English Performance of Non-English Major
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Results and Suggestions
Appendix Ⅰ – Questionnaire
Appendix Ⅱ – Questionnaire ( Chinese ver.)
Appendix Ⅲ – Figures
As the students in Taiwan nowadays are all in nine-year integrated education system, they must have English learning experience including English as subject in the past. I believe that their English pre-knowledge obtained in school has somewhat influenced their English achievement later.
In this study, I would like to investigate the English performance of college students nowadays, particularly for non-English major students. I would prepare a self-rated English ability scale for them to know how they evaluate their own English ability. For this purpose, some questions, for instance, how they improve their English skills in their daily life, will be asked to get more information from them.
What I hope to show is that except for the students majored in English, how the English performance of non-English major students is. To a certain extent, does their English pre-knowledge do foster their English performance? Also, should the government and schools change their educational policy? These and other questions will be studied in my paper.
The main object of this part is to review the relevant literature with regard to the factors which affect English learning efficiency.
Over the past few decades, as our government has a growing respect to the English education in Taiwan, some researchers started to investigate how the change of English learning environment influences Taiwanese students. English-only instruction is the most popular internationalizing way to promote students English abilities. Although students worry about some loss of professional knowledge, they have positive response to the improvement in terms of listening and vocabulary (Huang, 2009). Also, in addition to create an English learning atmosphere in class, it is indispensable to have sufficient English teaching facilities and self-access language center on campus (Lin & Huang, 2009). According to the teaching experience of those researchers, they found such opportunities are helpful to increase students learning satisfactions and their interest in learning English.
However, the learning environment is only one of the factors which may lead to influence students learning achievement. Because of the individual differences and characters among the students, they can have different learning outcomes even if they are in the same learning conditions. Research findings showed that there is also a significant relationship between students English performance and their gender on the one hand (Bacon, 1992; Green & Oxford, 1995; Jou, 2003), and students English performance and experience of learning English on the other hand (Jou, 2003; Su, 2003). Lin and Huang (2009) also think the type of school and students majors are related to their achievement due to the content of main courses and the hours of English course.
As we can see, there are many different factors which may influence English learning efficiency and English performance of Taiwanese college students. Unfortunately, little research has been done so far on the learning status of non-English major students. Due to their limited access to learning English, I believe it is meaningful to know how their English level is nowadays and how they attempt to enhance their English ability. The result may help other scholars to figure out better solutions.
A number of studies with regard to foreigners learn English as a foreign language have been conducted in many countries. However, in this paper, the setting was aimed at the college students in Taiwan.
The subjects in the study were 60 non-English major students who were chosen randomly from different colleges in Taiwan. There are 30 males and 30 females participated in this study, and 55% (33 people) of them have taken English test before, but 45% (27 people) of them have not taken it.
A 26-question English learning questionnaire (see AppendixⅠ) was designed for the study: two questions with regard to individual background, two open-ended questions about their attitude towards English, six questions regarding the way of learning English, five questions concerning reasons for learning English, four questions examined self-evaluation of students, and seven questions were related to the enhancing of English skills. Moreover, in order to make sure the non-English major college students could understand and answer the questions accurately, the questionnaire was translated into Chinese (see Appendix Ⅱ). The results were presented in figures and evaluated qualitatively.
The subjects in the study were 60 non-English major Taiwanese college students chosen randomly in Taiwan. In order to increase the accuracy, there were 30 male students and 30 female students.
For question 1, there were about half students (49%) have taken GEPT before and 10% of them also taken TOEIC. I found that the number of people who want to take TOEIC is rising, but GEPT is still the main stream. As only 1% of them have taken TOEFL, we can see it was not as valued as GEPT in Taiwan. Moreover, there are 40% of students have never taken any English proficiency test.
For question 2, I found that almost everyone (90%) believed their past English learning experience affected their later English achievement because it helped them to lay the basis and accumulated their vocabulary. Minority (8%) thought that it was not much help because they did not have good English learning experience before. 2% of the students had no opinion.
For question 3, I found that more than half (60%) students thought they are interested in learning English. Some of them really have enthusiasm for English; however, some of them mentioned the reason why they want to learn English is only because it is practical