Date of Award

Spring 2015

Degree Name

Education Specialist (Ed.S)

Department

Advanced Education Programs

Advisor

Dr. Jennifer Bonds-Raacke

Abstract

Many students in higher education settings struggle with learning a new language. It’s not uncommon for international students to need additional resources in learning to speak and write in English. A pilot study funded by Fort Hays State University implemented various English software programs, such as Rosetta Stone, and Memrise at one of their Chinese partnership universities. The English programs were given as an option to help the students during an English composition course. The current study took advantage of FHSU’s pilot study and used that opportunity to investigate additional variables related to second language acquisition. The current study does not assess the result of the programs used in the pilot study, but rather explores variables such as motivation and learning strategies that are related to English acquisition. There were 76 participants (36 men and 40 women) from Sias International University sampled in this study. The mean age for participants was 20.77 (SD=1.07). Students enrolled in five sections of ENG 101 from fall 2013 and another five sections of ENG 102 from spring 2014 participated in the study. As part of the study, participants completed a battery of surveys including: an ESL placement test (developed by FHSU ESL Office), a demographic survey (self-constructed), the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ; Pintrich, Smith, Garcia, & McKeachie, 1991), the Strategy Inventory for Language Learning (SILL; Oxford & Burry-Stock, 1998), and a media consumption questionnaire (modified from Kohut, Doherty, Dimock, & Keeter, 2012). It was predicted that demographic variables (e.g., desire to study abroad, frequency with which English was spoken in the home, interest in learning English) would be related to ESL placement test scores. However, no significant results related to demographic variables were found. For example, there was no significant difference in scores on the ESL placement test between participants who desired to study abroad, did not desire to study abroad, or might be interested in studying abroad. In addition, the correlation between frequency with which English was spoken in the home and scores on the ESL placement test was not statistically significant. Similarly, the correlation between an individual’s interest in learning English and scores on the ESL placement test was not statistically significant. And, there was no significant difference in scores on the ESL placement test between participants who indicated that learning English is beneficial and participants who indicated that learning English is not beneficial. It was also hypothesized that ESL placement test scores would be related to scores on the MSLQ, SILL, and media consumption surveys. The correlations between intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation scores on the ESL placement test were not statistically significant. The correlations between the SILL subscales and scores on the ESL placement test were not statistically significant. The correlation between English media consumption and scores on the ESL placement test was not statistically significant. Although the correlations run between ESL placement test scores and Demographic variables, motivation scales, Strategy Inventory for Language Learning, and media consumption were found to be insignificant, this information can be beneficial for future research. Future research may use this information to take a more in-depth look at one or more of those variables and their relationship with second language acquisition or other areas of learning. Knowing that these correlations were found to be insignificant also expands the body of knowledge on second language acquisition. This study helps educators and students to understand different variables that may or may not be related to second language acquisition at the college level.

Rights

Copyright 2015 Heidi Hines

Library Call Number

LD2652 .F5 S3 H564 2015

Comments

Notice: This material may be protected by copyright law (Title 17 U.S. Code).

Included in

Education Commons

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