An evaluation of the material English in Medicine for the third-Year students at Hai Phong Medical University

While ESP materials have played an increasingly important role at Vietnamese universities, the process of ESP material design and evaluation has not become any easier for most teachers and administrators. This thesis describes the evaluation that was undertaken at Hai Phong Medical University for its ESP material “English in Medicine” which has been used for the third-year students since 1996. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the material English in Medicine in terms of Objectives, Layout, Content and Methodology from both students’ and teachers’ perspectives. The thesis employed the survey approach with two research methods, i.e. survey questionnaire and informal interview. The survey results indicated that English in Medicinehad such great strengths as it met the course objectives; its subject areas covered interesting and fundamental topics which were of students’ interest. However, the findings also revealed a lot of weaknesses of the material. In terms of Objectives, it failed to meet students’ needs due to the lack of listening and speaking skills. With regard to Layout, it not only had an unfavourable format but also lacked a table of content, references Its Methodology was another weakness of the material due to an unbalance of theskills and inadequacy of exercises and activities. After identifying strengths and weaknesses of the material, the thesis suggests some improvements of the material basing on the findings of the research, such as reediting the format, adding listening and speaking skills, providing more exercises, adapting the activities These improvements are expected to make consideration contributions to the future use of the material as well as the ESP course at Hai Phong Medical University.

pdf53 trang | Chia sẻ: superlens | Lượt xem: 2045 | Lượt tải: 2download
Bạn đang xem trước 20 trang tài liệu An evaluation of the material English in Medicine for the third-Year students at Hai Phong Medical University, để xem tài liệu hoàn chỉnh bạn click vào nút DOWNLOAD ở trên
i          I certify my authorship of the thesis submitted today entitled: “An evaluation of the material English in Medicine for the third-year students at Hai Phong Medical University” in terms of Statement for thesis and Field Study Reports in Masters’ Programs Issued by the Higher Degree Committee. Vu Thi Hanh June, 2009 ii      First and foremost, I would like to express my profound gratitude to Ms. Pham Minh Tam - my supervisor, who during the preparation of this thesis has been most willing and ready to give me valuable advice, inspiration and supervision. I also acknowledge my sincere thanks to Mr. Le Van Canh for his interesting lessons and suggestions. My appreciation and gratitude are also extended to my students at Hai Phong Medical University for their enthusiastic help in the data collection procedures; my colleagues for their encouragement and support. I am grateful to the authors of the reference materials whose ideas have inspired me throughout the writing process. Finally, I would like to convey my thanks to my family and my friends without whom the completion of this thesis had been impossible. iii  While ESP materials have played an increasingly important role at Vietnamese universities, the process of ESP material design and evaluation has not become any easier for most teachers and administrators. This thesis describes the evaluation that was undertaken at Hai Phong Medical University for its ESP material “English in Medicine” which has been used for the third-year students since 1996. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the material English in Medicine in terms of Objectives, Layout, Content and Methodology from both students’ and teachers’ perspectives. The thesis employed the survey approach with two research methods, i.e. survey questionnaire and informal interview. The survey results indicated that English in Medicine had such great strengths as it met the course objectives; its subject areas covered interesting and fundamental topics which were of students’ interest. However, the findings also revealed a lot of weaknesses of the material. In terms of Objectives, it failed to meet students’ needs due to the lack of listening and speaking skills. With regard to Layout, it not only had an unfavourable format but also lacked a table of content, references… Its Methodology was another weakness of the material due to an unbalance of the skills and inadequacy of exercises and activities. After identifying strengths and weaknesses of the material, the thesis suggests some improvements of the material basing on the findings of the research, such as reediting the format, adding listening and speaking skills, providing more exercises, adapting the activities…These improvements are expected to make consideration contributions to the future use of the material as well as the ESP course at Hai Phong Medical University. iv       Certificate of originality of the thesis ……………………………………………………….i Acknowledgements…………………………………………………………………………ii Abstract…………………………………………………………………………………….iii Table of contents…………………………………………………………………………...iv Abbreviations……………………………………………………………………………...vii List of figures……………………………………………………………………………..viii    !" ...............................................................................2 1.1 Rationale for the study ..................................................................................................2 1.2 Aims of the study............................................................................................................2 1.3 Significance of the study................................................................................................3 1.4 Scope of the study ..........................................................................................................3 1.5 Methodology ...................................................................................................................3 1.6 Organization of the study..............................................................................................4  # $" %&....................................................................5 2.1 Introduction....................................................................................................................5 2.1 An overview of English for Specific Purposes.............................................................5 2.1.1 Definitions of ESP.....................................................................................................5 2.1.2 Characteristics of ESP courses.................................................................................6 2.1.3 English for Medical Purposes (EMP).......................................................................7 2.2 Material evaluation........................................................................................................7 2.2.1 Definitions of materials ............................................................................................7 2.2.2 Definitions of material evaluation ............................................................................8 2.2.3 Types of material evaluation.....................................................................................8 2.2.4 Purposes of material evaluation ...............................................................................9 2.2.5 Models for material evaluation...............................................................................10 v 2.2.6 Methods of material evaluation ..............................................................................12 2.2.7 Criteria for material evaluation .............................................................................13 2.3 Material adaptation .....................................................................................................15 2.3.1 Purposes of adaptation ...........................................................................................15 2.3.2 Areas for adaptation ...............................................................................................15 2.3.3 Techniques for adaptation ......................................................................................16  ' ( ! $ )*............................................................................18 3.1 Introduction..................................................................................................................18 3.2 The current ESP teaching and learning situation at HPMU...................................18 3.2.1 The context ..............................................................................................................18 3.2.2 The course objectives..............................................................................................18 3.2.3 The material description .........................................................................................19 3.3 Research question ........................................................................................................20 3.4 Research approach ......................................................................................................20 3.5 Participants...................................................................................................................21 3.5.1 Population...............................................................................................................21 3.5.2 Sampling .................................................................................................................21 3.5.3 Description..............................................................................................................21 3.6 Instruments...................................................................................................................22 3.6.1 Questionnaires ........................................................................................................22 3.6.2 Informal interviews .................................................................................................22 3.7 Data collection procedure ...........................................................................................23 3.8 Data analysis procedure ..............................................................................................23 3.9 Conclusive remark.......................................................................................................23 vi  + ,"$, ! !,",,  .........................................................24 4.1 Objectives...................................................................................................................24 4.2 Layout ........................................................................................................................24 4.3 Content.......................................................................................................................25 4.4 Methodology ..............................................................................................................26  -  $",  .................................................................................29 5.1 Summary of major findings ........................................................................................29 5.2 Recommendations........................................................................................................29 5.2.1 Objectives adjustments ...........................................................................................29 5.2.2 Layout improvements ..............................................................................................30 5.2.3 Content improvements ............................................................................................30 5.3.4 Methodology improvements ....................................................................................31 5.3 Limitations of the study...............................................................................................33 ., ........................................................................................................34 !, ............................................................................................................I !/  ,"!,0 ,"%* 1", ........................................I !/ # 1",  .  , ............................................ IV !/ ' ,"! !, $*,, ,"$, .................................... VIII !/ + ,"!,0 /2 3 %$"  $*,, .................. IX !/ - ,0 /2 3 %$"  $*,, .................. X vii 4  HPMU Hai Phong Medical University ESP English for Specific Purpose EMP English for Medical Purposes viii $   5 Figure 1……………………………………………………………………………………16 Figure 2……………………………………………………………………………………27 Figure 3……………………………………………………………………………………27 2 6   !"  1.1 Rationale for the study The dilemma of choosing appropriate English for Special Purposes (ESP) materials for Vietnamese university students is an ongoing one. According to Tran (2008) in the report of English teaching in universities non-major in English, “82.1% ESP textbooks used in non-major in English universities are collected and edited, which needs assessment and evaluation” (p.10). This is the case for Hai Phong Medical University (HPMU). The material English in Medicine for the third-year students at HPMU is also an edited collection from various sources. It has been used at HPMU for 13 years but no evaluation or consultation has been conducted by the university either prior to the introduction of the material or ongoing to determine its strengths and weaknesses and to see how well it suited the desired and attainable goals of the course. Evaluating it helps the teachers to gain good and useful insights into the nature of the material. The teachers can also respond to the students’ needs and maximize their learning opportunities. This is the first reason for me to carry out an evaluation of the material English in Medicine. Furthermore, Cunningsworth (1995) and Ellis (1997) suggest that textbook evaluation helps teachers move beyond impressionistic assessments and it helps them to acquire useful, accurate, systematic, and contextual insights into the overall nature of textbook material. Textbook evaluation, therefore, can potentially be a particularly worthwhile means of conducting research as well as a form of professional empowerment and improvement. This is another reason for me to execute the research. Conducting this study is a great opportunity for me to discover the teachers and students’ perceptions about the material and gain some experience in evaluating materials. 1.2 Aims of the study This study aims to evaluate the material English in Medicine in terms of its Objectives, Layout, Content and Methodology from both the teachers’ and the students’ perspectives. The findings will help the teachers to adjust the exploitation of the material as well as their teaching method so that they can make optimum use of strong points and adapt or substitute weaker points from other medical materials. 3 1.3 Significance of the study The study is hoped to be beneficial to both the teachers and the students at HPMU in several ways. First, it increases the knowledge and understanding of individual English teachers regarding the aims and purposes of the course and the coursebook. Second, it helps the teachers understand the students’ opinion, get their feedback, therefore, can either adjust their ways of teaching or adapt the material to provide their students opportunities to learn. From the perspective of methodology, it is an effective way of helping teachers to understand and apply theories of language learning - and to achieve personal and professional development (Tomlinson, 2001, p. 67). From a research perspective, it highlights the necessity of doing further research on teachers' materials adaptation to be more appropriate. Finally, this study implies a need of institutional support to teachers in materials development. An awareness needs to be developed among administrators of HPMU to encourage and empower teachers of English to adapt the material. Provision of resources and facilities would be necessary. 1.4 Scope of the study As a minor thesis, this study limits itself to evaluating only four aspects of the material, namely Objectives, Layout, Content and Methodology among a great number of book evaluation criteria. Besides, the evaluation on the material objectives is done by only the teachers, not the students as they are believed to be not qualified enough to do that or the potential findings are of poor validity. 1.5 Methodology This thesis employs survey research with two methods, including survey questionnaires and informal interviews. These methods are described in detailed in chapter 3. 4 1.6 Organization of the study The study consists of five chapters. Chapter 1 – Introduction – presents the rationale, aims, significance, scope and methodology of the study. Chapter 2 – Literature review – provides a theoretical basis for the study. First, it surveys the literature on the theories of the basic concepts such as English for Specific Purposes and English for Medical purposes, regarding the definition, characteristics and development. Second, it reviews material evaluation in terms of definition, types, purposes, models, criteria and method. The last part of the chapter presents the issues involving material adaptation which serve as a base for the improvements recommended at the end of the study.. Chapter 3 – Methodology – includes an overview of the approach used in conducting the study. It also provides a thorough description of the data collection procedure as well as the analytical procedure. Chapter 4 – Results and Discussion – reports the findings of the survey and discusses the prominent aspects. Chapter 5 – Conclusion – summarizes the study, recommends the improvements to the material and acknowledges the limitations of the study. 5 6 # $" %& 2.1 Introduction According to Swales (1985, as cited in Low, 1987, p.21), there are very few published works about the effectiveness of coursebooks in use. Teachers, material designers and education researchers tend to be less reflective about what is happening when one textbook is used. In Vietnam, evaluation of textbooks used in primary and secondary schools seems to attract more attention than the evaluation of coursebooks for university students. In recent years, in-use coursebooks have started to be evaluated, but as far as I am concerned, these evaluations are just impressionistic overview. Almagro and Luisa (2005) highlight that the lack of agreement in this field is obvious: the terminology used to define the different criteria varies greatly, these criteria are not constant, the elements making up each criterion do not always coincide, and the thoroughness in defining the content of each of these criteria varies from one proposal to another. All these factors result in a lack of a firmly consolidated base in the field of evaluation of teaching materials. The situation is aggravated in the field of ESP, because in addition to the circumstances described, there is also a lack of evaluation proposals. This chapter, however, makes an effort to provide a theoretical basis to evaluate English in Medicine in terms of its Objectives, Layout, Content and Methodology. 2.1 An overview of English for Specific Purposes 2.1.1 Definitions of ESP Despite the fact that it is an approach which has been widely used over the last three decades, there has been considerable recent debate about what ESP means (Anthony, 1997). Hutchinson and Waters (1987) theorize, "ESP is an approach to language teaching in which all decisions as to content and method are based on the learner's reason for learning" (p. 19). Dudley-Evans (1998) gives an extended definition of ESP in terms of 'absolute' and 'variable' characteristics: 6 Absolute Characteristics • ESP is defined to meet specific needs of the learners • ESP makes use of underlying methodology and activities of the discipline it serves • ESP is centered on the language appropriate to these activities in terms of grammar, lexis, register, study skills, discourse and genre. Variable Characteristics • ESP may be related to or designed for specific disciplines • ESP may use, in specific teaching situations, a different methodology from that of General English • ESP is likely to be designed for adult learners, either at a tertiary level institution or in a professional work situation. It could, however, be for learners at secondary school level. • ESP is generally designed for intermediate or advanced students. • Most ESP courses assume some basic knowledge of the language systems The division of ESP into absolute and variable characteristics is very helpful in defining what is and is not ESP. From the definition, we can see that ESP can but is not necessarily concerned with a specific discipline, nor does it have to be aimed at a certain age group or ability range. ESP should be seen simple as an 'approach' to teaching, or what Dudley-Evans describes as an 'attitude of mind'. 2.1.2 Characteristics of ESP courses According to Cart
Luận văn liên quan