The effects of teaching communication strategies on Thai learners of English
University of Southampton, School of Education,
The issue of teaching and learning communication strategies has been controversial over the past few decades. Whereas some theoretical arguments reject the benefits of teaching of communication strategies, many practical and empirical studies make pedagogical recommendations and support the idea. Nevertheless, there appears to be no information on teaching communication strategies to Thai learners of English in Thailand. To address these issues, this thesis investigates the effects of teaching communication strategies to Thai learners of English in Thailand. It was designed as an interventionist study conducted with a group of students. Both qualitative and quantitative data were collected in the current study.
Sixty-two fourth year students majoring in Engineering at King Mongkut’s University of Technology North Bangkok participated in this study. All the students received a 12-week communication strategy-based instruction and 12 students were asked to complete four speaking tasks and retrospective protocols. Data were collected via (1) self-report strategy questionnaire, (2) attitudinal questionnaire (3) transcription data of four different speaking tasks, and (4) retrospective protocols.
The results from the self-report strategy questionnaire and the speaking tasks showed that the explicit teaching of communication strategies raised students’ awareness of strategy use and promoted the greater use of taught communication strategies of the students. The students considered the taught strategies in communication strategy instruction useful, especially pause fillers and hesitation devices, approximation, self repair and circumlocution. With respect to the retrospective verbal reports, the findings showed that the students tended to be more aware of the taught communication strategies. They revealed their intention and reasons behind their use of some taught communication strategies in more detail while completing the postspeaking tasks. Finally, the positive outcomes of the teaching of some specific communication strategies were supported by the findings of an attitudinal questionnaire on the strategy instruction. The findings suggest that the students found the communication strategy instruction useful for them. They also showed positive feelings and attitudes towards the communication strategy instruction.
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