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A study on students english language learning style preferences at do luong 2 high school, do luong district, nghe an province

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VIETNAM NATIONAL UNIVERSITY, HANOI
UNIVERSITY OF LANGUAGES AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES
FACULTY of POST-GRADUATE STUDIES

------------------------------------LÊ SA

A STUDY ON STUDENTS’ ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNING
STYLE PREFERENCES AT DO LUONG 2 HIGH SCHOOL, DO
LUONG DISTRICT, NGHE AN PROVINCE
( Nghiên cứu phương pháp học tiếng anh ưa thích của học sinh trường
Đô Lương 2, huyện Đô Lương, tỉnh Nghệ An)

M.A. MINOR PROGRAMME THESIS

Field: English Teaching Methodology
Code: 60.14.10

Hanoi-2010



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VIETNAM NATIONAL UNIVERSITY, HANOI
UNIVERSITY OF LANGUAGES AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES
FACULTY of POST-GRADUATE STUDIES

-------------------LÊ SA

A STUDY ON STUDENTS’ ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNING
STYLE PREFERENCES AT DO LUONG 2 HIGH SCHOOL, DO
LUONG DISTRICT, NGHE AN PROVINCE
( Nghiên cứu phương pháp học tiếng anh ưa thích của học sinh trường
Đô Lương 2, huyện Đô Lương, tỉnh Nghệ An)

M.A. MINOR PROGRAMME THESIS

Field: English Teaching Methodology
Code: 60.14.10
Supervisor: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ngô Đình Phương

Hanoi-2010


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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Declaration

i

Abstract

ii

Acknowledgements

iii

List of table contents



iv

List of tables

vii

PART A: INTRODUCTION
I.1. Rationale....................................................................................................................... 1
I.2. Aims of the study......................................................................................................... 2
I.3. Research questions........................................................................................................ 2
I.4. Scope of the study......................................................................................................... 2
I.5. Significance of the study.............................................................................................. 3
I.6. Design of the study...................................................................................................... 3
PART B: DEVELOPMENT
Chapter 1. Literature Review...................................................................................

5

1.1. Definition of learning styles...........................................................................

5

1.2. Classification of learning styles.....................................................................

5

1.2.1. Perceptual learning styles................................................................ 6
1.2.2. Cognitive learning styles...............................................................

7

1.2.3. Active and reflective learners........................................................

7

1.3. The importance of understanding students‟ learning styles...........................

7

1.4. Mismatches between Teachers' and Students' perceptions of learning
activities…………………………………………………………..................

9

1.5. The need to study students‟ learning styles and meet students‟ needs and
demands.........................................................................................................

10


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Chapter 2. Research Methodology
2.1 Setting of the study....................................................................................... 12
2.2 Participants...................................................................................................

12

2.2.1 Students..................................................................................................

12

2.2.2 Teachers................................................................................................

13

2.3 Data Instruments..........................................................................................

13

2.4 Data collection procedure............................................................................

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Chapter 3. Data Analysis
3.1 Students‟ interest in learning English.....................................................

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3.2 The way of learning in class.............................................................

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3.3. Preferences of learning items...............................................................

17

3.4. Preferences of teaching methodologies...................................................

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3.5. Teachers‟ methodologies often used in English class.......................

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3.6. The importance of learning styles....................................................

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3.7. Class activities................................................................................

21

3.7.1. Students‟ opinions about their useful activities.......................

22

3.7.2. The activities students like using in English class.......................

22

3.7.3. Students‟ favorite activities in class............................................

22

3.8. Teaching aids.....................................................................................

23

3.9. Error correction...................................................................................

24

3.10. Studying at home..............................................................................

26

3.11. Improvement......................................................................................

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PART C: CONCLUSION
1. Conclusions……………………………………………………………………29
2. Suggested teaching and leaning activities for different learning styles………30
2.1 Suggested teaching activities………………………………………………30
2.2 Suggested leaning activities ………………………………………………34
3. Limitations of the study....................................................................................36
4. Suggestions for further studies........................................................................ 37
REFERENCES………………………………………………………………………… 38


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APPENDIXES
Appendix 1: Survey questionnaire for students
Appendix 2: Survey questionnaire for teachers
Appendix 3: Written test set by the teachers


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LIST OF TABLES

Table 1: Students and their interest in learning English…………………………………16
Table 2: Students‟ and Teachers‟ view on learning individually or in groups…………...17
Table 3: Students‟ and Teachers‟ preferences in learning items…………………………18
Table 4: Students‟ and Teachers‟ preferences of teaching methodologies……………….18
Table 5: The frequency degree of teachers using activities in class………………………19
Table 6: Students‟ and Teachers‟ opinion about the importance of learning styles………20
Table 7: Students‟ and Teachers‟ opinion about useful activities…………………………21
Table 8: The activities students like using in English class……………………………….22
Table 9: Students‟ and Teachers‟ favorite activities in class….…………………………..23
Table 10: Students‟ and Teachers‟ opinion in using teaching aids………………………..24
Table 11: Students‟ and Teachers‟ view on being corrected immediately or later………..24
Table 12: Students‟ and Teachers‟ thought in correcting errors..…………………………25
Table 13: Students‟ and Teachers‟ view on studying at home….…………………………26
Table 14: Students‟ and Teachers‟ view on improvement………………………………...27
Table 15: Students‟ written tasks‟ marks from the teachers………………………………28


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PART A: INTRODUCTION

1. Rationale
Since the end of the 20th century, communicative language teaching has been central
in the agenda of second and foreign language teaching. It has become the order of the day
to curriculum developers and English language teachers around the world. Although
Vietnam accepted communicative language teaching a little bit later than many other
countries, the principles of communicative language teaching have been used as the
foundation of the curriculum development and pre-service and in-service teacher training
programs.
Many researchers and scholars have proposed that second or foreign language
teaching should emphasize the development of communicative skills rather than just
linguistic competence, i.e. grammar. In order to find out the suitable content and
appropriate teaching strategies, teachers have to meet learners‟ demands and needs first.
However, many teachers seem to be unaware of their students‟ learning styles to find the
suitable teaching methods for different kinds of learners. Each learner has his own way of
receiving and processing information and knowledge. Some learn from seeing and hearing,
some learn from reflecting and acting; reasoning logically and intuitively; memorizing and
visualizing (Felder, 1995). Similarly, teachers do not follow the same method teaching, or
if they do the way they implement that teaching method in the classroom is quite different.
As Felder (1995: 21) noted that “teaching methods also vary. Some instructors lecture,
others demonstrate or discuss; some focus on rules and others on examples…”
Since teachers ignore or pay little attention to their students‟ learning styles, some
still use the same method of teaching to teach different learners, serious mismatches may
occur with some unfortunate consequences such as bored and inattentive and even
discouraged learners; unresponsive or hostile classes. Then teachers may have critical
attitude towards their learners.


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2. Aims of the study
This study is aimed to find out the students' learning style preferences and the
teachers' teaching styles at Do Luong 2 high school, Do Luong district, Nghe An province.
To be more specific, the major aims of the study are as follows:


To aim at investigating students' learning style preferences at Do Luong 2 high
school.



To find out the extent of the teacher‟s awareness of their learning style preferences
through a set of questionnaires.



To examine the extent of students‟ improvement after teachers focus on learners‟
learning styles and adjust teaching accordingly.



To make suggestions on how to satisfy students‟ learning styles better in classroom.

3. Research questions
The study is aimed at investigating learning style preferences of the students at Do
Luong 2 High School and the extent of the teacher‟s awareness of them and the extent of
improvement after teachers are awareness of their learner‟s learning styles. The study is
carried out to find answers to the following the questions:
1) What are the learning styles preferences of the students at Do Luong 2 high
school?
2) What is the gap between students‟ learning styles and teachers‟ teaching styles in
our school, if any?
3) How to narrow the gap between teaching and learning so as to bring about
students‟ expected learning outcomes?
4. Scope of the study
The main focus of the study is on the investigation of the students‟ learning styles
at Do Luong 2 school and the importance of learning styles. Particularly, this minor thesis
only refers to the categorization of the students' learning styles in our school; finger out the
gaps between students' learning styles and teachers' awareness and provide some
techniques for different learning styles.


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5. Significance of the study
Oxford (2003) emphasized that learning styles and strategies of individual
students can work together or conflict with a given instructional methodology. If there is a
harmony between them, then the students are likely to perform well, feel confident and
experience low anxiety. If classes happen, serious breakdowns in teacher-student
interaction will exist. These conflicts even result in the dispirited student‟ rejection of the
teaching methodology, the teacher, and the subject matter. Therefore, finding out the
learners‟ learning styles is a crucial step to help the teachers choose the suitable teaching
method for them.
The results from this study will help to provide an overview of students‟ learning
style preferences at Do Luong 2 school. The study also finds out the extent of the gap
between students‟ learning styles and teachers‟ awareness of them. Importantly, the study
shows that when the teachers are aware of their students‟ learning styles, there can be great
improvement in their students‟ language proficiency. Students not only have positive
attitudes towards learning, but also towards the teacher and the subject since the teachers
find out the best teaching methods for them, and create the interesting and attractive
learning atmosphere with many practical and effective lessons. Suggested teaching
activities can be drawn out for language teachers in general and teachers in the similar
teaching context in particular.
6. Design of the study
The thesis includes three main parts:
Part I is Introduction, which states the rationale, aims, research questions, scope,
significance and design of the thesis.
Part II consists of three chapters:
Chapter 1 reviews the literature relevant

to the topic of research, deals with

definition of learning styles, classification of learning styles, the importance of
understanding students‟ learning styles, Mismatches between Teachers‟ and Students‟
Perceptions of learning activities and the need to study students‟ learning styles and meet
students‟ needs and demands.


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Chapter 2 presents the research methodology of the study. It provides information
about the setting of the study, participants, data collection instruments and data collect
procedure.
Chapter 3 is the main part of the study whose major findings are revealed and
discussed
Part III is conclusion that presents some conclusions, suggested teaching and learning
activities for different learning styles, limitations and suggestions for further studies.


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PART B: DEVELOPMENT
CHAPTER 1. LITERATURE REVIEW
This chapter briefly presents the definition of learning styles, the classification of
learning styles, the importance of understanding students‟ learning styles, mismatches
between teachers‟ and students‟ perceptions of learning activities and the need to study
students‟ learning styles and meet students‟ needs and demands.
1.1 Definition of learning style
As early as fifty years ago, Lewenfeld (1945) researched visual versus haptic
preferences, but the concept of learning style has not been well explored at present. There
is confusion that comes from a wide variation in the scale and scope of learning, school
achievement, and other behavior predicted by the various learning style terms (Nel, 2008).
Learning style can be defined as “learners’ consistent ways of responding to and using
stimuli in the context of learning” (Claxton and Ralston, 1978: 7). According to Light
Brown and Spada (1995) describes it as “learners’ natural, habitual, and preferred ways of
absorbing, processing, and retaining new information and skills which persist regardless
of teaching methods or content area.”
Curry (1983) employs a metaphorical onion with its multiple layers to decide an
individual‟s preferences (i.e., instructional and environmental preferences, information
processing preferences of the learner, and the individual‟s personality dimension). Reid
(1987) identified four basic perceptual style preferences: visual (for instance reading,
charts), auditory (for instance lectures, tapes), kinesthetic (like physical activity), and
tactile (for instance building models or doing laboratory experiments).
1.2 Classification of the learning style
According to Light Brown and Spada (1999, cited in Nguyễn Thị Vân Lam and
Ngô Đình Phương), they classify learning styles into 2 major categories: Perceptual and


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cognitive learning styles. According to this definition, other learning styles categorized by
M Felder (1995) seemed to belong to this list, however, the researcher wants to add one
more styles of learners: active and reflective learners.
1.2.1 Perceptual learning styles
In the first category which is based on perception, there are different subcategories which are visual learners, auditory learners, kinesthetic learners, tactile learners
and haptic learners.
Visual learners:

DVC website online emphasizes that with this kind of learning

style, you learn best when information is presented visually and in a written language
format. Hence, visual learners learn more effectively through images, colors and maps.
When seeing something, they can learn better. Therefore, when they want to remember
something, they often visualize a picture of it in their mind.
Auditory learners: Auditory learners prefer learning in a situation when information
is presented auditory in an oral language format. These kinds of learners are interested in
learning through ears because they have good sense of pitch and rhythm. Therefore, when
trying to remember something, they can often "hear" the way someone told them the
information, or the way them previously repeated it out loud. Interacting with others in a
listening/speaking exchange helps them learn better.
Kinesthetic learners: Kinesthetic learners learn more effectively through concrete
body experience or body movement. They often use their body and sense of touch to
explore the world around.
Tactile learners: Tactile learners learn best from touching. They are interested in
learning through experiencing or doing something. They like experiencing the world and
acting out events. For instance, when trying to remember a phone number, they may
remember the pattern of their fingers as pressing the numbers.
Haptic learners: they are among those who learn through touch and body
movement, a combination of tactile and kinesthetic styles. They are successful in learning
tasks requiring manipulation.


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1.2.2 Cognitive learning styles
In cognitive learning styles, Light Brown and Spada (1999) divide them into two
categories: field- independent learners and field- dependent learners.
Field- independent learners: They are more analytical, they can pick out hidden
figures in a complicated drawing more quickly. They tend to perceive elements
independently of a context or field and focus on details.
Field-dependent learners: These kinds of learners are more relational and more
inclined to see the whole drawing and they seem to have difficulties in separating it into
parts. They tend to perceive the whole field or situation and focus on general meaning.
1.2.3 Active and reflective learners
Felder (1995) emphasized that active learners learn well in situations that enable
them to do something physical and reflective learners learn well in situations that provide
them with opportunities to think about the information being presented. The more
opportunities students have to both participate and reflect in class, the better they will learn
new material and the longer they are likely to retain it (KoIb, 1984; McCarthy, 1987).
According to him, active learner is someone with more of a natural tendency towards
active experimentation than toward reflective observation of a reflective learner.
1.3 The importance of understanding students’ learning style
In order to realise the importance in understanding students‟ learning styles, and
also to accommodate for different learning styles in the classrooms, students should
complete a learning style instrument early in the course. This would enable students to
realise their own learning style as well as those of their classmates. Teachers should be
aware that students learn differently, which should make them aware that they have to
approach teaching from different perspectives. Teaching and learning styles should be of
the greatest interest to educators, particularly the relationship between the two.
However, one of the weaknesses of learning style research is the lack of
investigation into the matching of teaching and learning styles. Theoretically, many


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variables exist in educational literature reviews, but very few researchers deal with the
matching of teaching and learning styles. Peacock (2001) is one of the significant and
influential researchers who investigated the matching of teaching and learning styles in real
settings. He concluded that serious disparities exist between the LS of the students and the
teaching styles of the teachers. Matching teaching and learning in the classroom means that
instructors should try to accommodate the different learning styles of students. Some
researchers investigated teachers as well as administrators in the schools, as the two are
closely related, interdependent, and influence students‟ success. Adaptability to different
learning styles plays a key role in students‟ academic achievement. Researchers who
investigated the teaching styles of the teachers affirmed that the teachers could influence
students‟ achievement by employing different ways of presenting the information. Such
studies have indicated the need to match the teaching styles of the teachers and the learning
styles of students in order to increase competency in both teaching and learning.
In order to satisfy expectations, teachers tend to shift from their natural teaching
practices to the practices the administration expects of them. Teaching and learning are
active processes that go hand in hand, while lecturers and learners are interdependent of
one another. If this concept is realized, teachers would be able to enhance their
effectiveness and enable students to achieve their full potential (Forest, 2004).
Investigation into the teaching styles asserts that the disparity between teaching and
learning is continuous, and that this largely influences students‟ attitude and motivation.
Disparity in teaching and learning styles is the root of the problems that many students face.
According to a few researches, teachers have been neglecting the cornerstone of
why students fail, resist, or refuse to learn. Although the lecturers‟ actions may be
unintentional, teachers have to start looking into the main causes for the students‟ failure,
resistance, and refusal in order to avoid such occurrences. Students who are unable to
achieve in the way that is expected become less motivated and less persistent. Investigation
into what works best for each student is unavoidable, and consequently, carrying out the
findings of the investigations will lead to students‟ success. Designing course material
based upon the students‟ preference towards certain learning styles would enable students
to overcome difficulties that may arise when facing problems related to the learning styles.
Once students‟ learning styles are determined, teachers will have a clear picture of how to
design the courses. When designing a course, educators must pay attention to students‟


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needs. In the ESL context, teachers should use a variety of new materials to which students
can relate in terms of their personal experiences.
Teachers should make use of visual aids such as photographs, drawings, sketches,
and cartoons to illustrate and reinforce meaning of the new vocabulary. In order to
illustrate textual lessons, teachers should show films and live dramatisation. This approach
will assist visual learners and motivate them. In order to reinforce the learning of grammar
and vocabulary, teachers should assign some repetitive drills and exercises. Teachers
should not always lecture and write upon the board, but they should allow students to think
about what they have been told and allow students be involved in class activities and
hands-on exercises. This will enable students who are prone to kinesthetic or tactile
learning to learn and acquire the English language without less difficulty. Teachers should
give students the option of cooperating on some homework assignments. Group learners
learn best when they work with a few of their classmates. This will give them the
opportunity to express themselves in the area they learn best. Likewise, teachers should
facilitate those students who learn best on their own. They should assign individual home
exercises or individual in-class grammar exercises.
1.4 Mismatches between Teachers’ and Students’ Perceptions of Learning Activities
One of the main requirements of learner-centered language teaching is to
understand the learners‟ needs and expectations as well as their learning preferences. Also,
teachers and students may not perceive of the same activity in a similar manner. By
contrast, mismatches in their opinions or perception are always in existence. According to
Riazi and Riasati (2007, cited in Nga Thai (2009)), various studies have shown that
students‟ perceptions and opinions mismatched with those of teachers which lead to
learning failure, frustration and de-motivation. This can be seen clearly from the results of
their study in terms of studying styles and Hue‟s study in 2004. Although students hated
working individually, learning new words through translation or looking up new words in a
dictionary, or focusing on only receptive skills, teachers did not recognize this. They still
did not change their teaching method in the way such as creating context for students to
guess the new words, using words in a sentence, or creating chance for their students to
talk and discuss with other learners. Therefore, Riazi and Riasati (2007) concluded that to


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improve learners‟ learning outcome, teachers should encourage students to work in groups
or pairs instead of working individually, and prepare the lessons and words in a context
that is easy for learners to guess the meaning so that learners‟ receptive and productive
skills are both developed.
The serious clash also happened in Hue‟s study (2004) in which although both
learners and teachers recognized the importance of grammar and they were quite sure
about their grammar knowledge, the learning atmosphere was not very good. Students felt
bored and dissatisfied because teacher‟s explanation was so monotonous and repetitive.
Thus, they were less active and enthusiastic in the language learning lesson. Savigon
(2001) suggested that teachers should not consider their learners the vase, and pour the
knowledge into their head.
The mismatch between the students‟ perceptions and those of teachers can also be
seen clearly from Spratt's study in 1999. Teachers‟ awareness of learners‟ preferences
corresponded in only 50% cases with learners‟ actual ones. Therefore, it is really important
to narrow the gap between teacher‟s awareness and their learners‟ needs and learning
styles. This will improve learning outcomes, create a good learning and teaching
environment, and create a good relationship between teachers and learners.
Although some similar studies have been done in some settings, in Vietnam
context in general and in Nghe An in particular, they have not been done. So, this study
will be carried out to obtain the above goals and objectives for both teachers and learners‟
sakes.
1.5 The need to study students’ learning styles and meet students’ needs and demands
Meeting learner‟s needs to improve the effectiveness in learning and teaching
languages in general and English in particular is really important. Knowing our students‟
learning styles is vital in choosing what teaching methodology is most effective and
suitable for our students. Dunn and Griggs (1988) emphasize that “learning style is the
biological and developmentally set of characteristics that make the same teaching method
wonderful for some and terrible for other.”
Therefore, finding out what our students‟ learning styles play an undeniable role in
determining what learning strategies are needed to improve learners‟ language learning


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skills. Oxford (2003) points out that if there is a harmony happening between learning
styles and learning strategies and the combination of instructional methodology and
materials, the students then can perform really well since they feel confident enough with
love anxiety. However, if there is clashes among them can lead to serious breakdowns in
teacher-student interaction, resulting in students‟ outright rejection of the teaching
methodology. Thus, the teacher‟s duties are not only preparing materials, working out
lesson plan with many appropriate teaching activities but also helping students develop “an
awareness of learning strategies and enable them to use a wide range of appropriate
strategies since students are not always aware of the power of consciously using L2
learning strategies for making learning quicker and more effective.” ( Nykios and Oxford,
1993).
In summary, chapter 1 has presented some theoretical background knowledge related to
the topic of the study. It has discussed some concepts and ideas concerning to the issue of
learning styles in general and learning styles in L2 study in particular. Besides, the
importance of understanding students’ learning style, mismatches between teachers’ and
students’ perceptions of learning activities and the need to study students’ learning styles
and meet students’ needs and demands were also discussed. The following chapter will
display the detailed description of the methodology, the procedures of the study.


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CHAPTER 2. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
In this chapter, the writer provides some information about the basic settings for
the study. The participants, the data collection instruments and the data collection
procedure are also presented here
2.1 Setting of the study
The study was carried out at Do Luong 2 high school, Nghe An during the second
term of the school year 2009 – 2010. The school, which is located in remote area in Do
Luong District of Nghe An province, consists of eighty – six teachers and twenty - eight
classes with more than 1,300 students in the school year. There are nine teachers of
English, most of them are still young and responsible for their teaching. There are three
grades 10, 11 and 12 with 32 classes in Do Luong High School in the school year 2009 –
2010. All of the students are studying the new English textbooks. Because of living in
remote area, the students here often lack of proper teaching and learning materials when
they were at primary and secondary schools. Teachers of the schools have to work harder
than their colleagues at other upper secondary schools in the province to help their students
study effectively, because their students are struggling to catch up with general knowledge
of most subjects.
English here is one of the compulsory subjects. The students study English in order to
pass the examinations and some students like learning English and want to use it in the
future. Therefore, in order to know what English learning style preferences students are
and how to improve them in learning English are not easy for the teachers.
2.2 Participants
2.2.1 Students
Most of students of the school live in remote areas of Do Luong district. Their
living condition as well as learning condition is not better than other students in the centre
of Do Luong district. Most their entrance marks are very low, their knowledge is really at
the medium level.


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English is not their main concern, thus no students pay attention to it before
coming into high school. Many students prefer natural subjects to social ones. Each class
average has only four or six good students at English. The others know a little or nothing
about English. Some students used to be good at English but they ignore it when coming
into high school because of some subjective and objective reasons. They learn English
whenever they like and their main purposes are only to pass the examinations.
In order to get information to fulfill the aims of the study, two survey
questionnaires are designed. The questionnaire was administered to 286 students of grades
12 at the school. Their ages vary from 17 to 19. There time of length of English learning is
different: 90% started learning English at grade 6; only 10% started at grade 10.
2.2.2 Teachers
There are nine teachers at Do Luong high school, two of them are on maternal
leave, so only seven teachers who were teaching at the school were invited to join the
study. Their ages range between late-twenties and forty- five years old. The length of
teaching English is also different, minimum level of four years and maximum of more than
twenty years. Five of them have got the University Bachelor‟ Degree in English, one
finished the in-service training course in English seven years ago because he used to be a
teacher of Russian and one has M.A degree and one is doing M.A course. As rural
teachers, they have few opportunities to upgrade their teaching and do not have a lot of
teaching facilities and materials to help their work. Despite all these disadvantages, they
are helpful, friendly and dedicated teachers. Most of them want to devote their whole lives
for teaching. They all have a great desire to acquire knowledge of how to teach English
well. Also, they are always willing to help their students tackle with difficulties in learning
2.3 Data Instruments
There is a variety of methods that can be employed to collect data such as:
questionnaire, interviews, meeting, tests, observation, ect. Each method has its own
advantages and disadvantages. The researcher chose questionnaire because it is one of the
most popular instruments. It is quite easy to prepare and it can be used with a large number


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of subjects. What is more, the information collected is not very difficult to tabulate and to
analyze (Brown, 1995). Hence survey questionnaire was chosen to collect what the
students‟ learning styles and what the teachers‟ teaching styles are. The teachers and
students would have opportunities to reflect on their experiences of teaching and learning
English. The information, therefore, would be more detailed and more accurate.
Questionnaires
This instrument used in this study was the questionnaire, which was adopted from
Nunan, D. (1989) and Brindley (1984). It consisted of two sets of questionnaire, the
teacher questionnaire and the student questionnaire, with both close-ended and open-ended
items. The purpose of the questionnaire was to investigate students‟ learning styles
preferences and the teachers‟ opinions of those learning styles preferences. Respondents
answered the questionnaire items by circling Yes/No or writing down their answers if they
were different from the given ones. For each question, respondents were provided space
and were encouraged to give their own answers if they were different from the given ones.
As can be seen, responses from the questionnaire did not only reflect generalized
statements about the style used (Cohen, 1998). Respondents could give their own ideas
instead of choosing among the limited provided options. Therefore, respondents had more
chances to be more accurate about their actual preferred language learning styles.
Questionnaires which are administered to seven teachers and 286 students at the
end of March and at the beginning of April.
* The questionnaire completed by the students
The questionnaire consists of fifteen questions, which are categorized into 12 parts.
The questionnaires were delivered to 286 students at Do Luong 2 high school at the
beginning of the class time so that they could complete it during the breaks and then, were
collected by the monitors of the classes. The numbers of collected surveys were used for
analysis.
* The questionnaire completed by the teachers
The questionnaire designed for the teachers‟ aims at finding out the teachers‟
teaching styles in the English classes, the differences between students‟ learning styles and


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teachers‟ teaching styles in order to fill in the gaps between them. The questionnaires for
teachers were given to 7 teachers during the breaks of the lessons and collected by the
researcher. The number of collected surveys was 7 and all used for analysis.
The researcher believes that from the information obtained, some useful suggestions
could be made to minimize the difficulties encountered and thus improve the teaching and
learning English at Do Luong 2 high school.
2.4 Data collection procedure
- The questionnaires were given to pupils of the twelve grade groups at Do Luong 2
high school. This was done at the end of March 2010.
- The set of questionnaire for teachers was delivered at the beginning of April, 2010
- The written test set by the teachers was carried out at the end of May.
In summary, the second chapter has presented the methodology, the procedures of the
study. The following chapter will display the results of the study under the light of the
above discussed theories.


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CHAPTER 3. DATA ANALYSIS

This section deals with the data collected from a survey on both the teachers
and students concerning the students‟ learning style preferences and the teachers‟ teaching
styles. The data on such criteria as the way of learning, preferences of learning items,
preferences of teaching methodologies, the frequency degree of teacher‟s using activities,
the importance of learning styles, class activities, teaching aids, studying at home, error
correction, and improvement are discussed.
3.1 Students' interest in learning English
According to the first and the second questions in the questionnaire, the statistics
shows that most of the students started learning English when they were in grade 6.
Therefore, they have been learning English for 6 years until now. Classes 12A1, 12A2 and
12A3 are the three best classes in learning English of grade 12. Although they are not
specialized in English, and their majors are Math, Physics, Chemistry and Biology, they
are mostly interested in learning English. Other three classes (12A8, 12A9 and 12A10) are
not three best classes in learning English. Many of them like learning English and some
focus on the other subjects. Some do not like to learn English. They must study it only to
pass the examinations. In summary, there are 74.12% students who are interested in
learning English and only a small number of students do not enjoy learning English
(25.87%).

Question

Choices

Students

Percentage

Yes

212

74.12%

No

74

25.87%

Table 1: Students and their interest in learning English


26

3.2 The way of learning in class
Question

Students

Percentage

Teachers

Percentage

Individually?

81

28.32%

5

71.43%

In pairs, in small groups, in one large

205

71.68%

2

28.57%

group?
Table 2: Students' and teachers' view on learning individually or in groups
According to the above table, teachers and students respond to the ways of learning
in class. In this question, students were asked if they liked to learn individually, in pairs, in
a small group or in a large group. The results from the table 1 revealed students‟ learning
mode in class. Almost 28.32% of all the respondents did not like learning individually
while most of the students really liked learning in pairs, in small groups or in a large group.
On the other hand, from the table it can be seen that there were big differences between
teachers and students. 71.43% of the teachers thought their students preferred to learn
individually. Only 28.57% of the teachers thought the students liked to learn in a small
groups or a large group. This reason could be the teachers generally believed that students
did not like to have interaction with their classmates and form groups.
In short, evidently, teachers were not aware that their students did not prefer
individual study and liked to work in other ways such as in pairs, in groups. Instead, they
thought their students preferred to work by themselves independently of their peers. In
other words, there seemed to be disagreement between students and teachers with respect
to this issue.
3.3 Preferences of learning items
The learning item I like is:

Students

Percentage Teachers

Percentage

to study grammar.

69/286

24.12%

4

57.14%

to learn many new words.

73/286

25.52%

1

14.28%

and

71/286

24.82%

0

0%

to learn English words by seeing them.

134/286

46.85%

3

42.86%

to

practice

the

sounds

pronunciation.


27

to learn English words by hearing

45/286

15.73%

2

28.57%

246/286

86.01%

5

74.43%

0

0%

0

0%

them.
to learn English words by doing
something.
others

Table 3: Teachers’ and students’ preferences in learning items
This question finds the preferences of learning items. As can be seen from the
table, most of the students (86.01%) liked learning by doing hands on activity (kinesthetic).
46.85% of the students liked learning English by seeing them (visual). However, many of
them did not like studying grammar, learning English words by hearing them and
practicing the sounds and pronunciation (15.73% to 24.12% respectively). In this term,
teachers also thought the same with the students.
3.4 Preferences of teaching methodologies
Question

Students

Percentage

53/286

18.53%

2/7

28.57%

31/286

10.84%

0

0%

C. Listening and taking notes

34/286

11.89%

1/7

14.28%

D. Games

192/286

67.13%

5/7

71.43%

E. Conversations

21/286

7.34%

4/7

57.14%

F. Pictures, films, and videos.

178/286

62.24%

6/7

85.71%

G. Copying from the board

67/286

23.43%

7/7

100%

A. Reading
B.Listening

to

and

use

Teachers

Percentage

cassettes, or CDs

Table 4: Teachers' and students' preferences of teaching methodologies
Teaching methodologies play a very important role in perceiving and processing
information. As is shown from the table above, most of teachers in Vietnam use
chalkboard to present their lesson. Teachers think that copying from the board is really
important, which can help students revise the lesson easily. They usually require their
students to copy things from the board. Checking notes in their notebooks is to make sure
that they have noted the things they are asked.


28

As can be seen from the table, it is not expected by the teachers, they preferred more
creative way of learning to this passive way of learning, so only 23.43% students like
learning by copying from the board while 100% teachers thought they preferred this to
others. Many students liked to learn by games and 71.43% of the teachers considered
playing games are their preferences in learning English. More than half of the respondents
(67.13%) preferred learning by games and 71.43% of the teachers knew this. 62.24% of the
students liked learning with pictures, films, and videos. The reason may be that they favor
teaching methodologies that involve both visual and auditory senses in addition to
interesting stories. Listening to and use cassettes, or CDs and listening and taking notes are
not interesting for students (10.84% to 11.89% respectively). Conversations was the least
favorable to the students (7.34%) whereas 57.14% of the teachers thought that their
students liked learning by conversation. The reason could be this kind of activity requires
more interaction and effort from students.
3.5 The frequency degree of teacher's using activities in class
Activity
A. using English songs, music
B. using maps, wall-chairs, diagrams
C. using role-play

always

often

sometimes

seldom

0

11

46

229

(0%)

(3.85%)

(16.08%)

(80.07%)

0

0

31

247

(0%)

(0%)

(10.84%)

(86.36%)

87

137

62

0

(21.68%)

(0%)

75

33

(26.22%)

(11.54%)

(30.42%) (47.90%)
D. using discussion

121

57

(42.31%) (19.93%)
E. using power point presentation
F. using videos
G. using handouts, pictures, games

0

0

89

197

(0%)

(0%)

(31.11%)

(68.88%)

0

0

76

210

(0%)

(0%)

(26.57%)

(73.43%)

63

76

134

13

(46.85%)

(4.54%)

(22.03%) (26.57%)

Table 5: The frequency degree of teacher's using activities in class


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