Postgraduate Use of English at Dhurakij Pundit University/Conclusions, Implications, and Recommendations
CHAPTER V: CONCLUSIONS, IMPLICATIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS
This chapter presents the following topics: Conclusions, Implications, and Recommendations.
This study investigated the use of English with other members of the Thai Academic Community among Dhurakij Pundit University’s postgraduate business students. 131 postgraduate students answered the questionnaire; two focus-group interviews were conducted.
The questions asked were:
- How did they (131 post-graduate students as the subjects) perceive their own English ability?
- What were their conceptions of the Thai academics? How did they perceive their identities?
- Across the four skills, namely, listening, speaking, reading, and writing, what are the students’ levels of use with other members of the Thai academic community?
- What were their challenges or difficulties of English use?
- How well or effective could they cope with the problems/challenges?
- Were there any relationships between the students’ personal factors and their use of English, perceived English ability, and reported problems in language use?
- Was the support they receive from the university adequate?
1. The use of English of DPU postgraduate students within the Thai academic community was limited in the scope and degree.
2. Only thirty-seven (32%) out of 116 postgraduate students surveyed mentioned English as part of the qualifications of Thai academics; Seventy-nine of them or 68% did not mention English in their self-reports. The majority of them (65 or 61%) said they were part of the Thai academic community; whereas, 42 or 39% said they were not (N=107).
3. Support from the institution is needed, especially, among those whose perceived English ability is low. One of the findings is that However, the correlation between the ability to cope with the demands of English and the overall perceived English ability is positive (.33). This means that if the ability is high, the ability to cope with English is also high.
4. The link between perceived identity and coping ability was significantly correlated.
5. The present study has reported the relationship between the three constructs: (1) Perceived Support from the Institution, (2) Perceived English Ability, and (3) Coping Ability.
6. Personal factors have affected their performance. For example, their overseas training experience, which was sig at 0.05 level.
- The findings have the following implications.
- The study found the low level of English use among the student participants. The program providers/developers should structure the learning environment conducive to language development.
- The study found the relationship between the student participants' perceived identity and their use of English. This may suggest that program providers look beyond conventional teaching such as teacher-fronted conventional classroom teaching.
- The study found that female student participants preferred a different level of institutional support. As more women have opportunities to enhance their educational potential, program providers should recognize the different needs of the two sexes; this may mean that their support structures be adequate and flexible and individualized.
- This study only investigated 131 postgraduate students in one of the private universities in Thailand. Thus, its generalizability is limited. Future studies should broader the scope of the investigation.
- This study revealed that perceived identity had the role in explaining reported language use and the level of language coping ability of the student participants. Further research should investigate the many facets of perceived identities and other variables, e.g. the relationship between identities and other variables such as attitudes and motivations.
- The present study has reported that the level of English use of the student participants was low. This seems to confirm the current state of English use among postgraduate students in Thailand. (The low percentage of them said they had overseas language training experience). The program providers should create conditions where they are required to use more English in their postgraduate study.