The Effects of Instruction in Reduced Forms on the Performance of Low-Proficiency EFL University Students

| December 1, 2012
Title
The Effects of Instruction in Reduced Forms on the Performance of Low-Proficiency EFL University Students

Keywords: reductions in spoken English, listening comprehension, speaking fluency, university

Authors
Paul Underwood
Toyo Eiwa University, Japan

Matthew Wallace
Kanto International Senior High School, Japan

Bio Data
Paul Underwood is a Lecturer in the Department of Social Science at Toyo Eiwa University (Japan). He is a Ph.D. candidate at Lancaster University (UK), investigating the impact of Japan’s 2009 Course of Study reforms on the teaching of grammar. He also is a member of the Advisory Committee for the United Nation’s Association’s Test of English in Japan.

Matthew Wallace is the head of the “Super English” programme at Kanto International Senior High School. He holds an M.A. in TESOL from Teacher’s College, Columbia University. His major research interests include EFL teaching and learning, language assessment, and EFL listening.

Abstract
This purpose of this exploratory study was to investigate the comprehension and productive development of reduced-form (e.g., wanna, and whadaya) instruction with low-proficiency English as a Foreign Language (EFL) students. The participants were 52 Japanese, non-English major university students. They received 30 minutes’ weekly instruction in understanding and using reduced forms of English speech. To evaluate the effect of this instruction, comprehension and productive development was analysed in terms of the students’ score performance in pre- and post-course assessments of listening and conversational ability. The results from dependent-samples t-test analyses indicated significant improvements in both post-course assessments of listening (M = 4.1, SD = .52), t (25) = -13.04, p &#60 .0005 (two-tailed) and conversation (M = 2.7, SD = .78), t (25) = -15.25, p &#60 .0005). Further analysis also indicated that participants understood each other’s use of reduced forms with a high degree of accuracy. Implications are discussed in terms of the usefulness of comprehension- and production-oriented teaching of reduced forms to low-proficiency level EFL students. We believe that while this preliminary research was conducted in Japan, given its general orientation, the findings will be of relevance and interest to the broader EFL context.

[private] See page: 134-152

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Category: 2012 Quartlerly, Quarterly Journal