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Promoting Undergraduate Students’ Research

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Promoting Undergraduate Students’ Research

Cambodian Review of
EFL Research
Cambodian Review of EFL Research 2018
Special Edition:
Undergraduate Research Papers
2018
DEPARTMENT OF
ENGLISH
ISBN 978-9281-0-2
i
Table of Contents
Editors’ Note
Promoting Undergraduate Students’ Research ………………………..... 1
Chan Narith Keuk, Vutha Ros, Mab Tith
Research
Teaching Practice: Experiences of Pre-Service Teachers
of English Teaching during Practicum ………………………………… 7
Chantrea Srun, Meychou Kim, Malina Sen, Por Y Eang,
Sovankongkea In
The Impacts of Study Group on Students’ Academic
Performance …………………………………………………………... 35
Muyly Heng, Sodalene Meas
University Students’ Attitudes towards Group Work ………….……... 53
Raksmey Chan, Sophanut Pheng
University Students’ Academic Procrastination: Causes,
Attitudes, Solutions ……………………………………….…………... 69
Monasy Borey, Someta Dor, Socheata Sokun,
Maliny Chenda, Chandarita Chhun
University Students’ Attitudes towards Suicide …….………………... 95
Sivmey Thai, Monirathanak Lay
Text Analyses
A Feminist Reading of Guy de Maupassant (1907) ’s
The Necklace ……………………………………………………….. 119
Uy Meng Ung
“ … He kindly stopped for me …”
A New Critical Reading of Emily Dickinson’s
Because I could not stop for death ……………………………….…. 123
Chan Narith Keuk
1
1
Editors' Note
Promoting Undergraduate Students’ Research
Chan Narith Keuk, Vutha Ros, Mab Tith
Department of English, Royal University of Phnom Penh
Research has been increasingly promoted in contemporary Cambodian
higher education at all levels: a macro level, a meso level, and a micro
level (Keuk, 2015). At the macro level, the Ministry of Education, Youth
and Sport (MoEYS) has aimed to transform Cambodia into a “knowledge-
based society” by 2030, and the higher education should fulfill the
demands of “socio-economic development and labor market” (Ministry of
Education, Youth and Sport, 2014, p. 3). To achieve this vision, building
research culture has become one of the principal elements in reform
agendas established by the MoEYS. Some evidence of the development
culture by the MoEYS include the introduction of Development and
Innovation Grant (DIG) (see Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport,
2015), the establishment of Educational Research Council (ERC) in 2015,
which was later institutionalized in 2017, and the publication of two
volumes of Cambodia Educational Review, a peer-reviewed journal
focusing on educational development in Cambodia.
At the meso level, research has been included in the curriculum and has
been taught and practised in both public and private HEIs at all levels
across Cambodia (Keuk, 2015). For example, the Royal University of
Phnom Penh (RUPP) has included a focus on research in its strategic
planning of 2014-2018 (Royal University of Phnom Penh, 2014) and has
funded research projects undertaken by its academic staff from different
faculties. Particularly, the Department of English (DOE) of the Institute of
Foreign Languages (IFL) has taken into account of the importance of
research and adopted research in its vision that states, The Department of
English will be a national leader in English language, education, and
research with regional and international quality standards(Department of
English, 2018, p. 4).
The DOE has promoted research activities among its academic staff with
the provision of on-going research seminars and workshops, financial
incentives, and publication of research papers authored by its academic
staff in its internal journal, titled “Cambodian Reviews of Language
2
3
process of editing and revising took place the whole academic year. This
edition comprises two strands: the research strand, consisting of six
research papers; and the text analysis strand, encompassing two essays
focusing on analyzing literary texts.
Srun et al. have illuminated this volume with an exploration of the
Cambodian ELT pre-service teachers’ experiences in teaching English
during the practicum. The article has highlighted fundamental issues such
as classroom management, classroom instructions, and workload, which
have an impact on the teaching performances of the pre-service teachers,
and practical strategies the pre-service teachers have adopted to deal with
these issues.
Heng and Meas have measured the impact of a study group on the
students’ academic performance. The study has revealed a significant
difference in academic performance of the university students who have
reported participating in a study group and those who have not participated
in a study group. This study has recommended a practical model for
creating, organizing and sustaining a study group.
Chan and Pheng have explored the attitudes towards group work of the
university students who have experienced in participating in group work.
The study has revealed the university students’ positive attitudes towards
working in groups to complete academic tasks assigned by their teachers.
The study has opened up for further in-depth examination of the
university students’ practicesof group work.
Borey et al. have investigated university students’ academic
procrastination, focusing on causes of procrastination, attitudes towards
procrastination, and solutions to procrastination. The study has pointed out
two essential factors:personal and school factors that have influenced the
students’ academic procrastination. The study has also informed about the
university students’ negative attitudes towards academic procrastination.
Thai and Lay’s study has expanded the scope of the undergraduate
students’ research in this first volume through a psychological exploration
of the university students’ attitudes towards suicide and help-seeking. The
study has shown the students’ different opinions about suicide, suicidal
behaviors, and help-seeking. The student respondents who were involved
in this study lacked knowledge about suicide. Thai and Lay have
recommended that the university should take into consideration the
2
Learning and Teaching” since 2007. To date, three volumes of research
papers by the DOE professionals have been released (Keuk, 2015).
The DOE has also reformed its programs and curricula in both
undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs since 2015 to align with
the MoEYS’ educational reform. The DOE’s Master of Arts in Teaching
English to Speakers of Other Languages (MA in TESOL) has adopted a
thesis track, which requires the MA-in TESOL students to undertake thesis
research for fulfilling the requirements for graduation. The Research
Methodology (RM) course in the undergraduate program has been
transformed from a one-semester course to a two-semester course for
Year-3 curriculum, meaning Year-3 students take RM301 in Semester 1
and RM302 in Semester 2. The primary expected learning outcome of the
RM course is the students’ production of research reports, which are
undertaken in the form of collaboration (i.e., group work). In the first year
of implementation of this reformed RM curriculum, ten highest quality
research reports were selected through the peer review process and
awarded certificates of excellence by the DOE.
At the micro level, individual academic staff members who are interested
in (doing) research have been engaged in undertaking research activities,
presenting their research at domestic and international conferences (i.e.,
CamTESOL and ELT-related conferences overseas) and having their
research published in various journals (Keuk, 2015).
As we can see now, the research has been taken into serious consideration
and adopted at all the three levels: the MoEYS; the HEIs; and the
individual professionals. To successfully promote the research culture in
Cambodia, synergy across these levels of bodies must be achieved (Ros &
Oleksiyenko, 2018). The formation of a close-knit community of
(research) policy makers, institutional leaders, curriculum developers,
academic staff and other stakeholders must be in place, meaning working
together and supporting each other, both technically and financially.
As stated earlier, in the first year of implementing the reformed curriculum
of Research Methodology, ten most qualified research reports were
awarded Certificates of Excellence by the DOE. To showcase this best
practice of research, the DOE has published a book, titled “Cambodian
Review of EFL Research” to document these best quality research papers.
Of these top ten research groups, five groups participated in this
publication. Mentorship was organized to assist these student researchers
in revising their reports to satisfy the standard for publication, and the
3
3
process of editing and revising took place the whole academic year. This
edition comprises two strands: the research strand, consisting of six
research papers; and the text analysis strand, encompassing two essays
focusing on analyzing literary texts.
Srun et al. have illuminated this volume with an exploration of the
Cambodian ELT pre-service teachers’ experiences in teaching English
during the practicum. The article has highlighted fundamental issues such
as classroom management, classroom instructions, and workload, which
have an impact on the teaching performances of the pre-service teachers,
and practical strategies the pre-service teachers have adopted to deal with
these issues.
Heng and Meas have measured the impact of a study group on the
students’ academic performance. The study has revealed a significant
difference in academic performance of the university students who have
reported participating in a study group and those who have not participated
in a study group. This study has recommended a practical model for
creating, organizing and sustaining a study group.
Chan and Pheng have explored the attitudes towards group work of the
university students who have experienced in participating in group work.
The study has revealed the university students’ positive attitudes towards
working in groups to complete academic tasks assigned by their teachers.
The study has opened up for further in-depth examination of the
university students’ practicesof group work.
Borey et al. have investigated university students’ academic
procrastination, focusing on causes of procrastination, attitudes towards
procrastination, and solutions to procrastination. The study has pointed out
two essential factors:personal and school factors that have influenced the
students’ academic procrastination. The study has also informed about the
university students’ negative attitudes towards academic procrastination.
Thai and Lay’s study has expanded the scope of the undergraduate
students’ research in this first volume through a psychological exploration
of the university students’ attitudes towards suicide and help-seeking. The
study has shown the students’ different opinions about suicide, suicidal
behaviors, and help-seeking. The student respondents who were involved
in this study lacked knowledge about suicide. Thai and Lay have
recommended that the university should take into consideration the
2
Learning and Teaching” since 2007. To date, three volumes of research
papers by the DOE professionals have been released (Keuk, 2015).
The DOE has also reformed its programs and curricula in both
undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs since 2015 to align with
the MoEYS’ educational reform. The DOE’s Master of Arts in Teaching
English to Speakers of Other Languages (MA in TESOL) has adopted a
thesis track, which requires the MA-in TESOL students to undertake thesis
research for fulfilling the requirements for graduation. The Research
Methodology (RM) course in the undergraduate program has been
transformed from a one-semester course to a two-semester course for
Year-3 curriculum, meaning Year-3 students take RM301 in Semester 1
and RM302 in Semester 2. The primary expected learning outcome of the
RM course is the students’ production of research reports, which are
undertaken in the form of collaboration (i.e., group work). In the first year
of implementation of this reformed RM curriculum, ten highest quality
research reports were selected through the peer review process and
awarded certificates of excellence by the DOE.
At the micro level, individual academic staff members who are interested
in (doing) research have been engaged in undertaking research activities,
presenting their research at domestic and international conferences (i.e.,
CamTESOL and ELT-related conferences overseas) and having their
research published in various journals (Keuk, 2015).
As we can see now, the research has been taken into serious consideration
and adopted at all the three levels: the MoEYS; the HEIs; and the
individual professionals. To successfully promote the research culture in
Cambodia, synergy across these levels of bodies must be achieved (Ros &
Oleksiyenko, 2018). The formation of a close-knit community of
(research) policy makers, institutional leaders, curriculum developers,
academic staff and other stakeholders must be in place, meaning working
together and supporting each other, both technically and financially.
As stated earlier, in the first year of implementing the reformed curriculum
of Research Methodology, ten most qualified research reports were
awarded Certificates of Excellence by the DOE. To showcase this best
practice of research, the DOE has published a book, titled “Cambodian
Review of EFL Research” to document these best quality research papers.
Of these top ten research groups, five groups participated in this
publication. Mentorship was organized to assist these student researchers
in revising their reports to satisfy the standard for publication, and the
4
5
References
Department of English. (2018). Student information booklet 2017-2018.
Phnom Penh: Department of English.
Keuk, C. N. (2015). Investigating communities of practice and ELT
teacher researchers in Cambodia. (Doctor of Philosophy),
Macquarie University, Sydney.
Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport. (2014). Policies of higher
education 2030. Phnom Penh: Ministry of Education Youth and
Sport.
Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport. (2015). Higher Education
Quality and Capacity Improvement Project (Development and
Innovation Grants): Stocktaking Report. Phnom Penh: Ministry of
Education, Youth, and Sport.
Ros, V., & Oleksiyenko, A. (2018). Policy misalignments and
development challenges in the Cambodian academic profession:
Insights from public university lecturers. Higher Education
Policy,31(1), 19-35. doi: 10.1057/s41307-017-0043-y.
Royal University of Phnom Penh. (2014). Strategic planning 2014-2018.
Phnom Penh: Royal University of Phnom Penh.
Tyson, L. (2006). Critical theory today: A user-friendly guide (2nd ed.).
New York: Routledge.
4
opportunities for the university students to expose to various discussions
on suicide through a school program for suicide prevention.
Ung and Keuk have shared their essays on analyzing literary texts from
different critical thinking theories. Ung’s analysis of Guy de Maupassant’s
(1907) The Necklace from Tyson’s (2006) Feminist Criticism has
displayed how women and men have been treated differently in patriarchal
families. That is, men hold a sole responsibility for the family, make all
kinds of decision, and manage the family finance. Keuk’s analysis of
Emily Dickinson’s (1830-1886) Because I cannot stop for death from
Tyson’s (2006) New Criticism, focuses on textual elements (i.e., a poem
structure - stanza, punctuation), tension, paradox, irony, and ambiguity.
The analysis has revealed a universal theme portraying death as the
positive end of a person’s life and concluded that human beings should
enjoy their lives and be open to death.
5
5
References
Department of English. (2018). Student information booklet 2017-2018.
Phnom Penh: Department of English.
Keuk, C. N. (2015). Investigating communities of practice and ELT
teacher researchers in Cambodia. (Doctor of Philosophy),
Macquarie University, Sydney.
Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport. (2014). Policies of higher
education 2030. Phnom Penh: Ministry of Education Youth and
Sport.
Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport. (2015). Higher Education
Quality and Capacity Improvement Project (Development and
Innovation Grants): Stocktaking Report. Phnom Penh: Ministry of
Education, Youth, and Sport.
Ros, V., & Oleksiyenko, A. (2018). Policy misalignments and
development challenges in the Cambodian academic profession:
Insights from public university lecturers. Higher Education
Policy,31(1), 19-35. doi: 10.1057/s41307-017-0043-y.
Royal University of Phnom Penh. (2014). Strategic planning 2014-2018.
Phnom Penh: Royal University of Phnom Penh.
Tyson, L. (2006). Critical theory today: A user-friendly guide (2nd ed.).
New York: Routledge.
4
opportunities for the university students to expose to various discussions
on suicide through a school program for suicide prevention.
Ung and Keuk have shared their essays on analyzing literary texts from
different critical thinking theories. Ung’s analysis of Guy de Maupassant’s
(1907) The Necklace from Tyson’s (2006) Feminist Criticism has
displayed how women and men have been treated differently in patriarchal
families. That is, men hold a sole responsibility for the family, make all
kinds of decision, and manage the family finance. Keuk’s analysis of
Emily Dickinson’s (1830-1886) Because I cannot stop for death from
Tyson’s (2006) New Criticism, focuses on textual elements (i.e., a poem
structure - stanza, punctuation), tension, paradox, irony, and ambiguity.
The analysis has revealed a universal theme portraying death as the
positive end of a person’s life and concluded that human beings should
enjoy their lives and be open to death.
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
Article
Full-text available
Worldwide, markets challenge academics to keep their professional competency constantly improving. While in some countries governments, universities and individual scholars synergize their efforts to improve conditions for professional development, in others the stakeholders act in a chaotic and uncommitted manner. This paper examines the efforts of Cambodian policy-makers aimed at making structural alignments of interests, strategies, and resources at governmental and institutional levels in response to sporadic changes in academic labor markets. The qualitative research data shed light on a range of asynchronies generated by underinvestment in academic competence improvement and reliance on random actors that make choices in accordance with political circumstances, rather than professional norms. The Cambodian case stimulates thinking on what might be required to align national and institutional personnel policies and enhance opportunities for continued improvement of academic competence in a resource-deficient higher education system.
Policies of higher education 2030. Phnom Penh: Ministry of Education Youth and Sport. Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport
  • C N Keuk
Keuk, C. N. (2015). Investigating communities of practice and ELT teacher researchers in Cambodia. (Doctor of Philosophy), Macquarie University, Sydney. Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport. (2014). Policies of higher education 2030. Phnom Penh: Ministry of Education Youth and Sport. Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport. (2015). Higher Education Quality and Capacity Improvement Project (Development and Innovation Grants): Stocktaking Report. Phnom Penh: Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sport.
Critical theory today: A user-friendly guide
  • L Tyson
Tyson, L. (2006). Critical theory today: A user-friendly guide (2 nd ed.). New York: Routledge.