Communication Skills Affect Academic Performance in Accounting

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 reference in content-based courses is worth further investigation. Ashcroft (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. ” Sonorities & Shelia (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 heir 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, 1 983, Janssen, Beginners, & Yucca, 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 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.

Analyzing transactions and preparing journal entries falls in this level of learning outcome. The other two higher learning outcomes of honesties 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’ communication skill and their performance in accounting subject. Statement of the Problem This study attempted to determine the relationship between Communication Skill and Academic performance of BAS-I students in SST. Paul School of Business and Law, School Year 2014-2015.

Specifically, it sought to answer the following questions: 1 . Does Communication Skill affects the Academic Performance in Accounting of the respondents? . Does Communication Skill and Academic Performance in Accounting of the respondents has a significant relationship? 3. Does student who has a high grade in Communication Skill performs better than those with low grade in Accounting? Significance of the Study An understanding of any association between students’ communication skill and their performance on Accounting would be very beneficial to both the Accountancy Department and the English language faculty.

The Accountancy Department would be conscious of the need to moderate specific content- area vocabulary with student language proficiencies in order to maximize earning, while the English language faculty would be cognizant of the need to prepare students not only to increase their communication skill but also bring them to an awareness that content-area courses do introduce new language/ vocabulary that require continued learning of the English proficiency. As other researchers also emphasize the idea is not to simplify the concepts in content-areas but rather simplify the language level used to convey the concepts taught (Chevalier et al. 2004). With this consciousness, Accountancy faculty will not teach content-based concepts in isolation of language skills. Such concerted efforts will enhance the quality of instruction but most importantly the quality of student learning. METHODOLOGY Research Design The proposed research problem of the researcher must select a research design that best fits. Having this line Of thinking in order to produce a comprehensive results of the effect of pageantry to the students and to SPILLS, the researcher has chosen to carry out a descriptive-correlation research design.

Penetrating the deeper significance of the subject, qualitative studies allows to explore behaviors, perspectives, experiences and complexities of the situation through a holistic framework. In the other hand, descriptive design alms to describe significant findings in a comprehensive manner that is free from bias. This type of design helps studies to discover new meanings, categorize information and verify theories. Thus, the researcher chose this type of research design for this study to produce a precise action that will facilitate the researcher to come up with a significant result by justifying and addressing the current issue.

Research Locale Associations between student Communication Skill and student performance on Accounting were investigated at Saint Paul School of Business and Law located in Campiest Palo, Elite last quarter of the second semester of the Academic Year 2014-2015. Research Respondents The researcher aims to conduct and acquire purposive sampling and samples by choosing respondents who are knowledgeable and highly accountable. Samples will be taken from the population of SPILLS, from all courses and all years.

As part of the Statistical Treatment that will be used this research, the Sampling Technique used by the researcher was Simple Random Sampling. Simple Random Sampling is a subset of a statistical population in which each member of the subset has an equal probability of Ewing chosen. In short SIRS is meant to be unbiased representation of a group. Thirty samples will be taken from the population that will have a significant effect in achieving the purpose of this study. Research Instrument As stated above, the researcher intends to carry out a purposive study that will bare a comprehensive results.

In Order for the researcher to achieve the significant purpose of this study, the researcher prepared a questionnaire that was approved by the research adviser. The questionnaire includes a letter of intent that includes the purpose of study and the intention to use the data gathered for this research only. Respondents are expected for a sincere and honest answer that is relevant in achieving the purpose of this study. Statistical Treatment We use correlation analysis (Person’s r) to evaluate for any initial prima facie relationships be;en language proficiency and student performance on various cognitive skills.

Correlation analysis is a statistical tool widely used for assessing the strength and nature (direction) of observed relationships/ associations between two or more variables of interest. The formula below was used. Formula: Where: r = correlation coefficient x = score in the first variable XX – y x score in the second variable um of the product of x and y = sum of the x scores Y = sum of the y scores XX SUIT of the square of the variable x sum of the square of the variable y N = number of cases The degree to which a systematic co-variation between two variables may exist is a descriptive statistic reported as the correlation coefficient (r).

The correlation coefficient is stated in numeric form between positive one and negative one. A perfect positive relationship (as one variable increases, so does the other) is therefore presented as +1 whereas a perfect negative relationship (as one variable increases, the other decreases) is presented as 1. A correlation coefficient is a measure of linear association. An important observation to keep in mind is that two variables can be perfectly related, but if the relationship is not linear, the correlation coefficient is not an appropriate statistic for measuring their association.

We therefore subsequently use the linear regression technique to model the value of the dependent variable based on its linear relationship to each of our covariates. The model assumes that there is a linear, or “straight line,” relationship between the dependent variable and the predictor variable. Analysis and Interpretation of Results While this study Was not intended to test and explain all the variables that would predict success in a content-area course, the study only establishes whether students’ Communication skill has any association with their performance in Accounting.

Communication Skill and performance in this study are determined from students’ midterm grade. The correlation between the students’ Communication skill and their academic performance in Accounting results is statistically significant (t = 2. 416, p <. 05). The average grades of the English composition three-course sequence showed very strong ssociation with students' performance in content-area cognitive skills. The English composition courses are usually taken by students two terms prior to their enrolment in the first financial accounting course.

This closeness to the accounting course may suggest that the preparation they would have just completed can be more readily associated With their performance in subsequent courses. Undoubtedly, the English composition course does enhance their language proficiency and may even improve their comprehension and knowledge skills. The results suggest that both the application and analytical cognitive skills cannot be associated with reference in cognitive skills as measured in the first accounting examination.

Comprehension cognitive skills involve grasping the meaning of concepts and terms while knowledge skills involve the ability to recognize items. These two cognitive skills are on the lowest end of Bloom’s taxonomy of learning outcomes. What is clear is that acquisition of appropriate levels of English language proficiency may be more useful in meeting the comprehension and knowledge levels of cognitive skills in content-area courses.

This finding suggests that instructors in content-area courses, like introductory financial accounting course, may spend less effort in comprehension and knowledge level cognitive skills in a content-area course since students enrolling in such content-area courses may bring with them the relevant English proficiency. It is interesting to note that the significant correlations for comprehension and knowledge are consistently much stronger in the first accounting examination than on the second accounting examination.

This further suggests that the three-course English composition courses may be most meaningful at the onset of a content-area course and hat as the content-area course progresses; the students’ English language proficiency is expected to be of a higher level. This would not be unusual if the vocabulary in a content-area course increases and becomes discipline- specific as students delve further into the course. The importance of strong communication skills to today’s and tomorrows business professionals is undoubtedly clear.

The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (CABS), the premiere accrediting body of undergraduate and graduate business programs, in its list of Learning Standards at the Undergraduate bevel lists communication skills first (2003). Similarly, International Education Guideline (GIG) 9, published by the International Federation of Accountants (AFC), stipulates communication skills as One of three essential skill areas that students need to develop.

This is further defined as the ability to ‘present, discuss, and defend views effectively through formal and informal, written and spoken, language’ (AFC, 1996). It is clear from the emphasis given by these bodies, that there are quality benefits accruing to programs that strengthen their students’ language/communication skill. Advanced language skills are requisite for success in accounting courses and the profession. CONCLUSION Acquisition of appropriate levels of Communication skill may be more useful in meeting the comprehension and knowledge levels of cognitive skills in content-area courses.

This finding suggests that instructors in content-area courses, like introductory financial accounting course, may spend less effort in comprehension and knowledge level cognitive skills in a content-area course since students enrolling in such content-area courses may bring with them the relevant English proficiency. This further suggests that the English composition courses may be most meaningful at the onset of an Accounting course and that as the content-area course progresses; the students’ Communication Skill is expected to be of a higher level.

This would not be unusual if the vocabulary in an Accounting course increases and becomes discipline-specific as students delve further into the course. Another important implication drawn from the associations found in this study is that the English composition faculty should consciously have the added goal of training students to succeed in subsequent content-area introductory rouses, at least from a language proficiency aspect of comprehension and knowledge cognitive skills.

Even with the limitations that may be associated with this study such as in the specific use of an accounting examination to capture cognitive skills levels, or inadequacies that may exist in capturing English language proficiency, the benefits of the results clearly outweigh such limitations. If these results yield a concerted effort between English language faculty and Accounting faculty in minimizing language-based learning barriers for students, then the university goals of producing quality graduates will be enhanced.