Tài liệu Language activities for improving linguistic competence of the first year students in thai nguyen university (sum)

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THAI NGUYEN UNIVERSITY Socialist Republic of Vietnam BATANGAS STATE UNIVERSITY Republic of the Philippines NGO THI BICH NGOC SUGGESTED LANGUAGE ACTIVITIES FOR IMPROVING THE LINGUISTIC COMPETENCE OF FIRST YEAR STUDENTS IN THAI NGUYEN UNIVERSITY Speciallity: English Language and Literature Ph.D. E. DISSERTATIOM SUMMARY THAI NGUYEN - 2014 The study was done at: INTERNATIONAL GRADUATE STUDY PROGRAMS, THAI NGUYEN UNIVERSITY Scientific supervisor: Dr. Matilda H. Dimaamo The peer review 1: ................................................................... The peer review 2: ................................................................... The peer review 3: ................................................................... The dissertation is defended to the Panel of Experts at: ...... ................................................................................................... Dissertation can be found at: National Library Learning Resource Center, Thai Nguyen University Library of International Training and Development Center Library of Batangas State University, Philippines 1 “ In this summary dissertation, all figures and tables are numbered as in dissertation” In our world today language is our mean of communication and learning. It is one’s knowledge and a tool of expressing of thoughts and perception. Thoughts and ideas can never be expressed and can not be understood by one another without good language. Because it enables people to communicate and express themselves, it becomes an important part of any society. Learning other languages besides national language is also of vital importance since it helps to have additional knowledge of other people and cultures. Considered as the international language, English now is chosen by many people and in learning it as the second language. One of most difficulties of the students in learning English are related to their problems of linguistics and words formation and in order to have a good command of this language, students need to have opportunities to improve their ability of these skills. Thus, the theme “Language Activities for improving Linguistic Competence of the First Year Students in Thai Nguyen University” is chosen to study The structure of dissertation includes 5 chapters 2 CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION 1. THE PROBLEM Language is considered important because it is the vehicle for communication between countries, cultural groups, organization, communities and friends. Language is used to give information to people around us, expressing feelings, desires, and questions as well as understanding the world. In learning English as a foreign language, students most common difficulties encountered are attributed to the interference of their mother tongue like Vietnamese language particularly in pronunciation, syntax, and usage; their lack of opportunity also to use the English language in some communication or situations in their daily lives; the kind of English lessons taught by their teachers, their being passive listeners, their lack of confidence in the language; and their irresponsibility in their own learning. These causes can also be related to other issue like that of their lack of understanding of words or vocabulary. It is believed that students’ vocabulary increase when they elaborate their conceptual knowledge based on known words; relate new words to known concepts to deep understanding of words and connect with other concepts. On the other hand, students need to have good intuitive command of morphology. They have knowledge in specific morphemic elements and its combinations. They can explore on the use of prefixes and suffixes and based words and on Greek and Latin prefixes for them to be provided with valuable prior knowledge in their learning of new terminologies. Students with better 3 understanding on word formation such as prefixes, suffixes and roots have the tendency to acquire larger vocabularies and better comprehension in compared to those who do not have such background, knowledge and skills. As a College teacher of Thai Nguyen University teaching Basic English, I am interested to investigate the level of linguistic competence of students in terms of connotation, denotation, antonyms, synonyms, and ambiguities as well as the level of students’ understanding on word formation related to acronym, clipping, blending, and compounding with the end view of proposing language activities to enhance their linguistic performance. This prompted the researcher to conduct the study. 2. STATEMENT OF PROBLEM This study attempts to determine the level of Linguistic Competence of the First Year Students at Thai Nguyen University. Specifically, it seeks to answer the following questions: 1. What is the level of linguistic competence of students in the teacher - made test using the following: 1.1 . connotation 1.2 . denotation 1.3 . antonyms 1.4 . synonyms, 1.5 . ambiguities, and 1.6 . vocabulary 4 2. What is the level of understanding of students on word-formation in terms of : 3.1. acronym 3.2. clipping 3.3. blending 3.4. compounding 3. Which among the items in the different cluster students find most difficult? 4. How do the teachers assess the linguistic competence of the students? 5. Is there a significant difference between teachers’ assessment and students’ competencies? 6. What English language activities may be suggested to improve students’ understanding of English words and concepts? 3. SCOPE, DELIMITATION AND LIMITATION The study covered the level of linguistic competency of Thai Nguyen University first year students. The output of the study is the proposed language activities to enhance the linguistic competency of first year students of Thai Nguyen University. The respondents included in the study were the 382 First year College students taking up Basic English course in Thai Nguyen University system in the Academic Year 2013-2014. Results of this study were limited only on the data gathered from these respondents 5 4. SIGNIFICANT OF THE STUDY This study is believed to have significant to the Administrators of Thai Nguyen University. the First Year Students, Basic English Teachers, Parents of the First Year Students and future researcher. Administrators. Findings of this study will provide relevant input for them to be able to design an effective curriculum for the students. First Year Students of TNU. Students will be informed on their weaknesses so that they can devise ways to improve their linguistic performance. Faculty Teaching Basic English. Results of this study will provide relevant information to the faculty teaching Basic English to design their own instructional material to enhance the linguistic proficiency of students. Parents of First Year Students of TNU. Findings of this study will provide them the weaknesses of their children so that they may provide proper guidance and motivation for their children’s improvement. Future Researchers. Future researchers may use this study to broaden their knowledge in the field linguistic. 6 CHAPTER II: REVIEW OF LITERATURE 1. REVIEW OF RELATED STUDIES This section presents of some literatures related to the topic 2. RESEARCH PARADIGM INPUT PROCESS OUTPUT a 1. Level of Linguistic Competence using the following: - connotation - denotation - antonyms - synonyms - ambiguities - vocabulary 2. Level of understanding of students on word formation: - acronym - clipping - blending - Compounding Assessment Language Activities Through -Survey Questionnaire - Teachermade Test Figure 1. Research Paradigm The research paradigm explains the relationship of the inputprocess-output of the study. The input covers the level of linguistic competence including connotation, denotation, antonyms, synonyms, ambuigities and vocabulary. Also part of the input is the level of understanding of students on word formation employing acronyms, 7 clipping, blening and compounding, The process bos involvesthe assessment of the level of lingistic competence and word formation of the students. These were assessed through survey questionnaire, teacher-made test. Finally, form the relationship of the first two boxes emerge the third box of the paradigm that illustrates the output of the study, the suggested language activities. CHAPTER III: RESEARCH METHOD AND PROCEDURE 1. RESEARCH DESIGN This study made used of descriptive method of research to determine the level of Linguistic Competence of the First Year Students at Thai Nguyen University. According to Dr. Y.P. Aggarwal (2008) descriptive research is devoted to the gathering of information about prevailing conditions or situations for the purpose of description and interpretation. This type of research method is not simply amassing and tabulating facts but includes proper analyses, interpretation, comparisons, identification of trends and relationships. In this study, level of linguistic competence of first year college students of Thai Nguyen University System in terms of connotation, denotation, antonyms, synonyms, and ambiguities as well as the level of students’ understanding on word-formation in terms of acronym, clipping, blending, and compounding were determined. These were assessed through survey questionnaire and teacher-made test. The output of the study was in the form of language activities to improve students’ linguistic competency. 8 2. SUBJECT OF THE STUDY The subjects of the study comprised of three hundred eighty two first year students taking up Basic English course in five universities namely; Thai Nguyen University of Education (TUE), Thai Nguyen University of Information and Communication Technology (ICTU), Thai Nguyen University of Sciences (TUS), and Thai Nguyen University of Medicine and Pharmacy (TNUMP) at Thai Nguyen University system during the first semester Academic Year 2013-2014. Table 1: The distribution of sample respondents Students Universities Teachers Proportionate Population Proportionate Population allocation Allocation University of Education 2200 98 22 22 University of 1300 58 16 16 University of Sciences 1400 63 10 10 University of Agriculture 2500 112 11 11 1140 51 7 7 8540 382 22 22 Telecommunication and Information Technology and Forestry University of Medicine and Pharmacy Total 9 As shown in the table, a total of 382 student respondents and 66 teacher respondents were selected from the given population. The sample size was calculated using the Slovin’s formula: n= N/ 1+N*e2 where n is the sample size, N is the given population and e is the desired error. For the student respondents, 382 questionnaires were retrieved however, six questionnaires were not answered completely and thus, were excluded from the data analysis. For the teacher respondents, all the questionnaires were answered completely and thus, all the 66 responses were included in the analysis. 3. DATA GATHERING INSTRUMENT The main instrusment used in gathering was questionnaire checklist for teacher and the teacher - made test for students to determine the level of students in linguistic competence and word formation and teachers’ assessemnet of students results. The questionnaire checklist consists of 2 parts. Part 1: consists of personal information such as gender, age, eduactinal qualification and years of teaching experience Part 2: consists of teachers’ assessment of luanguage competence of students; the frequency of language competency assessment and the degree of importance Based on the view of literature and related study, the researcher designed a set of questinnaire checklist to collect the data with the following scales 10 Table 2: Scale of values of frequency of language competency assessment Scale Range Inteval Verbal interpretation 5 4.50 – 5.00 Always 4 3.50 – 4-49 Very often 3 2.50 – 3.49 Often 2 1.50 – 2.49 Seldom 1 1.00 – 1.49 Not at all Table 3: Scale of values of the degree of importance Verbal Scale Range Inteval 5 4.50 – 5.00 Very important 4 3.50 – 4-49 Moderately interpretation important 3 2.50 – 3.49 Slightly important 2 1.50 – 2.49 Less important 1 1.00 – 1.49 Not important Teacher Made Test consits of 2 parts: Part 1: Consists consists of personal information such as gender, age and schoo Part 2: Consists of questions on language competence and word formation of the students in terms of denotation, connotation, 11 antonyms, synonyms, vocabulary, acronyms, clipping, blending and ccompounding This was used in evaluating student respondents to determine their level of linguistic competency and level of understanding on word formation. components: Linguistic Connotation, competency Denotation, has the Antonyms, following Synonyms, Ambiguities and Vocabulary. Word formation, on the other hand has been defined as the process by which new lexical bases are formed as well as the structure of complex lexical bases, particularly those composed of more than one morphological element (Huddleston and Pullum, 2002). It is a term in linguistics (particularly morphology) which denotes of the ways in which new words are made on the basis of other words or morphemes. Among the common types of word formation are: Acronym, Clipping, Blending and Compounding. In constructing the Teacher Made Test for linguistic competency and word formation, test questions were obtained and modified from different books dealing with the topic and class notes. Ten questions were formulated for each of the above listed components of language competency and word formation. 4. DATA GETHERING PROCEDURE Concepts and literatures were read to deepen knowledge and understanding about the present study. Books, journals, other reading references, published and unpublished researches and online references were used to come up with the present research. The study made used of two data gathering instruments namely survey questionnaire for teacher respondents and teacher- 12 made test for student respondents. In the development of the questionnaire and teacher made test, the first draft prepared was submitted to the adviser for comments and suggestions. The two instruments were reviewed and checked in line with their contents and statement of the problem. The survey questionnaire for teachers and test for students were presented to the practitioners for content validation. The survey questionnaire was submitted to English teachers for comments and suggestions for further improvement. Likewise, the teacher-made test for student respondents was pilot tested to other students not the respondents of the study to determine the strength and weaknesses of the instrument. These two instruments were validated by experts before administration to the respondents. The score of each item was given a corresponding weight value with one as the lowest and five as the highest. Descriptive equivalents or verbal descriptions were also provided for the interpretation of results. Prior to the distribution of the two instruments, the following procedures were done. Permissions to conduct the study from the administrators of different universities were sought. Upon granted approval, questionnaires were distributed. There was a separate schedule for student and teacher respondents. As soon as the questionnaires were answered by the teachers and the students, questionnaires were retrieved. Then items in the questionnaire were checked and then tallied for interpretation and analyses. 5. STATISTICAL TREATMENT OF DATA The study applied the following statistical treatment: 13 Coefficient of Correlation. This was used to evaluate the relationship between the teachers’ perceptions and the students’ performance in the linguistic test. Frequency, percentage and rank. These were used to present the descriptive characteristics of the respondents’ level of linguistic performance and understanding of word formation. Linear Regression. This was used to validate the t-test analysis and coefficient of correlation. Standard Deviation. This was utilized to estimate the degree of homogeneity or heterogeneity of students’ performance. Student’s t-test. This was used to test the significance of the means score of teachers’ assessment versus the students’ performance in the linguistic test. Weighted Mean. This was used to determine the students’ level of linguistic performance CHAPTER IV: RESULTS AND DISCUSSION 1. LEVEL OF LINGUISTIC COMPETENCE OF FIRST YEAR STUDENTS The levels of linguistic competence of First year students of the six universities in TNU Vietnam was assessed along the areas of connotation, denotation, antonyms, synonym, and ambiguities and vocabulary. In the area of connotation, result of 68 % of the correct answer indicates that students have an average level when it comes to the 14 study of connotation. They were able to have an understanding of the words even without the aid of dictionary. They are able to give the meanings of words without encountering so much difficulty because of their personal experiences. As regard to denotation the result of 68% of the correct answer shows that TNU students’ performed at an average level in this kind of test. This indicates that students have developed skills and sensitivity in recognizing literal meanings of English words far better than their implied meanings, traits that are typical expected for developing language learners. As for antonyms, the score obtained of 64.4% correct answer indicates that the student respondents did possess cognitive skill expected of their educational level. This further indicates that student respondents do possess good background as regard to the study of words and their meanings as they got average scores in all three concerned areas. Students can identify the opposite of the word without having difficulty. In the test area of synonym, the result of 69 % implies that among the different test areas, it is where the student respondents showed the best performance. Synonym would be the easiest and would require the least cognitive skills For ambiguities, the result means that while the students have developed their basic linguistic skills as exemplified in synonymy, they have also developed their advance linguistic skills as they have shown in ambiguity. The results also reflects further on the effective teaching and learning practices of the teachers and the students along these areas as the students were able to demonstrate an average level of linguistic competence. 15 For vocabulary, the result indicates that the students generally have developed their vocabulary to a level that they can respond correctly to tertiary level words. When compared with the scores in other test areas, it is as equally high as the scores in denotation, ambiguity, and synonyms.. This not only shows consistency in expectation but also provides independent validation of the students’ linguistic skills. Thus, the similarities in performance in these areas affirm the linguistic level of the students to be average and at par with their tertiary status. 2. LEVEL OF UNDERSTANDING OF STUDENTS ON WORD FORMATION The students’ level of understanding with regards to word formation was evaluated using four areas namely: acronym, clipping, blending and compounding. As for acronyms, the score suggests an average level of knowledge with regards to the use of acronyms. Among the test areas in word formation, this area has the lowest numerical value and could indicate this as one of the more difficult areas under this topic. The average performance of the student respondents in this case indicates that they have substantially acquired word formation skills pertinent to acronyms at par with their tertiary level. This further implies that students do not understand how words are coined and they also lack exposure to some common coined words. This reflects on the familiarity of the students on the use of acronyms possibly from the influence of media which makes them aware of the common meanings and usage of certain English words. 16 Among the test areas in word formation, this area has the lowest numerical value and could indicate this as one of the more difficult areas under this topic. With regards to clipping, the result indicates that the students have an average level of understanding with regards to the use of clipping in word formation. The student performance in clipping is one of the high scores next to compounding. The students’ test achievement in blending on the other hand is implied that students did not find difficulty in finding the origins of clipped words and can indicate the pattern used in this kind of word formation. In the test for compounding, the score that is above 50 percent with a verbal interpretation of average suggests that the students have an average level of understanding with regards to the use of compounding. Among the four areas of word formation, this is the area where the students demonstrated the best performance. The results from the word formation test indicate that while the students have developed their linguistic skills, they have acquired more advanced word formation skills that would complement their linguistic skills to make effective their communicative skills. 3. ITEMS IN THE DIFERENT CLUSTER STUDENTS FIND MOST DIFFICULT It can be observed that for connotation, the most difficult item is item 8 with 56 percent correct score from a population of 376 students. This result shows students’ unfamiliarity and understanding 17 of its connotation. One reason for the unfamiliarity of the students is students do not have many chances to use it For Denotation, the most difficult item is item 20. The words clod and lump are two words that appear to be unfamiliar to the students. One reason for this unfamiliarity could be that these words are rarely used in farming. The most difficult item in the test area of antonyms is item 28 with a correct score of 51 percent. The words restrictive and liberating are two contrasting words that appear to be unfamiliar to the students. For synonyms, the most difficult item is item 34 with 64 percent of correct scores. This item indicates that among the different test areas, this is the area the students find least difficult. In the case of Ambiguities, the most difficult item is item 44. This item has a correct score of 56 percent. The framing of ideas in the statement can be confusing to the learner. This can be from the difference in sentence construction in Vietnamese For the Vocabulary test, the most difficult item is item 55 with 59 percent of correct answer. This means that the students did not find the vocabulary test to be extremely difficult. This could be because these students are at the middle stages of English language learning and they have already a certain degree of usable English vocabularies. It the word formation test, it can be observed that for acronym, the most difficult item is item 69. This item has a correct score of 49 percent from a Spopulation of 376 students. It is the item with the 18 lowest correct score in all test areas including the linguistic test areas and vocabulary. For clipping, the most difficult item is Item 74. The correct score for this item is 67 percent which is the top among the most difficult items in word formation. This means that among the different test areas in word formation, it is this area that has the least difficult items. The most difficult item in the test area of blending is item 87. This item has a correct score of 55 percent and is the next lowest scoring item among the different test area of word formation. The difficulty of this item in blending stems from the relative similarities of the choices that creates confusion to the students. For compounding, the most difficult item is item 93. This item has a correct score of 62 percent. This indicates that among the different test areas, this is the item with a moderate level of difficulty. Learning the old words in the dictionary is not enough since new English words are being invented everyday through this process of word formation. 4. TEACHER ASSESSMENT OF THE LIGUISTIC COMPETENCE OF THE STUDENTS It can be observed that all the 20 items obtained an agree score of >50 percent. High agree scores were obtained in the component B items as compared to the primary A items. This means that the abstract understanding of the teacher about the meaning of the items is less compared to their understanding based on example Relative to the rate of the teacher respondents as to the frequency students utilize their linguistic skills. The result means that
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