Luận văn Kết hợp sử dụng truyện ngắn và thơ nhằm phát triển kĩ năng đọc hiểu cho sinh viên năm II Đại học Hải Phòng

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Acknowledgement

Chapter I: Introduction

I.1.Rationale . .1

I.2.Aims . .2

I.3.Scope . .2

I.4.Object . .2

I.5.Method . .3

I.6.Design of the study . .3

Chapter II: Literature Review . .4

II.1. Literature . 4

II.1.1. Definition . 4

II.1.2. Genres . .5

II.1.3. What makes literature distinctive from other texts . 5

II.1.4. Literature and language teaching . .6

II.1.4.1. Why use literature in language classroom. . .6

II.1.4.2 Literature in the ESL classroom . . .9

II.1. 4.2.1.Poetry in the ESL classroom . .9

II.1. 4.2.2.Short story and its advantages in language classroom . .10

II.2. Reading comprehension . .11

II.2.1. Reading comprehension and its roles in language learning . 11

II.2.2. Reader and the text . 11

II.2.3. Students’ difficulties with reading . 12

 

II.3. Literature and Reading . .13

II.3.1. Some links between reading skills and literary skills . .13

II.3.2. Efferent reading and aesthetic reading . 14

Chapter III: Methodology 15

III.1.The setting .16

III.2.The subjects . 16

III.3.Data collection instruments . . 17

Chapter IV: Results and Discussion . 19

IV.1. Students’ attitude towards literary texts . 19

IV.2.The effects of short story and poem in teaching reading comprehension . 22

Chapter V. Conclusion and Recommendation . 30

V.1.Introduction . .30

V.2.Recommendation . 30

V.2.1.Selecting and evaluating the texts . 30

V.2.2. Suggested techniques for integrating short stories and poems in the teaching of reading comprehension skills . 31

V.2.2.1. Reading poems . 31

V.2.2.2. Reading short stories . .36

V.2.2.3. Overcoming cultural problems . .39

V.2.3. Keys for using literary texts in reading classes . .41

V.3. Conclusion . .43

V.4. Limitations of the study . 43

V.5. Suggestions for further research . .44

 

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es. Discussing about themes helps develop the skills of reading beyond the lines. According to Brumfit (1986) “reading is the most autonomous and individualizable ability in language work, and literature is a rich and widely – appealing source of material for reading”. For him, if reading is to be viewed as an integrated process, the teaching of reading must do more than simply exercise reading in the target language. With literature, the students are not asked to translate the text exactly but in order to understand the text they are required to discuss questions which force them to see the text as a coherent piece of discourse. It in turn helps develop the interaction between the readers and the text. II.3.2. Efferent reading and aesthetic reading There is no one way to deal with a text in the reading classroom. This part focuses on differentiating the two methods: efferent reading and aesthetic reading. According to Rosenblatt (1978) efferent reading is reading in which the reader is concerned with what she will carry away whereas in aesthetic reading the reader’s primary concern is with what happens during the actual reading. The purpose of the former is using the text to gain information while that of the later is exploring the language usage through the relevance to the experience. Thus, to readers in aesthetic reading the enjoyment is attained by interacting with the text, they often relate their world of experience to the text. After reading they might be asked whether something similar have ever happened to them. As a result, they get involve in the text and interact with the text by sharing their feelings or experience. Furthermore, if a reader in efferent reading is supposed to carry the information away, he, in aesthetic reading often makes judgments about the characters or giving his opinion if he was the character. This activity helps him understand the text thoroughly or in other words, he can get to the bottom of the event. It is true that literature to some extents is a key to motivate the students to read. Besides providing an ideal vehicle for illustrating language use, it also offers a mean of introducing cultural assumptions. But with the desire to promote truly aesthetic reading, the using of literature should be approached not efferently, but in a manner which establishes a personal and aesthetic interaction between a reader and a text. Chapter III: Methodology. The study aims at measuring the hypothesis that how effective the integration of short story and poem into reading comprehension class is, so the quantitative research method is used. Theoretically, this method includes using questionnaires and interviews to collect data; however, the author, after considering the specific situation of the university decided to choose questionnaires as: Questionnaires often seem a logical and easy option as a way of collecting information from people (Wisker, 2001). They gather information directly by asking people questions and using them as data for analysis. Questionnaires are often used to gather information about attitudes, behaviors, activities, and responses to events whereas the study aims at investigating the students’ attitude toward the use of short story and poem in developing reading skills and their responses to certain activities carried out in class. So, it is appropriate to use questionnaires. According to Wallace (1998) using questionnaires is more economical and time saving than interviews. There is often a list of questions and respondents can complete questionnaires in timed circumstances and it is a method of gathering large numbers of responses. Furthermore, in the English Department, Hai Phong University both students and teachers do not have the habit of teaching and learning with literary texts, thus if using interviews the answers may be passive and of little use. In order to get reliable responses from students, the author has taken advice from an experienced supervisor and pilot questions thoroughly before carrying out. Following is the description of the university, students and the data collection instruments. III.1.The setting The study was conducted at the English Department, Hai Phong University where the author is teaching. English is only one of the many subjects taught such as Maths, Literature, Physic, Music and Arts, etc. The students have to go through four years learning both background and specialized knowledge. In the English Department, students spend the first two years studying general English which focuses on the four language skills. At this stage, most of students’ time is for practicing the language skills in class under the guidance of teachers. If they pass the tests at the end of this stage, they will spend the last two years on subjects like Semantic, Grammar, Phonetic, Methodology, Translation, and so on. At this second stage, students have to use the language skills they have mastered to read a lot of materials and most of class time devotes to discussion and presentation. III.2.The subjects This study was carried out with the participation of 40 full time students who are learning at the English Dept. of Hai Phong University. As mentioned in the premise, although literature is very interesting and literary texts are really helpful when integrated to develop language skills, they are still not popularly used in Viet Nam, especially in Hai Phong University where the translation approach still dominates the teaching methodology. Except one teacher in the staff who is teaching English literature, others have almost no idea about using literature in language teaching especially the four skills. That is the reason why the author does not include the teachers in this study and she really wants to make a new path way in language teaching in general and in reading comprehension teaching in particular. The students under investigation were in their second term of the second year. They are between 19 and 22 including both male and female students whose background knowledge is almost of the same level. They had all passed the test of the first term and their language level is between the upper-intermediate and advance. Students have English class every weekday and they have five hours for reading skills per week. Within each class, normally 45 minutes long, they learn and practice reading skills such as skimming, scanning, reading for main ideas or for specific information, etc. The reading materials mostly are taken from course books like: Think First Certificate, Reading 2, IELT Reading, Insight and Ideas, etc. Some are downloaded from the Internet or taken from newspapers. III.3.Data collection instruments There are two questionnaires; one investigates the attitude of students toward the literary texts in general and the other aims at finding out the effects of using short stories and poems in teaching and learning reading in particular. In the first questionnaire three questions are given, of which Q1 is to get the rank of different types of literature according to students’ preference. Q2 focuses on the aspects that cause difficulties in reading literary texts and the purpose of Q3 is to investigate the topics that students are interested in. The second questionnaire is a little more complicated, it focuses on activities students do in the reading class. The emphasis of most questions is on the reaction of students toward different activities using short stories and poems in class reading. The questions are for stages in teaching reading like pre-reading (Q1), while-reading (Q2, Q3) and post-reading (Q4). Q3 is specially divided into six smaller ones which aim at finding the effects of activities used with short stories and poems from the first stage to the last stage of a reading lesson. To get extra information, question (Q5) is designed for suggestions and feedbacks from the students. While the first four questions are designed with multiple choices which students can choose more than one, the last question is for open answers with suggestions like : The teacher should…. and : The students should… Thus, the teacher will know what his/ her students think and those suggestions will help teachers adjust the activities more effectively. To prepare for the study, reading comprehension lessons integrating short stories and poems were conducted at the beginning of the term but the data were collected just two weeks before the final exam. By doing so, it was hoped that enough time was given to introduce the new teaching method to the students and they could be confident when they did the questionnaires and knew what to do and how to answer. Chapter IV: Results and Discussion In this chapter, data collected is described and analyzed. Separate findings come after the discussion of each question. IV.1.Students’ attitude towards literary texts (Q1,2,3) IV.1.1 (Table 1) Students’ preference towards certain genres of literature (Q1) Genres Data Reasons Short stories 82.5% - easy to read and understand - interesting, relaxing and time saving Novel 57.5% - romantic, interesting and adventurous - famous, rich content - long, thus take time Poetry 62.5% - interesting & romantic - imaginative, short - hidden meanings, strange words so difficult to understand. Drama 7,5% - very difficult to understand - far from real life, boring, not natural - lots of slang words Short stories seem to be the most favorite kind of literary text with 82.5% of choice. It is because among the four genres, short stories, beside their interesting content and reasonable length, are suitable for the students’ language level. In contrast, drama can attract very few students to read with only 7.5%. According to the majority of students, drama is strange to them; moreover, they are often very long with words that hardly appear in real life. Poetry comes after short stories with 62.5% students’ choice. Although most of students state that poetry is really interesting and romantic, they all agree that understanding a poem is really difficult. They need to be sensitive, imaginative and creative to discover the hidden meaning of the poem or let their mind fly with the pictures made of words. Students also like reading novel (57.5%) due to its rich content. The only reason that prevents students to go to the bookshelf to take a novel is that novel is too long, reading novel is said to be luxurious with students who always complain about lacking time for so many things. From the figures we can infer that it is reasonable to use short stories and poetry in language classroom in general and in reading classroom in particular. The burden now is on the teacher’s shoulders as the choice of texts and the techniques be applied in class play a very important part in attracting and involving students in the lesson. IV.1.2. (Table 2) Aspects that cause difficulties when reading literature (Q2) Unfamiliar vocabulary Cultural differences Literary styles and structures Others 75% 30% 77% Poor knowledge Limited foreign language competence Unfamiliar with reading literature in foreign language It was expected at first, many students would treat cultural differences as a feature that causes the most difficulties in reading literature; the result is that only 30% of students share the idea. Students believe that the cultural differences bring them chances to learn about cultures of other countries, some consider this aspect as one of the factors that promote them to read. According to the majority of the students (more than 70%), literature reading is really difficult when the text consists of too many unfamiliar words with difficult literary styles and structures. They also add up to the list some aspects such as their poor knowledge about the theme and limited language competence. Specially, many students express that they do not have the habit of reading literature, thus they often feel frustrated when dealing with a poem or a short story. This revelation is very important and necessary to teachers who want to exploit literature in the language classroom. IV.1.3. (Table 3) Topics students are interested in Personal relationship (love, friendship,…) 77% People (hero, famous people,…) 52% Nature and animal 62% Social issues (crime, politic,…) 15% Mystery 52% Others Cultures, students’ life Science, adventure The data shown in table 3 indicates that using literary texts of the students’ preference is likely to be more successful than using texts nonselective. Most students like literary texts about personal relationship (77%) while social issues are rejected (only 15%). It is easy to understand why students like reading about love, friendship… more than crimes, politics…; as in the youth’s mind nothing is more beautiful and attractive than love or relationship between friends. They like texts which express their thinking and their ideal dreams whereas literary texts about social issues are often boring and out of their thoughts. Next to the personal relationship is the topic about nature and animal with 62% of students interested in. Topics like the mysterious and people attract quite an equal percentage of students: 52%. Some other topics that students add to the list are cultures, students’ life, science and adventures. IV.2.The effects of short story and poem in teaching reading comprehension. IV.2.1. (Table 1) Things students find most difficult when reading short stories and poem (Q1). Unclear theme 48% Vocabulary 73% Language 75% Cultural background 28% Others implied meaning metaphor and simile Comparing table 2 in 4.1.2 and table 1 in 4.2.1 it can be concluded that students’ difficulties in reading literature generally and reading short story and poem particularly are caused by vocabulary (73%) and the language styles (75%). This explains why most students tend to read literature for fun rather than for improving language skills. Looking up unfamiliar words takes a lot of time and causes boredom. Furthermore, foreign literature writing styles are very different from what they get used to at school. Thus, the carelessness in introducing vocabularies and guiding students with activities often leads to strange feeling in class. IV.2.2. (Table 2) Things students often do when reading short stories and poems (Q2). Take notes 28% Look up new words in the dictionary 28% Just read to understand the plot 50% Response to what the characters say and do 50% Others Find implied meanings Translate it into Vietnamese Guess the meaning of words, idioms. Think of new ideas Imagine to be one character The data in table 2 show that students do different things when reading short stories and poems. They do not seem to be keen on what the author provides. Just 28% note sentences or ideas that they feel interested in when reading. The same percentage of students looks up new words in the dictionary. 50% of students read short stories and poems for gist without caring much about what the characters actually say and do. These students often read very fast, and also forget as fast as they read. An equal number of students answer that they like responding to what the characters say and do. So, most students choose their own way of doing things when reading; this suggests that the teacher should not limit the activities to what is written in the teacher’s book. He/she should spend some time for students doing what they like and help them develop their own creativity. The lesson will therefore be more interesting and its effectiveness will also be enhanced. IV.2.3. Students’ reaction toward activities in class (Q3) This question aims at finding the effectiveness of activities using short stories and poems in reading class. The activities presented here are what the author and her students have done during the term. Each one has multiple possibilities that students can choose according to their own thinking. Space was given to let students express what they really want or like to do, which is very useful for the teacher to improve her teaching method. Following is the result and findings. Activity 1: Guessing vocabularies in the context. The chart shows that though guessing words in context is considered a very good activity and teacher should encourage students to do this in reading class, 10% of respondents regard it a waste of time. It indicates that students have their own way to learn new words, and it may not be effective if teacher carelessly applied it subjectively. Only 18% of the students like guessing words in the context provided by the teacher and then create a context themselves to remember the words. This is a good idea; however teachers have to control the time properly. Some of the students reveal that they work more eagerly when words are put into interesting contexts, especially those related to their life. This finding encourages teachers to be creative in preparing contexts for students. Activity 2: predicting the plot of the story or poem Predicting the plot of a story or poem before reading is an activity that helps students to be more creative. Most students (75%) agree with this and think it is interesting and helpful, some even consider it as an activity to make them get fascinated in the story and understand the story more easily. Only 10% find this activity of no use as they think predicting can distract them from the real story. Other 15% state that they do not care about the prediction, they still read the story whether they can predict the plot or not. The finding suggests that teachers should conduct this activity in class as it is really good to raise students’ motivation. Activity 3: Answering comprehension question From the chart, we can see that students have different ideas about this activity. 64% think that it is good because it helps students know how deep they understand the story. However, 8% consider it boring and useless and 18% think it is of little use. According to these, the comprehension questions are often very easy and students do not have to think much to find out the answers. Another 10% prefer other methods of checking comprehension like acting or reordering pictures which relate to the content of the story. Some others like questions that make them think rather than just looking for answers in the story. This result leads to a conclusion that choosing what questions to ask and how to ask them are very important in teaching reading and that teacher should verify the ways of checking students’ understanding in order to encourage the students’ participation in the lesson. Activity 4: Skimming for idioms and expressions in the full sentence. As can be seen in the chart, this activity is good for applying in class as 72% of students think it is useful for learning and remembering idioms and expressions. Nevertheless, many students (20%) state that teacher should not waste time doing this activity because they can learn those idioms and expressions in a dictionary and remember them as well. Other 8% have the opinion that this activity is a good way to enrich vocabulary and they would like to make their own sentences with those idioms rather than just skimming for them in the text. This finding suggests that instead of bounding to the instructions in the teacher book, teachers should give more consideration to students’ need. Activity 5: Interpreting characters in the short story or figurative meanings in the poem. In the answers to this, none of the students choose to add other ideas. It may be because this activity is new comparing to activities often conducted in reading class. 25% please with understanding the content only while the rest 75% like interpreting, in which 30% give the reason that they can look at different features of one event, other 45% agree as they can make up ideas in their own ways. The problem here is that if the teacher cannot control the students’ imagination properly, the class will get lost with different ideas. Activity 6: The activity I like most in post-reading phase It can be entailed from the chart that students have positive responses to post reading activities. The same percentage of students (27%) chooses to change the poem into a short story or a song or write diary about what they have read. Creating the end of the story or the poem is the activity that students like most (32%). 13% choose other activities, for example, the teacher changes some details of the story and asks students to correct the mistakes or the students work in groups to translate the poem or story into mother tongue. Some others are eager with creating a new story or a new poem basing on the feeling inspirited by what they have read. From this finding, instead of ending the lesson right after the students have understood the story or the poem, teachers should spend some minutes on post activities and ask students to work in groups and give them chance to choose the activities they like. IV.2.4. Students’ reaction after reading short story and poem with activities in the premise (Q4) After reading I find: Percentage My vocabulary is enlarged 65% My reading speed is improved 60% My guessing skill is better 62% My analyzing skill is improved 83% I can answer comprehension questions more quickly 50% I can get to the bottom of the story and poem 90% Others 3% It can be clearly seen from the table that most of the reading skills are improved using activities mentioned in Q3. Happily, 83% of students develop their analyzing skills and 90% of students express that their ability to understand the story and the poem thoroughly is improved. This is also in line with the author’s hypothesis before carrying out the study. Particularly, 3% of students show that they can learn more than just the skills. Some state that reading short stories and poems brings them interesting experiences in life while some others confirm that reading those literary texts has changed their concept of literature in foreign language. To the author, this may be the most surprising achievement. IV.2.5. Students’ suggestions about method of teaching and learning reading with short stories and poems (Q5) The purpose of this question is to investigate student’s needs in order to make a better reading teaching and learning. With the suggestions for both teacher and students, the author receives many interesting ideas which help her to make necessary changes to enhance the effectiveness of the lesson. These suggestions are shown in the following table. Teacher should… Students should… Help students with linguistic problems Choose stories with opened end Sometimes do the translation Relate the knowledge with the experience in real life Create relaxing atmosphere Help students to be confident to reach their own interpretation. Change topics frequently Give homework Provide motivating opportunities for group discussions Be brave to express their ideas in class Work in groups to share ideas Read more at home to enlarge their knowledge Be imaginative and creative Collect interesting stories or poems and bring to class to share Participate eagerly to activities given by the teacher Feel relax when learning Find reasoned clues for their own interpretation. In conclusion, this chapter reflects the work of the author and her students in Hai Phong University in a full term learning reading. During the course, we have worked hard and find experiences in reading teaching and learning integrating with short stories and poems. It proves that the choice of literary texts is worthwhile and we are on the right way to better reading. Chapter V: Conclusion and Recommendation V.1. Introduction The analysis of results and findings presented in chapter IV show that there is a need for some changes in the method of reading teaching. This chapter therefore will present necessary recommendations in the three main fields: Texts selection and evaluation Suggested techniques for integrating short stories and poems in developing reading skills Keys for using literary texts in reading classes These recommendations are based on learning, reading and teaching experience so it is hopeful that readers can find them useful to make the reading lessons more successful. V.2. Recommendations V.2.1. Selecting and evaluating literary texts Selecting text is important as it plays a decisive part in the success of the reading lesson. Before choosing a short story or a poem, teachers should take into consideration the three main factors: the type of course he/she is teaching, the type of students who are doing the course and the language factors connected with the text. Taking the course you are teaching into consideration means you have to ask yourself about the aims of the course, for example, are you teaching English for Academic Purposes or General English? How m

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