In chapter two a review of literature was conducted. The review of literature is used to guide and provide a background to the study in terms of communicative language learning and interpersonal skills, the interpersonal skills necessary to communicate effectively, the role of gender in interpersonal skills, and the intercultural aspects of interpersonal communication with a focus on nonverbal communication. Chapter three describes the research methodology and research design, data collection, and analysis procedures that are used in the study.
This refers to a strategy used by the researcher in collecting and analyzing data in order to answer the research questions or test the research hypothesis. Both the quantitative and qualitative methods were used separately on two kinds of self-report multiple-choice questionnaires. The use of self-reports in determining feelings about interpersonal skills is supported by Spitzberg &Cupachin in these words:
“Clearly the most common approach to assessing interpersonal competence (or its components) is the use of self-reports. The most significant advantage of self-evaluation is that an individual knows more about him– or herself than does anyone else.” (1989:57).
Quantitative data is collected in the form of multiple-choice responses on the questionnaires. Multiple-choice responses are considered from a range of possible answers pertinent to the question. Muliple-choice answers allow straightforward responses and are reader-friendly (Dörnyei, 2003:43). Muliple-choice also allows the researcher the ability to easily quantify the data without the need for attempting to infer or decipher what a student has written. Qualitative data is gathered in the form of open-ended answers to some of the questions. This allows students the ability to give responses, which are not available within the multiple-choice format. Qualitative open-ended answers also allow the possibility to add comments or clarify students’ choice of responses, which further serve to improve the validity of the data.
A mixed method research design, which is the combination of both quantitative and qualitative data (Creswell 2014: xxiv) is used. Two kinds of self-report questionnaires were used separately to collect data through the qualitative and quantitative methods. The use of self-reports in determining feelings about interpersonal skills is supported by Spitzberg and Cupach (1989:57) in these words:
“Clearly the most common approach to assessing interpersonal competence (or its components) is the use of self-reports. The most significant advantage of self-evaluation is that an individual knows more about him or herself than does anyone else”.
The quantitative data was collected by means of a questionnaire consisting of multiple-choice questions. To collect qualitative data open-ended questions were used in order to qualify responses to questions, to supplement responses, or to give responses, which are not included in the multiple-choice questions.
Data collection methods
In this section the process of data collection is described. This includes an explanation of the target population, ethical considerations, ways according to which reliability and validity were assured, the research instruments used, sampling procedures, which were undertaken, and how the data was analyzed.
The target population of the research consisted of Japanese students at Ibaraki University, Chinese students at Lijiang College of Guangxi Normal University, Russian students at Northern Arctic University, Ghanaian and African students at Regional Maritime University, and students from the Middle East at the British International school in Riyadh. Seven hundred and sixty-three students took part in the study. Participating university students were primarily in their first or second year of their studies. Students at the British International School in Riyadh were third year high school students. The target population choice was based on convenience sampling (McMillan & Schumacher 2010:137) for that reason the choice was based on the fact that the researcher had ready access to Japanese university students as an instructor there; and institutions in China, Russian, and Ghana were willing to grant permission and cooperate in the administration and collection of questionnaires. It was deemed unnecessary to receive permission from Ibaraki University in Japan as the researcher is affiliated with the university as an Associate Professor and is expected to undertake such research at the institution in addition to teaching duties. The letters of permission from institutions in China, Saudi Arabia, Ghana, and Russia may be found in Appendixes H to K.
Ethical considerations were catered for through clear explanation of the research to be conducted to the institutions and students involved. Participants were given assurances of confidentiality and anonymity orally as well as in the form of a letter (Appendix G). Consent in administering the questionnaires was sought from the institutions involved by sending a letter to management outlining the research involved and requesting permission to undertake such research (Appendix H). Ethical considerations to be followed were included in the letter. Informed consent was sought from all participants. The reporting and collection of data was done in a manner which did not reveal the identity of participants or the location of where data collection took place, thus respecting privacy.
Ensuring reliability and validity/trustworthiness of the research project
Reliability and validity/trustworthiness were ensured in the following way:
- The validity of the questions on the questionnaires was based on findings from the literature reviewed, which was used to inform the research design in terms of the appropriateness and significance of questions.
- A pilot study was conducted in order to assess initial questions on the questionnaire. Informal feedback from students was used to improve the questionnaire by addressing any possible misunderstandings and improving the clarity of the questionnaire.
- Although the questionnaire was primarily in the form of multiple-choice questions, in order to facilitate statistical analysis, students were also able to respond by way of open-ended answers to qualify their choices or to give responses not included as part of the multiple-choices provided. This ensured the trustworthiness of responses.
- In order to determine validity in terms of statistical significance cross tabulations were used on the questionnaire data in order to determine the significance of association between responses, particularly regarding association between questionnaire responses and gender.
A pilot study allowed the researcher to evaluate the clarity of questions on the questionnaire (McMillan & Schumacher, 2010:204). A pilot study of the questionnaires was carried out at the institutions taking part in the study. This was done to test the reliability and validity of the instruments. The responses were analyzed and items adjusted. Items were adjusted in terms of administering the questionnaire in Japanese to Japanese students (Appendixes C and D) and in English and Russian to the Russian (Appendixes E and F) in order to avoid problems of misinterpreting the items due to language barriers. The questionnaires were also adjusted in terms of length. Items deemed to be similar to other question items, vague, or lacking in relevance in comparison to other question items were removed.
The study involved the use of questionnaires related to the interpersonal competence of students. One questionnaire (AppendixA) included multiple-choice questions related to how comfortable students feel in social situations and how confident they feel about their interpersonal skills. The other questionnaire (Appendix B) consisted of multiple-choice questions related to how students use their interpersonal skills where this may impact on communication in cross-cultural situations, focusing on their use of nonverbal communication. Although the questionnaires contained multiple-choices questions, students had the opportunity to further qualify their answers or to add responses not given in the multiple-choice selection through open ended answers. Including open ended answers allowed students to respond to questions where no appropriate response was available in the multiple-choice answers. Open ended answers also gave students the opportunity to explain or qualify their answers. The questionnaires therefore used a mixed method approach in that each questionnaire consisted of quantitative based multiple-choice items as well as qualitative open ended items.
Convenience sampling was used. Convenience sampling involves the use of participants who are easily accessed based on their availability and willingness to participate (Gravetter 2012:151). The questionnaires (Appendixes A, B) were administered to Japanese students to whom the researcher had direct access as well as in cooperation with institutions in Russia, China, Saudia Arabia, and Ghana where permission (Appendixes I to L) was granted to administer the questionnaires. A total of 763 students participated in the questionnaires. Two hundred and ninety-seven Japanese, 109 Russian, 137 Chinese, 120 African, and 100 students from the Middle East completed the questionnaire related to how students use their interpersonal skills where this may have an impact on communication in cross-cultural situations, focusing on their use of nonverbal communication. The questionnaires were administered separately due to time constraints. The multiple-choice questionnaires were distributed to the students and then collected once completed. Students completed the questionnaires anonymously
1.1 INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY.
1.2 DEFINITION OF TITLE, CONCEPTS, AND RELATED CONCEPTS
1.3 PERSONAL EXPERIENCE AND OBSERVATIONS
1.4 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
1.5 ASSUMPTIONS/HYPOTHESES OF THE STUDY
1.6 THE AIM AND OBJECTIVES OF THE RESEARCH
1.7 RESEARCH QUESTIONS AND DEVELOPMENT OF QUESTIONNAIRES
1.8 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
1.9 LITERATURE REVIEW
1.10 THE DEMARCATIONS OR SCOPE OF THE STUDY
1.11 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY AND DESIGN
1.12 PILOT STUDY.
1.13 DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS
1.14 CHAPTER DIVISIONS
CHAPTER TWO LITERATURE REVIEW: AN EXPOSITION OF THE THEORIES, PRINCIPLES, ARGUMENTS, VIEWS AND OPINIONS ON THE ROLE OF INTERPERSONAL COMPETENCE IN THE LEARNING OF A FOREIGN LANGUAGE BY ADULT LEARNERS
2.2 THE THEORY OF METHODS OF LANGUAGE TEACHING
2.3 ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING IN SELECTED COUNTRIES
2.4 ENGLISH AS A LINGUA FRANCA AND INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION
2.5 DEVELOPING INTERPERSONAL COMPETENCE IN LANGUAGE TEACHING
2.6 THE ROLE GENDER PLAYS IN ENHANCING TEACHING METHODS MEANT TO IMPROVE INTERPESONAL SKILLS FOR COMMUNICATING IN A FOREIGN LANGUAGE (ENLISH)
2.7 CULTURE AND INTERPERSONAL COMPETENCE IN THE LEARNING OF A FOREIGN LANGUAGE
3.2 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
3.3 ESEARCH DESIGN
CHAPTER FOUR DATA ANALYSIS, INTERPRETATION AND THE RESEARCH FINDINGS
4.2 RESEARCH FINDINGS
4.3 ALL REGIONS
CHAPTER FIVE RESEARCH FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS
5.2 RESEARCH FINDINGS AND THEIR SIGNIFICANCE
5.3 INDENTIFICATION OF CATEGORIES AND THEIR GROUPING INTO THEMES
5.4 THE THEORY CONSTRUCTED FROM THE THEMES
GET THE COMPLETE PROJECT
INTERPERSONAL COMPETENCE IN THE LEARNING OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE