Tài liệu Oral and written discourse analysis in the preparation of integrative activities for basic english course at thai nguyen university

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Thai Nguyen University Socialist Republic of Vietnam Batangas State University Republic of Philippines VU KIEU HANH ORAL AND WRITTEN DISCOURSE ANALYSIS IN THE PREPARATION OF INTEGRATIVE ACTIVITIES FOR BASIC ENGLISH COURSE AT THAI NGUYEN UNIVERSITY Specialty: English Language and Literature Ph.D DISSERTATION SUMARY OF LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE THAI NGUYEN, 2014 The Dissertation was completed in: THAI NGUYEN UNIVERSITY Advisor: Dr. Matilda H. Dimaano 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. 1 CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION 1.1. BACKGROUND OF STUDY College English is one of the foreign language courses required in the tertiary level curriculum to be taken by freshmen students. This course is known in various titles like Basic English Course, Basic College English, Freshman English or College Composition. Discourse analysis is defined as the analysis of language beyond the sentence. This type of analysis is different from those done by modern linguistics, which mainly involves the study of grammar: the study of smaller bits of language, such as sounds which include phonetics and phonology, parts of words or morphology, meaning or semantics, and the order of words in sentences or syntax. Discourse analysis is concerned with larger chunks of language as they flow together. This is exemplified by two sentences that when taken together as a single discourse can convey meaning quite different from the meaning conveyed by each sentence taken separately. The difference in meaning arises from the context they were considered, such that a frame analysis is a type of discourse analysis that would be able to shed light on context that mediate this change in meaning. Discourse analysis is important for various reasons. For the linguists, it helps to find out how language works, to improve their understanding of this important human activity; for the educators in finding out how good texts work, so that they can focus on teaching the students these writing and speaking strategies; and for the critical analysts, to discover meanings in the text which are not obvious on 2 the surface such as analyzing a politician’s speech to see their preconceptions. Considering the need of the students for a quality English education, and evaluating the current curriculum for College English, it would seem reasonable to evaluate and analyze the oral and written discourse among the College students. These two aspects are important to the development of oral and writing skills, one aimed at developing the sentence to sub-sentence level of knowledge and skills development and the other on the supra sentence level appealing to the intuitive sense of the individual. As a college teacher teaching observe difficulties among college student include writing effective sentences in a paragraph, conceptualizing a topic in composition as well as difficulties in accuracy, comprehension, vocabulary and phonological aspects in oral discourse. This prompted the researcher probe deeper into the learning aspects of the college students. 1.2. OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDIES This study aimed to analyze the oral and written discourse of college freshman students in basic English course at Thai Nguyen University. Specifically, this study sought answers to the following research questions: 1. What is the demographic profile of Freshman students in terms of 1.1 Gender; 1.2 parent's educational attainment; 1.3 student's place of origin 1.4 type of school attended (high school); and 3 1.5 exposure to English media? 2. What is the level of oral and written discourse competencies of the student’s? 3. Are there significant differences between the students’ competencies and characteristics? 4. How do teachers assess the students' oral and written discourse competencies? 5. Is there any significant difference between the students' oral and written discourse competencies and the teacher’s assessment in the same areas? 6. What integrative activities may be proposed to enhance students in oral and written discourse competencies? 1.3. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY This study will be useful to different individuals, administrator and policy makers. Students. They will benefit from the results of the study particularly, the teaching learning materials that will be developed. The students participating in this survey will have a chance to try the test and assessment schemes. Teachers. This will be significant to the teachers not only because they will be participants of the study but they will also learn something from the results and will have a chance to utilize the developed teaching/learning material to their students. Administrator. The administrators will benefit from this study through insights gathered as this will guide them in what decisions they will make regarding the student’ skills assessment. The administrators also will benefit from the teaching learning materials 4 that will be developed as they can implement them in the classes of their schools. Policy-makers. The policymakers will be benefited from the knowledge gathered in this study. This will aid them in formulating policy/ specific and relevant laws that could influence the current educational system as they will have a concrete basis for doing so. 1.4. SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY This study analysed the responses of 200 first year English language students from tertiary schools in Vietnam and 30 of their respective English teachers. The students made to validate grammatical and discourse analysis questionnaire while the teachers were asked to answer to a student’s skill assessment questionnaire where rating was based on their perception on the skill level of their students. These two questionnaires served as the source of quantitative data that would be analysed statistically. The study sites were the tertiary schools in an urbanized area. Demographic information was gathered from the students and teachers through the questionnaires but their names were not revealed. Stratification on the students and teachers responses were done according to their demographic profile and the data were consolidated. The respondents were enrolled in an English course. The teacher respondents were the respective teachers of the evaluated students for they would give their assessment of their students’ cognitive skills. Statistical tools used include mean comparisons, t-test. correlation analysis. Demographic data were presented in tables. 5 CHAPTER II REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE AND STUDIES 2.1. REVIEW OF RELATED STUDIES This section present of some literatures related to the topic. 2.2. RESEARCH PARADIGM This study was used a systems approach to represent the flow of the study. The components are grouped into input, process and output as presented in Figure 1. INPUT PROCESS OUTPUT A. Demographic profile of students in terms of: 1. gender 2. parent's educational attainment 3.place of origin, 4. type of school attended 5. student's exposure to English media B. Students’ level of competencies 1. oral 2. written discourse C.Teachers’ assessment of the students' competencies: 1. oral 2. written discourse Assessment made through: Teacher Made Test Survey Questionnaire Figure 1 Conceptual Paradigm of the study Proposed Integrative English Activities 6 CHAPTER III METHODOLOGY RESEARCH DESIGN This study made use of descriptive type of research. According to Ariola (2006) descriptive research is used to describe data and characteristics about what is being studied as well as present behaviour or characteristics of a particular population where the data are collected to describe persons, organizations, settings, or phenomena. Descriptive-comparative method was also used in the study to predict the significance and difference of the two variables as well as to identify, analyse and explain their similarities and differences. This study made use of two types of questionnaires, the survey questionnaire and teacher -made test. The subjects’ responses to the questionnaire served as data subjected to statistical analysis. SUBJECTS OF THE STUDY The subjects of this study were the 200 first year English students and at least 30 first year English teachers from tertiary schools in an urbanized area. The students were enrolled in a first year English course and demonstrate willingness to share their demographic profiles. DATA GATHERING INSTRUMENT The study made used of the following research instrument: 7 Teacher- made Test. This test was designed to assess the level of oral and written discourse competencies of college freshman students. Survey Questionnaire. This instrument was designed to assess teachers’ perceptions as to the level of students’ oral and written discourse competencies. DATA GATHERING PROCEDURE Two sets of questionnaire the teacher made test for the student respondents and survey questionnaire for teacher respondents were designed to assess the level of competencies of freshman students in their oral and written discourses. The initial validation of the two sets of questionnaire was performed. The student questionnaire were pilot tested to first year college students not the respondents of the study to determine the strength and weaknesses of the constructed test while the survey questionnaire were submitted to twenty English teachers of Batangas State University for comments and suggestions and for the degree of appropriateness with the help of the research adviser. As soon as the two sets of questionnaire were improved based on the comments and suggestions in the initial validation, letters of requests for content validations were sent to the members of the panel and expert on the field. With the validated questionnaires, letters of requests to administer the tests to the respondents to the identified research environment were sent to the administrators for permission. When permission was secured the teacher -made test was administered to student respondents and a short briefing was given to 8 all participants to explain the study’s objectives, procedures and the importance of completing the questionnaires. The questionnaires were administered to the subjects given a maximum of one-hour to answer. Proper classroom conduct was observed the entire time of testing. The completed questionnaires was then collected by the examiner and compiled in sealed envelopes. The survey questionnaire on the other hand was also given to teacher respondents. Schedule for the test administration and giving of survey questionnaire were set in order to have organization. As soon as the conduct of the test and survey questionnaire was accomplished, the test items for students were checked and both the scores of the students and the items in the survey questionnaires were tallied for analysis and interpretation. STATISTICAL TREATMENT OF DATA The data were subjected to the following statistical tools for meaningful interpretation and analysis of the study: Data were analyzed using the SSPS software. Cronbach alpha. This was used to measure internal consistency of the scores of the respondents. Correlation. This was performed to determine the relationship of the teachers’ assessment scores and the students’ skills. Mean. This was used to determine the average score of the students in the teacher -made- test Percentage. This was used to determine the magnitude of the frequency in relation to the whole responses. Ranking. This was used to determine the positional importance of responses. 9 Standard Deviation. This was used to determine the variation of scores of students in the teacher made-test results with respect to the mean score. T- test. This was used to find out the significant mean difference of the treatment being compared. 10 CHAPTER IV RESULTS AND DISCUSSION 1. Demographic Profile of Students As regard to gender profile of student respondents majority of them are females comprising 91.5 percent or 183 of the 200 total population. There were seventeen male respondents comprising 8.5 percent. This indicates the general pattern in most government universities in Vietnam where gender-based population were predominant, that is, either there was all male with little female student population or all female with little male student population. In parents’ educational attainment majority or 48.7 percent of the students’ parent have educational attainment in the other level or education higher than tertiary. This was followed by tertiary with 41.2 percent and lastly by secondary with 10.1% percent. There were no parents that are of elementary level. This indicates the importance given by the parents of the student respondents to education. For place of origin majority or 21.0 percent of student respondents came from others or different places in Vietnam, followed by Ha Noi with 15.9 percent, then by Nam Dinh 14.6 percent, then by Vin Phuc with 13.9 percent, then by Thai Binh 11.7 percent, and the rest from the remaining 8 different places as shown in the table. This indicates that the University campuses under study cater to students coming from different places in Vietnam and therefore handles a heterogeneous student population. With regards to the type of high school attended, all of the respondents came from public high school.. This indicates that the 11 public high schools are the main institutions catering to the students. This could be because public high school is free in Vietnam and supported by the government. As to exposure to English media out of 200 students, 190 or 95 percent have had exposure to the English media. While the high percentage of media exposure is good, it remains surprising that 5 percent remained unexposed to foreign media in spite of all the advancement in technology such as the internet, the foreign movies and television and considering the length in years of study as these students have had post-secondary and early tertiary, specifically freshmen students. 2. Level of Oral and Written Discourse Competencies of Students In the evaluation of the oral discourse competencies, the average score of correct items for pronunciation and fluency is 2.77 with a mean % score equivalent of 55.3 percent which is above 50 percent. This value has a percentile rank of 43.6 percent and a verbal description of average. This indicates that the level of pronunciation and fluency competence of the students is average for this set of student population. For comprehension and vocabulary, the average score of correct items is 2.76 with a mean % score equivalent of 55.2 percent and above 50 percent. This value has a percentile rank of 41.6 percent with a verbal description of average. This indicates that the level of comprehension and vocabulary competence of the students is average.. 12 In terms of grammatical accuracy, the average score of correct items is 2.77 corresponding to a mean % score equivalent of 55.4 percent. This value is above 50 percent and has a percentile rank of 39.1 percent with an equivalent verbal description of average. This indicates that the level of grammatical accuracy competence of the students is average. Looking at the total performance of the students for oral discourse, it can be observed that the average score is 2.77, its equivalent mean % score is 55.3 percent and percentile rank of 41.4 percent and equivalent of average. For cohesion and coherence of written discourses the average score of correct items is 4.36 which has an equivalent mean % correct score of 39.6 percent. This value is below 50 percent indicating poor performance. The percentile rank is 67.8 percent with an equivalent description of average. The percentile rank value indicates the relative number of scores below the score of interest; in this case, for the mean % score of 39.6 percent, there were 67.8 percent raw scores below it. In the case of logical order, results show that the average correct score is 2.04 with an equivalent mean % score 40.8 percent. This value is below 50 percent and its percentile rank is 81.1 percent corresponding to a verbal description of average. This means that the students’ scores does not follow a normal distribution and are skewed to the left as well. Furthermore, there were 81.1 percent scores that are below the mean % score of 40.8 percent indicating the poor performance of the students and the relative difficulty of these question items. 13 For the student written paragraph, the average correct score is 3.04 with an equivalent mean % score of 60.7 percent. This is above 50 percent and has a percentile rank of 62.7 percent corresponding to a verbal description of average. This indicates that in terms of completeness of written paragraph, the students’ performance was average for this given population.. In the aspect of logical order, the result shows a mean score of 2.93 with a corresponding mean % score of 58.6 percent which is above 50 percent. This value has a percentile rank of 40.7 percent and a verbal description of average. This indicates that the performance of the students in insuring logical order of a written paragraph is average for this population. For unity and coherence, the mean score obtained was 2.96 and a mean % score of 59.1 percent. This value is above 50 percent and has a percentile rank of 34.3 percent corresponding to a verbal description of average. This indicates that the ability of the students to achieve unity and coherence in their written paragraph is average. In terms of the total performance of the students in written discourse, the mean score obtained was 3.06 with a mean % score of 51.8 percent. This value has a percentile rank of 57.3 percent and a corresponding verbal description of average. This indicates that in general, the written discourse performance of the student respondents is average. 3. Significant Differences between the Students’ Competencies and Characteristics. Among the 64 mean combinations being compared, 30 mean combinations showed significant differences. These mean 14 combinations with significant differences involved the competency items of the written discourse namely: cohesion and coherence, logical order and completeness, all with respect to the oral discourse competencies, pronunciation and fluency, comprehension and vocabulary, and grammatical accuracy as well as the written discourse competencies of order, and unity and coherence. 4. Teachers Assessment of the Students’ Oral and Written Discourse Competencies All the items obtained an agree score of above 50 percent. The oral disclosure competency item got a 100 percent agree response. The same competency items were evaluated according to the frequency they were observed to be practiced by students. The frequency scores of the different competency items ranged from 3.20 to 3.97 with equivalent rating of sometimes to often respectively. Majority of the items were oftenly practiced by the students. Twelve of these are written discourse competency items. This indicates that both competency items of the oral and written discourse are equally well practiced by the students as perceived by the teacher respondents. The competency items were evaluated by the teacher respondents according to their degree of importance. The scores of the competency items based on the degree of importance ranged from 2.90 to 4.67 with equivalent ratings of slightly important to very important respectively. There were 8 competency items considered to be moderately important and 9 competency items considered to be slightly important all belonging to the written discourse classification. This indicates that in general, the teachers 15 perceived all the component competency items of the oral and written discourse to be important. 5. Significant Difference between the Students’ Oral and Written Communication and the Teachers’ Assessment on the same Areas The p-values of the majority of the different mean combinations were less than or equal to 0.05 that is 142 combinations out of 152, indicating these means as significantly different. This implies that these mean combinations such as oral and written discourse performance of students x frequency of student skill as perceived by the teachers are not statistically related. Ten mean combinations have p-values above 0.05, indicating these means are not significantly different indicating that these are statistically related to each other. The ten items that show this pattern belong to the written discourse classification particularly the student written paragraph competency items namely: completeness, order, and unity and coherence and their counterpart written discourse student skill items. 6. Integral Activities that may be Proposed to Improve the Students’ Oral and Written Discourse. A criterion was set in designing the appropriate integral activities to improve the students’ oral and written discourse especially for this population of Vietnamese students. These include oral and discourse competency skills where the students showed poor performance; and must have statistically significant relationship with skills perceived by teachers to be frequently used by the students. These integral activities are composed of exercises for students to 16 practice to achieve proficiency on the least rated areas in discourse competencies. CHAPTER V SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION This chapter presents the summary of findings, conclusions and recommendation of the study. Summary This study aimed to assess Oral and Written Discourse Analysis in the Preparation of Integrative Activities for Basic English Course at Thai Nguyen University. Specifically, this study sought answers to the following research questions: 2. What is the demographic profile of Freshman students in terms of 2.1 Gender; 2.2 parent's educational attainment; 2.3 student's place of origin 2.4 type of school attended (high school); and 2.5 exposure to English media? 2. What is the level of oral and written discourse competencies of the student’s? 3. Are there significant differences between the students’ competencies and characteristics? 4. How do teachers assess the students' oral and written discourse competencies? 17 5. Is there any significant difference between the students' oral and written discourse competencies and the teacher’s assessment in the same areas? 6. What integrative activities may be proposed to enhance students in oral and written discourse competencies? The study made used of the descriptive method of research to determine “Oral and Written Discourse Analysis in the Preparation of Integrative Activities for Basic Course at Thai Nguyen University” There were 200 students and 30 teachers who were the respondents of the study. The statistical tools used were: Cronbach alpha, Correlation, Mean, Percentage, Ranking, Standard Deviation and T- test. Conclusions Based from the findings of the study, the following conclusions are drawn: 1. Majority of the student respondents are females, come from different places in Vietnam, studied in the public school, with high percentage or 95 percent media exposure and whose parents’ educational attainment are higher than the tertiary level. 2. The level of oral and written discourse competencies of students are all average. 3. There exist significant differences between the student’s competencies and characteristics. 4. Majority of the oral and written competencies were oftenly practiced by students. 5. There is significant difference between the students’ oral and written communication and the teachers’ assessment on the same areas. 18 6. Proposed integral activities are comprised of exercises designed based on least rated scores where students demonstrate poor performance to improve their written proficiency. Recommendation From the findings of the study, the following recommendations are offered: 1. Evaluation of the proposed integral activities by other English teachers with expertise in instructional material development is recommended. 2. Utilization of the integral activities in the classroom by English Teachers 3. Conduct similar studies related to teaching oral and written discourse.
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