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Chapter I

THE PROBLEM AND ITS SETTING


Introduction
In the world of language teaching, there are four skills which should be
developed to ensure the holistic success in learning the target language. Each of
these skills, namely listening, reading, speaking, and writing plays an important
role and should never be disregarded in the learning experience. While listening
and reading are concerned with the comprehension, speaking and writing are
concerned with the application of the communicative competence and
performance of the students.
In the application of the target language communicative competence is
one of the most controversial terms. Chomsky, one of the most influential
proponents in language development, had proposed his own concept of
competence and performance focusing purely on the linguistic competence as a
theoretical ground in language learning, teaching, and testing (Bagari, 2007)
However, many linguists disagreed with Chomkys concept. One of them,
Hymes (1972) had expressed his definition of communicative competence which
does not focus on the knowledge of grammatical competence but also as the
ability to apply it in different communicative situations. In other words, they apply
Chomkys linguistic competence to the sociolinguistic perspective.
Soon after, more linguists had also presented their own concepts of
communicative competence focusing on different areas. Then, Bachman (1990)

proposed a model of communicative competence consisting the grammatical,


textual, illocutionary and the sociolinguistic competence.
With this in-depth consideration in the language teaching-learning,
curriculum developers designed competencies that do not only deal with the
structure of the language, but also on how it functions in a context. The K to 12
Curriculum has already started implementing its Senior High School. One of its
subjects is English for Academic and Professional Purposes which comprises the
skills needed in writing such as applying the basic rules of grammar, outlining,
summarizing, analyzing and the like. This is to prepare them for more complex
subjects that involve more writing such as Applied Research.
However, the researcher, who also handles the subject EAPP, found out
that the students in her class still find it difficult to observe the rules of grammar
and organize their thoughts into writing. Considering the Spiral Progression
Approach, it can be assumed that they should already have mastered the basic
skills when they were still in Junior High School. But, observing the quality of
their outputs, there are still errors especially in subject-verb agreement and the
consistency of tenses. What could have been the cause of such phenomenon?
With these reasons in mind, the researcher plans of conducting a study
that focuses on the assessment of the communicative competence of the Senior
High School students specifically in writing. This is to find out which particular
skill in writing is least learned by the students. Through this study, she can
employ interventions needed in order to address such problem.

Statement of the Problem

The study will be conducted to determine the development of the


communicative competence of the senior high school students in academic
writing.
Specifically, this study seeks to answer the following sub-problems:
1. What are the levels of the communicative competence of the students
during the pre-assessment specifically on:
1.1. Organizational Knowledge
1.1.1. Grammatical Knowledge
1.1.2. Textual Knowledge
1.2.
Pragmatic Knowledge
1.2.1. Functional Knowledge
1.2.2. Sociolinguistic Knowledge
2. What are the levels of the communicative competence of the students
during the post-assessment specifically on:
2.1 .
Organizational Knowledge
2.1.1 Grammatical Knowledge
2.1.2 Textual Knowledge
2.2 . Pragmatic Knowledge
2.2.1 Functional Knowledge
2.2.2. Sociolinguistic Knowledge
3. Is there a significant difference on the results of the levels of
communicative competence of the senior high school students
between the pre-assessment and post-assessment?
4. Is there a significant difference on the results of the levels of
communicative competence of the senior high school students in the
pre-assessment and the post-assessment among the majors in senior
high school?

Hypothesis of the Study


This study posits the following hypothesis:

H0 1: There is no significant difference on the results of the levels of


communicative competence of the senior high school students between the preassessment and post-assessment.
H0 2: There is no significant difference on the results of the levels of
communicative competence of the senior high school students in the preassessment and the post-assessment among the majors in senior high school.

Significance of the Study


The result of this study will be beneficial to the following individuals:
Language Developers. This can help them in assessing the present
techniques and methodologies in language teaching and testing specially on the
development of communicative competence of the students.
School

Administrators.

This

will

help

them

in

assessing

the

communicative competence of the students in their respective schools. This will


also identify the needs of the students specially in senior high when it comes to
language learning.
Teachers. This will help them in assessing the communicative
competence of the students as well as the techniques and methodologies used in
language teaching. This will make them realize how effective are the techniques
they are using in teaching the target language.
Students. This study will help them in discovering their strengths and
weaknesses in communicating using the target language particularly in writing.

This will also help them think of possible ways to improve their communicative
competence. Through this, they will appreciate the use of the target language.
The Researcher. This study will help her assess the senior high school
students communicative competence in writing. This will also help her in
identifying the areas and skills which need to be improved and developed.
The Other Researchers. This will give them further information about the
importance of the communicative competence in language teaching, language
learning, and language testing. This study may also help them in developing their
own studies with regards to communicative competence.

Scope and Delimitation of the Study


The study will be conducted to determine the development of the
communicative competence of the senior high school students of Lanton High
School in academic writing for the school year 2016-2017.
The study will assess the level of the communicative competence of the
senior high school students in the pre-assessment by writing an academic text.
At the end of the semester, they will be assessed again in the post-assessment
by writing the same kind of academic test. Their development will be checked by
comparing the results of their pre-assessment and post-assessment. Moreover,
the significant difference of the results will also be measured.
This study will involve the whole population with a total number of ninetyeight (98) senior high school students. Twenty (20) of them are from the
Computer Hardware Servicing; twenty-one (21) of them are from the Agri-Crop

Production; Thirty-four (34) of them are from Shielded Metal Arc Welding
(SMAW); and twenty-three (23) of them are from Electrical Installation and
Maintenance.

Definition of Terms
The following terms are herein defined operationally to give the readers a
clearer understanding of the study.
Academic Writing refers to the area or skill in which the communicative
competence of the students will be measured.
Assessment tool refers to the tool which the researcher will be using to identify
the communicative competence of the Senior High School students in academic
writing. This is a self-made tool based on the Bachman and Palmers (1990)
communicative competence model. Thus, this has to undergo validation before it
will be used for the study.
Communicative Competence refers to the target competence of the students
which will be assessed in the study. This is based on Bachman and Palmers
(1990) model of communicative competence.
Functional Competence refers to the area of communicative competence which
deals on the accomplishments of the students to achieve their communication
purposes in their academic text.
Grammatical Competence refers the component under the organizational
competence which tells the ability of the students to use and organize their

academic text syntactically and semantically correct following the rules of


grammar.
Lanton High School refers to the locale of the study which offers Junior and
Senior High School.
Organizational Competence refers to the area of communicative competence
which deals on the students ability to use the target language properly in their
academic text. This also deals with their organization of ideas presented on their
text.
Pragmatic Competence refers to the area of communicative competence which
deals on the students ability to interpret and create appropriate discourse in their
academic text.
Senior High School Students refers to the subject of the study which the
researcher aims to assess. This composed of ninety-eight (98) Grade 11
students from four (4) majors in the Tech-Voc track.
Sociolinguistic Competence refers to the component under the Pragmatic
Competence which deals on the students ability to take social and cultural
considerations in their academic text.
Textual

Competence

refers

the

component

under

the

Organizational

Competence which deals on the students ability to organize the ideas in their
academic text.