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A Development  of the “English for Tourist Guides” Course Using a Task-based Approach  to Enhance the Oral English Communication Ability of Chiang Mai Rajabhat University Undergraduates

Nittaya Sanguanngarm

Associate Professor  Suphat  Sukamolson, Ph.D.

Associate Professor  Boonsiri Anantasate, Ph.D.

Chulalongkorn University

Contract address

333/119 Regent Home I, Sansai Noi, Sansai District

Chiang Mai, Thailand, 10210. Tel. 053 343824   E-mail address: nicenittaya@hotmail.com

BIODATA OF THE AUTHOR

Nittaya Sanguanngarm obtained her undergraduate degree in English and her master’s degree in Teaching English as a Foreign Language from Chiang Mai University. She has been involved in the teaching profession since 1985. Subsequently, she received a fellowship from Chiang Mai Rajabhat University to pursue a Ph.D. in English as an international language at Chulalongkorn University. She is now in the process of completing  her dissertation writing under the supervision of her advisor and co-advisor, Associate Professor Suphat  Sukamolson, Ph.D. and Associate Professor  Boonsiri Anantasate, Ph.D., respectively.

Abstract

The incongruity between the irrelevant and ineffective English curricula offered in Thai educational institutes and the fast-growing need for English in global business interactions  has resulted in Thai graduates’ insufficient English language proficiency for the current era of globalization. With the growth of business travel and international tourism in the area, the ESP curriculum, which can equip Thai learners with English proficiency that meets the demand for English use in the workplace should be given serious consideration. This study reports on the  development of  the “English for Tourists Guides” course  using a task-base approach, with the focus on enhancing undergraduate tourism students’ oral English communication ability. The course was developed based on needs analysis and related literature.  It was implemented with 24 tourism students at Chiang Mai Rajabhat University. To find the course effectiveness, the learning achievement of participants in terms of their level of oral English communication ability, and the level of their learning task  engagement were investigated.

The study found that the course should be precise; encourage learning, language acquisition, and motivation; fulfill the course requirements; and have situational relevancy. In terms of the course’s effectiveness, participants’ oral English communication ability  improved with a large effect-size.  Quantitatively,  It was found that  participants’ learning task engagement  was much higher than the average value. Qualitatively, learners demonstrated active task engagement in their learning. In summary, the study found that the developed course was effective, and that it may fulfill the EFL course needs and deficiencies and equip graduates with sufficient oral English proficiency in the current era of globalization. It is hoped that the findings of the present work will contribute to the development of effective English courses for other specific or occupational purposes. 

Key words: English for specific purposes, needs analysis, task-based approach, oral English communication, tourist guides

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