A single case study into the extent to which awareness and use of kinesics within UK non-verbal communication norms benefit a Japanese candidate taking the IELTS speaking module

Ueno-Howells, Russell J. (2010) A single case study into the extent to which awareness and use of kinesics within UK non-verbal communication norms benefit a Japanese candidate taking the IELTS speaking module. MA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    The Japanese EFL learner often exhibits a low incidence of non-verbal communication features in IELTS speaking examinations and this may implicitly impact on an examiner’s view of their communicative competence and affect the band score given. In this single case study the researcher set out to investigate the use of one aspect of non-verbal behaviour, namely kinesics, by a Japanese candidate against a background of Japanese learners generally, and within the IELTS Speaking paradigm. The research involved an initial IELTS Speaking interview which was audio-taped and video-taped. These interviews were played to two discrete groups of five IELTS examiners and their band ratings recorded. Analysis of the case subject’s performance in the interview and responses to a UK kinesics recognition video test informed the teaching of a number of UK normed kinesics features over a period of two weeks. After this, a further interview was carried out and the audio and video interviews were played to a further two discrete groups of five IELTS examiners and banding ratings given once again. Analysis was undertaken to ascertain whether the explicit teaching of UK-normed kinesics gestures within the case study had had a positive impact on the video-raters. The results of the case study showed that the noticing and practice of UK norm kinesics gestures impacted positively on the examiners’ rating, resulting in increased scores under the fluency descriptor specifically, with a consequent knock-on effect on the candidate’s overall banding. The methodology of this single-case study sought to make generalisations about the case rather than from the case. However, case studies involving larger samples of a similar effect may suggest that UK norm kinesics as an aspect of non-verbal communication positively impact on an IELTS examiner’s perception of intercultural competence. These studies may be extended to other examination paradigms which purport to test communicative competence, and which like IELTS do not explicitly reflect kinesics features or other aspects of NVC within their marking criteria.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Languages and Area Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2011 12:49
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:16
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/886

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