Luận văn This study aims at exploring the possibility of using VCDs to increase the young learners’ time-On-task

 

In recent years, the use of video in English classes has grown rapidly as a result of the increasing emphasis on communicative techniques. Being a rich and valuable resource, video is well-liked by both students and teachers (Hemei, 1997:45). Students like it because video presentations are interesting, challenging, and stimulating to watch. Video shows them how people behave in the culture whose language they are learning by bringing into the classroom a wide range of communicative situations. Another important factor for teachers that makes it more interesting and enjoyable is that it helps to promote comprehension. We know that deficiencies in vocabulary can make even a simple task very difficult for our students. Video makes meaning clearer by illustrating relationships in a way that is not possible with words, which proves a well-known saying that a picture is worth thousand words. Two minutes of video can provide an hour of classroom work, or it can be used to introduce a range of activity for five minutes. A ten-minute programme can be useful for more advanced students. Less advanced students may wish something much shorter because their limited command of the language also limits their attention span.

 

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r of another group because he perceives that group favorably and possibly as having higher status than his own group. The learner then imitates behavioral characteristics of members of that group so that he will be recognized as a member himself. This called ‘approach’ dimension. Second, the learner does not necessarily perceive the other group as having desirable characteristics. Rather, he chooses the other group as a ‘reference’ group because of personal dissatisfactions with his own cultural community. Consequently, this aim in integration could be independent of any favorable evaluation of the new group. This is called ‘avoidance’ dimension. The integrative motivation should be differentiated with the instrumental motivation. While the former is dependent upon the integrative orientation, the later is the learner’s primary aim in studying the language to be an interest in acquiring sufficient knowledge of the language for its instrumental values in goal attainment. That is, the learner seeking to learn a language for other reasons such as for school credits, job opportunities, etc., will not manifest and maintain as high a degree of motivation over extended periods of language study. II.5.2 Some review of studies of motivation in language learning The effect of motivation to learning a foreign or second language is inevitable. Many language teachers and researchers even view motivation as a key factor in L2 learning and explain their own sense of failure with reference to the students' lack of motivation. Being aware of the importance of the students' motivation, many language researchers have devoted their time to study the relationship between the students' motivation and their achievement in L2 learning. Some of them such as Gardner and Lambert (1972) or Crookes and Smith (1989) (as cited in Ellis 1994) try to investigate the consistent correlation between students' internal motivation and their L2 achievement, that is, they hope to prove a positive relationship that the higher motivation students have, the more successful in L2 learning they are. However, some others such as Oller, Baca and Vigil (1977, cited in Ellis 1994) have demonstrated a converse thing. They report that Mexican women in California are successful in learning English though they have negative attitudes towards the target language community. Many other studies focus on students' external motivation and view it as determinant of students' motivational strength. They claim that when students are provided with some kind of incentives to learn such as a financial reward, they may be motivated and do better in learning. But the major disadvantage of this kind motivation is that students may stop extra effort to learning when the reward is eliminated. Gardner, Day, and MacIntyre (1991) carry out a study which aims to find out the effects of both integrative motivation and anxiety on computerized vocabulary acquisition using a laboratory analog procedure as a microcosm of second language learning. The result of the study shows that integrative motivation facilitates learning of vocabulary items. This means that integrative motivation is associated with higher levels of achievement and a willingness to initiate a respond quickly. Integratively motivated subjects learn the items more quickly and consequently are willing to risk attempting an answer sooner as trials progress. The studies mentioned so far suggest that students with greater motivation could get better learning, but not vice verse. However, some further studies by Strong (1983, 1984) or Savignon (1972) (as cited in Ellis 1994) claim that students' achievement can affect strongly their motivation, that is, students' desire to learn would increase with attainment in their language proficiency. In addition, students' intrinsic interest is also considered to be one of the main elements of motivation. The studies by Crookes and Smith (1989) and McNamara (1973) (as cited in Ellis 1994) point out that students' motivation could be activated if they have a chance to participate actively in learning tasks and it is teachers’ job to motivate students by engaging their interest in classroom activities. And in his own conclusion, Ellis (1994) sums up four types of motivation: integrative motivation or internal motivation, instrumental motivation or external motivation, resultative motivation, and motivation as intrinsic interest. According to him, this is based on the assumptions that the main determinants of motivation are the learners' attitudes to the target language community and their need to learn the L2. Motivation can affect the extent to which individual learners achieve in learning the L2, the kind of learning they employ. II.5.3 Motivation for young learners Why should we worry about motivation? After all shouldn’t it be up to the student to make sure they come to class in the right frame of mind? Can the presence or absence of motivation make any real difference? The Longman Dictionary of Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics defines motivation as follows: Motivation is generally considered to be one of the primary causes of success and failure in second language learning (2002: 344). So it would seem from this definition that motivation is something we teachers need to take seriously if we are concerned about creating the best possible acquisition/learning environment for our students. But what is a good motivator? And how can we ‘rekindle the inner fire’? According to O. Dunn (1984), after a time of studying, young learners “begin to lose interest in learning English and thus motivation is vital” (Developing English with young learners. P83) and among some sources for activities to motivate young learners he suggests using of audio-visual material, especially video. CHAPTER III: METHODOLOGY This research is based on the qualitative and quantitative methods with the survey questionnaires, interviews and classroom observation in order to achieve quantified background data, which aims to prove how VCDs increase the pupils’ time-on-task. All the data and information collected present the foundation for my study. III.1 The subjects of the research The subjects for this study consist of 60 participants placed in two groups: The first group includes 50 pupils at Thinh Hao primary school in Hanoi. They were chosen at random from 5 classes of 5th grade. All the pupils follow the same three - year course of English and their textbooks in use are Let’s Go 2. This group of pupils is taught by Vietnamese teachers of English. The second group includes 10 teachers, who were chosen from three primary schools in Hanoi (Dai Tu primary school, Thinh Hao primary school, Thanh Liet primary school). They are in charge of teaching English for 5th grade. Five of them are in their early thirties with 8 years of teaching experience; five others are in their late forties with more than 20 years of teaching experience. III. 2 Data collection III.2.1 Questionnaire We have designed two sets of questionnaire. One is for teachers and the other for primary pupils. In order that the answerer could be free to express their specific thoughts about the items raised in the questionnaire, some questions are designed to be open - ended or to allow interviewees give free answers (these are often the last choice in the suggested group of answer). Questionnaire No. 1, consisting of 11 questions all written in English, was administered to the 10 English teachers. Questionnaire No. 2, including 14 questions, was administered to the 50 primary pupils. All questions were written in Vietnamese in order to make sure that they can be fully understood by the pupils before they give their answers. They were also requested to answer in Vietnamese, so as to fully express their ideas. For easier reference, these questionnaires are included in the appendixes. The questions for the teacher focus on the following points: Situation of using VCDs in teaching Purposes of using VCDs in teaching Pupils’ feeling and attitudes towards VCDs used during the classroom hours The differences between using VCDs and cassettes in teaching How can the use of VCDs motivate the pupils? Teachers’ suggestions The questions for pupils cover some similar points with those for the teacher. Q1 and Q2 is made to get information about the situation of using VCDs. If pupils say “Yes”, they have to answer 10 following questions (Q3-Q12). If they choose “No”, they can ignore Q3 to Q12 and go on to Q13 and 14. The questions for the pupils refer to the following points: Accessing VCDs Advantages of VCDs in learning English Pupils’ feeling and attitudes towards Video, VCD When and for how long are VCDs used in the class Opinions about the use of VCDs in teaching and learning English Note: The interviewees can choose more than one option in the questionnaire III.2.2 Classroom observation We have also applied the classroom observation method in this study to try to prove our research hypothesis that VCDs can help to increase the pupils’ time-on-task. The observation was carried out in 4 classes of 5th grade. Pupils are judged to be on-task, misbehaving, or doing nothing. The observer selects one of these three descriptions of the pupils' behavior and records either a letter T (on-task), a letter B (misbehaving), or a letter N - nothing (not on task, not misbehaving). At the end of the observation session, the data are tallied and a percent time-on-task score is assessed. In order to accurately assess time-on-task, the observer must be able to clearly distinguish between these three behaviors. In certain learning situations, this may be fairly difficult to ascertain. When a pupil is sitting quietly, who can really determine whether or not he is on task? If the pupil is thinking about or processing the subject material, formulating a question or an answer, or simply listening and absorbing, he may be judged to be doing nothing when he is in fact on-task and actively learning. The five-second sampling interval requires the observer to make a snap decision without benefit of careful study. The calculation of time-on-task is made by dividing the number of on-task observations by the total number of observations. Should the "nothing" data points be excluded from the total? This bears careful consideration. The number of these null points, of course, has a bearing on the decision. A data set with very few null points will not be greatly affected either way, but a large number of null points can sway the on-task percentage significantly. If the objective of the evaluation is to determine time spent effectively on learning activities, and the observer confidently assigns the null value to mean "not on task, not misbehaving", then the points should be included. Excluding them will give a falsely high on-task rating. If the observer cannot confidently determine that the pupil is not on task, the points should be excluded. III.2.3 Informal follow-up interview To consolidate the results of survey and classroom observations, the researcher contacted directly with answerers (the teachers and pupils) to ask for further information. Here is the question used for the follow-up interviews: How can you compare advantages of VCDs over cassettes? The questionnaires and class observations are represented in Appendix I, II and III, respectively at the end of the study. CHAPTER IV: FINDINGS AND DISCUSSIONS IV.1 Data analysis and discussion IV.1.1 Result of teachers’ survey After collecting, summarizing and analyzing the teachers’ answers, the researcher has found many interesting and significant points that are present here below selectively. The first question was used to find out whether the teachers used VCDs or cassettes in their teaching. The result is presented in Table No. 1 and Chart No. 1 below: Table 1. Q1 What is the type of teaching aid you are using in your English class? Question Answers Total (%) What is the type of teaching aid you are using in your English class? Cassettes 50 VCDs 30 Both 20 Others 40 Based on this result, we can find out the amount of teacher, who use and don’t use VCDs in their teaching process. 50% of teacher’s answers indicate that they are using cassette in their English class, 30% are not using cassette but VCDs and 20% of the teachers sometimes using cassette, sometimes using VCD. 40% remaining are using another types of teaching aid for English teaching such as pictures, real objects etc. This result indicates the popularity of cassette in teaching language in general and teaching English in particular. Because of easy using, cheap price and fairly useful in English teaching, cassettes are more popular than VCDs, but you can see lots of limitation than VCDs. The importance of using teaching aids in language teaching in general and English teaching in particular were proved. The reason why some teachers use or do not use VCDs during teaching English will be shown in following questions, tables and charts. * Specific questions for those who say they use cassettes:( from Q 2 to Q5) Table 2. Q2 Please indicate why you do not choose VCDs for your English class? Reasons Total (%) Note Don’t like using VCDs 0 Don’t have equipment for using VCDs 100 Don’t know how to use VCDs 0 Chart 1. Q2 Please indicate why you do not choose VCDs for your English class? As it is shown in the table 2, all the teachers who didn’t use VCDs in their teaching process blamed for the lack of equipment, as the only reason of their failure to use VCDs in the class. Some teachers employ even the traditional education methods where teachers typically lecture to students who take notes and then memorize and recall the material to perform well on examinations. The principal teaching equipment used at class includes the black board and chalk. The curriculum also needs a lot of attention. In a world in which technology is changing rapidly and students are to be able to think creatively, make decisions, and solve problems, it is clear that we have to find out means to deal with above-mentioned situation and improve the teaching-learning process quality. Table 3. Q3 Please indicate roughly how many percents of your pupils actively participate (voluntarily answering teacher’s questions, pair work, team work, role-play, freeze-frame control - prediction, freeze-frame control - description, discussion) in the class activities? Question Code Activities Total(%) Please indicate roughly how many percents of your pupils actively participate in the class activities? A Voluntarily answering teacher’s questions 25 B Pair work 65 C Team work 60 D Role-play 45 E Freeze-frame control - Prediction 0 F Freeze-frame control - Description 0 G Discussion 5 When using cassette to teach the “Let’s Talk”, it seems that the students do not pay enough attention. In the class they may sit quietly to listen to the tape, but when they practice talking, they do not actively work with their partners. Some pairs do not talk (35%), when they work in group, the percentage of the students keep silence or have private talk increase. So there is only 60% of the students work in group and only 25% of the students volunteer to answer the questions of the teachers. Table 4. Q4 How can you describe the classroom environment? Classroom environment Total (%) Very exciting 20 Fairly exciting 60 Boring 20 Only 20% of teacher reported that their classroom environment was very exciting, 60% of them thought that the environment was only fairly good and 20% said it was boring. In fact, when using cassette, students are easy to be neglected or feel sleepy Table 5. Q5 How many percents of your pupils achieve good English marks, i.e. from 8 to 10 points? Question Answers Total (%) How many percents of your pupils achieve good English marks, i.e. from 8 to 10 points? Less than 50% (<50%) 100 From 50% to less than 90% (≥ 50%; ≤90%) 0 More than 90% (>90%) 0 Chart 2. Q5 How many percents of your pupils achieve good English marks, i.e. from 8 to 10 points? ≥ 50% ≤ 90% All data in above tables and charts indicate that using cassettes for teaching English also bring back a good effect on teaching and learning English. But as it can be seen from the chart, there is only less than 50 % of the students achieve good marks (from 8 to10) * Specific questions for those who say they use VCDs:(From Q6 to Q10) Table 6. Q6 Please indicate why you have chosen VCDs for your English class? Question Code Answers Total Please indicate why you have chosen VCDs for your English class? A Make pupils understand easier 100 B Increase pupils’ activities in English class 100 C Make an exciting class 100 This question presents the purpose of using VCDs while teaching. All teachers recognize the benefit of using VCDs in English class which is to bring the best explanation to the pupils. The combination between pictures and sound make pupils understand easier and remember longer. The lively, clear communicative situations make pupils easier to listen, speak, repeat and participate in a single activity. The advantages of using VCDs in English class are also clearly understood as shown in the table and chart above. One of the most appreciated materials applied to language learning and teaching is, of course, video. A recent large-scale survey by Canning-Wilson (2000) reveals that the students like learning language through the use of video, which is often used to mean quite different things in language teaching. For some, it means no more than replaying television programmes on a video recorder for viewing in class or private study. For others, it implies the use of a video camera in class to record and play back to learners their activities and achievements in a foreign language teaching. But our concern here is to present the use of video in language teaching most effectively as a visual aid presenting the target language naturally. It is a fact that most students who have taken English courses formally remain insufficient in the ability to use the language and to understand its use, in normal communication, whether in the spoken or the written mode. The problem arises not from the methodology itself but from the misuse or incomplete use of it. That is to say, teachers still evaluate student performance according to the sentence structure and situational settings. In addition, teachers have to take into consideration their performances in terms of communicative acts. But this not necessarily means that teachers should pay full attention to only communicative acts in the preparation and presentation of language teaching materials. In recent years, the use of video in English classes has grown rapidly as a result of the increasing emphasis on communicative techniques. Being a rich and valuable resource, video is well-liked by both students and teachers (Hemei, 1997:45). Students like it because video presentations are interesting, challenging, and stimulating to watch. Video shows them how people behave in the culture whose language they are learning by bringing into the classroom a wide range of communicative situations. Another important factor for teachers that makes it more interesting and enjoyable is that it helps to promote comprehension. We know that deficiencies in vocabulary can make even a simple task very difficult for our students. Video makes meaning clearer by illustrating relationships in a way that is not possible with words, which proves a well-known saying that a picture is worth thousand words. Two minutes of video can provide an hour of classroom work, or it can be used to introduce a range of activity for five minutes. A ten-minute programme can be useful for more advanced students. Less advanced students may wish something much shorter because their limited command of the language also limits their attention span. It is obvious that non-native speakers of a language rely more heavily on visual clues to support their understanding and there is no doubt that video is an obvious medium for helping learners to interpret the visual clues effectively. According to a research, language teachers like video because it motivates learners, brings the real world into the classroom, contextualizes language naturally and enables learners to experience authentic language in a controlled environment. Moreover, in this issue Arthur (1999) claims that video can give students realistic models to imitate for role-play; can increase awareness of other cultures by teaching appropriateness and suitability. Table 7. Q7 When you use VCDs, do your pupils like it? Code Pupils’ feeling Total (%) A Yes, they like them very much 100 B Yes, but sometimes they get bored with it 0 C No, they don’t like it at all 0 This question investigates the teachers’ observation of the pupils’ feeling towards using VCDs while learning English. The result show that all of the pupils (100%, as perceived by the teachers) like using VCDs very much, which is relevant to the psychological of this age group. No teachers reported on any pupil like using VCDs in general, but sometimes they get bored with it as well as any pupil who did not like using VCDs at all. Pupils like using VCDs while learning English because of a lot of reasons and benefits that VCDs can bring back. As Gallacher (undated) considered, there are totally five benefits that video can bring about when used in classroom. First, children enjoy language learning with video because video creates an attractive enjoyable learning environment. Second, video is an effective way of studying body language as younger language learners are still learning about the world around them. Third, children can obtain confidence through repetition when they watch a video several times and absorb and imitate what they see and hear. Fourth, video communicates meaning better than other media. We can see that video presents language in context in ways that a cassette can’t; that is, learners can see who’s speaking, where the speakers are, what they are doing, etc. Last, video represents a positive exploitation of technology. This is because young learners always have positive attitude towards television and video, which is considered modern compared to books. Table 8. Q8 Please indicate roughly how many percents of your pupils actively participate (voluntarily answering teacher’s questions, pair work, team work, role-play, freeze-frame control - Prediction, freeze-frame control - Description, Discussion) in the class activities? Table 8. Q8 Please indicate roughly how many percents of your pupils actively participate (voluntarily answering teacher’s questions, pair work, team work, role-play, freeze-frame control - Prediction, freeze-frame control - Description, Discussion) in the class activities? Question Code Activities Total(%) Please indicate roughly how many percents of your pupils actively participate in the class activities? A Voluntarily answering teacher’s questions 83 B Pair work 89 C Team work 87 D Role-play 86 E Freeze-frame control - Prediction 78 F Freeze-frame control - Description 75 G Discussion 36 The teachers who answer the questionnaire inform that when they use the VCDs, students take part in the class activities with much enthusiasm. They are eager to answer the questions of the teachers and especially there are more interesting activities when using VCD for students. The percentage of the pair work and team work also increase (89% and 87%). Also, there are more activities applied when using VCD such as freeze-frame control- prediction and freeze-frame control – description and students like these activities very much. The percentage of students participate in those are 78 and 75 % Table 9. Q9 How can you describe the classroom environment? Classroom environment Total (%) Note Very exciting 100 Fairly exciting 0 Boring 0 Following almost teachers’ observation (100%, as reported by the teachers), the classroom environment is very exciting while using VCDs; a fairly exciting one is the opinion of no teachers. There isn’t any answer of boring classroom environment. This can preliminarily prove the preeminence of VCDs with cassettes. Table 10. Q10 How many percents of your pupils achieve good English marks, i.e. from 8 to 10 points? Question Answers Total(%) How many percents of your pupils achieve good English marks, i.e. from 8 to 10 points? Less than 50% (<50%) 45 From 50% to less than 90% (≥ 50%; ≤90%) 55 More than 90% (>90%) 0 Chart 3. Q10 How many percents of your pupils achieve good English marks, i.e. from 8 to 10 points? ≥ 50% ≤ 90% In compare with the percentage of the good marks students achieve when using cassette, the percentage of the good marks (from 8 to 10) is incre

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