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Title: Researching innovation in task-based teaching : authentic use of professional English by Thai nursing students
Author: Tachom, Khomkrit
ISNI:       0000 0004 5346 8256
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2014
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Over the past few decades, Task-Based Language Teaching (TBLT) has come into existence as a further development of the communicative approach. There have been some theoretical arguments over the merits of TBLT, and TBLT has taken a variety of different forms. However, a number of empirical studies confirm the feasibility of TBLT under appropriate conditions, and demonstrate its pedagogic effectiveness in ESP settings. To date, there has been no application of TBLT in professional communication courses in English for health science students in Thailand. This thesis investigated the potential of TBLT in this setting, to address a number of known problems with the development of spoken English within ESP in Thai higher education. This study was designed as a teaching intervention, conducted with a group of health science students. An action research design was followed, and both qualitative and quantitative data were obtained in the current study concerning the instructional process, ongoing student learning, and final learning outcomes. Thirty-one second year nursing students from School of Nursing, University of Northern Thailand (a pseudonym), participated in this study. All students attended a 12-week TBLT in Professional English course designed and taught by the researcher, and the central feature of the course was the requirement for students to perform oral role-play tasks over twelve weeks. Data were collected via (1) pre-and post-listening comprehension tests, (2) pre-and post-role play tasks, (3) longitudinal student case studies (4) repeated in-sessional questionnaires, (5) a post-sessional questionnaire, (6) an in-sessional group interview, and (7) teacher journal. The results from the pre- and post-listening comprehension tests and pre-and post-role play tasks showed that the students significantly increased their listening comprehension scores and used more communication skills in the interaction between nurses and patient in the post-role play. The case study results also indicate that individual students increased their use of communication skills, grammatical structures and lexical variety over time, as well as being more confident and adventurous with spoken language use. The positive outcomes of professional TBLT were supported by the findings of the in-sessional questionnaire, post-sessional questionnaire, in-sessional group interviews and teacher journal, which demonstrated very positive opinions towards the implementation of professional TBLT. Implications are drawn and recommendations made for further research and development to promote the fuller application of TBLT in ESP settings.
Supervisor: Mitchell, Rosamond Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PL Languages and literatures of Eastern Asia ; Africa ; Oceania ; RT Nursing