Academic journal article English Language Teaching

Comparison of Effects of Teaching English to Thai Undergraduate Teacher-Students through Cross-Curricular Thematic Instruction Program Based on Multiple Intelligence Theory and Conventional Instruction

Academic journal article English Language Teaching

Comparison of Effects of Teaching English to Thai Undergraduate Teacher-Students through Cross-Curricular Thematic Instruction Program Based on Multiple Intelligence Theory and Conventional Instruction

Article excerpt

Abstract

This study is aimed at comparing the effects of teaching English to Thai undergraduate teacher-students through cross-curricular thematic instruction program based on multiple intelligence theory and through conventional instruction. Two experimental groups, which utilized Randomized True Control Group-Pretest-posttest Time Series Design and statistical data analysis using MANOVA with repeated measures, t-test for independent samples, basic statistical analysis and figures, showed significantly higher development in English performance (reading, listening-speaking and writing), expressed significantly positive opinions at a much higher level on the learning program, and identified more experiences in using each and every aspect of multiple intelligences than what the two control groups did. The results thus show that prospective teachers whose English language performance was enhanced with integrated content areas can benefit their students for learning English across the curriculum.

Keywords: cross-curricular thematic instruction, multiple intelligence theory, conventional instruction

1. Introduction

1.1 Background and Description of Problem

According to the report of National Testing Bureau in Thailand (2010), the average scores of Thai students at primary and secondary school levels, during the past few years, were below the standard level of about 50% in English as well as in other subjects. Even though the Ministry of Education in Thailand has been implementing the national educational strategic plan according to the Asean Declaration to improve the process of teaching English to Thai students, there has been little improvement. This is mainly because most Thai English teachers are poor both in spoken and written English. They speak mostly Thai in classes using grammar translation methods and other teacher- centered approach. Although the Ministry of Education fully supports the training of teachers in current teaching trends following student-centered approach and other active learning programs, the English teachers find it difficult to adopt the new approach of teaching techniques, because they lack the communication skills required. In addition, the teachers fail to provide students sufficient opportunities in integrating other subject matters across the curriculum to enable them to acquire well-rounded knowledge of English including vocabulary, idioms, and expressions that can be used in different contexts. The students are poor in their English communication skills because they do not get enough exposure to the variety of learning settings, especially those relevant to today's on-line world of new technology. There is thus an urgent need for conducting an effective English teaching program to undergraduate teacher-students who will soon start teaching Thai students in both primary and secondary schools around the country. This would enable Thai students to improve their communication skills and knowledge, besides inducing them in self-motivation to improve their English that will eventually become their life-long learning experience (Office of the Education Council, Ministry of Education, 2008).

1.2 Objectives of the Study

1) To compare the improvement achieved in English performance (listening-speaking, reading, and writing) by teacher-students taught through the program of cross-curriculum thematic instruction based on multiple intelligence theory with that achieved through conventional instruction.

2) To compare the teacher-students' opinion on learning through the program of cross-curriculum thematic instruction based on multiple intelligence theory with that through the program of conventional instruction.

3) To compare the teacher-students' experience of using multiple intelligences through the program of cross curriculum thematic instruction based on multiple intelligence theory with that of learning through conventional instruction.

2. Literature Review

2. …

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