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During the research report of Sands and Auyeung, it focuses on the individualism-collectivism and the cultural variability dimension reflected to the learning style of accounting students. Sands and Auyeung(1996) mentions "the research report is a form of communication which may be used by research and others to persuade and influence". The aim of this article is to analysis the valuation and drawbacks of this research report. At the beginning of the report, it is clear to link to the conceptualization of this issue, which is about individualism-collectivism dimension is considered to be central to acknowledge the culture values (Triandis, Brislin and Hui, 1988, cited by Sands and Auyeung). They explain the reasons for this problem, because the different culture impact on learning style. Take the expanding population of overseas students in Australia for example, the author adopted these useful official figures in Department of Employment, Education and Training (DEET, 1990) to convince the audience. The purpose is to try to explore how cultural variation influence learning style of these accounting students. The background mentions the audience obviously who are accounting educators teaching Australian and overseas students. This is useful for them to learn or teach in the different context. In some parts of this article are referred to as empirical- analytic research which follow Hofsted's point (1991,cited from Sands and Auyeung) which the target of education is perceived diversely between the individualism-collectivism society.
Subject selection: The learning style inventory explores the students' four learning models: concrete experiences, reflective observation, abstract conceptualization and active experimentation. The target is determined in Australia, Hong Kong and Taiwan universities, and selected a large group of students from different schools. They use different subjects for the Australian students because of the different context like culture or religion. This represented the quantitative research which contains the "collection of numerical information on large groups of the students" (Spratt, 2000). They take the significant survey and questionnaire of the students in order to get the useful result to the main question at front. They select the subject is more suitable to this research through the different culture may reflect the different learning style.
Data collection contained three parts: Firstly, they try to measure the students' relative emphasis on the four learning style, AC, AE,CE and RO, which school students are from the learning models. Secondly, they pick up 172 Chinese students at Chinese University of Hong Kong, 157 Taiwanese students are from National Chengchi University, 125 Australian students are from Queensland University of Technology and 178 Australian students at Giffith University to participate this research. Through three demographic variables were analysed to build up the homogeneity of students in each school. The purpose of this stage is to make sure the data obtained clearly for the researcher. Thirdly, they give the students questionnaires to the subject of Triandis's (1989,1990, cited from Sands and Auyeung ) different self-references: idiocentric self-references, group self-references and allocentric self-references. The result more further reflect Kolb's individualism-collectivism theory. The audience can get the useful information from the report through the data collection.
This article based on many materials to illustrate what is learning style at first, Curry (1983, cited from Sands and Auyeung) displays a three-layer model of learning style: "the inner layer which is belongs to cognitive personality; the middle layer (the information-processing style), and the outer layer which is instructional preference". But this different learning styles theory only provides a general framework. Secondly, they use Kolb's four-stage cycle learning style to explain the ways of learning style deeply, which contains concrete experiences, observation and reflection, abstract conceptualization and active experimentation. Kolb's model has significance and validity for this research and it based on the experiential learning theory. Although Kolb's learning style model is directed by the learner's needs and goals, but it over emphasize the model and not for the accounting students of different context. It seems there is less contact with cross culture. They need to explore the effective way to make different culture as a big background and relate to their learning style. Thirdly, the writers shows four dimensions of culture from Hofstede (1980, 1983), the most important is individualism-collectivism dimension. Individualistic cultures contain independence, freedom, achievement and high levels of competition which represent in western countries. And collectivists are most opposite to individualistic cultures like interdependence, harmony, cooperation and low levels of competition. The representative countries are in Asia and South American. A social individualism-collectivism tendency is measured by individualism index, the individualism is more clearly because of the increasing index, whereas the opposite of reducing index, the collectivism tendency is more obviously. The result of index in Australia is 90, whereas Hong Kong and Taiwan are 25 and 17. At last, the authors argues learning styles may vary from culture to culture ( Pratt, 1992, cited from Sands and Auyeung). They provide more evidence to illustrate the individualism-collectivism dimension. However, they did not present difference of accounting students who are from different culture background, they over analysis the individualism-collectivism. They also should be related to Asian overseas students in individualism Western countries to find the influence and changes. In fact, Hong Kong and Taiwan based on historical reasons, the Chinese culture is not particularly prominent, but the mainland students have representativeness.
In this empirical-analytic educational research there are different kinds of validity to measure these achievements. McTaggart(1996) illustrates "the experimental or quasi-experimental designs identify the cause and effect by controlling the effects of the other variables". Firstly, this report adopted the sampling survey and questionnaire, through the test standard to realize the students' learning style, this is consistent with the face validity. As for the content validity, the test content is not adequate and representative for the accounting students, and it is not really reflect the require of this test. In the report, the writers pick up the different number in each gender, and it mentions the age, and the different school will have different pedagogics, it seems have some deviations.
This research belongs to sociology research, according to the study guide (2010) some people consider "the society as a basic structure into which human beings are born and which creates that person's possibilities in life, the others think that the people create a social being in the vast accumulation of contacts with other human beings". In the finding of the report, they explain successfully "the learning style variations may reflect different culture emphasis" (Sands and Auyeung, 1996), Australia represent the western individualistic culture which belongs to concrete and active, and Chinese collectivistic culture including Hong Kong and Taiwan universities are abstract and reflective. Through the result about a part of sociology theory reflects the clearer interpretation about individualism-collectivism culture variability affects student s' learning style. But in this report also exists some limitation which as the authors mentions the data obtained from four universities and confirm the learning style differ in terms of individualism-collectivism, but they do not represent all fields of the culture dimension. They also need collect the useful data relate to the different culture impact on accounting major, or establish further study about how language influence the learning style of accounting students.
The response of topic 2:
This unit concerns about sociolinguists study which contains "the relationship between language and society (Holmes, 2008, P.1)". Language as a tool of communication between different social context of people. The purpose is to get information through the communication. Holmes (2008, p.4) maintains that sociolinguistics is about expressing and reflecting social factors by language variation. There are a number of languages to use in this global context which many people in a monolingual or bilingual setting. This is because they need the different language for different purposes in their interaction between each other. For example, the overseas students need to study the second language for their education, through the language to learn more about culture and environment of society. The social context, status and solidarity, the function of the language and the topic of the conversation are the main points to impact linguistic choices (study guide). These factors are still influencing the linguistic in the world, and they also do lots of contributions about sociolinguistic research. "Many language spoken in vary area have undergone changes in the world" (study guide). As English for example, in the development process of American English by its unique history, culture, national and regional factors and formed its own characteristics. Compare between Australian English and American English, "different situations of use cause different linguistic choices in both written and spoken language (study guide, topic2)". For instance, in spoken English, when ask about how much, Australian English will answer "a little bit", while American English only use "a little". There are many differences in spelling aspect, such as or and our, in American English part 'color' instead of 'colour' in Australia English.
During the study guide, it mentions a table of the contractions used in written and spoken British English, when at the formal situation of use English, the contraction will use less like chatting with friends in a freedom case, people will use contractions and oral language to communicate conveniently. In contrast, they almost will not use contractions and even use academic vocabulary in formal situations like government documents. However, there are many differences in accent, syntax, semantics and pragmatics (study guide). Language variation is from different ethnic, gender, region, age and so forth. People from different social may use differ language. In the past, many speakers use a language with a different accents. And pidgins and creoles are used for some purposes which is a complex system when they speak. Holmes (2008, pp.133) mentions the vernacular which "is used with a variety of meaning in sociolinguistics, but the meanings have something in common. Vernacular forms are suitable for at home and used in informal context". "Language identifies group membership (study guide)", the group contains racial groups, ethnic groups or national groups and so on. They may consider other aspects or positions like gender, age, occupations, interests, religions, nationalities in their life. In multilingual society, people can communicate or implement other behavior within language variation across different groups. They can make friends or achieve to another purposes to make communication successfully. Linguistic research undergoes a long history which made tremendous development, people not only can convey their ideas through the language, but also can identify the group of speakers.