Tài liệu Strategic, lexical and syntactic competencies in english of freshman students in thai nguyen university bais for a proposed drill exercises (sum)

  • Số trang: 26 |
  • Loại file: PDF |
  • Lượt xem: 67 |
  • Lượt tải: 0
nhattuvisu

Đã đăng 27125 tài liệu

Mô tả:

Thai Nguyen University Socialist Republic of Vietnam Batangas State University Republic of Philippines NGUYEN THI THANH HONG STRATEGIC, LEXICAL AND SYNTACTIC COMPETENCIES IN ENGLISH OF FRESHMAN STUDENTS IN THAI NGUYEN UNIVERSITY: BASIS FOR A PROPOSED DRILL EXERCISE Speciality: English language and literature Ph.D DISSERTATION SUMMARY OF ENGLISH THAI NGUYEN, 2014 The Dissertation was completed in: THAI NGUYEN UNIVERSITY Advisor: Dr. Amada G. Banaag 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 THE PROBLEM 1.1. Introduction English language is considered a significant tool for st communication in the 21 century as the world becomes global business and communication such as news and information, business, finance, entertainment, maritime and air traffic communication. It is also the language that plays an important role in government diplomacy, science, medicine and other profession. Further, often referred to as the world‟s language, English is widely spoken. Knowledge also of the English language to enhance educational attainment through improved communication ability is also important. It enables people of different countries to converse and do business with each other. One of the biggest advantages of a country in a global job market is the proficiency of the skilled workers in the English language. In the field of education, proficiency in the English language also improves academic performance of students. Proficiency in the English language has been identified as a requisite in the globalized economy; with countries having a large number of its population capable of communicating in English being rewarded with economic advantages. In Asian countries, this trend has been realized by both governments and individuals and are thus pushing the wide interest in English language study in the last ten years. Vietnam is no exemption to this trend considering that it is one of the non-native speakers of the English language. In the 2011 study of the organization EF Education First Ltd., Vietnam was 2 shown to have an EF English Proficiency Index (EF EPI) of 44.32 or very low proficiency close to Thailand that is 39.41. This EF EPI is the first of its kind index comparing the English proficiency of nonnative English speaking countries calculated from 2,368,730 test takers across 42 countries and two territories, accumulated from 2007 to 2009. In the following year that is in 2012, Vietnam showed and EF EPI of 52.14 or low proficiency, an improvement from the previous year in comparison with Thailand which got a value of 44.36 or very low proficiency. Vietnam issued the Government Decision 1400 in 2008 whose goal is to renovate thoroughly the tasks of teaching and learning foreign languages within the national educational system and through its Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) National Foreign Language 2020 Project, or Project 2020 which aims to embark on an ambitious education reforms where all school levels will be required to have a minimum level of English by 2020. Under this program, Vietnam does not only want majority of its students to be able to use a foreign language, especially English, confidently in their study, daily communication and work by 2020, but demands that its high school teachers are competent on the second highest skill level (C1), the elementary school teachers on the fourth highest level (B1) and middle school educators the third-highest (B2). According to Dr. Diana l. Dudzik, a senior fellow at an education ministry project on foreign language improvement, students who have studied English for seven years beginning in grade six are often not able to use English beyond simple greetings and questions such as “hello”, “good-bye” and “what‟s your name?”. This problem is 3 magnified when the students enter the tertiary level, as freshman students, when they definitely will be handicapped to tackle more advanced tasks in learning not only in the English language but in other subjects such as Science and Mathematics where English is the medium of instruction. As an applied component of language, communicative competence is the ability of the speakers to use different functioning rules of the system. It involves speaker‟s grammatical knowledge of syntax, morphology and phonology. It also includes the social knowledge of the speaker in the appropriate use of language. Knowing English involves speaking, writing, listening and reading. Producing the language correctly as well as using the language for a particular purpose is part also of communication in English. When speakers are able to perform the needed communicative functions, they achieve communicative competence in the language. A person‟s knowledge of the language and his ability to use that language in order to interpret and produce meaningful texts appropriate to the situation in which they are used manifests that person‟s language competence. This can be developed through activities or tasks utilized in real situations or practical applications. In the case of students, they can develop their language competencies through meaningful classroom activities and language use in contexts based on their needs, interests, and experiences. As students are involved in various aspects of the task itself, not in isolation, it is necessary to teach, practice and assess the vocabulary, grammatical structures, text forms, and social conventions important to carry on this task. Thus, the objective of the Vietnamese L2 learners is to 4 achieve a certain level of communicative competence in the areas of grammatical, socio linguistic, strategic competence and discourse competence. Based on the researcher‟s observation and as an English teacher teaching the subject for several years, most of the students encounter difficulties along grammar and vocabulary as well as their inability to use varied communication strategies. Through this study, student problems along these areas would be identified and remedied through drill exercises designed to enhance their strategic, lexical and syntactic competencies. 1.2. Statement of the Problem 1.2.1. What are the strategic competencies of Freshman students? 1.2.2. What is the level of students‟ lexical competence relative to: - vocabulary; - idioms; - word formation; and - antonyms/synonyms? 1.2.3. What is the level of students‟ syntactic competence in terms of: - subject verb agreement - verb tenses - direct and indirect speech - phrases and clause - pronoun references 1.2.4. Are there significant relationships between each pair of students‟ lexical and syntactic competence? 1.2.5. Are there significant relationship between lexical and syntactic competencies? 5 1.2.6. How do teachers assess the students‟ lexical and syntactic competencies? 1.2.7. What drill exercises may be prepared toward improving the students‟ communicative competence? 1.3. Scope, Delimitation and Limitation of the Study This study covered the responses of 382 freshman students selected randomly from five different universities in Thai Nguyen as well as the responses of 57 English teachers who have experience in teaching freshman students. The responses of the students to the validated lexical and syntactic questionnaire were gathered and statistically analyzed. The study was conducted in an urbanized setting covering a period of six months from July to December 2013. The students and teachers demographic background were not included in this study nor the identity of the respondents be gathered. Stratification of the students and teacher respondents were not done nor their gender was considered. The respondents includes freshman students who are currently enrolled in an English course in the University. The teacher respondents also included those who are currently teaching freshmen English courses. This study covered the three competencies namely strategic, lexical and syntactic competencies. It does not include discourse competence. 1.4. Significance of the Study 1.4.1. The Students. Students will largely benefit from the findings of this work as it will establish their current level of lexical and syntactic competencies and thus identify their areas of handicap which will be used as basis for the design of remedial strategies. 6 1.4.2. Teachers Through this research, college leaders, teachers of English are aware of students‟ strategic, lexical and syntactic competencies in Englishand their responsibilities for designing a suitable curriculumn as well as learning materials to improve students‟ competencies in english. 1.4.3. Administrators and Policymakers The college leaders, college managemers of the universsities in Thai Nguyen in general and in the foreign languages departments in particular may refer to the results of dissertation to enhance the training quality and improving the students‟ competencies in english to meet the demand of National Foreign Language 2020 Project. This study is also important to them to institute teaching reforms and insure the implementation of innovative strategies towards the improvement of English language teaching CHAPTER II REVIEW OF LITERATURE 2.1. Synthesis The a literatures review of the study provided rich background on the constructs regarding strategic, lexical and syntactic competencies of the study. The concepts of Chomsky, Kroy, O‟Grady, Philips, Fernandez, Evans and Kac were used in the discussion of the topic competence in the English language while the ideas of Jaimes, Canale and Bachman on communicative competence added more information to the mentioned subject matter. Dornyei et.al, Yule, Stern, Gallagher, 7 Maleki and Richard constructs enrich the explanation of the topic about strategic competence. Further, Parbakht, Bachman, Canale and Swain, Brown and Jenkins et.al insights on the importance of strategic competence in compensating problems in communication supported the discussion relative to stated concepts. The ideas on syntactic competence as explained by Brown, Loban, Hunt, Smith, Chomsky, Burgess, Baker, Miller and Radford contributed very much in the discussion on the importance of having syntactic competence in the English language. The elaboration of the concepts on lexical competence was provided by Laufer, Meara, Doller et al, Segler et.al, Gass, Richards, Robinson and Alejandro. Further, ideas along this topic were also provide by Far, Faerch et.al, laufer et al, Lafford et.al and Marconi. As regard to the discussion on the concepts regarding drill exercises in language teaching, the constructs of Rivers, Nelson, Bratt and Bruder, Carroll and Politzer provided ample background. For the research studies reviewed, the following find similarities and differences to the present study: The studies of Abdaqui, Miyakoshi and Nizonkiza , the studies of Gonzales and Butler In addition, the studies of Lorimor on conjunctions and grammatical aspect as well as that of Matsuzaki in verb meanings and their effects on syntactic behavior find similarity to the present study as the level of syntactic competence in terms of subject verb agreement, verb tenses, direct and indirect speech, phrase and clauses and pronoun references are covered in the present study. Zareva‟s study on the other hand is also similar to the present study as both 8 studies deals with lexicon but differs on the respondents as well as the output of the study. 2.2. Theoretical Framework The study is anchored in Stephen D. Krashen theory of second language acquisition (SLA), Lyle F. Bachman‟s theory of communicative competence and Simon Dik‟s functional grammar 2.3. Conceptual Framework The components of the study were classified as input, process and output as presented in Figure 1. INPUT PROCESS OUTPUT A. strategic competencies of Freshman student B. level of students‟ lexical competence relative to:  vocabulary  idioms  word formation; and  antonyms/ synonyms C. level of students‟ syntactic competence in terms of:  subject verb agreement  verb tenses  direct and indirect speech  phrases and clause  pronoun references Assessment made through: Test Questionnaire for students Survey Questionnaire For Teachers Figure 1: Research Paradigm Drill exercises to improve the student‟s communicative competence 9 CHAPTER III RESEARCH METHOD AND PROCEDURE 3.1. Research Design This study made use of descriptive method of research to determine the strategic, lexical and syntactic competencies in English of freshman students in Thai Nguyen University. The purpose of using this method is to acquire accurate, factual, and systematic data that can provide an actual picture of that data set reviewed. 3.2. Subjects of the Study The subjects of the study comprised of 382 college students selected through random sampling out of 8,540 total population and 57 teachers of the five universities in Thai Nguyen City. The students were enrolled in a freshman English course at the time of sampling or had taken a freshman English course in the previous semester. The distribution of the respondents is shown in Table 1. Table 1: Distribution of the respondents of the study Selected number Name of Number of Number of student Population University of Class respondents teacher respondents University of 2,200 36 99 19 1,140 17 51 7 1,400 23 62 8 Education University of Medicine and Pharmacy University of 10 Sciences University of Communication 1,300 22 59 15 2,500 41 111 8 8,540 139 382 57 and Information Technology University of Agriculture and Forestry TOTAL As shown in the table, the distribution of respondents to the five universities were as follows: for the University of Education which was composed of 36 classes, it had the total population of 2,200 where 99 students were randomly selected by selecting I student for every 22 students while in the University of Medicine and Pharmacy, 51 students were chosen out of 1,140 population from 17 classes. Meanwhile, in the University of Sciences, 62 students were selected out of 1,400 population from 23 classes, while in the University of Communication and Information Technology 59 students were taken as respondents out of 1,300 population from 22 classes. In the University of Agriculture and Forestry out of 2, 500 population,111 students were selected from 41 classes, a total of 382. As for the teacher respondents, their total number for the five universities are 57 distributed as follows: 19 teachers from the University of Education, seven from the University of Medicine and Pharmacy, eight from the University of Sciences, 15 from the University of Information Technology and eight from the University of Agriculture and Forestry, a total of which is 57. 11 3.3. Data Gathering Instrument The following were the data gathering instruments used in the study: Teacher Made Test. This was used to assess the level of Freshman students‟ lexical competencies in terms of vocabulary, idioms, word formation, as well as antonyms and synonyms; and syntactic competencies which cover subject-verb agreement, verb tenses, direct and indirect speech, phrases and clauses as well as pronoun references. Survey Questionnaire. This was used to elicit data from teachers handling English subject as to their assessment of the Freshman students‟ strategic, lexical and syntactic competencies. For the teacher responses on the frequency of use, the score ratings were based on a Likert scale where the numerical values were assigned to corresponding frequencies as follows: Scale Range Verbal Interpretation 5 4.50-5.00 Always (A) 4 3.50-4.49 Often (O) 3 2.50-3.49 Sometimes (S) 2 1.50-2.49 Rarely (R) 1 1.00-1.49 Never (N) For the teacher responses on the degree of importance, the score ratings were based on a Likert scale where the numerical values were assigned to corresponding degree of importance as follows: 12 Scale Range Verbal Interpretation 5 4.50-5.00 Very important (VI) 4 3.50-4.49 Moderately important (MI) 3 2.50-3.49 Slightly important (SI) 2 1.50-2.49 Less important (LI) 1 1.00-1.49 Not important (NI) Data Gathering Procedure The teacher made test and survey questionnaire were designed based on the statement of the problem. The former was subjected to a dry-run to a different set of population not less than 30 individuals that are not the respondents of the study and the latter by 30 English teachers to determine the strength and weaknesses of the instruments and further subjected to validations by expert on the field and panel members. After the instruments were validated, letters of requests were written and sent to the administrators of the five universities for the administration of the questionnaires. The student respondents of the respective universities were gathered in their respective assigned room for the testing. The questionnaires were then administered to the respondents. The students of the five universities were given 60 minutes to answer the test. Instructions were also provided to them on how to answer the test. As soon as the test was over, test questionnaires were retrieved. As for the teacher respondents, the questionnaires were brought to the Department of Foreign Languages of each university for the English teachers to accomplish. Like the test questionnaire, as soon as the teacher respondents were done with the task, the survey 13 questionnaires were then retrieved. Test and survey questionnaires were then checked, tallied and analysed. 3.4. 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 Count. This was used to determine the number of responses for each item. 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. T- test. This was used to find out the significant mean difference of the treatment being compared. CHAPTER IV PRESENTATION, ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION OF DATA This chapter presents the results of the data gathering process from the respondents of the study, the data analysis and its interpretation as follow: 1. Strategic competencies of freshman students 2. Student skills according to the frequency of use asa strategic competence 3. Degree of importance of strategic competency 14 4. Level of students‟ lexical competence 5. Performance of students on Lexical competence 6. Level of students‟ syntactic competence 7. Performance of students on syntactic competence 8. Relationships between the students‟ lexical and syntactic competence 9. Students‟ t-test comparison of the mean scores for each lexical test 10. Students‟ t-test comparison of the mean scores for each syntactic test 11. Students‟ t-test comparison of the mean scores for lexical vs syntactic test 12. Teachers‟ assessment of the Students‟ lexical and Syntactic competencies 13. Students‟ frequency of lexical and syntactic skills 14. Mean scores of lexical and syntactic skill 15. Relationship between on the teachers‟ assessment and the level of students‟ lexical and syntactic competencies 16. Student‟s t-test comparison of the mean scores for lexical and syntactic test 17. Drill exercises that can be prepared to improve the students‟ communicative competence. 18. Areas under lexical-syntactic competencies to be used as topics for the design of drill exercisex and the basis of their choice 15 CHAPTER V SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION 5.1. Summary of Findings This study aimed to assess the strategic, lexical and syntactic competencies in English of Freshman students in Thai Nguyen University. This sought answers to the following research questions: 5.1.1. What are the strategic competencies of Freshman students? 5.1.2. What is the level of students‟ lexical competence relative to: - vocabulary; - idioms; - word formation; and - antonyms/synonyms? 5.1.3. What is the level of students‟ syntactic competence in terms of: - subject verb agreement - verb tenses - direct and indirect speech - phrases and clause - pronoun references 5.1.4. Are there significant relationships between the students‟ lexical and syntactic competence? 5.1.5. How do teachers assess the students‟ lexical and syntactic competencies? 5.1.6. Are there significant differences between on the teachers‟ assessment and the level of students‟ lexical and syntactic competencies? 5.1.7. What drill exercises may be prepared toward improving the students‟ communicative competence? 16 The study made used of descriptive research. The respondents of the study comprised of 382 freshman students and 57 college teac hers. The data gathering instruments used were survey questionnaires for the teacher respondents and the teacher made test for the students respondents. Statistical tools used were Cronbach alpha, frequency count, mean, percentage, ranking, and T- test. 5.2. Findings The following were the findings of the study: 5.2.1. Strategic Competencies of Freshman Students In the assessment of the strategic competency of freshman students of Thai Nguyen University, a survey questionnaire was utilized for the evaluation of the sixty teacher respondents. Results revealed that majority or 11 out of 14 skills of the students‟ skills are considered strategic competencies by the teacher respondents and are thus employed by students to cope and promote their communication goals. Two skills had the most number of “Agree” response namely: (12) To remain in the conversation and to gain time to think, the students use certain conversational formulae or „prefabricated conversational patterns‟ such as fillers or hesitation devices like : I see; Well, as a matter of fact; I mean; actually; you know ; and (14) The student appeals for help to the speaker like “I‟m sorry but I don‟t think I understood you. . . or I‟m sorry but I couldn‟t follow you. As regard to the frequency of use of students‟ skills as strategic competency, results revealed that freshman students in general, employ strategic competency skills from a relatively wide range of scores from 2.30 to 3.82 which corresponds to the Likert rating of “rare” to “often”. The most frequent scoring item is the student skill (1) During a conversation, the student avoids a topic when he doesn‟t 17 understand. This together with the other higher scoring items such as items (2) The student abandons the message if he doesn‟t know what it means, (4) The student use polite words like “Excuse me or Will you please explain what you mean?” on the message he doesn‟t understand, (6) The student addresses the speaker with a question like “What do you call this?” to seek clarification of the message all belong to reductive strategies. Only items (10) The student uses nonlinguistic means like mime, gesture, or imitation, and, (12) To remain in the conversation and to gain time to think, the students use certain conversational formulae or „prefabricated conversational patterns‟ such as fillers or hesitation devices such as I see; Well, as a matter of fact; I mean; actually; you know are the high scoring items among the achievement strategies. This clearly reflects the underdeveloped state of strategic competencies of this population of students as perceived by the teacher respondents. This also means that the students favor the use of reduction strategies as compared to achievement strategies. Further, in relation to the degree of importance of these skills as strategic competency , results indicated that majority of the student skills considered important by the teacher respondents are achievement strategies which include items (12) To remain in the conversation and to gain time to think, the students use certain conversational formulae or „prefabricated conversational patterns‟ such as fillers or hesitation devices like I see; Well, as a matter of fact; I mean; actually; you know, (9) The student uses approximation that is using a term which expresses the meaning of the target lexical item as closely as possible like „ship‟ for „sailing boat‟, or „fish‟ for „carp‟. 18 5.2.2. Level of students’ lexical competence To evaluate the level of lexical competence of 389 student respondents of Thai Nguyen University the instrument used is a teacher made – Test comprising of 10 items in the areas of vocabulary, idioms, word formation, antonym and synonym is the instrument. In the area of vocabulary, the student respondents got poor performance as indicated by their average score of 48.2 percent which is below 50 percent with standard deviation of 15.3 percent which shows students homogeneous performance, while in the use of idioms, similar to the result of vocabulary, the student respondents got poor performance as indicated by their average score of 38.4 percent which is even lower than vocabulary score though the score is below 50 percent with standard deviation of 13.9 percent showing their homogeneous performance to that of vocabulary scores. For word formation, student respondents got 45 percent average of correct score which is below 50 percent equally low to that of vocabulary scores which shows their poor skill along this area with standard deviation of 28.4 percent indicating more heterogeneous student performance in word formation. As regard synonym and antonym, student respondents got better performance score as shown in their average score of 67.2 percent which is above 50 percent with standard deviation of 26.3 percent indicating heterogeneous student performance. 5.2.3. Level of Students’ Syntactic Competence The areas evaluated that comprised the teacher- made test used to evaluate the syntactic competence of the 389 student respondents of Thai Nguyen University include Subject-Verb Agreement, Verb
- Xem thêm -