ศิลปศาสตรมหาบัณฑิต สาขาวิชาภาษาอังกฤษศึกษา

  • INTERCULTURAL ANALYSIS ON THE PERCEPTIONS OF KRENGJAI AMONG THAI AND NON-THAI EMPLOYEES IN ACADEMIC WORKPLACES

    The term krengjai (to be considerate) is frequently claimed to represent a Thai social value which is reflected in Thais' daily behaviors. Over the last decade, globalization and the integration of South-east Asian nations into ASEAN Community has accelerated international mobilization, crossregional collaboration, as well as intercultural exchanges within various organizations especially educational institutions. Nowadays, several universities in Thailand increasingly offer international study and research programs to meet up this regional trend with international standard. Therefore, staff and faculties from diverse cultures are employed to fulfil such an international standard requirement. This diverse group of intercultural employees has to encounter daily interactions in their workplace inevitably involving how to behave krengjai manner with their colleagues. Interestingly, krengjai can affect the quality of communication and subsequently the professional relationship of the interlocutor. The purpose of the present study was to examine how krengjai –its English definitions and effects on communication and professional relationship is perceived in multicultural environment. To investigate the perceptions towards krengjai, a mixed methodology was implemented. A combination of questionnaires and semistructured interviews were the preliminary sources of primary data for this combined method. The participants (subjects) were Thai and non-Thai employees (staff and faculty members) from an international study program of two Thai state (government) universities. The questionnaires were collected with 201 Thais 33 Westerners and 8 Easterners. Then, 2 participants, in total of 6, from each group were chosen to participate in an in-depth interview. The findings of this study revealed that Thai and non-Thai participants provided both similar and different English definitions of krengjai from which “consideration” or “being considerate” is mostly used to interpret the term. In addition, there was no explicitly direct relationship with nationality to definitional similarity or difference on krengjai. The investigation on perceptions of krengjai effects on communication and professional relationship showed that most Thai and non-Thai participants agreed with negative effects of krengjai on communication, whereas positive effects on professional relationship. However, the qualitative findings showed that the value of krengjai binary effects was based on context and therefore perceived otherwise. The analysis of relationship between nationality and perceptions towards krengjai revealed further that the Western participants had the highest percentage of negative perceptions towards krengjai, following with Eastern and Thai participants. The study concludes that the interpretation of krengjai is based on personal experiences of participants, respectively influencing their different level of perceptions. In response, Thai and non-Thai employees should be aware of the subjective interpretation of krengjai. Moreover, any assumption of similarity/difference based on nationality can deteriorate the quality of communication and personal relationships when krengjai is displayed. To create multicultural understanding and thus a healthy and professional working environment, a workplace should initiate intercultural training session, which entails a complete conceptual picture of krengjai. An open forum could also encourage discussion on specific issues relevant to the practice of krengjai at workplace.
  • FANNIE FLAGG’S FRIED GREEN TOMATOES AT THE WHISTLE STOP CAFE: GENDER, CLASS, RACE AND WHITE SUPREMACY

    Deploying Black feminist criticism as a theoretical framework, this thesis essentially presents literary characters’ encounter with manifestations of oppression and their struggles for liberation in Fannie Flagg’s Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe. First, it sets out to explore sexist, classist and racist ideologies that, through a lens of intersectionality, give rise to a complication of subordination that needs to be contested. Next, my close reading of the novel reveals that the expression of intense rootedness translates into fictional characters’ collective effort in affirming their resistance, thereby retaining a deep meaning of homeplace as a site of opposition. Finally, premised on a feminist tenet of love politics, my argument suggests that in order for the exploited—regardless of gender, class and race—to escape domination, it is necessary that their commitment to love ethics be preserved. Through the transformative and remedial properties of love, it is demonstrated that the agency and empowerment feminism strongly advocates are eventually attained.
  • EXPLORING L2 IDIOM COMPREHENSION: A CASE OF THAI EFL LEARNERS

    This study explores idiom comprehension strategies employed by Thai EFL learners when they dealt with English idiomatic expressions. Ten university students whose native language is Thai were asked to verbalize their thoughts in 2 tasks. Task 1 was a fill-in-the-gap exercise which required the participants to complete 15 English idioms whose constituents included animal vocabulary items and to identify the Thai equivalents. Task 2 consisted of 15 dialogs, and the participants were asked to supply English idioms in the blank, determine their interpersonal functions, and match them with the Thai counterparts. The results show that the most frequently-used strategies in Task 1 and Task 2 were referring to prior knowledge and discussing and analyzing the context respectively. Moreover, the participants tended to rely on literal meanings of idiomatic constituents to deal with English idioms as reflected in the translating an idiom literally strategy. The results also imply that the participants seemed to use the referring to the ideational metafunction strategy in their idiom comprehension as they made use of figurative meanings or connotations; however, they rarely referred to the interpersonal roles of idioms when making meanings. In terms of scores, the results reveal no significant difference between the participants in the advanced group and those in the upper-intermediate group.
  • ATTITUDES OF THAIS AND WESTERNERS IN KHON KAEN TOWARDS FARANG: AN INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION ANALYSIS

    This qualitative study aims to examine the field of intercultural communication, namely language, culture and communication between Thais and Westerners in Khon Kaen. The study investigates the implications of the term farang and its effects from the perspectives of the term speakers or Thai people and the term hearers or Westerners. It also examines the attitudes of both Thais and Westerners towards farang in Thailand. To foster the interaction of both groups, their intercultural communicative competence when dealing with each other is specifically explored. Two research instruments were applied to collect data in this study. The questionnaires were collected with 60 Thais and 30 Westerners. Then, the in-depth interviews were conducted with five participants from each group. The results revealed that the Thai and Western participants shared similar views on the general definitions of the term farang which was defined as a Caucasian foreigner. But, both groups had different opinions on its connotations and functions which resulted in a sense of separation to the Westerners and the ignorance of Thai people on the origins of each Western individual. The findings showed that the term farang could cause offense when used in the presence of the Westerners, especially by strangers. Therefore, the term farang should be avoided in the intercultural contexts. With regard to the attitudes, the majority tended to have positive beliefs, feelings and behaviours towards Westerners. However, the Western participants seemed to reflect their attitudes towards a group of Westerners quite negative compared to the Thais in terms of characteristics and assimilation. Lastly, the findings on the intercultural communicative competence demonstrated that both Thais and Westerners had moderate motivation to communicate with each other, good knowledge about cultural differences, but poor skills in communication. The main obstacles in intercultural communication between Thais and Westerners were the language skills and the different cultural values. It is concluded that to create a friendly and welcoming environment for the Westerners, both groups should have mutual understanding concerning with the power of the term farang and knowledge of different cultural dimensions between Thailand and the Western countries. Additionally, to enhance the relationships between Thais and Westerners, both groups should interact with each other more frequently in order to gain sufficient confidence and skills in intercultural communication as well as to practice analyse the worldviews from others’ perspectives. Most importantly, the significance of intercultural communication in the current era should be promoted in families, local communities, schools, international organizations and media.
  • AN INVESTIGATION OF CONTENT VALIDITY IN THE O-NET (ENGLISH SUBJECT) FOR THE UPPER SECONDARY LEVEL

    The O-NET (Ordinary National Educational Test) for the upper secondary level (Matthayom 6) plays the roles of accountability and gatekeeping in the Thai educational system. It has been used to hold schools accountable and to be one of the criteria to determine students who are qualified for the admission to universities. The results of the test have a great impact on stakeholders and especially on the future of Thai students. Therefore, the O-NET test must be rigorously aligned with the Basic Education Core Curriculum in order to ensure a high degree of the test validity. However, little is known about the validity of the test. Thus, the purpose of this study was to investigate content validity of the O-NET tests in the English subject for the upper secondary level by using the test-curriculum alignment method. The samples used in this study were the 2009 and 2010 O-NET tests. Five participants were purposively selected to match the O-NET test items with the Basic Education Core Curriculum. The results demonstrated that the O-NET test items were partially aligned with the national curriculum. Some issues were analyzed and discussed in order to clarify the results found regarding the alignment between the test items and curriculum domains and the O-NET test items’ distribution of this study.
  • A STUDY ON “DELEXICAL VERB+NOUN” COLLOCATION ERRORS OF THAI EFL INTERMEDIATE AND ADVANCED LEARNERS

    This study investigates the delexical verb+noun collocation errors of Thai EFL learners. An ability to understand and use collocations is crucial for EFL learners because the learners will be able to convey meaning more effectively and more precisely in communication and achieve the native-like usage of the language. While many studies to date reveal that collocation is a problematic area for EFL learners and learners produce typical errors in collocation, especially delexical verb+noun, those studies yield conflicting results in three respects: i) whether collocational performance corresponds to the increasing proficiency levels, ii) how different task types affect the collocational performance, and iii) how the learner’s L1 (Thai) affects the collocational performance. Therefore, this study aims to examine performance on delexical verb+noun collocation (i.e., collocations whose forms and meanings are congruent in L1 and L2 and non-congruent items) of Thai learners from two different proficiency levels: intermediate and advanced learners of English. Forty Thai EFL learners were asked to complete three tasks: a multiple-choice task, a semi-controlled and a freewriting sentence construction tasks, which included congruent and non-congruent delexical verb+noun collocations focusing on high-frequency delexical verbs (do, make, take, get, give, and have). The findings show no significant difference between learners of advanced and intermediate levels of proficiency. However, the different task types and L1 influence play a role on delexical verb+noun collocational performance. The overall results revealed that advanced learners could perform significantly better than intermediate learners in the multiple-choice task, but not in the semicontrolled task and the free-writing task. Both groups of learners made errors significantly more on non-congruent than on congruent items in the multiple-choice task and the semi-controlled task. The research findings will be discussed descriptively and contribute towards pedagogical development in the delexical verb+noun collocation as a challenging part in English learning for Thai EFL learners with both levels of proficiency.
  • Fannie Flagg's Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe: gender, class, race and white supremacy

    Deploying Black feminist criticism as a theoretical framework, this thesis essentially presents literary characters’ encounter with manifestations of oppression and their struggles for liberation in Fannie Flagg’s Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe. First, it sets out to explore sexist, classist and racist ideologies that, through a lens of intersectionality, give rise to a complication of subordination that needs to be contested. Next, my close reading of the novel reveals that the expression of intense rootedness translates into fictional characters’ collective effort in affirming their resistance, thereby retaining a deep meaning of homeplace as a site of opposition. Finally, premised on a feminist tenet of love politics, my argument suggests that in order for the exploited—regardless of gender, class and race—to escape domination, it is necessary that their commitment to love ethics be preserved. Through the transformative and remedial properties of love, it is demonstrated that the agency and empowerment feminism strongly advocates are eventually attained.
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