Chapter 1 Introduction
1.1 Background of the Research
Firstly, the new era background requires the development of talent’ keycompetencies and comprehensive abilities, with the key competence as a crucial part,and has formed a new wave of education and curriculum reform (Huang Shilin, 2016).knowledge is a cornerstone of economic and science development, now the biggestmisconception about English education is “English teaching is to teach students tomaster a kind of communication tool”, and English educators should correct thestatement (Gong Yafu, 2014). As a result, every country attaches great importance tonational education. A common trend of education reform and development is fromknowledge education to ability education.
Secondly, Since 1997, OECD first put forward the concept of “key competence”,many countries have put more attention to its development. In 2014, the Ministry ofEducation released the report entitled the opinions on comprehensively deepening thecurriculum reform, clearly proposed the construction of “the system of developingstudents’ key competence”. The report established the concept and makes it a keypoint to construct the system of students’ key competence to promote educationalreform. Later, English Curriculum Standards for Senior High School (2017 Edition)points out that English competence are the crucial characters and key abilities ofstudents’ personal and social development in English education. With the release ofthe overall framework of English key competence, national education has entered theera of “literacy education” (Lin Chongde, 2016).
Figure 2.1 The Number of Academic Papers on “key competencies"
Chapter 3 Research Design
3.1 Research Questions
After reviewing some professional literature, the research questions were putforward. By means of the literature, questionnaire and interview, the thesis mainlydiscusses on the following questions:
(1) What is the development status of senior high school students’ English keycompetence like?
(2) What are the main affecting factors of high school students’ English keycompetence?
(3) Is there any correlation between the development of students’ keycompetence and gender?
For the sake of investigating the current situation of students’ English keycompetence in NO. 1 Middle School Changsha County, Hunan Province. There are 16classes in Senior One and 17 classes in Senior Two. In every class, there are about 50students, and the students’ English ability are almost at the same level. With anattempt to acquire the scientific and representative data, two grades of this school areselected randomly and seven classes are involved in this study, including three classesin Grade One and four classes in Grade Two. A total of 350 copies of questionnairewere distributed to students and 337 were recovered, among which 337 were effective,with an effective recovery rate of 100%. Considering that the students in Grade Threeare confronting with the college entrance examination, and they may be reluctant tofill in the questionnaire due to high pressure. Therefore, students in Grade Three arenot involved in this study. The collected data and materials are authentic and reliable,which have reference value. Relevant data of the participants is presented as follows.
Chapter 5 Main Findings and Suggestions
5.1 Main Findings
(1) The current situation
Through relevant analyses, it is found that the development of the four elementsof English key competence is unbalanced, and the development of learning ability andthinking quality is superior to that of cultural awareness and language competence.
In terms of language competence, the training of language skills is not balanced,and students’ reading and writing abilities are well developed. The pragmatic functionof language need to be strengthened, students should not only keep a watchful eye onthe literal meaning but also pay attention to the emotional attitude conveyed by thelanguage.
In terms of cultural awareness, most of the students can respect and toleratecultural diversity, but they are not sensitive to cultural differences. Their awarenessand ability to introduce Chinese excellent culture in English need to be improved.
In terms of thinking quality, students are good at observation, comparison,analysis and reasoning, but weak in induction and innovation. Teachers should paymore attention to develop students’ ability of induction and innovation.
In terms of learning ability, most of the students have plans for their Englishlearning, but language rules and methods are not fully grasped, the ability to reflectand adjust their learning methods and strategies needs to be strengthened.
Table 4.4 Results of Cultural Knowledge Dimension
(1) Suggestions for curriculum settings
Firstly, we should optimize the contents of the course and play an irreplaceablerole on elective courses. We should carry out corresponding school-based Englishcourses to provide personalized education and develop students’ potential.
Secondly, we should standardize course management and optimize the teachingmethods of electives. The sound management system is the guarantee and basis of theeffective course of electives, and schools should establish a complete curriculummanagement system (Pan Hongjian, 2008). Therefore, the school should set upspecialized elective course management departments to monitor the implementation,management and evaluation of the course.
Thirdly, we should treat compulsory courses and elective courses correctly, andgive students the opportunity to choose, change the teaching mode of elective courses,and promote the development of students’ cultural awareness and thinking quality.
Chapter 6 Conclusion
Firstly, it can be seen that the overall situation of students’ English keycompetence in NO. 1 Middle School Changsha County is relatively general. Thedevelopment of the students’ language competence, cultural awareness, thinkingquality and learning ability is not balanced, and the development of learning abilityand thinking quality is better than the development of cultural consciousness andlanguage competence. Secondly, the main factors affecting the development ofstudents’ English key competence include curriculum setting, teaching evaluation,teachers and students. Finally, there is no significant correlation between students’gender and students’ key competence (Sig > 0.05). The development of English keycompetence has nothing to do with gender differences, indicating that teachers shouldtreat gender differences equally in the cultivation of students’ English keycompetence.