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Tailieu.vncty.com cac hoat-dong_trong_lop_hoc_de_khuyen_khich_kha_nang_trinh_bay_tieng_anh_cua_hoc_sinh_lop_10_truong_thpt_marie_curie_hai_phong Document Transcript

  • 1. VIETNAM NATIONAL UNIVERSITY, HANOI UNIVERSITY OF LANGUAGES AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES DEPARTMENT OF POST-GRADUATE STUDIES  BÙI THỊ ÁNH TUYẾT M.A. MINOR THESIS CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES TO STIMULATE 10-FORM STUDENTS’ PRESENTATION IN ENGLISH SPEAKING LESSONS AT MARIE CURIE HIGH SCHOOL, HAI PHONG (Các hoạt động trong lớp học để khuyến khích khả năng trình bày tiếng Anh của học sinh lớp 10 trường THPT Marie Curie, Hải Phòng) Field: English teaching methodology Code: 60 14 10 Cohort: MA 15 Supervisor: Lê Thế Nghiệp, M.A
  • 2. Hanoi, 2009
  • 3. TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT............................................................................................................................i ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS...................................................................................................ii ABBREVIATIONS..............................................................................................................iii INTRODUCTION..................................................................................................................1 1. RATIONALE.................................................................................................................1 2. OBJECTS OF STUDY...................................................................................................2 3. AIMS OF STUDY........................................................................................................2 4. SCOPE OF STUDY......................................................................................................2 5. METHODOLOGY OF STUDY....................................................................................3 6. RESEARCH HYPOTHESES........................................................................................3 7. DESIGN OF THE STUDY............................................................................................3 PART II: DEVELOPMENT..................................................................................................7 CHAPTER I: LITERATURE REVIEW................................................................................7 1.1. SOME DEFINITIONS................................................................................................7 1.2. FACTORS PREVENT STUDENTS FROM PRESENTING A TOPIC....................7 1.2.1. Factors of Foreign Language Anxiety..................................................................7 1.2.2. Factors associated with Learner’s own sense of ‘self’ and ‘language classroom environment’................................................................................................................10 1.2.3. Classroom procedure..........................................................................................12 1.3. Socio-cultural factors................................................................................................13 1.3.1. Social environment for L2/FL acquisition.........................................................13 1.3.2. Errors in social setting........................................................................................14 1.4. COMMUNICATIVE CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES................................................14 1.4.1. Purpose...............................................................................................................14 1.4.2. Requirements......................................................................................................15 1.4.3. Types of communicative classroom activities....................................................16 1.5. INTEGRATING SKILLS AND PRESENTATION.................................................18 1.5.1. Important of integrating skills............................................................................18 1.5.2. Presentation through reading activities..............................................................19 1.5.3. Presentation through writing activities...............................................................19 1.5.4. Presentation through listening activities.............................................................19 CHAPTER II........................................................................................................................21 THE STUDY........................................................................................................................21 2.1. Aims..........................................................................................................................21 2.2. Informants.................................................................................................................21 2.3. Hypotheses: Remarks on some problems of English learning and teaching at Marie Curie High school, Hai Phong city...................................................................................21 2. 3.1. Materials............................................................................................................21 2.3.2. Teachers’ method...............................................................................................22 2.3.3. Students’ motivation..........................................................................................22 2.4. Methods.....................................................................................................................23 2.5. Data collection ..........................................................................................................24 2.6. Data analysis .............................................................................................................24 2.6.1. Survey questionnaire for teachers .....................................................................24
  • 4. 2.6.2. Survey questionnaire for students......................................................................27 2.7. Discussion of the findings.........................................................................................29 CHAPTER III:......................................................................................................................31 3.1. Information sources...................................................................................................31 3.2. Activities in class.......................................................................................................32 3.3. Practical tips for teachers..........................................................................................41 PART III ..............................................................................................................................44 CONCLUSION....................................................................................................................44 1. Summary of the study..................................................................................................44 2. Limitations of the study................................................................................................45 3. Suggestions for further study.......................................................................................45 REFERENCES.....................................................................................................................46 APPENDIX 1..........................................................................................................................I APPENDIX 2.......................................................................................................................III APPENDIX 3........................................................................................................................V
  • 5. i ABSTRACT This thesis is concerned with stimulating 10-form students’ presentation in English speaking classroom. Specifically, a survey will be taken on teachers of English and 10form students at Marie Curie High school in Hai Phong city to consider how English speaking lessons are conducted and how students respond to English speaking lessons. The thesis also study students’ difficulties when participating in English speaking lessons. This thesis also recommends some practical tips and typical classroom activities which were applied by the author and suggested by teachers of English at Marie Curie High school to improve quality of teaching and learning presentation in English.
  • 6. ii ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to express my gratitude to my supervisor, Mr. Le The Nghiep for his guidance and inspiration while I was working on this study. Research for this paper was supported by the Post-graduate Department - College of Foreign Languages – Hanoi National University with encouragements and permissions. I would also like to acknowledge the advice, comments I have received from my colleagues at Marie Curie High school in Haiphong. My thanks also go to 10 teachers and 100 students at Marie Curie High school in Haiphong who provided me with valuable data for the study so that I can have a better view of activities in presentation task in English speaking classes at Marie Curie High school in Haiphong. Finally, I would like to thank my family for their special care and support.
  • 7. iii ABBREVIATIONS CA: Communication Apprehension CLT: Communicative Language Teaching EFL: English as Foreign Language ELT: English Language Teaching ESL: English as Second Language FL: Foreign Language L1: First Language L2: Second Language
  • 8. 1 PART I INTRODUCTION 1. RATIONALE As English has been an international language, the ability to present a topic is clearly valuable at every stage of students’ lives. Whatever the subjects they study, presentation will bring them success in English speaking classes, academic work, job interviews and their future work life – it is the most transferable of all their skills, and a critical part of their professional development. Presentation is also an important part in an English speaking class at high school, in which students are required to present their ideas in a short and simple way. This research is motivated by both subjective and objective reasons. Subjectively, doing a research on Methodology, especially on teaching speaking is very useful for a teacher of English. Objectively, the importance of English in communication is increasingly emphasized, while the present English teaching at Vietnam’s high schools seems to face with an obstacle in improving learners’ communicative competence. According to Communicative Language Teaching (CLT), the purpose of language teaching and learning is to develop communicative competence in the target language. Littlewood also states: “One of the most characteristic features of Communicative Language Teaching is that it pays systematic attention to functional as well as structural aspects of language”. However, the traditional method applied at Vietnamese secondary schools does not comply with the textbook at all. Most teachers focus on teaching vocabulary, grammar, reading and writing skills. They do not pay adequate attention to speaking and listening skills. As a result, this leads to some problems. Learners can be good at written English but they have difficulty in using it in oral communication. Besides, their English is not good enough to use in real communicating situations. Moreover, teaching and learning conditions at Vietnamese secondary schools are face with some drawbacks. A class of 45 to 50 learners is not appropriate for language teaching and learning. Therefore, a suggested solution is
  • 9. 2 that teachers should apply suitable classroom activities to stimulate learners’ speaking ability right from the beginning. Hopefully, this study will make a small contribution to the application of communicative language teaching approach in developing the 10th form learners’ ability in presentation at Vietnamese secondary schools in general and at Marie Curie high school in Haiphong in particular. 2. OBJECTS OF STUDY Due to actual English teaching and learning conditions, so far the most widely used English textbooks at Vietnamese high schools have been applied to 7-year English course. Thus, the subjects of the study will be the high school students who use 7-year English textbooks. For the limitation of the study, it can only focus on the 10 th form Marie Curie high school students. 3. AIMS OF STUDY Fist of all, this study is conducted to emphasize the importance of presentation skill in learning English. Secondly, this study will suggest some classroom activities to stimulate the 10th form Marie Curie High school students in presentation tasks in an English speaking class. Finally, it provides suggestions for teachers of English to prepare English lessons at Marie Curie High school. 4. SCOPE OF STUDY Due to the limit of the thesis, the study can not cover all techniques to stimulate students’ speaking ability in a language class. Therefore, it will focus on some typical classroom activities which may produce a stimulus for the 10th form Marie Curie High school students’ presentation.
  • 10. 3 5. METHODOLOGY OF STUDY The theoretical background of the study is mainly based on the books and documents written by a number of scholars on foreign language teaching. This study is conducted based on qualitative and quantitative methods. Comments, remarks, suggestions and conclusions are based on actual researches, experience, and discussions. Besides, books are used as reference. Situational survey will be conducted on the students’ learning style and motivation, their problems in English presentation tasks. The study will also be conducted on teachers’ techniques to raise students’ ability of presentation. Questionnaires will be given to analyze learners’ attitude towards presentation tasks as well as teachers’ techniques in speaking classes and needs in foreign language teaching and learning. 6. RESEARCH HYPOTHESES Perhaps one of the obvious problems is the lack of students’ interest and active participation in learning activities. Traditional methods of teaching in English classrooms have focused on passive learning. This problem is probably caused by less exciting and practical activities of teachers. The questions to be dealt with are: How important is presentation to foreign language learning? What should be done to stimulate the 10th form Marie Curie High school students in presentation tasks in an English speaking class? 7. DESIGN OF THE STUDY The study is intended to consist of three parts: 1. Part 1 – Introduction: give reasons for choosing the thesis, objects, aims and scope of the study as well as the methodology of the study. 2. Part 2 – Development: will be divided into three chapters:
  • 11. 4 Chapter 1: Literature Review focus on some definitions of presentation, types of presentation. Some factors that prevent students from presenting a topic and communicative classroom activities are also mentioned as the basis of the thesis. Finally, the thesis discuss the important of integrating skills, the relation between presentation and other skills including reading, writing and listening. Chapter 2: The study gives the data analysis from the survey of 10 teachers of English and 100 students at Marie Curie High school to make the foundation for the activities in chapter 3. Chapter 3: indicates some typical activities and practical tips for teacher to stimulate 10-form students’ presentation in an English speaking lesson and examples for illustration. 3. Part 3 – Conclusion: summarizes the study, limitations of the study and suggestions for further study.
  • 12. 5
  • 13. 6
  • 14. 7 PART II: DEVELOPMENT CHAPTER I: LITERATURE REVIEW 1.1. SOME DEFINITIONS Presentation is generally defined in different dictionaries is to show and to explain the content of a topic to an audience or to audiences. According to Wikipedia – The Free Encyclopedia, presentation is the process of showing and explaining the content of a topic to an audience. The same definition is also recognized by Longman Language Activator (1998: 1017) – To present is to be the person who tells the people watching or listening about the different things what will happen or are happening. For 10-form students, presentation is simplified and limited in a given topic. In a typical 10-form English speaking lesson, students are asked to make small presentations based on a given topic. The lesson is normally built up with three tasks: - Task 1: Students practice sample dialogues to have a general understanding about the topic; - Task 2: Students participate in group discussion, in which students express their ideas and get to know the others’ ideas on the given topic. - Task 3: From the ideas collected from discussion task, students integrate the ideas to make a presentation. This presentation will be presented by a student on behalf of his/her group. 1.2. FACTORS PREVENT STUDENTS FROM PRESENTING A TOPIC 1.2.1. Factors of Foreign Language Anxiety Anxiety has been found to interfere with many types of learning but when it is associated with learning a second or foreign language, it is termed as ‘second/foreign language anxiety’. It is a complex and multidimensional phenomenon (Young, 1991) and can be defined as a subjective feeling of tension, apprehension, nervousness, and worry associated
  • 15. 8 with an arousal of the automatic nervous system. Is has been found that the feeling of tension and nervousness center on two basic task requirement of foreign language learning: listening and speaking because both the skills can not be separated. According to Horwitz et al. (1986: 127), there are three related performance anxieties: (1) communication apprehension (CA); (2) test anxiety; (3) fear of negative evaluation. Due to its emphasis on interaction, the construct of communication apprehension is also relevant to the conceptualization of foreign language anxiety (McCroskey, 1977). The description of these components will lay the foundations for the concept of second/foreign language anxiety, providing an insight to comprehend the sources or causes it can originate from. Communicative Apprehension (CA) The speaking skill is so central to our thinking about language learning that when we refer to speaking a language we often mean knowing a language. MacIntyre and Garder (1991) points out that the skill which produces most anxiety is speaking. This anxiety comes in part from a lack of confidence in our general linguistic knowledge but if only this factor were involved, all skills would be affected equally. What distinguishes speaking is the public nature of the skill, the embarrassment suffered from exposing our language imperfections in front of others. One of the most studied topics in the field of speech communication is the tendency on the part of some people to avoid, and even, fear, communicating orally. Horwitz et al. (1986: 128) define communication apprehension (CA) as “a type of shyness characterized by fear or anxiety about communicating with people”. Communication anxiety may be specific to just a few settings (e.g., public speaking) or may exist in most everyday communication situations, or may even be part of a general anxiety trait that arises in many facets of an individual’s life (Fiedman, 1980). Learners’ personality traits such as shyness, quietness, and reticence are considered to frequently precipitate CA. These feelings of shyness vary greatly from individual to individual, and from situation to situation. McCroskey and Bond (1980) found seven factors that could result in a quiet child (this can equally offer explanation of adult CA); (1) low intellectual skills, (2) speech skill deficiencies, (3) voluntary social introversion, (4) social alienation,
  • 16. 9 (5) communication anxiety, (6) low social self-esteem, (7) ethnic/cultural divergence in communication norms. While communication apprehension is one of these factors, the others can lead to communication apprehension. Communication apprehension obviously plays a large role in second/foreign language anxiety. People who are apprehensive speaking groups are likely to be ever in more trouble when doing so in a second/foreign language class, where in addition to feeling less in control of the communicative situation, they also may feel that their attempts at oral work are constantly being monitored. This apprehension is explained in relation to the learner’s negative self-perceptions caused by the inability to understand others and make himself understood. McCroskey (in Apaibanditkul, 2006: 4) labels this kind of apprehension – which Neer refers to as “apprehension about classroom participation” – as classroom communication apprehension. Test anxiety An understanding of test anxiety is also important to the discussion of foreign language anxiety. Text anxiety, as explained by Horwitz et al. (1986), refers to a type of anxiety stemming from a fear of failure. Test anxiety is quite common in language classroom at any levels. Unfortunately, for highly anxious students, second/foreign languages, more than any other academic subject, require continual evaluation by the teacher – the only fluent speaker in the class. It is also important to note that oral testing has the potential to provoke both test and oral communication anxiety. Fear of Negative Evaluation Fear of negative evaluation is an extension of the second component (test anxiety) of second/foreign language anxiety because it is not limited to test-taking situations; rather, it may occur in any social, evaluative situation, such as interviewing for a job or speaking in second/foreign language class. It is also broader in the sense that it pertains not only to the teacher’s evaluation of the students but also to the perceived reaction of other students as
  • 17. 10 well. Besides, students, when making presentations, may be anxious due to their in sufficient background knowledge on the topic discussed. In spite communication apprehension, test anxiety, and fear of negative evaluation provide useful conceptual building blocks for a description of second/foreign language anxiety, it is more than just the conglomeration of these three components. We conceive foreign language anxiety as a distinct complex of self-perception, beliefs, feelings, and behaviors related to classroom language learning arising from the uniqueness of the language learning process. What makes language learning a distinct and unique process is its interaction with the concept of ‘self’. 1.2.2. Factors associated with Learner’s own sense of ‘self’ and ‘language classroom environment’ As mentioned above, the language anxiety is related to three components. All the three components are strongly linked with learners’ sense of ‘self’, as it is learners’ ‘self’ which is at risk of failure or being negatively evaluated in any test-like situation or a situation which requires communication in front of others. This risk to one’s sense of ‘self’ frequently occurs in a L2/FL classroom. This section reviews literature on language anxiety related to learners’ sense of ‘self’ and ‘language classroom environment’. Self perceptions According to Horwitz et al. (1986: 128), perhaps no other field of study poses as much of a threat to self-concept as language study does. They believe that any performance in L2 in likely to challenge an individual’s self-concept as a competent communicator, which may lead to embarrassment. Laine (1987: 15) indicates that self-concept is the totality of an individual’s thoughts, perceptions, beliefs, attitudes and values having reference to himself as object. This self-concept forms the basis of the distinction between language anxiety and other forms of academic anxieties. The importance of the disparity between the ‘true’ or ‘actual’ self as known to the language learner and the more limited self as can be presented at any given moment in the foreign language would seem to distinguish foreign language anxiety from other academic anxieties such as those associated with mathematics or science.
  • 18. 11 Learners’ belief about language learning As language learning poses a threat to learners’ self-concept, in response learners may generate some particular beliefs about language learning and its use. Certain beliefs about language learning also contribute to the student’s tension and frustration in the class. For example, the followings are such reported beliefs: “I just know I have some kind of disability: I can’t learn a foreign language no matter how hard I try.” (Horwitz et al. 1986: 123). “Russian is too hard. I’ll never be able to learn Russian enough to go to Russia and talk to people”. (Tittle, 1997: 15) Such beliefs have been found to cast a considerable influence upon the ultimate achievement and performance in the target language. In Ohata (2005: 138), a number of beliefs derived from learner’s irrational and unrealistic conceptions about language learning, such as 1) Some students believe that accuracy must be sought before saying anything in the foreign language, 2) Some attach great importance to speaking with excellent native (L1)-like accent, 3) Others believe that it is not ok to guess an unfamiliar second/foreign language word, 4) Some hold that language learning is basically an act of translating from English or any second/foreign language, 5) Some view that two years are sufficient in order to gain fluency in the target language, 6) Some believe that language learning is a special gift not possessed by all. These unrealistic perceptions or beliefs on language learning and achievement can lead to frustration or anger towards students’ own poor performance in a second/foreign language.
  • 19. 12 Instructors’ beliefs about language teaching Just like learners’ beliefs about language learning, some instructor’s beliefs about language learning and teaching have also been found to be a source of anxiety. Onwuegbuzie (1999: 220) asserted instructors’ belief that their role is to correct rather than to facilitate students when they make mistakes. Further, he stated that the majority of instructors considered their role to be less a counselor and friend and objected to a too friendly and inauthoritative student-teacher relationship. The researcher also reported that students realize that some error corrections are necessary but they consistently report anxiety over responding incorrectly and looking or sounding ‘dumb’ or ‘inept’. Young (1991: 429) mentioned the view that the problem for the student is not necessarily error correction but the manner of error correction – when, how often, and most importantly, how errors are corrected. In addition to error correction, some instructors have been reported not to promote pair or group work in fear that the class may get out of control, and think that a teacher should be doing most of the talking and teaching, and that their role is more like a drill sergeant’s than a facilitator’s. These beliefs have been found to contribute to learner’s language anxiety (Young, 1991: 428). Recognition or awareness of these beliefs by both the learners, as well as the teachers, is essential for effective reduce of language anxiety in learners. 1.2.3. Classroom procedure Giving a short talk or presentation in the class has also been reported to be highly anxiety inducing, which makes the classroom environment more formal and stressful for the learners. Different activities in the classroom procedure, particularly those that demand students to speak in front of the whole class, have been found to be the most anxiety provoking. For instance, Koch and Terrell (1991) found that more than half of their subjects in their Natural Approach classes – a language teaching method specifically designed to reduce learner’s anxiety – expressed that giving a presentation in the class, oral skits and discussions in large groups are the most anxiety-producing activities. They also found that students get more anxious when called upon to respond individually, rather than if they are given choice to respond voluntarily. In addition, students were found to be more
  • 20. 13 relaxed speaking the target language when paired with a classmate or put into small groups of three to six than into larger groups of seven to fifteen students. Similarly, Young (1991: 429) added that more than sixty-eight percent of her subjects reported feeling more comfortable when they did not have to get in front of the class to speak. Earlier, Horwitz et al. (1986: 123) reported the same: “Sometimes when I speak English in class, I am so afraid I feel like hiding behind my chair. When I am in my Spanish class I just freeze! I can’t think of any thing when my teacher calls on me. My mind goes blank.” This suggests that any measure to treat language anxiety should not fail to exploit learning environments where students feel free of anxiety. For this, Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) approaches are often recommended by the researchers to provide such and unthreatening environment where students talk to one another and not exclusively to the teacher. 1.3. Socio-cultural factors In the previous parts, it has been viewed that difficulties in learning L2/FL can explain the potential causes of language anxiety at the output stage of language learning within the classroom setting. However, language anxiety may also be an outcome of social and communicative aspects of language learning. The following parts will review the literature on language anxiety from a socio-cultural perspective of language learning and its use. 1.3.1. Social environment for L2/FL acquisition Environment, where the target language is not used as L1 in the community, provides L2/FL learners only limited and sometimes faulty input. For such learners, the only input is teachers’ or classmates’ talk – both do not speak L2 well. Learners in such environments are exposed to the language only in the classroom where they spend less time in contact with the language. The limited exposure to the target language and lack of opportunities to practice speaking in such environments result into embarrassment or stress for them when they are required to speak both in and out of the class.
  • 21. 14 1.3.2. Errors in social setting Although it is clear that language learning cannot be without errors, errors can be a source of anxiety in some individuals because they draw attention to the difficulty of making positive social impressions when speaking a new language (MacIntyre & Gardner, 1989: cited in Horwitz & Gregersen, 2002: 562). Errors in social settings are mostly overlooked if they do not interfere with meaning because people consider it impolite to interrupt and correct somebody who is trying to have a conversation with them. Interlocutors only react to an error if they cannot understand the speech and try to adjust their speech with the speaker in their effort to negotiate for meaning. It is only in the classroom environment that feedback on errors is provided frequently; this leads many learners to frustration and embarrassment by making them conscious of their deficiencies. 1.4. COMMUNICATIVE CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES 1.4.1. Purpose Communicative activities are those which exhibit the characteristics at the communicative end of our continuum. Learners are somehow involved in activities that give them both the desire to communicate and a purpose which involves them in a varied use of the target language. Such activities are vital in a language class since the learners can do their best to use the language as individuals, arriving at a degree of language autonomy. Littlewood (1981) favored the opinion that it is quite necessary to consider the following purposes of communicative activities: • They provide ‘whole-task practice’. In foreign language learning, our means for providing learners with whole-task practice in the classroom is through various kinds of communicative activities, structured in order to suit the learners’ level of ability. • They improve motivation. The learners’ ultimate objective is to take part in communication with others. Their motivation to learn is to be sustained if they can see how their classroom learning is related to this objective and helps them to achieve it with increasing success.
  • 22. 15 • They allow natural learning. Languages takes place inside the learners and, as teachers know to their frustration, many aspects of it are beyond their pedagogical control. It is likely, in fact, that many aspects of language can take place only through natural processes, which operate when a person is involved in using the language for communication. If this is so, communicative activity (inside or outside the classroom) is an important part of the total learning process. • They can create a context which supports learning. Communicative activity provides opportunities for positive personal relationship to develop among learners and between learners and teacher. These relationships can help to ‘humanize’ the classroom, and to create an environment that supports the individual in his effort to learn. Oral communicative activities apply the same purposes, as communicative activities are operated mainly through oral communication. 1.4.2. Requirements In order to get involved in activities in an English speaking class, teachers of English should pay attention to the following requirements (Ur, 1996: 120): • 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 may seem obvious, but often most time is taken up with teacher talk or pauses. • Participation is even. Classroom discussion is not dominated by a minority of talkative participants: all get a chance to speak, and contributions are evenly distributed. • 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. • 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.
  • 23. 16 1.4.3. Types of communicative classroom activities Because communicative principles can be applied to the teaching of any skill, at any level, and because of the wide variety of classroom activities and exercise types, description of typical classroom procedures used in a lesson based on CLT principles is not feasible. However, most practitioners of CLT accept the general procedure with the following communicative activities in their materials and language class provided by Littlewood (1981). Pre-communicative activities: Structural activities Quasi-communicative activities Communicative activities: Functional communication activities Social interaction activities Pre-communicative activities These activities are ones to prepare for the communicative activities which learners are required to do. In pre-communicative activities, the teacher isolates specific elements of knowledge and skills which compose communicative ability, and provide the learners with opportunities to practice them separately. This first kind of activities is sub-divided into structural activities and quasi-communicative activities. • Structural activities Structural activities focus on the grammatical system, describing ways in which language elements can be combined. These activities consist of pronunciation, vocabulary and structure practice. • Quasi- communicative activities Quasi-communicative activities consist of one or more typical conversational exchanges. Some resemble drills, but others are closer to dialogues. These quasi-communicative
  • 24. 17 activities are intended to help the learners relate forms and structures to communicative function, specific meaning, and social context. In short, the aim of pre-communicative activities is to practice using acceptable language fluently, without being concerned to communicate meanings effectively. • Communicative activities These activities require the learners to integrate his pre-communicative meanings. In discussing the various examples of communicative activities, Littlewood proposes to distinguish between two main categories: functional communication activities and social interaction activities. • Functional communication activities Functional communication activities are those which emphasize the functional aspect of communication – the ability to find language which convey in intended meaning effectively in a specific situation. The main purpose of the activity is that learners should use the language they know in order to get meanings across as effectively as possible. Success is measured primarily according to whether they cope with the communicative demands of the immediate situation. Some examples of these activities are questions and answers, openended responses, interview based on a text, information-gap activities, role-plays, etc. • Social interaction activities Social interaction activities are those which place emphasis on social as well as functional aspects of communication. Learners must still aim to convey meanings effectively, but must also pay greater attention to the social context in which the interaction takes place. Success is now measured not only in terms of functional effectiveness of the language but also in terms of the acceptability of the forms that are used. In the early stages of learning, acceptability may mean little more than a reasonable degree of accuracy in pronunciation and grammar. Later, it will increasingly come to include producing language which is appropriate to specific kinds of social situation. Examples of these activities are pair/group-work activities such as simulations, role-plays, and discussions.
  • 25. 18 1.5. INTEGRATING SKILLS AND PRESENTATION 1.5.1. Important of integrating skills The term “integrated skills” is frequently used as if it was almost synonymous with reinforcement. Viewed in this way, the process of integrating language skills involves linking them together in such a way that what has been learnt and practices through the tasks of one skill is reinforced and perhaps extended through further language activities which bring one or more of the other skills into use. Therefore, typically, a piece of spoken language, in the form of a dialogue, will be followed by relating writing activities. Indeed, this pattern-oral work leading to reading and writing- has almost become the classical model for the organization of learning materials into “lesson” or “units”. The extent to which this is done and the way in which it is implemented, in the form of teaching materials will be influenced by such factors as the level of the course, the relative importance of skills for the learners, and the view taken of the optimum ordering of the skills, but overall, this kind of skill linking is regarded as pedagogically sound. This consumption can be supported by the importance of integrated skills activities as follows (Donn Bryne, 1987) 1. They provide opportunities for using language naturally, not just practicing it. 2. Many pair- and group work activities call for a variety of skills, sometimes simultaneously in order to involve all the learners. 3. Learners seem to learn better when they are engaged in activities which involve more than one skill. We are not of course suggesting that single-skill activities are not effective: there will in fact be many occasions when we shall ask the learners just to talk or read or write, because this is appropriate. Equally, however, we should be looking for opportunities to knit together, because this is what happens in real life.
  • 26. 19 1.5.2. Presentation through reading activities It is clear that, integrating skills is useful to create or to prepare contexts for practicing and using the intended language item or skill. In additions, the use of one skill leads quite naturally to the use of another. As a result, reading is likely to lead to speaking. To give simple example, if we read an advertisement for a job in the newspaper, we may discuss it with someone else or ring up and enquire the advertising company about the job. More specifically, in the classroom, if we are looking for sources of talk, whether guided or free, it is apparent that many of these come from reading activities. Learners will, of course, need dialogues as conversational models but these are not necessarily the best stimuli for talk. A reading text on an interesting or relevant topic may be much more productive, often because the ideas are presented more directly. Through reading the learners can also greatly expand their receptive knowledge of the language, especially in the often area of vocabulary. 1.5.3. Presentation through writing activities Similarly, writing activities are sources of talk. A writing activity, done collaboratively in pairs or small groups, will be accompanied by a good deal of talk-talk that is needed to “get something done”. For example, to prepare for a discussion, learners in pairs or groups take notes of their ideas and arguments. It is the same in problem- solving activities, learners prefer to note down solutions to speak fluently and logically. There are many other speaking activities necessarily prepared by writing activities in advance. Generally, the writing activities before presenting a topic are very beneficial, especially for language students at elementary level. They can write to arrange ideas and memorize words and expressions as well, which will help them to speak more easily and confidently. 1.5.4. Presentation through listening activities Like reading and writing activities, listening activities do create a stimulus for speaking activities. For example, students hear a short conversation (or an extract from a long conversation), which provides very few clues as to what the speakers are talking about. The learners themselves have to decide who the speakers are, where they are, what they are
  • 27. 20 talking about and possibly what will happen next. This type of listening then, leads on naturally to discussion. In another listening activity, learners are given some information, for example about a town (places of interest, facilities, etc.) in the form of a talk or conversation, on the basis of which they have to plan a visit. The planning involves discussion and decision-making activities; making choices between places, events; activities for which the background information is made available in the recorded form. However, oral communicative activities through listening comprehension require learners to have a comparatively good listening ability so that learners can catch information and ideas for speaking activities afterwards. Therefore, it is necessary for learners to do simple listening activities right from the beginning of the course and then they can gradually do oral communicative activities effectively based on listening comprehension.
  • 28. 21 CHAPTER II THE STUDY 2.1. Aims The survey is aimed to investigate the current situation of teaching and learning the speaking skill in general and learning how to make presentation in English in particular. First, the specific objectives are to search for the attitudes of students and teachers towards the speaking skill and to find out how presentation is taught. Second, the survey is to study both teachers’ and students’ views of the important factors that effect students’ ability of presentation, and their preference to those given by the teachers. Besides, the survey will help to see what the difficulties of both teachers and students are when they deal with presentation task in an English speaking class. Finally, it will recommend some implications for applying classroom activities to motivate students to present their ideas. 2.2. Informants The informants participating in the survey are 100 grade 10th students of two English classes at Marie Curie High school. They almost come from Hai Phong city. Most of them have been learning English for four years at lower secondary school. However, only few students could express intelligibly in English. This means that they were beginners in speaking English when they entered high school. Few of them can talk about topics required in the English text book. 2.3. Hypotheses: Remarks on some problems of English learning and teaching at Marie Curie High school, Hai Phong city. 2. 3.1. Materials The English materials used in Marie Curie High school language classes are very limited. They are almost only the textbooks compiled by Vietnamese teachers. It is hard for students to have authentic materials such as English newspapers and magazines, visual and audio aids. Therefore, their English lessons are less exciting. The learners also find it hard to get access to the real “language”.
  • 29. 22 2.3.2. Teachers’ method Most teachers of English, not only at Marie Curie High school, but also in other high schools, tend to focus on teaching grammatical structures, vocabulary, reading and writing skills to help their students get good scores in examinations. Besides, they tend to apply traditional techniques of the traditional method, for example, repeating dialogues in the textbooks, giving questions for students to answers. Due to this method, the students have little interest in English lessons and their learning is passive and unsuccessful. Moreover, their speaking ability is not practiced and improved. 2.3.3. Students’ motivation So far, the major aim of Marie Curie High school students in learning English is still aimed at passing school written examinations. In fact, these examinations are mostly based on grammatical structures, vocabulary, reading comprehension, and writing skill. Consequently, despite their interest in developing speaking and listening skills for communication, they would rather study the above mentioned language components and skills. Therefore, they hardly have opportunities to develop speaking skill in English learning. The second reason, in my opinion, is the names of characters and scenes in the text book. Students may not be interested in the book since learning English with Vietnamese names and Vietnamese scenes seem not to make an impression that they are learning “real English” in “English speaking environment” but learning English with the Vietnamese in Vietnam’s situations. The last but not least, visual aids and audio aids are not always available due to inadequate investment in language teaching and learning in Vietnam. Consequently, textbook seems to be the only source of learning for students and teachers. In general, one of the clearly seem features of the high classroom atmosphere is the lack of interest. Most of the classroom activities concentrate on teaching and practicing language structures. As a result, during the lesson, the learners do most repetition, substitution, memorizing activities, or answering questions based on texts and so on. They do not have
  • 30. 23 much time to use English in oral communication. Therefore, when doing speaking activities, they often cope with such problems as “inhibition”, “nothing to say”, “mothertongue used”. Besides, the teaching and learning process focusing much on grammar, reading and writing skills can cause tension to learners. They can be tired of difficult grammatical exercises and boring writing practice. In short, the classroom atmosphere at Vietnamese high schools does not seem to create an appropriate environment and stimulus for the students to present their ideas. 2.4. Methods The survey questionnaires were used in the research as the main source of information. It was conducted with two sets of survey questionnaires for 10 teachers and 100 students at Marie Curie High school. The survey questionnaire for teachers consisting of nine questions was designed to elicit their views on the following aspects (Appendix 1): - The role of presentation in English teaching (questions 1, 2, 3, 4) - The difficulties when teaching cross- cultural knowledge in conversation classes (question 7) - The useful activities in the conversation class (questions 5, 6) - The classroom interaction mode in a presentation task (questions 8, 9) The survey questionnaire for students consisting of nine questions was designed to elicit their views on the aspects as follows (Appendix 2): - The role of presentation in English learning (questions 1, 2, 3) - The way they obtain information for presentation task (question 4) - The motivating activities in the English speaking class (questions 5, 6, 7) - The difficulties when doing presentation activities in the speaking class (questions 8, 9)
  • 31. 24 2.5. Data collection Table 1: Data collected from survey questionnaire for teachers Choices (Percent) Questions 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A (%) B (%) C (%) D (%) E (%) 0 80 30 60 80 30 60 0 0 0 10 70 0 90 50 10 0 0 60 10 0 40 20 10 10 10 0 30 10 0 F (%) 10 0 10 10 90 100 (Questions 7 has more than one answer) Table 2: Data collected from survey questionnaire for students Choices (Percent) Questions 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A (%) B (%) C (%) D (%) E (%) F (%) G (%) 20 10 37 4 0 10 9 46 52 50 60 63 2 72 30 27 31 32 20 20 0 3 28 60 62 23 4 10 10 0 2 0 20 0 80 10 3 30 (Questions 4 has more than one answer) 2.6. Data analysis 2.6.1. Survey questionnaire for teachers The survey questionnaire for teachers was conducted with 10 teachers of English at Marie Curie High school. Data collected from the survey was analyzed according to the four aspects listed in 2.4.
  • 32. 25 • Teachers’ attitudes towards the role of presentation in English teaching and learning (questions 1, 2, 3, 4) For question 1 – “How important is presentation to English learning and teaching?” almost teachers (60%) have positive attitudes towards the role of presentation to English learning and teaching. There are only 10% of the teachers think that it is not important at all. For question 2 – “How often do you find yourself motivated enough to teach presentation in your speaking lessons?” 80% of the teachers say that they sometimes find themselves motivated enough to have presentation topics discussed in their lessons. 10% of the teachers rarely do and the other 10% never do. This data indicates that though most teachers understand the important role of presenting task, they do not always have discussions about topics required in their lessons. There are various reasons that do not motivate the teachers to teach presentation in their speaking lessons: they lack of background knowledge about the topics, they do not feel well before class, they do not think that students are interested and comprehensively understand the topics, etc. Consequently, the time they spend on presentation task is rather short: 70% of the teachers spend 10-20 minutes for their students discussing and do presentation task, 20% spend 510 minutes and the rest 10% spend no time for this task. Perhaps, answers for question 4 – “In your opinion, does presentation teaching require spending a lot of time reading materials before each lesson?” could give an explanation to the problems raised in question 2 and 3. There were 50% of the teachers thinking that presentation teaching requires spending a lot of time reading materials before each lesson but students have to study so many other subjects, such as Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Literature, etc., which make teachers exposed to the risk that they can not conduct a presentation task when students have no preparation. Still, the percentage of those who suppose that not always do they make such kind of preparation is 40%. In fact, this is a matter of teachers’ background knowledge of discussed topics. • Their opinions of the useful presentation activities in the conversation class (questions 5 – which activities do you often carry out in a speaking lesson? And
  • 33. 26 question 6 – If you have a presentation activity in the English speaking class, what do you find most useful?) As described in table 1, for most of teachers, group-work and pair-work are preferable activities that they usually carry out in the speaking class. Individual work is still conducted in the speaking class but it only makes up 20%. However, the efficiency of these activities is not very high: 50% of the teachers find their students working well in groups, 20% in pairs, 10% individual work and there are still 10% of the teachers think that no activities can help their students in the speaking class. This may be problems of the learning environment at Marie Curie High school where teachers have to deal with large English classes of 40 – 50 students while an ideal language class must have only 15 to 20 students. • Their opinions of difficulties when teaching presentation task in English speaking classes (question 7 – What are the difficulties when you teach your students presentation in your English classes?) 60% of the surveyed teachers agree that their biggest difficulty is students’ laziness and passiveness (60%) while some teachers (10%) recognize their lack of knowledge of the discussed topics or they can’t give satisfactory explanations to these topics (10%). In addition, such difficulties as the non-standard learning environment with too many students in a class, lack of visual aids, students’ anxiety due to their lack of confidence, and grammatical and vocabulary knowledge. On the other hand, the insufficiency of authentic materials leads to the fact that teachers cannot explain well about cross-cultural matters while they hardly have chance to contact with foreigners.
  • 34. 27 • Their opinions of classroom interaction mode in the English speaking class (question 8 – Whether students should design the teaching plan together with teachers or not? And question 9 – What do you think about the learner-teacher interaction?) The answers to question 8 show that all of the teachers believe that they must be the only one to design the teaching plan. There are several reasons explaining for this belief: the teachers believe that students do not have enough knowledge to get involved in planning lessons, students will mislead the lesson plan because they lack of seriousness and teaching experience, and students will not like participating in preparing lesson plan. However, 100% of the surveyed teachers agree that there must be an interaction between students and teachers (answers to question 9). Therefore, they require their students to prepare the lesson and get all needed information at home. The only problem pending is that they do not know whether their students are well prepared before going to class or not. 2.6.2. Survey questionnaire for students The survey questionnaire for students was conducted with 100 students at Marie Curie High school. The data of the survey questionnaire was analyzed according to the four aspects listed in part 2.4. • Students’ attitudes towards the role of presentation in English teaching and learning (question 1 – How important is presentation to English to English learning and teaching?, question 2 – What is your opinion of presentation tasks in English speaking class? And question 3 – How much time do you usually spend on presentation task in a 45-minute English lesson?) For question 1, a majority of students believe that presentation is rather important (50%) while a small number of students have the opposite opinion (20%). A few students realize the importance of presentation (20%). However, there are students who see no role of presentation in learning English (10%).
  • 35. 28 For question 2 which deals with the interest of presentation to English learning and teaching, 10% of the students completely agree that it is very interesting, and 60% of the students say that presenting a topic is interesting. However, 20% think that it is not very interesting and 2% believe that it is not interesting at all. According to answers to questions 1 and 2, the time that students at Marie Curie High school need for discussion in presentation task is different. Most of them want to spend from 10 to 20 minutes on this task (63%) while a few of them only spend from 5 to 10 minutes. However, it can be concluded that almost students appreciate the important role of presentation in their English learning. • Students’ ways of obtaining information for presentation task (question 4 – In what ways do you obtain information about your discussed topics?) According to answers to this question, the main sources of information for students to prepare their presentation task are reading lesson (80%), listening lesson (20%), and writing (10%). In addition, TV accounts for 4%, internet occupies 3%. A very small number of students find information in newspapers or through interviewing other people (2%). And some of students collect information for their lesson through reference books or from their own personal experiences. • Students’ opinions of motivating presentation activities in the English speaking class (question 5 – How often does your teacher give speaking activities so that you can build up a report in the presentation task?; question 6 – How does your teacher organize these speaking activities?; and question 7 – What activities you like most in a presentation task?) According to answers to question 5, most students join in speaking activities given by their teacher, 73% do these activities usually and 27% often. Although the teacher organized speaking activities in different ways, 10% for individuals, 30% for pair-work and 60% for group-work, students find group-work motivating the most in presentation task and the percentage is very high (62%), compared to pair-work (27%), individuals (9%). However, there are still 3% of students who don’t like any of these activities above.
  • 36. 29 • Students’ opinions of the difficulties when they deal with presentation activities in the speaking class (question 8 – When do you speak in English in the English speaking class?; question 9 – What prevents you from speaking in the class time?) According to the students’ answers, the major difficulty when they do presentation activities is the lack of knowledge of discussed topics which is proved by such percentage of 52%. Another difficulty is that the students are shy and cannot do these activities well with the percentage of 32%. Some of students say that the problem is they are afraid of making mistakes in class (30%). And a few students find no interest in their teachers’ task. As a result, only 31% of students are willing to talk in class with the reason of interesting lesson, 23% starts speaking when their classmates talk to them and most of them (46%) speak English only when their teacher ask them. 2.7. Discussion of the findings Though the survey has been conducted on a small group of students and teachers, it can provide the author with a deeper insight into the situation of English learning and teaching in general in English speaking class in particular. First of all, the results of the questionnaires have shown that learning and teaching presentation is considered important by most teachers and students, but it has remained sporadic in most language classrooms even in the English speaking class. This is caused by various reasons including the lack of information about the topics discussed, the shortage of authentic materials, the shortage of time in class and students’ anxiety when conducting their presentation in front of class. Secondly, the author has discovered some interesting things about the English teaching and learning in the English speaking class. As can be seen through the data, both teachers and students prefer group-work and pair-work to do the presentation task. In fact, by these activities, students are eager to give their ideas for the presentation at the end of the lesson. We can also see that the presentation activities by which teachers and students are most motivated are group-work type. As for the students, it can be explained by their preference
  • 37. 30 to speak freely with confidence when talking in their own groups. As for teachers, it will be easier for them to manage such a big class of 50 students, so the teachers choose that kind of activity. This type of activity, in fact, brings good effects to transmit knowledge to students in a limited class time. In addition, it is shown that teachers have many difficulties when they teach presentation task in an English speaking class. The biggest difficulty is students’ laziness and passiveness which make it difficult to carry out their intended activities. Another difficulty that is worth mentioning here is the teachers’ knowledge of discussed topics. If a teacher does not have any background knowledge of the discussed topics, he or she may not be confident enough to speak about these topics as well as giving satisfactory explanations to the topics. Students, consequently, will not be interested in the topics. On the other hand, such a learning environment with big classes and inadequate modern teaching facilities has caused many problems to the teachers, particularly when they teach in speaking classes. To sum up, presentation tasks are obviously good to improve students’ speaking and presentation skills which are not only important for them at school but also in real life. However, it is not able to expect that students can make a good presentation at the first time or in short time since there are a lot of difficulties for both teachers and students to prepare for a presentation task. Teachers, as a partner, should always encourage students to study the discussed topics and to get rid of their anxiety when making presentation. The primary goal for each presentation task is not to judge the students’ presentation as right or wrong but to let them express themselves as they are.
  • 38. 31 CHAPTER III: SUGGESTIONS FOR APPLICATION OF CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES TO STIMULATE THE 10TH FORM MARIE CURIE HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS’ PRESENTATION IN AN ENGLISH SPEAKING CLASS Based on the results of the survey questionnaires and my personal experience, some techniques are suggested to stimulate students’ presentation in an English speaking class as follows. 3.1. Information sources In order to get a comprehensive picture of the target language, we need to present our students with different kinds of information. The list below shows some possible sources of information which can be used as materials for teaching presentation. By using a combination of visual, audio and tactile materials, we are also likely to succeed in addressing the different learning styles of our students. 1. Partial lessons in the English 10 textbook (reading, speaking, listening, writing lessons) 2. TV 3. Videos/ Movies 4. CDs 5. Internet 6. Newspapers 7. Stories 8. Students own information
  • 39. 32 9. Interviews 10. Guest speakers 11. Photographs 12. Illustration 3.2. Activities in class Most standard EFL activities can be easily adapted for use in the speaking classroom. The most important point is to ensure that the students are actively engaged in the target language. Some of the favorite activities are discussed below.  Information gaps One type of speaking activity involves the so-called “information gap” – where two speakers have different parts of information making up a whole. Because they have different information, there is a ‘gap’ between them. To my experience, students are willing to ask and answer to fulfill the missed information. Of course, they will follow given examples and information in the textbook such as: Task 1. Quan is a tenth-grade student. He goes to school every morning. Below is his weekly timetable. Ask and answer questions with a partner, using the information from the timetable. Examples: A: What time does Quan have a Civic Education lesson on Monday? B: (He has a Civic Education lesson) at 7:15 a.m. A: What lesson does Quan have at 7: 15 a.m on Monday? B: (At 7: 15 a.m on Monday he has) a Civic Education lesson.
  • 40. 33 7: 15 8: 05 Monday Civic Education Information 8: 55 Technology Math 9: 55 Math Tuesday Physics Wednesday Physical Education Thursday Friday Saturday English Math Literature Literature Literature Geography Biology Literature Chemistry Physics History Physical 10: Education Information Technology English Physics Chemistry 40 English Math Math Class Meeting Aims: To practice saying about Quan’s timetable, asking and answering with “Wh” questions. Level: elementary Time: 5 minutes Materials: English textbook 10, page 14. In class: 1. Teacher asks his/her students to work in pairs asking and answering questions about Quan’s timetable as mentioned in the example. 2. Teacher walks around to make sure the continuance of all pairs and help his/ her students if necessary. 3. After 5 minutes, teacher calls some pairs to practice making dialogue to be sure that all students in class understand and practice in a right way. Source: English Textbook 10, Education Press, 2006. Teacher can ask his students to fill missed information in the handouts. With topics such as football or the World Cup, students are interested in finding out information that they miss in their handouts. Task 2 (Unit 14, English textbook for 10-form students,), for example, can go in following stages:
  • 41. 34 Teacher introduces some scores in football (0 – 0: Nil – nil, 1 – 0: One – nil, 2 – 2: Two all, Penalty kick shoot out). Then he gives his students handout and ask them to work in pairs to fill in missed information by making dialogue as follow: A: Where was the first World Cup held? B: It was held in Uruguay. A: Which teams played in the final match? B: Uruguay and Argentina. A: Which team became the champion? B: Uruguay. A: What was the score of the match? B: 4 – 2. Handout A: TIMES YEAR WINNER 1 3 4 5 1930 1938 1950 1954 Uruguay 8 1966 England 11 13 15 16 17 1978 1986 1994 1998 2002 SCORE RUNNERUP Argentina SCORE 4 2 3 Uruguay 2 COUNTRY France 2 West Germany Netherlands Argentina Brazil France Brazil HOST England Argentina 3 0 2 0 Brazil Germany The USA 0 Handout B TIMES YEAR WINNER 1 3 4 1930 1938 1950 SCORE Italy RUNNER-UP HOST 2 4 2 SCORE Hungary Brazil COUNTRY Uruguay 1 Brazil
  • 42. 35 West Germany 5 1954 8 11 1966 1978 13 1986 West Germany 15 16 1994 1998 Italy 3 0 France 17 2002 2 0 Korea & Japan Argentina Hungary Switzerland 4 3 2 1 Mexico Teacher goes round for help (if necessary). After ten minutes, teacher asks some pairs to practice ask making dialogue before class. By these stages, students can get information and use their answers to talk about the World Cup winners in task 3 later. Information gap activity is preferred by most teachers of English at Marie Curie High school because they can base on given information in tasks to make sub-table or handouts as the example above before get students involved in the presentation part at the end of the speaking lessons.  Role – play Role-play is the way of bringing situations from real life into the classroom. When we do role play, we ask students to imagine. It provides students with the ability to hopefully "get in character" with the role that they must portray (if it is carried out well). In the following example, students will make an interview to ask their partners about their background. Task 2. Imagine you are a journalist. Use the cues below to interview a classmate about his/her background or that of a person he/she knows well. Change the roles when you have finished. • Greeting • primary school • date of birth • secondary school • place of birth • schoolwork • home • favorite subject(s)
  • 43. 36 • • experience • brother(s) • thanking • Aims: parents sister(s) To encourage students to find out information related to their friends’ background for their presentation next task. Level: Elementary Time: 10 minutes Materials: English textbook 10, page 35. In class: 1. The teacher elicit situation and ask students to make questions basing on given information, for example: - When were you born? - Where were you born? - What is your address? - Could you tell me about your parents? What do your father/ mother do? - How many brothers do you have?/ What do they do?/ How old are they? - Which primary school did you go to? - Which secondary school did you go to? - How do you work at school? Do you join all school activities? - What is your favorite subject?/ What subject do you like best? 2. The teacher introduce some special expression for students to do the natural conversation: - Hello. I’m Lan. - Hello. Nice to meet you!
  • 44. 37 - How nice to see you! - Since when have you studied at this school? - Could you tell me something about your parents? - Let me see... - Oh, good! / Oh, yes! / Oh, come on! - I think it’s time to stop. Thanks a lot. - Thank you for giving me time. - Thank you very much. That was very interesting. 3. Students work in pairs to do the interview. 4. Teacher walks around to encourage and help students if necessary. 5. Teacher calls some pairs to do the interview before class. Source: English Textbook 10, Education Press, 2006. After doing this task, students can collect information to talk about the friend they have interviewed for reporting at the end of the lesson. Most students are eager to do the task because they can do it in role of the interviewers.  Talks/discussions Discussion is a valuable form of learning a language. Most teachers hope that they will be able to organize discussion sessions in their classroom, particularly of the exchange of opinions provokes spontaneous fluent language use. Many find, however, that discussion sessions are less successful than they had hoped. The first thing to remember is that people need time to assemble their thoughts before any discussion. The ability to give spontaneous and articulate opinions is challenging in our language, let alone the language we are struggling to learn. The following sequence, therefore, stresses the need for discussion preparation and shows the teacher building the discussion up in stages.
  • 45. 38 The teacher starts by asking individual students to name the last film they saw. Did they enjoy it? Was it funny? Serious? Violent? The replied he gets at this point will be fairly monosyllabic, but at least the topic has been introduced and the students are enjoying thinking about movies. The teacher now says that the class is going to concentrate on the issue of violence in films. Is there too much? Does it matter? Should anything be done about it? He puts the students into groups. In one group, the students have to think (and make notes about) the level of violence in films and what effects it might have. In another group, students have to think of (and make notes about) ways of stopping the portrayal of violence in films. In another group, students have to think up (and make notes about) reasons why the level of violence in films is quite justifiable and un-worrying. When students have had a chance to think of ideas (with the teacher going round to individual groups offering help where necessary), he asks for an opinion about violence from one of the groups. When a student has given it, he encourages other students to ask questions about that opinion. He then asks a different student to say what can be done about it, and that student in turn, is questioned. Finally he asks a student from the ‘violence isn’t working’ group to disagree with the idea that violence in movies is a bad thing. The teacher keeps prompting in this way until the conversation takes off, with different opinions being freely exchanged. Later, when the activity has run out of steam, he can work on any language arising out of the activity. This kind of discussion can be formalized into a proper debate – speakers on different sides giving speeches, comments from ‘the floor’ and a vote at the end. It can also be provoked by giving pairs statements they have to assess on a 0 (=completely disagree) to 5 (=completely agree) scale for, e.g. There’s too much violence in movies. 0 1 2 3 4 5 or by giving the class a number of different statements. They have to choose one and defend it.
  • 46. 39 There are many discussions possible. The important thing is that students need to be Engaged with the topic. They then might do some Study (if there is a necessity for language input, facts or fingers, for example) and move quickly to Activate stages – which include the discussion itself. Almost certainly, however there will be feedback, including Study, after the discussion is over. In general, this kind of discussion is only successful if they have background knowledge of the discussed topics. Therefore, it is necessary for the teacher to provide his students with language input, facts or fingers through pictures, short story or even Vietnamese story related to the topic.  Quizzes According to some teachers’ experience, plays such as quizzes are one of the successful activity types. Quizzes can be used to test materials that you have previously taught, but they are also useful in learning new information for their presentation later. With such a topic as historical places (Unit 16, Textbook for 10-form students), for example, teacher can use quiz as a completion in which students will answer the questions as follow: 1. When and when was Van Mieu – Quoc Tu Giam originally built? 2. What were their functions? 3. Why is Van Mieu – Quoc Tu Giam a place of interest? 4. What is special about the stele there? 5. What trees in Van Mieu continue to flourish even now? The answers for these questions can be taken from the reading lesson of Unit 16. After students answer all questions, teacher introduces new lesson: Today we will talk about some historical places in Vietnam. Or teacher can use given information in Task 1 in the speaking lesson (Unit 16) as the warmer. He asks students close their books and answer his questions: 1. Where is President Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum situated?
  • 47. 40 2. When did the construction of the Mausoleum start? 3. When did the construction of the Mausoleum finish? 4. When can we visit the Mausoleum? 5. Can we take photographs inside the Mausoleum? Quizzes are preferred by most of students. However, quizzes will be more interested if teacher give students some small rewards like candies, notebooks, pens or even good comments.  Simulations Another kind of oral activity which can be used in the classroom is the simulation. We will use the term here to denote an activity which involves decision-making, in which the participants may act as themselves or in social roles. It is not performed for an audience, and the participants work together within the constraints of the imaginary setting. Simulations do not as a category provides any basis for predicting the kinds of language skills that learners will use: it depends what kind of simulation is being considered. For instance, a simulated committee meeting is likely to produce one kind of interaction, a simulated interview another, and a simulated public meeting a third. Indeed a single simulation often consists of several different kinds of interaction, including the three just mentioned. It is however possible to make some predictions, once the nature of the simulation is known. Simulations general divide into three phases: firstly, a stage for giving the participants necessary information; secondly, the problem-solving discussion; and thirdly, follow-up work. Herbert and Sturtridge (1979) illustrate this in their diagram, shown her in Figure 1. PHASE 1 Information Input Language work based on the task The role-cards (if any) The background to the task Technical data Linguistic Input Classroom practice of the language of discussion and essential lexis
  • 48. 41 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------PHASE 2 Sub-group discussions Discussion of the task -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Follow–up Further work arising from the discussion PHASE 3 Follow-up Feedback and evaluation session Immediate remedial work Figure 1: The structure of simulation This kind of activity can be carried out during an English speaking lesson, taking the one of Unit 10 (Conservation, Appendix 3), for example. In this lesson, students will get information in reading part in task 1 and 2. Then they work in groups to find out advantages and disadvantages of zoos of the new kind in task 3. After all, they make a report to share their views with the rest of the class. 3.3. Practical tips for teachers  Personalization Only by personalizing activities and content can we hope to lead students to better understanding of the discussed topic. It will be better for students to give their ideas and present it on their own way. And as every language teacher knows, students love to talk about themselves.
  • 49. 42  Suitable Level of Difficulty We are working with EFL students, so we must constantly remember that they probably will not understand everything that we say. It is not necessary that they understand every word and indeed a challenge is wonderful for learning, but consistently using material or a way of speaking that is too difficult is a sure way to make students lose their interest in a target-culture.  Pair work and group-work Pair –work and group-work are the most useful and preferable to students in the speaking class in general and in presentation task in particular. Students learn more in groups. They have more opportunities for using the target language, discussing the target culture, and then presenting it before the class. Although using pair work and group work has some problems, for example, students can make noise, mistakes; it’s difficult to control the class, these organizations have many advantages. Specifically, students will have more language practice, more involved in the language task, feel secure and help each other.
  • 50. 43  Mistake correction It is important for teachers to correct students’ mistakes made during speaking activities. However, teachers should consider the suitable ways to correct otherwise they will destroy the purpose of the speaking activity. Of course, there are no hard and fast rules about correcting. Some teachers who have a good relationship with their students can intervene appropriately during a speaking activity if they do it in a quiet non-obtrusive way. But it is a risky enterprise. The general principle of watching and listening so that teachers can give feedback later is usually much more appropriate. To sump up, the speaking activities in this chapter tend to follow the same basic pattern: Engage-Activate-Study – that is, the teacher gets students interested in the topic, the students do the task while the teacher watches and listens and they then study any language issues that the teacher has identifies as being problems. The most important thing is that the speaking activities will help students be eager to do tasks in textbook and result in a confident presentation at the end of the speaking lesson.
  • 51. 44 PART III CONCLUSION The previous chapters have provided answers to the research questions. In this chapter, I will give a summary of the important findings and some discussion about the limitations and suggestions for further study. 1. Summary of the study Recently, in the process of international integration, English is still the most popular foreign language to connect people, countries together. Moreover, presentation in English is widely used in most fields. Therefore, the demand to present an idea in English is increasing. For these reasons, the study is aimed to suggest some classroom activities to stimulate the presentation ability of the 10th form students at Marie Curie High school. In the study, both theory and practice are taken into consideration. First of all, the study reviewed some theoretical background including the definitions of presentation, factors that prevent students from presenting, and integrating skills needed to collect information in English speaking class. Then, some hypotheses were put forward and examined by the survey data analysis afterward. Finally, some possible implications to stimulate students’ presentation ability at Marie Curie High school are suggested. The significant part of the study is the survey from which the author has discovered some findings as follows. The results of the survey have pointed out the positive attitudes of both teachers and students towards the important role of presentation to English teaching and learning. The study has indicated the presentation activities which students prefer and find them most motivating and useful in an English speaking class including discussions, and role–plays. In addition, through the study, the author knows that the biggest difficulties when students deal with presentation task are the lack of knowledge as for students and the lack of materials as for teachers. Though the survey was conducted on a limited number of
  • 52. 45 teachers and students, it will hopefully raise 10th form students’ ability of presenting discussed topics at Marie Curie High school. 2. Limitations of the study The study has been conducted in a short time and the data have been attained from a small number of particular students at Marie Curie High school, so the findings may hold true for the teaching and learning in Marie Curie context. Accordingly, the findings may not be applied to a larger number of informants. Moreover, the researcher has also suggested some activities based on her experience in teaching in an English speaking class at high school. 3. Suggestions for further study Firstly, this study has focused on some activities to raise students’ presentation ability in the English speaking class. It should be done in a more comprehensive way in the class of reading, listening, and writing. Secondly, the researcher hopes to work with other colleagues to combine and compile some more supplementary materials that are useful for students when they deal with presentation tasks. Lastly, there should be more research into designing activities that help students understand more about presentation and give them some techniques for an effective presentation.
  • 53. 46 REFERENCES Apaibanditkul, K. (2006). Anxiety of international Thai students in an English speaking context. Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis, Southern IIIinois University at Carbondale. Barbour, R, S., & Kitzinger, J. (1999). Developing focus group research: Politics, Theory and Practice. Sage Publication. Brown, H.D. (1994). Principles of language learning and teaching. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall Regents. Byrne, D. (1987). Teaching oral English. England. Longman. Daly, J. (1991). Understanding communication apprehension: An introduction for language educator, in Horwitz, E. K., & Young, D.J. (eds). Language anxiety: From theory and research to classroom implications. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, pp.314 Doff, A. (1998). Teach English: A training course for teacher. Cambridge University Press. Dornyei, Z., & Kormos, J. (2000). The role of individual and social variables in oral task performance, Language Teaching Research, 4(3), 275-300. Ellis, R. (1994). The study of second language acquisition. Oxford University Press. Gardner, J.(2006). Assessment and learning. SAGE Publications. Gobel, P., & Matsuda, S. (2003). Anxiety and predictors of performance in the foreign language classroom. Science Direct Journal, 32(1), 21-36.
  • 54. 47 Gregersen, T., & Horwitz, E. K. (2002). Language learning and perfectionism: Anxious and non-anxious language learners’ reactions to their own oral performance, The Modern Language Journal, 86(4), 562-570. Harmer, J. (2001). How to teach English: An introduction to the practice of English language teaching. Malaysia: Addition Wesley Longman Limited. Harmer, J. (1999). How to teach English. Malaysia: Longman Harmer, J. (1991). The practice of language teaching. Malaysia. Longman Horwitz, E. K., (2001). Language anxiety and achievement, Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 21, 112-126. Horwitz, E. K., Horwitz, M.B., & Cope, J. A. (1986). Foreign language classroom anxiety, The Mordern Language Journal, 70(2), 125-132. Horwitz, E.K., & Young, D. J. (1991). Language anxiety: From theory and research to classroom implications, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. Herbert, D and Sturtridge, G. (1979). Simulations. London: NFER. Hoàng Văn Vân, Hoàng Thị Xuân Hoa, Đỗ Tuấn Minh, Nguyễn Thu Phương, Nguyễn Quốc Tuấn (2006). Tiếng Anh 10. Nhà xuất bản Giáo dục, Việt Nam. Johnson, K. and Brumfit (1983). Communicative approach to language Teaching. Oxford University Press. Johnson, K and Morrow. K. (1981). Communication in the classroom. England. Longman. Lewis, M.. and Hill, J. (1992). Practical techniques for language teaching. Language Teaching Publications. Littlewood, W. (1981). Communicative language teaching. Cambridge University Press. MacIntyre, P. D. (1995). How does anxiety affect foreign language learning: A reply to Spark and Ganschow, The Modern Language Journal, 79(1), 90-99.
  • 55. 48 Martin Bygate (1995). Speaking. Oxford University Press. Nunan, D. (1989). Designing tasks for the communicative classroom. Cambridge University Press. Pica, T. (1987). Second language acquisition, social interaction, and the classroom, Applied Linguistics, 8(1), 3-21 Richards and Rodgers (1986). Approaches and methods in language teaching. Cambridge University Press. Ur, P.1996. A course in language teaching. Cambridge University Press. Willies, J. (1981). Teaching English through English. Longman
  • 56. I APPENDIX 1 SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE (FOR TEACHERS OF ENGLISH) This survey questionnaire is designed for the study on raising students’ presentation in English speaking classes at Marie Curie High school. Your assistance in completing the following questions is greatly appreciated. You can be confident that you will not be identified in any discussions or data analysis. Thank you very much for your cooperation and assistance! Please tick the answer you think the most suitable, or write some words to some questions. For some questions you can tick more than one answer. 1. How important is presentation to English learning and teaching? A. Essential B. very important C. rather important D. not very important E. not important at all 2. How often do you find yourself motivated enough to teach presentation in your speaking lessons? A. Sometimes B. rarely C. never 3. How much time do you usually spend on teaching presentation in a 45-minute English lesson? A. 5-10 minutes B. 10-20 minutes C. 20-30 minutes D. 30-40 minutes E. 0 minute 4. In your opinion, does presentation teaching require spending a lot of time reading materials before each lesson? A. Yes B. No C. Not always
  • 57. II 5. Which activities do you often carry out in a speaking lesson? A. in pairs B. in groups C. individually D. none of them 6. If you have a presentation activity in the English speaking class, what do you find most useful? A. in pairs B. in groups C. individually D. none of them 7. What are the difficulties when you teach your students presentation in your English classes? A. Students are lazy and passive B. You are lack of knowledge of related topics. C. You can’t give satisfactory explanations to the issues discussed. D. Others: (please specify)..………………………………………………….…… 8. Whether students should design the teaching plan together with teachers or not, my opinion is: A. strongly agree C. neutral B. agree D. oppose B. strongly oppose 9. What do you think about the learner-teacher interaction? A. receiver and giver B. raw material and maker C. customer and shopkeeper D. partners E. explorer and director
  • 58. III APPENDIX 2 SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE (FOR STUDENTS OF ENGLISH) This survey questionnaire is designed for the study on raising students’ presentation in English speaking classes at Marie Curie High school. Your assistance in completing the following questions is greatly appreciated. You can be confident that you will not be identified in any discussions or data analysis. Thank you very much for your cooperation and assistance! Please give your answers: Name: …………………………………………. Class: …………………………………………. Time of learning English: ……………….. year(s) Please tick the answer you think the most suitable, or write some words to some questions. For some questions you can tick more than one answer. 1. How important is presentation to English learning and teaching? A. essential B. important C. rather important D. not very important E. not important at all 2. What is your opinion of presentation task in English speaking class? A. very interesting C. not very interesting B. interesting D. not interesting at all 3. How much time do you usually spend on presentation task in a 45-minute English lesson?
  • 59. IV A. 5-10 minutes B. 10-20 minutes C. 20-30 minutes D. 30-40 minutes 4. In what ways do you obtain information about your discussed topics? A. TV B. Newspapers C. Internet D. Interviews E. Listening lesson F. Reading lesson G. Writing lesson H: Others (please specify): ……………………………………………………... 5. How often does your teacher give speaking activities so that you can build up a report in the presentation task? A. always B. usually C. often D. sometimes E. never 6. How does your teacher organize these speaking activities? A. Individuals B. Pairs C. Groups D. None of them 7. What activities do you like most in a presentation task? A. Individuals B. Pairs C. Groups 8. When do you speak English in the English speaking class? A. When the teacher ask you B. The lesson is interesting C. When your classmates talk to you 9. What prevents you from speaking English in the class time? A. You have nothing to say B. You feel shy in front of your classmates C. Your teacher’s task gives you no stimulus D. You are afraid of making mistakes D. None of them
  • 60. V APPENDIX 3 Unit 10: CONSERVATION B. SPEAKING Task 1. Work in pairs. Read the paragraphs and answer the questions. 1. For what purpose are zoos of the new king opened? 2. What are their main features? A. Zoos are very sensitive about their image nowadays. They don’t want to be seen as places where animals are imprisoned against their will. Instead, they want to be seen as places where endangered species can develop. They want to reconstruct the animals’ natural environment. So there appears a new kind of zoo. B. Howletts Zoo in Kent is owned by John Aspinall, who is famous for his programme of breeding endangered animals and reintroducing them into the wild. The zoo has the largest gorillas in the world and its policy is to provide as natural an environment as possible for the animals. At times, this can be risky, and some keepers have been injured and one has been killed. Task 2. Put a tick (√) in the right box to show your agreement or disagreement. Then share your ideas with a partner. Yes No animals may have better food animals may suffer from dangerous diseases. animals may do what they want to In the zoo of the new kind animals may develop.
  • 61. VI animals may feel happier. Task 3. Work in groups. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of zoos of the new kind. Use the cues below: - the conditions the animals are in - the money spent on reconstructions of the animals’ natural environment - the animals that people want to visit - the dangers that keepers may have Task 4. Make group reports, sharing your views with the rest of the class.