l Rationale and Purpose

u    Major effects of using standardized textbooks:

        1. Homogeneous language ability

        2. Restricted scope of learning

u    Possible reasons for non-communicative nature of learning: 

        1. Structure-oriented textbook content

        2. Test-oriented teaching and learning

u Possible impact of new textbook policy (2002):

    more communication-oriented, heterogeneous language skills of students

u Purpose of the study:

         Measure the difference of student performance:

  •   Basic Competence English Test (achievement)
  •   Global English Test

   (standardized, communication-oriented)

   *only reading ability was measured

l Communicative Competence

Models of communicative competence

u Canale and Swain (1981)

u Bachman & Palmer (1996)

u Anderson (1983)

u Morrow (1979)

         common ground:

   communicative competence      

    = know-that (declarative knowledge) + know-how (procedural knowledge)

         e.g., TOEFL iBT

 

l Communicative Language Teaching (CLT)

Principles of communicative language teaching

u Communicative ability > language forms

u Emphasis on activities and interaction

u Learner-centered learning

u Accuracy & fluency (both essential, but the former should not be overemphasized with beginners)

u Creating an English learning environment (teachers)


l  Development of English Textbooks in Taiwan 

u 1985~1994 (single, standardized)

   Structural syllabus:  

   highly structure-oriented

u 1994~2002 (single, standardized)

   Structures and functions  syllabus (communicative function, topic, grammar):

    mainstream cultures only, too homogenous,     dialogue activities with audio-lingual orientation (pattern drills, structure-oriented still)

u 2002~ (open)

   Major purposes:

     1. diversify course contents

     2. improve the quality of textbooks  

     3. professional independence of teachers

  Controversies:

     1. difficulty control (often too difficult)

     2. cram schools &  reference books

     3. heavier learning burden

 

l  Teachers Beliefs and Practice

u 1994~2002

         CLT known, approved, appreciated, but rarely practiced

    factors (in ascending order):  exam pressure, textbooks, teachers knowledge of CLT,  teachers English proficiency and skills

u 2002~

         CLT used slightly more, but exam pressure still an influential factor

    e.g., rote learning of texts and dialogues considered necessary by half of the teachers

         surveyed


l  Methodology

u Instruments:

   3936 first year senior high school students

      1. randomly selected,  4 different    

          schools, 4 different geographical

          locations (Northern, Southern, Eastern

          and Central Taiwan)

      2. BCET already taken 3 months before the

          experiment

 

u Instruments:

  1.  Basic Competence English Test (BCET)
  2.  Global English Test (GET)
  3.  General English Proficiency Test (GEPT)
  4. Questionnaires (accompanying GET)
  5. Interviews
  6. Pearson Product-moment 
  7. t-test

 

u Data collection

         BCET (July, 2005) summer (3 months)

   GET/GEPT (October, 2005, 1 week interval)

   questionnaires (with GET) interviews

   (hours after the test)

l  Result and Discussion

Observation & interpretation (Pearson r ) :

u GET significantly related to BCET (r = .684)

u GET and GEPT highly correlated (r = .860)

    both effective in measuring reading performance

u GEPT and BCET highly correlated (r = . 815)

    GEPT better predicts performance in BCET than GET

 

l  Result and Discussion

Observation & interpretation (t test )

u Student performance better in GEPT than in GET

    → less able in taking a criterion-referenced and communication-oriented test than a cognitive and academic-oriented test (GEPT)

    great potential of applying learned knowledge when facing real-life communication tasks, but communicative and functional skills needed in every day language use have show room for improvement

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