Các hoạt động trong lớp học để khuyến khích khả năng trình bày tiếng Anh của học sinh lớp 10 trường THPT Marie Curie, Hải Phòng

As English has been an international language, the ability to present a topic is clearly valuable at every stage of students’ lives. Whatever the subjects they study, presentation will bring them success in English speaking classes, academic work, job interviews and their future work life – it is the most transferable of all their skills, and a critical part of their professional development. Presentation is also an important part in an English speaking class at high school, in which students are required to present their ideas in a short and simple way. This research is motivated by both subjective and objective reasons. Subjectively, doing a research on Methodology, especially on teaching speaking is very useful for a teacher of English. Objectively, the importance of English in communication is increasingly emphasized, while the present English teaching at Vietnam’s high schools seems to face with an obstacle in improving learners’ communicative competence. According to Communicative Language Teaching (CLT), the purpose of language teaching and learning is to develop communicative competence in the target language. Littlewood also states: “One of the most characteristic features of Communicative Language Teaching is that it pays systematic attention to functional as well as structural aspects of language”. However, the traditional method applied at Vietnamese secondary schools does not comply with the textbook at all. Most teachers focus on teaching vocabulary, grammar, reading and writing skills. They do not pay adequate attention to speaking and listening skills. As a result, this leads to some problems. Learners can be good at written English but they have difficulty in using it in oral communication. Besides, their English is not good enough to use in real communicating situations. Moreover, teaching and learning conditions at Vietnamese secondary schools are face with some drawbacks. A class of 45 to 50 learners is not appropriate for language teaching and learning. Therefore, a suggested solution is that teachers should apply suitable classroom activities to stimulate learners’ speaking ability right from the beginning. Hopefully, this study will make a small contribution to the application of communicative language teaching approach in developing the 10th form learners’ ability in presentation at Vietnamese secondary

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VIETNAM NATIONAL UNIVERSITY, HANOI UNIVERSITY OF LANGUAGES AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES DEPARTMENT OF POST-GRADUATE STUDIES ( ( ( BÙI THỊ ÁNH TUYẾT M.A. MINOR THESIS CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES TO STIMULATE 10-FORM STUDENTS’ PRESENTATION IN ENGLISH SPEAKING LESSONS AT MARIE CURIE HIGH SCHOOL, HAI PHONG (Các hoạt động trong lớp học để khuyến khích khả năng trình bày tiếng Anh của học sinh lớp 10 trường THPT Marie Curie, Hải Phòng) Field: English teaching methodology Code: 60 14 10 Cohort: MA 15 Supervisor: Lê Thế Nghiệp, M.A Hanoi, 2009 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 ABSTRACT This thesis is concerned with stimulating 10-form students’ presentation in English speaking classroom. Specifically, a survey will be taken on teachers of English and 10-form students at Marie Curie High school in Hai Phong city to consider how English speaking lessons are conducted and how students respond to English speaking lessons. The thesis also study students’ difficulties when participating in English speaking lessons. This thesis also recommends some practical tips and typical classroom activities which were applied by the author and suggested by teachers of English at Marie Curie High school to improve quality of teaching and learning presentation in English. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to express my gratitude to my supervisor, Mr. Le The Nghiep for his guidance and inspiration while I was working on this study. Research for this paper was supported by the Post-graduate Department - College of Foreign Languages – Hanoi National University with encouragements and permissions. I would also like to acknowledge the advice, comments I have received from my colleagues at Marie Curie High school in Haiphong. My thanks also go to 10 teachers and 100 students at Marie Curie High school in Haiphong who provided me with valuable data for the study so that I can have a better view of activities in presentation task in English speaking classes at Marie Curie High school in Haiphong. Finally, I would like to thank my family for their special care and support. ABBREVIATIONS CA: Communication Apprehension CLT: Communicative Language Teaching EFL: English as Foreign Language ELT: English Language Teaching ESL: English as Second Language FL: Foreign Language L1: First Language L2: Second Language PART I INTRODUCTION 1. RATIONALE As English has been an international language, the ability to present a topic is clearly valuable at every stage of students’ lives. Whatever the subjects they study, presentation will bring them success in English speaking classes, academic work, job interviews and their future work life – it is the most transferable of all their skills, and a critical part of their professional development. Presentation is also an important part in an English speaking class at high school, in which students are required to present their ideas in a short and simple way. This research is motivated by both subjective and objective reasons. Subjectively, doing a research on Methodology, especially on teaching speaking is very useful for a teacher of English. Objectively, the importance of English in communication is increasingly emphasized, while the present English teaching at Vietnam’s high schools seems to face with an obstacle in improving learners’ communicative competence. According to Communicative Language Teaching (CLT), the purpose of language teaching and learning is to develop communicative competence in the target language. Littlewood also states: “One of the most characteristic features of Communicative Language Teaching is that it pays systematic attention to functional as well as structural aspects of language”. However, the traditional method applied at Vietnamese secondary schools does not comply with the textbook at all. Most teachers focus on teaching vocabulary, grammar, reading and writing skills. They do not pay adequate attention to speaking and listening skills. As a result, this leads to some problems. Learners can be good at written English but they have difficulty in using it in oral communication. Besides, their English is not good enough to use in real communicating situations. Moreover, teaching and learning conditions at Vietnamese secondary schools are face with some drawbacks. A class of 45 to 50 learners is not appropriate for language teaching and learning. Therefore, a suggested solution is that teachers should apply suitable classroom activities to stimulate learners’ speaking ability right from the beginning. Hopefully, this study will make a small contribution to the application of communicative language teaching approach in developing the 10th form learners’ ability in presentation at Vietnamese secondary schools in general and at Marie Curie high school in Haiphong in particular. 2. OBJECTS OF STUDY Due to actual English teaching and learning conditions, so far the most widely used English textbooks at Vietnamese high schools have been applied to 7-year English course. Thus, the subjects of the study will be the high school students who use 7-year English textbooks. For the limitation of the study, it can only focus on the 10th form Marie Curie high school students. 3. AIMS OF STUDY Fist of all, this study is conducted to emphasize the importance of presentation skill in learning English. Secondly, this study will suggest some classroom activities to stimulate the 10th form Marie Curie High school students in presentation tasks in an English speaking class. Finally, it provides suggestions for teachers of English to prepare English lessons at Marie Curie High school. 4. SCOPE OF STUDY Due to the limit of the thesis, the study can not cover all techniques to stimulate students’ speaking ability in a language class. Therefore, it will focus on some typical classroom activities which may produce a stimulus for the 10th form Marie Curie High school students’ presentation. 5. METHODOLOGY OF STUDY The theoretical background of the study is mainly based on the books and documents written by a number of scholars on foreign language teaching. This study is conducted based on qualitative and quantitative methods. Comments, remarks, suggestions and conclusions are based on actual researches, experience, and discussions. Besides, books are used as reference. Situational survey will be conducted on the students’ learning style and motivation, their problems in English presentation tasks. The study will also be conducted on teachers’ techniques to raise students’ ability of presentation. Questionnaires will be given to analyze learners’ attitude towards presentation tasks as well as teachers’ techniques in speaking classes and needs in foreign language teaching and learning. 6. RESEARCH HYPOTHESES Perhaps one of the obvious problems is the lack of students’ interest and active participation in learning activities. Traditional methods of teaching in English classrooms have focused on passive learning. This problem is probably caused by less exciting and practical activities of teachers. The questions to be dealt with are: How important is presentation to foreign language learning? What should be done to stimulate the 10th form Marie Curie High school students in presentation tasks in an English speaking class? 7. DESIGN OF THE STUDY The study is intended to consist of three parts: Part 1 – Introduction: give reasons for choosing the thesis, objects, aims and scope of the study as well as the methodology of the study. Part 2 – Development: will be divided into three chapters: Chapter 1: Literature Review focus on some definitions of presentation, types of presentation. Some factors that prevent students from presenting a topic and communicative classroom activities are also mentioned as the basis of the thesis. Finally, the thesis discuss the important of integrating skills, the relation between presentation and other skills including reading, writing and listening. Chapter 2: The study gives the data analysis from the survey of 10 teachers of English and 100 students at Marie Curie High school to make the foundation for the activities in chapter 3. Chapter 3: indicates some typical activities and practical tips for teacher to stimulate 10-form students’ presentation in an English speaking lesson and examples for illustration. Part 3 – Conclusion: summarizes the study, limitations of the study and suggestions for further study. PART II: DEVELOPMENT CHAPTER I: LITERATURE REVIEW 1.1. SOME DEFINITIONS Presentation is generally defined in different dictionaries is to show and to explain the content of a topic to an audience or to audiences. According to Wikipedia – The Free Encyclopedia, presentation is the process of showing and explaining the content of a topic to an audience. The same definition is also recognized by Longman Language Activator (1998: 1017) – To present is to be the person who tells the people watching or listening about the different things what will happen or are happening. For 10-form students, presentation is simplified and limited in a given topic. In a typical 10-form English speaking lesson, students are asked to make small presentations based on a given topic. The lesson is normally built up with three tasks: Task 1: Students practice sample dialogues to have a general understanding about the topic; Task 2: Students participate in group discussion, in which students express their ideas and get to know the others’ ideas on the given topic. Task 3: From the ideas collected from discussion task, students integrate the ideas to make a presentation. This presentation will be presented by a student on behalf of his/her group. 1.2. FACTORS PREVENT STUDENTS FROM PRESENTING A TOPIC 1.2.1. Factors of Foreign Language Anxiety Anxiety has been found to interfere with many types of learning but when it is associated with learning a second or foreign language, it is termed as ‘second/foreign language anxiety’. It is a complex and multidimensional phenomenon (Young, 1991) and can be defined as a subjective feeling of tension, apprehension, nervousness, and worry associated with an arousal of the automatic nervous system. Is has been found that the feeling of tension and nervousness center on two basic task requirement of foreign language learning: listening and speaking because both the skills can not be separated. According to Horwitz et al. (1986: 127), there are three related performance anxieties: (1) communication apprehension (CA); (2) test anxiety; (3) fear of negative evaluation. Due to its emphasis on interaction, the construct of communication apprehension is also relevant to the conceptualization of foreign language anxiety (McCroskey, 1977). The description of these components will lay the foundations for the concept of second/foreign language anxiety, providing an insight to comprehend the sources or causes it can originate from. Communicative Apprehension (CA) The speaking skill is so central to our thinking about language learning that when we refer to speaking a language we often mean knowing a language. MacIntyre and Garder (1991) points out that the skill which produces most anxiety is speaking. This anxiety comes in part from a lack of confidence in our general linguistic knowledge but if only this factor were involved, all skills would be affected equally. What distinguishes speaking is the public nature of the skill, the embarrassment suffered from exposing our language imperfections in front of others. One of the most studied topics in the field of speech communication is the tendency on the part of some people to avoid, and even, fear, communicating orally. Horwitz et al. (1986: 128) define communication apprehension (CA) as “a type of shyness characterized by fear or anxiety about communicating with people”. Communication anxiety may be specific to just a few settings (e.g., public speaking) or may exist in most everyday communication situations, or may even be part of a general anxiety trait that arises in many facets of an individual’s life (Fiedman, 1980). Learners’ personality traits such as shyness, quietness, and reticence are considered to frequently precipitate CA. These feelings of shyness vary greatly from individual to individual, and from situation to situation. McCroskey and Bond (1980) found seven factors that could result in a quiet child (this can equally offer explanation of adult CA); (1) low intellectual skills, (2) speech skill deficiencies, (3) voluntary social introversion, (4) social alienation, (5) communication anxiety, (6) low social self-esteem, (7) ethnic/cultural divergence in communication norms. While communication apprehension is one of these factors, the others can lead to communication apprehension. Communication apprehension obviously plays a large role in second/foreign language anxiety. People who are apprehensive speaking groups are likely to be ever in more trouble when doing so in a second/foreign language class, where in addition to feeling less in control of the communicative situation, they also may feel that their attempts at oral work are constantly being monitored. This apprehension is explained in relation to the learner’s negative self-perceptions caused by the inability to understand others and make himself understood. McCroskey (in Apaibanditkul, 2006: 4) labels this kind of apprehension – which Neer refers to as “apprehension about classroom participation” – as classroom communication apprehension. Test anxiety An understanding of test anxiety is also important to the discussion of foreign language anxiety. Text anxiety, as explained by Horwitz et al. (1986), refers to a type of anxiety stemming from a fear of failure. Test anxiety is quite common in language classroom at any levels. Unfortunately, for highly anxious students, second/foreign languages, more than any other academic subject, require continual evaluation by the teacher – the only fluent speaker in the class. It is also important to note that oral testing has the potential to provoke both test and oral communication anxiety. Fear of Negative Evaluation Fear of negative evaluation is an extension of the second component (test anxiety) of second/foreign language anxiety because it is not limited to test-taking situations; rather, it may occur in any social, evaluative situation, such as interviewing for a job or speaking in second/foreign language class. It is also broader in the sense that it pertains not only to the teacher’s evaluation of the students but also to the perceived reaction of other students as well. Besides, students, when making presentations, may be anxious due to their in sufficient background knowledge on the topic discussed. In spite communication apprehension, test anxiety, and fear of negative evaluation provide useful conceptual building blocks for a description of second/foreign language anxiety, it is more than just the conglomeration of these three components. We conceive foreign language anxiety as a distinct complex of self-perception, beliefs, feelings, and behaviors related to classroom language learning arising from the uniqueness of the language learning process. What makes language learning a distinct and unique process is its interaction with the concept of ‘self’. 1.2.2. Factors associated with Learner’s own sense of ‘self’ and ‘language classroom environment’ As mentioned above, the language anxiety is related to three components. All the three components are strongly linked with learners’ sense of ‘self’, as it is learners’ ‘self’ which is at risk of failure or being negatively evaluated in any test-like situation or a situation which requires communication in front of others. This risk to one’s sense of ‘self’ frequently occurs in a L2/FL classroom. This section reviews literature on language anxiety related to learners’ sense of ‘self’ and ‘language classroom environment’. Self perceptions According to Horwitz et al. (1986: 128), perhaps no other field of study poses as much of a threat to self-concept as language study does. They believe that any performance in L2 in likely to challenge an individual’s self-concept as a competent communicator, which may lead to embarrassment. Laine (1987: 15) indicates that self-concept is the totality of an individual’s thoughts, perceptions, beliefs, attitudes and values having reference to himself as object. This self-concept forms the basis of the distinction between language anxiety and other forms of academic anxieties. The importance of the disparity between the ‘true’ or ‘actual’ self as known to the language learner and the more limited self as can be presented at any given moment in the foreign language would seem to distinguish foreign language anxiety from other academic anxieties such as those associated with mathematics or science. Learners’ belief about language learning As language learning poses a threat to learners’ self-concept, in response learners may generate some particular beliefs about language learning and its use. Certain beliefs about language learning also contribute to the student’s tension and frustration in the class. For example, the followings are such reported beliefs: “I just know I have some kind of disability: I can’t learn a foreign language no matter how hard I try.” (Horwitz et al. 1986: 123). “Russian is too hard. I’ll never be able to learn Russian enough to go to Russia and talk to people”. (Tittle, 1997: 15) Such beliefs have been found to cast a considerable influence upon the ultimate achievement and performance in the target language. In Ohata (2005: 138), a number of beliefs derived from learner’s irrational and unrealistic conceptions about language learning, such as 1) Some students believe that accuracy must be sought before saying anything in the foreign language, 2) Some attach great importance t
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