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English Proficiency of Undergraduate Engineering Students: Assessment and Influencing Factors. 2011 ThaiPOD Annual Conference 28-29 July 2011, Bangkok Kuntinee Maneeratana, Ratchatin Chanchareon Nopdanai Ajavakom, Naebboon Hoonchareon Saowaluk Rungsup and Angkee Sripakagorn.

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English proficiency of undergraduate engineering students assessment and influencing factors

English Proficiency of Undergraduate Engineering Students: Assessment and Influencing Factors

2011 ThaiPOD Annual Conference

28-29 July 2011, Bangkok

Kuntinee Maneeratana, Ratchatin Chanchareon

Nopdanai Ajavakom, Naebboon Hoonchareon

Saowaluk Rungsup and Angkee Sripakagorn


Department of mechanical engineering
Department of Mechanical Engineering

  • 3 B.Eng., 1 M.Eng. & 1 D.Eng. Programs

  • Bachelor Degrees

  • B.Eng. in Mechanical Engineering (since 1933)

    • Admit 75 Students annually

  • B.Eng. in Automotive Engineering (since 1994)

    • Admit 15 Students annually

  • B.Eng. in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering (since 1990)

    • Admit 10 Students annually


Previous work on english language skills thaipod2010
Previous Work on English Language Skills: ThaiPOD2010

Importance

  • Required outcome

  • Crucial for employability

    Exposure

  • Two 3-credit English courses in the first year

  • English textbooks, exercises, exams and other media

    Assessment

  • Two 3-credit English courses in the first year

  • CU-TEP in the fourth years

  • (CATME teamwork assessment in the senior project)

“Indicators of English Proficiency for Undergraduate Engineering Students”

K. Maneeratana and A. Sripakagorn


Previous work on english language skills thaipod20101
Previous Work on English Language Skills: ThaiPOD2010

CU-TEP

  • The Test of English Proficiency of Chulalongkorn University

  • measures the ability to use English for academic purposes

  • measures in listening, reading and writing.

  • offers TOEFL-equated score.

  • offered, free-of-charge, to all 1st and 4th year students.

“Indicators of English Proficiency for Undergraduate Engineering Students”

K. Maneeratana and A. Sripakagorn


Previous work on english language skills thaipod20102

Conclusions

No significant differences between the three programs.

English grades do not significantly affect grades in other courses.

Medium to high values of correlation coefficient between first-year English grades and fourth-year CU-TEP results.

CATME: lacks of required skill, confidence or both in reading complicate texts in general contexts.

The class averaged TOEFL-equated score is 500.

Measures to improve English skills should be investigated and implemented.

Previous Work on English Language Skills: ThaiPOD2010


Research problem
Research Problem

To explore the English proficiency of students entering and leaving the three bachelor programs

...as well as ...

motivation and practice of English in-between.

Motivation & Practices

2 English courses

ME program

1st yr

3rd yr

4th yr

2nd yr

Entering

Leaving

CU-TEP

CU-TEP

Previous work Present work


Population procedure

Class of 2006

Studied in ThaiPOD 2010

inquired about motivation and practices by a questionnaire (email).

Class of 2007: encouraged in the senior project course to submit the following information:

CU-TEP in the first year

CU-TEP or other standard tests in the fourth year

Questionnaire on motivation and practices

Population & Procedure


English grades
English Grades

Foundation English (FE)

I & II

Experiential English (EE)

I & II


English grades1

Change from Foundation English (FE) courses to Experiential English (EE) courses between the classes of 2006 and 2007 students

Flatter grade distribution for the first courses

The Pearson correlation coefficients r between x and y,

A slightly higher r = 0.664 between FE I & II

as compared to r = 0.575 between EE I & II

English Grades


English grades2

Grades should be a very good indicator of the proficiency. English (EE) courses between the classes of 2006 and 2007 students

Specified outcomes, assessment methods, and grading standards are not readily available.

Very rough information

Grades only, no raw scores

No details on different skills

English Grades

BUT

English grades:= Indicator of overall level of proficiency for entering students only


Cu tep from 1st to 4th year
CU-TEP: From 1st to 4th Year English (EE) courses between the classes of 2006 and 2007 students

correlationr = 0.782

No significant

& systematic improvements

during the three years !


Cu tep from 1st to 4th year by skills
CU-TEP: From 1st to 4th Year - by Skills English (EE) courses between the classes of 2006 and 2007 students

In the proficiency monitoring,

individual skills must be considered separately.


Cu tep career requirement
CU-TEP: career requirement English (EE) courses between the classes of 2006 and 2007 students

  • 1st year

    • 62 Students

    • Average 477

  • 4th year

    • 62 Students

    • Average 487

  • 4th yr inc. other tests

    • 87 Students

    • Average499

2010 Graduates


Situation
Situation English (EE) courses between the classes of 2006 and 2007 students

  • improvement is needed.

  • without tangible incentives from the curriculum?

  • rely motivation and (to be recommended) practices.

2 English courses

Motivation & Practices

1st yr

3rd yr

4th yr

2nd yr

Entering

Leaving

CU-TEP

CU-TEP

Previous work Present work


Motivation practice questionnaire
Motivation & Practice Questionnaire English (EE) courses between the classes of 2006 and 2007 students

  • Population

    • 2009 Graduates: After graduation, 27 answers

    • 2010 Graduates: Before graduation, 80 answers

  • Questions

    • What are the main activities that affect your CU-TEP results?

    • What are the main motivations for improvement?

  • Method

    • Find frequent answers from the high, average and low CU-TEP groups (25, 50 and 25% classification).

    • Identify the effective practices for improvements.


Motivation
Motivation English (EE) courses between the classes of 2006 and 2007 students

  • Top motivations

    • Graduate studies

    • Employment in multi national company in Thailand

    • Entertainment

    • Employment abroad

  • No appreciable differences between groups


Practice of english
Practice of English English (EE) courses between the classes of 2006 and 2007 students

  • Top practices

    • Tuition in English institutes

    • Movies/Entertainment (Free screening available)

    • Textbooks (most important curriculum-related)

    • Self-Study (online tuition program)

    • Internet Media

  • Tuitions and entertainment are popular in all groups.

  • Low-score groups favor textbooks more than others.

  • High-score groups study on their own more than others.


Third languages

Popular third languages English (EE) courses between the classes of 2006 and 2007 students

Japanese, Chinese, German for employment and study in 70-90% of students

Actual proficiency (very loosely defined)

20-35% have some basic knowledge

No functional proficiency, except for daily uses at home

A nice edges for students with extra drives.

In general, seem not to put real efforts into the skills

The department should concentrate on English only.

Third Languages


How to motivate student attention relevance
How To Motivate Student: English (EE) courses between the classes of 2006 and 2007 studentsAttention & Relevance

Know Yourself: 2nd yr students in particular (Orientation)

  • CU-TEP Results announcements to both students and lecturers.

  • Specific Requirements for graduate studies and employments

  • Successful strategy and practices, i.e. Petroleum Engineering program

  • Opportunities in the Faculty, i.e. free movie screening, free online course & certificate.

    Know Your ‘Enemy’

  • APEC Engineers

  • ASEAN Co-Operation


How to motivate student confidence satisfaction
How To Motivate Student: English (EE) courses between the classes of 2006 and 2007 studentsConfidence & Satisfaction

Know Yourself:

  • Opportunities in the Faculty, e.g. attend seminar/lecture by English-speaking guests.

  • Join international club/activities (Inter. Program)


Conclusions

CU-TEP result provides the most convenient indicator for the department-level monitoring and assessment.

At present, English proficiency level must be improved.

Students must be motivated to improved their skills by continuous exposure and utilization of English.

Awareness (Attention+Relevance) is the first-line action.

Improvements required extra and concerted efforts from the Department.

Conclusions


Acknowledgement
Acknowledgement department-level monitoring and assessment.

  • This work is supported by

  • 2103499 Mechanical Engineering Project,

  • Department of Mechanical Engineering

  • Knowledge Management (KM) Activities of the Faculty of Engineering, Chulalongkorn University.


Q & A department-level monitoring and assessment.

KuntineeManeeratana, RatchatinChanchareon,

NopdanaiAjavakom, NaebboonHoonchareon*,

SaowalukRungsup and AngkeeSripakagorn

Department of Mechanical Engineering,

*Department of Electrical Engineering,

Chulalongkorn University

Bangkok, Thailand

[email protected]

[email protected]


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