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Malaysian Journal of Learning and Instruction (MJLI) Vol. 5, 2008

 
Exploring the Effectiveness of Using Big Books in Teaching Primary English in Malaysian Classrooms
Aizan Yaacob
Universiti Utara Malaysia
Annamaria Pinter
University of Warwick, UK
 
Abstract Ɩ Full Text
There are many benefits of using stories for language and literacy development particularly in the areas of vocabulary (Cameron, 2001; Elley, 1989; Penno, Wilkinson & Moore 2002; Hargrave & Senechal, 2000) and reading comprehension. Yet, much is still unknown in second language (L2) contexts. This paper investigates the use of Big Books in primary English in Malaysia where English is taught as an official second language. It draws on transcript data from one teacher from one primary school to illustrate how students’ active participation and interest in language learning emerged as the teacher introduced Big Books instead of the textbook. Our data shows that practice with Big Books changes the interaction patterns and learning opportunities. Students were actively involved and they contributed to the discussions and made spontaneous comments about the stories. Most importantly, the teacher’s elicitation skill is essential in enhancing students’ learning. The Ministry of Education’s hopes to provide more active engagement and to increase students’ interests and motivation through stories were achieved.
 

 
A Confirmatory Factor Analysis of a Newly Integrated Multidimensional School Engagement Scale
Rosna Awang-Hashim & Azlina Murad Sani
Universiti Utara Malaysia
 
Abstract Ɩ Full Text
Inconsistencies in measures of school engagement in the literature have called for a re-conceptualization of the school engagement construct. Although many researchers view school engagement as a multifaceted construct, to our knowledge, none of the available instruments have integrated all the important domains that represent its multifaceted nature. This study is our first attempt to examine the psychometric properties of a newly integrated Multidimensional School Engagement Scale (MSES). Data were gathered from 2,381 secondary school students, aged 14 to 16, from 40 day schools in northern Malaysia. Exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analytic techniques were used to examine the instrument. Based on the available literature, we posited an a priori hypothesis that the scales could be explained by three first-order factors and one second-order factor. We used SPSS v.12 and AMOS 6.0 to analyze the data. Findings supported our hypothesis that the school engagement construct can be explained by three first-order factors and one hierarchical factor comprising cognitive engagement, behavioural engagement, and psychological engagement sub-scales. Findings also showed acceptable internal consistency reliability for the overall scale and the three specific sub-scales of adolescent school engagement.
 

 
Construct Validation of a School Principal Decision-Making Styles Scale
Abdulhakam Hengpiya
Universiti Utara Malaysia
 
Abstract Ɩ Full Text
Whereas substantial research in decision-making styles has focused on the theoretical and conceptual definitions, relatively less empirical attention has been paid to the development of its measures. Thus, the purpose of this study is to develop and validate a measure of school principal decision-making styles based on Vroom and Yetton’s (1973) theoretical framework. The researcher initially developed a 40-item pool of the Principal Decision-Making Styles Scale (PDMSS), and then these 40 items were reduced to 27 items after experts’ examination of its content validity. These 27 refined items were administered to 120 primary school principals in the northern states of Malaysia. In order to examine the construct validity of the PDMSS, a factor analysis employing principal component extraction procedures with varimax rotation was used. The factor analysis resulted in a 19-item instrument that measures three extracted decision-making styles, namely, autocratic, participative, and delegation. Additionally, the item analysis showed acceptable internal consistency reliability for the overall and the three specific sub-scales of PDMSS. Moreover, the confirmatory factor analysis revealed that the three identified styles indicate a good model fit.
 

 
English as Foreign Language Student Teachers’ Perceptions of the Use of Moodle in a Foundations of Education Course
Wajeha Thabit Al-Ani
Sultan Qaboos University, Oman
 
Abstract Ɩ Full Text
In order to design an effective e-learning environment, the present study investigated English as Foreign Language (EFL) students’ perceptions of the use of Moodle as a course management system in a Foundations of Education (FOE) course at the College of Education. The study also aimed at exploring statistically significant differences between student teachers’ perceptions that can be attributed to gender, residence, year in the program, computer skills, and GPA variables. Data were collected from a sample of 60 students using a questionnaire. Findings showed that using Moodle increases students’ participation in learning, exchanging ideas and knowledge (μ = 4.37). Over half the total number of students preferred to use chat rooms and forums in computer labs to formal lecture rooms. Findings also showed that there are statistically significant differences between student responses related to year in the program in favor of students in their third and fourth year. With regard to obstacles facing students, the findings showed that most of these obstacles revolve around technical issues and frequent computer errors. Based on these findings, several recommendations were made.
 

 
Faktor Ibu Bapa dalam Kecemerlangan Akademik Pelajar Pekak: Kajian Kes Retrospektif
Shahrul Arba’iah Othman, Norzaini Azman & Manisah Mohd Ali
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
 
Abstrak Ɩ Full Text
Kajian kes retrospektif ini dijalankan untuk memahami bagaimana faktor ibu bapa telah menyumbang kepada kecemerlangan akademik pelajar pekak. Kecemerlangan akademik didefinisikan sebagai kejayaan yang dicapai oleh pelajar pekak dalam peperiksaan awam hingga membolehkan mereka melanjutkan pelajaran ke peringkat diploma atau ijazah pertama di institusi pengajian tinggi. Data dikumpul dengan membuat triangulasi kepada kaedah dan sumber. Kaedah pengumpulan data yang digunakan adalah temu bual mendalam, soalan bertulis, dan analisis dokumen. Sumber-sumber kepada data merupakan ibu bapa, pelajar pekak, dan dokumen/ memorabilia. Seramai lapan orang pelajar pekak yang cemerlang dalam akademik, lapan orang ibu dan empat orang bapa pelajar tersebut dipilih menjadi peserta kajian. Temu bual mendalam telah dijalankan dengan ibu bapa terlibat. Maklumat yang dapat menyokong atau mengukuhkan kata-kata ibu bapa ini telah diperoleh secara jawapan bertulis daripada pelajar sendiri dan analisis dokumen. Hasil temu bual telah dibuat trankripsi secara verbatim dan kesimpulan yang dibuat berdasarkan analisis tema. Dapatan kajian menunjukkan kecemerlangan akademik pelajar pekak bergantung kepada dua faktor iaitu keluarga dan diri pelajar pekak sendiri. Faktor-fakor keluarga yang penting ialah sikap ibu bapa, penglibatan ibu bapa, jangkaan ibu bapa, persekitaran keluarga, dan sumber keluarga. Kajian ini memberi implikasi kepada penyediaan khidmat intervensi awal yang lebih baik, pemberian peluang pendidikan yang sama rata kepada pelajar pekak, dan penyediaan khidmat sokongan secara kolaboratif antara agensi-agensi yang terlibat.
 

 
Faktor Penentu Prestasi Pelajar Matrikulasi dalam Subjek Perakaunan
Zuaini Ishak, Nor Aziah Abdul Manaf & Rosliza Mat Zin
Universiti Utara Malaysia
 
Abstrak Ɩ Full Text
Kajian ini bertujuan mengenal pasti faktor-faktor yang menentukan prestasi pelajar dalam subjek perakaunan di peringkat matrikulasi. Berdasarkan 450 soal selidik yang dikeluarkan, analisis kajian ke atas 393 sampel yang boleh digunakan menunjukkan purata gred pelajar secara keseluruhannya berada dalam lingkungan C. Penemuan kajian dengan menggunakan kaedah “stepwise” regresi berkali, menunjukkan hubungan positif yang signifikan antara markah perakaunan pengurusan dengan purata mata gred keseluruhan dan pencapaian bagi subjek perakaunan kewangan yang diambil oleh pelajar dalam semester sebelumnya. Di samping itu, sikap, jangkaan tahap motivasi dan jangkaan markah menunjukkan hubungan yang signifikan dengan prestasi pelajar. Bagaimanapun, dapatan kajian telah menunjukkan bahawa pelajar yang tidak mempunyai pendedahan awal dalam subjek perakaunan menunjukkan prestasi yang lebih baik berbanding dengan mereka yang mempunyai pendedahan awal dalam subjek perakaunan.
 

 
Hubungan Gender dengan Strategi Pembelajaran Bahasa Arab dalam kalangan Pelajar Sekolah Menengah Agama di Terengganu
Kamarul Shukri Mat Teh
Universiti Darul Iman Malaysia
 
Nik Mohd Rahimi Nik Yusoff, Mohamed Amin Embi & Zamri Mahamod
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
 
Abstrak Ɩ Full Text
Beberapa kajian yang merentasi pelbagai budaya menunjukkan bahawa pelajar perempuan lebih banyak dan kerap menggunakan Strategi Pembelajaran Bahasa (SPB) berbanding pelajar lelaki (Ehrman & Oxford, 1989; Green & Oxford, 1995). Namun begitu, terdapat kajian menunjukkan tiada perbezaan signifikan antara pelajar lelaki dan pelajar perempuan dalam penggunaan SPB (Chang, 1990; Chou, 2002). Malah, ada juga kajian menyimpulkan bahawa kadangkala pelajar lelaki lebih banyak menggunakan sesetengah strategi tertentu (Oxford, 1994; Wharton, 2000).Perbezaan linguistik seperti ortografi juga dapat mempengaruhi penggunaan strategi (Douglas, 1992; Grabe, 1986). Justeru, kertas ini memerihalkan dapatan kajian tentang penggunaan SPB dalam pembelajaran bahasa Arab berdasarkan perbezaan gender. Data dikumpulkan dengan menggunakan soal selidik kendiri Strategi Pembelajaran Bahasa Arab (SPBA) yang diadaptasi daripada SILL (Oxford, 1990). Subjek kajian yang dipilih secara rawak adalah terdiri daripada 460 orang pelajar Tingkatan 4 di 13 buah sekolah menengah agama di Terengganu.. Dapatan kajian menunjukkan pelajar perempuan lebih banyak menggunakan SPB secara keseluruhan berbanding pelajar lelaki semasa mempelajari bahasa Arab. Kajian ini juga menunjukkan pelajar perempuan lebih kerap menggunakan strategi memori, afektif, dan metafizik berbanding pelajar lelaki. Tiada perbezaan signifikan pada penggunaan strategi kognitif, metakognitif, tampungan, dan sosial.