Title page for ETD etd-10192006-115600

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Kauffman, Donna Carey
URN etd-10192006-115600
Title The effects of a goal-oriented syllabus on college-bound English as a second language (ESL) students
Degree Doctor of Education
Department Curriculum and Instruction
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Shrum, Judith L. Committee Chair
Volger, Daniel Committee Chair
Weber, Larry J. Committee Member
Wildman, Terry M. Committee Member
Witkowsky, P. Committee Member
  • English language Study and teaching (Higher) Forei
Date of Defense 1992-09-05
Availability restricted
The purpose of this study was to propose optimal

syllabus component guidelines for college-preparatory

English as a Second Language (ESL) courses. The procedural

problem of this study was to analyze the effects of

specificity of syllabus content on college-bound ESL student

performance. The population of this study consisted of 25

students enrolled in a Low Intermediate writing class at a

mid-sized university's English language institute. Thirteen

students were randomly assigned to an experimental group and

twelve students to a control group. The experimental group

was four males and nine females with the average age of 22.8

years. Nationalities were Japanese (4), Korean (4),

Bolivian (1), Moroccan (1), and Venezuelan (1). In the

control group were two males and ten females with an average

age of 21.81. Nationalities were Japanese (5), Korean (4),

Ecuadorian (1), Jordanian (1), and Panamanian (1).

Students in the experimental group were assigned a

highly-specific CourseBuilding™ syllabus consisting of

course goals, and performance objectives, student

deliverables at the beginning of the Fall term. Students in

the control group were given a non-specific Institute

syllabus consisting of homework assignments and due dates.

In addition to the independent variable of specificity of

syllabus content, as illustrated by the CourseBuilding™

and Institute syllabi, three dependent variables were also

examined. The first was student performance in ESL as

measured by the Test of English as a Foreign Language

(TOEFL) and class grades. The second was student and

instructor perception of necessity and importance of

syllabus components as measured by scores on the researcherdeveloped

Syllabus Analysis Scale (SAS) and by structured

interviews of students and instructors. The third dependent

variable was student satisfaction with the course, as

measured by the SAS and interviews.

The study revealed the following statistically

significant outcomes at the p<.05 level: that students in

the experimental group felt that the course met their needs

better than did the students in the control group; and that

students in the experimental group reported using their

syllabus less often than did the students in the control

group. From non-significant findings and interview and

class observation results, it was concluded that students

desire a high degree of syllabus-component specificity.

Data from the SAS' scale revealed that a combination

CourseBuilding™/Institute syllabus best suited the needs of

the students.

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