Quarterly Journal | Volume 13 Issue 4 | December 2011
In 2002, the Malaysian School Based Oral English Test (SBOET) was implemented and this was viewed as an initial step towards formative language assessment in the ESL classroom. Since then, it has undergone several transformative changes. To date, there is scant empirical research that has looked at the SBOET from the perspective of the test takers. This paper presents the findings of a study that examined feedback from 2,684 upper secondary ESL students from 45 schools located in 10 states in Malaysia. This descriptive study employed both qualitative and quantitative methods of analysis.
We live in an era of accelerated change and innovation which demands that we adapt and evolve or risk obsolescence and exclusion. This paper traces the path of English language teaching (ELT) since its inception. It examines some of the underlying theories that have guided its policies and practices at classroom level. It also questions whether ELT has kept pace with linguistic and other developments on a wider societal scale.
Shattering the hierarchical education system: The creation of a poststructural feminist English classroom
The study aims to examine the effectiveness of the poststructural feminist pedagogical model developed by the author in 2006 and apply the model to the English classroom to investigate whether it has any potential to increase Taiwanese studentsâ€™ English learning achievement, critical thinking ability, and satisfaction with their class. The quantitative methods used in the study are an English achievement test, a critical thinking ability test, and a student satisfaction questionnaire. The qualitative methods are a semi-structured questionnaires and interviews. An independent sample t-test was used to determine if there were any statistically significant differences in the means between the students in the traditional classroom and the students in the poststructural feminist classroom.
This study investigated the effect of input enhancement on vocabulary acquisition from reading at 98% known-word coverage. 47 intermediate EFL learners from 11 language backgrounds read a level-appropriate English story containing 12 nonwords under one of two conditionsâ€”with or without textual enhancement of the target words. The participants were tested on word noticing, word meaning recognition, and word meaning recall. Both groups showed large gains on all the tests: The enhanced reading group scored 58% correct on noticing, 43% correct on meaning recognition, and 24% correct on meaning recall, whereas the unenhanced reading group scored 65% correct on noticing, 39% correct on meaning recognition, and 25% correct on meaning recall.
An Analysis of L2 Motivation, Test Validity and Language Proficiency Identity (LPID): A Vygotskian Approach
This paper explores the potential impact of high-stakes English testing on young English language learnersâ€™ (ELL) attitudes, beliefs, and motivations. A more meaningful role for consequential validity in language testing is sought through engagement with sociocultural theory, specifically Vygotskian conceptions of identity formation, in order to more fully contextualize a high-stakes learning environment, its effects on younger ELLs, and its implications for the test validation process. This initial phase, to be followed by a larger study, consisted of a pilot questionnaire developed from a working model of Language Proficiency Identity (LPID), and subsequently administered to 202 ELLs of various education levels.
This paper examines the relationship patterns between socio-economic factors, i.e. parental occupations, cultural capital, and motivation to learn English in the Yemeni context. Two survey questionnaires were used in this study, based on Gardnerâ€™s (2001a) framework and Bourdieuâ€™s (1985, 1986, 1989) status-based approach to social stratification. Questionnaires were administered to 142 fourth-year students in the English Department of the College of Arts and Education, the Hadramout University of Science and Technology, Yemen. Besides questionnaires, individual semi-structured interviews were used to obtain supportive data.
The Effect of Collaboration on the Cohesion and Coherence of L2 Narrative Discourse between English NS and Korean L2 English Users
This research looks at differences between how native speakers of English and Korean L2 English learners manage cohesive reference maintenance, as well as the effect of scaffolded interlocutor collaboration on the coherence and cohesion of extended L2 narrative discourse. Scaffolded and unscaffolded narratives were elicited from 10 Korean learners of English as an L2 and were compared against the narratives of 5 native speakers of English, to compare the grammatical means used to maintain coherent reference to discourse referents within and across clauses, as well as to see the effect that any scaffolding had on the L2 participantâ€™s ability to maintain coherence during performance.
This study aims to investigate the learner self-management procedures that advanced and intermediate ESL students used in their three-week preparation for a five minute seminar as part of their English Proficiency Program at a New Zealand university. The study used learner diaries, follow-up interviews, and classroom observations to collect data from 4 advanced and 6 intermediate ESL students. All of the students from both proficiency groups reported going through a range of self-management procedures including planning, self-monitoring, and problem solving. Both groups reported a limited amount of planning, i.e. setting goals, setting criteria, analyzing the task, and setting a timeline. However, within the planning procedure itself, the groups revealed different focuses.
Teaching language proficiency can be particularly problematic in a Japanese university context because of issues with low motivation (Yashima, 2002; Oda, 1993), anxiety and shyness (Kitano, 2001), and practical difficulties associated with monitoring performance and providing effective feedback to large numbers of students. Strategic interaction (SI), as proposed by Di Pietro (1987), uses the scenario as an organizing principle for classroom practice. This involves learners being given different parts or roles in a situation to be resolved through language in unfolding interaction.
The Impact of Assessment Change on Language Learning Strategies: The Views of a Small Group of Chinese Graduate Students Studying in the UK
Chinese students embarking on further studies within an English-speaking higher education environment face significant changes in assessment. This study, undertaken at University of Warwick (UK), reports on Chinese graduate studentsâ€™ retrospective views of their developing language learning strategies, in the light of changes in assessment during their courses. The study charts the studentsâ€™ perceptions of their own experiences over one year of study, beginning with their preparatory English course and ending upon completion of their Mastersâ€™ degree programme.