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Title: The English benchmark policy for graduation : an investigation of perception, motivation, and approaches to learning at a University of Technology in central Taiwan
Author: Shih, Pei-Chi
ISNI:       0000 0004 2751 4474
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2013
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The present study explored teachers’ and students’ attitudes towards the English graduation benchmark policy and the perceived impact of the policy on students’motivation for learning. Under the policy, students had to pass one of the recommended standardised English proficiency tests in order to graduate. 15 English teachers and 982 non-English majors at a technological university in central Taiwan participated in the study. Both quantitative and qualitative approaches were employed for the present study. The results showed that the policy was approved overall by teachers and students. Students reported relatively high levels of identified regulation(i.e., a more autonomous form of extrinsic motivation) and mastery-approach goals,indicating that they wanted to do well on the exam and had a desire to improve their English proficiency. Differences by gender, year of study, academic discipline, English proficiency levels, and test status in terms of the motivational responses to the policy were also examined in the present study. The results showed that the extent of the approval of the policy seemed to be more related to students’ English abilities than to other characteristics; the degree of test anxiety was more related to students’ year and their English abilities than to other characteristics; students’ English abilities seemed to play an important role in determining the adoption of motivational regulations and approaches to learning; and finally, the role of performance-avoidance goals might be more important than other types of achievement goals in this high-stakes testing context. The pedagogical suggestions are proposed as follows: the quality of the English exit exam has to be ensured; students need to be provided with different sets of standards under the policy; appropriate learning strategies, especially deep approaches, have to be taught; and finally, a connection among curriculum,instruction, and the assessment should be facilitated.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available