Student Work - ELI

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    A Task-Based Construct of Critical Listening Comprehension in Assessment
    ( 2013) Trace, Jonathan
    This study analyzed a task-based construct of critical listening in an academic listening test for placement purposes in a North American university English for Academic Purposes program. As the ability to listen critically in English is one of the outcomes for the program, it is necessary to utilize a placement instrument that can adequately measure this ability. Buck (2001) claims that one way of approaching this idea of critical listening in listening assessment is through the use of tasks that mirror the uses and functions an examinee will encounter in authentic situations. Using Rasch model analysis, this study first examined the current form of the test to identify how items are functioning and whether or not different, distinct constructs are present in the test. The test was revised using new pilot items based on a task-based model, and then analyzed again to determine the extent this construct was represented in the instrument. Based on these analyses, recommendations are made about the effectiveness of the test and the form further revisions of the test might take in future administrations.
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    Building autonomy in an L2 reading course: A report on a curriculum development project
    ( 2013) West, Gordon
    This paper summarizes a project to develop critical literacy material for the teaching of an intermediate level college ESL reading course. In addition to evaluating the goals and SLOs for the course, the author conducted interviews with teachers and administrators and created a critical literacy module which is included in the appendices along with suggested changes to SLOs and course syllabi and calendars.
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    Pragmatic Assessment in L2 Interaction: Applied Conversation Analysis for Pedagogic Intervention
    ( 2013-05-01) Cheng, Tsui-Ping
    This dissertation uses conversation analysis (CA) to examine English L2 speakers’ participation in an innovative multiparty pragmatic assessment activity. In contrast to previous interlanguage pragmatics research, this study not only considers assessment as an interactive activity, but also uses video footage of naturally occurring disagreement sequences collected from real classroom interactions as the material for its pragmatic assessment activity. By taking this novel approach toward the method and material of pragmatic assessment, this study aims to (1) investigate the ways in which L2 speakers calibrate their assessments in interaction, and (2) explore the possibility of applying CA findings to pedagogic intervention in L2 pragmatics. The data for this study comes from six videotaped L2 speakers’ small group discussions in an English as a second language instructional context. Using a multimodal perspective to analyze assessment in interaction, this study presents a detailed description of how the participants integrate diverse vocal and visual resources to construct stances in concert with other group members and accomplish assessment as a collaborative activity. Specifically, gaze direction is identified as a constitutive part of the participants’ display of affiliation and disaffiliation with assessments. This study also provides an empirical account of how noticing, as a phenomenon registered, invited, and accounted for by the participants, is lodged within the interactional process. Finally, the analysis demonstrates three pedagogical advantages of using authentic disagreement sequences for pragmatic assessment: (1) it provides participants with rich contextual information to coordinate their stances vis-à-vis one another; (2) it affords participants an interactional space to make informed pragmatic decisions; and (3) it sensitizes participants to how disagreement is organized as a multimodal achievement. The findings reported in this study contribute to an understanding of the embodied production of assessments, the consequential displays of noticing in interaction, and the fruitful application of CA to pragmatic instruction. It is hoped that this study both provides an example of the ways language researchers can apply CA to pedagogic intervention and encourages language researchers to further explore this area of L2 studies, thereby expanding the field’s understanding of CA’s engagement with instructional activities and materials development.
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    Thank you for your awesome thoughts about the article: Social interaction and critical thinking in student-facilitated online discussions
    ( 2013) Meier, Valerie
    This study examines critical thinking and social interaction in the context of a peer-facilitated reading discussion task which was conducted over five weeks of an online advanced ESL reading class. Five research questions examine the extent tp which cognitive presence/skills, social presence, and teaching presence are evident, the relationship between social presence and cognitive negagement, and the authors' suggestions in regard to what task design features could be changed to increase students engagement in critical thinking. The author conducted content analysis of discussion forum transcripts generated over five weeks of an online, advanced ESL Reading course.
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    Needs Analysis of ELI72 at UHM
    ( 2012-05-12) Park, Jeongyeon
    This study conducted a needs analysis of ELI 72 (Reading for Foreign Students) to contribute to the continued development of ELI 72 by identifying any ongoing needs that should be addressed, or addressed in more depth. Four research questions examed were (a) what kinds of reading difficulties ELI 72 students experience in general in content courses; (b) whether the students think ELI 72 is useful for their improvement of their reading ability; (c) whether the course activities reflect students' academic reading needs; and (d) what kinds of suggestions can be made for the continued development of ELI 72. The study provides some suggestions, taking into account students’ language needs and situation needs.
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    An Investigation into the Reverse Transfer of Reading Strategies in an EAP Context
    ( 2012-04-15) Tsuyuki, Cheryl S,
    This study aims to empirically measure students’ use of academic reading strategies in both English and their L1 at the beginning of the semester at a university in Hawaʻi, and compare results with academic reading strategy use at the end of the term to determine whether there was a reverse transfer. The author highlights the literature on reading strategy instruction and further describes the terms ‘reading strategy’ and ‘transfer’, followed by an explanation of the research question, research method and design of the study, summary of results, discussion, and pedagogical implications.
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    Addressing silence, dominance and off-task talk in group work in an academic writing class
    ( 2012) Sharma, Bal Krishna
    This study aims to investigate the teacher role in mediating the task and the learner in an advanced academic writing class. Having identified three types of learner (non-) participation– silence, dominance and off-task talk – through reflective viewing and micro-analysis of video data from a class I taught, I asked how these interactional concerns are understood and addressed by other writing teachers in the same language program as I was teaching. Interview findings from eight writing teachers suggest that the teachers play a key mediating role during the various phases of implementing a task-based lesson in order to address the concerns of silence, dominance and off-task talk. For example, in the task design phase, the students can be given specific roles in their group or can be given planning time. In the task performance phase, the teacher can make judicious interventions in order to encourage contributions from the quiet students or put talkative students on hold for a while. The paper concludes with its contributions to and implications for the professional development of language teachers in task-based pedagogy.
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    A Small Story Speaks Louder: Insights from an Internal Evaluation of the Discussion Circle Project
    ( 2012) Choi, Na Young ; Meier, Valerie ; Trace, Johnathan
    This paper reports on a small-scale internal evaluation of the Discussion Circle (DC) project within the English Language Institute (ELI) Listening and Speaking level 80 class at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Four questions were asked to evaluate DC project in online and face-to-face ELI 80. The study employed a variety of methods aimed at collecting data from multiple directions about the DC project and its implementation.
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    The Construct Validation of ELI Listening Placement Tests
    ( 2011) Chun, Jean Young
    This study presents the validation process for the listening placement tests administered by the English Language Institute (ELI) at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. The research questions are: (a) How does the ELI define the listening comprehension construct validity, (b) How well does the ELI Listening Placement Test (ELI LPT) measure the listening comprehension construct, and (c) How differently do test-takers perform on the dictation test and the multiple- choice test according to language group? Participants in the research included international students and immigrant students enrolled over three semesters in spring and fall 2010 and spring 2011. The study was conducted using a quantitative approach including test score analysis, test item analysis, and a survey, as well as a qualitative approach including curriculum analysis and interviews with administrators and instructors. The findings from the evaluation process addresses the three research questions, the ELI listening comprehension construct, positive and negative evidence concerning construct validity, and different test performances of language groups. Some constructive suggestions for the ELI based on these results were discussed as well as follow-up research topics.
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    Needs Analysis in an Academic Listening and Speaking Course: An Approach to English L2 Learners‟ Difficulties
    ( 2011) Noda, Kazuyo
    This study investigated English as a second language students' language needs in an academic listening and speaking course at an American university and examined whether the course met their needs. Prior to the data collection, an examination of the course syllabus and interviews with the teachers were conducted to understand the course. Regarding the research method, methodological triangulation was used over two semesters, including the use of interviews, a questionnaire, and class observations. Participants included three interviewees, 78 respondents to the questionnaire, and 39 students in class observations.The data gathered from the participants revealed that there were gaps between their needs and the course content. The study identifies three important items that students should work on in the course (oral presentation, interactions with native speakers, and listening) and then discusses how these items could be incorporated into the course activities. Finally, pedagogical implications are suggested for the course.