Okayama JALT:

Two Papers on Student Performance

Date: Saturday, May 17th, 2003 Time: 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Speaker: Peter Burden, Dr. Paul Hullah

Date is subject to change. contact burden-p@osu.ac.jp
There are two topics today. The title of the first is:
How do Japanese students perceive success and failure?: A study using Attribution Theory
Peter Burden.
This paper attempts to shed light on ways in which Japanese learners interpret and construct reasons for their success and failure in learning a foreign language, and how they make sense of their learning situation. Students' own attributions of the success or failure of their English language learning were analysed, and results of a questionnaire of 231 University students suggested that learners saw ability and effort as being principal attributions for success and failure. Although many learners stated that they sometimes felt success in learning English, the relatively low number of attributions suggests that learners need a focus for their studies, need to learn how to use appropriate strategies, and to be encouraged to perform metacognitive self-monitoring to raise expectancy of success. The use of co-operative rather than competitive goal structures would create positive interdependence to overcome failure acceptance or "learned helplessness."
The second topic today is entitled:
Is L2 Oral Test Performance Affected by Audio Stimulus Genre?
Dr. Paul Hullah.
Recent research has shown that L2 performance is influenced by a number of variables, including topic, rhetorical structure, purpose, and audience. At a 1997 JALT Seminar, Hullah presented experimental research findings to demonstrate specifically that written stimulus genre also significantly affects L2 written test performance. But current L2 testing may also seek to elicit spoken language from learners using prompts presented in audio form. Students may be asked to summarize, or comment upon the style or content of a stimulus. However, to the best of the speaker's knowledge, the effect on learner spoken performance of audio prompt genre has not yet been subjected to formal study. Hullah thus decided to repeat the 1997 experiment with attention turned now to audio input and oral response. This paper describes the subsequent experiment, conducted with subjects comprising a group of Japanese university graduates, and presents the results. The implications of these new study findings are of clear significance to ELT teachers and testers.

Organization: Okayama Chapter of the Japan Association for Language Teaching (Okayama JALT)

Cost: JALT Members: free
Non-members: 1000 yen, students 500 yen

Venue: Sankaku A Bldg. 2F

Location: Okayama City, Okayama Prefecture, Japan


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