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Temple university essay questions

pdf vocabulary acquisition thesis



  • pdf vocabulary acquisition thesis
  • A Comparison of the Effects of Reading and Listening on Incidental Vocabulary Acquisition
  • Part of the First and Second Language Acquisition Commons. Recommended Citation. Kulikova throughout the thesis-writing process and my graduate study in general. I would like to thank the .. Population and Sample of Participants . The process of vocabulary learning: Vocabulary learning strategies and beliefs about language and language learning. Robert Michael Easterbrook. A thesis. APPROVAL. The thesis titled Teaching Vocabulary Learning Strategies: A sample, the use of the classroom facilities, the access to teaching materials, the.

    pdf vocabulary acquisition thesis

    The full text of this article hosted at iucr. Use the link below to share a full-text version of this article with your friends and colleagues. Learn more. This article compares the effects of listening and reading on the incidental acquisition and retention of vocabulary.

    Two hundred thirty students participated in the study: They either a read three academic texts, b watched three lectures, or c received no input at all and just completed the vocabulary measures. This study also assessed and compared the relationship between acquisition through each of these presentation modes and the following factors: The reading subjects made greater vocabulary gains than the listening subjects for all four levels of proficiency analyzed.

    Similar trends emerged for retention. Reading also resulted in greater retention 1 month after the input, except for the highest proficiency students. For this group, no significant difference was found between the listening and reading delayed posttest scores.

    The relationship among each of the four factors was analyzed and vocabulary acquisition was also found to vary across input modes. Volume 61 , Issue 1. Please check your email for instructions on resetting your password. If you do not receive an email within 10 minutes, your email address may not be registered, and you may need to create a new Wiley Online Library account. If the address matches an existing account you will receive an email with instructions to retrieve your username.

    Language Learning Volume 61, Issue 1. First published: They were not studying towards any qualification in English, but were studying English mainly for general proficiency.

    The English language in Malaysian education Since Malaysia is a former colony of the British Empire, its education system was very much based on the British education system. The result was the establishment of famous schools such as the Penang Free School, the first English school open to the public, and the Malay College of Kuala Kangsar MCKK which was established in , where the medium of instruction was exclusively in English.

    Education in these schools, especially the MCKK, was initially only accessible to the aristocratic Malay families barring a few exceptions, but this changed in with the rise of Malay nationalism in the wake of the Second World War www. The first cohort of Malaysians educated in Malay reached university level in When this full cycle was complete, English had officially been relegated from its place as the first language in Malaysia to its status as a second language.

    Ideally, English language proficiency should not have to suffer greatly, as it is and has always been included in the Malaysian education curriculum. This would mean that according the syllabus of the Integrated Curriculum for Secondary Schools ICSS or in Malay the Kurikulum Bersepadu Sekolah Menengah KBSM , by the time a student finishes PMR, he or she should among other things be able to form simple, compound and complex sentences, carry out rudimentary conversations, and have a basic knowledge of grammar.

    These students are unable to communicate effectively in English, score low marks in English examinations, and worse still, are not interested in learning English.

    My own experience as a former teacher in secondary school, a former language trainer in a language training company, and a lecturer of English in university attests to this statement. This inability to communicate well in English was cited as one of the issues that Malaysian employers had with local Malaysian university graduates Hazita et al.

    In fact, a survey that was conducted by the National Education Research Institute of Malaysia NAHERI, , as cited in Puteh-Behak, revealed that alongside the inability to communicate well in English, the majority of unemployed graduates did not possess any interest in communicating in English.

    Therefore, in order to understand the problem, one has to come face to face with the reality of the situation. Although English enjoys the status of being a second language in Malaysia, the reality is far different than expected.

    It can be questioned whether English is indeed a second language as claimed, or whether it is in fact a foreign language according to the different demographics found in the whole of the country.

    Additionally, there are contributing problems to be considered. First of all, there are the students who live in a more urban environment where exposure to English as a second language ESL could be accessed more easily. The second group of students is the group that comes from a more rural environment, where English plays hardly any more than the role of a foreign language, albeit they are exposed to it on television almost every day.

    The participants of the second case study reported in Frame 2 come from this demographic. It has been observed that many of the students have a problem in learning English. That is, after six to 11 years of learning English from primary to secondary level, they still have great difficulty in acquiring a working knowledge of the language and how it works.

    Many of these students are greatly challenged when attempting to make a single grammatical sentence, and this problem is shared by many Malaysians in wider society.

    This inadequate proficiency level reflects, and is reflected, in their inability to communicate, their low exam results for English, and their lack of motivation to even learn English.

    The problems that these students face in learning English are summarised below: Next, the surrounding environment does not offer much use for English, thus making learning English redundant in many ways. Many of the students are from households that work in the agricultural sector or the industrial sector as production-line workers.

    However, I have observed that more often than not, it has more to do with not wanting to take the effort to learn the language as opposed to not learning the language due to any core principles. This is especially relevant to the lower proficiency students. This would mean that much of the learning is done by students sitting in fixed desk spaces, with the teacher in the front.

    Moreover, teaching and learning in many of these schools I have mentioned are often unable to accommodate different learning styles, or even to provide a single model of learning that has been based on research about successful language learners. However, it is acknowledged that these are generalisations which may not stand true in every single case. Of course, there would be other factors contributing to the challenges faced by English as a second language, especially within the rural context, and can only be determined on a case by case basis.

    PPSMI — The teaching of Mathematics and Science in English The steady decline in the standard of the English language became a major point of concern, especially at the turn of the century. This was because although the standard of English continued its downward trend, the increasing forces of globalisation continued to push the need for English even higher.

    English was seen as the language of international business and commerce, of global communication, and also of mathematics and science. Each teacher was also given hardware that included state-of-the-art laptop computers and LCD projectors, and specially designed courseware to teach the said subjects. In fact, whole textbooks and curriculums had to be re-written in this education mega-project, just to make sure that the Malaysians of the future were equipped with English in their everyday jobs, and more importantly, were equipped with the knowledge and skills to make them competitive in the global arena.

    By the very virtue of this undertaking, it can be seen how seriously the Government acknowledged the importance of English, and how it was not acceptable for English to be sidelined as just another subject to learn at school. Nevertheless, after just seven years of implementation and heated debate, the project was deemed as a failure by the Ministry of Education Ministry of Education Malaysia, and abandoned in S Department of Education revealed that in the years that Malaysia had implemented the PPSMI initiative — , the score for Malaysia in Mathematics had declined from to , out of an average score of This finding did not include other potential variables such as the students themselves and their own perceptions to learning English.

    Finally, Hamzah and Abdullah concluded that many students in rural areas suffered the most from PPSMI, though many students in more urban settings seemed not only to be adjusting, but even prospering, under the policy. The New Zealand contexts In the past two decades, New Zealand has seen a great increase in the number of immigrants from all over the world.

    Data from the census carried out in reveals that 15 percent of New Zealand children under the age of 15 speak more than one language M. This means that the need for non-native speakers of English, or non-English speaking background NESB students, to be able to communicate well in their adopted country is of utmost importance. Franken and McComish , p. There is generally a broad continuum between two categories of language learners that require second language support.

    Most students fall between learners with little or no knowledge of English, and learners who are fluent in social communication but require assistance in academic English Corson, To help achieve this, a number of ESOL programme structures are available for each school to choose from, with the most popular ones being: In the case described in Frame 1, the student participants in the school were enrolled in the free standing ESOL programme structure where the students were placed in the same classes as the Kiwi peers, but were placed in separate ESOL classes when their first language speaker friends did their normal English classes.

    Apart from the immigrant population, English was also marketed as a booming market for knowledge economy in New Zealand Li, In , international education was touted as the fourth biggest export earner that contributed two billion dollars to the New Zealand economy Education New Zealand, , as cited in F. Collins, Furthermore, the New Zealand Ministry of Education acknowledges that the quality and sustainability of domestic education is deeply affected by the influence of international engagement in the education system itself New Zealand Ministry of Education, Significance of the study As a record of reflective practice, the primary significance of the study is to provide a working model of of continuous self-improvement in practice as a language teacher.

    The techniques and activities that I acquired in the process of learning to be an ESL practitioner who is versed in using drama pedagogies had gone through the process of reflection and refinement by the end of the study. It is hoped that this in turn will translate into better teaching, with my students benefitting from better language acquisition as a result from the added value of motivation and engagement in my lessons.

    Even though the study is primarily a personal reflective learning journey studying specific contexts, it is also believed that there will be overlaps in the areas of interest of other language teachers, especially those who wish to explore using drama in their teaching.

    Furthermore, I come to this exploration not just as an ESL practitioner, but also as a university lecturer and a teacher trainer.

    My own learning through research process gives me first hand experience in learning and applying drama pedagogies to language learning. Not only does this provide the foundation of what I can offer to my student teachers in their ITE initial teacher education , it also provides an illustration of the kind reflection on learning that is advocated by Ministry policy.

    ITE in Malaysia stresses the application of lifelong learning in teachers, as well as imparting the value of lifelong learning in their students Ministry of Education Malaysia, , , However, at the moment of writing this thesis, there still exists a sparsity in the literature on how Malaysian teachers can work towards this.

    This thesis aims to partially fill this gap by providing a framework for how reflective practice can be used as a model for lifelong learning.

    Although the focus of the output of this research is its application in the Malaysian context, this study also drew from the fieldwork and analysis that was carried out in the New Zealand context refer to Figure 1 which illustrates the interrelatedness of the three Frames. In Chapter 2, I describe the methodology that was used in the study, beginning with a description of the overarching methodology of reflective practice, which forms the primary lens for analysis.

    This is then followed with an overview of the three case studies, the Frames, that form the presentation of the fieldwork of the research. Subsequently, I describe the instruments that were used in the data collection, and also how the data were analysed and presented in the thesis.

    The literature reviewed in Chapter 3 provides a theoretical framework from which I draw throughout the study. I begin by describing current reports of the use of drama in English language teaching and learning, citing from the literature that informs the field on drama and how these different views impact on each other.

    I then discuss the current directions in the literature on language teaching, covering the theories of language learning and acquisition, and second language teaching methodology.

    This discussion is then focussed on how ESL is taught in Malaysia. Another major section of literature reviewed is the on the field of how drama, the brain and language learning styles are connected.

    In the following four chapters, I describe and discuss the three Frames, as three distinct but connected parts in my learning journey. The first Frame details the first study of the research, carried out in an intermediate school in Christchurch.

    The foundation of the chapter is my reflection on my role of apprentice to an experienced drama practitioner, where I learn and begin to apply the basics of drama pedagogies in teaching ESL. I also map out an emergent model of language learning and their corresponding drama strategies, which would be used as a guide in the planning of future drama in ESL activities.

    Due to the extended nature of the second frame, I have divided it into two chapters. The first half of the Frame forms Chapter 5, and reports the pilot study that was carried out to investigate the use of drama in ESL in a rural school in Malaysia.

    This pilot study builds on the work that was carried out in the previous chapter, where I was given the opportunity to put into practice and reflect on the techniques that I had learnt as an apprentice to drama. This is further described in the Chapter 6, the second half of the Frame, which reports the main teaching programme of the Malaysian phase of research. There are three approaches that are discussed in the transmission model: In Chapter 7 I present the third and final Frame in the series of case studies that inform this research.

    The issues that seemed to dominate Frame 2 such as L1 translation and communication in L1 became irrelevant in this context, which allowed me to focus on developing and refining the drama techniques and activities that I had previously learnt and applied in the preceding chapters.

    Chapter 8 is the concluding chapter of the thesis. In the chapter I review my key learnings and insights based on the work carried out in the three Frames. Subsequently, I explore the positionality and implications of the study, with a focus in my home context of the Malaysian ESL classroom. Finally, I offer suggestions for future research. Methodology Introduction This chapter describes the methodology I used in this research. The broad approach is a qualitative one. It tracks the development of my understandings of how drama processes might be used to make my teaching of English as a second language more interesting and effective, and my developing confidence in using such strategies It is thus an account of reflective practice.

    The practice I report took place in three sites, two in New Zealand and one in Malaysia. In the case of the Malaysia work, it took place in two separate episodes.

    Each of these sections of work can be considered as an embedded case within the overall case study of my developing understanding of my practice. The term is also capitalised to demarcate this specific use. The chapter starts with an overview of the research methodology, and states the research question and sub-questions that directed the research.

    Subsequently, it details the overarching reflective practice model that was used as the main lens of analysis of the three Frames. It then outlines the specific methods used to collect and analyse data and to present findings. The Frames This section describes in brief the design of the three embedded cases, which as mentioned earlier are described as Frames. Every Frame had its own set of guiding questions, as they helped me to refine and answer the research questions.

    Overview of Frame 1: Christchurch intermediate school This period of work was an essential stepping-stone from which I began to refine my skillset in using drama pedagogies, and also as an emerging researcher.

    In the initial phase, I took on the role as apprentice to Janinka Greenwood, who became the lead teacher or the Lead in the teaching work.

    The project first started on 17 February with an initial meeting with the Principal, and was scheduled to run the following week. However, Christchurch was hit by a major 6. Even before meeting the students, initial strategies had to be rethought in order to take into account the physical and psychological impact that the earthquake had had on the school, and also the students who were to be the participants of the research.

    What drama strategies would work with this group of students? How could the drama strategies used in this study be used to inform the teaching in ensuing embedded case studies? To what extent do the strategies used influence the completion of set language learning objectives?

    How does using the drama strategies differ from using my pre-existing learnt drama strategies? Participants The participants of the research were Korean majority and Chinese EFL speakers that were chosen by the principal, and as participation was not mandatory, the students were given the choice to stay with the research group or drop out.

    The original group consisted of 12 students, but two dropped out after two lessons. The participants were mostly 11 years of age, and of lower proficiency in English.

    Additionally, they mostly belonged to families of medium to higher socioeconomic status, with their parents being professionals who had migrated and brought their families to New Zealand anywhere between three to seven years prior.

    All of the participants spoke their mother tongues L1 at home and English at school with their teachers and friends who were not of similar language background.

    Method The project took place in the form of once a week sessions that lasted for about 90 minutes, and were carried out to a total of eight sessions spanning two and a half months, accounting for some weeks where the classes had to be rescheduled. The series of lessons used different methods of drama in education to mould the operational definition of applied drama in English language learning, which would include games, drama techniques, acting, and using storybooks.

    Observations and reflections were recorded in a research journal and analysed for emerging themes, and especially for new insights. Overview of Frame 2: Malaysia The Malaysia section of work is divided into two stages of implementation: The decision to carry out a pilot study was based on the lesson learnt from Frame 1, where it was important that I got a feel for the students first before I could properly design a teaching unit for them. I had to have a good idea of their levels of proficiency, their expectations and interests, and also what topics would suit them.

    Pilot study I began with the same guiding questions as Frame 1, but added another set of sub-questions that were designed to probe the receptivity of the students to using drama in their ESL classes. The guiding questions for the pilot study were as follows: Guiding questions — pilot study 1. How could the drama strategies used in this study be used to inform the teaching in the course I was to design? To what extent do the strategies used influence the attainment of set language learning objectives?

    How receptive are the students and the native teacher-collaborator towards using drama strategies in ESL learning? How much do the student participants perceive they can learn using applied drama in ESL? Participants Selecting the participants for this stage of the research was a more deliberate process, due to the many restrictions imposed by time and geographic accessibility. I wanted to work with students who were not exposed to English on a continuous basis to get a more diverse set of data, as compared to the research context in NZ.

    In the Malaysian context, students who lived in more urban areas would also gain access to more English outside of school, and in cities like Kuala Lumpur, the capital, English was closer to actually being a second language, and in some cases a first language. For this reason, I chose a school in rural Johor, a state in the south of Malaysia. The other portion consists of teachers, small business owners, and a small population of well-to-do professionals, businessmen and politicians.

    The proficiency level of the students is relatively low compared to students of more urban settings, and this is mainly due to lack of necessity in using the language. Even then there will be the distinction between students who want to and, with effort, are able to pass the examinations, and students who do not even hope to pass the examinations, and thus do not even bother trying.

    Furthermore, this factor becomes detrimental where communicative competence is involved because many of the students do not see or feel a real need to make an effort to learn, or even to retain what they are supposed to have learnt in class. There were no Chinese students enrolled. For the purpose of this study, a Form 4 class was chosen, as it is had the highest probability of being approved by the school for this research.

    The reason for this is because in Form 5, the students would have to sit for their SPM examinations. There were 42 students in the class, and they were all offered to become participants in the research, along with their English teacher.

    In accordance with UC research procedure, the students and the teacher were given the choice to stay with the research group or drop out at any time. Method With the experience that I had gained from the previous case study, I felt that I needed a more structured approach into planning this study. The pilot study followed an emergent design approach where lessons were planned based on initial investigation of the needs of the target group, and further refined in every teaching cycle. The pilot study was carried out in a space of a week, which comprised three ESL lessons two double periods of 80 minutes and one single period of 35 minutes.

    Initial investigation was carried out by interviewing the acting principal, the English Head of Panel, and the collaborating class teacher, to determine the projected level of the students the term participants, students, and student participants are used interchangeably as they refer to the same group of student participants of the research and the type of lessons that would be most suitable.

    As the pilot study was a lead-in to the main study to come, the class teacher and I both agreed that we would not be too rigid on setting language goals according to the syllabus.

    After reaching the end of the pilot study, I returned to New Zealand to analyse my data and to prepare for the next research cycle — the main study of Frame 2. Frame 2. Main study With the data obtained in the pilot study, and the findings that had been obtained in the first Frame of investigation as an apprentice, it was possible to draw up a more targeted teaching programme for the students in the main study.

    The main study was supposed to be carried out over a space of four weeks, but due to the constraints of changing timetables, I was only able to teach for three weeks before the students started their preparatory week before their final examinations.

    As was normal custom, this final week was usually reserved for teachers to make their students ready for the examinations, reviewing of what they had learnt throughout the year, which usually meant a focus on worksheets and answering exam-style questions. Due to the extended period of time and proximity to the final examinations, an additional restriction was posed on me.

    I was required to teach the students according to the syllabus and the scheme of work that the school had set for the students, which somewhat restricted the freedom that I had compared to the previous research cycles. Guiding questions: Main study Because of the nature of teaching that grows out of critical reflection, each cycle builds on the previous one.

    In accordance, the following guiding questions were extracted from the pilot study: How can teacher planning time of drama lessons be reduced by utilising what is already available in the textbook?

    How can the cycle of student dependency on teacher translation be broken? Method As mentioned before, the main study of Frame 2. The method was similar to that used in Frame 2. A more detailed description describing the teaching methodology can be found in Chapter 6. Overview of Frame 3: Christchurch language school Frame 3 was carried out in a language school in Christchurch, which ran a variety of language courses — from general proficiency to business English, for international students.

    For this stage of the research, I was given a level Upper Intermediate class to work with, where I worked in partnership with the class teacher. This teacher became an active co-contributor to the research process, and as with Frame 2, was designated as the collaborating class teacher.

    Frame 3 provided the opportunity for me to consolidate what I had learned in the previous three cycles of research Frames 1 and 2. The guiding questions that directed the design of this particular Frame were: How much of the prescribed curriculum could be taught and practised in the applied drama sessions?

    Participants A major obstacle in carrying out an extended study was the school policy on enrolment. The students were free to enter the programme at any time of the month, and also leave at any time of the month, whether to leave the country, to move to another part of the country, or even to move to a different programme as they saw fit. This meant that I was unable to work with a steady group of enrolled students, and the composition of the students was dynamic.

    In fact, the group that I had enrolled in my class at the end of May ended up being totally different than the group that I had started with at the beginning of the April All the participants that participated in this study were international students in the level Upper Intermediate of the English proficiency programme, and hailed from very diverse backgrounds.

    The students were adult learners, with the youngest being 19 years old, and the eldest being 35 years old; with the exception of one student from Chile who was in New Zealand for job purposes, they were all in New Zealand on some form of holiday — some on working holiday visas, and some on summer break from university.

    Method In this final phase of the research, I worked with the class teacher, who became my co-researcher throughout the research process of Frame 3. This case started from early April , and concluded at the end of May The typical day of the students was divided into three slots — textbook, enrichment, and self-study. My slot came in after the two-hour textbook slot, where I could choose to take an hour, or extend my session to another hour after lunch break. For me, this meant that I was not do deviate too much from the prescribed textbook, and that I would be working to supplement what they had learnt in the period before mine, or to make sure that what I would be doing tied in either in terms of the theme that was being taught, or the target language.

    A more detailed description of the teaching methodology can be found in Chapter 7. The reflective practice model The following is a description of the reflective model that was applied in this research. Griffiths and Tann articulate that reflective teachers go through cycles of action, observation, analysis and planning throughout their teaching careers, and that these cycles are carried out at different levels of speed and awareness.

    I have found this to be true for me, in that I have always applied these reflective cycles in my practice, always trying to find out what worked and what did not work in my teaching, though some of these cycles of reflection had been carried out at stages where I was: I used this cycle as my guide in the process of planning and refining my teaching cycles in this study.

    At the start of the teaching process, Zeichner and Liston , pp. However, in acknowledging the generic tradition, Zeichner and Liston , p. Therefore, I have also disregarded the generic tradition in my discussions of the reflective processes and lenses in this thesis. In the critical reflection of the teaching choices that I made, I focused my awareness on which of these teaching traditions influenced these choices, providing me with a better understanding of my motivations and objectives.

    As a reflective practitioner, I needed a framework in which I could initiate the reflective process, akin to a factory processing line, where raw material is put through the line, and undergoes a process that churns out a finished product at the end of it. Dewey states that there are two aspects in which a teacher approaches a subject, and they are as a scientist, and as a teacher.

    Although they happened at the same time as each other, they were distinct in their application. The first layer of analysis of the three frames was that of an ELT practitioner the teacher who is learning to use drama in his teaching. The questions that were asked in this layer were such as: What worked or did not work in the lesson, and why? Was there a difference in the way the students managed to acquire language?

    Were the students actively engaged in the lesson, and why? The questions that I asked myself in this layer of analysis were closer along the lines of: How does this change my understanding of ESL teaching? How does this change my understanding of teaching using drama pedagogies? Nevertheless, even though I consider the two layers distinct, they are discussed together in the body of the text, and not separated under different headings because of the large amount of overlap between the two.

    Descriptive reflective conversations: How did I teach the lesson? Did all the students achieve the intended learning outcomes? What teaching and learning strategies were effective, or ineffective? How do I know? What does this mean? Comparative reflective conversations: The types of questions that one encounter when engaging in this discourse are such as: What different strategies might I use in my teaching?

    What are the advantages or disadvantages of using particular strategies for diverse learners? What research enables me to gain further insights into this matter? In what ways can I improve the ineffective elements of my teaching?

    In what ways can the learning objectives be achieved? How do other people achieve similar objectives? For each alternative perspective, whose learning needs are addressed and whose are not? Some questions that arise from this discourse, especially pertaining to my own research, are such as: What are the implications of using particular strategies in my teaching?

    Why do I teach in the way that I teach it to a particular group of students? How does my choice of objectives, learning outcomes and teaching strategies reflect the cultural, ethical, ideological, moral, political and social purposes of schooling. However, it is also important to note that while these reflective discourse conversation guides were integral to the reflection of my practice, they were still only part of what guided the reflection of my practice. In essence, these conversations became layered onto the central cycle of my reflective process of planning, action, observation, analysis and retheorising, as well as complement the reflective lenses that I state above.

    Instruments of data collection Throughout the research, data were obtained through the following means: However, Mruck and Breur mention the pitfalls a researcher may face when talking about themselves in their research for fear of appearing indecent and self-aggrandising, which is a general topic empiricists like to bring up time and time again. Mruck and Breuer pose this particular question to address this issue: My own response to this question had two dimensions to it.

    First I wanted it to be reliable and acceptable to the academic community because I was going to invest my whole research in a reflexive research paradigm. However, the other stance that I found myself taking was as someone who was used to quantitative research; I wanted to find out first hand whether this new research paradigm that I was adopting would hold academic weight, no matter what the literature said.

    It was also to become one of the cruxes of my learning journey. And so, in keeping to the norm of qualitative research practice of this kind Ely et al. In the journal section where I wrote down my learning journey, entries were made when something specific or notable happened that I felt was worthy to record.

    This could encompass new knowledge or insights that I had learnt, or even if how I was feeling had a particular impact on me and my research. Consequently, this also meant that it was not a journal that I kept every day, to be filled with mundane daily events.

    On the other hand, the section of the journal that detailed my research during the embedded case studies were written in most every day, though there would be days when I would be too busy or too tired to write in it.

    However, I would attempt to write what I had missed within the following day or two, usually while reviewing my field notes and the while going through the interviews of the day. In Frame 2, the collaborating class teacher also kept her own field notes and research journal, detailing the lesson plans and also critical reflections on the lessons and activities that transpired during that day.

    This helped me to obtain a different lens on how the lessons were taught and received by the students, as well as their effectiveness in meeting the teaching objectives. The mediums that I used to keep this research journal were mostly electronic, and were integrated with each other so that I had constant access to the journal no matter where I was. I used a combination of the Pages word processor on my iPad 2 that was tied to my online iCloud account, which synchronised with each other every time they were within reach of an Internet connection.

    This also meant that in situations where I did not have access to my iPad, I was able to write from virtually any computer and synchronise with the data on my iPad whenever I had Internet access. Another important tool of data gathering and data analysis is through the use of reflective memo, where I step out of my initial frame of recorder of data to analyser of data.

    To do this, I made it a point to read and reread the journal entries, field notes and transcriptions of interviews, and even Facebook notes and status updates that I had written, and made memos on these entries to gain additional insight. Richardson, of theory on top of simultaneously co-constructing and analysing data. Observation and field notes Pretzlik categorises observation into two — structured and unstructured.

    This is opposed to entering the field with a list of predetermined criteria, as that found in structured observation. For this research, before entering the field, I had planned to use both methods of observation.

    My observation checklist started with the following criteria: Student participation Group interaction Student — student interaction Perceived level of interest English language use Mother tongue use Perceived level of enjoyment Making observations according to the list would greatly simplify the analysis of the data, as the criteria had already formed a cohesive list of themes. Any additional criteria would be added as the observations proceeded.

    However, as the data collection progressed, I found that there were more complex relationships that had to be explored as well as more criteria that had to be added due to expanding scope my research.

    As a result, I realised that I had to rely less on preconceived notions and more on what the data that was being presented in front of me in the form of interactions with the participants and the collaborating class teacher, the interviews, and everything else that I had observed and made a record of in my field notes.

    In reflective practice, everything that we see and perceive is potential data Greenwood, b. As such, it was paramount that data be recorded in the form of field notes as soon as possible to minimise the risk of lost or corrupted data. I kept my notes in various forms, both electronically and on paper.

    However, I relied a lot more on electronic means for several reasons. This made data gathering easier for me, instead of constantly having to search for pen and paper which I always seem to forget to bring with me. This meant that I could access my field notes no matter where I was in the world. I also utilised video as a means for observation.

    However, the role of video was more of a supporting one, rather than a main feature of the study, where they were used to support the data obtained by my observation and interviews. For instance, in Frame 2, I had introduced a Teacher in Role character by the name of Mr Boutros, whom the students could call upon if they needed translation from English to Malay. Initially I was perplexed at why no student called upon this character throughout the entire class.

    However, upon review of the video, and cross examination in an interview, I discovered that the class teacher had been translating for the students, and that it had been her modus operandi in her teaching style. However, despite the usefulness of video evidence, I did not go beyond using it as a tool to support my findings from other sources, and as such, documentation of the proceedings of the video recordings were limited to observations written in the research journal and field notes.

    I also took photographs to achieve a similar outcome. Additionally, due the constraints that I faced in terms of time and availability of equipment, I was not able to record on video every single lesson that was carried out. I used interview in all three embedded case studies that informed this research, though the type of interview depended on the situation, as well as the type of data that I was hoping to obtain.

    All of the names used in the interviews in this thesis are pseudonyms. In both Frame 1 and Frame 2, I used focus group interview when I wanted to talk with the respondents in a setting that was non-threatening, where they could feel relaxed and act as naturally as possible, and not feel singled out in any way.

    Take for example this exchange: This added to the richness of the layers of communication and subsequently of the data that was available to be analysed. I also used one-on-one interviews in Frame 2 with the collaborating class teacher and several selected students who were not part of the focus group. For the teacher, as mentioned earlier, I wanted to gain insight into how the teaching methods were being accepted by a Malaysian ESL teacher, as this would be the target demographic of that I wanted to benefit from this research.

    Also, I wanted an extra lens from which to view the progress of the research, in order to fine-tune upcoming lessons. The method I used in conducting the interviews was similar to that of the focus group interview. Aside from asking questions and prompting the respondents, I also noted any additional details that I felt were important into my iPad 2.

    These observations were useful when I wanted to analyse and triangulate the data. Additionally, I was also aware that in both Frame 1 and Frame 2, there was a power relationship involved between me, the researcher, and the student participants — one of unequal balance of power. This power relationship was not as obvious in Frame 1 as the participants were mostly Koreans who had become used to the comparative informality and friendly relationship between teacher and student.

    However, this dynamic had the potential to be a challenge in Frame 2, where the participants were rural Malays, who were part of a more traditional culture where teachers were superior to the students, and they had to be respected in every way. I wanted to make sure that this power relationship did not affect the validity of my data.

    In order to overcome this challenge, I took several measures. First I conducted the interviews at the local Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant which was seen to be something of a treat by the students and also the local community. I chose this environment to lessen the impact of the boundaries set by school norms, and for the students to feel comfortable for them to be able to talk naturally. I also made it clear to them that I was not there as a teacher, but as a friend, and took a very light hearted tone that would at least I had hoped make them feel at ease.

    Next, I made it a point not to appear formal and bring in any papers or prompts as not to pressure the students. The interviews were carried out in a semi- structured way, which was more akin to having a conversation with the participants, allowing for more flexibility and informality Boeije, ; J.

    I came into each interview with a skeleton of the information that I wanted to obtain from them, and would direct the conversation in a way that facilitated that met the needs to obtain the data. This was because during the final focus group interview, two of the participants were not present at school on the day, and were not able to be interviewed.

    Here I acknowledge that this was a limiting factor in terms of richness of data, with no access to non-verbal communication, etc. Nevertheless, I was able to obtain the required data from these telephone interviews. However, it was also surprising when I found in one of the focus group interview sessions that the students actually became brave enough to point out several perceived shortcomings of the way their teacher taught, and compared it to how I taught — with the teacher being present.

    Of course it was done in a very nice way, and that the students stressed that they meant no offense to the teacher whatsoever. What this indicated to me was that the students seemed to be prepared to level with me, and this reassured me of the genuineness of their responses.

    Another indispensable value of these interviews was that they provided a way for me to triangulate my own understanding that I had obtained through other research instruments.

    This was important in my utilisation of reflective practice, which required me to modify the teaching approaches and content based on my reflections of the feedback that I was getting from both observation and interview. In , social media overshadowed email as a communication tool, and is continuing to reach new heights as the preferred method of communication Henderson, To disregard the exponential rise of such a useful tool could be considered a fallacy.

    However, Brydon poses several interesting questions with regard to the use of social media, where she asks what it is about social media that makes humanists cautious about embracing its potential for the advancement of research, learning and teaching; and also where the caution is justified, and where the opportunities are missing for the advancement of our work.

    The stance that I took to using social media is one of simplicity. I do not divulge any personal information of any person who has contributed their thoughts to my ideas, other than state what is already available in the public domain. Any personal communication that is not public i. As long as the rights of privacy and propriety are maintained, they should remain a non-issue in my research, as large quantity of it revolves around my own experiences and reflections. In the course of my research, I utilised three forms of online social media, and they are Facebook, Twitter and my personal and PhD blogs.

    These tools were used in two ways. An interesting quotation in her writing attracted my attention as she was discussing the focus of her paper: Or am I? This seemed such an interesting way to work out how thoughts connected to each other in the process of writing, and it was done in a way that was accessible and thought provoking at the same time, which is what I tried to include in my social media posts.

    An example of this can be seen below. I have a case study that I have divided into 2 parts - the pilot study and the main study. For the pilot study I have chosen to describe and discuss lesson by lesson as there are only 3 lessons.

    This is no problem. Problem now starts as I am describing the main study, which has roughly 10 lessons running over the course of 3 weeks. How would you propose I describe and discuss them? This is going to get even more complicated as I hope to do one final longitudinal study that will hopefully run over the course of 3 months. No way am I going to go lesson by lesson on that one.

    Would appreciate all feedback on this. Keywords of my study are qualitative, reflective practice, reflexive, multiple case-study, action research. Thanks a million!

    Kofi Acheaw Owusu What was the case you were studying? For example, if you studied 4 teachers over the period you can treat each teacher as a case and describe what he or she did over the period.

    Or you can use the weeks as the cases and describe what went on within each week. I thought it was implied through the keyword reflective practice. To summarise, I am studying - 1 what happened in the classroom when I was teaching; 2 Me, my own observations on my practice; 3 the students' reactions; 4 the students' learning. There are of course other complex things in between but for now these are the main things that I am looking at. Each case gets its own chapter.

    Case 2 is rather complex as it is divided into 2 parts. The second is the longer part. And the division between weeks is not clear as some parts cross over to the next week, otherwise a weekly division would be quite a good idea. Why don't you go along the lines you've enumerated? What happened in class, your observations, students' reactions and their learning.

    You can then lump the lessons together and bring out unique things that need to be highlighted. That would be one way to go about it! I also suggest to put a section at the beginning of the chapter as methodology where you explain how the data was collected some info such as time frame and the number of the lessons. The lessons you have been through could all be pilled up as appendices.

    While reflecting, I think a couple of examples from the lessons would be great. I have already included I think what I was going to do in the methodology chapter. Do you think I should go over the points again in this chapter as well? If I were to do it according to themes, then it's going to be: Theme - what happens that supports this theme - detailed examples from the lessons?

    At them moment one of the questions that I am thinking of is how much detail? I know it sounds stupid, and that the appropriate answer would be 'as much as you need', but it's kind of hard to gauge, especially for cases that run over a lengthy period of time.

    A very short summary with ref. Cheers bro. The lessons could act as an introduction, but what happened in each lesson is not what your study is about, its the themes like Kofi and Amir said. That sounds good. What would you propose? They aren't central to the thesis, but they are every bit as important as everything else. I guess that is one of the complexities if this particular research that I'm doing.

    It would have been easier to isolate the variables if this were a quantitative research , and have 1 model, with 3 identical case studies.

    Here I have 1 teaching method with 3 models of application, win 3 case studies that are related but not exactly a duplicate of each other. SO the selection of the lessons does get a bit complicated.

    Using social media for collaborative feedback The above illustration, taken from my Facebook page which was accessible to all my contacts, merely serves to provide readers with an idea of how the communication takes place.

    Dec 1, KINDERGARTEN ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS. THESIS .. acquisition and learning, an experimental study was conducted with Another limitation includes the small sample size, which consisted of only 37 subjects. Jun 13, Keywords: vocabulary learning strategies, EFL learners, second language, qualitative. 1. . which represented the sample of the population of the study based .. Different Learning Environments (Unpublished PhD thesis). I certify that the thesis “A Case Study of the Vocabulary Learning Strategy Use and The sample of twenty Chinese ESL learners was selected from different.

    A Comparison of the Effects of Reading and Listening on Incidental Vocabulary Acquisition



    Dec 1, KINDERGARTEN ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS. THESIS .. acquisition and learning, an experimental study was conducted with Another limitation includes the small sample size, which consisted of only 37 subjects.

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