Free Essay

Research Method

In: Other Topics

Submitted By GEBRE
Words 6537
Pages 27
“Attributions of high achieving Thai university students perceiving themselves as failures in English usage” by Dr. Kasma Suwanarak School of Language and Communication, National Institute of Development Administration and Asst. Prof. Dr. Sureepong Phothongsunan Faculty of Arts, Assumption University

_________________________________ Abstract The study investigates the attributions of English language learning of 125 Thai undergraduate students in the last year of their study in International Business Management and Hotel Management at a university in Thailand. According to the programme requirement, these students have to study at least five selective English courses after passing the three compulsory foundation English courses. In response to the closed and open-ended questionnaire, 32 students perceived themselves as failures in English language learning and usage though obtaining highly satisfactory grades in English. 20 students were then selected for the interview in order to further explore reasons they rendered as failed learners and their views on how to become better language learners and on the benefits of learning English. Qualitative in nature, an interpretive approach is employed, taking into account the subjective meaning which the participants convey. Research findings indicate that there are various grounds why the students discern themselves as unsuccessful English learners. Implications are drawn regarding English learning and teaching as well as learners’ achievement, and for the development of the curriculum in the particular context investigated. Introduction and Contextual Background Due to the rapid growth and competitive nature of international business in Thailand, English learning becomes more important for undergraduate students aiming to work in the business area. Significantly, English is seen more than just a tool to gain access to modern technology; it is "key to professional advancement" (NIER, 1994). Undergraduate students in this study context are required to register for only five selective English courses after passing the three compulsory foundation English courses. They have to study 36 courses altogether for their degree. Studying English, thus, is not their primary concern. Some students merely want to complete these courses with pass grades to comply with the degree requirement, while others just expect to obtain good grades. However, when nearly finishing their degree, they often realise how important the English language is for their future career and how weak their English proficiency is. Often, they know how to get good grades, but they do not know how to communicate in English well enough. Many of them then perceive themselves as failures in learning English. Grades are basically recognised as a measure of students’ success and performance on a particular course attended. The main grading system of most universities in Thailand is based on credit points system (WHED, 2008). As Honigman (1997) remarks, grades are one of the major realities of higher education. Most students need high grades for advanced degree programmes and scholarships. In the Thai context, most undergraduate students believe that good grades are tickets to graduate schools and good employment. As a result, a fear of low grades puts enormous pressure on students. However, grades can merely reflect learners’ performance rather than their true competence.

1

Rationale and Theoretical Framework The researchers decided to investigate this area of attribution for two reasons. Firstly, we have access to undergraduate students in the university; as a result, this would be in turn very beneficial to curriculum planning in the work context, and the students’ achievement in English learning. Secondly, during a pilot interview when three high achieving students took part, they reported perceiving themselves as failures. They felt that they could not successfully communicate although they obtained good grades on English courses. Hence, the specific research questions are formed: (1) ‘What are the attributions for success and failure of students who obtain good grades but perceive themselves as failures in English learning?’; (2) ‘What are the students’ views about how to become better language learners?,’ and (3) ‘What are the benefits the students expect from learning English?’ The theoretical framework within which this research is undertaken derives from constructivist theory. In the view of a constructivist, Bruner (1996) sees learning as an active process in which learners construct new ideas or concepts based upon their current and past knowledge. The learner selects and transforms information, constructs hypotheses, and makes decisions. This view of knowledge does not reject the existence of the real world, but all that is seen are from interpretations of personal experience. Qualitative in nature, this study employs an interpretative approach focusing on the way in which learners construct their own interpretations of their successes and failures. Literature Review Attribution Theory Attribution theory originated from the work of Heider (1944, 1958), although Weiner’s (1986) work is widely acknowledged by a number of researchers in this area. Basically, this theory focuses on how individuals explain why a particular outcome occurred and how they make sense of it. Interest in attribution theory focuses particularly on the area of achievement: looking at what individuals believe to be the causes of success and failure. Williams and Burden (1999) hold the view that learners can understand what the causes of their success and failure are. If the causes of failure are seen as changeable, and the possible change is within learners’ control, they could control their learning outcomes. In addition, attribution theory has been shown to be of potential importance for the construction of a motivational model of language learning (Oxford and Shearin, 1994) and language learning achievement (Gardner and Tremblay, 1995). In this regard, Jernigan (2004) believes that learners’ reactions to learning difficulties also influence their motivation for language learning. When learners feel that they are bad at languages, these beliefs will decrease their motivation to study. Attributions for success and failure Educational psychologists define student attributions as perceived causes for success or failure (Schunk, 1991). Weiner et al. (1979) originally identified two dimensions of causal attributions: locus of control and stability. These two dimensions give rise to four perceived causes of success and failure at achievement tasks: ability, effort, task difficulty, and luck. Locus of control describes how individuals perceive success or failure; whether they see it as externally controlled or internally controlled (Rotter, 1966). Both Heider (1958) and Weiner (1985) view ability and effort as internal determinants of action or personal forces. Task difficulty and luck are classified as external determinants of success or failure. Considering the dimension of stability, ability and effort are internal, stable factors whilst task difficulty and luck are external, unstable factors (Weiner, 1985). However, Jones and Nisbett (1971) contend that effort can be conceptualised as either an unstable attribute or a stable attribute. It depends on individuals and various situations. Several attribution researchers (e.g. Frieze and Snyder, 1980; McMahon, 1971; Weiner, 1985) have identified ability and effort as the main influences on achievement outcomes. Hence, students who attribute success to ability and effort tend to be far better in school than those who ascribe it to luck or other external factors (Weiner, 1985).

2

A number of studies (e.g., Dodds, 1994; Koun, 2005; Little, 1985; Weiner, 1985; Whitley and Frieze, 1985; Williams and Burden, 1999) have found that there are various reasons which people give for these successes and failures. These include attitude, motivation, negative emotions, anxiety, expectations, deteriorating performance, teacher competence, learning environment, and so forth. Dörnyei (1990) perceives that attributions about past failures can contribute to current motivation. Teachers should encourage students to see links between effort and outcome and to attribute past failures to a lack of effort, confusion or ineffective strategies. Therefore, when teachers know how to deal with these attributions, they can enhance learners’ motivation and expectations for future success (Koun, 2005). Attributions and affective reactions towards learning outcomes Weiner (1985) believes that the attributions which people make for their outcomes determine the impact of success and failure on the individual. In terms of positive reactions, failed students tend to be more hopeful about future success when attributing their failure to luck or lack of effort rather than more stable factors like task difficulty or lack of ability. In addition, Oxford and Shearin (1994) remark that higher satisfaction occurs when success is self-attributed to internal factors. Students will be happier with themselves and their skills when they have created a successful performance because of effort and ability. Considering negative reactions, Crookes and Schmidt (1991) suggest that learners who attribute failure to their lack of ability, probably have a low estimate of their future success. This in turn may lead to failure related behaviour or negatively affect long-term success because students cannot stop a feeling of lower self-esteem and a sense of helplessness (Graham and Folkes, 1990). No matter what caused the outcome, McMillan and Forsyth (1983) notice that people still experience a negative emotional state when they fail, and a positive emotional state when they succeed. When students consider their learning a failure because of a lack of effort or a lack of ability, they experience several emotional reactions including guilt, and pity (Weiner, 1986). Guilt is generated when someone fails due to an internal controllable cause (e.g. a lack of effort or negligence); and pity may be felt if failure is experienced and is perceived as deriving from an external, uncontrollable cause. High achieving students tend to have more positive feelings about success. They tend to ascribe failure to a lack of effort, and work harder and display greater performance. At the same time they are the most worried about failure (Litch and Dweck, 1984) and possibly think of themselves as not intelligent and unable to work effectively just because they are having some trouble with a task. To this point, some students perceive that the situation is out of control and nothing can be done (Dweck, 1999). As a result, they denigrate their abilities, decrease their expectations, lower their persistence, and blame their lack of intelligence for the failures. Controllability becomes important when learners are concerned about maintaining or improving their current levels of performance (Forsyth and McMillan, 1981). Successful learners assume that their success will occur again whilst failure learners expect to overcome their poor performance in the future. If, however, it is seen as uncontrollable, successful learners will be unsure of maintaining their achievement whilst failed learners tend to express negative expectations that their failures will be repeated due to internal and controllable factors. How to become successful language learners Willing (1985) proposes that each learner has a different style of learning. Less successful learners tend to be inactive (Wenden, 1985) and weakly employ the learning strategies of successful learners (Huang and Van Naerssen, 1987). The use of various language learning strategies has a profound affect on learners’ success. Strategies are tools for the self-directed involvement which is necessary for developing communicative ability (Oxford, 1993). In order to become efficient at learning and using the target language as well as self-directing their effort, learners have to be aware of different learning strategies and regularly evaluate their learning process (Wenden, 1987). Japanese EFL students, for example, like to

3

be told what to do and only do what is clearly essential to get good grades (Oxford, 1990). These attitudes and behaviours are likely to make learning more difficult and unsuccessful (ibid). Research on attribution theory Interesting research by Zhao et al., (1991) on the learning achievement of Chinese students has shown that feeling bad or worthless seems to increase anti-social and self-defeating behaviour. Similarly, Bempechat (1999) has found that lower achievers in Mexico are at risk for believing that their poor performance results from lack of ability, insufficient effort, and external factors such as bad luck. In this regard, if students do not think they have at least some ability, it makes little sense to them to invest effort in their learning. Regarding causes of success and failure, similar evidence is presented by various studies of attributions in educational settings. In the study of Williams et al. (2004), UK learners’ needs, motivation and selfawareness as learners were explored by focusing on learner perceptions of their successes and failures in foreign language teaching and learning. The findings indicate a clear link between control of their learning and success; the effect of disruptive behaviour and peer pressures, for instance. Interestingly, few of the attributions mentioned by the students relate to the notion of reward, or the value of learning a foreign language. Another research by Ireland (1998) reveals that individuals perceive the causes of success and failure differently. In addition, it is suggested that any future research should focus on attributions made for unsuccessful outcomes since it is most likely to produce non-motivated behaviour in subsequent learning. Overall, failure in English learning seems to be a serious issue for students of English and in the Thai educational system. However, little attention has been paid to investigating Thai students’ perceptions regarding their perceived failure outcomes. Methods This qualitative study is based on an interpretive approach concerned with subjective meaning in a particular context (Cresswell, 1997). The research questions were developed from a particular context and the collected data analysed inductively. The results were mainly derived from interviews, while the questionnaires merely helped to select the participants with good grades in English but perceived themselves as failed learners in English. According to the grading system in Thai universities, students who obtain grades of A, B+, and B are considered as excellent, very good, and good respectively. Thus, this standard was employed to judge students with these grades as high achievers or successful learners. Participants 125 Thai undergraduate students who were in the last year of study were targeted. They were studying in non English major programmes (International Business Management and Hotel Management) at a university in Thailand. According to the programme requirement, these students have to study at least five optional English courses after passing the three compulsory foundation English courses. From the closed and open-ended questionnaire results, there were 32 high achieving students with good grades in English courses but perceiving themselves as failures in learning English. Out of 32 students, 20 students were selected based on their willingness and availability for the semi-structured in-depth interview. Data Collection Methods and Procedures Two data collection methods were employed: a closed and open-ended questionnaire, and a semistructured in-depth interview. For the questionnaire, questions were asked about the participants’ personal data and learning history of English including the grades obtained as well as their perceptions towards English language learning. The semi-structured in-depth interview enabled the researchers to prompt the interviewees to expand their ideas when they provided incomplete answers or too little information about the areas under investigation. To analyse the data from the interview, the main constructs were identified

4

and the transcripts were labelled according to the constructs. Also, the groupings were discussed with other educational researchers to provide validity with the data. Findings and Discussion The questionnaires merely helped to purposively select the 20 participants who obtained good grades of English but perceived themselves as failures in English language learning. Therefore, this section describes and discusses the results from the interviews. Question 1: “Why do you perceive yourself as a failure in English language learning?” Half of the participants pointed out that they were unable to use English to communicate in real situations as they were weak in listening and speaking skills. One of them expressed: “When having to speak with a foreigner abruptly, I became stunned and couldn’t speak out at that moment. I couldn’t even understand what was said to me!” Six students expressed that they were weak in putting basic knowledge of English into practice. Two others considered that they did not achieve high enough grades. They felt grades of B+ and B did not satisfy them. Some also perceived that their English proficiency was unacceptable for undergraduate level. One of them explained: “My English skills are not in an appropriate level of undergraduates. I feel that my ability to speak is immature and my vocabulary is limited.” The participants generally perceived their learning outcomes in English as failures. The major problem was the inability to communicate. They attributed the causes of failures mostly to themselves. According to Williams and Burden (1999), learners understand what the causes of their success and failure are. If they perceive the causes of failure as changeable and that they can control the change, then they could control their learning outcomes; for example, they could improve themselves by making greater effort to practice more. Possibly, some participants aimed too high and were unhappy with what they perceived as failure outcomes. This is in accordance with Litch and Dweck (1964), claiming that many high achieving learners tend to be worried about failure and possibly think of themselves as unable to work effectively. Question 2: “Are you satisfied with the grades obtained?” The majority of the respondents reported that they were satisfied with the grades received. Many of them saw those grades were due to their effort. Three other students believed that the grades obtained corresponded to the grading system of the university. This can be illuminated in the following response: “I’m happy with those grades although some teachers possibly add their personal criteria when grading. Anyway, it is acceptable as it is based on the formal grading system of the university.” Of the negative responses, seven students said that they were unhappy with the grades obtained. Five of them believed that they could have made those grades better if they had tried harder, whereas two respondents felt that their teachers possibly has unrealistically high expectations of the students’ ability. Another finding also emerged. Two students were somewhat dissatisfied with the grades they received since they expected to do better. One of them said: “I feel that sometimes grades depend on my luck and individual teachers.” The response to question 2 shows that all participants aimed at obtaining the highest grades. Most of them attributed their success to effort. This is in accordance with Weiner (1985), who considers effort an internal factor and one of the main influences on achievement outcomes. This response coincides with Oxford and Shearin (1994) remarking that higher satisfaction occurs when success is self-attributed to internal factors. On the contrary, some participants ascribed their learning outcomes to external factors like the grading system, teachers, and luck. Weiner (1985) believes that students attributing their success to luck or other external factors tend to do less well than those who ascribe success to ability and effort.

5

Question 3: “Do grades indicate learners’ success in English language learning? Why / why not?” The findings indicated that all respondents felt that the grades obtained do not necessarily indicate true success. A variety of reasons were given. Eight participants pointed out that students with good grades might not be able to put their knowledge into practice. The following response is representative of this view: “Everyone recognises that my English is excellent when considering my good grades. I think I’m not really good at English. I can’t communicate with native English speakers. Having good grades does not mean that my English is good. I do need more practice for better improvement.” Five respondents commented that good grades indicate great diligence, high determination, or successful rote memorisation. This is because most Thai students perceived that if their study is disciplined and they remember what their teachers taught in the classroom, they will be successful in their studies. Three other students found the grades obtained show a good knowledge of a particular area. They do not reflect the whole success. Two other participants made an observation that sometimes the grades were unexpected. Another two respondents added that success depends on individual’s expectations. One might see him/herself as a successful learner when obtaining ‘A’, whilst another is satisfied with ‘B+’. According to Honigman (1997), most students need high grades for advanced degree programmes and scholarships. In the Thai educational system, English teachers work extremely hard to present and drill their students with as much English as they can. They mainly focus on grammatical structures, vocabulary, and reading comprehension. Undergraduate students have to spend only one academic year or two studying basic English as compulsory courses. Not surprisingly, most graduates involved in various professions usually complain about their practical English competence, especially in everyday communication skills, particularly in listening and speaking. They also admit to insufficient concentration, confusing learning styles and a lack of full attention while being exposed to the subject at an early stage. To answer the second research question, “What are the students’ views about how to become better language learners?”, question 4, 5, and 6 were delivered during the interview. Question 4: “What are your views about how to become a better language learner?” All of the respondents considered two important factors: students themselves and teachers which could make them become better language learners. According to the first factor, having a strong determination to learn and improve their skills was highlighted as the main quality for becoming better language learners. Five respondents remarked that they would be better language learners if they aimed to apply their knowledge of English to real life. One interestingly noted that: “I would be more successful if I could communicate with foreigners at all times outside the classroom setting. It’s a pity of me that I neglected this certain thing when I studied English in a primary level.” Three respondents commented that the rote memorisation of Thai students would not help them to become better language learners. Instead, learning through practice would help them to be more successful. One of them said: “I think learning by memorisation makes me unable to create my own thoughts and clearly understand the lessons. In terms of marking, teachers favour accuracy to development of original ideas. Unavoidably, I have to maintain this learning style.” Three students believed that students were eager to learn from things outside the classroom. Teachers had to be facilitators who always helped and supported their students to achieve learning goals. Confidence was considered as another important thing. Two participants observed that when interacting with foreigners, they always lacked confidence to speak English. They were always worried about producing ungrammatical sentences. The following is an example of those feelings: “Whenever I meet foreigners, I feel embarrassed to express myself in English. I’m also nervous about possibly incorrect sentences and suddenly lack the necessary vocabulary when trying to say something.” All of the respondents also identified ‘teacher’ as an important influence in becoming better language learners. Understanding the

6

skills and knowledge of the students was recognised as an important quality of teachers. One commented: “I’ve found that I would have obtained higher grades if I had not spent much time struggling to understand what the teachers taught.” Six respondents claimed that teaching methods should focus on learning through practice. One of them mentioned rote memorisation and gave the same reason as for the ‘teacher’ factor. Four students felt that teachers should know how to motivate students to learn, otherwise students would become de-motivated and could not achieve their goals of learning. Researchers identify various reasons which people give for their success and failure (e.g. Dodds, 1994; Williams and Burden, 1999; Whitley and Frieze, 1985). From this question, the two factors—students themselves and teachers—can be considered as the major perceived causes of success and failure of language learners. ‘Students themselves’ is an internal factor and ‘teachers’ is an external factor. Question 5: “In your view, what is a successful person in learning English like? Almost half of the participants felt that a successful person in English learning must be able to communicate with foreigners and native English speakers effectively. In addition, having a full understanding of English skills was recognised by several respondents. They said that a successful learner must be capable of using all four skills of English: writing, reading, listening, and speaking. Three respondents believed that in order to achieve goals of English language learning, learners must overcome feeling of embarrassment when expressing themselves in English. Two participants also commented that successful learners must have language learning strategies, especially over a long period. One said in the interview: “It is the best way to gain an advantage or success by setting a plan of my study. As I always neglect an English practice and never set a goal of study, my English skills have not been improved and developed.” Another response from two participants was that being a successful language learner was a gift or a special talent. This view is similar to that of Heider (1958) who claimed that ability or intelligence is one which a person is born with. However, it is counter to more recent views of intelligence. Nicholls and Dweck (1992), for example, note that learners who consider ability or intelligence changeable are likely to deal with challenging tasks and could control their learning outcomes. The characteristics of successful learners of English have been reviewed in the literature on learning strategies (e.g. Rubin and Thompson, 1982; Van Naerssen, 1987; Wenden, 1987; Willing, 1985). This coincides with Oxford (1993), who postulates that strategies are tools for the self-directed involvement which is necessary for developing communicative ability. Nevertheless, it depends on individuals and a variety of factors which influence those successful language learners. Question 6: “Have you made an effort to study? If so, how? If not, why? The participants’ responses could be divided into two groups: positive and negative answers. Eleven answered that they have made an effort to study. Three different reasons were also provided. Out of eleven, six held that they have tried their best to concentrate on their study in preparation for the exam. As a result, the exam results were excellent, whereas their English competence was still poor. Three other students said they have tried to use their knowledge in real situations. For example, in order to use and practice English, they looked for opportunities to talk to native English speakers. Although the conversation appeared rather dull and unimpressive the first time, they gradually became familiar with interacting with those native speakers. Two other respondents reasoned that to enhance their English learning, they always took advantage of all available resources to immerse themselves in English as much as they could.

7

On the contrary, nine respondents said that they have never made an effort to study English. Several explanations were revealed. Three students claimed that they remained confused about what they have been learning and were unable to use English in real situations. The following excerpt represents this idea: “Grammatical rules and other usages of English have mixed me up. Although I have been learning English for several years, I still can’t use them in real situations.”Additionally, three other students felt that they were not motivated by a need to achieve goals of English learning. They did not realise that English was one of the keys to their success. They just took English courses because of their study requirement. Similarly, another two students considered the main subjects of their major studies were more important than the English subjects. Interestingly, one respondent claimed that taking English courses could help him obtain good grades easily. He remarked: “I think English subjects are much easier than my major subjects. We prefer taking English courses to others in order to help increase our gradepoint average.” Considering the dimension of stability, Weiner (1985) remarks that effort is an internal factor and an unstable attribute whereas Jones and Nisbett (1971) claim that effort can be conceptualised as either an unstable or stable attribute. In this regard, it depends on individuals and various situations. According to the study, almost half of the participants have never made an effort to study English due to a variety of reasons. The main reason derived from a lack of an aim to achieve goals of English learning. In contrast, the participants who have made an effort knew what their aims were. Hence, English teachers are an important factor to encourage students to recognise what the goals and benefits of English learning are. Question 7: “What are the benefits the students expect from learning English?” Eight indicated that using skills and knowledge of English in their future careers and further studies in higher education was of benefit to English learners. One of them explained: “When I had job training, I realised that English competence is needed for my future career. It is such a practical language which can benefit me and help all the business done.” Six respondents considered that one of the benefits was a greater knowledge of English. Additionally, some of them had a wish for the ability to use English with confidence in real situations. For example: “Sometimes I fell it’s hard to learn English. Anyway, it is very satisfying when gradually gaining a more benefits and developing my skills to a higher level.” Four respondents observed that they could learn about a new culture and enhance their English skills by participating directly in the English-speaking world. Another two participants expected that learning English could help them strengthen their existing knowledge of their major study. This was because English skills were needed for better understanding of the textbooks which were written in English. According to Weiner (1984), the attributions which people make for their outcomes will determine the impact of success and failure. In response to this question, all participants had positive views regarding benefits they expected from learning English. As they were in the last year of undergraduate study, the majority of their expectations were the aim for using English in their future careers and further studies. Implications The findings of this study suggest several implications. Firstly, Thai students have to be advised to rely more on themselves and use appropriate learning strategies. In this regard, Wenden (1987) considers that learners have to be aware of different learning strategies and regularly evaluate their process. As a result, they would become more efficient in learning the target language. Teachers can also play a role in helping the students develop appropriate learning strategies in order to be more successful in language learning. When teachers know how to deal with attributions, they will be able to enhance learners’ motivation and expectations for future success (Koun, 2005). In the area of TESOL, the second implication of this research would concern teacher training regarding psychology in English teaching. By doing this, teachers will be informed of how to motivate students to learn, to encourage the students to have more

8

positive feelings about their learning outcomes, and to help them become successful in English. This would in turn lead to curriculum development in this work context. The significance of learning achievement has been recognised in the attribution literature (e.g., Gardner and Tremblay, 1995; Jernigan, 2004; Williams and Burden, 1999). Nevertheless, attributions for failure of high achieving learners have not been investigated. Hence, as the final implication, there should be more formal discussions on specific issues and concerns related to English learning achievement of Thai students in the context. On a regular basis, seminars and workshops should be organised to improve teaching and learning system as well as curriculum development in the work context. This important issue should be raised in a university annual conference which is recognised as a forum for academic discussions. In this way, various new perspectives on this issue will be given greater consideration. Conclusion As English has become a global language, it is the key to communication in many domains. Fluency in English is important in the job market. Many major companies conduct their business using English and increasingly require their employees to speak and write fluent English. However, many English teachers still spend the majority of class time on reading and writing practice and tend to ignore speaking and listening skills. This is not a good balance if the goal of a particular language course is truly to enable learners to communicate in English. In addition, students should be encouraged to regularly practice what they have learned, to look for opportunities to use English, and always to evaluate themselves. Teachers also need to motivate students to learn and to see the link between their effort and outcomes. The researchers concur with Weiner (1984) that the attributions which people make for their outcomes will determine the impact of success and failure. All participants in this study perceived their learning outcomes in English as failures because of their inability to put their knowledge into practice. The findings are congruent with other research studies (e.g., Bempechat, 1999; Jernigan, 2004; Zhao et al., 1991) which consider that negative feelings in language learning will decrease learners’ motivation and finally make them unsuccessful. The perceived causes of the students’ failures in this study mostly derived from the students themselves. Most students have controlled their achievement by putting more effort into their English learning, while some hardly attempted to excel in studying English due to various reasons. This is in line with Williams and Burden (1999)’s remark that if learners perceive the cause of failure as changeable and controllable, they could determine their learning outcomes. Nevertheless, all participants had positive views regarding benefits they expected from English learning. By this, the researchers consider that a positive attitude towards English language learning is crucial for learners’ success. Language learners who are positive about learning difficulties and make the greatest effort to their study will certainly have more chance of achieving the goals of English language learning. Similarly, learners who are aware of learning strategies and regularly evaluate their learning will become efficient at learning English and self-directing their effort (Wenden, 1987). In sum, as long as learners aim for success and try to improve themselves at all times, instead of perceiving themselves as failures, their chances of success will be greater.

9

References Bempechat, J. (1999). Learning from poor and minority students who succeed in school: Children’s views on success and failure have a big impact on their learning. Retrieved on January, 11, 2008 from http://www.edletter.org/past/issues/1999-mj/learning. html Bruner, J. (1996). The culture of education. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Creswell, J. W. (1997). Qualitative Inquiry & Research Design: Choosing among five traditions. London: Sage. Crookes, G. and Schmidt, R. (1991). Motivation: Reopening the research agenda. Language Learning, 41(4), 469-512. Dodds, J. (1994). Spelling skills & causal attributions in children. Educational Psychology in Practice, 10(2), 111-119. Dörnyei, Z. (1990). Conceptualising motivation in foreign language learning. Language Learning, 40(1), 45-79. Dweck, C. S. (1999). What promotes adaptive motivation? Four beliefs and four truths about ability, success, praise, and confidence. Self Theories: their role on motivation, personality, and development (pp. 1-4). Psychology Press: UK. Forsyth, D. R. and McMillan, J. (1981). Attributions, affect, and expectations: A test of Weiner’s threedimensional model. Journal of Educational Psychology, 73, 393-401. Frieze, I. H. and Snyder, H. N. (1980). Children's beliefs about the causes of success and failure in school settings. Journal of Educational Psychology, 72, 186- 196. Gardner, R. and Tremblay, P. (1995). Expanding the motivation construct in language learning. The Modern Language Journal, 79(4), 505-518. Graham, S. and Folkes, V. (Eds.). (1990). Attribution Theory: Application to achievement, mental health, and interpersonal conflict. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Heider, F. (1944). Social perception and phenomenal causality. Psychological Review, 51, 358-374. Heider, F. (1958). The psychology of interpersonal relations. New York: Wiley. Honigman, R. D. (1997). University Secrets: Your guide to surviving a college education. Birmingham, Mich: Honey Pub. Huang, X. and Van Naerssen, M. (1987). Learning Strategies for Oral Communication. Applied Linguistics, 8(3). Ireland, C. J. (1998). A Study of Causal Attributions Made in Classroom Language Learning. Unpublished Master of Education Dissertation, University of Exeter, United of Kingdom. Jernigan, C. G. (2004). What do students expect to learn? The role of learner expectancies, beliefs, and attributions for success and failure in student motivation. Current Issues in Education, 7(4). Retrieved on January 20, 2008 from http://cie.ed. asu.edu/volume7/number4/ Jones, E. E. and Nisbett, R. E. (1971). The actor and the observer: Divergent perceptions of the causes of behaviour. New York: General Learning Press. Koun, C. (2005). Students Beliefs About Causes of Their Culture. Paper presented at Japan Association for Language Teaching, October 12, 2005, Columbia University Teachers College, Japan. Retrieved on December 24, 2007 from http://www.eltcalendar.com/events/details/2790 Litch, B. G., and Dweck, C. S. (1984). Determinants of academic achievement: The interaction of children’s achievement orientations with skill area. Development Psychology, 20, 628-636. Little, A. (1985). The child’s understanding of the causes of academic success and failure: A case study of British schoolchildren. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 55, 11-23. McMahon, I. (1971) Sex differences in causal attribution for success and failure. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, City University of New York, USA. McMillan, J. H., and Forsyth, D. R. (1983). Attribution-affect relationships following classroom performance. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 8, 109-118. National Institute for Educational Research (NIER). (1994). Foreign/Second Language Education in Asia and the Pacific. Report of a Regional Seminar, 22 June-8 July 1994. Tokyo: NIER. Nicholls, J. and Dweck, C. (1992). When Bright Kids Get Bad Grades. Harvard Education Letter, November/December.

10

Oxford, R. (1990). Language Learning Strategies: What Every Teacher Should Know. Boston: Heinle & Heinle Publishers. Oxford, R. (1993). Language learning strategies in a nutshell: Update and ESL suggestions. TESOL Journal, 2(2), 18-22. Oxford, R. and Shearin, J. (1994). Language learning motivation: expanding the theoretical framework. The Modern Language Journal, 78(1), 12-28. Rotter, J. B. (1966). Generalized expectancies for internal versus external control of reinforcement. Psychological Monographs, 80. Schunk, D. H. (1991). Self-efficacy and academic motivation. Educational Psychologist, 26, 207-231. Weiner, B. (1985). An attributional theory of achievement motivation and emotion. Psychological Review, 92, 548-573. Weiner, B. (1986). An Attributional Theory of Motivation and Emotion. New York: Springer-Verlag. Weiner, B., Russell, D., and Lerman, D. (1979). The cognition-emotion process in achievement related contexts. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 37, 1221-1230. Wenden, A. L. (1985). Learner Strategies. TESOL Newsletter, 19(5). Wenden, A. L. (1987). How to be a successful language learner: insights and prescriptions from L2 learners. Learner Strategies in Language Learning (pp. 103-117). Prentice Hall. Whitley, B. and Frieze, I. (1985). Children’s causal attributions for success and failure in achievement settings: A meta-analysis. Journal of Educational Psychology, 77, 608-616. Williams, M. and Burden, R. L. (1999). Students’ developing conceptions of themselves as language learners. The Modern Language Journal, 83(2), 193-201. Williams, M., Burden, R, Poulet, G. and Maun, I. (2004). Learners’ perceptions of their successes and failures in foreign language learning. Language Learning Journal, 30, 19-29. Willing, K. (1985), Learning Styles in Adult Migrant Education. Adelaide, Australia: National Curriculum Resource Centre. World Higher Education Database (WHED). (2008). Education System: Main grading systems used by higher education institutes. Data for Academic Year 2007-2008. Ministry of University Affairs: Bangkok, Thailand. Retrieved on December 18, 2007 from http://www.unesco.org/iau/onlinedatabases/systems_data/th.rtf Zhao, Y. (1991). Chinese Students Language Learning Behaviors: A survey. Foreign Language Teaching and Research, 2.

11…...

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Methods in Research

...METHODS OF RESEARCH 1. Historical Method Purpose: To reconstruct the past objectively and accurately, often in relation to the tenability of a hypothesis. Example: A study reconstructing practices in the study of social studies in the Philippines during the past fifty years; tracing the history of agrarian reform in the Philippines; Philippine education since 1946; testing the hypotheses that Francis Bacon is the real author of the “Works of William Shakespeare”. 2. Descriptive Method Purpose: To describe systematically a situation or area of interest factually and accurately. Examples: Population census studies, public opinion surveys, fact-finding surveys, status studies, task analysis studies, questionnaire and interview studies, observation studies, job descriptions, surveys of the literature, documentary analyses, anecdotal records, critical incident reports, test score analyses, and normative data. 3. Developmental method Purpose: To investigate patterns and sequences of growth and/or change as a function of time. Examples: A longitudinal growth study following an initial sample of 200 children from six months of age to adulthood; a cross-sectional growth study investigating changing patterns of intelligence by sampling groups of children at ten different age levels; a trend study projecting the future growth and educational needs of a community from past trends and recent building estimates. 4. Case and field......

Words: 711 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Research Methods

...Essay 1 – Research methods and Methodological Perspectives Different philosophical foundation create a division in social research methods into two key approaches namely qualitative method which is associated with interprevitism and quantitative methods which is associated with positivism. The main difference between these methodological approaches is that qualitative research is about the expression of meaning. Bowling 2002 defines qualitative research as a “method of naturalistic enquiry which is usually less obtrusive than quantitative investigations and does not manipulate a research setting.”(Bowling 2002). It is as a result of this naturalistic enquiry that feelings or expressions are derived in relation to a particular issue. This process of expressing feelings or thoughts is also known as Phenomenology. Bowling 2002 quoting Smart 1976 states that phenomenology is “based on the paradigm that reality is multiple and socially constructed through the interaction of individuals who use symbols to interpret each other and assign meanings to perceptions and experience; these are not imposed by external forces”. (Bowling 2002). Through the phenomology process research is interactive with the respondent and researcher and is performed through open-ended, unstructured or participant observation and in-depth interviews. The data is collected through a mutual understanding between the researcher and the respondent. Hence the phenomenology process is commonly called the......

Words: 667 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Research Methods.

...Submission Form |Name: |Vigneshwaran Palanisamy | |Email: |1118562@rgu.ac.uk | |Course: |Msc Purchasing & Supply Chain Management | |Module: |BSM577 - Research Methods | |Assignment and Title: |Implementing E-procurement in Indian organisation : surveys of SMEs | |Date: |7/1/13 | |For the attention of: |Dr Elizabeth Tait | WORD COUNT: ABSTRACT: This report was undertaken for the commitment of future research in dissertation. E-commerce is gaining a lot more attention in current global market. E-commerce models such as B2B, B2C, B2E and B2G has been successful due to many implementation and adoption of standardized process tools like EDI, shipping, tracking, payment and delivery among the suppliers around the globe through a strong supply network. The most vital element of B2B model is the E-procurement. E-procurement is the process for acquiring......

Words: 4257 - Pages: 18

Premium Essay

Research Methods

...Types of Research 1 How can we teach students about the dangers of social media? Descriptive Research Educational PsychologyJanuary 29, 2011 Types of Research 2 How can we teach students about the dangers of social media? Descriptive Research Research can be explained as a process that gathers data to answer questions. Research is used in many applications to obtain knowledge and across many disciplines and industries. It can become the cornerstone for developing new concepts or products, treatments and cures, safety, policy and strategies, or even used simply to answer a question and provide information for decisions. Four types of research are: descriptive, correlational, experimental, and action. Descriptive Research Descriptive research uses tools such as “tests, surveys, interviews and observations to describe the status of characteristics of a situation or phenomenon” (Eggen & Kauchak, 2010, p. 15). Educators often use tests to answer achievement questions and assess instructional programs. Tests can also be used to compare external programs to obtain baseline measures of similarities and differences. Surveys can assess attitudes and feelings about programs or specific educational approaches. The results are used to shape program enhancements or changes to current practices. Observations are perhaps the most significant source of current status. Watching reactions, listening to interactions, observing expressive feelings, or seeing expressions of emotions...

Words: 1691 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Research Method

...RESEARCH METHOD This study utilized the descriptive method of research. As widely accepted, the descriptive method of research is a fact-finding study that involves adequate and accurate interpretation of findings. Descriptive research describes a certain present condition. Relatively, the method is appropriate to this study since it aims to describe the present condition of technical analysis as it is used in the stock market. The technique that was used under descriptive method is the normative survey approach and evaluation, which is commonly used to explore opinions according to respondents that can represent a whole population. The survey is appropriate in this study because it enables the researcher in formulation of generalizations. The purpose of employing the descriptive method is to describe the nature of a condition, as it takes place during the time of the study and to explore the cause or causes of a particular condition. The researcher opted to use this kind of research considering the desire to acquire first hand data from the respondents so as to formulate rational and sound conclusions and recommendations for the study. According to Creswell (1994), the descriptive method of research is to gather information about the present existing condition.  Since this study is focused on the perception or evaluation of the consultancy firm's effective human resource management, the descriptive method is the most appropriate method to use. Two types of data were used:......

Words: 356 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Research Methods

...Business research Business research is a systematic process of acquiring and analyzing relevant business data for aid in making business decisions .The primary purpose of business research is to reduce risk of a marketing decision. Business Information system and decision support system simulate the business research process. A decision support system consists of business activities stored in an organized manner for retrieval .A business information system provide the manager with information about events and trends in different arenas . The emerging trends that affect business research include: Technology, economic, political, cultural, social and competitive arenas. Emerging hierarchy of research-based decision makers. Top tier which consists of visionaries where every decision is made and guided by business research. Middle tier which consists of standard decision makers where only some decisions are made by business research Base tier which consists of intuitive decision makers where decisions are made based on past experience. Types of research studies Reporting studies which provides data to achieve deeper understanding and generate statistics for comparison. Descriptive study which tries to answer the questions-who, what, when , where and sometimes how. Predictive study which attempts to predict when a certain event will occur. Explanatory study which attempts to explain the reasons for the phenomenon that the descriptive study only observed. Good......

Words: 554 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Research Methods

...Evidence Based Practice. Research Methods. Evidence-Based Practice (EBP), the skill of using correct research methods, the importance of making informative decisions based on the best EBP within the health care industry as well as an example of EBP in regards to infection control and hand washing procedures will be key issues discussed throughout this essay. The health profession is continually developing and adapting in its implementation to health care techniques and skills due to changing world health conditions. It is therefore imperative that research be constantly conducted to analyse new research relating to health care to ensure health care practitioners are using techniques derived from the most current evidence (Aveyard & Sharpe, 2009). Evidence Based Practice can be defined as, “the conscientious, explicit and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the health care of patients” (Sackett, Richardson, Rosenberg, & Haynes, as cited in Craig & Smyth 2007). The basis of EBP is that decisions are made by assessing not only the information at hand, but also integrating clinical experience, the most current evidence available, critical thinking and keeping in mind the patient’s best interest and preferences (Aveyard & Sharpe, 2009). Evidence based practice was developed because of the commitment of health care practitioners to social research and science (Mullen, as cited in......

Words: 1421 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Research Methods

...Research Methods and Terminology Candy Burtle CJA/334 Philip Russo March 13, 2014 Introduction An effective research method in the criminal justice system is essential and using these methods gives the ability to successfully open and close cases. People who work in criminal justice system have a wide selection of research methods and tools at their disposal. Throughout this paper we will discuss various research methods that are used within the criminal justice system as well as the terminology associated with the research. We will discuss the importance of knowing the proper terminology for research in the criminal justice system and how not knowing the proper terminology affects you as you conduct criminal justice research. We will also look at the benefits of knowing the terminology when evaluating and analyzing research. Research Process In order to properly grasp the importance of research and the terminology within the criminal justice system we must first ask, what is research? Research is the systematic investigation into the study of materials and sources to establish facts and reach new conclusions (Press, 2010). The process of research can vary significantly, but there are five steps generally followed when conducting research. Formulation is the first step and this is when the selection and specification of an area to be investigated. The second step in the research process is research design......

Words: 1117 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Research Method

...the probability of their return to the same hotel (Choi & Chu, 2001). Hotels are increasing their investments to improve service quality and the perceived value for guests so as to achieve better customer satisfaction and loyalty, thus resulting in better relationships with each customer (Jones et al., 2007). Relationship quality has a remarkable positive effect on hotel guests’ behavior, it creates positive word of mouth (WOM) and increments repeated guest rates (Kim et al., 2001). In the other hands, to obtain loyalty and to outweigh other competitors, hotel providers must be able to obtain high levels of customer satisfaction for the service supplied. There are several studies that analyze the needs and the desires of tourists. A research by Wuest et al. (1996) defined the perception of hotel attributes as the degree to which guests may find various services and facilities critical for their stay in a hotel. Hotel's attributes such as cleanliness, price, location, security, personal service, physical attractiveness, opportunities for relaxation, standard of services, appealing image, and reputation are recognized as decisive by travelers to assess the quality of the hotel (Atkinsons, 1988; Ananth et al., 1992; Barsky & Labagh, 1992; Cadotte & Turgeon, 1988; Knutson, 1988; McCleary et al., 1993; Rivers et al., 1991; Wilensky & Buttle, 1988). Swithcing costs can be defined as the costs involved in changing from one service provider to another (Porter 1980).......

Words: 5408 - Pages: 22

Premium Essay

Research Methods

...Psychological Factors Heather Mingee Research Methods Week 10 Assignment 2 Instructor Joseph Davis Psychological Factors The scientific method is an organized way of figuring something out and normally includes six parts (Galgas, 2014). The first step is to state my purpose. For example, for this assignment, my purpose would be to examine the psychological factors affecting how teenagers in an impoverished urban area spend their time outside of school. Second is my research. For my assignment, I would find out as much information on the area as possible. For example, I would talk to teachers to see what kind of after school programs are available and I would talk to the community to find out what kind of community programs are offered for the children. Third, after I do my research, I would develop a hypothesis. My hypothesis would be that since there are not many programs available to the children and they have a lot of free time, they tend to get in more legal trouble. The fourth step is to conduct my experiment. I would develop a questionnaire for the students on how they spend their free time outside of school. I would also develop a questionnaire for the teachers on new programs that they would like to see implemented. Fifth, I would analyze how having too much free time can have a negative impact on psychological effects. Sixth, I would conclude my research by checking to see if my hypothesis was correct. Using a questionnaire can cause errors because students......

Words: 1038 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Research Method

...PORTFOLIO 1. What is research and what is a research carried out for? Find a research report in an applied linguistics journal (such as TESOL Quarterly, Language Learning) and point out the objectives and how these objectives are achieved. a. What is research? Research has been defined in a number of different ways. A broad definition of research is given by Martyn Shuttleworth - "In the broadest sense of the word, the definition of research includes any gathering of data, information and facts for the advancement of knowledge." Another definition of research is given by Creswell who states that - "Research is a process of steps used to collect and analyze information to increase our understanding of a topic or issue". It consists of three steps: Pose a question, collect data to answer the question, and present an answer to the question. The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines research in more detail as "a studious inquiry or examination; especially  : investigation or experimentation aimed at the discovery and interpretation of facts, revision of accepted theories or laws in the light of new facts, or practical application of such new or revised theories or laws" Scientific research is a systematic way of gathering data, a harnessing of curiosity. This research provides scientific information and theories for the explanation of the natureand the properties of the world. It makes practical applications possible. Scientific research is......

Words: 2238 - Pages: 9

Premium Essay

Research Methods

... she devises the situation and how individuals look at each other is social psychology. According to Allport, (1985), “Social psychology is the discipline which uses scientific methods to explain the behavior of individuals, their thoughts and feeling, also how behavior influences individuals by the actual or imaginative presence of others”. When it comes to thinking, It’s about the judgment the person makes about something , what he believes and perceives about something. When it comes to influence it means how the person influences the group of people, Persuades others and culture. Lastly social relations include aggression, helping and prejudice. Social psychology when compared to sociology consist of studying of people in groups and societies whereas social psychology consist of study of people and includes experiments. Apart from this when compared to personality psychology, Social psychology lays less emphasis on individual difference and more on individuals as to how they view and effect one another. This field uses three major fields of research which are experimental, correlational and survey research. In this each field relates to individuals and there aspects of life. Social Psychology and Other Discipline Social psychology is often compared to other discipline by ......

Words: 910 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Research Methods

...Research Method One 7th July, 2016 Accra, Ghana How do you choose a good research topic? Give 5 examples of a good research topic and justify your choices, i.e. problem issues in each topic and why they must be researched upon. (Not less than 2000 words). 1. Research defined The Oxford English Dictionary, 2002, defines research as ‘the systematic study of materials and sources in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions’. According to Zina O’Leary, 2004, a research is a process that needs to be actively managed. The main aim of research is to find out the truth which is hidden and has not yet been discovered. Research is therefore undertaken to gain familiarity with new insights into a phenomenon (i.e., formative research studies); to accurately portray the characteristics of a particular individual, group, or a situation (i.e., descriptive research studies); to analyse the frequency with which something occurs (i.e., diagnostic research studies); and to examine the hypothesis of a causal relationship between two variables (i.e., hypothesis-testing research studies). 1.2 Research topic defined According to Laura Morrison, 2014, a research topic is an idea or theory that is expressed as a statement, a contention for which evidence is gathered and discussed logically. One of the most important concerns in choosing a thesis topic is that the topic speaks to an area of current or future demand. A research topic should......

Words: 3279 - Pages: 14

Premium Essay

Research Methods

...Research Methods Jessica February 2012 What is the difference between direct and indirect observational methods of research? Direct observation is when researchers observe the behavior while it is occurring. Indirect (unobtrusive) observation is when researchers examine physical traces and archival records. (Zechmeister, Zechmeister, & Shaughnessy 2001) Direct observation of behavior can be seen in simply psychology: question and answer, as well as simple observation of a person’s daily activities. The researcher can choose to change the atmosphere, or change the study to intervene and observe the changes, while indirect observations main goal is to be unseen and non-influential on the behavior that is being observed as to take down all natural information. My friend attempted to use direct observation in this study. He went out and observed people’s behavior while intervening with his own behavior in hopes to prove his hypothesis. There is so much wrong with his way of thinking in this study. The first problem is his observational bias as he is not only observing others and the conversation but also himself. There is no scientific way to observe yourself without having some bias in opinion. Beyond that, he uses behavioral sampling, and cannot come to a precise conclusion based soley on his words and the reactions of the people he is in conversation with. There are many factors to consider. Where are the people coming from, where are they going? Are they having a......

Words: 787 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Research Method

...Research Method Hypothesis and Theory Hypotheses can be developed and tested to recognize the relationships between categories. Silverman (1991:1) defined hypothesis as a ‘testable proposition’. The appearance of an apparent relationship or connection between categories will need to be tested in order to find out whether there is an actual relationship (Saunders, 1997:344). The importance of hypothesis is that it will bring a specific direction and focus to a research study. The theory on the other hand, is usually drawn from the hypothesis. Theories are usually generated from attempts at explaining observations and thus prediction or expectations can be made (Gill, 1991:25). Deduction and Induction There are two methods of establishing what is true or false and of drawing conclusion. These two methods are deduction and induction. Induction is made by empirical evidence based, while deduction is logic based. Through induction, a general conclusion can be made from empirical observation. It goes by the process of assumption to conclusion (Ghauri, 1995:8). From deduction, conclusions are draw through logical reasoning and it is not necessary to be reality. When an observation is made to generate a theory with consistent facts, it is called induction, on the contrary deduction involves the gathering of facts to confirm or disprove hypothesized relationships among variables that have been deduced from proposition or earlier theories (Ghauri, 1995:9). Research method and......

Words: 2557 - Pages: 11