Luận văn Classroom activities to stimulate 10-Form students’ presentation in english speaking lessons at marie curie high school, Hai Phong

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ABSTRACT i

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ii

ABBREVIATIONS iii

INTRODUCTION 1

1. RATIONALE 1

2. OBJECTS OF STUDY 2

3. AIMS OF STUDY 2

4. SCOPE OF STUDY 2

5. METHODOLOGY OF STUDY 3

6. RESEARCH HYPOTHESES 3

7. DESIGN OF THE STUDY 3

PART II: DEVELOPMENT 5

CHAPTER I: LITERATURE REVIEW 5

1.1. SOME DEFINITIONS 5

1.2. FACTORS PREVENT STUDENTS FROM PRESENTING A TOPIC 5

1.2.1. Factors of Foreign Language Anxiety 5

1.2.2. Factors associated with Learner’s own sense of ‘self’ and ‘language classroom environment’ 8

1.2.3. Classroom procedure 10

1.3. Socio-cultural factors 11

1.3.1. Social environment for L2/FL acquisition 11

1.3.2. Errors in social setting 12

1.4. COMMUNICATIVE CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES 12

1.4.1. Purpose 12

1.4.2. Requirements 13

1.4.3. Types of communicative classroom activities 14

1.5. INTEGRATING SKILLS AND PRESENTATION 16

1.5.1. Important of integrating skills 16

1.5.2. Presentation through reading activities 17

1.5.3. Presentation through writing activities 17

1.5.4. Presentation through listening activities 17

CHAPTER II 19

THE STUDY 19

2.1. Aims 19

2.2. Informants 19

2.3. Hypotheses: Remarks on some problems of English learning and teaching at Marie Curie High school, Hai Phong city. 19

2. 3.1. Materials 19

2.3.2. Teachers’ method 20

2.3.3. Students’ motivation 20

2.4. Methods 21

2.5. Data collection 22

2.6. Data analysis 23

2.6.1. Survey questionnaire for teachers 23

2.6.2. Survey questionnaire for students 25

2.7. Discussion of the findings 27

CHAPTER III: 29

3.1. Information sources 29

3.2. Activities in class 30

 Simulations 38

3.3. Practical tips for teachers 40

 Personalization 40

 Suitable Level of Difficulty 40

 Pair work and group-work 40

 Mistake correction 41

PART III 42

CONCLUSION 42

1. Summary of the study 42

2. Limitations of the study 43

3. Suggestions for further study 43

REFERENCES 44

APPENDIX 1 I

APPENDIX 2 III

APPENDIX 3 V

 

 

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ctivities, role-plays, etc. Social interaction activities Social interaction activities are those which place emphasis on social as well as functional aspects of communication. Learners must still aim to convey meanings effectively, but must also pay greater attention to the social context in which the interaction takes place. Success is now measured not only in terms of functional effectiveness of the language but also in terms of the acceptability of the forms that are used. In the early stages of learning, acceptability may mean little more than a reasonable degree of accuracy in pronunciation and grammar. Later, it will increasingly come to include producing language which is appropriate to specific kinds of social situation. Examples of these activities are pair/group-work activities such as simulations, role-plays, and discussions. 1.5. INTEGRATING SKILLS AND PRESENTATION 1.5.1. Important of integrating skills The term “integrated skills” is frequently used as if it was almost synonymous with reinforcement. Viewed in this way, the process of integrating language skills involves linking them together in such a way that what has been learnt and practices through the tasks of one skill is reinforced and perhaps extended through further language activities which bring one or more of the other skills into use. Therefore, typically, a piece of spoken language, in the form of a dialogue, will be followed by relating writing activities. Indeed, this pattern-oral work leading to reading and writing- has almost become the classical model for the organization of learning materials into “lesson” or “units”. The extent to which this is done and the way in which it is implemented, in the form of teaching materials will be influenced by such factors as the level of the course, the relative importance of skills for the learners, and the view taken of the optimum ordering of the skills, but overall, this kind of skill linking is regarded as pedagogically sound. This consumption can be supported by the importance of integrated skills activities as follows (Donn Bryne, 1987) They provide opportunities for using language naturally, not just practicing it. Many pair- and group work activities call for a variety of skills, sometimes simultaneously in order to involve all the learners. Learners seem to learn better when they are engaged in activities which involve more than one skill. We are not of course suggesting that single-skill activities are not effective: there will in fact be many occasions when we shall ask the learners just to talk or read or write, because this is appropriate. Equally, however, we should be looking for opportunities to knit together, because this is what happens in real life. 1.5.2. Presentation through reading activities It is clear that, integrating skills is useful to create or to prepare contexts for practicing and using the intended language item or skill. In additions, the use of one skill leads quite naturally to the use of another. As a result, reading is likely to lead to speaking. To give simple example, if we read an advertisement for a job in the newspaper, we may discuss it with someone else or ring up and enquire the advertising company about the job. More specifically, in the classroom, if we are looking for sources of talk, whether guided or free, it is apparent that many of these come from reading activities. Learners will, of course, need dialogues as conversational models but these are not necessarily the best stimuli for talk. A reading text on an interesting or relevant topic may be much more productive, often because the ideas are presented more directly. Through reading the learners can also greatly expand their receptive knowledge of the language, especially in the often area of vocabulary. 1.5.3. Presentation through writing activities Similarly, writing activities are sources of talk. A writing activity, done collaboratively in pairs or small groups, will be accompanied by a good deal of talk-talk that is needed to “get something done”. For example, to prepare for a discussion, learners in pairs or groups take notes of their ideas and arguments. It is the same in problem- solving activities, learners prefer to note down solutions to speak fluently and logically. There are many other speaking activities necessarily prepared by writing activities in advance. Generally, the writing activities before presenting a topic are very beneficial, especially for language students at elementary level. They can write to arrange ideas and memorize words and expressions as well, which will help them to speak more easily and confidently. 1.5.4. Presentation through listening activities Like reading and writing activities, listening activities do create a stimulus for speaking activities. For example, students hear a short conversation (or an extract from a long conversation), which provides very few clues as to what the speakers are talking about. The learners themselves have to decide who the speakers are, where they are, what they are talking about and possibly what will happen next. This type of listening then, leads on naturally to discussion. In another listening activity, learners are given some information, for example about a town (places of interest, facilities, etc.) in the form of a talk or conversation, on the basis of which they have to plan a visit. The planning involves discussion and decision-making activities; making choices between places, events; activities for which the background information is made available in the recorded form. However, oral communicative activities through listening comprehension require learners to have a comparatively good listening ability so that learners can catch information and ideas for speaking activities afterwards. Therefore, it is necessary for learners to do simple listening activities right from the beginning of the course and then they can gradually do oral communicative activities effectively based on listening comprehension. CHAPTER II THE STUDY 2.1. Aims The survey is aimed to investigate the current situation of teaching and learning the speaking skill in general and learning how to make presentation in English in particular. First, the specific objectives are to search for the attitudes of students and teachers towards the speaking skill and to find out how presentation is taught. Second, the survey is to study both teachers’ and students’ views of the important factors that effect students’ ability of presentation, and their preference to those given by the teachers. Besides, the survey will help to see what the difficulties of both teachers and students are when they deal with presentation task in an English speaking class. Finally, it will recommend some implications for applying classroom activities to motivate students to present their ideas. 2.2. Informants The informants participating in the survey are 100 grade 10th students of two English classes at Marie Curie High school. They almost come from Hai Phong city. Most of them have been learning English for four years at lower secondary school. However, only few students could express intelligibly in English. This means that they were beginners in speaking English when they entered high school. Few of them can talk about topics required in the English text book. 2.3. Hypotheses: Remarks on some problems of English learning and teaching at Marie Curie High school, Hai Phong city. 2. 3.1. Materials The English materials used in Marie Curie High school language classes are very limited. They are almost only the textbooks compiled by Vietnamese teachers. It is hard for students to have authentic materials such as English newspapers and magazines, visual and audio aids. Therefore, their English lessons are less exciting. The learners also find it hard to get access to the real “language”. 2.3.2. Teachers’ method Most teachers of English, not only at Marie Curie High school, but also in other high schools, tend to focus on teaching grammatical structures, vocabulary, reading and writing skills to help their students get good scores in examinations. Besides, they tend to apply traditional techniques of the traditional method, for example, repeating dialogues in the textbooks, giving questions for students to answers. Due to this method, the students have little interest in English lessons and their learning is passive and unsuccessful. Moreover, their speaking ability is not practiced and improved. 2.3.3. Students’ motivation So far, the major aim of Marie Curie High school students in learning English is still aimed at passing school written examinations. In fact, these examinations are mostly based on grammatical structures, vocabulary, reading comprehension, and writing skill. Consequently, despite their interest in developing speaking and listening skills for communication, they would rather study the above mentioned language components and skills. Therefore, they hardly have opportunities to develop speaking skill in English learning. The second reason, in my opinion, is the names of characters and scenes in the text book. Students may not be interested in the book since learning English with Vietnamese names and Vietnamese scenes seem not to make an impression that they are learning “real English” in “English speaking environment” but learning English with the Vietnamese in Vietnam’s situations. The last but not least, visual aids and audio aids are not always available due to inadequate investment in language teaching and learning in Vietnam. Consequently, textbook seems to be the only source of learning for students and teachers. In general, one of the clearly seem features of the high classroom atmosphere is the lack of interest. Most of the classroom activities concentrate on teaching and practicing language structures. As a result, during the lesson, the learners do most repetition, substitution, memorizing activities, or answering questions based on texts and so on. They do not have much time to use English in oral communication. Therefore, when doing speaking activities, they often cope with such problems as “inhibition”, “nothing to say”, “mother-tongue used”. Besides, the teaching and learning process focusing much on grammar, reading and writing skills can cause tension to learners. They can be tired of difficult grammatical exercises and boring writing practice. In short, the classroom atmosphere at Vietnamese high schools does not seem to create an appropriate environment and stimulus for the students to present their ideas. 2.4. Methods The survey questionnaires were used in the research as the main source of information. It was conducted with two sets of survey questionnaires for 10 teachers and 100 students at Marie Curie High school. The survey questionnaire for teachers consisting of nine questions was designed to elicit their views on the following aspects (Appendix 1): The role of presentation in English teaching (questions 1, 2, 3, 4) The difficulties when teaching cross- cultural knowledge in conversation classes (question 7) The useful activities in the conversation class (questions 5, 6) The classroom interaction mode in a presentation task (questions 8, 9) The survey questionnaire for students consisting of nine questions was designed to elicit their views on the aspects as follows (Appendix 2): The role of presentation in English learning (questions 1, 2, 3) The way they obtain information for presentation task (question 4) The motivating activities in the English speaking class (questions 5, 6, 7) The difficulties when doing presentation activities in the speaking class (questions 8, 9) 2.5. Data collection Table 1: Data collected from survey questionnaire for teachers Choices (Percent) Questions A (%) B (%) C (%) D (%) E (%) F (%) 1 0 0 60 30 10 2 80 10 10 3 30 70 0 0 10 4 60 0 40 5 80 90 20 0 6 30 50 10 10 7 60 10 10 10 8 0 0 10 90 9 0 0 0 100 (Questions 7 has more than one answer) Table 2: Data collected from survey questionnaire for students Choices (Percent) Questions A (%) B (%) C (%) D (%) E (%) F (%) G (%) 1 20 50 20 10 2 10 60 20 10 3 37 63 0 0 4 4 2 3 2 20 80 10 5 0 72 28 0 0 6 10 30 60 7 9 27 62 3 8 46 31 23 9 52 32 4 30 (Questions 4 has more than one answer) 2.6. Data analysis 2.6.1. Survey questionnaire for teachers The survey questionnaire for teachers was conducted with 10 teachers of English at Marie Curie High school. Data collected from the survey was analyzed according to the four aspects listed in 2.4. Teachers’ attitudes towards the role of presentation in English teaching and learning (questions 1, 2, 3, 4) For question 1 – “How important is presentation to English learning and teaching?” almost teachers (60%) have positive attitudes towards the role of presentation to English learning and teaching. There are only 10% of the teachers think that it is not important at all. For question 2 – “How often do you find yourself motivated enough to teach presentation in your speaking lessons?” 80% of the teachers say that they sometimes find themselves motivated enough to have presentation topics discussed in their lessons. 10% of the teachers rarely do and the other 10% never do. This data indicates that though most teachers understand the important role of presenting task, they do not always have discussions about topics required in their lessons. There are various reasons that do not motivate the teachers to teach presentation in their speaking lessons: they lack of background knowledge about the topics, they do not feel well before class, they do not think that students are interested and comprehensively understand the topics, etc. Consequently, the time they spend on presentation task is rather short: 70% of the teachers spend 10-20 minutes for their students discussing and do presentation task, 20% spend 5-10 minutes and the rest 10% spend no time for this task. Perhaps, answers for question 4 – “In your opinion, does presentation teaching require spending a lot of time reading materials before each lesson?” could give an explanation to the problems raised in question 2 and 3. There were 50% of the teachers thinking that presentation teaching requires spending a lot of time reading materials before each lesson but students have to study so many other subjects, such as Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Literature, etc., which make teachers exposed to the risk that they can not conduct a presentation task when students have no preparation. Still, the percentage of those who suppose that not always do they make such kind of preparation is 40%. In fact, this is a matter of teachers’ background knowledge of discussed topics. Their opinions of the useful presentation activities in the conversation class (questions 5 – which activities do you often carry out in a speaking lesson? And question 6 – If you have a presentation activity in the English speaking class, what do you find most useful?) As described in table 1, for most of teachers, group-work and pair-work are preferable activities that they usually carry out in the speaking class. Individual work is still conducted in the speaking class but it only makes up 20%. However, the efficiency of these activities is not very high: 50% of the teachers find their students working well in groups, 20% in pairs, 10% individual work and there are still 10% of the teachers think that no activities can help their students in the speaking class. This may be problems of the learning environment at Marie Curie High school where teachers have to deal with large English classes of 40 – 50 students while an ideal language class must have only 15 to 20 students. Their opinions of difficulties when teaching presentation task in English speaking classes (question 7 – What are the difficulties when you teach your students presentation in your English classes?) 60% of the surveyed teachers agree that their biggest difficulty is students’ laziness and passiveness (60%) while some teachers (10%) recognize their lack of knowledge of the discussed topics or they can’t give satisfactory explanations to these topics (10%). In addition, such difficulties as the non-standard learning environment with too many students in a class, lack of visual aids, students’ anxiety due to their lack of confidence, and grammatical and vocabulary knowledge. On the other hand, the insufficiency of authentic materials leads to the fact that teachers cannot explain well about cross-cultural matters while they hardly have chance to contact with foreigners. Their opinions of classroom interaction mode in the English speaking class (question 8 – Whether students should design the teaching plan together with teachers or not? And question 9 – What do you think about the learner-teacher interaction?) The answers to question 8 show that all of the teachers believe that they must be the only one to design the teaching plan. There are several reasons explaining for this belief: the teachers believe that students do not have enough knowledge to get involved in planning lessons, students will mislead the lesson plan because they lack of seriousness and teaching experience, and students will not like participating in preparing lesson plan. However, 100% of the surveyed teachers agree that there must be an interaction between students and teachers (answers to question 9). Therefore, they require their students to prepare the lesson and get all needed information at home. The only problem pending is that they do not know whether their students are well prepared before going to class or not. 2.6.2. Survey questionnaire for students The survey questionnaire for students was conducted with 100 students at Marie Curie High school. The data of the survey questionnaire was analyzed according to the four aspects listed in part 2.4. Students’ attitudes towards the role of presentation in English teaching and learning (question 1 – How important is presentation to English to English learning and teaching?, question 2 – What is your opinion of presentation tasks in English speaking class? And question 3 – How much time do you usually spend on presentation task in a 45-minute English lesson?) For question 1, a majority of students believe that presentation is rather important (50%) while a small number of students have the opposite opinion (20%). A few students realize the importance of presentation (20%). However, there are students who see no role of presentation in learning English (10%). For question 2 which deals with the interest of presentation to English learning and teaching, 10% of the students completely agree that it is very interesting, and 60% of the students say that presenting a topic is interesting. However, 20% think that it is not very interesting and 2% believe that it is not interesting at all. According to answers to questions 1 and 2, the time that students at Marie Curie High school need for discussion in presentation task is different. Most of them want to spend from 10 to 20 minutes on this task (63%) while a few of them only spend from 5 to 10 minutes. However, it can be concluded that almost students appreciate the important role of presentation in their English learning. Students’ ways of obtaining information for presentation task (question 4 – In what ways do you obtain information about your discussed topics?) According to answers to this question, the main sources of information for students to prepare their presentation task are reading lesson (80%), listening lesson (20%), and writing (10%). In addition, TV accounts for 4%, internet occupies 3%. A very small number of students find information in newspapers or through interviewing other people (2%). And some of students collect information for their lesson through reference books or from their own personal experiences. Students’ opinions of motivating presentation activities in the English speaking class (question 5 – How often does your teacher give speaking activities so that you can build up a report in the presentation task?; question 6 – How does your teacher organize these speaking activities?; and question 7 – What activities you like most in a presentation task?) According to answers to question 5, most students join in speaking activities given by their teacher, 73% do these activities usually and 27% often. Although the teacher organized speaking activities in different ways, 10% for individuals, 30% for pair-work and 60% for group-work, students find group-work motivating the most in presentation task and the percentage is very high (62%), compared to pair-work (27%), individuals (9%). However, there are still 3% of students who don’t like any of these activities above. Students’ opinions of the difficulties when they deal with presentation activities in the speaking class (question 8 – When do you speak in English in the English speaking class?; question 9 – What prevents you from speaking in the class time?) According to the students’ answers, the major difficulty when they do presentation activities is the lack of knowledge of discussed topics which is proved by such percentage of 52%. Another difficulty is that the students are shy and cannot do these activities well with the percentage of 32%. Some of students say that the problem is they are afraid of making mistakes in class (30%). And a few students find no interest in their teachers’ task. As a result, only 31% of students are willing to talk in class with the reason of interesting lesson, 23% starts speaking when their classmates talk to them and most of them (46%) speak English only when their teacher ask them. 2.7. Discussion of the findings Though the survey has been conducted on a small group of students and teachers, it can provide the author with a deeper insight into the situation of English learning and teaching in general in English speaking class in particular. First of all, the results of the questionnaires have shown that learning and teaching presentation is considered important by most teachers and students, but it has remained sporadic in most language classrooms even in the English speaking class. This is caused by various reasons including the lack of information about the topics discussed, the shortage of authentic materials, the shortage of time in class and students’ anxiety when conducting their presentation in front of class. Secondly, the author has discovered some interesting things about the English teaching and learning in the English speaking class. As can be seen through the data, both teachers and students prefer group-work and pair-work to do the presentation task. In fact, by these activities, students are eager to give their ideas for the presentation at the end of the lesson. We can also see that the presentation activities by which teachers and students are most motivated are group-work type. As for the students, it can be explained by their preference to speak freely with confidence when talking in their own groups. As for teachers, it will be easier for them to manage such a big class of 50 students, so the teachers choose that kind of activity. This type of activity, in fact, brings good effects to transmit knowledge to students in a limited class time. In addition, it is shown that teachers have many difficulties when they teach presentation task in an English speaking class. The biggest difficulty is students’ laziness and passiveness which make it difficult to carry out their intended activities. Another difficulty that is worth mentioning here is the teachers’ knowledge of discussed topics. If a teacher does not have any background knowledge of the discussed topics, he or she may not be confident enough to speak about these topics as well as giving satisfactory explanations to the topics. Students, consequently, will not be interested in the topics. On the other hand, such a learning environment with big classes and inadequate modern teaching facilities has caused many problems to the teachers, particularly when they teach in speaking classes. To sum up, presentation tasks are obviously good to improve students’ speaking and presentation skills which are not only important for them at school but also in real life. However, it is not able to expect that students can make a good presentation at the first time or in short time since there are a lot of difficulties for both teachers and students to prepare for a presentation task. Teachers, as a partner, should always encourage students to study the discussed topics and to get rid of their anxiety when making presentation. The primary goal for each presentation task is not to judge the students’ presentation as right or wrong but to let them express themselves as they are. CHAPTER III: SUGGESTIONS FOR APP

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