English language needs of The Golden Jubilee Royal Goldsmith College students

Patrapon Dodyim and Pattaraporn Thampradit

Patrapon Dodyim
Master Degree Candidate
Department of Applied Arts, Faculty of Industrial Education
King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang, Bangkok, Thailand

Pattaraporn Thampradit
Associate Professor
Department of Applied Arts, Faculty of Industrial Education
King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang, Bangkok, Thailand

Reference to this paper should be made as follows:

Dodyim, P., & Thampradit, P. (2015). English language needs of The Golden Jubilee Royal Goldsmith College students. Asian International Journal of Social Sciences, 15(2), 19 –24.

 

Abstract

Most Vocational Certificate Level students of Golden Jubilee Royal Goldsmith College, Salaya, Phutthamonthon, Nakhon Pathom, Thailand, had a weak background of English and all compulsory English courses had been taught without surveying the needs of students. Therefore, this study was designed to investigate the English language needs of the first-year, the second-year, and the third-year Vocational Certificate Level students who studied in the academic year 2012. So, the objectives of this study were (1) to study the English language needs of Vocational Certificate Level students at Golden Jubilee Royal Goldsmith College, and (2) to compare the English language needs of the first-year, the second-year, and the third-year Vocational Certificate Level students at Golden Jubilee Royal Goldsmith College. The samples consisted of 250 Vocational Certificate Level students (98 first year students, 102 second year students and 50 third year students) which were selected by using stratified sampling. The instrument was a questionnaire: English language needs of Vocational Certificate Level students, used to explore the English language needs. The data from the final questionnaires were analyzed by computer program to identify the English language needs. Descriptive statistics was used to find the arithmetic means, frequency, percentages, and standard deviations. The results showed that most English language skills of students’ needs were on listening, writing, reading, and speaking (x̄ =3.37, 3.14, 3.13, and 3.06 respectively). Furthermore, students’ needs in English listening skills at great level were on listening to English conversations in class, watching and listening to movies in English, and watching and listening to music or music videos in English (x̄ =3.50, 3.50, and 3.74 respectively). However, considering English language topics, it was found that most of the students’ needs in various English language topics were at great level (x̄ =4.01, S.D.=0.95), such as art, design, culture, nature, and fashion. Suggestions for both pedagogy and further study were also included.

Keywords: Needs Analysis, Vocational Students

Introduction

Currently, English has often been referred to as a “Global language” because it is so widely spoken and it is not an official language in most countries (Crystal, 1997). It is also presently the language significantly taught as a foreign language in Thailand. Classroom teaching and learning English activities as a foreign language in Thailand seem not to be fully satisfied. This may be because teachers and students have different attitude towards teaching and learning English and there may be a gap between the teaching approach and requirements of using English for students’ future career. Additionally, learners’ needs in using English for their future career have not been explicitly spelled out. Specifically, most Vocational Certificate Level students of Golden Jubilee Royal Goldsmith College, Salaya, Phutthamonthon, Nakhon Pathom, Thailand, have a weak background of English, and all compulsory English courses had been taught without surveying in the needs. Hence, this study was designed to investigate the English language needs of the first-year, the second- year, and the third-year Vocational Certificate Level students who studied in the academic year 2012.

Study Objectives

  1. To study the English language needs of Vocational Certificate Level students at Golden Jubilee Royal Goldsmith College.
  2. To compare the English language needs of the first-year, the second-year, and the third- year Vocational Certificate Level students at Golden Jubilee Royal Goldsmith College.

Research Objectives

  1. What were the English language needs of Vocational Certificate Level students at Golden Jubilee Royal Goldsmith College?
  2. What were the differences in the English language needs among the first-year, the second- year, and the third-year Vocational Certificate Level students at Golden Jubilee Royal Goldsmith College?

Methods

Subjects
  1. The population consisted of 500 Vocational Certificate Level students (200 first year students, 200 second year students and 100 third year students).
  2. The sample consisted of 250 Vocational Certificate Level students (98 first year students,

102 second year students, and 50 third year students) which were selected by using stratified sampling.

Instruments

The instrument was a questionnaire: English language needs of Vocational Certificate Level students, used to explore the English language needs of Vocational Certificate Level students at Golden Jubilee Royal Goldsmith College.

Data Analysis and Statistical Procedures

The data from the final questionnaires were analyzed by computer program to identify the English language needs. Descriptive statistics was used to find the arithmetic means, frequency, percentages, and standard deviations as follows:

  1. Calculated frequency, percentages, means, and standard deviations of the scores were used to analyze general background and English language needs.
  2. A five-level Likert Scale was used to score the level of the needs regarding English language needs.

Results and Discussion

The results obtained from the three sections of the questionnaires distributed to 250 subjects: 98 first-year students, 102 second-year students, and 50 third-year students were indicated as in Table 1:

Table 1

General Background Information of the Vocational Certificate Students

General Background Information (N=250) Frequency Percentage (%)
1. Gender

Male

97 38.8
Female 153 61.2
Total 250 100
2. Age

15-16 years

106 42.4
17-18 years 132 52.8
19-20 years 12 4.8
Total 250 100
3.Year Level

First-year

98 39.2
Second-year 102 40.8
Third-year 50 20.0
Total 250 100
4. Number of years studying English (Year) 6-10 94 37.6
11-15 97 38.8
15+ 59 23.6
Total 250 100
5. How is your English listening skill for communication?

Excellent

7 2.8
Good 30 12.0
Fair 135 54.0
Poor 78 31.2
Total 250 100
6. How is your English speaking skill for communication?

Excellent

2 0.8
Good 22 8.8
Fair 137 54.8
Poor 89 35.6
Total 250 100
7. How is your English reading skill for communication?

Excellent

5 2.0
Good 24 9.6
Fair 135 54.0
Poor 86 34.4
Total 250 100
8. How is your English writing skill for communication?

Excellent

4 1.6
Good 35 14.0
Fair 124 49.6
Poor 87 34.8
Total 250 100

Table 1 identified that the numbers of female students were more than the numbers of male students (female=61.2%, male=38.8%). The ages of most students were 17-18 years old (52.8%), whereas most of the students were second-year student (40.8%). Most of them studied English for 11-15 years (38.8%). Moreover, most of their English listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills for communication were fair (54.0%, 54.8%, 54.0%, and 49.6% respectively).

Analysis of research questions

Research Question One: What are the English language needs of Vocational Certificate Level students at Golden Jubilee Royal Goldsmith College?

MEAN

Figure 1

Students’ Needs in English Language Skills

The results of this study showed that all of English language skills of students’ needs were at moderate level (x̄ =3.18, S.D.=0.78) and most English language skills of students’ needs were on listening, writing, reading, and speaking (x̄ =3.37, 3.14, 3.13, and 3.06 respectively).

Table 2

Mean and Standard Deviation of Students’ Needs in English Listening Skills

Students’ Needs in English Listening Skills (N=250) Mean S.D Level of Needs
Listening to English conversations in class 3.50 0.98 Great
Watching and listening to movies in English 3.50 1.09 Great
Watching and listening to music or music videos in English 3.74 1.12 Great

Table 2 showed that students’ needs in English listening skills were at great level in all functions: listening to English conversations in class, watching and listening to movies in English, and watching and listening to music or music videos in English (x̄ =3.50, 3.50, 3.74, S.D.=0.98,1.09, and 1.12 respectively).

Table 3

Mean and Standard Deviation of Students’ Needs in English Language Topics

Students’ Needs in English Language Topics (N=250) Mean S.D Level of Needs
Art 3.82 1.10 Great
Design 3.78 1.12 Great
Culture 3.78 1.06 Great
Nature 3.77 1.13 Great
Fashion 3.55 1.14 Great
Total 4.01 0.95 Great

It was also found that most of students’ needs in English language topics were at great level (x̄ =4.01, S.D.=0.95), such as art, design, culture, nature, and fashion (x̄ =3.82, 3.78, 3.78, 3.77, 3.55, S.D.=1.10, 1.12, 1.06, 1.13, and 1.14 respectively). Interestingly, it also could be seen that the highest mean score was found in art (x̄ =3.82, S.D.=1.10), while the lowest mean score was found in drugs and alcohol (x̄ =3.00, 3.00, S.D.=1.38, 1.33 respectively).

Research Question Two: What are the differences in the English language needs among the first-year, the second-year, and the third-year Vocational Certificate Level students at Golden Jubilee Royal Goldsmith College?

Table 4

Mean and Standard Deviation of Students’ Needs in English Language Skills

Students’ Needs in English Language Skills (N=250) 1st Year 2nd Year 3rd Year
Mean S.D Level of Needs Mean S.D Level of Needs Mean S.D Level of Needs
English listening skill 3.41 0.7

3

Moderate 3.2

9

0.7

9

Moderate 3.4

8

0.7

9

Moderate
English speaking skill 3.05 0.8

0

Moderate 2.9

8

0.9

3

Moderate 3.2

6

0.9

6

Moderate
English reading skill 3.20 0.8

1

Moderate 3.0

3

0.8

6

Moderate 3.2

0

0.8

9

Moderate
English writing skill 3.22 0.8

9

Moderate 3.0

2

0.9

7

Moderate 3.2

2

0.9

5

Moderate
Total 3.22 0.7

3

Moderate 3.0

8

0.7

9

Moderate 3.2

9

0.8

3

Moderate

The results of this study showed that all students: first-year, second-year, and third-year students needed all of English language skills at moderate level (x̄ =3.22, 3.08, 3.29, S.D.=0.73, 0.79, and 0.83 respectively).

Table 5

Mean and Standard Deviation of Students’ Needs in English Listening Skills

Students’ Needs in English Listening Skills (N=250) 1st Year 2nd Year 3rd Year
Mean S.D Level of Needs Mean S.D Level of Needs Mean S.D Level of Needs
Listening to English conversatio ns in class 3.62 0.95 Great 3.45 0.94 Moderate 3.36 1.12 Moderate
Watching and listening to movies in English 3.51 1.12 Great 3.38 1.07 Moderate 3.74 1.06 Great
Watching and listening to trailers in English 3.56 0.98 Great 3.37 0.98 Moderate 3.50 1.01 Great
Watching and listening to music or music videos in English 3.71 1.13 Great 3.72 1.12 Great 3.84 1.09 Great
Watching and listening to advertiseme nts in English 3.20 1.00 Moderate 3.24 1.07 Moderate 3.60 0.92 Great
Watching and listening to documentari es in English 3.36 1.04 Moderate 3.23 1.04 Moderate 3.54 0.99 Great
Watching and listening to sports in English 3.26 0.96 Moderate 3.11 0.98 Moderate 3.62 0.96 Great
Total 3.41 0.73 Moderate 3.29 0.79 Moderate 3.48 0.79 Moderate

In detail, the results showed that most students: first-year, second-year, and third-year students needed watching and listening to music or music videos in English at great level (x̄ =3.71, 3.72, 3.84, S.D.=1.13, 1.12, and 1.09 respectively). Moreover, first-year and third- year students needed watching and listening to movies in English and watching and listening to trailers in English at great level (for first-year students: x̄ =3.51, 3.56, S.D.=1.12, 0.98 ; for third-year students : x̄ =3.74, 3.50, S.D.= 1.06, 1.01 respectively). Besides, first-year students needed listening to English conversations in class at great level (x̄ =3.62, S.D.=0.95). In addition, third-year students needed watching and listening to advertisements in English, watching and listening to documentaries in English, and watching and listening to sports in English at great level (x̄ =3.60, 3.54, 3.62, S.D.=0.92, 0.99, 0.96 respectively) and it also showed that all students: first-year, second-year, and third-year students needed all of English speaking skills at moderate level (x̄ =3.05, 2.98, 3.26, S.D.=0.80, 0.93, and 0.96 respectively), while only third-year students needed English conversation in class at great level (x̄ =3.68, S.D.=1.25).

Furthermore, the results showed that all students: first-year, second-year, and third-year students needed all of English reading skills at moderate level (x̄ =3.20, 3.03, 3.20, S.D.=0.81, 0.86, and 0.89 respectively), while only first-year students needed reading cards in English at great level (x̄ =3.55, S.D.=1.11). Moreover, all students: first-year, second-year, and third- year students needed all of English writing skills at moderate level (x̄ =3.22, 3.02, 3.22, S.D.=0.89, 0.97, and 0.95 respectively).

Table 6

Mean and Standard Deviation of Students’ Needs in English Language Topics

Students’ Needs in English Language Topics (N=250) 1st Year 2nd Year 3rd Year
Mean S.D Level of Needs Mean S.D Level of Needs Mean S.D Level of Needs
Fashion 3.54 1.14 Great 3.58 1.14 Great 3.70 1.14 Great
Nature 3.86 1.01 Great 3.72 1.14 Great 3.68 1.31 Great
Design 3.63 1.10 Great 3.84 1.09 Great 3.90 1.18 Great
Art 3.83 0.99 Great 3.75 1.12 Great 3.92 1.24 Great
Culture 3.91 0.93 Great 3.62 1.08 Great 3.80 1.21 Great
Total 3.57 1.14 Great 3.57 1.15 Great 3.63 1.09 Great

Interestingly, all of them needed all of English language topics at great level (x̄ =3.57, 3.57, 3.63, S.D.=1.14, 1.15, and 1.09 respectively) such as art, design, culture, nature, and fashion (for first-year students : x̄ =3.83, 3.63, 3.91, 3.86, 3.54, S.D.=0.99, 1.10, 0.93, 1.01, 1.14 ; for second-year students : x̄ =3.75, 3.84, 3.62, 3.72, 3.58, S.D.=1.12, 1.09, 1.08, 1.14, 1.14 ; and for third-year students : x̄ =3.92, 3.90, 3.80, 3.68, 3.70, S.D.=1.24, 1.18, 1.21, 1.31, 1.14

respectively).

Discussion

According to the results of students’ needs in English language skills, most English language skills of all students’ needs were on English listening skills. This results corresponded with the study of Pattanakittipong (2008) which indicated that English listening skills was the first skill by nature for communication, moreover the results also agreed with the study of Zughoul and Hussein (2009) which found that both students and instructors agreed on the primary importance of the listening skill, furthermore the study of Sangmak (2010) which indicated that listening skill are the most common skills for human’s communication. According to the results of students’ needs in English listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills, most students needed listening to English conversations in class, watching and listening to movies in English, watching and listening to music or music videos in English at great level. Moreover, most of them needed speaking English conversation in class, reading idioms/proverbs in English, and taking notes from textbooks in English.

In summary, most of the students needed English language topics: art, design, culture, nature, and fashion (x̄ =3.82, 3.78, 3.78, 3.77, 3.55, S.D.=1.10, 1.12, 1.06, 1.13, and 1.14

respectively). These might be because the topics were concerned directly with art works in goldsmith and jewelry. Therefore, the students get inspiration and motivation to learn for creating new products.

Acknowledgements

This research was supported by the Faculty of Industrial Education, King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang (KMITL). The researcher wishes to acknowledge the instruction and hard work of my advisor, Associate Professor Dr. Pattaraporn Thampradit, Department of Applied Arts, King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang (KMITL). Without her support and guidance this research would have not been possible.

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This paper is a revised and expanded version of a paper entitled ‘English language needs of The Golden Jubilee Royal Goldsmith College students’, presented at the 13th International Conference on Developing Real-Life Learning Experience: Lifelong Learning Skills in the 21st Century at the King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang (KMITL), Bangkok, Thailand on June 12th, 2015.