Master's Thesis

The Role of Setting Criteria for Speaking Summative Assessment in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (EFL) (Qafqaz University Case)

Dissertation Title:

 The Role of Setting Criteria for Speaking Summative Assessment in Teaching English as  a Foreign Language (EFL) (Qafqaz University Case)

Student:

 Venera Ulker

Scientific Supervisor(s):

 Prof. Dr. Natela Doghonadze

Defence Date :

 03.02.2015

ABSTRACT

This Master thesis deals with selecting and using criteria to assess speaking skills. The aim of this study is to investigate the use of speaking assessment criteria in university language preparatory course (Qafqaz Uviversity, Baku, Azerbaijan) and its effects on students. This study tried to explore the differences between teaching speaking skills with the help of assessment rubrics and by traditional methods.

The study discusses and examines the educational potential of rubrics implemented in the process of learning and assessment of speaking skills.

The first and the second chapters, serving as a theoretical basis for the subsequent research, presents readers some general information about assessment, its criteria in the context of assessing speaking skills, and the psycholinguistic nature of speaking skills.

In order to find out the difference between the speaking skills’ assessment based on carefully selected criteria and scale and based on traditional (subjective, intuitive) methods, an experiment was held – the experimental and control groups from 35 students, aged 17-18, of university language preparatory course. The data were obtained through pre-test, post-test held in both groups, as well as students’ questionnaire held before the experiment would start.

Teaching speaking in a foreign language to the learners of other languages without a corresponding speaking environment (such as exists in Azerbaijan) can be considered as a challenging job, however, it can be facilitated by applying carefully selected assessment criteria to reveal to students in detail the target of their learning.

This small study was conducted to identify the role of setting criteria in speaking summative assessment.  

After analyzing students' answers to the questionnaire and the pre - and post- test results, it was found that the implementation of criteria into the process of development of speaking skills plays an important positive role in teaching speaking. Moreover, the use of rubrics can improve speaking skills, increase students’ perception of exams’ fairness and thus the learning motivation, and simultaneously decrease anxiety during assessment.

Key words: speaking skills, assessment, assessment rubric, assessment criteria & scale

Full Text is available at IBSU Library

 

The Role of Project Work in Development of Critical Reading Strategies in Learning English as a Foreign Language (EFL) (Qafqaz University Case)

Dissertation Title:

 The Role of Project Work in Development of Critical Reading Strategies in Learning English  as a Foreign Language (EFL) (Qafqaz University Case)

Student:

 Unal Ulker

Scientific Supervisor(s):

 Prof. Dr. Natela Doghonadze

Defence Date :

 03.02.2015

ABSTRACT

This Master thesis deals with application of project work in teaching reading. The aim of this study is to investigate the use of project work in the development of reading strategies in university language preparatory course (Qafqaz University, Baku, Azerbaijan) and its effect on students. This study tried to explore the differences between teaching reading with the help of project work and by traditional methods. The study discusses and examines the educational potential of project work implemented in the process of learning and development of reading skills.

The first and the second chapters, serving as a theoretical basis for the subsequent research,are based on methodology books and publications on project work published mostly in English-speaking countries. They present readers some general information about the history of project work, characteristic features of learning in a project, nature of reading skills and teaching reading in EFL classroom. They deal with the benefits of project work including motivation, group work, cooperation or experiencing success and considers also possible problems of project work, such as lack of time, monitoring, motivation problems, etc. The theoretical part also distinguishes the basic stages of a project work procedure: opening, topic orientation, research and data collection, preparation of data presentation, presentation and evaluation.

In the research part, a small study was conducted to identify the role of project work in the development of critical reading strategies in EFL classroom(in Qafqaz University context). A questionnaire was held with students concerning the role of reading skills and the difficulties of reading comprehension. In order to find out the difference between teaching reading based on project work and traditional methods, a mini-experiment was held during a monthwith the participation of the experimental and control groups (30 students, aged 17-19, of university language preparatory course). The data were obtained through pre-test and post-test held in both groups, as well as a mini-questionnaire held after the experiment, to see how much students have benefitted from project work and how their attitude to such work has changedas result of the experience. After analyzing students' answers to the questionnaire and the test results it was found that the implementation of project work in the process of development of reading skills plays an important positive role.The use of projects can increase students’ motivation and involvement in reading in English and improve the level of their language proficiency.

Key words: project work, reading skills, reading strategies

Full Text is available at IBSU Library

 

 

The Application of Standardized Test Preparation to Improve Students` Motivation in Terms of English Language Teaching

Dissertation Title:

 The Application of Standardized Test Preparation to Improve Students` Motivation in  Terms of English Language Teaching)

Student:

 Omer Sahin

Scientific Supervisor(s):

 Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mehmet Sahiner

Defence Date :

 03.02.2015

ABSTRACT

The aim of this study is to investigate the impact of the standardized tests on students` motivation. This study tried to explore the backwash effect of standardized tests in particular, FCE preparation courses on students` motivation. Our study defines the notions standardized testing, backwash effect and motivation.

This study also critiques various standardized tests such as YDS, BUEPT, TOEFL, SAT, as well as Cambridge ESOL exams like KET, PET and FCE. Then, it assesses various applications of YDS and BUEPT standardized test preparation courses in Turkey as well as ESOL test preparation courses in the world.

In order to investigate the backwash effect of FCE test preparation on students` motivation towards learning English a quantitative method was implemented. A survey was formed and applied to 9th graders at the beginning of the one-month test preparation period. At the end of this period, the same survey was applied to the same graders. Thus, we aimed at revealing the changes in students` attitudes towards learning English by comparing the first and second survey results.

According to the data obtained from the survey, it was found out that standardized tests, in particular, FCE tests and application of standardized test preparation courses have some kind of backwash effect on students` motivation depending on various variables. 

Some of the fundamental factors that shape the backwash effect of standardized test preparation courses appear to be the perceptions and attitudes teachers have towards these tests, the methodology they apply in classrooms and quality of the test they prepare students for

Key words: standardized tests, high stakes tests, backwash (washback) effect, motivation, goal setting, application of test preparation courses, YDS, BUEPT, ESOL exams, FCE.

Full Text is available at IBSU Library

 

 

 

 

Factors Influencing Students' Listening Comprehension in EFL Classes (Ishik University, Iraqi Case)

Dissertation Title:

 Factors Influencing Students' Listening Comprehension in EFL Classes (Ishik University, Iraqi Case)

Student:

 Mustafa Azmi Bingol

Scientific Supervisor(s):

 Assist. Prof. Dr. Nino Tvalchrelidze

Defence Date :

 03.02.2015

ABSTRACT

Listening skill is mostly neglected or considered as a less important part of many course books or syllabi and lots of teachers do not regard the importance of listening while preparing listening lesson plan. A great number of teachers believe that it will develop naturally within the language learning process and they will learn unconsciously. In fact there are number of listening comprehension barriers based on message, delivery, audience and environment. Teaching and drilling listening strategies ease students listening comprehension. This research explores the factors that contribute to the issues students encounter in listening classes, compare whether the factors are related to the listening passage, the speaker, the listener, or the environment, and identifies which particular factor poses the most difficulty for the learners. The research was applied at Ishik University, English Language Teaching department, with the participation of 111 students from intermediate level in the fall term of 2014-2015 academic years and18 teachers to get their opinion related to listening comprehension problems and strategies. The data were attained by use of questionnaires for teachers (7 questions) and for students (18 questions).

The collected data were analysed with SPSS 20.0 computer software program. The data analysis showed that students use mainly two listening strategies listening for main ideas and listening for details. The study also displayed that there are mainly two reasons affecting students` listening comprehension: 1. Unfamiliar words -including jargon, idioms. 2. Speaker’s fast speech.Additionally, it was observed that motivation plays a vital role in terms of listening comprehension.Studentsbecome better listeners when they are motivated.

Keywords: Listening comprehension, listening strategies, motivation

Full Text is available at IBSU Library

 

Changes in Quality Standards of Higher Education in Turkey since 2005

Dissertation Title:

 Changes in Quality Standards of Higher Education in Turkey since 2005

Student:

 Adem Demirci

Scientific Supervisor(s):

 Prof. Dr. Natela Doghonadze

Defence Date :

 03.02.2015

ABSTRACT

This study discusses the changes in the quality standards in higher education system in Turkey since 2005, dealing with related issues of the Bologna Process. For this purpose past and recent practices and laws have been compared. It has been shown that the Bologna process has facilitated the Turkish education system to become part of European one.  The process focuses on quality and the implementation of it into education system, aiming at high standards adequate for higher education of European countries. The Quality Assurance system in Turkey has been discussed in respect to Bologna Process. The internal and external quality assurance and its influence on higher education system has been analyzed. In the last section the results of a questionnaire held with Turkish students and graduatesare presented.   

Full Text is available at IBSU Library

 

 

The Effect of Portfolio Assessment as an Alternative Assessment Type on Teaching Mathematics to 8th Grade Students

Dissertation Title:

 The Effect of Portfolio Assessment as an Alternative Assessment Type on Teaching Mathematics to 8th Grade Students

Student:

 Fatih Cam

Scientific Supervisor(s):

 Assoc. Prof. Dr. Irma Mesiridze

Defence Date :

 03.02.2015

ABSTRACT

Assessment techniques are used to measure the levels of success in the teaching and learning process in education facilities, especially in mathematics. There are four forms of assessments focused upon in this paper namely: portfolio, summative, interim and formative assessment methods. Portfolio and formative assessment allow for the correction of mistakes in the teaching and learning process of mathematics. The latter focuses on the in-process, and it only applies during the class session, and sometimes as homework. Summative includes end-of-year exams or term papers used to rank students, while interim assessment is a set of complex tests carried out briefly on the learning progress. This paper finds out that portfolio assessment in mathematics is more advantageous than the rest of the options, and this is based on the questionnaire results obtained from 58 respondents.    

Full Text is available at IBSU Library

 

 

The Effect of Collaborative Writing on Students’ Apprehension, Attitudes, Beliefs and Performance (IBSU Case)

Dissertation Title:

 The Effect of Collaborative Writing on Students’ Apprehension, Attitudes, Beliefs and    Performance (IBSU Case)

Student:

 Bilal Ozkan

Scientific Supervisor(s):

 Prof. Dr. Ekaterine Pipia

Defence Date :

 02.02.2015

ABSTRACT

The aim of the study is to investigate EFL students’ apprehension, attitudes and beliefs towards collaborative writing course. The thesis highlights the focal differences between the traditional and contemporary collaborative writing classes through observing, monitoring and checking students’ attitudes, beliefs, performances and achievements. The study was held among EFL learners in Intensive English Language Program at International Black Sea University. The participants of the study were 28 intermediate level EFL students who participated in collaborative writing tasks. They had three hours of writing lessons per week. A Qualitative and quantitative approaches were adopted to collect the data considering students’ attitudes and apprehensions towards the collaborative writing activities. After the completion of the tasks, all the wiki pages created by the students, the results of the questionnaires and the data obtained from the interviews were analyzed. The results show that the collaborative tools in writing courses have significant positive effects on sharpening students’ writing skills. The students significantly have positive attitudes towards the collaborative tools although they have not had enough experience of collaborative work. The results of the study also suggested that applying collaborative learning in EFL writing classes may increase students’ autonomy and responsibility for their studies. Furthermore, the studies revealed the students’ positive experiences using wikis in foreign language writing, which enhanced their level of involvement in writing processes.   

 

Full Text is available at IBSU Library

 

 

Causes of Low Achievement in Science Education at the Last Stage of Primary School (In 6th Grade)

Dissertation Title:

 Causes of Low Achievement in Science Education at the Last Stage of Primary School (In 6th  Grade)

Student:

 Selma Ozdesh

Scientific Supervisor(s):

 Assist. Prof. Dr. Nino Tvalchrelidze

Defence Date :

 03.02.2015

   

ABSTRACT

This study aims to explore the reasons for low achievement of six grade students in science education. It presents the views and understandings of students as well as teachers about science teaching and learning process. The study is one more contribution to identify the reasons of the difficulty of the science subject in the world and in Georgia. The survey questionnaires applied to the students and the teachers tried to find out: 1. Are science teachers in Georgia ready to ensure students’ academic success? 2. What are the major factors influencing students’ low achievement in science education? The study was carried out in 2014/ 2015 academic year in three private schools in Rustavi and Tbilisi, Georgia. The participants were 16 science teachers and 67 6th grade students. Quantitative and qualitative approaches were adopted to collect the data from the students and the teachers. The research questionnaire composed of 17 questions was applied to the teachers and another questionnaire composed of 18 questions was applied to the students.

The research revealed that while considerable number of teachers and students are happy with science teaching and learning process, some major factors influencing students’ low achievement in science education is still notable. The identified factors are: teaching methodologies and materials in textbooks, teachers’ necessity for lifelong professional development and their view about gender differences, the importance of basic mathematical skills and parent support.   

Full Text is available at IBSU Library

ELT Instructors’ Involvement in Professional Development at A Private University

Dissertation Title:

 ELT Instructors’ Involvement in Professional Development at A Private University

Student:

 Seyda Aydin

Scientific Supervisor(s):

 Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mehmet Sahiner

 Assistant Prof. Dr. Rabia Hos (Co-supervisor)

Defence Date :

 03.02.2015

ABSTRACT

Teaching is a significant profession that continuously contributes to the development of communities and societies. Teachers are expected to be high qualified and well-equipped in order to teach efficiently and effectively.

In Turkey English is the leading foreign language, which is widely taught at all stages of the education system. There are many universities whose instruction language is English. Day by day English is getting more popular and it is used as a tool of communication.

This thesis aimed to explore English language teaching (ELT) instructors’ past and present experiences, needs, views, approaches, understanding, awareness and expectations of professional development (PD) at the university level. Besides, PD activities that instructors involved in were studied.

This research was designed as a qualitative case study. The data was collected through interviews and observations. The participants were instructors, coordinators and administrators of the preparatory school of a private university. Data collected from the interviews were analyzed qualitatively. Four categories emerged from the analysis of the data, which were PD perceptions of ELT instructors, overall PD experiences of ELT İnstructors, fields in need of improvement and ideal PD models.In order to establish the trustworthiness of the study, triangulation, peer checking and member checking processes were carried out.

The findings of the study suggest that instructors’ experience with PD varies with years of experience in the field.  The current model of PD offered at the institution is seen to be an emerging model that is in need of improvement.  The instructors’ ideal PD seems to be in line with the literature and instructors’ input should be given consideration in order for it to be consistent and successful.  The implications for this study include recommendations for administrators and policy makers to improve the various models of PD implemented at university preparatory schools. 

Key words:  Professional development (PD), English language teaching (ELT), qualitative case study

 

Full Text is available at IBSU Library

 

 
 

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