ANALYSIS OF A COMMUNICATIVELY ORIENTED ESL PROGRAM UTILIZING NATIVE-SPEAKING PEER TUTORS.
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe purpose of this study was to design and implement a theory-based, communicative ESL curriculum and to study the effects of the curriculum on a student population consisting of adult Mexican and Japanese students in a four-week intensive program. The review of the related literature revealed that basic research in linguistics, psycholinguistics, and second language acquisition is beginning to have considerable influence on second language teaching theory and methodology, and, as a result, a new second language learning paradigm is emerging: teaching for communicative competence. Leading researchers have suggested some theoretical guidelines for curriculum design, textbook preparation, and classroom procedures that would be more conducive to second language learning than the traditional audiolingual approaches. The following features were incorporated into the four-week program at the Center for English as a Second Language at The University of Arizona and constituted the treatment of the students in this study: (1) textbooks of a notional-functional syllabus design were adopted and the schedule was designed to maximize integration of the material and reinforcement of target themes and structures, (2) emphasis was placed on personalized discussion, conversation, and language use, and (3) forty American high school and college students worked with students daily as "tutors" or "conversation partners" on a one-to-one basis, and also participated in numerous social activities with students. The effects of the program on the students' gains in English language proficiency (ELP) were studied using the Comprehensive English Language Test (CELT) and the students' personal reactions to the program were measured using a program evaluation questionnaire. The findings of the study were that: (1) the students showed significant gains in ELP over the four-week period, and the largest gains were in listening comprehension skills; (2) the Mexican students showed significantly higher gains than the Japanese students in all skills measured; (3) the gains made by the Japanese students in the 1983 program were significantly lower than gains made by comparable Japanese groups in previous four-week CESL programs; and (4) a program of this type may be more positively accepted by Mexicans than by Japanese; and these attitudes may effect ELP gains. (Abstract shortened with permission of author.)
Degree ProgramEducational Foundations and Administration