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Relationships among TESL trainee practitioners’ communication skills, use of speech acts and personality traits


Abdul Sitra, Abdul Rashid (2016) Relationships among TESL trainee practitioners’ communication skills, use of speech acts and personality traits. Doctoral thesis, Universiti Putra Malaysia.


This study primarily aims to find out the level of communication skills among the Teaching of English as Second Language (TESL) trainee practitioners (TPs). TESL TPs are required to be competent in the English language. Their verbal and nonverbal communication skills are the main variables in this study. The study involves two groups, namely, TPs (277) and TESL lecturers (48) from four teacher training institutions. Communication skills data administered on both groups of respondents are collected through questionnaires. The TPs and the lecturers evaluate themselves and each other. This addresses the first research question. TPs’ use of 12 speech acts are analysed to determine their level of appropriateness in their use with six interlocutors from three different power distances. The use of the 12 speech acts include acceptance, apology, agreement, condolence, complaint, compliment, disagreement, gratitude, persuasion, request, refusal, and sympathy which are tested for their appropriateness using the Discourse Completion Task (DCT). The DCT investigates the second research question. TPs’ personality traits relationship with their communication skills is investigated in this study by answering the third research question. The Big Five Inventory (BFI) is used to investigate the five personality traits of the TPs. The Big Five dominance and their relationship to communication skills are known through this study. The results indicate that the TPs’ perception of their own verbal communication is lower than the perception of their lecturers. Conversely, the lecturers’ perception of their own verbal communication skills is higher than the perception the TPs have of them. Applying the t-test, a significant difference is found. As for the nonverbal communication, there is a significant difference in the TPs’ self perception and the lecturers’ perception of the TPs’ nonverbal communication skills. Similarly, the TPs assess the lecturers’ nonverbal communication skills while the lecturers’ assess themselves. The results indicate that there is no difference in the use of nonverbal communication skills. The next test investigates the level of appropriateness shown by the TPs in using the speech acts and the appropriateness is found to be average. On the whole, the results show that the TPs do not show any significant difference in the use of speech acts when communicating with different interlocutors at different power distances. However, comparatively, there is a higher level of appropriateness when they communicate with the interlocutors in the lower power distance hierarchy. The result also indicates that the openness trait has significant relationship with the verbal communication. TPs with agreeableness, openness and neuroticism as their dominant personality traits show a significant relationship to their nonverbal communication. The fourth research question is answered by hierarchical regression which shows that personality traits have significant relationship to communication skills when compared to speech acts.

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Additional Metadata

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subject: Communication - Study and teaching (Higher)
Subject: Speech acts (Linguistics)
Call Number: FBMK 2016 58
Chairman Supervisor: Associate Professor Ain Nadzimah Abdullah, PhD
Divisions: Faculty of Modern Language and Communication
Depositing User: Haridan Mohd Jais
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2019 04:16
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2019 04:16
URI: http://psasir.upm.edu.my/id/eprint/67628
Statistic Details: View Download Statistic

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