The Problem and its Scope Education plays a vital role for country’s socio-economic development of people especially developing countries like the Philippines. It is also the key to success. However, with the invasion of technology and industrialization in the world today, innumerable changes have been observed and experienced by the constituents.
Due to the impact of technology into the educational system, students in particular are also affected and this poses a great challenge for the instructors who are handling English subjects especially nowadays, students are fond of listening to music, playing games in the internet, viewing videos on their laptops or other gadgets or using their internet connected cell phones. These activities may have helped slow down the capacity of the students to absorb the lessons in their subjects especially in English grammar .
They are not interested in enhancing their capacities due to their dependency on their gadgets which would result to poor reading comprehension. In tertiary education, it is a requirement for incoming students to take entrance examination to determine what course they may qualify to enroll. Each course demands a cut-off for one to be admitted into that particular department. The main subjects in the entrance qualifying examinations are English and Mathematics. If one does not reach the cut-off mark, he would be advised to take a course suited his ability.
Under-achievement in English grammar and reading comprehension is recognizable. In Nigeria, under-achievement in English at the secondary and even tertiary levels is a noticeable phenomenon in Nigerian educational system. The most noticeable indication of poor performance is in the WAEC conducted SSCE English Examination. The situation becomes worse every year. In the Philippines, Public high schools in Santa Maria, Bulacan did not perform well in the 2010-2011 National Achievement Test (NAT) for second year.
Most of them are placed in the bottom half of the rankings. In Davao City, Holy Cross of Davao College, low academic performance in English grammar and reading comprehension is clearly manifested when incoming College freshmen and transferees are required to take the entrance examination. This examination is intended to determine whether the incoming College freshmen and transferees are qualified to enroll the courses they plan to take or not. If not qualified, they would be advised to take another course as shown in their result.
Mostly, those who enrolled SRC did not reach the cut off score to qualify them to take Bachelor of Science in Marine Transportation due to poor test result in English grammar, reading comprehension and mathematics. Since English is the primary medium of communication onboard ship, SRC students must be capable of dealing with crews of different nationalities and speaking English can avoid misunderstanding with other crews. Rationale of the Study
This study deals with the academic performances of the SRC students in English grammar and reading comprehension. In the community of international shipping, with seafarers from various countries sailing on ships trading to all parts of the world, effective communication between those on board, between ship and shore is critically significant. The International Maritime Organization adopted English as an official language in attempt to address the problem of failure of communication of people through different languages.
A number of countries and individuals thereafter devoted themselves to Maritime English teaching and learning, especially in non-English speaking countries. However, still often occur even among seafarers who have adequate knowledge of this official language, and that has gradually been identified to be due in main part to culture matters. Cultural barriers also commonly exist between Chinese seafarers and those from other nationals, giving rise to problems or embarrassment to their professional and personal aspects of life.
It is a reality that there is a really a culture barriers among seafarers and one way to solve it , is the use of communication medium which is maritime English This study is of great significance for future class instruction about the necessity of teaching English grammar and reading comprehension to SRC students. First, the result of this study would aid the Maritime Education Department to find ways and means to enhance and implement an English speaking policy for maritime students and SRC students.
Second, the maritime instructors themselves as to the new trends and strategies in teaching English grammar and reading comprehension especially to the SRC students who really have difficulty of communicating their ideas in English and analyzing reading texts. The primary beneficiaries of this study are the SRC students who are disqualified to take BSMT as a course. The result of the study would challenge to do well in their studies so that they would be better prepared for their work in the shipping companies.
Related Literature This part of research work talks about related ideas that are published in the internet and books concerning English grammar and reading comprehension. According to Musumeci (2001), the author mentioned the idea of connecting form and meaning in grammar teaching as a developing trend in reference to the proficiency oriented curriculum. According to her, students should be able to learn explicit grammar rules as well as have a chance to practice them in the communication in the authentic or simulation tasks.
Interestingly, Musumeci advocates giving students a chance to look at the language on a sentence level to see how certain grammatical rules are applied. Ehrenworth (2003) suggested two possible reasons why students did not learn grammar through the direct instruction method. First, she noted that most direct grammar instruction is confusing and filled with exceptions, which renders students unable to think independently about grammar schemes on a sentence level.
Secondly, she noted the resistance theory research conducted by Heshusius who claimed that “resistance theory provides a framework for understanding these children’s behavior as active resistance to a situation they find threatening, boring, or otherwise intolerable”. This simply means that grammar is not that easy to learn in just a direct instruction method. It takes a lot of time and patience to fully understand grammar.
According to Pickering (2003), while it should be cleared that grammar is an important component of reading comprehension, especially for L2 students, the strength of the relationship does not, by itself, explain how grammar knowledge and processing support reading comprehension. As a reader begins to look at a text, visual word-recognition processes are engaged, the first words are recognized, and the extraction of syntactic information begins.
Syntactic processing builds the phrasal and clausal units that support the construction of semantic propositions. Structural information are taken from the words that are recognized, and specific word groupings are recognized for the structural information that they provide Vavra (2000) noted that few English teachers are prepared to teach grammar and receive little or no instruction on how to do it in their teacher preparation classes. Therefore, often, teachers teach grammar the only way they know how, the way they were taught years ago.
According to Weaver (2002), referred to learning theory to support why students did not learn grammar in the traditional method. She argued that grammatical concepts were so complex that the traditional behaviorist strategies of repeated skills practice done in isolation do not work. ” This simply means that grammatical concepts used in the traditional method are very much complicated for students to learn. Carter (2005) recommended three vitalization of grammar in authentic and purposeful ways.
These integrated strategies included: Build and Make Use of a Grammar-Controversy Archive that is used by and contributed to by both students and teachers; Hold Public Grammar Debates that combines speaking, writing, and listening with a real audience and purpose can be a powerful way to have students see the importance of grammar; and Assign Descriptive Grammar Studies so that students can see that grammar is not just one set of rules used by people in power, but that different grammars are used for different situations.
According to them the use of all of these activities achieves the goal of integrating grammar and helps student to internalize the importance of grammar. Also, asserted that students would begin to see that grammar is not just a boring set of rules, but a subject that is alive and constantly changing. The authors argued that these grammar strategies and others would not only reestablish the importance of grammar in the classroom, but would also invigorate writing, speaking, listening, and reading in the classroom.
The use of this approach not only taught the grammar needed to help students, but Integrate the areas of language arts and made more meaningful connections for all. Patterson (2001) agreed that direct instruction in traditional grammar was ineffective; nevertheless, he asserted that grammar was an important part of writing style. He claimed that certain basic grammar should be emphasized in order to increase writing style and complement the other two components of writing: content and organization.
This simply means that the author was not convinced with the direct instruction in traditional grammar as it is ineffective to the learning to students. He asserted that grammar should be drawn special attention in order to elevate the style of writing. Brazil (2004) studied two groups of college freshman in introductory writing courses. The students in the control group learned traditional grammar through direct instruction, while the students in the treatment group were taught through the use of the writing process approach.
Both groups of students were administered the same pretests and posttests, which consisted of basic prescriptive grammar questions in a multiple choice format. While the students in the treatment group had a lower average score on the pretest, the same students at the end of the class showed a notably higher average score than the control group. Furthermore, the students in the treatment group attempted more questions on average than the students in the control group in the post test.
Holden concluded that, not only might the process approach to writing and grammar be more effective but, also it may give students more confidence in their own knowledge of grammar. According to Moras (2001), the author argued that vocabulary should be at the center of language teaching because language consists of grammatical lexis, not lexicalized grammar. Vocabulary should be leaned first by students since language composed of lot of complex rules that are need to be understood by students.
According to Anderson (2003), top-down processing is an approach for processing a text in which the reader uses background knowledge, makes predictions, and searches the text to confirm or reject the predictions that are made. On the other hand, bottom-up processing is an approach for processing a text in which the reader builds up a meaning from the black marks on the page: recognizing letters and words, working out sentence structure. Letters, letter clusters, word, phrases, sentences, longer text, and finally meaning is the order of bottom-up model for achieving comprehension.
Durkin (2000) stated that the model applied to each child to speak a primary or secondary language has an impact on the type of reading and writing instruction provided in schools. Therefore, if a school adopts a more behaviorist view of language acquisition, the curriculum will tend to support these principles versus a more constructivist approach. In other words, the curriculum will be more reflective of a skills-based model with long periods of drill and practice as compared to a school that adopts a more social constructivist model of language acquisition.
Regardless of the model adopted, reading theories agreed that extensive reading is essential for the development of reading comprehension. According to Paynter (2005) the author said that reading comprehension is a complex undertaking that involves many levels of processing. One of the most fundamental aspects of comprehension is the ability to deal with unfamiliar words encountered in text. Readers who struggle with word-level tasks use up valuable cognitive space that could be allotted to deeper levels of text analysis.
It is not enough to rely on context cues to predict the meaning of new words, since this strategy often results in erroneous or superficial understandings of key terms, especially in content-area reading. Mature readers need to possess a basic knowledge of “how words work” and a set of strategies for approaching new words encountered throughout the day. According to Bromley (2004), in a comprehensive review of research on vocabulary development, concludes that vocabulary knowledge promotes reading fluency, boosts reading comprehension, improves academic achievement, and enhances thinking and communication.
Meaning, vocabulary plays an important role in the fluency in reading comprehension as well as in thinking and communication. According to Templeton (2004), spelling is also an important consideration in reading comprehension. The concepts about sound patterns that children learn in the early years through invented spelling and direct spelling instruction help them to decode new words in their reading. As they mature and begin to spell longer and more complex words, children apply the concepts of base words, prefixes, and suffixes to their spelling.
This knowledge of morphology, in turn, helps them to deconstruct longer words encountered in their reading. The author argues that spelling knowledge provides the basis for explicit awareness and understanding of morphology, which, in turn, may guide the systematic growth of vocabulary knowledge. Considering the strength of vocabulary knowledge in predicting reading achievement, the complex interrelationships among these areas are significant. Proctor, Dalton and Grisham (2007) conducted a study that included reciprocal teaching principles, multimedia reading, and vocabulary support.
In this study, the reading performance of monolingual English speakers and ELL was compared by using a Universal Learning Environment computer program designed to provide students with embedded supports on vocabulary acquisition, cognitive, and metacognitve development. The program consisted of eight electronic texts, four folktales and four informational that covered topics from different geographic regions of the world. The computer program had embedded supports prior, during, and after reading. During prereading, students were introduced to vocabulary that was important from the texts.
They were provided with brief definitions, sentences that included the words of study, illustrations, and audio-pronunciations. In addition, cognates alerts that explained how a certain word in English had the same linguistic root in Spanish (e. g. investigate is 13investigar) were also included. During reading, strategy instruction such as summarization, prediction, clarification, questioning, or visualization was embedded to develop comprehension. Finally, during post-reading, students were presented with images from the text and asked to describe what was happening.
According to Proctor (2005), the models of reading comprehension examined suggested, that the stronger predictor of reading comprehension is listening comprehension, hence it was concluded that instruction in listening comprehension and decoding skills could yield better reading comprehension outcomes for ELLs. In addition, vocabulary knowledge has a direct effect on reading comprehension and on listening comprehension; thus in order to increase the reading comprehension of ELLs intensive vocabulary instruction should be provided. Theories and Concepts
This study is anchored on Gestalt theory of transfer which states that the transfer of learning can be best achieved when an individual is in the very best of the frame of mind; in the times that he or she is aware of the meanings of a particular situation or experiences and to their practical application to one’s daily life. The believers of this theory further views that whenever the transfer of learning occurs, this will be in the form of generalization, in the form of concepts or in the form of insights; and these could be developed into a single learning situation as well as it is employed in the other situations.
Figure 1 shows the theoretical / conceptual framework of the study of which the independent variable is the academic performance of the SRC students in English grammar, the dependent variable is the academic performance of the SRC students in reading comprehension. It further presents the relationship between the academic performance of the SRC students in English grammar and reading comprehension. [pic] Figure1. Theoretical / Conceptual Framework Statement of the Problem
This study was aimed to determine the academic performance of SRC students in English grammar and Reading comprehension. Specifically, it attempted to answer the following questions: 1. What is the academic performance of respondents in English grammar? 2. What is the academic performance of respondents in Reading comprehension? 3. Is there significant relationship between the academic performance of the SRC students in English grammar and reading comprehension? Hypothesis
H0 There is no significant relationship between the academic performance of SRC students in English grammar and reading comprehension. Method This section discusses the method used in this study. It includes the research design, the participants of the study, the instruments, the data gathering procedure and the data gathering analysis. Research Design The researchers made use of the descriptive correlation method of research as the most accurate design to assess the academic performance of SRC students in English grammar and reading comprehension. Data | |Respondents | | |1 |95-100 |Excellent |Outstanding | |2 |90-94 |Very Good |Very Satisfactory | |3 |85-89 |Good |Satisfactory | |4 |80-84 |Fair |Average | |5 |75-79 |Poor |Needs Improvement | |6 |74 below |Very Poor |Needs More Improvement | ———————– Academic performance of SRC students in English Reading Comprehension Academic Performance of SRC students in English Grammar