Unheard Voices: Students’ Experiences and Perspectives on a Tertiary English Course

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Apiwan Nuangpolmak, Chulalongkorn University Language Institute

In Thailand, English courses at a tertiary level are often thought of as pathways to successful future careers. Previous studies have shed light on the ways in which tertiary English curricula can be designed to correspond with the principles of language teaching approaches as well as to specifically address the demands of the employment market. What is lacking in these studies, however, are the voices of students—the voices of the persons who matter the most in the learning process. This paper reports a small part of a study that aims to investigate the students’ perspectives and experiences of an undergraduate compulsory English course. Questionnaires were administered to 527 first-year students from 18 disciplines. In-depth data were also collected from 20 students who participated voluntarily in semi-structured interviews. The findings revealed a mismatch between students’ expectations and what they really experienced in the English course currently offered at the university.