An examination of students’ values reflected in their language use in a blended learning environment

Karalasingam, Shantini (2019) An examination of students’ values reflected in their language use in a blended learning environment. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Values show who we are as individuals, the beliefs we uphold, and the principles we defend for they influence our thoughts and actions. The values portrayed through thoughts are not only translated in the form of actions but also through the language we use to communicate with one another. As such, there is a fundamental need to investigate if values are reflected in one’s choice of language use. The role of language in communication is imperative because the ‘how’ and ‘why’ a word is used are significant and presents more sense than the meaning of the word alone.

This study examined students’ values in their language use in two different modes of communication, which is spoken and written in a blended learning environment. The spoken sessions were face-to-face and the written sessions were through the online forum discussions. Any emerging values that the participants exhibited in their language use were based on Schwartz’ Basic Human Values which consists of 19 values.

The study was a qualitative one that employed purposeful sampling and the data was collected through classroom observations, online forum entries, and interviews. The face-to face tutorial sessions presented data for classroom observation while the postings the participants wrote on the forum board furnished data for online forum entries and emerging values were clarified through interviews. The data was analysed using discourse analysis, and thematic analysis to facilitate the identification of the values and the reasons for using a particular word/phrase that reflected values. Since the interpretation of values is subjective, 2 stages of blind inter-rating were conducted using Cohen’s Kappa Statistics for reliability.

Based on the findings, a list of values revealed in the participants’ language use showed that some participants exhibited similar values like politeness and tolerance while others displayed different ones like caring and humility. Some were aware of these values while others were not. The findings also showed that values highlighting social focus are not the only emerging ones during a social interaction. The presence of personal values played an equally vital role is establishing communication in a social context.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Vethamani, Malachi Edwin
Too, Wei Keong
Keywords: values, English Language, communication, eforum, face-to-face communication,
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1024 Teaching
Faculties/Schools: University of Nottingham, Malaysia > Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > School of English
Item ID: 55619
Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2019 04:40
Last Modified: 07 May 2020 14:45

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