How Communication Skills Affect Academic Performance in Accounting

Topics: Learning, Language proficiency, Skill Pages: 13 (2401 words) Published: March 8, 2015

St. Paul School of Business and Law
Campetic, Palo, Leyte

Communication Skill as a Factor that Affect Academic Performance in Accounting Of the BSA-1 Students of Saint Paul School of Business and Law Academic Year 2014-2015

A Research Paper

Submitted to

Samuelito Abueva

In Partial Fulfilment of the Requirement for the Course Communication Skills 2

Submitted by:

Reychielyn L. Gayas

March 9, 2015


English as a language of instruction has quickly taken precedence in most of the universities and colleges around the world. What has also become common place is the interchange of students from country to country. The term “international students” has traditionally been attributed to students who matriculate in colleges and universities in the western world. The “international student” status is also commonly attributed to students whose native language is other than the English language. Anecdotal evidence exists as to the association between students’ English language proficiency and overall performance in specific courses. Limited research has emphasized the importance of language proficiency in enhancing performance in content-based cognitive skills. The association between communication skill and performance in content-based courses is worth further investigation. Ashcraft (2006) articulates it well when she writes that “Instructors in all disciplines …… face the challenge of teaching the courses in their discipline in English to students who have learned (and who are continuing to learn) English.” Sonleitner & Khelifa (2004) argue that these content-area instructors are not only surprised by students’ low level of English proficiency but at times may feel frustrated from having to teach content-area concepts as well as the Communication Skill. Often times, these content-area courses have their own technical language that may compound the enormity of the demands placed on students to immediately comprehend and apply learned concepts. The most commonly accepted theory of learning, Bloom’s taxonomy (Bloom, 1956) views learning as a progressive process. Since this study is conducted within an accounting backdrop, this theory is discussed within such a context. Simple facts are first memorized and then sufficient detail to be able to explain those facts is added on. The first two levels (knowledge and comprehension) rely almost entirely on memory and are sometimes referred to as declarative knowledge (Anderson, 1983, Jonassen, Beissner, & Yacci, 1993). Declarative knowledge involves knowing what something is, but excludes the ability to use that knowledge. Knowledge requires only the bringing to mind of appropriate information. Knowledge is considered at the lowest level of learning outcome in the cognitive domain. Comprehension, on the other hand, can be demonstrated by the ability to grasp the meaning of concepts beyond the simple remembering of concepts. Comprehension represents the lowest level of understanding. Within the financial accounting framework, being able to identify a transaction as either a deferral or an accrual is a good demonstration of mastery at this level. The third level, application, refers to the ability to use learned material in concrete situations. In accounting, this may include the application of accounting rules (principles). Computing depreciation expense would be an example of this third level. The fourth level, analysis, involves the ability to break down material into its component parts so that its organizational structure may be understood. Analysing transactions and preparing journal entries falls in this level of learning outcome. The other two higher learning outcomes of synthesis and evaluation are so scarcely tested in introductory accounting courses that they are not included in this study. This study investigates whether there are any inherent associations between students’...
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