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  • 1. Writing Chapter 1: The Problem and Its BackgroundIntroduction This provides general information about the topic chosen, its role or importance in society; it alsodiscusses the reason why the researcher became interested in the study. For example, if the study is aboutEnglish language learning, a discussion on the importance of English education in the Philippines today will bean appropriate introduction.Sample Introduction (Title: “Blended Learning at Centro Escolar University” by Opina, et.al) CHAPTER 1 The Problem and Its Background Introduction Internet has become impossible to ignore and even people who do not own a computer have seen or heard about its uses. Education becomes accessible even outside the formal schools. Anyone can acquire information, knowledge with the use of virtual technology anytime even at wee hours. As Paul West (2010) puts it, the Internet is being attributed with the power to mesmerize and seduce the youth as was the television and film industries at an earlier time. Blended or hybrid learning combines online with face-to-face learning formats. It is gaining acceptance as a supplement to the traditional classroom setting. However, since it is a relatively new means of getting knowledge, research on its effectiveness is still in its infancy. This means that questions that have been thoroughly studied for traditional classrooms may need to be revisited for Blended instruction. In the Philippines, most computers are placed in computer laboratories where students are sent for self-paced tutorials. But Barrett (2008) believes that this is not education and that technology "should support the complex private and social activities that make up the learning process"(201). Some schools now have created a fully distributed computing environment to support the learners though the provision of electronic mail, access to software, personal file storage and other communications utilities. In this way computers are used to aid students in the learning process. With this in mind, the researchers decided to create online quizzes, and games to supplement the lessons in Communication Skills 1 so they could come up with insights applicable to the students of CEU Manila, Makati and Malolos campuses.
  • 2. Background of the Study In undergraduate research, this is sometimes incorporated in the introduction of the study. It provides thehistory of the topic, subjects of the study, and other strategies compared or tested, chemical substance analyzed,etc.Sample Background of the Study: (from “Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET) and Teaching Performance ofEducation and Non-Education Graduates in the Philippines” by Dr. Brenda B. Corpuz and Dr. Nenita V. Quinon. Background of the Study In accordance with R.A. 7836, the licensure Examination for Teachers is open to BS graduates who comply with the eighteen-unit professional education subjects. Through the years, it has been observed that most of the top performers in the LET come from the group on non-education graduates. In the field, however, a common comment from the school heads is that the non-education graduates are good in content but not so good in teaching methods and techniques. In contrast, it is said that most education graduates are said to be inadequate in content but good on teaching methods and techniques. Today, the question on whether to increase the eighteen-unit Professional Education subjects, the minimum number of units required of non-education graduates for the LET, as provided for in R.A. 9293 is raised by education stakeholders.Setting of the Study It specially gives information regarding the location of the study, for example, the history of the privateuniversity where the students are enrolled in, the town or city where the respondents live, etc. It is usuallyaccompanied by a map of the pertinent place/s.Sample Setting of the Study (taken from “The Relationship of The Online English Teachers’ Competencies to SelectedVariables: Implications to Online English Teaching” by Ivan Perry Mercado.
  • 3. Setting of the Study This study will be conducted in Metro Manila, Philippines (Figure 1). ThePhilippines is a tropical country consisting of 7,107 islands between 4.23N and 21.25Nand between 116E and 127E longitude. Figure 2 shows the islands that are geographicallydivided into three main areas, namely Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Only 2,000islands of the archipelago are inhabited. There are 111 linguistic, cultural and racial groups, of which over 36 are moreethnic groups scattered throughout the archipelago. The relative isolation provided by theislands has made ethnic regionalism evident to this day. The national language is Tagalog,although another 70 languages and dialects of Malayo-Polynesian origin are also currentlyspoken. The Philippines is using a bilingual medium of instruction. Certain subjects aretaught in English and the rest in the national language that is Filipino. Throughout theislands, English is widely spoken as a second language. The Philippines is predominantlyRoman Catholic country (82%) and is the only Christian nation in Asia. Meanwhile, the five selected online English education companies in the MetroManila for this study are the following: 1. Neungyule Eduphone in Libis, Quezon City. It is both a publishing and anEnglish Institution having specialized in English Education for a long time. The companyis committed in providing enhancement on strong communication skills of practical andconversational English. (Note: There are four more…)
  • 4. Figure 1Map of Metro Manila
  • 5. Figure 2Map of the Philippines
  • 6. Theoretical Framework It presents the theoretical basis of the study, which may be an established learning principle or theory. Astudy on children’s learning acquisition may include Piaget’s Cognitive Development Theory; a research onteaching methodologies may use Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences, etc. An inclusion of an illustrationof the theory in the study is suggested to clearly show how the theory serves as the framework of the study.Sample of Theoretical Framework Figure 3 David Amerland’s Cloud –Based Environment In figure 3, David Amerland (2012) uses the cloud-based environment to engage and share information with clients. The move to the Cloud, the entertainment services, serving eBooks, music and movies makes everything automatically available to those who access it. Everybody is talking about the internet simply because of its enormous tools that were not even conceivable in earlier technologies. The marvelous feature of the internet is that nobody really controls it; nobody really owns it; and nobody can at a click turn the internet off. Its broad base is the scattered millions of individual computers connected to one another. Cognizant to the significant role of internet in many fields, particularly in education, the researchers believe that internet can make million things possible for students to hone their communication skills.
  • 7. Another sample of Theoretical Framework Theoretical Framework ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN Learner’s Typologies in English Implications of Stephen ENGLISH across Four Hierarchical Krashen’s Models in Dimensions Secondary Language Acquisition and Learning in the Development of Worth While and Student – Centered Monitor Type Level of Affective Resources in English WRITTEN ORAL Filter DISCOURSE DISCOURSE OVER UNDER OPTIMAL USER USER USER HIGH LOW The Monitor type and Level of Affective Filter have a direct Implication in understanding and in quantifying the level of LOW LEVEL LOW LEVEL HIGH LEVEL LOW LEVEL HIGH LEVEL English Proficiency among OF OF OF OF OF PROFICIENCY PROFICIENCY PROFICIENCY PROFICIENCY PROFICIENCY Second Language Learners as for the determination of the appropriate Input (Comprehensible Input) should be altogether dependent on the derived typologies. LOW ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN ENGLISH HIGH ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN ENGLISH FIRST HIERARCHICAL LEVEL SECOND HIERARCHICAL LEVEL THIRD HIERARCHICAL LEVEL FOURTH HIERARCHICAL LEVEL Figure 4 Stephen Krashen’s Model in English Language LearningConceptual Framework A conceptual framework illustrates the process undertaken by the researcher in conducting the study:from identifying the data used, the methodology applied, to the outcome of the investigation. The mostcommonly used paradigm is the System’s or the Input-Process-Output (IPO) Approach. The Input includes thevariables of the study, the Process identifies the methods of investigation used, and the Output shows the resultsderived from the investigation done. In some undergraduate theses, the theoretical and conceptual are combined as in:
  • 8. Sample Theoretical / Conceptual Framework Theoretical/Conceptual Framework This study will be guided by the social learning theory of Bandura (2008) emphasizing the importance of observing and modeling the behaviors, attitudes, and emotional reactions of others. Bandura states: “Learning would be exceedingly laborious, not to mention hazardous, if people had to rely solely on their effects of their own actions to inform them what to do. Fortunately, most human behaviors are learned observationally through modeling and from observing others. One forms an idea of how new behaviors are performed and on later occasions, this added information serves as a guide for action” (209). The component processes underlying observational learning are: (1)Attention, including modeled events (distinctive-value) and other characteristics (sensory capacities, arousal levels, perceptual set, past reinforcement), (2)retorting including symbolic coding, cognitive organization, symbolic rehearsal, motor rehearsal, (3)Motor Reproduction, including physical capabilities, self-observation of reproduction, accuracy of feedback, and (4)Motivation, including external, vicarious and self reinforcement. In relation to that concept, Modes of Learning Theory of David Rumelhart and Donald Norman (2004) proposed that there are three modes of learning: accretion, structuring and tuning. Accretion is the addition of new knowledge to existing memory. Structuring involves the formation of new conceptual structures or schema. Tuning is the adjustment of knowledge to a specific task usually through practice. Accretion is the most common form of learning; structuring occurs much less frequently and requires considerable effort; tuning is the slowest form of learning and accounts for expert performance. Figure 5 The Conceptual Paradigm on Using the System Model
  • 9. Figure 5 shows the process that will be be done in this study. The assessment of the Online English teachers will determine their level of competencies. Using the system model, the input includes the competencies of the online English teachers in the aforementioned areas of competencies and the students’ performance in oral communication. Meanwhile, the process includes the assessment by the administrators and the teachers on their competencies and the teachers’ assessment of their students’ performance in oral communication. Lastly, the output will be the proposed enhancement measures to improve the level of competencies of the online English teachers.Statement of the Problem A research problem is usually stated in one broad statement followed by specific questions that relate tothe main problem. Answers to these questions when put together provide answers to the general problem. General guidelines in formulating the Statement of the Problem: 1. Begin with a broad statement expressing the general concern of the study. 2. Ask a series of three or more questions that are related to the general problem. 3. Arrange questions in logical order. 4. Avoid asking yes/no question.
  • 10. Sample Statement of the Problem Statement of the Problem (Note: Use past tense verb if the research has already been conducted.) This study will determine the relationship of the online English teachers’ competencies to selected variables and its implications to online English teaching. Specifically, it will seek to answer the following questions: 1. What are the characteristics of the respondents in terms of: 1.1 Teachers 1.1.1 gender, 1.1.2 age, 1.1.3 civil status, 1.1.4 highest educational attainment, 1.1.5 monthly income, 1.1.6 eligibility, and 1.1.7 years of experience in current position? 1.2 Students 1.2.1 gender, 1.2.2 age, 1.2.3 civil status, 1.2.4 occupation, and 1.2.5 diagnostic and evaluation results? (Note: If profile is not part of the analysis of the study, it may be omitted in the statement of the problem. It may, however, be described under Subjects/Respondents of the Study in Chapter 3.) 2. What are the levels of competencies of the selected online English teachers in four areas as perceived by: 2.1 the teachers: 2.1.1 technology knowledge and abilities, 2.1.2 communication, 2.1.3 online education, and 2.1.4 content knowledge?
  • 11. 2.2 their administrators: 2.2.1 technology knowledge and abilities, 2.2.2 communication, 2.2.3 online education, and 2.2.4 content knowledge? 3. How do the perceptions of the administrators and of the teachers themselves compare as regards the aforementioned four areas? 4. How does the teachers’ level of competencies relate with their aforementioned characteristics? 5. How do the students’ diagnostic results and evaluation results compare? 6. How does the teachers’ level of competencies relate with their students’ performance? 7. What are the implications of the findings to online English teaching?Assumptions of the Study Some unrelated factors in the study are beyond the control of the researcher. He/She can only assumethat his/her study was conducted under certain required conditions. For example, the researcher has to assumethat the questionnaires will be answered honestly and objectively, and that the records provided by certainoffices are true and accurate.
  • 12. Sample Assumptions of the Study Assumptions of the Study The research study is anchored on the assumption that the respondents are honest and objective in expressing their perceptions on the levels of competencies of online English teachers that will be used as the basis for the proposed enhancement measures. Moreover, the students’ scores in the pre and post assessment are reliable bases in measuring the students’ performance.Hypotheses These are statements drawn regarding the outcome of the study before the conclusion is reached. Thispart is necessary in studies where comparisons or correlations are being tested. The hypotheses are commonlyin null or in negative form.Sample Hypotheses Hypotheses This study tries to test the null hypotheses as follows: 1. There is no significant difference in the attitude of students enrolled in different colleges regarding their English subjects and teachers. 2. Students’ attitude towards their English subjects and teachers does not relate with their academic performance in Communication Skills 1.Significance of the Study You should be able to justify your choice of problem by showing its practical importance especially tothe intended readers of your study. What benefit, for example, will the students, teachers, and administratorsderive from a study determining the causes of failures in a subject?
  • 13. Sample Significance of the Study Significance of the Study The study will give administrators, teachers of English in all levels, and students of English a clear idea on the possible causes of failing grades in general English. Knowledge of this will greatly help those responsible to adopt remedies to decrease failing grades in the subjects, thereby reducing failing grades in higher English. Success in English may also help improve the students’ grades in other subjects, especially those that use English as a medium of instruction in classroom discussion as well as the learning materials. The significance may be discussed as a whole or specifically addressed to the recipients, in which casethe discussions should be separate and labeled distinctly, like To the students, To the English teachers, To theadministrators.Scope, Delimitation, and Limitations of the Study Scope and delimitation state what the study covers and fix its parameters. Limitations specify certainconstraints in the study which are essential, but which the researcher has no control of.Sample Scope, Delimitation, and Limitations of the Study Scope, Delimitation, and Limitations of the Study This study will be concerned with determining the causes of failures in general English subjects (scope) among freshman college students in selected private universities in the Philippines during the school year 2011-2012 (delimitation). It will investigate only personal characteristics of the students as probable causes of failure (delimitation).It will not consider influence or community or friends (limitations).Definition of Terms It is necessary to clarify terms used in the study by defining them contextually and operationally. Thissection of the research paper may also include newly invented or coined words, technical terms and words withspecial meaning.
  • 14. Sample Definition of Terms Definition of Terms The following terms are defined according to the context in which they will be used in the study for a clearer understanding of what they mean: Academic performance. It refers to the school achievement of the student, often measured by his subject grades. Attitude. It means a person’s point of view or his way of looking at things. Communication Skills 1. It is the first English in first year taken in the first semester. In this University ,it is a subject focusing on the mastery of English grammar in written and spoken language. Communication Skills 2. It is the second English in first year taken in the second semester. It focuses on academic skills necessary to help students cope with their other academic subjects taught in English. When defining terms in your study, remember the following:  Arrange words in alphabetical order  Underline and indent the terms followed by a period.  State definitions in complete sentences.