AN EMPIRICAL EVALUATION OF THE ESP COURSE BOOK USED AT HANOI UNIVERSITY OF PHARMACY

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VIETNAM ACADEMY OF SOCIAL SCIENCES GRADUATE ACADEMY OF SOCIAL SCIENCES Lê Tố Hương AN EMPIRICAL EVALUATION OF THE ESP COURSE BOOK USED AT HANOI UNIVERSITY OF PHARMACY MA THESIS IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE HANOI, 2019 VIETNAM ACADEMY OF SOCIAL SCIENCES GRADUATE ACADEMY OF SOCIAL SCIENCES Lê Tố Hương AN EMPIRICAL EVALUATION OF THE ESP COURSE BOOK USED AT HANOI UNIVERSITY OF PHARMACY Field: English Language Code: 8220201 Supervisor: Assoc Prof Dr Hồ Ngọc Trung HANOI, 2019 DECLARATION BY AUTHOR I certify that the work contained in this thesis is the result of my own research, and this thesis has not been submitted for any degrees at any other universities or institutions Author’s Signature Lê Tố Hương Approved by SUPERVISOR Assoc Prof Dr Hồ NgọcTrung Date: i ACKNOWLEDGEMENT This thesis is completed after many working hours, as well as the contribution from numerous people with their effort, enthusiasm and assistance; and this dissertation is whole heartedly dedicated to them First and foremost, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to my supervisor, Assoc Prof Dr Hồ Ngọc Trung for his useful comments and continuous support of my study, for his patience, encouragement, enthusiasm and immense knowledge His guidance helped me tremendously in all the time of research and writing of this thesis Next, I would like to convey my sincere appreciation and thanks to Mr Đặng Nguyên Giang and the staff of the Department of Foreign Languages, Graduate Academy of Social Sciences for granting me the honor of writing this thesis as well as their assistance and most valuable comments Additionally, I would be most grateful for all of the help from teachers at Hanoi University of Pharmacy for their support and sharing the workload so that I could wholeheartedly focus on the study and get it completed Furthermore, I would like to send my special thanks to all of the students at Hanoi University of Pharmacy for their enthusiasm; their answers and responses helped me a lot with the analysis of the thesis Last but not least, I would like to express my gratitude to my beloved family, who always support me during the progress of conducting and finishing this thesis ii TABLE OF CONTENTS DECLARATION BY AUTHOR i ACKNOWLEDGEMENT ii LIST OF TABLES AND CHARTS .vi LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS USED IN THE THESIS vii CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION 1.1 Rationale 1.2 Aim(s) of the study .1 1.3 Research questions .1 1.4 Scope of the Study 1.5 Significance of the study 1.6 Research methods 1.7 Structure of the study CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW 2.1 Text book, coursebook and material 2.1.1 Definitions 2.1.2 Roles of materials in ELT classrooms .5 2.2 Coursebook evaluation 2.2.1 Definitions of coursebook evaluation 2.2.2 Models of coursebook evaluation 2.2.3 Criteria for coursebook evaluation 13 2.3 Needs analysis 16 2.4 Previous studies on coursebook evaluation 18 2.5 English for Specific Purposes 20 2.6 Summary 21 CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGY 22 3.1 The setting 22 3.1.1 Overview of ESP teaching and learning at Hanoi University of Pharmacy 22 3.1.2 Course material 22 3.1.3 Course objectives 23 3.1.4 Course assessment 23 3.2 Research methodology 24 3.2.1 Participants 24 3.2.2 Research instruments 26 3.2.3 Data collection procedure 28 3.2.4 Data analysis methods 29 3.3 Summary 29 CHAPTER 4: FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION 30 4.1 About the learners 30 4.2 The suitability of the coursebook to the objectives of the course 33 4.2.1 Data collected from the questionnaire 33 4.2.2 Data collected from semi-structured interviews 39 4.2.3 Discussion and conclusion 39 4.3 The suitability of the coursebook to students’ needs 40 iii 4.3.1 Data collected from questionnaires 40 4.3.2 Data collected from semi-structured interviews 42 4.3.3 Discussion and conclusion 43 4.4 The suitability of the coursebook to the current teaching and learning methods .43 4.4.1 Data collected from questionnaires 43 4.4.2 Data collected from semi-structured interviews 50 4.4.3 Discussion and conclusion 51 4.5 General evaluation and suggestion for further use of the coursebook 51 4.5.1 General evaluation 51 4.5.2 Suggestions for further use 52 4.5.3 Summary 53 CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSION 54 5.1 Recapitulation 54 5.2 Concluding Remarks 55 5.2.1 The suitability to the objectives of the course 55 5.2.2 The suitability to students’ needs 55 5.2.3 The suitability to current teaching and learning methods .55 5.3 Implications 56 5.4 Limitations and Suggestions for Further Studies 56 REFERENCES .58 APPENDIX 1: PHIẾU KHẢO SÁT Ý KIẾN SINH VIÊN I APPENDIX 2: QUESTIONNAIRE FOR TEACHERS .VIII APPENDIX 3: TRANSCRIPT OF TEACHER INTERVIEW XV iv ABSTRACT The present study evaluates the coursebook “A text-based ESP course for Pharmacy students” for non-English major students at Hanoi University of Pharmacy in terms its suitability to the objectives of the course, students’ needs and current teaching and learning method Eighty-six non-English major students and four teachers who were using this coursebook were invited to answer the questionnaires, and four teachers to take part in the interviews Data were analyzed both quantitatively and qualitatively Overall, the results of the research have shown that teachers’ evaluations of the textbooks are very positive Findings revealed the coursebook fundamentally met the course’s objectives and students’ needs, and fit in with the current teaching and learning method, though there were still minor unsuitable parts that need adaptation The result of this study would benefit both teachers and learners who work with this material for better use in the future Key words: coursebook, textbook, material, coursebook evaluation, empirical evaluation, A text-based ESP course for Pharmacy students, nonEnglish major v LIST OF TABLES AND CHARTS Chart 4.1: Students’ age Chart 4.2: Students’ period of learning English Chart 4.3: Students’ background of learning English Table 4.1: Teachers’ evaluation of the objectives of the coursebook Table 4.2: Students’ evaluation of the objectives of the coursebook Table 4.3: Teachers’ evaluation of the suitability of the coursebook to the students’ needs Table 4.4: Students’ evaluation of the suitability of the coursebook to their needs Table 4.5: Teachers’ views on the effectiveness of the teaching and learning interactions used with the coursebook Table 4.6: Students’ views on the effectiveness of the teaching and learning interactions used with the coursebook Table 4.7: Teachers’ views on the frequency of the teaching aids used with the coursebook Table 4.8: Students’ views on the frequency of the teaching aids used with the coursebook Table 4.9: Teachers’ evaluation on the methodology of the coursebook Table 4.10: Students’ evaluation on the methodology of the coursebook Table 4.11: Students’ and teachers’ overall rating of the coursebook unit Table 4.12: Students’ and teachers’ judgment on the time allocation for each unit vi LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS USED IN THE THESIS EFL: English as a Foreign Language ESL: English as a Second Language ESP: English for Special Purpose ETL: English Teaching and Learning FLF: Foreign Language Faculty HUP: Hanoi University of Pharmacy vii CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION 1.1 Rationale English for Specific Purposes (ESP) has been taught to undergraduates of Hanoi University of Pharmacy (HUP) for many years The aim of ESP course is to enable the learners to use English for their professional purposes, especially to digest professional documents of their field for further study There are several factors affecting the ESP teaching and learning process such as: materials, teaching and learning method, students’ awareness of learning and so on One of the factors which is of utmost importance in learning ESP is to see whether the coursebook is useful for the purpose of the course or not At the HUP, the book of “A text-based ESP course for Pharmacy students”, which was collected and edited from various sources, and put into use in 2016, is designated to those in the fourth year, who hold certain knowledge of pharmacy To some extent, its objectives meet teaching and learning’s goals such as the vocabulary, grammar points as well as help the learners how to gain effective reading techniques and ability of choosing the relevant documents for their job However, with a view to having a more objective look at the course material, a textbook evaluation from teachers and students of HUP is done 1.2 Aim(s) of the study The main purpose of the thesis is to evaluate the current ESP coursebook used at HUP to find out whether the coursebook meets the aims of the course and the students’ needs and methodology 1.3 Research questions In order to fulfill the above aims, the study is expected to answer the following research questions: Làm việc cá nhân Học sinh thuyết trình Giáo viên trình bày Làm việc tập thể lớp Ghi : Bình thường Câu 2: Những phương tiện hỗ trợ giảng dạy dưới sử dụng kèm với giáo trình này thế nào? Khoanh tròn vào sớ tương ứng với ý kiến bạn Nội dung Máy chiếu Tranh ảnh Video Vật thật Khác (nếu có)…… Ghi : Khơng V Thường xuyên Rất thường xuyên Câu 3: Bạn đánh thế nào về mức độ đáp ứng giáo trình về tiêu chí sau? Khoanh tròn vào số tương ứng với ý kiến bạn Giáo trình cung cấp đầy đủ, cân đối hoạt động đọc, nói, viết, củng cớ ngữ pháp, từ vựng Các hoạt động giáo trình khuyến khích học sinh vận dụng tích hợp kỹ với mục đích giao tiếp thực tế Giáo trình cung cấp tài liệu hỗ trợ hoạt động tự học học sinh Giáo trình thay đổi linh hoạt đơn vị, nợi dung học, học, liên kết với tài liệu khác Khác (nếu có)…… Ghi chú: 1Kém Tố Phần V: Đánh giá chung Câu 1: Ý kiến đánh giá chung bạn về giáo trình: Kém VI Câu 2: Theo bạn, 30 tiết học cho khoá học với - tiết/ đơn vị bài học là Ít Phù hợp Nhiều Quá nhiều Câu 3: Theo bạn giáo trình cần có thay đổi gì?  Về mức đợ ngơn ngữ ………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………  Về nội dung ………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………  Về phương pháp ………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………  Về thời lượng ………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………… Chân thành cảm ơn hợp tác bạn! VII APPENDIX 2: QUESTIONNAIRE FOR TEACHERS This questionnaire is designed to investigate opinions of English teachers at Hanoi University of Pharmacy about the coursebook “A Textbased ESP course for Pharmacy Students” for the fourth-year students at the university Your ideas are very meaningful and valuable for this research of evaluating the material, from which appropriate adjustments will be made in order to improve the quality of future teaching and learning English at the  school Please answer the following questions by putting a tick ( ) at the appropriate options and/or filling in the blanks Thank you for your cooperation! PART 1: Personal profile Full name: …………………………………………………………………… Level of English when you started teaching the ESP material: ………………………………………………………………………………… PART 2: The suitability of the course book to the aims of the course Please show the extent of your choice with the following statements by using the scale below: completely inappropriate appropriate Subjective The content of the coursebook is consistent with the course objectives VIII The content of the coursebook has the pharmaceutical vocabulary and terminology appropriate to the objectives of the ESP course The knowledge of seven pharmacy majors is taught at the university in accordance with the course In the course book, reading skills were integrated with other skills except listening skills The content and number of vocabulary presented in the coursebook help students to read and translate some basic treatises in English or American pharmacopoeia After the course, based on the seven oriented – specialties, students’ vocabulary was developed Having completed the course book, the students had a thorough grasp of the grammatical points of ESP texts The course book provided the students with opportunities to practice both spoken and written languages PART 3: The suitability of the course book to students’ needs Please show the extent of your choice with the following statements by using the scale below: Strongly disagree Neither agree nor disagree IX Subjective After learning the course book, you can distinguish the terms and words used in pharmaceutical sciences from those of other specialties and in daily communication The course book gives you opportunities to enrich your vocabulary in pharmaceutical sciences The course book is used to assist you with the reading and translation of the material relating to pharmaceutical sciences Other areas you could learn from the course book (please specify and rate) PART 4: The suitability of the coursebook to the current teaching and learning methods How effective are the following teaching and learning interactions used in this material? Please show the extent of your choice with the following statements by using the scale below: very ineffective ineffective neither ineffective nor effective effective X very effective Stu Te W How often are the following teaching aids used with this material? Please show the extent of your choice with the following statements by using the scale below: Never Content Projectors Charts Videos Realia Others (if any)…… XI In your opinion, how does the coursebook meet the following requirements? Please show the extent of your choice with the following statements by using the scale below: Poorly Well Content The material provides a good balance of reading, speaking and writing skill practice, vocabulary and grammar reinforcement The material provides tasks and activities to practice language and integrated skills in meaningful communication The material includes language guidance for students and suggestions for their further self-study The material is flexible in orders of different units and language points It can also XII be linked to other materials for references Other (if any)…… SECTION 4: General evaluation What is your overall rating of the coursebook? Poor Fair Good Very good Excellent In your opinion, 30 periods for the whole course with – periods / unit is… Little Enough Much Too much What are your suggestions for the improvement of the current coursebook? -Language level ……………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………… - Content ……………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………… - Methodology ……………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………… - Time allocation XIII ……………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………… - Others (if any) ……………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………… Thank you very much for your cooperation! XIV APPENDIX 3: TRANSCRIPT OF TEACHER INTERVIEW Researcher: Good morning everyone! I am very glad to welcome and thank all of you for coming here today As you know, I am doing the thesis entitled “An empirical evaluation of the coursebook “A Text-based ESP Course for Pharmacy Students” for non-English major students at Hanoi University of Pharmacy” My research is going to find out the extent to which the coursebook “A Text-based ESP Course for Pharmacy Students” meets the course’s objectives, the students’ needs and suits the current teaching and learning methods of the course All of you here have at least four years of teaching this material; therefore I would like you all to share and give recommendations on the matters above You are ensured that all your names and identities will be kept confidentially, and please be aware that all of the interviews will be recorded and transcribed later on Now we will start with question Researcher: Question 1: What are the strengths and weaknesses of the coursebook “A Text-based ESP Course for Pharmacy Students”? Teacher 1: In general, the book is quite suitable for HUP students because it provides the students with a basic technical vocabulary in English on chemistry, drug introduction However, I think the material is not systematically graded and sequenced in terms of the language items, therefore does not highlight the most important linguistic features or the aspects of the language Teacher 2: A good point of the material is designed to develop a variety of reading skills which are mostly found in each unit so that students have opportunities to develop reading skills Teacher 3: I find that the learners are happy with the content of the material The subject areas in the book are closely related to learners’ subject matter in terms of general specialty and specific specialty XV Teacher 4: I also agree with the ideas of the three teachers above I find the book rather effective In terms of weakness, I suppose that the material focuses mainly on reading skills The other skills are marginalized in pre or post reading stages Researcher: Question 2: How suitable is the material to the course, the students and the current teaching and learning methods in your school? Teacher 1: In my opinion, “A Text-based ESP Course for Pharmacy Students” is quite suitable for the course because it helps the learners widen their specialist vocabulary which makes them easier to read and translate the material reference Teacher 2: The ESP coursebook provides the students at HUP topics related to their major and equipped them with an amount of subject matter knowledge Teacher 3: regarding the methodology implied in the materials, the appropriate techniques for teaching can be seen in this coursebook such as pair work, group work, student presentation or class activities, which meet the students’ learning styles Teacher 4: Compared to the coursebook previously used “A Text-based ESP Course for Pharmacy Students” is much more interesting What should be noted is that the book covers topic which seem relevant to the needs and interests of the students at HUP, so most of them are really motivated in English class This is fortunate because they are asked to read many kinds of reference books in English on their own specialization by their subject matter teachers Researcher: Question 3: What difficulties did you have when you used this material? XVI Teacher 1: Meaning of the technical vocabulary on pharmaceutical sciences and structure of the reading text Teacher 2: Some of the reading texts are so long Sometimes we not have enough time to all the tasks and exercises in the coursebook Teacher 3: The learners’ level in English and their background knowledge of the subject matter not very well match with the language level and background knowledge which the book requires Teacher 4: I completely agree with teacher 2’ s opinion Within very limited time of the course, it is extremely difficult for both teachers and learners at HUP to cover the curriculum, let alone study extra materials Class size is also a big problem because nobody wants to have a language lesson in a crowded group with many other partners Researcher: Question 4: What are your suggestions for the improvement of this material? Teacher 1: This course book is interesting, and suitable for ESP course, but it should be edited in some parts: 1/ Edit some vocabulary exercises 2/ Delete Vietnamese meaning and add alphabetical pronunciation 3/Add new part “Useful language” with some situations and template for real conversation Teacher 2: I suggest more time for each unit so that teachers and students have enough opportunities for language skill development Teacher 3: We can make the material more interesting and relevant to the students’ needs by arranging texts in an order of the level of difficulty of content and vocabulary XVII Teacher 4: Introduce vocabulary gradually and in such a way that it can be used repeatedly in later lessons XVIII XIX ... at the course material, a textbook evaluation from teachers and students of HUP is done 1.2 Aim(s) of the study The main purpose of the thesis is to evaluate the current ESP coursebook used at. .. followed by the conceptions of coursebook evaluation, approaches to coursebook evaluation and criteria for coursebook evaluation The literature review of previous studies on coursebook evaluation as... objectives of the coursebook Table 4.3: Teachers’ evaluation of the suitability of the coursebook to the students’ needs Table 4.4: Students’ evaluation of the suitability of the coursebook to their
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