Melbourne Graduate School of Education - Theses

Permanent URI for this collection

Search Results

Now showing 1 - 10 of 58
  • Item
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    The academic achievements of language centre students at a secondary college
    Warrick, Geoff ( 2001)
    What are the academic achievements of adolescent new-arrival English as a Second Language (ESL) students at secondary schools in Victoria, Australia? Research on Non-English Speaking Background (NESB) students in Australia has tended to neglect new arrival ESL students. To examine the academic achievements of this important subgroup of NESB students, the current study will highlight the academic achievements of a cohort of Victorian Language Centre students at a Secondary College over six years with interruption to schooling in their first language (L1) as the key variable linked to academic achievement in their second language (L2). Victorian Language Centres provide new-arrival ESL students with the English skills they need to start their secondary educations in L2. The current study examined the academic achievement of two groups of Language Centre students, those who completed their Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) and those who left the Secondary College prior to completing VCE. Their academic results were summarised into spreadsheets for quantitative analysis. Subsequent to the quantitative analysis interviews were conducted with four ESL students from the Language Centre currently completing their VCE studies to provide further insight into the factors that enabled them to do their VCE. Results indicate that the academic achievements of this cohort of ESL Language Centre students are poor and that interruption to education in Ll had a major impact on the students' ability to achieve academically at the Secondary College. The study suggests that L1 education is the key variable influencing the student's ability to acquire the academic language skills necessary to meet the academic demands of secondary education, particularly the VCE. Other factors such as support for learning and strong motivation were found to help students overcome difficulties encountered in their secondary education. However, students who were unable to overcome these difficulties left the College prior to completing VCE. It was concluded that the majority of Language Centre students faced uncertain economic futures once they left the Secondary College. The results of the study suggest that Language Centre students need more support and assistance to enable them to complete VCE or to access educational alternatives to the VCE. This study also suggests that more research into the effect of L1 education on L2 education be conducted as this was found to be the key variable in the students' ability to acquire the academic language skills necessary to meet the academic demands of VCE.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Seeing you seeing me : constructing the learners and their target language speakers in Korean and Australian textbooks
    Song, Heui-jeong ( 2006)
    To be successful in real-life communication with their target language (TL) speakers, language learners need to develop a sound knowledge of modern-day target language society, and an understanding of the beliefs and values most commonly shared by TL speakers. Such knowledge forms the basis of what Clark (1996) calls 'common ground', and is essential for interlocutors to exchange meanings. Removed from natural settings, textbooks are one of the principal resources for foreign language learners to construct a conception of their TL speakers in relation to themselves. This project examines the constructs of the learners' TL speakers provided in, respectively, a Korean language textbook for Australian beginner learners and an English language textbook for Korean beginner learners. By analysing how each presents the other set of people in terms of the attributes the other group assigns to itself in its own books, this study assesses how well each book assists their local learners to begin constructing sound common ground with their TL speakers. Analysis is made of the verbal and visual texts in each whole book with respect to topic and attributes; as well, using Gee's discourse analysis framework, close analysis and comparison is made of the information about the TL speakers and the learners themselves in the first three chapters of each book in relation to the three major beginner learner topics: Self-introduction, family and school. While there are a number of similarities in representation of the TL speakers by both sides, even this small examination shows glaring omissions and contradictions in the construct of the TL speakers proposed for the learners of each language compared to how their actual TL speakers project themselves. Furthermore, these differences would easily lead to confusion over meanings if used in real life. If such mismatches persisted over years of language learning, it can be predicted that learners would fail to create some elements of 'common ground' essential for them to understand what their TL speakers mean in interaction and be understood themselves.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    An administrative review of the Commonwealth English as a Second Language (ESL) Program within the Office of Schools Administration, Ministry of Education, Victoria
    Symonds, David George ( 1990)
    This thesis presents an administrative review of the Commonwealth English as a Second Language (ESL) Program within the Office of Schools Administration, Ministry of Education, Victoria. The approach and framework adopted are similar to those used by Campbell et al. in their review of the Commonwealth ESL Program for the Commonwealth Schools Commission in 1984. There are no prejudgements concerning major issues, but an interest in monitoring events from program establishment at a Commonwealth level to program organisation issues in schools. A number of "Levels of Administrative Reality" are identified through which the following educational agencies are examined - the Department of Employment, Education and Training (DEET), the Office of Schools Adminstration, and schools. The "Levels of Administrative Reality" used are Intentions, Structure, Resource Allocations Mechanisms, and Program Organisation. These are considered broad enough to enable major issues to be raised. Data have been collected over a two year period from a variety of sources including policy documents, questionnaires, memoranda and minutes of meetings. Major issues raised include : (a) the development of a nationwide curriculum framework/syllabus for the teaching of ESL; (b) the location of ESL within the Office of Schools Administration; (c) the location of consultancy support to schools; (d) the level of resourcing; (e) the qualifications of ESL teachers.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Computer-based learning in an Australian setting : a study of the development and use of a foreign language vocabulary program at the University of Melbourne
    McDougall, Anne (1945-) ( 1976)
    This thesis is the first Australian study of the use of computer-based learning by non-Science students. It begins with a review of research and developments in computer applications in education overseas, and looks in particular at the use of computers in the teaching of foreign languages. It then examines the development, use and evaluation of a foreign language vocabulary practice program for students in first year undergraduate Swedish courses at the University of Melbourne. Since non-Science students might be expected to be more wary of technological innovations, student attitudes to the program and to the computer as a learning medium were of particular interest in this study. As had been reported in overseas studies, a majority of students showed very favourable attitudes to computer-based learning, largely because of their opinion that the program ensured thorough learning of the material presented. A smaller group were found to have strongly negative attitudes to the technique. The proportion of students who made a great deal of use of the program was quite small. This was attributable mainly to the limited aim of the program, acquisition of vocabulary, although inconvenience due to unsuitability of the available computing facilities for educational applications was also a contributing factor.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Influences on engineering education in Australia
    Zorbas, Nicholas ( 1976)
    This thesis is concerned with the identification and examination of the various types of influences on professional engineering education in Australia. It commences with a study of what a professional person in general, and a professional engineer in particular, should be, and describes the functions and characteristics of such a person. This is followed by an examination of curriculum design, and how the curricula of professional courses are controlled by professional societies. The various influences on engineering curricula are then considered in detail in four broad categories, namely historical influences, formal influences, informal influences, and societal influences within each of these categories, various tapes of influences are identified, and their method of application, and relative effectiveness, discussed. Apart from the chapters on terminology and historical influences, which have been researched from existing publications, the content of the thesis is original, and, as far as can be ascertained, is the first attempt to examine the subject of Australian engineering education in a sociological context.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    The learning needs of non-English-speaking-background student nurses
    Rebeiro, Geraldine ( 1998)
    This thesis has investigated the learning needs of non-English-speaking-background (NESB) students in a tertiary nursing course and whether they are being met. It has reviewed literature predominently from Australia, Britain and the USA. Whilst there are similarites it has been recognised that all situations are not the same so the literature has been used appropritely to establish the theoretical framework for the study and in the support of the research findings. Qualitative methodology has been used focusing on observation, survey, and interview methods from two groups studied, ie., NESB students and academics. The findings from the two groups researched, are expressed as results; from students who have analysed that their learning as affected by predominently academic factors, such as reading and writing for assessments and professional documentation, and on a minor level by language and cultural expectations in relation to teaching/learning. Academic findings support students responses but also identify some professional nursing issues such as expectations of students as affecting the learning needs of these students. The recommendations of this thesis are to provide better academic support for NESB students and to effect greater academic and university awareness of the learning needs of NESB students.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    The characteristics of exchange structure patterns of an adult low-level ESL classroom using a genre-based approach to the teaching of writing : a study of classroom discourse
    Suherdi, Didi ( 1994)
    This study is concerned with the characteristics of exchange structure patterns of an adult low-level English as a second language (ESL) classroom using a genre-based approach to the teaching of writing in an Australian context. To provide an appropriate system of analysis, Ventola's (1987; 1988h) system for analysing conversational structure in service encounter texts has been expanded to suit the characteristics of the data in the current study. Applying the expanded version of Ventola's system, the whole data have been segmented into exchanges. Two major categories of exchange structure patterns have been identified: non-anomalous, which comprises simple and complex exchanges, and anomalous, which comprises elliptical, defective, and broken exchanges. Using this exchange categorisation as a basis, the characteristics of the interactional patterns, the shifts of roles of information supplier, and the variability of language use in a genre-based approach classroom have been identified and explicated. Exchange structure patterns dominant in certain sub-stages vary in accordance with the variation of other factors. In conjunction with the shifts of roles of the information supplier, for example, in Sub-stage 1, in which the students were cast to serve the function of information supplier, B-event exchanges were dominant, Only a small number of A-event exchanges occur in this sub-stage. In contrast, in Sub-stage 2 and Rehearsal where the teacher served the function of information supplier, A-event exchanges were dominant.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Human capital : a case study of the AMEP
    McElgunn, Barry ( 1995)
    This study is an investigation of the Human Capital Approach to education in Australia. It examines whether or not the Commonwealth Government is steering education towards the incorporation of policies that invest greater emphasis and resources into human beings as contributors to economic productivity than it invests in their cultural and aesthetic value. The study incorporates the philosophies of the Human Capitalists and how successive Commonwealth and State Governments apply these philosophies in education policy formulation - particularly the provision of English language to adult migrants through the Adult Migrant Education Program in Victoria. The methodology used is a questionnaire of closed and open-ended questions distributed to AMEP teachers. The researcher duly followed up the questionnaire with interviews of four AMEP teachers in an endeavour to shed more light on the reasons behind the responses given by teachers in the questionnaire. The researcher undertook an analysis of the responses in order to investigate whether or not the Commonwealth Government gives primacy to economic objectives of the migration program over its social, cultural and linguistic objectives. The findings are that the AMEP teachers surveyed believe that the Commonwealth Government does emphasize economic objectives over all other objectives of the migration program. A Human Capital approach to education, reflected in the application of Economic Rationalism, is apparent in Australia's education system according to AMEP teachers surveyed and that such has been the case since the late 1970s. The literary works of Schultz, Smith, Dawkins, Piore, Crittenden, Benovat, Green, Pusey, Kennedy, Marginson and Grubb are included in this study. These works form the literature review of the Human Capital approach. As well, the Reports chaired by Karmel, Williams, Kirby, Fitzgerald and Campbell, and a variety of Commonwealth Reports and Working Party Papers into various aspects of education in Australia are represented in an investigation of the application of the Human Capital approach to education in Australia's main education policies. The findings of this research are that the Human Capital approach to education is influencing the AMEP and that this has wider implications for the national education system in Australia. Almost all AMEP teachers surveyed believe the AMEP no longer follows its own National Plan, in which it spells out its aims and objectives, but pursues the Commonwealth Government's primary objective of pursuing the economic aims and benefits of the migration program.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    An analysis of education provision to older non-English speaking background youth with minimal or interrupted schooling in the Richmond/Collingwood area
    Polesel, John ( 1987)
    This study is an analysis of educational provision in the Richmond/Coilingwood area for young people aged 16 to 24 years of age, of migrant or refugee background, who have a history of minimal or interrupted schooling. These students are mostly of Indo-Chinese or Timorese background , and face severe problems relating to their lack of literacy and poor English proficiency. Many of these students are unaccompanied refugees and face economic hardship in Australia. Educational programs running in five postprimary schools, two TAFE colleges and two language centres are examined in light of their relevance to the needs of these students. It emerges from this study that a small number of institutions provide responsive quality programs for this group. There are, however, general problems relating to the low status and marginalization of ESL programs in most of the institutions. These problems are compounded by a lack of funding, unsympathetic administration, ignorance of the issues and difficulties relating to accreditation. In some institutions, no provision at all is made for these students. Needs emerging from these issues may be summarized as follows. A greater awareness of the educational requirements. of this group must be developed. An informed collaborative approach must be adopted to respond to these needs in the form of appropriate ESL programs. Policy and administrative support must be forthcoming to assist in achieving these goals.