Adapting speaking activities in tieng anh 11 to improve students participation at dan phuong upper secondary school
1 VIETNAM NATIONAL UNIVERSITY, HANOI UNIVERSITY OF LANGUAGES AND INTERNATIONAL VIETNAM NATIONAL UNIVERSITY, HANOISTUDIES FACULTY OF POST- AND GRADUATE STUDIES STUDIES UNIVERSITY OF LANGUAGES INTERNATIONAL FACULTY********************* OF POST- GRADUATE STUDIES ********************* PHÙNG THỊ HOA MƠ
PHÙNG THỊ HOA MƠ
ADAPTING SPEAKING ACTIVITIES IN TIENG ANH 11 ADAPTING SPEAKING ACTIVITIES IN TIENG ANH 11 TO TO IMPROVE STUDENTS’ PARTICIPATION IMPROVE STUDENTS’ PARTICIPATION AT DAN PHUONG UPPER- SECONDARY SCHOOL AT DAN PHUONG UPPER- SECONDARY SCHOOL (ĐIỀU CHỈNH MỘT SỐ HOẠT ĐỘNG NÓI TRONG SÁCH TIẾNG ANH 11 NHẰM TĂNGMỘT CƯỜNG SỰ THAM GIA CỦA HỌC SINH TRƯỜNG (ĐIỀU CHỈNH SỐ HOẠT ĐỘNG NÓI TRONG SÁCHTẠI TIẾNG ANH 11 NHẰM TĂNG CƯỜNG SỰTHPT THAMĐAN GIAPHƯỢNG) CỦA HỌC SINH TẠI TRƯỜNG THPT
FIELD : ENGLISH TEACHING METHODOLOGY CODE: ENGLISH : 601410 TEACHING METHODOLOGY FIELD CODE : 601410 SUPERVISOR : VŨ MAI TRANG, M.A
HANOI - 2010 HANOI - 2010
2 VIETNAM NATIONAL UNIVERSITY, HANOI UNIVERSITY OF LANGUAGES INTERNATIONAL VIETNAM NATIONALAND UNIVERSITY, HANOI STUDIES FACULTY OF POST-AND GRADUATE STUDIES STUDIES UNIVERSITY OF LANGUAGES INTERNATIONAL FACULTY********************* OF POST- GRADUATE STUDIES ********************* PHÙNG THỊ HOA MƠ PHÙNG THỊ HOA MƠ
ADAPTING SPEAKING ACTIVITIES IN TIENG ANH 11 ADAPTING SPEAKING ACTIVITIES IN TIENG ANH 11 TO TO IMPROVE STUDENTS’ PARTICIPATION IMPROVE STUDENTS’ PARTICIPATION AT DAN PHUONG UPPER- SECONDARY SCHOOL AT DAN PHUONG UPPER- SECONDARY SCHOOL (ĐIỀU CHỈNH MỘT SỐ HOẠT ĐỘNG NÓI TRONG SÁCH TIẾNG ANH 11 NHẰM TĂNGMỘT CƯỜNG SỰ THAM GIA CỦA HỌC SÁCH SINH TẠI TRƯỜNG (ĐIỀU CHỈNH SỐ HOẠT ĐỘNG NÓI TRONG TIẾNG ANH 11 THPT ĐAN NHẰM TĂNG CƯỜNG SỰ THAM GIA PHƯỢNG) CỦA HỌC SINH TẠI TRƯỜNG THPT ĐAN PHƯỢNG)
LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS CLT: Communicative Language Teaching MOET: The Ministry of Education and Training TTT: Teacher Talking Time STT: Student Talking Time
LIST OF TABLES Table 1:
Topics in Tieng Anh 11.
Distribution of speaking activities in Tieng Anh 11.
Student talking time and teacher talking time in control and experimental groups.
The reasons why students want to learn English.
Students’ learning styles in both groups
Students’ participation in speaking lessons.
Factors prevent students from participating in speaking in the class.
Students’opinions towards English speaking skills in the textbook Tieng Anh 11
Students’ opinion about the way their teachers teach speaking.
Students’evaluation on their teacher’s adaptation.
Students’evaluation towards their current speaking lessons
Results of observations in control group at the end of the experiment.
Result of observation of adaptation 1 in experimental group at the end of the experiment.
Table 14 :
Results of experimental group’s participation
Comparison of Teacher Talking Time and Student Talking Time in the two classes before and at the end of experiment
PART I: INTRODUCTION 1.1.Statement of the problem and rationale for the study: Over the past century, English has grown into one of the most popular languages with more than five hundred millions speakers all over the world. In Vietnam, it has become the most popular foreign language in the country and a compulsory subject at school and colleges. In order to improve Vietnamese learners‟ competence to meet the demand of globalization the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) has also conducted several projects on the reform of teaching methodology at upper- secondary schools. Especially, in 2006, 2007 and 2008 the introduction of new English 10,11,12 textbook to school curriculum marks a dramatic change in the way English is taught. Four skills, namely, speaking, listening, reading, and writing have been put in priority and intergrated in the textbook alongside with linguistic elements such as grammar,vocabulary and pronunciation. At the same time, the adoption of learner-centered approach, communicative approach, and task-based teaching are emphasized and extensively employed. Although the books have shown a great deal of improvement as compared with the old series of grammar-based it seems that not all activities or tasks in the books are suitable to the different teaching and learning contexts of different localities within Vietnam. After 2 school years teaching new Tieng Anh 11 at Dan Phuong high school, I find that there are some problems with some activities in the textbook. Some are too difficult for students, some are not real communicative, some are too long ……..All these reasons greatly contribute to the demotivation of students from participating in the lessons at Dan Phuong school. In this case, it is necessary for teachers to adapt the content of the core books to make each activity and unit suitable and interesting for learners. In order to do this, teachers need to evaluate every unit to see what the problems are, and then, try to think about ways to adapt it. There are many things that teachers can do to improve the unit such as looking for interesting extra materials from different sources, changing the procedure of the unit, designing activities which can motivate learners, etc.
The above mentioned reasons have inspired the writer to conduct a research titled “Adapting speaking activities in Tieng Anh 11 to improve students’ participation at Dan Phuong Upper-secondary school.” 1.2.Aims of the study: Firstly, the present study aims at investigating the reasons why teachers at Dan Phuong upper-secondary should adapt speaking activities in Tieng Anh 11 from both teachers and students viewpoints. Secondly, it determines the effect of the adapted activites in inducing students‟participation in speaking lessons at Dan Phuong upper-secondary school. Basing on the findings, some implications and suggestions will finally be proposed by the researcher. 1.3. Research questions: 1. Why should teachers adapt speaking activities in Tieng Anh 11? 2. Do the adapted activites increase student students’participation in speaking class at Dan Phuong upper-secondary school? 1.4. Scope of the study: There is a variety of aspects affecting students‟ participation in class activities so there exists a numerous methods to improve students‟involvement. However, it is not my attention to cover all of them because of time and length constraint of the study, Adaptation of speaking activities in Tieng Anh 11 is focused on and tested in classes at Dan Phuong upper-secondary school. As the result, the samples of the study were restricted to 6 teachers and 88 students at 11 form at Dan Phuong upper-secondary school. 1.5. Methods of the study: This study adopts both quantitative and qualitative approaches to identify the reasons why teachers should adapt activities in Tieng Anh 11 to increase students‟ participation at Dan Phuong upper-secondary school. The study attempts to find out whether the adapted activities can improve students participation or not. Data were collected by means of textbook analysis, interviews, questionnaires, and observations and experiment. Concerning interviews, 6 teachers who have ever taught Tieng Anh 11 were involved in the study. Survey questionaires were conducted among 88 students from two classes at the target school. In order to raise the reliability of the data collected class observations were employed before and after experiment.
PART II: DEVELOPMENT CHAPTER 1: LITERATURE REVIEW 1.1. An overview of students’ participation: 1.1.1. Students’ participation: There are several views on student participation. Howard, Short, & Clark stated that participation is the student‟s active engagement in the classroom to promote effective learning (Howard, Short, & Clark, 1996). The student‟s activities may include reciting in class, having conversations with the instructor or their classmates, doing written outputs, and sharing ideas with others (Howard, Short, & Clark, 1996; Howard & Henney, 1998). It means a participative learner is one that is not passive. As Fraser (1982) defines student participation as the extent to which students are encouraged to participate rather than be passive listeners. Similarly, Sylvelyn, Judith & Paulin (2009) define participation as students who actively engage in classroom discussions, rather than be passive learners who simply take in knowledge. They affirm that in a classroom-based learning, participation can be a positive feedback given by students to either the lesson or the teacher which can lead to possible ways in the development of an improved classroom learning experience. Teachers of large classes have found that students‟participation can be identified in terms of three kinds of interaction: students to their teacher, students to students and students to material. The interaction between students themselves is established when they are working in groups. The kind of interaction between students and material can be understood as students‟ success in completing assigned reading activities. In term of the interaction between students to their teacher, students who maintain good interaction with their teacher always participate in the class discussion. They become involved in what is happening in the classroom by asking more question, share personal ideas, opinion and experience with their classmates. Thus, participation can be understood in more ways than just come to class on time, take notes what teachers say and write down on the blackboard, and stay in the class all the time and get to know the teacher. Students who are active and attentive that means they work on the problem with the teacher during the class, laugh at jokes, respond to the teacher‟s questions, often show great desire to learn and become good students.
1.1.2. Factors affecting students’participation: Students‟participation in classroom speaking activities can be affected by a variety of factors originating from students, teachers and classroom activities and other classroomrelated factors. In the following sections, some of the major factors will be discussed. 220.127.116.11. Student factors: 18.104.22.168.1. Students’ learning style: Willing (1985, cited in Nunan 1988:93) classified learners‟ styles into four groups: Concrete learners: They preferred learning by games, films and videos talking in pairs and learning though the use of cassettles. Analytical learners: These learners liked studying grammar, studying English book, finding their own mistakes and learning through reading newspapers. Communicative learners: They liked to learn by observing and listening to native speakers, talking to friends in English and learning English whenever possible. Authority-oriented learners: They liked the teacher to explain everything, writing everything in their notebooks, having their own textbooks, learning to read, studying grammar, and learning English words by seeing them. Harmer (2001) emphasizes the importance of understanding that there are different individuals in our class if we are to plan appropriate kinds of activities for them. Different individuals may have different learning styles, prefer different kinds of work and expect different degrees of care and attention from the teacher. We can see that if the teacher neglects these differences among students, only one or two groups of students can benefit from the activities organized by the teacher while others do not. This is one reason for the fact that when one activity is in progress, not all students participate in actively. 22.214.171.124.2. Students’attitudes and motivation: Attitude and motivation are considered key factors leading to students‟success in learning second language. Motivation refers to the combination of effort plus desire to achieve the good of learning the langange plus favorable attitudes toward learning the language. That is, motivation to learn a second language is seen as refering to the extent to which the individual work or strives to learn the language because of a desire to do so and the satisfaction experienced in this activity.
Harmer divides motivation into extrinsic motivation and intrinsic motivation. Extrinsic motivation is caused by such outside factors as the need to pass an exam, the hope of financial reward, or the possibility for future travel... In contrast, intrinsic motivation is caused by inside factors like the enjoyment of the learning process itself or by a desire to make them feel better. Motivation plays such an important role in the success in learning a foreign language, so how can we initiate and sustain motivation? When starting to learn a foreign language students may have in themselves some kinds of motivation either extrinsic or intrinsic motivation which has fired them up. We, teachers, must be responsible for sustaining their motivation. In order to raise students‟motivation we have to understand motivation. According to Harmer they can derive from the society we live in, significant others like parents, the teacher and the method. Among these sources, the teacher and the method may be of the most important. Downs (2000) also points out some conditions that help increase students‟motivation. He says that motivation increase when students feel acknowledged and understood, when students are confident they can succeed, when language has a communicative purpose and when students take responsility for their own learning. Obviously, the degree of motivation is directly proportional to the level of involvement in speaking tasks. In detail, the more motivated students are, the more actively they will participate in oral activities. 126.96.36.199.3. Students’ language levels: For Harmer (2001), in a class where students‟language levels are different, teachers may have some difficulties choosing a suitable teaching method, language and activities used in class. Harmer claims that some techniques and excercises are suitable for some students but less appropriate for others. The language we use in classroom and in the materials we expose to students must be carefully chosen concerning the complexity, length. To conclude, the limitation in the students‟language levels can directly affect their participation, how much they like the activities. Therefore, we should choose the topics as well as the kinds of activities of their levels to encourage their participation.
188.8.131.52. Teacher factors: 184.108.40.206.1. Teachers’ teaching methods: The teaching history has experienced the existence and development of many teaching methods that can divided into two types: teacher-centered and learner-centered methods. We can list out some main methods including: grammar-translation method, direct method, reading method, audio-lingual method, audiovisual method and in more recent time concerning developing learners‟ communicative competence we have Communicative Language Teaching (CLT). Knowing the strengths and shortcomings of different methods helps teachers choose one or the combination of those above mentioned methods that is suitable to a certain class to increase students‟ involvement. 220.127.116.11.2.Teacher’s knowledge: A good teacher of English is a person who is supposed to have language ability, specialist knowledge and general knowledge of an English speaking country. In the study “What makes a good teacher”, Breach (2005) points out that most students believe that the teacher is the fountain of knowledge and their main responsibility is to pass on that knowledge to students. 18.104.22.168.3. Teacher’s characteristics: Besides the knowledge, teacher characteristics may have a great effect on students‟ participation. Barry (1993) lists out some characteristics a teacher should have that help motivate students to participate in classroom activities. These are being natural, being warm, pleasant, approachable and tolerant. In conclusion, students‟ participation can be affected by teachers‟ factors including teaching methods, teachers‟ knowledge and characteristics. Besides these factors mentioned above, some classroom factors including classroom itself, classroom structure, and classroom atmosphere and other factors as the place of examminations and tests.. also have effect on students‟participation in classroom speaking activities. This is very important work as it provides us with basic theory to find out techniques to overcome those factors and increase students‟participation. 1.2. Adaptation is a necessary task in lessons: As Cunningsworth (1984: 89) has pointed out: no coursebook will be total suited to a particular teaching situation. The teacher will have to find his own way of using it and
adapting it if necessary. So we should not be looking for the perfect coursebook which meets all our requirement, but rather for the best possible fit between what the coursebook offers and what we as teachers and students need. 1.2.1. What is adaptation? There are several definitions of adaptations by different scholars: Madsen and Bowen (1978: ix) claimed adaptation is an action of employing “one or more of a number of techniques: supplementing, expanding, personalizing, simplifying, modernizing, localizing, or modifying cultural/ situational content”. Ellis, M (1986:47) considered adaptation as the process of “retaining, rejecting, re-ordering and modification” and Tomlinson (1998b: xi) refers to “ reducing, adding, omitting, modifying and supplementing”. 1.2.2. The purpose of adaptation: There are always sound practical reasons for adapting materials in order to make them as accessible and useful to learners as possible. However, reasons for adaptation have varied and changed as the field has developed and views on language acquisition and teaching practice have become better informed by research and experience. There are two most frequently cited purposes for adaptation: 1. to make the material more suitable for the circumstances in which it is being used, i.e. to mould it to the needs and interests of learners, the teachers‟own capabilities and such constraints as time, or as Mc Donough and Shaw (1993:85) put it: “to maximize the appropriacy of teaching materials in context, by changing some of the internal characteristics of a coursebook to better suit our particular circumstances” 2. to compensate for any intrinsic deficiencies in the materials, such as linguistic inaccuracies, out-of-datedness, lack of authenticity (Madsen and Bowen 1978) or lack of variety. Look deeper into McDonough and Shaw‟s definition of purpose we see that maximising the appropriacy of teaching materials (by, e.g., modifying them in such a way that they seem more relevant to learners‟interests and needs) is important because it can stimulate motivation, and increased motivation is in turn likely to lead to a classroom atmosphere more conductive to learning. In fact, when teachers make changes to a
coursebook “to better suit our particular purposes” what teachers are really trying to do is to improve students‟ participation to increase the effectiveness of the learning experience. 1.2.3. Techniques for adaptation: After recognizing a gap (mismatch or non-congruence) between published teaching materials and the needs and objectives of the classroom, the teacher has to address the practicalities of adapting the material to meet her class objectives more closely. Mc Donough and Shaw (1993) and Cunningsworth (1995) offer lists of techniques that may be used when adapting materials better to fit a specific class . These techniques are: Adding: extending and expanding Deleting: subtracting and abridging Simplifying Reordering Replacing material 22.214.171.124. Adding: When adding to published material the teacher is supplementing the existing materials and providing more materials. The teacher can do this by either extending or expanding. -
Extending: extending means the teacher supplies more of the same type of materials, thus making a quatitative change in the material.
Expanding: is to add some thing different to the materials. The change is qualitative.
It is important to note that additions to materials can come at the beginning, at the end or in the middle of the materials being adapted. 126.96.36.199. Deleting: subtracting and abridging As with the technique of adding, material can be deleted both quantitatively (subtracting) or qualitatively (abridging). For example, a teacher can decide to do five of the questions practising the simple past tense instead of the ten in the coursebook. When abridging, however, the teacher may decide that focusing attention on pronunciation may inhibit the learner‟s fluency and decide not to do any of the pronunciation exercise in a coursebook.
188.8.131.52. Simplifying: When simplifying, the teacher could be rewording instructions or text in order to make them more accessible to learners, or simplifying a complete activity to make it more manageable for learners and teachers. 184.108.40.206. Reordering: When reordering, the teacher has decided that it makes more pedagogic sense to sequence activities differently. An example is beginning with a general discussion before looking at a reading passage rather than using the reading as a basis for discussion. 220.127.116.11. Replacing materials: When replacing material a teacher may decide that a more appropriate visual or text might serve an activity better than the ones presented in the pulished material. This is often the case with culturally specific or time-specific activities. A teacher may decide to replace an illustration for one that students could identify with more closely or use information concerning a popular figure with whom the students are familiar rather than the one presented in the published materials. Teacher may also decide to replace a whole activity depending on the goals of a particular class or lesson. For example, a reading activity might be replaced with a listening activity. 1.2.4. Levels of adaptation: Textbook adaptation can be done at three levels. The first level is macro adaptation, which is ideally done before the language program begins. After comparing what is covered in a textbook and what is required by the syllabus or examination, the teacher may find that certain areas or even whole unit of the book can be omitted, and certain contents need to be supplemented. The second level of adaptation is adapting a unit. This could be reordering the activities, combining activities, omitting activities, rewriting or supplementing exercise material, etc. Unit adaptation helps to make the classroom teaching more smooth and cohesive. It also helps the teacher to better fulfill the aims of a unit. The third level is adaptation of specific activities in a unit. Occasionally an activity I regarded as valuable, but it is not well-designed or it is not feasible in particular class. If the teacher does not want to give up the activity, he or she needs to adapt it.
To conclude, with the awareness of factors affecting students‟ participation and adaptation, I will adapt some activities in Tieng Anh 11 to make them more communicative, suitable to my students‟ ability at Dan Phuong upper-secondary school. Reducing, and modifying are popular adaptation techniques used in the research. Details of these above contents will be presented in chapter 3 and 4. CHAPTER 2: THE STUDY There are two parts in this chapter. The first part will analysis the situation of the study with the description of the setting of the study, the subjects, speaking materials. The second part will offer a comprehensive analysis on the data collected from the observations before and after experiment, teacher and student interviews, and student questionaires. 2.1. Research setting: 2.1.1. The setting of the study: The study was conducted at Dan Phuong upper-secondary school, a rural school of former Ha Tay province. The school has 35 classes with over 90 teachers of all subjects. English is taught as a compulsory subject. Currently there are 10 teachers of English and over 1500 students ranged from grade 10 to grade 12. Most of the students come from villages and towns in Dan Phuong district. Although most students are aware of the importance of learning, English is not paid much attention by most of the students in school. Few students choose English as a subject to take university entrance exam. Teaching English, especially teaching English speaking has met some difficulties. The first is the large size classes. There are 45 students in each class. It is hard for teachers to set up communicative activities, monitor class and give feedback. The second is most students are not familiar with teaching in English. They cannot understand lessons if teachers speak English all the time. The last is the lack of materials. Materials for reference and self-study are not available. There is not a library for students at all. Furthermore, some facilities needed for learning such as computers and projectors…are not enough. Normally, students have three periods of studying English every week. It is a limited time for students to practice and develop skills as well as enrich their vocabulary and structure capacity. What‟s more, English is hardly used to talk outside classroom. All these factors have great effect on the students‟results in learning English especially in learning speaking.
2.1.2. Speaking materials: The main material for English speaking of grade 11 is a new set of English textbook- Tieng Anh 11 which was first introduced in 2007. Like Tieng Anh 10, Tieng Anh 11 was designed following communicative approach. There are 5 parts in each unit arranging as follows: reading, speaking, listening, writing and language focus with a variery of exercises and tasks. For speaking skill, its aim is to develop students‟speaking competence beginning with a range of the specific information to a complete theme. A speaking lesson oftens consists of 3-4 activities, termed tasks by the textbook. The first tasks provide learners with language
and help learners develop language specific functions such as
expressing opinions, agreements and disagreement….The next tasks (task 3 or task 4) require students to connect the first two tasks, add some more information and change it into a complete topic, then talk out with or without the guide of the teacher. Table 1: Topics in Tieng Anh 11 UNIT
The post office
Nature in danger
Sources of energy
The Asian Games
The wonders of the world
Table 2: Distribution of speaking activities 1. Number of unit
2. Number of activities
3. Number of activities per unit
4. No. of information-gap activities
5. No. of information gap activities per unit.
Among the 50 speaking activities taught in Tieng Anh 11 only 24 are informationgap activities (the term information-gap is used in this paper to refer to all types of communicative activities that are based on the information-gap principle such as opinion-sharing, reasoning-gap, information- gathering activities and so on) The use of information-gap activities in second language classrooms is crucial because it gets learners to use the language they are learning to interact in realistic and meaningful ways (Richards 2005). An information gap activity focuses on two aspects attention to information (but not to language forms) and the necessity of communicative
communication in which people communicate to get the information they do not process. Furthermore, one of the goals of communicative language teaching (CLT) is to develop fluency in language use (Richards 2005). Information-gap activities help to develop fluency by engaging students in meaningful, comprehensible and ongoing communication in which they should negotiate meaning,
strategies, correct misunderstanding and work to avoid communication breakdown. In short, with the application of Tieng Anh 10 and Tieng Anh 12, the new Tieng Anh 11 has brought “new wind” to English learning and teaching in VietNam. It has proved to be more realistic, relevant and appropriate to the context of teaching and learning English at high schols in Vietnam. Students the first time become the centre of teaching and learning process and they have opportunity to learn English in a more communicative way. The textbook also provide students with the language background relating to habit, custom, culture….that is easy and helpful for students to practise. The book has shown a great deal of improvement as compared with the old book of grammar-based textbook; however, it also bears several limitations. For example, many of their speaking activities are found non-communicative. Overloaded contents for the student population
in disadvantaged areas tend to impact on the effective application of the book. It also makes both teachers and students (especially teachers and students in rural areas) face with great deal of challenges such as inappropriate facilities for teaching and learning, students‟low proficiency, teachers and students‟passiveness…, which require both teachers and students to overcome. 2.2. Research design: This research was a quasi-experimental study, using observations “before” and “at the end” of the experiment, questionaires for students and interviews with both the teachers of English and 11 graders at Dan Phuong upper-secondary school. The study adopted a quasi-experimental design for practical reasons. In the context of the secondary school, it is impossible to conduct a true experimental research with randomly selected samples. However, a quasi-experimental study remains valid because “It is conducted under conditions closer to those normally found in educational context” (Selinger& Shohamy, 1989: 149). Although the intact groups were used, both were grade 11, they were of comparable ability level. For this study, two classes of 88 11th grade students at Dan Phuong uppersecondary school were asked to participate in this experiment. One class was employed as an experimental group. The other was employed as a control group. Each class consisted of 44 students. The researcher taught each group 3 lessons using the current textbook Tieng Anh 11. The author was the teacher (herself) in two classes to ensure the designed lesson plans were strictly followed. The teacher instructed the control group in the usual fashion. The same lessons were taught to the experimental group with adapted activities. With the assistance of the three other English teachers, before-experiment and at the end of experiment observations were administered for two groups. The observers helped take notes of students‟ talking time and teachers‟talking time as well as interaction patterns in these classes. The purpose of before-experiment observations was to make sure that the two groups had the same levels of participation. The end of experiment observations aimed at measuring levels of participation of the two groups after three lessons. After the experiment, the degrees of participation of the two groups were compared and then some conclusions were drawn out about the relationship between the use of the adapted speaking activities and the level of the students‟ participation in the speaking lessons at Dan Phuong secondary school.
2.3.Participants: The participants in this study were 88 11th grade students from two classes: 11A7 and 11A8 at Dan Phuong high school in Dan Phuong district, Ha Noi. Dan Phuong uppersecondary school is a public school with an enrollment of approximated 1500 students from grade 10 to grade 12. All students must attend 3 English classes a week. The control group, group 11A7 included 44 students with 30 females and 14 males while the experimental group, group 11A8, had 44 students with 19 females and 25 males. The two groups seemed to have a relatively similar level of proficiency in English as determined by their previous term exam on English grammar, reading and writing. In the researcher‟observation, the levels of participation of the two group in learning English in general and in learning speaking in particular were relatively equal. This initial assumpsion was later justified by the pre-activity observation. 2.4. Data collection instruments: 2.4.1. Classroom observations: The class observations in this study were carried out in 3 English lessons before and during the treatment. For each lesson, the three other teachers observed in 45 minutes.The researcher designed a checklist for what she wanted to observe. Students‟ talking time, their interactions and teacher‟ talking time were measured and taken notes. Before the experiment: The three other English teachers observed the two classes in 3 speaking periods to be aware of the degrees of the students‟ participation before the experiment. The degrees of participation were measured in term of their talking time. The before experiment classroom observations are vitally important. The result decided whether we would have the following research. If the present level of participation was unsatisfactory, we would have to find out the way to improve their involvement. The data collected from the before experiment classroom observations would be used to compare with the degrees of participation of the control group and experimental group before the interventions. During the experiment: During the treatment, the teacher or the author herself and her teachings in both control and experiment groups with the three same lessons were observed by the three mentioned teachers . The control group was taught the original activities in Tieng Anh 11 while the experimental group was taught adapted activities. Then the researcher measured
the “students‟talking time” of both groups and then compared them to prove whether the adaptation of textbook activities would be helpful in increasing the students‟involvement in speaking lessons. 2.4.2. The teacher interview: An interview to 6 English teachers who have ever taught Tieng Anh 11 at Dan Phuong high school was conducted to get information about their evaluation on speaking activities in the textbook, their evaluations on students participation and what they have done to increase students‟participation. 2.4.3. Student questionaire: The questionaire was delivered to students in two classes 11A7, 11A8 concerning their evaluation on the speaking activities in the textbook, their participation and what affected their participation in speaking class. The questionaire was the same to the control and experimental groups because the researcher wanted to know if the two groups had equal levels of motivation and participation before the intervention. 2.4.4. Follow-up student interview: Ten students were randomly chosen from the experimental group and interviewed to give their evaluation on the level of participation, attitudes towards the adapted activities in the lessons they had been taught. 2.5. Data collection procedure: First, the three other English teachers observed the two classes in three lessons to know the degrees of students‟participation before the experiment. Then a survey questionaire was distributed among the students of the two classes to find out more their evaluation on speaking activities and factors affecting their participation in the classroom speaking activities. To increase the validity of the data the researcher met and interviewed 6 English teachers who have ever taught Tieng Anh 11 for their attitudes and evaluation about speaking activities and their students‟ participation in the speaking classes and their way of improving students‟ involvement. After collecting information from the observations, students‟questionaires and teacher interview, the researcher taught two groups three same lessons. For the control group the three lessons were conducted using intact activities in the textbook. For the experimental group, the lessons were applied adapted activities. During the treatment, the three other English teachers observed and measured the talking time in both groups to get
the data for the research. Finally, the follow-up interview of ten participants in experimental group was carried out after each lesson to get further information for the study. CHAPTER 3: DATA ANALYSIS AND FINDINGS This section analyzes the data collected for this study and discusses its findings. The first focus of this study is to find out the reason why teachers at Dan Phuong uppersecondary school should adapt speaking activities and the second one is to assess the effect of adapted speaking activities in English class on the experimetal group‟s participation. In order to do that, this study involved a control group of students who were taught with intact activities in Tieng Anh 11. In this section, the following results will be discussed: 3.1. Results from before-experiment-observations: Before the experiment, the three other teacher observed the two classes in 3 speaking periods. During the observations they took the average amount of students‟ “talking time” in the two classes. In all 3 periods, the teacher or the researcher (the same teacher for two groups) followed her traditional routines. The following is the description of one lesson in both classes: Class: 11A7 and 11A8 Number of students in each class: 44 Time: 45 Unit 9: The post office. Period 56: B- SPEAKING Lesson objective: Students practice making dialogues on using post office services. The procedures used by the teacher can be summarized as follow: The lesson started as usual with warm-up. In the warm-up, the teacher wrote an incompleted net work about “post office services” on the board. Students worked in group of 4 to find as many services as possible. Within 3 minutes the group has more answers would be the winners. In the first stage of the lesson, students in both classes took part in group work rather well. After that teacher introduced the new lesson: Unit 9: B-Speaking. Students continued the lesson with task 1. They were told to work in pairs (two students who sat next to each other worked in a pair) acting out the dialogue. Two good students read the dialogue as model. After 3 minutes of pairwork, some pairs were required to stand up and read aloud the dialogue. Teacher corrected their pronunciation and got students to answer the question “What service is the customer taking in the dialogue?” and look for
examples of requests and responses to requests in the dialogue. Then the teacher gave students some other structures to express requests: Would you mind….. Would you please…… May I… I‟d like….. Turn to task 2, teacher explained the tasks and some new words: To install (v), installation (n) Registration (n) Teacher elicited some useful structures about prices, saying address, etc. She puts students in pairs (same pairs as task 1) and got them to write the dialogue together based on the information given in the task. Teacher went around to help and encourage all pairs to work. She then asked students act out the dialogue together and in front of the class. She elicits feedback from the class and gives her own feedback. Some pairs worked smoothly but some did not. They still didn‟t know how to ask and answer about fee and installation process. The students came to task three when they had 10 minutes left. As the two first tasks, teacher explains the task. Students read through two situations and they had right to choose a appropriate situation for their pair. Teacher saw some confuses among students in making the dialogue so she got them to write down the dialogue first and then acted out later. Teacher called some pairs to practice their dialogue in front of the class. However, two pairs had finished the job as soon as time was up. Teacher quickly had feedback and gave homework for the whole class. The experiment result can be illustrated as follows: Table 3: STT and TTT in control and experimental group before the experiment. Control group (11A7- 44 students)
Experimental group(11A8-44 students)
TTT: Teacher talking time STT: Student talking time
From the all four lessons, it can be seen clearly that the level of participation in classroom speaking activities of two classes at Dan Phuong upper-secondary school was almost the same and quite low. Students talking time made up approximately nearly one third of the total time in each class. During the observations the researcher also found out that even the teacher had tried to provide useful guide and necessary structures when students were asked to work in pair or group a few of them worked seriously. In fact, most of their talks lasted a few minutes and then they did something else instead of concentrating on their work. There was another funny situation that the researcher investigated. Some students had a bad habit of discussing with each other in Vietnamese and then they translated them into English and wrote down their “discussion” in the notebooks. After doing these steps they read what they had written to make a “dialogue”. If they were called by the teacher to practice their dialogue in front of the class they held their paper and read again what they had created. At that moment they seemed not to care about what their partner said or answered. The teacher tended to dominate the class. She talked a lot for fear of students not knowing how to speak and she tried to get students involved. Moreover, the teacher had a worry of not finishing teaching tasks on time. At upper-secondary school if in one period teacher couldn‟t finish their tasks on time she or he would be evaluated not a good teacher. The awareness of the importance of adapting textbook activities to make them suitable to their students‟levels and interests to activate students‟participation should be made among the teachers. In conclusion, the students‟participation in classroom speaking activities was very poor. So it is urgent that teachers find out teaching techniques to increase students‟participation. However, in order to have suitable teaching techniques we must understand the reasons of the students‟ low involvement. 3.2.Results from students’ questionaire: 3.2.1. Personal information: The first and second questions were to gather the participants‟ information of gender and hometown. The total number of the students in the survey was 88 of which 49 were females and 39 were males. All of them came from countryside, among them 80 % were living in village and only 20 % were living in town.
The next question was about participants‟experience in learning English. All of them had been learning English for over 5 years (4 years at secondary school, a year and one semester at high school). The students had finished the first semester of grade 11 school year at uppersecondary school. Their average marks in English varied from 3.3 to 8.0. 55.6% of them had marks from 5 to 6.4, 13.6% from 6.5 to 7.9, 1% had got 8.0. Meanwhile, more than one third of students got marks under 5 (26,2% from 3.5 to 4.9, 4.5% had marks under 3.5). From the figure we can see that the average marks of the subjects were quite low, which might reflect that their English learning was not good. They might have a little concern to English learning. 3.2.2. Students’ motivation in learning speaking English: Table 4 5. Why do you want to study English? Options
a. because English is a compulsory subject at school and the final exam.
b. to get good marks
c. to listen to songs, read books,mgazines and watch movies in English.
d. to study aboard
e. to get a good job in the future
f. interest in English language, people and culture
As it is indicated clearly in the table that the most common reason ( 57 % of the learners) is students “have to” learn English. Clearly, these students knew the role of English in the modern life. Over than a half (50.6%) of students want to learn English to get a good job in the future. The high percentage of these students having this reason for learning English implies a low motivation among them. Meanwhile, only 20 % of the students learn English because they were interested in English. With the low level of interest in the subject, it is difficult to say that these students will actively participate in class activities. The lower percent of students (14%) affirmed they were learning English because they wanted to get good marks. The lowest percentage of the respondents (4%) claimed that the reason they tried to study English is to study aboard.