two major skills in writing, it can be observed that
there were more high average scoring items that belong under
sharpening writing skills than sentence correction. This means that
the students were performing better in this skill area than the latter.