PBL in an EAP classroom: An insight study on students' language skills / Zuriani Yaacob

Yaacob, Zuriani (2012) PBL in an EAP classroom: An insight study on students' language skills / Zuriani Yaacob. Masters thesis, Universiti Teknologi MARA.


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Current language teaching methodologies and recent educational changes in Malaysia
have exposed the students to independent or autonomous learning style. In Malaysia,
Problem-based Learning (PBL) is gaining popularity and the acceptance among
academicians and students has led to its successful implementation (Abu Hassan et aI.,
2004). Hence, the objective of the study was to explore students' perceptions and
attitude towards the implementation of PBL curriculum instruction in an EAP normal
setting classroom. It also aimed to increase understanding of the PBL effectiveness on
learners' communication skills, vocabulary knowledge, and writing performance. In
language classrooms, PBL is believed to create a conducive environment for the
language skills to grow (Steinemann, 2003) . This is significant in suggesting that
communication skills, vocabulary, analytical and critical thinking abilities are better
acquired in PBL setting than in traditional classrooms (Zamnah, 2005). This study
adopted a predominantly quantitative approach in which the data was later corroborated
by qualitative approach to ensure the validity of the data collected. The collaborative
problem-solving process within an EAP classroom was observed as a case study. The
population of this study comprised of first semester students of Asasi Undang-Undang
(Law Foundation Programme) from a local government university i.e. Universiti
Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Kuantan City Campus in Pahang. The study utilized multiple
sources of evidence including pretest and posttest, direct observations, presentation
assessments, reflective journals, semi-structured interviews and questionnaire based
suryey to enable triangulation of the data. The findings of this study indicated that the
students had positive attitude towards learning second language through Problem-based
Learning (PBL) instruction. On top of that, it was evident that PBL was effective in
developing the students' communication skills, vocabulary, and writing skills through
PBL approach. These results were consistent with previous research indicating that the
implementation of PBL in language learning process significantly increased the students'
language and generic skills. In terms of pedagogical implications, it was evident that
students need to be exposed more to the use of PBL to minimize their dependency on
class instructors. Giving the students opportunities for self-directed learning will promote
positive changes in their effort of learning English as a second language. Besides, in
promoting such independent learning environment, it is important for the facilitator to
clarify about PBL, its underlying principles and characteristics in which later would
enable them to become familiar with the PBL processes. Effective communication during
PBL sessions is significant to ensure that the students feel emotionally, socially and
intellectually supported. This will also be resulting in positive relationship development
between the students and the facilitator.


Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Yaacob, Zuriani
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > Learning. Learning strategies > Malaysia
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics > Language and education > Malaysia
Divisions: Universiti Teknologi MARA, Shah Alam > Faculty of Education
Item ID: 15045
Uncontrolled Keywords: Autonomous learning style; Problem-based Learning
URI: https://ir.uitm.edu.my/id/eprint/15045


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