ENGLISH LANGUAGE PROGRAMME
Sergio Humberto Rejón Xinastle
Students’ development in the comprehensive skills at
English VII in the English Language major at Uqroo and
some students’ assumptions of them.
Nature of Research: Descriptive Research
Date: November 12th, 2013
In this research I will look for the rate of students’
failure at the English VII level of the English language
Major. I will set the percentage of the failures and will
have a over look of the factors that may affect the
well development of the students at this level, these
will be; the test used to grade the level (CAE),
students’ overconfidence, beliefs and investment
toward the subject and the language itself. I will apply
my instruments in the English VII group in the
morning 8th semester 2014, and with the coordination
of the teacher in charge of the group to have access to
tests and grades.
The last couple of years, the Certificate in Advance English (CAE) has been
playing an important role in the English Language Teaching Major in the University
of Quintana Roo because it is a pre-requisite for students to take the test in order
to get their degree in this major. For this reason, students are prepared to take the
exam in the last English levels.
so, when teachers evaluate the skills, it is necessary that students pass at least four
skills, this applies in the English subjects of the English Language Teaching major;
however, in the CAE it is necessary that the total of the grades of each skill can be
more than 70%.
There would be a great number of students who fail their comprehensive skills in the
last levels which are: Reading, language in use and listening.
Therefore, I decided to see if it is true that students tend to decrease their grades in
the last levels of their English subjects and sometimes they even fail the subject.º
During the last few years in the English language
major at the University of Quintana Roo in which
I have been a student, I have noticed and
experienced that in the seventh semester of the
major there is a decrease on the performance of
students toward the comprehensive skill (the
ones that required to mull over which are;
listening, reading and use of English) in
comparison with their previous English levels of
the major. This means that there is an increased
number of students who are about to flunk
which make them lose a year of their major.
objective of this thesis is to prove if
students at the seventh level of the English as
a second language major fail in the English
language skills, which are mentioned above.
Also this thesis will show the different
contrasts among each skill and compare
them in order to see clearer the academic
progress of the students of English VII.
RQ 1.-What percent of students in the English VII level in the
English language major at Uqroo tend to fail the English language
skills such as reading, listening and use of Language?
RQ 2.-Does the CAE format affect the students performance in
the different skills mentioned?
RQ 3.-Do students feel overconfident in their performances in the
language skills and this causes them not to improve the language?
RQ 4.-Do students believe that what is taught in their English
classrooms is enough and they do not study by themselves to
improve their English level?
RQ 5.-Does students’ investment affect in their performance in the
RQ 6.- do the different factors influence in students’ second
language learning process, which are age, attitude, motivation,
personality, cognitive style and beliefs?
This work attempts to improve the performance of
students of English language major. This can be done by
answering the research questions and letting to other
researchers interested in finding possible problems and
solutions of why students have a low performance in
English VII and with this teachers and students would be
able to focus on the problems and solutions to avoid this
situation. Also it can be demonstrated some assumptions
that students might have through this experience and
explain them for further research and help researchers
convey what they can discover. My intention is to show
what is noticed at first hand by then have evidence that
may be taken by others researchers or even I may
continue on this research work.
In order to do this paper research, I would like to point out some
information related to my topic and I have to say that it was quite
difficult to find research papers that fit exactly in my topic;
however, I could find some of them that in somehow it had to do
with my topic in certain point. My findings are related in the
English as a second language, why students decided to enroll in an
English course, problems with students of ESL, student’s desertion
and some data about the skills involved in the research.
English as a foreign language: "Standards, Codification and
Sociolinguistic Realism: The English Language in the Outer Circle"
(Braj Kachru 1985). It is the outer-circle that we as a non-English
speaker expands and the more expanded it is, the more
knowledge of English we have. But if we put the finger on that
circle, we can notice that also it can close it instead of expand it
and here it is where students are facing problems to keep on
Different factors influence in students’ second language learning process, some of them are age,
attitude, motivation, personality, cognitive style and beliefs that can predict the success or failure
students will have in their language learning. (Ellis, 1985). In this research I consider these factors
as one of the possible problems for ESL students supporting my hypothesis that indeed students
tend to fail the comprehensive skills in English VII level.
The main goal of English as a second language is to be enough competent to communicate and
interact in the target language. Like in others teaching fields, students just focus on the grade
rather than the real acquisition of knowledge and a good proficiency. But focusing on the English
language teaching and moreover English as a second language teaching in the English Language
major it is noticed that students face problems when trying to learn English.
An English course is designed for English language learning, focusing on reading, writing,
speaking, and listening skills, meanwhile in the English language major at the University of
Quintana Roo is expected to increase knowledge of English class by class, semester by semester
with the same line of any other English course but the main goal is to design and proofread lesson
plan as well as the materials and supportive ways appropriate to the objectives and needs of a
particular course, do educational, methodological and linguistic research in order to improve the
teaching, Plan de Estudios de la Licenciatura Lengua Inglesa at the UQROO1995. But sometimes
we see that what is expected is not really what we have at the end of the course or even during
have to say that the Plan de Estudios de la
Linceciatura Lengua Inglesa de la Universidad de
Quintana Roo 1995 that is available on the
University of Quintana Roo official web page
lacks in current data and therefore an updated
on it is required. In the section Asignturas de
Concentración Profecional the last two English
levels of the major do not mention that in those
levels the goal is to prepare students for the
Cambridge test CAE and not what it is
mentioned in those levels.
ACPLE-112 Idioma inglés VI Créditos: 12
Desarrollo de las habilidades de comprensión auditiva, expresión
oral, comprensión de lectura y expresión escrita a un nivel avanzado
enfocado al examen Cambridge First Certificate.
ACPLE-113 Idioma inglés VII Créditos: 6
Aplicación de lo aprendido en los semestres anteriores en el
desarrollo de las cuatro habilidades para alcanzar fluidez y precisión.
ACPLE-114 Idioma inglés VIII Créditos: 6
Continuación y ampliación de la asignatura Idioma Inglés VII.
Section taken from Plan de Estudios de la Licenciatura Lengua
Inglesa en la UQROO Asignaturas de Concentración Profecional
this research I am going to base my results
instruments which are surveys, open
interviews. I will have to have access of the
grades of the students during the semester,
and at the end I will analyze them in a table to
measure and compare them and verify if they
fail or not in the skills I considered for this
For the participants I do not have exactly the number nor any
specific of them because the ones who are going to take English
VII are currently in the English VI. They are 20 students so
tentatively around 20 are going to join to English VII. In English
language major as in other majors there are subjects which are
serial, this means that if you fail one of those subjects you will not
be able to take the next, you will be able to take it only if you past
the previous one. English subject VII is very important for students
since in this subject they start preparing for the CAE format and
also help them to know what they are going to teach and improve
their skills and knowledge of English. This subject does not teach
anything related to the teaching area.
The participants of my research will be the students who enroll in
the English VII.
The data of this research will be collected through surveys and open interviews that will be
answered by the students and the teacher of the English VII subject. It should be noted
however that the open interviews are going to be only for ten students, these interviews will be
randomly. In these ones students will have to talk about their feelings about the subject, if they
feel if having the format CAE for grading the subject is good or not. Say what skills have been
the most difficult and why, also if they feel that the subject helps in their motivation as future
English teachers. For the teacher she/he will have to say if he/she prepares specific material for
the class, if he/she focuses on a certain book, if he/she focuses as equal in all the skills and what
does he/she feel of having the format CAE for grading the subject is ok.
The surveys I want to apply will ask for information related to how has been their performance
only in the English subject during the whole major until English VII, will ask for stating the
grades they have had in reading, listening and use of language, also will ask for specific things
such as gender, age and if they took or take private English classes and in which level of
English they consider themselves to be in. Generally speaking, these are the main aspect I
want to take into account in the survey.
Finally, in this research, when I say that I will have access to the grades of the students I mean
that I will tell the teacher in charge of the subject what I am doing on my thesis and that I will
need the grades of the tests she/he will do to copy and analyze them. This will be the key of my
My research will be based on the students enrol in the English VII
subject of the major and see if they have a low performance in the
abilities mentioned above. The teacher in charge of the subject
will be the one who help me to give the grades they will be having
during the semester until the end. Also the open interviews will be
used for better explanation and feeling about the subject and
moreover about the format CAE that is used to grade the subject.
The open interviews will be only for ten students enrol in the
English VII and they will be selected randomly. And the surveys
will be used for better view of the student’s thoughts and feeling
about the subject and the major in some aspects.
The open interviews and surveys will be apply at the beginning of
the course and I will be working with the information from those
instruments and having updated information with the tests during
an attempt to answer the research questions I
will make use of surveys, open interviews and
the access to the tests and grades of the
students. Also with the help of my supervisor I
will have access to their previous English courses
and their grades. All the information will be
analyze by then put it in a graph for better
comprehension. Besides this I will use
descriptive statics such as frequencies, central
tendencies and variabilities.
Hubpages (2013), teaching ESL: ten common problems in the classroom. http://hubpages.com/hub/Teaching-ESL-10-Common-ClassroomProblems-and-Solutions
Velasquez Jose Manuel, University de Santiago de Compostela. http://cvc.cervantes.es/literatura/cauce/pdf/cauce25/cauce25_02.pdf
Cambridge University Press (2013), Objective Tests. http://www.cambridge.org/gb/elt/catalogue/subject/project/custom/item3829641/ConnectObjective-Tests/?site_locale=en_GB¤tSubjectID=382416
Dan Russell, The American Psychological Associationn, inc. (1962) the casual dimension scale: a measure of how individuals perceive causes.
Pei-hsuan Hsieh, (2004). How college students explain their grades in a foreign language course: the interrelationship of attributions, self efficacy,
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