The New English Teacher: Vol. 11. No. 1, (January 2017)
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ItemA study of group learning among ELT practicum students through an analysis of their teaching practicum journals in a MA-ELT program at Assumption University(Assumption University Press, 2017) Vu, Hoang OanhTeaching Practicum (TP) is important for trainee teachers and many studies have been conducted to help improve the quality of TP recently. This research aims to analyze ten journals written by ten trainee teachers during their practicum in a MA – ELT program at Assumption University. These trainee teachers came from three different countries: seven of Chinese, one British, one Burmese and one Vietnamese. They all had different backgrounds in terms of culture, perception and education. The procedure to analyze these journals was done by finding similarities and differences within the journals of these trainee teachers. The trainee teachers had to communicate and share their ideas and thoughts to each other in order to learn and improve through their journals. The outcomes revealed the evaluation of the practicum from the trainee teachers’ points of view. In addition, the outcomes also provided helpful implications for both trainee teachers and supervisors in using journals more effectively.
ItemA study of reading questions in high school English textbooks and national tests(Assumption University Press, 2017) Supatcha KhanawongThe lack of English language proficiency of Thai students has been acknowledged for years, and this is reflected in the national test scores i.e. O-NET, GAT, and GET, all of which fall below 50%. The question of concurrence between testing and teaching was raised when the revision of national curriculum (B.E. 2551) was implemented in prototype schools in 2009. Reading comprehension skills, in particular, were given attention as it contributes to other skills and overall learning. The aim of this study is to seek the connection between reading questions in the tests and textbooks in Thai schools. For this purpose, Barrett’s taxonomy (Pearson, 2009) was adapted. The findings indicate that Inferential Comprehension is dominant in the tests, but Literal Comprehension is dominant in the textbooks. However, there is a partial agreement between the tests and textbooks in terms of high-order questions such as Inferential Comprehension, Evaluation, and Appreciation. The findings imply that the design of tests and textbooks should be reviewed to reflect the effectiveness of the curriculum and learning, which will possibly improve test scores in the national tests. Textbooks are the most reliable source of learning English for non-native English speakers. Therefore, they are widely used by schools. Nowadays, there are plenty of commercial English textbooks that are produced for English language education worldwide. However, it is generally agreed upon that learning a second language pedagogy is influenced by the socio-cultural frame of reference of the learners, and the objectives of learning vary from place to place according to curriculum design. Selecting a good textbook that suits the learning context and curriculum is challenging for schools. This study provides further information to people who are involved in the textbook selection of all levels of educational supervision.
ItemDeveloping Thai learners' CIC through translanguaging in one-on-one English tutorial sessions(Assumption University Press, 2017) Tassanee KampittayakulThis article presents a conceptual paper, which proposes a concept of employing translanguaging as a pedagogical tool to promote the learners’ CIC – Classroom Interactional Competence, which lies at the heart of learning. The aim of the concept is to bridge two practices of monolingualism between Thai teachers who teach English through Thai only and native speakers who use English only. Translanguaging reflects reality in terms of using both languages to interact to improve the interactional competence of the learners. When both the teachers and the learners translanguage in the classroom, ‘translanguaging space’ is established. This means boundary lines of the two languages are blurred and become so permeable that the learners are able to step in the space and utilize it to make their own ‘space of learning’ through interactions with the teachers. This concept implies that the more the learners interact with the teachers, the more they learn English. Thus, if the learners’ CIC develops in translanguaging classroom context, it can be argued that translanguaging promotes Thai learners’ CIC, which is seen the same thing as the progress of learning. The paper introduces the concept, reviews literature on translanguaging and CIC, discusses conceptual framework, and proposes significant issues in conducting a future study.
ItemThe effects of self-directed learning on the English reading comprehension ability of MBA students(Assumption University Press, 2017) Rosukhon SwatevacharkulIn this study, self-directed learning (SDL) refers to practices for English reading comprehension ability of individual students outside of a classroom for 7 consecutive weeks. The objectives were to investigate the effect of SDL on English reading comprehension ability and its effect size; and to explore how SDL improves English reading comprehension ability of the 33 MBA students of Dhurakij Pundit University in Bangkok, Thailand. This research project took the form of an embedded mixed methods design with a variant of the embedded experimental model. Quantitative data were collected by the reading part of TOEIC, and qualitative data by a Learning Summary and Evaluation Sheet, and by the teacher’s reflections. The dependent samples t-test reveals that, on average, the English reading comprehension ability of the subject students before the SDL (M = 12.30, SD = 2.76), and that after the SDL project (M = 13.33, SD = 3.30) is significantly different (p = 0.02). This means that, on average, the English reading comprehension ability of the students in the post-test significantly increases from the pre-test. The effect size is 0.34, which means that its magnitude is “small”. SDL improves reading ability in terms of “increasing awareness of reading strategy use” (51.52%), “developing learning responsibility and effort” (21.21%), “providing freedom to learn” (21.21%), and “building self-confidence to read” (6.06%). Implications and applications are discussed, and recommendations are provided.
ItemAn analysis of Thai learners' writing of recounts and information reports(Assumption University Press, 2017) Nichtawan SutinwongThis small scale study looks at some of the major strengths and issues of genre writing of a group of Thai high school students. The study was limited to recount and information reports genres as these are considered to be among the prototypical genres in educational settings. The findings indicate that many of these high school students were able to construct text at the level of the basic linguistic features of the genres but needed to develop the nominal groups for elaboration and expansion. However there were issues in organizing and contextualizing of their writing which are only touched upon in this study although important for the development of their writing skills in other genres.