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Saravanan, Vanithamani
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The study attempts to analyze the determinants of communicative competence in English language among a sample of Primary 5 Normal stream pupils (P5N) in Singapore. Teacher's teaching style and classroom interaction are conceptualized as leading to communicative competence among pupils. Communicative competence is operationalized as pupil's oral production and sociolinguistic competence. The sample consists of 50 randomly selected pupils from a primary school in Singapore.

One of the major aims of this study is to observe whether in Singapore schools, classroom factors such as teacher qualities, teaching style and interaction strategies represented by class teacher and teacher style play an important role in determining pupils' achievements in communicative competence. The specific objectives of this study are to address the following :

a. to determine the degree of association between a set of student and classroom related variables and communicative competence in English among P5N pupils

b. to analyze the relationship between a pupil's 'exposure to English in class only' and communicative competence,

c. to observe the association between 'exposure to English in class and home' and communicative competence.

The tests of these hypotheses were carried out through the use of multiple regression techniques.

The study found that both pupil and classroom related factors associated with communicative competence among P5N pupils. The classroom related variables, namely the class teacher, gender of teacher (being male), and teacher style and interaction strategies are strongly associated with communicative competence for pupils who are exposed to English 'in class only'. Exposure to English language in class, thus, has an important bearing on increased communicative competence. For pupils whose home language is not English, whose preferred reading language is not English, and whose ethnicity is Chinese, exposure to English in class through classroom related variables are the best alternative for increased communicative competence.

Exposure to English language in class and home (or elsewhere) brings added benefits to communicative competence. English being the home language, also the preferred reading language, and being non-Chinese brings high association and benefits with communicative competence for pupils.

Student related variables, though less significant than classroom variables, provide insights into communicative competence outcomes among pupils. Boys compared to girls, show higher association with communicative competence. English being the pupils' communicative language with mass media and as the spoken language, however, appears to be of minimal significance for communicative competence among pupils.

Suggestions are made at the end, concerning the search for new variables that may increase the usefulness of communicative competence research in Singapore.
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LB1033 Vas
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Appears in Collections:Master of Education

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