Volume 13, Issue 4 (2022)                   LRR 2022, 13(4): 431-465 | Back to browse issues page

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Amirian S M R, Bonjakhi M, Amirian S M. Investigating Language Learners’ Satisfaction in Private Language Schools: A Factor Analysis of EduQual Model of Quality Assessment in Educational Contexts. LRR 2022; 13 (4) :431-465
URL: http://lrr.modares.ac.ir/article-14-47430-en.html
1- Associate Professor of TEFL, Hakim Sabzevari University, Sabzevar, Iran , smr.amirian@gmail.com
2- PhD Candidate in TEFL, Hakim Sabzevari University, Sabzevar, Iran
3- Master of Management MBA, Payam Noor University, Tehran, Iran
Abstract:   (677 Views)
The aim of the present study is to examine the views of language learners receiving English language teaching services about the quality of educational services and institutions’ facility. One of the models that is used to assess the quality of education is EduQual model, which was used to design a questionnaire consisting of 28 items. The participants of this study were 254 language learners of a private English language institution, and after receiving the questionnaires, 200 questionnaires were approved and analyzed. In quantitative phase of the study, a quantitative review of the questionnaire, as well as, the fitness of this model was investigated through factor analysis in AMOS. The results of the quantitative part of this study by two indicators confirmed the fitness of the model (RMSEA and CFI), however, the other two indicators of the fitness indices were not at the desired level (p-value for Chi square and CMIN / DF). The factor load for all items of this questionnaire was also evaluated acceptable and the correlation coefficients between the aspects were in the appropriate range. In interviews, this model was mostly accepted, but some aspects of this questionnaire were questioned. The interviewees also added other factors to the quality of English language institutions that were discussed in this study. Due to the large scope of institutions, the need to create a special model for quality assessment in English language institutions in this study was strongly suggested.
  1.  Introduction
Undoubtedly, one of the factors which leads into quality improvement of the educational programs is assessing the quality of the educational services provided by the centers and perceived by those who have received the services. Due to undeniable competition among language schools in English language teaching, quality plays an important role in being selected. In this context, language learners are the main receivers of the service, therefore, the authorities need to know about their ideas and perceptions of quality. Investigating their ideas, in addition to assessing the quality of services, can help the school owners have a better educational planning and facility provision in line with quality enhancement. One of the models in estimating the quality in educational settings is EduQual model which is mainly designed to be used in higher educational settings. Thus, the main aim of the present paper is to investigate if the EduQual model, which mainly assess quality in higher education, fits the data gathered from language schools. Participants in this research are language learners at a language school in Sabzevar, Iran who have received English language learning services for a while in the language school.
Research Questions
The main question of the present study is to investigate if it is feasible to hire EduQUAL model on Iranian Institutional context to evaluate the quality of educational services?
  1.  Literature Review
EduQual model has been designed to estimate educational quality of higher education which is used in this study as an instrument to measure quality of English language learning service quality. The questionnaire which is designed based on this model is made of five aspects including 28 items (learning outcomes (8 items), responsiveness (6 items), physical facilities (7 items), personality development (4 items), and academics (3 items)). This model, itself, has been extracted from another model, namely ServQUAl which assesses the quality of the services provided. This model, itself, is a result of Total Quality Management (TQM). TQM is “a systematic and rationalized philosophy for change and quality management in higher education institutions” (Hammersley & Pinnington, 1999). The items of EduQual questionnaire are designed for higher educational settings, therefore, four items, which were irrelevant to language school settings, have been removed from the original form and then translated into Persian. The overall idea of this model is based on the distance between customers’ expectation and perception of the educational services they have received. The distance between the two shows the level of quality. The higher their expectations and the lower their perception, the quality will be estimated higher. The lower their expectation and the higher their perception, the quality will be estimated as higher.
  1. Methodology
Both qualitative and quantitative data were collected in this study. The quantitative data was gathered through a modified version of EduQual questionnaire in five aspects and the qualitative data was gathered through interviewing the volunteered participants. The participants of the present study were 254 language learners of a private language school in Sabzevar, Iran. However, after distributing the questionnaire only 200 questionnaires were accepted to be analyzed. Firstly, the results gathered through questionnaires were entered into the SPSS software, then, investigating the relationship between aspects of the questionnaire and educational quality, the fitting indices (RMSEA, CFI, Chi-square and CMIN/DF) were calculated through AMOS software and then path diagram, factor loads of items and correlation coefficients of the aspects were reported and analyzed. The qualitative data was coded through coding procedure of Grounded Theory while analyzing the interviews. The participants in interviews were among those who have filled out the questionnaires and volunteered to participate in the interviews. The researchers set an appointment and then asked about the questions and their ideas.
  1.  Results
The quantitative results of two fitting indices (RMSEA and CFI) confirmed model fitness, however, two the others (p-value for Chi-square and CMIN/DF) didn’t reach their thresholds to fit the model confidently. In addition, factorial loads of all items of the questionnaire, as well as, correlational coefficients between the aspects were estimated and ensured to be acceptable. To ensure its fitness the interviews play an important role. Therefore, researchers ran a couple of interviews and the discussions were recorded and transcribed in order to be analyzed deeply.
  1.  Discussion
In interviews, the model was generally accepted to measure the quality level, however, a couple of items were under question such as related academic degree. This idea has raised by the interviewees because they had experienced some good teachers with unrelated degree to English language teaching. Interestingly, the interviewees added some themes which was not considered in the questionnaire. They believed that the instrument lacks a couple of aspects of quality in language schools. The aspects they believed were the importance of placement test before being assigned to a class (which is not sensitive in higher education as the students are mostly at the same level based on the university entrance examinations) and age homogeneity of the students in each class (which is not a concern in EduQual as the students are at the same age at higher education), accessible language learning consultants within the school, and regular and descriptive evaluations of the language learning progress of the language learners; each of which could be added to the model as further studies. Finally, aspects of educational quality were analyzed and some suggestions were provided to improve the model according to private language schools. Due to high number of service receivers and providers in English language teaching schools, it is necessary to develop a new model to measure quality in this specific context and based on its needs and considerations. This suggestion is because of the difference between the two contexts (language schools and higher education) has been provided.
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Article Type: مقالات علمی پژوهشی | Subject: language teaching
Published: 2022/10/2

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