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You Need To Use An Infinitive In The English Class

By Author: peter
Total Articles: 191

It must be admitted that the MTS Questionnaire is not a precise measurement of learner knowledge of metalinguistic terminology, the main reason being that learner knowledge of terminology is not precise in itself. Learners' awareness of a term's meaning may be rather vague, and one should not expect as precise an understanding as that possessed by grammarians. Nevertheless, the Questionnaire does attempt to replicate the way in which terminology is deployed in classroom situations, as when a teacher says, 'You need to use an infinitive here'.

While it requires learners to produce examples, it is receptive knowledge of the terms that is required rather than productive knowledge (which would be more appropriate for teachers). A similarly receptive technique, that of asking respondents to identify exemplars of the terms cheap Cartier jewelry in a text, was used by some of the studies discussed above, for example Alderson et al., 1997; Andrews, 1998; Steel and Alderson, 1994, but this is considered to be a more appropriate task for teachers than for learners. The questionnaire was administered at the start of their university study before they had started any formal grammar courses.5 be automatically assumed that the Polish group knows the most, and the Austrian group the least, about terminology. A number of possible factors may be involved. In particular, the MTS does not aim to be comprehensive and may favor one group over another in its choice of items. Nor should it be assumed that the Polish students are somehow better, and the Austrians weaker, at terminology (still less at grammar). In addition, it must be pointed out that the figures for the three institutions should not be taken as representative of their countries.6

Nevertheless, it would seem safe to assume that the Austrian students had been least exposed metalinguistic terminology in their secondary studies, probably as a result of a curriculum that deemphasizes focus on form (or rather, the more successful implementation of such a curriculum). But the most significant finding is that all three groups have in general been exposed to a fair amount of terminology; and it must be remembered that the MTS Questionnaire represents only a sample of what students might know. A rough guess might be that knowledge of terms could be at least twice what is exposed by the survey, given the number of pedagogic terms that are not included.

The measurements of dispersal in Table 1 above - range and standard deviation (SD) -show a high degree of variation in each group. The Hong Kong cohort had the smallest range and SD, whereas there was a wider range and greater SD for both Poland and Austria (which are in fact almost identical as regards SD). This indicates that the Hong Kong group was more homogeneous in terms of its knowledge of terminology (and presumably also the terminological practices Cartier Jewelry of its teachers) - a reasonable conclusion given its small territory and the cohesiveness of its society and educational policies. The SD in the earlier 1997 study for the larger group of business students, 4.79, would seem to support this.

Nevertheless, there was extensive variation between students in all three populations. This could reflect the variation in teaching practices in the three countries, although the more extreme cases could have been students who had not been through the local education system. In any case, the major implication must be that teachers in any of the three countries should not treat their students as homogeneous as far as knowledge of terminology is concerned.

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