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|Title:||AN EXAMINATION OF LANGUAGE LEVELS AND LEARNERS' PERCEPTION IN AN ESP CONTEXT||Authors:||CHIN KIM YOON||Issue Date:||1988||Citation:||CHIN KIM YOON (1988). AN EXAMINATION OF LANGUAGE LEVELS AND LEARNERS' PERCEPTION IN AN ESP CONTEXT. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.||Abstract:||The objective of this study is to investigate current levels of proficiency in English of the students of the Business English I course at the Singapore Polytechnic, as seen from their writing in English for academic purposes. A related objective is to ascertain the nature of the students' awareness of their own proficiency and language needs. The investigation can be seen as a departure from normal ESP investigations in that it does not focus attention on the goals or ultimate needs of the learning process. Instead, its main concern is to try to ascertain students' immediate learning needs in order to move towards a more process-oriented form of language instruction. The study of students' awareness is relevant for its possible influence on students' attitudes to instruction and on the choice of particular teaching procedures. To achieve the first objective, a qualitative (rather than quantitative) analysis of students' writing is made. The analysis does not follow the conventional approach of categorising and counting errors but attempts, instead, to interpret errors as evidence of more general features of proficiency. It leads to the conclusion that an important feature of students' current proficiency is an inadequate approximation of verbal formulation to meaning content. This imprecision in the match between thought and language is referred to as 'rough-casting' while a more precise match is referred to as 'precision-casting'. It is argued that 'precision-casting' is central to proficient language use, especially in written discourse at the intermediate and advanced levels. The examination of students' awareness is conducted through interviews with the eighteen students whose written assignments are selected for analysis. Although the findings of the interviews are not as clear-cut as the interpretation of students' scripts, it is nevertheless possible to perceive two levels of awareness in students. Students are, at one level, aware of their deficiencies in linguistic accuracy and, at another level, conscious of more general problems in stating what they wish to state, adequately and effectively. The final section of the study discusses the pedagogical implications of the above findings. What is argued for is a form of task-based teaching which demands from learners increasing degree of precision in verbal formulation and, at the same time, creates contexts for responsive inputs from the teacher which are immediately relevant to the learners' communicative needs. This proposal i8 a move away from conventional ESP pedagogy in that it advocates 'enabling' procedures in the classroom, in contrast to the 'equipping' procedure of teaching 'academic' or 'occupational' English. Enabling procedures are seen to be important both for furthering the on-going process of learning and for developing in learners a capacity to cope with the unpredictable and changing demands of real-life communication.||URI:||https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/153407|
|Appears in Collections:||Master's Theses (Restricted)|
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