Syntactic maturity in the english written texts of bilingual students in a secondary school in Surabaya

Jap, Tjan Han (2017) Syntactic maturity in the english written texts of bilingual students in a secondary school in Surabaya. Masters thesis, Widya Mandala Catholic University Surabaya.

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Abstract

This research was a cross-sectional, descriptive, explanatory study that was aimed to investigate the syntactic maturity and development of bilingual students in a secondary school in Surabaya. The research questions was then formulated as (1) “To what extent does the syntactic maturity develop across the secondary levels as shown in the English written texts produced by bilingual students of grade 7 to grade 9 in a bilingual school in Surabaya?” and (2) “What factors might influence the differences and/or similarities in the English syntactic maturity of those bilingual students? Referring to some previous studies (Hunt, 1965, O’Donnel, 1968; Dixon, 1970; Steward, 1978; Scott and Tucker in Lim Ho-Peng, 1984; Larsen-Freeman, 1978 in Kyle, 2011; and Polio 1997), this study measured the (1) mean T-unit length, (2) subordinate clause index, (3) mean clause length, (4) mean sentence length, (5) main clause coordination index, and (6) the index of errorneous T-units/total T-units as the indicators of the syntactic maturity. However, it was the mean T-unit length that was used as the main indicator of the syntactic maturity as mean T-unit length was considered to be the most reliable index. The data of the syntactic maturity indicators were obtained by analyzing the descriptive texts that the subjects wrote in response to a writing test instruction. The results of this study and the discussions made based on the theories of language acquisition, Hunt’s syntactic maturity and Burt and Kiparsky’s (1972) error analysis have brought into the conclusion that the syntactic maturity is continuously developing across the secondary levels as shown in the English written texts produced by the bilingual students (of grade 7 to grade 9) of a secondary school in Surabaya. This conclusion was drawn based on the mean T-unit length that is significantly increasing from grade 7 to grade 9. This syntactic maturity and development were influenced by three dominant factors with universal and individual variations. First, the innate acquisition device enables the students to acquire English and Indonesian almost simultaneously. Second, the amount of English inputs obtained from parents, teachers, English-immersion program schooling, English movies, books and social media have provided the students with a variety of English resources. Third, the abundant opportunities to produce outputs available at home and at schools have enabled the students to use their English and then modify it during the process of English acquisition. Lastly, the individual variations have caused different syntactic maturity and development in each individual result of this study’s findings, regardless of their grade levels. Due to the limitation of this study, it is suggested that further studies be conducted with better administration of the writing test, a bigger number of subjects, and different text types/genres to analyze. To reveal a more accurate result of the influencing factors of the syntactic maturity, a longitudinal research, and/or a more detailed case study about the individual variations are recommended. Then, for the improvement of English, and writing courses, it is suggested that sufficient proportion for meaningful English inputs and opportunities to produce outputs be given.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Syntactic maturity, T-unit, English written text, Bilingual students
Subjects: English Education
Divisions: Graduate School > Master Program in Teaching English as a Foreign Language
Depositing User: Jap Tjan Han
Date Deposited: 29 Mar 2017 01:12
Last Modified: 17 May 2017 06:39
URI: http://repository.wima.ac.id/id/eprint/10583

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