Tải bản đầy đủ

An investigation into viet bac high school 11th grade students and teachers attitudes towards the applications of pairwork and groupwork in teaching and learning english speaking skills

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

BẾ THỊ THU TRANG

AN INVESTIGATION INTO VIET BAC HIGH SCHOOL
11THGRADE STUDENTS AND TEACHERS’ ATTITUDES TOWARDS
THE APPLICATIONS OF PAIRWORK AND GROUPWORK IN
TEACHING AND LEARNING ENGLISH SPEAKING SKILLS
(NGHIÊN CỨU THÁI ĐỘ CỦA GIÁO VIÊN VÀ HỌC SINH LỚP 11
TRƯỜNG THPT VIỆT BẮC ĐỐI VỚI VIỆC SỬ DỤNG HOẠT ĐỘNG CẶP,
NHÓM TRONG DẠY HỌC KỸ NĂNG NÓI)

MINOR PROGRAMME THESIS

FIELD: ENGLISH TEACHING METHODOLOGY
CODE: 60 14 10

HA NOI – 2010



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

BẾ THỊ THU TRANG

AN INVESTIGATION INTO VIET BAC HIGH SCHOOL
11TH GRADE STUDENTS AND TEACHERS’ ATTITUDES TOWARDS
THE APPLICATIONS OF PAIRWORK AND GROUPWORK IN
TEACHING AND LEARNING ENGLISH SPEAKING SKILLS
(NGHIÊN CỨU THÁI ĐỘ CỦA GIÁO VIÊN VÀ HỌC SINH LỚP 11 TRƯỜNG THPT
VIỆT BẮC ĐỐI VỚI VIỆC SỬ DỤNG HOẠT ĐỘNG CẶP, NHÓM TRONG DẠY HỌC KỸ
NĂNG NÓI)

MINOR PROGRAMME THESIS

FIELD: ENGLISH TEACHING METHODOLOGY
CODE: 60 14 10
SUPERVISOR: TRẦN HIỀN LAN, M.A.

HA NOI - 2010


iv

TABLE OF CONTENTS
DECLARATION…………………………………………………………..………………….….. …i
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS……………………………………………………….……………..… ii
ABSTRACT……………………………………………………………………………………..… iii
TABLE OF CONTENTS………………………………………………………………………….. iv

PART I- INTRODUCTION
1.1 Rationale…………………………………………………………….…..………... 1
1.2 Aims of the study……………………………………………………….…….…. 2
1.3 Research questions

……………………………………………….….….…. . 2

1.4 Method of the study



………………………………………………….……... .2

1.5 Scope of the study

………………………………………………………..… 2

1.6 Design of the study

……………………………………………………….…..3

PART II: DEVELOPMENT
Chapter I- THEORETICAL BACKGROUND
I.1. Communicative Language Teaching………………………………………. 4
1.1.1. Definition of CLT……………………………………………………... 4
1.1.2. Charateristics of CLT…………………………………………………..4
1.1.3. Using CLT in teaching speaking skill…………………………………..5
I.2. What is speaking ?...........................................................................................6
I.2.1. Definition of speaking………………………………………………..6
I.2.2. Why should we teach speaking skill in the classroom……………….6
I.2.3. Characteristics of a successful speaking activity…………………….7
I.2.3.1. Learners talk a lot…………………………………………..7
I.2..3.2. Participation is even……………………………………….7
I.2.3.3. Motivation is high…………………………………………..7
I.2.3.4. Language is of an acceptable level………………………....7
I.3. Pairwork and groupwork…………………………………………………….8
I.3.1. Definition of pairwork and groupwork………………………………… … 8
I.3.2. Advantages and disadvantages of pair and group work in a ……………….8
speaking lesson.
I.3.2.1. Advantages of pair and group work in a speaking lesson……… …...8
I.3.2.2.Disadvantages of pair and group work in a speaking lesson…..10


v

I.3.3. Pairwork and groupwork in speaking classroom……………………...11
I.3.4. Some pair and group activities in a speaking lesson………………….12
I.3.5. The arrangement of pair and group work……………………………..13
Chapter II: THE STUDY………………………………………………………………..16
II. 1. Situational analysis ………………………………………………………………..16
II. 1. 1. The setting of the study …………………………………………………..16
II. 1. 2. The 11th grade English program…………………………………………..16
II. 1. 2. 1. The teaching materials……………………………………….16
II. 1. 2. 2. The course objectives………………………………………….17
II. 2. The study……………………………………………………………………………17
II.2.1. The subjects ………………………………………………………………17
II.2.2. Instrumentation …………………………………………………………...17
II.2.2.1. Survey questionnaire……………………………………………..17
II.2.2.2. Classroom observation …………………………………………...18
II. 2. 3. Data analysis…………………………………………………………....18
II. 2. 3. 1. Data analysis of teachers’ survey questionnaire…………………..18
II.2.3. 2. Data analysis of students’ survey questionnaire …………………..21
II.2.3.3. Classroom observation……………………………………………..24
II.2.3.4. The result and discussion from the classroom observation………...29
Chapter III: FINDINGS AND SUGGESTIONS
FOR BETTER USE OF
PAIRWORK AND GROUPWORK IN TEACHING SPEAKING SKILL
III.1. Findings…………………………………………………………………………..31
III. 2. Suggestions for better use of pairwork and groupwork in teaching
Speaking skill. …………………………………………………………………...32
III.3. Model pairwork and groupwork activities for a speaking lesson………………...34
PART III - CONCLUSION

I. Conclusions ........................................................................................................37
II. Limitations of the study………………………………………………………...38
III. Suggestions for further study ………………………………………………...38
REFERENCES…………………………………………………………………………………....39

APPENDICES


1

PART I- INTRODUCTION

1.1 . Rationale
In the international integrative trend, English starts to become popular in Vietnam, it is
considered as a key of communication for Vietnam‟s regional and global integration.
Because of the Educational Reform, the aim of teaching and learning foreign languages
in general and English in particular has shifted from a focus on the linguistic competence
to an interest in the communicative competence. This trend in language teaching has led to
the increasingly important role of teaching and learning speaking skills.
In the speaking lessons for 11th grade students, there are many activities. Among them,
pair work and group work are seen as key features of a speaking lesson. They create more
opportunities for students to work with each other by exchanging their ideas and, therefore,
learning so many things from their partners. Taking part in pair work and group work make
students confident and creative in speaking, they also help students overcome their
shyness. But, what is the reality of teaching and learning speaking skill in Viet Bac high
school? What are the attitudes of students and teachers towards pair and group work in a
speaking lesson there? Whether the teachers organize pair and group work in their
speaking lessons or not ?
As a practitioner of English at Viet Bac High school for 6 years, I have always been
aware of the importance of developing speaking skill for my students. I myself think that
with profound understanding of the students‟ real needs and their difficulties, teachers can
gradually help them achieve fluency and confidence in their speaking . Within the scope
of this study, the researcher seeks to aim at a study on “Viet Bac high school 11th grade
students’ and teachers’ attitudes towards the applications of pair work and group work in
teaching and learning English speaking skills”. It is also hoped that this study may offer
the teachers in the English Faculty, Viet Bac High school, ways on how to use pair work
and group work in teaching speaking skills more effectively.


2

1.2 .Aims of the study
The study aims to achieve the following primary aims:
to investigate the attitudes of teachers and 11th grade students at Viet Bac

(i)

high school towards the application of pair and groupwork in teaching and
learning speaking skills
(ii)

to examine the current situations of the application of pair and group work in
teaching and learning speaking skills at this school.

(iii) to suggest some simple activities of pair work and group work to make
students interested in their speaking lessons.
1.3 . Research questions
This study aims to answer the following research questions:
(i)

What are attitudes of 11th grade students and teachers at Viet Bac high
school towards the application of pair work and group work in learning and
teaching speaking skills ?

(ii)

What is the current application of pair work and group work in teaching and
learning speaking skills at Viet Bac high school like?

1.4.

Scope of the study

As stated above, the study focuses on the investigation into Viet Bac 11 th grade
students‟ and teachers‟ attitudes towards the application of pair work and group work in
teaching and learning speaking skills. Basing on the reality, the researcher tends to give
some suggestions about pair and group work activities in order to make learning and
teaching speaking skills more effective, and more appropriate for students‟ communicative
ability.
1.5.

Method of the study
Both qualitative and quantitative methods are applied.

(i) By means of qualitative method, the author has to refer to different materials, lectures,
former researches and relevant issues related to pairwork, groupwork and teaching
speaking skill to gain more knowledge of the subject matter and to come to the final
conclusion.


3

(ii) By means of quantitative method, the survey questionnaire is the main tool. Firstly, a
survey questionnaire is given to 6 teachers who are teaching English to 11th grade students
at Viet Bac high school. Another survey questionnaire is to 100 students at grade 11.
These survey questionnaires were used to collect information and evidence for the
study with the hope that the research would be reliable and the processing of data would be
manageable within limited time.
In addition, the researcher also used qualitative method, class observations with the
hope that two methodologies supplement each other so that the data could be more reliable.
All comments, remarks, recommendations and conclusion provided in the study are
based on the data analysis.
1.6.

Design of the study

This study consists of three parts: introduction, development, and conclusion.
The introduction presents the background, aims, research questions, scope and design
of the study.
The development comprises three chapters:
- Chapter I reviews the theoretical backgrounds, which related to speaking skills, pair
work and group work.
- Chapter II presents in more details the setting and data analysis.

.

- Chapter III is findings, proposed activities and some pedagogical suggestions.
The conclusion at the end of the thesis summarizes the main issues in the study and makes
suggestions for further research.


4

PART II- DEVELOPMENT
Chapter I – THEORETICAL BACKGROUND

I.1. Communicative Language Teaching(CLT).
I.1.1 Definition of CLT
Although there are many definitions about CLT, they have the general idea that
CLT emphasizes communication in foreign language teaching and improves the learners‟
competence through communicative activities. As for Richards and Rodgers (1986) CLT
means using procedures where learners work in pairs or groups employing available
language resources to complete problem-solving tasks.
Nunan states “Communicative Language Teaching views language as a system for
the expression of meaning. Activities involve oral communication, carrying out meaningful
tasks and using language, which is meaningful to the learners. Objectives reflect the needs
of the learners including functional skills as well as linguistic objectives. The learner‟s
role is a negotiator and integrator. The teacher‟s role as a facilitator of the communication
process.” (Nunan, 1989:194)
Nunan‟s definition above, as with any definition of the language teaching method,
represents a particular view of understanding and explaining language acquisition.
Obviously, the superiority of communicative language teaching approach is that emphasis
on developing speaking ability of students through speaking activities and other
techniques. Thus, students are encouraged to use real appropriate language to communicate
with one another.

I.1.2. Characteristics of CLT
CLT is identified with the following characteristics:
- It makes communicative competence the goal of teaching.
- It develops procedures for the teaching of the four language skills that
acknowledge the interdependence of language and communication.
- It considers learners and his communicative needs the centre of language


5

teaching process.
The objective of language teaching is to develop “communicative competence”. In
communicative classes, students communicate with each other and learning tasks are
completed by means of interaction between students. It is clear that students‟ completing a
task is fore-grounded and communicating with each other is back-grounded. This may lead
to considerable use of pair work and group work and mixed activities. In the classroom
CLT often takes the form of pair and group work requiring negotiation and cooperation
between learners, fluency-based activities that encourage learners to develop their
confidence, role-plays in which students practise and develop language functions, as well
as judicious use of grammar and pronunciation focused activities.
Larsen Freeman (1986) states that CLT uses authentic, from life materials.
Communicative language teaching makes use of real-life situations that necessitate
communication. Thus, it is a good way to provide students with as many opportunities as
possible for the communicative purposes.
CLT is also associated with learner-centered and experienced based tasks. Students
in learner-centered approach are seen as being able to play more active and participatory
role.
Based on these characteristics of CLT, teachers should choose appropriate
techniques as well as activities in the classroom to increase and improve students‟
communicative competence.

I.1.3. Using CLT in teaching speaking skills.
According to CLT, teaching speaking skills involves the use of language through
different communicative activities. When using communicative activities in speaking, it is
necessary to make sure that students are comfortable and confident. This brings students a
feeling of security so they find it easy to discuss and share their ideas with their partners.
Students also have more opportunities to speak since the students try to achieve mutual
understanding and modify their language according to the demand of the situation.
Communicative activities encourage motivation because they ensure that
communication is purposeful rather than artificial. Communicative activities offer
opportunities to develop speaking skill as well as cognitive ability such as analyzing,
evaluating and synthesizing information. It is believed that successful communication is an


6

integrated accomplishment. When using communicative activities students are stimulated
to respond actively and participate with their classmates. Communicative activities are
often conducted with pair work and group work in which students talk to many partners
and interact with them. This reduces their stress and anxiety about their performance.
In brief, communication activities can boost proficiency and greatly improve
communicative competence.

I.2. What is speaking?
I.2.1. Definition of speaking
It is regarded speaking ability as the measure of knowing a language. Exactly, it is
the first step to confirm who knows or does not know a language and a medium through
which language is learnt. As for Ur (1996), people who know a language are referred to as
“speakers” of that language as if speaking includes all other kinds of knowing.
To define speaking Florez states that speaking is “an interactive process of
constructing meaning that involves producing and receiving and processing information. It
is often spontaneous, open-ended, and evolving.” (Florez, 1999,p1)
In language teaching and learning, it is essential for language teachers to pay
attention to teaching speaking skill rather than leading students to pure memorization. The
teacher should provide real-life communication, authentic language and meaningful tasks
for students to promote their learning.

I.2.2. Why should we teach speaking skill in the classroom?
Of all the four skills (listening, reading, speaking and writing) speaking skill seems
intuitively the most important in language teaching and learning. To master a language we
not only know how to read, to write and to listen but also know how to communicate with
English speakers . Motivation and communication are the reasons why we should teach
speaking skill .
Firstly, motivation makes students want to speak English. This means if students do
not want to speak they will ignore all the opportunities to speak in the language classroom.
As a result, they lose their interest in learning. In addition, speaking skill has a great
influence on listening, reading and writing skill. If speaking skill is thoroughly practiced,
the other three skills will be learned. In this case, the teacher has to provide his/ her


7

students with appropriate activities to raise general learners‟ motivation and makes the
English language classroom a dynamic place for students to learn in.
Secondly, speaking is crutial for human‟s communication. In comparison with
written communication, in our daily life most of us speak more than we write. But many
English teachers still spend the majority of class time on reading and writing practice, they
do not pay much attention to teaching speaking and listening skills to their learners.
To sum up, speaking skill takes a significant role in teaching and learning a foreign
language, so teaching speaking skill in the classroom is necessary after all.

I.2.3. Characteristics of a successful speaking activity.
Spoken language is the primary objective in language teaching. Giving speaking
classroom activities that develop learners‟ ability to express themselves through speech is
important. To evaluate a speaking activity Ur (1996:120) proposes the characteristics of a
successful speaking activity as follows:
I.2.3.1. Learners talk a lot. As much as possible of the period of time allotted to
the activity is in fact occupied by learner talk.This means that the amount of learning in a
speaking lesson is correlated with the amount of talking by the learner. Thus, the more
time learners engage with in the course of a lesson, the more language they can obtain. So
learner‟s talking time makes a speaking lesson successfully.
I.2.3.2. Participation is even. Classroom discussion is not dominated by a minority
of talkative participants: all get a chance to speak, and contributions are fairly evenly
distributed. It is clear that, a successful speaking lesson must provide opportunities of
speaking to all learners with different levels. The teacher also needs to give every learner
the chance to talk at a level adequate to them from the simple to the relatively difficult.
I.2.3.3. Motivation is high. Learners are eager to speak because they are interested
in the topic and have something new to say about it, or because they want to contribute to
achieving a task objective.
I.2.3.4. Language is of an acceptable level. Learners express themselves in
utterances that are relevant, easily comprehensible to each other, and of an acceptable level
of language accuracy. To help learners gain success in speaking skill, the teacher should
chose the appropriate topic for learners so that they can express their ideas from their own
experience and knowledge. In addition, the teacher should review and provide relevant


8

information, vocabulary and structures related to the topic before the activity starts so that
learners are encouraged to speak.

I.3. Pairwork and groupwork
I.3.1. Definition of pair and group work
According to Communicative Language Teaching, pair work and group work are
seen as the most common activities in a language classroom, in which students can interact
with each other, and will be able to communicate in the target language. But what are pair
work and group work ?
Adrian Doff (1988:137) defines that, in pairwork the teacher divides the whole
class into pairs. Every student works with his or her partner, and all the pairs work at the
same time. Point out that this is not the same as „public‟ or „open‟ pairwork, with pairs of
students speaking in turn in front of the class.
The definition of pair work in this case is an activitiy that gives students more
opportunities to talk to each other and practices language skills effectively.
Gover and Walters (1986:23-33), pair work is also defined: In pair work, the
teacher divides the whole class into pairs. Every student works with his or her partner and
all the pair work at the same time. They can face and talk to the person next to them or turn
to the person sitting behind him or her, or if possible students can exchange their seats to
work with their working partner rather than the neighbor. These depend on the amount of
time as well as the type of activity.
In groupwork, the teacher divides the class into small groups to work together
(usually four or five students in each group). As in pairwork, all the groups work at the
same time. (Adrian Doff 1988:137).
Obviously, group work is a co-operative activity, during which students share
aims, responsibilities, especially independence because they can take some of their own
learning decisions without the control of the teacher. Students can learn to negotiate, to
listen to other opinions. Thus, group work is one of the most popular activities of learnercentered approach applied effectively in large language classrooms.


9

I.3.2.Advantages and disadvantages of pair and group work in a speaking
lesson.
I.3.2.1. Advantages of pair and group work in a speaking lesson.
Pair work and group work play an important role in teaching and learning speaking
skill because of several advantages as follows:
For students:
Pair work and group work give students more language practice in the language
classroom. Pair work and group work give students more opportunity to speak English
because working in pair and group dramatically increases the amount on speaking time a
student gets in the class.
Students are more involved in the activity. Working in pairs or groups encourages
students to be more involved and to concentrate on the task.
Students feel more secure and are more willing to speak. Students feel less anxiety
when they are working „privately ‟ than when they are „on show‟ in front of the whole
class. Pair work and group work can help shy students who would never say anything in a
whole-class activity.
Pair and group work encourage students to share ideas and help each other. In a
class there are always weak and strong students, so working in pairs or groups, students
can learn from one another a lot. Pair work and group work encourage students to share
ideas and knowledge. It recognizes the old maxims that “two heads are better than one”,
thus promoting learner cooperation. If we get students to make decisions in pairs, we allow
them to share responsibility rather than having to bear the whole weight themselves.
(Adrian Doff,1988:141; Jeremy Harmer,1999:116)
For teachers:
It may be a good way of saving time: Pair work and group work allow teachers to
work with one or two pairs/ groups while the others continue working.
It is a good way of checking students‟ progress in learning. The teacher can check
students‟s progress without students‟ knowledge about the fact that they are observed and
checked. Walking round the class and listening to the working students, the teacher cannot


10

only take notes of the most common mistakes to discuss them later, but also discover
whether they are able to communicate with each other in the foreign language or not. Such
discovery helps the teacher to decide which parts of material need to be repeated or
explained later.
It is relatively quick and easy to organize. Pair work and group work give the
teacher time to consult the lesson plan and organize materials for the next stage of the
lesson. Although the teacher can be prepared for the lesson very well, sometimes she
happens to forget what she must do next. Pair or group activities are the best for looking up
the lesson plan. It is also good for organizing materials for the next activity.
Pair work and group work free the teacher from her usual role of “an expert who
always lectures” and allows her to walk freely round the classroom, leading and
encouraging students, giving help when necessary noting language mistakes for future
remedial work.
I.3.2.2. Disadvantages of pair and group work in a speaking lesson.
Using pair and group work have several disadvantages for both teachers and
students. Belows are their common problems:
For students:
Students overuse their mother tongue. Students working in pairs and groups can
veer away from the point of an exercise, talking about something else and often in their
mother tongue. Moreover, some students are anxious about making mistakes or being
laughed at by their friends, so they use their mother tongue when express their complex
ideas.
It is noisy: Pair and group work in a large class will be noisy, and this cannot be
helped. The whole class feeling may dissipate when the class is split into smaller entities.
Students‟ dissatisfaction with group arrangement. Individuals may fall into group
roles that become fossilized, so that some are passive whereas others may dominate. Not
all students enjoy it since they would prefer to be the focus of teacher‟s attention rather
than working with their peers.


11

It is incorrectness. During pair work and group work the teacher usually does not
disturb the students, even if he/she notices some mistakes they have made, but let them
speak freely. It is tempting to suggest that students may learn each other‟s mistakes or
errors, but we should not forget that errors or mistakes are an indissoluble element of the
process of learning.
For teachers
It is difficult to control class. Pair and group work is frequently noisy. The
teachers find it difficult to control what students are doing in pair work and group work
than in a class as a whole.
The problems of class time: It is clear that teachers have only forty-five minutes for
their lesson while they have to cope with many tasks. If the teachers are not good at
organizing pair work and group work, this activity will take much time and become
ineffective .
Pair work and group work are connected with noise and indiscipline. Participants
in a pair work or group work activity are normally unaware of the noise and of what other
pairs or groups are doing. The only possible problem here can be if the classroom has
particularly thin walls. If the activity is organized well and the learners are all actively
speaking, then a teacher should let them make a noise, because it is “productive noise.”
In conclusion, despite of several disadvantages, the advantages of pair and group
work far outweigh the disadvantages. Instead of being dependent on the teacher, students
get used to helping and learning from each other . Meanwhile, the teacher is left free to
discreetly monitor progress and give help, advice and encouragement where and when it is
necessary.

I.3.3. Pairwork and groupwork in speaking classroom
Pair work and group work are typical organizational features of CLT classroom.
They give the learners the chance of communicating, negotiating meaning and keeping
conversations. They read each other‟s work or work on a short dialogues or tasks in which
the students can practise the new language that they have just learnt.
Pair and group activities provide a variety of ways in which foreign language
teachers can create

opportunities for students to practise English to

improve their

communication skills. Providing meaningful pair work for beginner learners in particular,


12

however, can be challenging when students‟ language proficiency is limited. Hence, the
teacher should select a wide range of activities, choose approriate material, guide students
and encourage their contributions

in order to develop a communicative lesson

successfully.

I.3.4. Some pair and group activities in a speaking lesson.
I.3.4.1. Role-play
Role-play is an activity in which students are given situations and roles to act out
like real. This acting is done for the sake of the language and imaginative activity, not for
exhibition. This activity is not only easy to do but also simple to plan. Role-play is
recommended to be used in the English speaking classes. Students pretend they are in
various social contexts and have a variety of social roles. In role-play activities, the teacher
gives information to the learners such as who they are and what they think or feel. Thus,
the teacher can tell the student that "You are David, you go to the doctor and tell him what
happened last night, and…" (Harmer, 1984)
I.3.4.2. Information Gap
In order to change the asmostphere in the class and get the students‟accuracy and
fluency, the teacher can divide the class into pairs and groups. In each pair or each group,
one asks and the other answers about something he/she wants to know or they exchange
information, etc.
For example: Filling the gaps in a schedule or timetable: Partner A holds an airline
timetable with some of the arrival and departure times missing. Partner B has the same
timetable but with different blank spaces. The two partners are not permitted to see each
other's timetables and must fill in the blanks by asking each other appropriate questions.
The features of language that are practiced would include questions beginning with "when"
or "at what time." Answers would be limited mostly to time expressions like "at 8:15" or
"at ten in the evening."
I.3.4.3. Discussion:
With more advanced classes, discussion can be conducted in groups. It is important
to define the discussion clearly, and to ask each group to report their group‟s work.
According to Penny Ur (1996), discussion is the most natural and effective way for


13

students to talk freely in English by thinking out some problems or situations together
through verbal interchange of ideas.
For example, students can become involved in agree/disagree discussions. In this
type of discussions, the teacher can form groups of students, preferably 4 or 5 in each
group, and provide controversial sentences like “people learn best when they read vs.
people learn best when they travel”. Then each group works on their topic for a given time
period, and presents their opinions to the class. It is essential that the speaking should be
equally divided among group members. At the end, the class decides on the winning group
who defended the idea in the best way.
I.3.4.4. Problem-solving
According to Byrne (1980) problem-solving requires students to work in group to
find “solutions” to the problems of different kinds. Problem-solving is suitable for students
of all levels. As students are put in some real situations or imaginary situations, they talk
together to find out a solution for a problem or task given. These activities concentrate on
communication, not on patterns or structures. The problem –solving activities stimulate
students to talk and to listen to the others. As a result, the interaction among students
increases and communicative purpose is gained. For example: placing items in order of
importance, fixing itineraries, deciding use of money for present or a more challenging
problem situation ( for instance they have to imagine that they have survived a plan crash
in a desert; with some tools and limited survival ration, they must decide what to do)
students have to use their language, take the risk of experimenting what they have learnt to
find out a solution. Therefore, the lessons become more practical and attractive to them.
I.3.4.5. Interviews
Students are divided into pairs and are given a series of questions to ask their
partner.

The best interviews focus on interesting events in the students' own lives.

Example: When you were a child, did you have a nickname? What games did you play?
Did you ever have any serious illness or accident? Who was your favorite relative?
Interviews can be constructed around a particular grammatical structure, such as the use of
past tense or present progressive verbs. If the conversational exchange is interesting
enough, the grammatical focus will probably not interfere with the interaction, or the
conversation will expand naturally into a semantic or contextual emphasis.


14

I.3.5. The arrangement of pair and group work
There are various ways to arrange pair work and group work, however, we should
take a careful consideration to decide how to put individual students into pairs and groups,
and with which of their classmates.We can base such decision on any of Harmer‟s
principles :
Friendship: When putting students in pairs or groups is to make sure that we put
friends with friends, rather than risking the possibility of people working with others whom
they find difficult or unpleasant.
Streaming: Streaming is a complex task, since it forces teachers to divide students
according to their ability (pairs and groups should have a mixture of weaker and stronger
students.), level of participation.
Chance: This is by far the easiest way of doing things since it demands little preplanning, and, by its very arbitrariness, stresses the cooperative nature of working together.
We can arrange pairs of groups by putting students who are sitting next or near to each
other together, by giving each student in the class (in the order they are sitting) a letter
from A to E, then ask all the As to form a group, all the Bs to be a group, all the Cs to be a
group and so on, or grouping students by people wearing black or green or people with or
without glasses, etc.
Changing groups: Students do not stay in the same groups from the beginning to
the end of the activity. A longer sequence may start with the teacher and the whole class
before moving between pairwork, individual work, and groupwork until it returns back to
the whole-class grouping.
Generally, if we are concerned about the asmosphere of the whole class and some
of the intensions in it, we may make friendship groups. If our activity is based on fun, we
may leave our grouping to chance, or if we are dealing with a non-homogeneous class in
terms of level, or if we have some students who are falling behind, we may stream groups
so that we can help the weaker students while keeping the more advanced ones engaged in
a different activity.
According to John Honeyfield (1991), pairs and groups can be organized with the
following criteria.
Free grouping: Students make their own decisions about who to work with.


15

Same proficiency level grouping: students of the same proficiency level are
grouped together.
Mixed proficiency level grouping: each group has a mix of proficiency levels.
Random grouping: students are allocated to groups in some random ways.
Grouping based on other differences: In a mixed class, students are grouped so
that each group has a mix of some other characteristic, for example: sex, age, nationality,
mother tongue, or ethnic origin.
To sum up, the teachers have many ways to organize pairwork or groupwork. This
is up to the aim and the activity of a speaking lesson. Thus, the teacher can base on these
select an effective arrangement of the pairwork and groupwork to adapt for students‟ need.


16

Chapter II: THE STUDY

II. 1. Situational analysis
II. 1. 1. The setting of the study
Viet Bac high school- a school is located in the centre of Lang son city, Lang son
province. The school has a history of 63 year development since its foundation in 1947.
Up to now, it has 55 classes of three grades 10,11,12. There are 14 teachers of English.
Most of them are young and enthusiatic.
English is one of the compulsory subjects in every high school.There are three
forty-five minute English lesson for each grade per week. Some of students are motivated
to learn English for communication and employment, but some just learn English for
passing the national examination by at the end of the high school period.
Although the school is situated in the city centre like many other schools in
Vietnam, it shares common features with classrooms else where in Vietnam: The class size
here is generally from 45 to 50 students. The classroom is poorly equipped only with
black- boards and short desks for 3 students sharing one and end unremovable furniture.
There is only one well-equipped classroom for teaching e-lessons. This situation raises a
great challenge to the teachers of English when organizing group works.
II. 1. 2. The 11th grade English program
II. 1. 2. 1. The teaching materials
The current teaching material is the new English textbook compiled by Vietnamese
teachers. The new English textbook - English 11 is theme-based designed with 16 units
with 16 topics divided into 6 themes: Personal information, Education, Community,
Health, Recreation, The world around us. Within the frame work of each unit, the language
input is respectively introduced through 5 sections respectively: reading, speaking,
listening, writing and language focus. Each section is designed to be taught separately in
one period. These sections are theme-based closely related to each other to ensure a
smooth transition from one to another. The beautifully colorful pictures, illustrations and
audio tapes are provided to accompany with the textbook. All the practice, activities and
exercises in this book are designed to help learners to improve their communicative
competence, especially speaking skills.


17

II. 1. 2. 2. The course objectives
In this textbook, the learning objectives are clear and concise and a detailed
overview of the topics, functions, structures/ grammar, and skills within each unit can be
found in the introductory table of contents.
The course book aims at developing learners‟ all the form language skills including
speaking skills . In each speaking lesson, students have to complete 3 or 4 tasks. Task 1
and task 2 focus on learners‟ language input and develop language competencies as well as
language specific functions such as expressing preferences; talking about the nature,
hobby, the social problems; expressing opinions; asking for and giving information;
expressing agreements and disagreements; and making comparison and contrasting…etc.
Task

3-4 get students to synthesize specific competencies and develop a text for 1-2

minute speaking practice with or without the guidance from the teachers.
II. 2. The study
II.2.1. The subjects
The 6 teachers teaching 11th grade students were asked to join in the survey
questionaire for teachers. Among them, there were two males and four females. They were
aged from 25 to 40 with at least 3 years experience in teaching English.
100 11th grade students at Viet Bac high school were selected to take part in the
survey questionaire. Their ages were from 16 to17 and from different classes. In general,
they did not have the same English level and English speaking ability.
II.2.2. Instrumentation
II.2.2.1. Survey questionaire
The survey questionaire is considered as one of the most effective
instruments for collecting data in social science. Because of the advantages of questionaire
such as: less pressure on respondents, not under pressure of interview, and analysis of
answer straightforward, this study used the survey questionaire as the main source to
fullfill its aims. Two sets of survey questionaire were designed to investigate 11 th grade
students‟ and the teachers‟ attitudes towards the use of pairwork and groupwork in
learning speaking skill at Viet Bac high school.
Survey questionaire for students consist of 12 questions in order to find their
attitudes towards pairwork and goupwork activities. The questionaires were given to 100
students of grade 11.


18

Survey questionaire for teachers was designed with 12 questions to seek teachers‟
attitudes towards the application of pairwork and groupwork in teaching speaking skill and
their suggestion for improving their own teaching speaking. The questionaires were given
to 6 teachers of both genders and all ages, accounting for about 50% per cent of the total
members of the teaching team.
II.2.2.2. Classroom observation
Besides questionaires, classroom observation is another tool to collect more
information about the reality of the application of pair and groupwork activities in teaching
and learning speaking skill.
- Classroom observations were done in 6 classes of different aims and purposes.
- The classes observed might not be prepared for being observed.They might be done in
normal.
- The researcher might not do anything to interfere the classes.
- The details of the classes were recorded by taking notes.
- After observing the observer and the teacher discussed and exchanged ideas.
II. 2. 3. Data analysis
II. 2. 3. 1. Data analysis of teachers’ survey questionnaire
Table 1: Answers to questions on teachers’ opinion on the role of the teaching
speaking skill. (by percent)
Options

A

B

C

D

E

Questions
A.very important D.almost
1

B. important

unimportant

C. neutral

E. unimportant

50

50

According to the table above, 50 % of the teachers said that speaking skill was very
important meanwhile 50 % consider speaking skill important. Thus, almost teachers were
aware of the importance of speaking skills as a means of communication and exchanging
information with the outside world. They were all interested in this skill.
Table 2: Answers to questions on teachers’ attitude towards pair work and group
work (by percent)


19

Options

A

B

C

D

E

Questions
2

3

A.very

D.almost

important

unimportant

B. important

E.

C. neutral

unimportant

A. Yes

B. No

37.5

62.5

78

22

As can be seen from Table 2, most of the teachers thought that pairwork and
groupwork were important in language teaching and learning especially in speaking skill.
Using pair and groupwork

encouraged students in learning and makes classroom

atmosphere exciting. As the result, for question 3 almost (78%) teachers liked pair and
groupwork, 22% did not like these activities because of noise, loosing classroom control.
Table 3: Answers to questions on teachers’ current teaching methods in using pair
and group work (by percent).
Answers

A

B

C

4

37.5

12.5

50

5

100

6

25

75

7

75

25

50

8

62.5

12.5

50

D

E

F

G

H

I

Questions

12.5

12.5
37.5

62.5

According to the statistical table above, 50% of the teachers used pair work and group
work in their speaking lesson. while 37.5% applied pair work and only 12.5 let students
work in group.
Answering to the next question, 100% of the teachers reponsed they organized pair
work and group work in their speaking lessons with following reasons: Firstly, students
could help each other, and they were not worried about their ability. Secondly, working in
pair and group made students more confident and active. Next, students had chance to
compare and check their mistakes with each other. Lastly, it encouraged students to speak,
express ideas freely.


20

When being asked about the frequency of the organizing pair and group work, 75 % of
the teachers said that they often organized pair work and group work in their speaking
lessons and 25 % organized always.
Question 7 stated the ways of grouping students into pairs and groups of three or four.
75 % of the teachers prefered to group students at the same desk work together. This way
helped them save time and it was also convenient. 50% of teachers chose the easy way was
that students who sat next to each other worked with each other.While 12.5 % let students
worked with different sexes and students sat far from each other comed to work together.
Question 8 concerned kinds of activities teachers often used for pair and groupwork. It
was revealed that most of the teachers (62.5 %) favored role-playing, and conversation.
50% of the teachers were interested in using discussing activities. 37.5% was the choice for
interviewing. And games only counted for 12.5 %.
Table 4: Answers to questions on teachers’ judgements of their applying pair work
and group work activities (by percent)
Answers

A

B

C

9

50

37.5

12.5

10

12.5

62.5

25

11

37.5

40

12.5

D

Questions

Question 9 sought to know the satisfaction of the teachers on the way they organized
pairwork and groupwork in a speaking lesson. Half of the teachers were satisfied with their
organizing. 37.5 % were quite pleased and the number of teachers who were not satisfied
with it is small (12.5%).
Question 10 concerned teachers‟ judgements . Appropriateness was highly evaluated
with 62.5 %. 25% of the teachers thought that pairwork and groupwork activities were not
very appropriate for their students in a speaking lesson. Meanwhile 12.5 % stated pairwork
and groupwork were very appropriate.
For the next question, most of teachers said that pair and group works were useful
enough and very useful for promoting their students learning in speaking lessons. Only
12.5 %

was not quite useful. Question 12 dealt with difficulties, the teacher has

experienced when applying pair and group work in the speaking class. Although teachers


21

were totally aware of advantages when using pair work and group work, its problems could
not be avoided. A majority of the teachers (75%) encountered the biggest difficulty was
that students made so much noise and they used Vietnamese during pair and groupwork.
12.5 % of the teacher complained that students were shy, timid, passive and lack of words
to speak. Another number of teachers (12.5 %) reported that they did not have enough time
for preparation because of large class and multi-level students.
II.2.3. 2. Data analysis of students’ survey questionnaire
Table 5: Answers to questions on students’ opinions on learning speaking skill (by
percent)
Options

A

B

C

51

12

37

59

27

10

D

Questions
1

A. Thích
B. Không thích
C. Không thích cũng
không ghét.

2.

A. Rất quan trọng

4

B. Quan trọng
C. Bình thường
D. Không quan trọng
According to question 1 of the table 5, more than half of students (59%) were fond
of learning speaking skill, they also considered speaking skill as an important skill in
communication. 37 % did not have clear attitude towards learning speaking skill. A small
number of students (12%) did not like learning speaking skill. They explained that they
find it difficult to pronounce English sounds, and to express their ideas.
For the next question, 59% of the students said that they considered pairwork and
groupwork activities very important . 27% showed these activities were important, while
10 % showed their opinions were neutral. And only 4% students who thought pairwork
and groupwork were not important.
Table 6: Answers to questions on students’ attitudes toward pairwork and
groupwork in a speaking lesson (by percent)


Tài liệu bạn tìm kiếm đã sẵn sàng tải về

Tải bản đầy đủ ngay

×