Respondents To Identify Priorities English Language Essay

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rating scales: These are very useful devices for the researcher, as they build in a degree of sensitivity and differentiation of response while still generating numbers. This chapter will focus on the first two of these, though readers will find the the scale should be measuring only one thing at a time (Oppenheim 1992: 187-8). Indeed this is a cornerstone of Likert's (1932) own thinking. It is a very straightforward matter to convert a dichotomous question into a multiple choice question. For example, instead of asking the 'do you?', 'have you?', 'are you?', 'can you?' type questions in a dichotomous format, a simple addition to wording will convert it into a much more subtle rating scale, by substituting the words 'to what extent?', 'how far?', 'how much?', 'how often?' etc. See Louis Cohen, Lawrence Manion and Keith Morrison (2007: 325).

13 constant sum questions: In this type of question respondents are asked to distribute a given number of marks (points) between a range of items (see - Chapter 15, file 15.8. ppt).

For example:

Please distribute a total of 10 points among the sentences that you think most closely describe your behaviour. You may distribute these freely: they may be spread out, or awarded to only a few statements or all allocated to a single sentence if you wish. Constant sum data are ordinal, and this means that non-parametric analysis can be performed on the data. (see Part Five) in the book of Research Methods in Education by Louis Cohen, Lawrence Manion and Keith Morrison (2007: 328).

14- ratio data questions : We discuss ratio data in Part Five and we refer the reader to the discussion and definition there (see

9780415368780 - Chapter 15, file 15.9. ppt). For our purposes here we suggest that ratio data questions deal with continuous variables where there is a true zero, for example:

How much money do you have in the bank? --

How many times have you been late for school? --

How many marks did you score in the mathematics test? --

How old are you (in years)? --

Here no fixed answer or category is provided, and the respondent puts in the numerical answer that fits his/her exact figure, i.e. the accuracy is higher, much higher than in categories of data. This enables averages (means), standard deviations, range, and high-level statistics to be calculated, e.g. regression, factor analysis, structural equation modelling (see Louis Cohen, Lawrence Manion and Keith Morrison (2007: 329) (Part Five)

15- open-ended questions: The open-ended question is a very attractive device for smaller scale research or for those sections of a questionnaire that invite an honest, personal comment from respondents in addition to ticking numbers and boxes (see - Chapter 15, file 15.10. ppt). The questionnaire simply puts the open-ended questions and leaves a space (or draws lines) for a free response. It is the open-ended responses that might contain the 'gems' of information that otherwise might not be caught in the questionnaire. Further, it puts the responsibility for and ownership of the data much more firmly into respondents' hands. It is useful for the researcher to provide some support for respondents, so that they know the kind of reply being sought. (see Louis Cohen, Lawrence Manion and Keith Morrison (2007: 329-330)

16- matrix questions: Matrix questions are not types of questions but concern the layout of questions. Matrix questions enable the same kind of response to be given to several questions, for example 'strongly disagree' to 'strongly agree'. The matrix layout helps to save space, for example:

Please complete the following by placing a tick in

one space only, as follows:

1 = not at all; 2 = very little; 3 = a moderate

amount; 4 = quite a lot; 5 = a very great deal

How much do you use the following for assessment purposes?

To know more about matrix question (see Louis Cohen, Lawrence Manion and Keith Morrison (2007: 329-330)

17- contingency questions, filters and branches: Contingency questions depend on responses to earlier questions, for example: 'if your answer to question (1) was ''yes'' please go to question (4)'. The earlier question acts as a filter for the later question, and the later question is contingent on the earlier, and is a branch of the earlier question. Some questionnaires will write in words the number of the question to which to go (e.g. 'please go to question 6'); others will place an arrow to indicate the next question to be answered if your answer to the first question was such-and-such. Contingency and filter questions may be useful for the researcher, but they can be confusing for the respondent as it is not always clear how to proceed through the sequence of questions and where to go once a particular branch has been completed. Redline et al. (2002) found that respondents tend to ignore, misread and incorrectly follow branching instructions, such that item non-response occurs for follow-up questions that are applicable only to certain subsamples, and respondents skip over, and therefore fail to follow-up on those questions that they should have completed. (see Louis Cohen, Lawrence Manion and Keith Morrison (2007: 332)

18- asking sensitive questions: Sudman and Bradburn (1982: ch. 3) draw attention to the important issue of including sensitive items in a questionnaire. While the anonymity of a questionnaire and, frequently, the lack of face-to-face contact between the researcher and the respondents in a questionnaire might facilitate responses to sensitive material, the issues of sensitivity and threat cannot be avoided, as they might lead to under-reporting (nondisclosure and withholding data) or over-reporting (exaggeration) by participants. Some respondents may be unwilling to disclose sensitive information, particularly if it could harm themselves or others. (see Louis Cohen, Lawrence Manion and Keith Morrison (2007: 333)

19- avoiding pitfalls in question writing: this help the researcher to do his or her research perfectly as well teaches the researcher honesty and rigor. To avoid this kind of questions in writing we must understand the following statements

Avoid leading questions, that is, questions that are worded (or their response categories

presented) in such a way as to suggest to respondents that there is only one acceptable

answer, and that other responses might or might not gain approval or disapproval respectively.

Avoid highbrow questions even with sophisticated respondents. For example:

What particular aspects of the current positivistic/interpretive debate would you like to see

reflected in a course of developmental psychology aimed at a teacher audience?

Where the sample being surveyed is representative of the whole adult population, misunderstandings of what researchers take to be clear, unambiguous language are commonplace. Therefore it is important to use clear and simple language.

Avoid complex questions.

Avoid questions that use negatives and double negatives (Oppenheim 1992: 128).

Avoid too many open-ended questions on self-completion questionnaires. Because

self-completion questionnaires cannot probe respondents to find out just what they mean by particular responses, open-ended questions are a less satisfactory way of eliciting information. (This caution does not hold in the interview situation, however.) Open-ended questions, moreover, are too demanding of most respondents' time.

Avoid extremes in rating scales, e.g. 'never', 'always', 'totally', 'not at all' unless there is a good reason to include them. Most respondents are reluctant to use such

extreme categories (Anderson and Arsenault 2001: 174).

Avoid ambiguous questions or questions that could be interpreted differently from

20- sequencing the questions: The ordering of the questionnaire is important, for early questions may set the tone or the mindset of the respondent to later questions. For example, a questionnaire that makes a respondent irritated or angry early on is unlikely to have managed to enable that respondent's irritation or anger to subside by the end of the questionnaire. (see Louis Cohen, Lawrence Manion and Keith Morrison (2007: 336)

24- piloting the questionnaire : It bears repeating that the wording of questionnaires

is of paramount importance and that pretesting is crucial to their success (see http:// -Chapter 15, file 15.12. ppt). A pilot has several functions, principally to increase the reliability, validity and practicability of the questionnaire (Oppenheim 1992; Morrison 1993: Wilson and McLean 1994: 47):

to check the clarity of the questionnaire items, instructions and layout

to gain feedback on the validity of the questionnaire items, the operationalization of

the constructs and the purposes of the research.

25- practical considerations in questionnaire design: here are some instructions given in

( Louis Cohen, Lawrence Manion and Keith Morrison (2007: 342-343)

Ensure that the data acquired will answer the research questions.

- Ask more closed than open questions for ease of analysis (particularly in a large sample).

- Balance comprehensiveness and exhaustive coverage of issues with the demotivating factor of having respondents complete several pages of a questionnaire.

- Ask only one thing at a time in a question. Use single sentences per item wherever possible.

- Keep response categories simple.

- Avoid jargon.

- Keep statements in the present tense wherever possible.

- Be simple, clear and brief wherever possible.

- Clarify the kinds of responses required in open questions.

-Consider the readability levels of the questionnaire and the reading and writing abilities of the respondents (which may lead the researcher to conduct the questionnaire as a structured interview). These are the main instruction we prefer to deal with in during my researches, and we advise all those who come to read this doctoral dissertation to follow them to succeed in their researches. It seems to us that throughout the entire extent of the design questions suggested by many researchers and specialists in the field the research study can be easy if everyone understands what type of questionnaire he or she is going to follow during his investegations. He/ she is not obliged to follow all the issues suggested in the various questionnaires we have mentioned , but just being aware when selecting the issues to be able to collect information as regards .

The questionnaire is a widely used and useful instrument for collecting survey information,

providing structured, often numerical data, being able to be administered without the

presence of the researcher, and often being comparatively straightforward to analyse.( Wilson and McLean1994) for them the researcher will have to judge the appropriateness of using a questionnaire for data collection, and, if so, what kind of questionnaire it should be. (see Louis Cohen, Lawrence Manion and Keith Morrison (2007: 317)

There are many types of questionnaire for doing interview. Some of them were selected by researchers such as unstructured/structured questionnaire. The latter are used during selection, observation and comparison so as to assign full a range of possible responses as can be expected. These types of questionnaires are not alike; the unstructured questionnaire requires open questions to make interviewees feeling free in their responses unlike the structured questionnaire which requires closed question to be limited to the research questions.

From that fact, we can detect that items must be presented in a simple series for informants those who are asked to respond to the questions given to them. To understand more what is closed and open question let us see Research Methods in Education book Louis Cohen, Lawrence Manion and Keith Morrison (2007)

2.3.1 Closed questions

Closed questions prescribe the range of responses from which the respondent may choose. Highly structured, closed questions are useful in that they can generate frequencies of response amenable to statistical treatment and analysis. They also enable comparisons to be made across groups in the sample (Oppenheim 1992: 115) and, often, they are directly to the point and deliberately more focused than open-ended questions. Indeed it would be almost impossible, as well as unnecessary, to try to process vast quantities of word-based data in a short time frame.( see Louis Cohen, Lawrence Manion and Keith Morrison 2007)

2.3.2. Open-ended questions

Open - ended questions are useful if the possible answers are unknown or the questionnaire is

exploratory (Bailey 1994: 120), or if there are so many possible categories of response that a closed question would contain an extremely long list of options. They also enable respondents to answer as much as they wish, and are particularly suitable for investigating complex issues, to which simple answers cannot be provided. Open questions may be useful for generating items that will subsequently become the stuff of closed questions in a subsequent questionnaire (i.e. a pre-pilot). Louis Cohen, Lawrence Manion and Keith Morrison (2007).

Because we are limited in our research to a specific topic of our choice we prefer the structured questionnaire using closed questions to do a perfect interview with our students, colleagues, etc. The interview we should have with informants must be protean and changeable for data collection to enable interviewers and interviewers control verbal and non verbal speech spontaneity. Thus, the researcher should take into account that his or her interviews need to make expensive time for them as well as they must be open to their informants. To be able for getting information through interviews the researcher must give promise to the respondent to responsible for the anonymity of the interviewers.

2.4 Anticipated Outcome that is intended of the Interview

The outcomes of the interview in the wider context are varies as follows:

1- to evaluate or assess a person in some respect

2- to select or promote an employee

3- to test or develop hypotheses

4- to gather data, as in surveys or experimental situations

5- to sample respondents' opinions, as in doorstep interviews.

As Tuckman (1972) describes them as follows:

By providing access to what is 'inside a person's head', [it] makes it possible to measure what a person knows (knowledge or information), what a person likes or dislikes (values and preferences), and what a person thinks (attitudes and beliefs). (Tuckman 1972)

Second, it may be used to test hypotheses or to suggest new ones; or as an explanatory device to help identify variables and relationships.

Third, the interview may be used in conjunction with other methods in a research undertaking. In this connection, Kerlinger (1970) suggests that it might be used to follow up unexpected results, for example, or to validate other methods, or to go deeper into the motivations of respondents and their reasons for responding as they do. After having presented and discussed further information concerning the research method how can we plan for doing researches and then making interviews, the next section is devoted to the method our research topic focuses on.

2.5 Method

Our research work is a tentative attempt to investigate the attitudes of teachers and students towards the implementation of LMD system and its success or failure. This study focuses on mainly the following questions:

What are the attitudes of the English teachers towards the implementation of the LMD system in Algerian universities, in particular, Mostaganem /Sidi Bel Abbes University?

What are the attitudes of students towards the implementation of the LMD system in Algerian universities, in particular, Mostaganem University?

What are the teachers and students' opinions about the contribution of the LMD system to teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) in Algerian universities Mostaganem /Sidi Bel Abbes University?

What are the difficulties and challenges that Algerian teachers of English face in implementing LMD and the integration of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in their English classrooms?

The present study is a cross-sectional survey under qualitative paradigm. In survey research, according to Fraenkel and Wallen, "Researchers are often interested in the opinions of a large group of people about a particular topic or issue. They ask a number of questions, all related to the issue, to find answers" (2010, p. 390). Considering the purpose of the study, in order to collect necessary data, an in-depth interviewing technique is adopted.

It was decided to use in-depth interviewing as the main method to collect data for this study since an interpretative approach (qualitative in nature) was adopted for the investigation. The central concern of the interpretative research is to understand human experiences at a holistic level. Because of the nature of this type of research, investigations are often connected with methods such as in-depth interviewing, participant observation and the collection of relevant documents.

Maykut and Morehouse (1994: 46) state that:

The data of qualitative inquiry is most often people's words and actions, and thus requires methods that allow the researcher to capture language and behaviour. The most useful ways of gathering these forms of data are participant observation, in-depth interviews, group interviews, and the collection of relevant documents. Observation and interview data is collected by the researcher in the form of field notes and audio-taped interviews, which are later transcribed for use in data analysis.

There is also some qualitative research being done with photographs and video-taped observations as primary sources of data.

Accordingly, in this project, only using audio-taped interviews was preferred for it was not necessary to film or photograph our informants as the focus of the study does not require this necessity. Our informants were given, orally, a series of questionnaires, and then given time to answer them. Their answers were analyzed considering their linguistic level arising from their points of views as well as their observations towards the new reforms and the integration of the ICT too in the classroom such as the Internet use.

What was observed at a linguistic and didactic level in our data analysis is that teaching and learning English as a foreign language in university, in terms of English development came out of not only the new changes and reforms brought to the educational setting but also other means of communication, notably the Internet use and other means of communication widely used among students and teachers too. Hence, our data would be classified according to the number of students (interviewees) selected and their learning level: first year licence LMD, second year licence LMD, first year master and second year master grade.

2.6 Context

The research study took place in Mostaganem; it has been followed and supervised since the LMD new reform was implemented in Mostaganem University in 2005. This location, Mostaganem city, was selected because Mostaganem University is among the pioneering universities to adopt LMD, thus it could provide us with a sample of students and teachers whose characteristics are appropriate for the research study, and as a teacher at Mostaganem University who witnessed the implementation of LMD new reform, we could have this opportunity to do this investigation.

2.2. Participants

For this study, our participants were thirty Mostaganem University English LMD students from L1, L2, M1 and M2 and 10 EFL teachers at Abdelhamid University. To reinforce our work, we have also interviewed 10 English classical or licence students from the second, third and fourth years.

The age range of the informants was between 18 and 22; 70% of these students are acquainted with ICTs but not so familiar with the LMD system because of its newness. The informants, male and female, were chosen purposefully from different levels according to the conditions mentioned before. The reason for their participation in this survey was to check whether the LMD system affects them either positively or negatively and why in both cases. The sampling method used in this study was purposive sampling as considered appropriate in qualitative research. According to Fraenkel and Wallen (2010, p. 431), "Researchers who engage in some form of qualitative research are likely to select a purposive sample, that is, they select a sample they feel will yield the best understanding of what they are studying".

2.3. Data collection instruments

The data collection instruments used in this research study are a semi-structured audio-taped interview guide that contained 10 items and a questionnaire given to the students mentioned before for the purpose of getting some analysis of their experience as the first generation who welcomes this reform. The aim of the audio-taped interview guide was to collect several responses from different informants; the interviewees' responses were noted down by the interviewer. The audio-taped interviews helped us analyze students and teachers' views, i.e., to analyze the depth of the psychological effects the LMD and the integration of ICTs use have on learners.

2.4. Data Collection Procedure

This research study was conducted in two phases that took about one year of observation and analyses to follow the process of learning and teaching advancement. It took a considerable time to get accurate results without any subjective judgment. During the first period, we first selected our sample group of students' level whom we intended to work with, and then started observing them to collect as many views as we could via audio-taped interviews that took the form of questionnaires (See Appendix A, Appendix B, and Appendix C for questionnaires).