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J

We've already brushed on this a bit, but let me make an official comment. OK? Until I read this post I'd always thought the distance we have to cover would've been the greatest among all, and I'd more or so taken the misconception as one of the reasons that our English is bad. In a sense I'd used it as an excuse, I guess. I'd thought other learners were way ahead of us simply for their grammatical & phonological advantages, but certainly I see things with regard to this issue differently now.

So, why then? Let alone all these facts cited here and, no offense, the credibility and validity of them, how come our English is so bad or at least we generally think it is so?

Considering the amount of time, effort, energy, money, etc. we spend on our English education, it wouldn't be so absurd to expect the outcome to be as glorious as what those Germanic speakers would achieve, provided that they're as equally devoted as we are.

How come we just can't make it happen? I really wanna know why.

02

04

21:23

Aya

Hi, again, J

> We've already brushed on this a bit, but let me make an official comment. OK?

Sure. Your comments are always welcome :-)

> Considering the amount of time, effort, energy, money, etc. we spend on our English education, it wouldn't be so absurd to expect the outcome to be as glorious as what those Germanic speakers would achieve, provided that they're as equally devoted as we are.

That's absolutely true. I think we can expect much more from ourselves in terms of attainment.

> How come we just can't make it happen? I really wanna know why.

Right. I've always been wanting to make difference in current situations including my own English-learning. It was so nice sharing this kind of topic with you. Thanks, J.

02

04

23:29

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http://ayay515.blog111.fc2.com/tb.php/32-a6930e3b

02

01

コメント

Relationship between Language Distance and TOEFL Score

This is my posting on the discussion board of "Second Language Acquisition" course of TESOL program. It's fresh from the press, so to speak ;-) Hope you enjoy reading it.


In regard to L1-L2 differences and similarities behind Crosslinguistic Influences, I’d like to share an intriguing fact about the relationship between estimated language distances from English and TOEFL scores of those L2 English speakers. I learned the article “A linguistic-based measure of cultural distance and its relationship (West, J. & Graham, J.L., 2004)” from a comment posted by a Japanese university professor who I follow on Twitter. In the article, West and Graham refer to linguistic distances from English of 51cultures and their dominant languages researched by Hofstede (1980). The research determines how distant 51 languages are to English such as German 1, Swedish 2, Spanish 3, French 3, Korean 4, Japanese 4, Finnish 4, Hebrew 5, Cantonese 6, Thai 7, and Malay 7. As the Japanese university professor mentioned, whose comment I also agree with, not only educators but also learners of English have been attributing Japanese test-takers’ low scores on TOEFL to the language distance to English that Japanese entails, which is 4 according to Hofstede. However, if you look at TOEFL scores of nonnative English-speaking examinees released by Educational Testing Service (ETS), something interesting will be revealed.

It is seemingly natural to hypothesize that the more distant the language is to English, the more difficult English-learning gets for those language speakers, and thus, the lower their TOEFL scores should be. According to 2009 Test score data released by ETS (2010), the host of TOEFL, the average scores of Thai people whose language distance is 7 are higher (74, on TOEFL iBT) than those of Japanese whose language distance is 4 (67, on TOEFL iBT). The average scores of Malay are 88 with the language distance 7, and those of Hebrew are 96 with the language distance 5, both of which are more distant to English than Japanese is. For your information, the average scores of Korean are 81, Spanish 84, French 85, Swedish 92, Finnish 96, and German 97 respectively. The highest score of all, 101, is achieved by Dutch (Note: The perfect score is 120).

Even tough those data look very intriguing at first sight, there are at least two things to be considered; one is how valid those language distances are and how big of an impact those distances could have on TOEFL iBT scores; the other is to what extent TOEFL iBT access examinees’ competence objectively. Still, the data comparison mentioned above is still worthy of our attention. As far as Japanese test-takers go, it should be more logical to find “other factors” than the language distance to address examinees’ low scores on TOEFL iBT. It could be that English education in Japan has not focused on spoken and written discourse in academic contexts which TOEFL iBT aims to measure. Or it could be just because Japanese test-takers are not serious about English learning to compete with their rivals from other countries, and thus their English proficiency has not yet developed to suffice the criteria that ETS speculates as successful university applicants. For whatever factors, it is true that Japanese learners of English have not demonstrated competitive scores on TOEFL iBT, for which Japanese language distance to English cannot be brought as an excuse for justification.

Looking back a history in which TOEFL iBT has been developed, the consequence seems predictable in a sense that Asian TOEFL test-takers, especially those from Japan and Korea, had such a poor speaking ability that they often fell behind in university classes in the U.S. To screen out less qualified university applicants, certain educators and university administrators requested ETS to create a new type of standardized test to access test-takers’ English proficiency including speaking and writing. The weakness in speaking and writing of English speakers from Asian countries may have something to do with Crosslinguistic Influences. It could not only about the languages, but also about people’s beliefs, ways of thinking, social demand, economics or even politics. It seems very intriguing to delve into the factors that affect Asian people’s English proficiency and their possible solutions from various points of view.


References:

Educational Testing Service. (2010) Test and score data summary for TOEFL Internet-based and paper-based tests. Retrieved February 1, 2011 from http://www.ets.org/research/policy_research_reports/toefl-sum-09

Hofstede, G.H. (1980).Culture’s consequences: International differences in work-related values. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.

West, J. & Graham, J. L. (2004) A linguistic-based measure of cultural distance and its relationship to managerial values: Management International Review, 44, 3, 239-260.

FC2 Management

J

We've already brushed on this a bit, but let me make an official comment. OK? Until I read this post I'd always thought the distance we have to cover would've been the greatest among all, and I'd more or so taken the misconception as one of the reasons that our English is bad. In a sense I'd used it as an excuse, I guess. I'd thought other learners were way ahead of us simply for their grammatical & phonological advantages, but certainly I see things with regard to this issue differently now.

So, why then? Let alone all these facts cited here and, no offense, the credibility and validity of them, how come our English is so bad or at least we generally think it is so?

Considering the amount of time, effort, energy, money, etc. we spend on our English education, it wouldn't be so absurd to expect the outcome to be as glorious as what those Germanic speakers would achieve, provided that they're as equally devoted as we are.

How come we just can't make it happen? I really wanna know why.

02

04

21:23

Aya

Hi, again, J

> We've already brushed on this a bit, but let me make an official comment. OK?

Sure. Your comments are always welcome :-)

> Considering the amount of time, effort, energy, money, etc. we spend on our English education, it wouldn't be so absurd to expect the outcome to be as glorious as what those Germanic speakers would achieve, provided that they're as equally devoted as we are.

That's absolutely true. I think we can expect much more from ourselves in terms of attainment.

> How come we just can't make it happen? I really wanna know why.

Right. I've always been wanting to make difference in current situations including my own English-learning. It was so nice sharing this kind of topic with you. Thanks, J.

02

04

23:29

管理者にだけ表示を許可する

この記事のトラックバックURL

http://ayay515.blog111.fc2.com/tb.php/32-a6930e3b

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Aya

Author:Aya
English learner

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上記広告は1ヶ月以上更新のないブログに表示されています。新しい記事を書くことで広告を消せます。