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Common Speaking Errors Made By First Year Students In English Department, Hulis, Vnu And Their Possible Causes Hien Common Speaking Errors Made By First Year Students In English Department, Hulis, Vnu And Their Possible Causes Hien Document Transcript

  • VIETNAM NATIONAL UNIVERSITY, HANOI UNIVERSITY OF LANGUAGES AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES ENGLISH DEPARTMENT NGUYỄN THỊ THU HIỀN COMMON SPEAKING ERRORS MADE BY FIRST YEAR STUDENTS IN ENGLISH DEPARTMENT, HULIS, VNU AND THEIR POSSIBLE CAUSES SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF BACHELOR OF ARTS (TEFL) SUPERVISOR: LUC DINH QUANG, MA
  • ACCEPTANCE I hereby state that I am Nguyen Thi Thu Hien, 05D1E10, being a candidate for the degree of Bachelor of Arts (TEFL) accept that the requirements of the College relating to the retention and use of Bachelor’s Graduation Paper deposited in the library. In terms of these conditions, I agree that the origin of my paper deposited in the library should be accessible for the purposes of study and research, in accordance with the normal conditions established by the librarian for the care, loan, or reproduction of the paper. Signature: Date: May, 4th, 2009
  • ACKNOWLEDGEMENT First of all, I would like to express my profound gratitude and indebtedness to my supervisor- Mr Luc Dinh Quang, the lecturer of the English Department, Ha Noi, University of International Studies for his careful instructions, valuable advice, and supervision during the course of my writing. My sincere thanks also go to the teachers of the English Department for providing me with interesting lectures and suggestions that have inspired and helped me much in the clarifications of my study. I am grateful to the teachers and the first year students in English Department, HULIS, VNU for their willingness and enthusiasm to give sincere survey responses in questionnaires and the interviews. Especially, I would like to express my warmest thanks to three teachers in English Department who were willing to create chances for me to observe their classes and gives me some precious opinions. I would like to acknowledge my thanks to all the authors of the books, magazines and other materials listed in the reference part for their ideas that have been reflected and developed in the study. Finally yet importantly, I am indebted to my family and friends who have encouraged and supported me very much in the completion of this paper. If there had not been great help from the above people, the study could not have been fulfilled. View slide
  • ABSTRACT This study is carried out to find out the common speaking errors made by first year students in English Department, HULIS, VNU as well as some possible causes of these errors. From those findings, this research aims at helping the teachers understand more about students’ common problems in speaking. Therefore, they can adapt their teaching methods to help students make progress in speaking skills. In order to achieve that goal, various data collection instruments are employed including survey questionnaires, interviews, class observations, and recordings. The procedure of data collection is carried out following four phrases: preparing, giving questionnaires and carrying out interviews with teachers and students, observing classes, and making plans for data analysis. The data analysis is also conducted seriously basing on the five questions that must be answered to fulfill this research. As far as the findings reveal, pronunciation errors are on the top lists of oral errors, especially errors in mispronouncing /s/ and /z/, using ending and linking sounds, intonation, etc. Grammatical and vocabulary errors still appear in their speaking but with less frequency. Besides, this research also finds out that language transference of some elements from mother tongue has great influence on students’ foreign-language learning. It is hoped that from this study, teachers and students would be more aware of the problems to be solved and from the identified oral errors, they would develop teaching and learning methods accordingly. View slide
  • TABLE OF CONTENT Acknowledgements Abstracts Lists of tables and figures CHAPTER I: INTRODUCTION I.1Rationale I.2 Aim of the study I.3 Research questions I.4 Scope of the study I.5 Methods of the study I.6 Significance of the study I.7 Design of the study CHAPTER II: LITERATURE REVIEW II.1 Overview of error II.1.1 Definition of errors II.1.2 Changes in the attitude towards errors in ELT history II.1.2.1 The attitude towards errors of the Grammar-translation and Audio-lingual method II.1.2.2 The attitude towards error of the communicative language teaching approach II.1.3 Classification of speaking errors II.2 Error analysis II.2.1 Definition of error analysis II.2.2 Different approaches towards the study of errors II.2.2.1 Contrastive Analysis Approach II.2.2.2 Error Analysis Approach II.2.3 The significance and limitations of error analysis in language teaching and learning
  • II.3 Error correction II.3.1 Definition and types of error correction II.3.2 Principles of error correction II. 4 Communicative competence and its components II. 4.1 The definition of communicative competence II.4.2 Components of communicative competence II. 5 Possible causes of common speaking errors made by students II. 5. 1 Mother tongue interference II. 5. 2 Errors and language learning strategies II.5. 2.1 Overgeneralization II.5.2.2 Language transference of some elements from mother tongue II.5.2.3 Redundancy reduction by omitting elements II. 5.2.4 Avoidance II.5.3 Errors caused by students’ external factors CHAPTER III: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY III.1 Participants III.2 Data collection instruments III.3 Procedures of data collection III.4 Procedure of data analysis CHAPTER IV: RESULTS AND DISCUSSION IV.1 Results IV.1.1 An overview of oral skill development for the first year students in English Department, HULIS, VNU IV.1.2 Teachers and students’ attitude towards speaking skill, speaking errors and error correction IV.1.3 Common speaking errors and their frequency in speaking by the first year students IV.1.4 Possible causes of speaking errors of the first year students IV.1.5 Techniques used in class to correct students’ speaking errors by the teachers
  • IV.2 Pedagogical suggestions for more effective ways of correcting students’ errors and better teaching speaking skills CHAPTER V: CONCLUSION V.1 Major findings of the study V.2 Suggestions for further studies V.3 Limitations of the study V.4 Contributions of the study REFERENCES APPENDICES
  • LIST OF FIGURES AND TABLES FIGURE I: THE CHRONOLOGICAL EVOLUTION OF CELCE-MURCIA ET AL’S MODEL FIGURE 2: STUDENT’S YEARS OF LEARNING ENGLISH PRIOR TO COLLEGE ENTRY FIGURE 3: STUDENTS’ CHANCES FOR PRACTICING SPEAKING SKILL AT HIGH SCHOOLS FIGURE 4: STUDENTS’ TIME FOR PRACTICING SPEAKING SKILL FIGURE 5: ENVIRONMENT OF PRACTICING SPEAKING FIGURE 6: SPEAKING ACTIVITIES USED IN CLASS FIGURE 7: TEACHERS’ PERCEPTION OF THE MOST IMPORTANT SKILL IN TEACHING AND LEARNING ENGLISH FIGURE 8: TEACHERS AND STUDENTS’ CONCEPTION OF MAKING ERRORS FIGURE 9: TEACHERS AND STUDENTS’ CONCEPTION OF ERROR TYPE THAT AFFECT COMMUNICATION MOST FIGURE 10: TEACHERS AND STUDENTS’ ATTITUDE TOWARDS THE ROLE OF ERROR CORRECTION FIGURE 11: STUDENTS’ PREFERENCE OF ERROR CORRECTION FIGURE 12: STUDENT’S CONCEPTION OF THE ROLE OF SELF-CORRECTION.58 FIGURE 13: STUDENTS’ PREFERENCE OF ERRORS CORRECTED FIGURE 14: DIFFERENT TYPES OF GRAMMATICAL ERRORS IN SPEAKING FIGURE 15: COMMON VOCABULARY ERRORS OF STUDENTS IN SPEAKING FIGURE 16: POSSIBLE CAUSES OF SPEAKING ERRORS FIGURE 17: ERRORS CORRECTED IN CLASS FIGURE 18: TECHNIQUES USED IN CORRECTING STUDENTS’ ORAL ERRORS IN CLASS TABLE 1: PROFILES OF TEACHERS SELECTED TABLE 2: A CLASSIFICATION OF STUDENT PARTICIPANTS TABLE 3:GRAMMATICAL ERRORS MADE BY STUDENTS IN SPEAKING TABLE 4: STUDENTS’ PRONUNCIATION ERRORS TABLE 5: FREQUENCY OF MAKING PRONUNCIATION ERRORS TABLE 6: VOCABULARY ERRORS MADE BY STUDENTS IN SPEAKING
  • CHAPTER I: INTRODUCTION I.1 Rationale Recently, although the curriculum in Vietnam has been changed a lot, it does not meet the main objective of learning and teaching foreign language in general which is communicative competence. As a result, after graduating from university, most of the students can not communicate well in English although they are very good at grammar and vocabulary. That is why improving their speaking ability should be paid more attention when they are still at university. To achieve this goal, many teachers have applied different methods and techniques. From my point of view, learning from errors can be a good way to improve their speaking skill as Edge (1989, p14) said: “errors are in fact signals that our students are successfully learning the language. They are taking the necessary learning step”. In fact, it is not a new issue because many researchers have studied it. On a smaller scale, in our university, some other students also carried out similar researches to find out the errors students usually make and suggest some solutions to deal with them. For example, the latest research on this issue is called “A study on common speaking errors made by 11th form students at Hanoi secondary school” by Ms Nguyen Thi Thu Ha, K36A13 in 2006. However, as I see, this research dealt with linguistic errors such as pronunciation errors, grammatical errors, errors in expressions, and errors in appropriateness but these errors were still mentioned in a general way. Therefore, it could not cover all the speaking errors that students usually make in details. Moreover, she also suggested some possible causes such as overgeneralization, mother tongue interference, carelessness, language competence, effects of teaching, learning environment, etc. From my point of view, it is not enough because sometimes students make errors just because they do not have
  • enough knowledge about culture of the English speaking countries such as sociolinguistic norms of appropriateness, nonverbal indicators, etc. As a result, it can cause breakdown in communication. For this reason, I decide to continue doing research on this issue to have a deeper insight into the possible causes of common speaking errors made by first year students. I hope that this research can help the teachers find ways to deal with students’ errors more systematically and comprehensively. I.2 The aim of this research My research aims at some following goals: 1. It helps identify common errors in oral performance of the first year students in English department, HULIS, VNU and classifying these errors into different categories. 2. It helps find out some possible causes of their error- making 3. It also suggests some possible solutions for both the teachers and students to deal with different types of error. I.3 Research questions 1. What types of speaking errors do most first year students in English Department, HULIS, VNU usually make? 2. What are the possible causes of their error making? Besides these two research questions, my research also finds out the information relating to the common situation of teaching and learning speaking skill of the first year students in English Department, HULIS, VNU, the attitude of both the teachers and the students towards speaking skill, speaking errors and error correction as well as techniques used by the teachers to correct such errors because all these factors, to some extent, can also be the causes of students’ speaking errors.
  • I.4 The scope of this study This study is limited in its object of study. In more detail, I will carry out my research among the first year students who are studying in English Department, HULIS, VNU. These students can be studying in either teacher-training or interpreter-training faculty. I.5 Methods of the study I.5.1 Participants As mentioned above, the objective of my research is to find out the common speaking errors made by first year students, some possible causes of their error making as well as some suggested solutions. Therefore, the essential participants in my research are first year students in English Department, HULIS, VNU. I am going to choose 150 students at random from K52 E1 to E7 because in these classes, there are students coming from different high schools, different provinces and they have average level of communicative proficiency. However, some errors are very difficult for students to recognize themselves. Moreover, within a limited time, I can’t check all the speaking errors of the students in English Department, HULIS, VNU. So we need the help of the teachers who have had the experiences in teaching speaking skill to the first year students to fully recognize their common errors in speaking. For this reason, I decide to choose ten teachers in English Department , HULIS, VNU who have been working with the first year students for at least two years. I.5.2 Data collection instruments To have satisfactory data for this research, I use questionnaires , interviews and class observation. • Two survey questionnaires for teachers and students are conducted to find out exact data about teachers and students’ perception of the speaking errors, error correction as well as their report on common errors that the
  • first year students usually make in speaking. Besides, they can give their ideas about some possible causes of such speaking errors and some techniques that have been used in class to correct each type of errors. • The interviews are also integrated into research for further explanations and clarifications. In fact, I use short questions to elicit essential information relating to two main research questions and some other issues relevant to this study • Class observations are also carried out in three classes to get practical and reliable data on common speaking errors made by first year students and techniques used by their teachers to correct their errors • Recording: I will also record some samples of first year students’ speaking, then analyze them to draw out the exact common errors that students usually make when speaking. I.6 The significance of this study This study is carried out with the hope that it can help find out common speaking errors, mainly in language uses, made by first year students in English Department, HULIS, VNU and the possible causes for each kind of errors. From these results, teachers can identify the common problems that most of their students usually have in speaking English. Therefore, they can adapt their ways of teaching or apply some new techniques to help students improve their speaking skill. This study is also beneficial to students themselves because once they realize their own errors, they can adapt their ways of learning as well to reduce these errors. Besides, this research also lays the foundation for further studies on this topic. I.7 Design of the study This study is divided into three main parts: The first part is the Introduction (chapter I), which deals with the rationale, objectives, research questions, cope, methodology, and design of the study.
  • The second part, also the main part of this paper, comprises of three chapters: • Chapter II is Literature Review which gives a general overview of the theory of errors, error analysis and error correction and some other issues concerning this research. • Chapter III is called Methodology. This chapter demonstrates a clear and detailed plan to collect adequate and reliable data for analysis including the selection of subjects, research instruments, procedures of data collection as well as procedures of data analysis. • Chapter IV is Results and Discussions. This chapter mainly deals with finding the results from the survey questionnaires, interviews and class observations. Some discussions about these results can also be found in this chapter The third part is Conclusion (chapter V), which summarizes the major findings of the study as well as its contributions and inevitable limitations. It also gives some recommendations for teachers to improve students’ speaking skill and reducing their errors in speaking. Suggestions for further studies are also included in this chapter
  • CHAPTER II: LITERATURE REVIEW II.1 Overview of errors II.1.1 Definition of errors Defining errors in foreign language teaching is still a controversial issue because it is not seen in the same way by different error analysts. Therefore, to have a comprehensive view of errors made by second language learners, we should review different ways of defining errors by different researchers. Through the development of error analysis, some analysts have defined errors directly. According to Lennon (1991, p 180) an error is “a linguistic form or combination of forms which in the same context and under similar conditions of production would, in all likelihood, not be produced by the speakers’ native speaker counterparts”. However, in some cases, it is very difficult to identify which is not produced by the native speakers. It relates to not only the knowledge about linguistics itself but also knowledge about cultures. Some others defined “errors” as a deviation from the norm of the target language. A noticeable representative of this view is Corder (1973, p89), who considered “error” as the “breaches of codes”. However, this definition is not very clear because the definition of “norm” itself is still ambiguous. One language has a number of variants and dialects, which means that what is considered erroneous in one region may be acceptable in others. Therefore, if we define “error” in this way, we should identify a very specific basis on which something is considered erroneous. Besides, there are many other terms which are easily mistaken with “error”, especially the term “ mistake”. Therefore, many analysts defined “error” through the
  • distinction between “ error” and “ mistake”. Corder (1967, p25) says that it will be useful to refer to error of performance as “ mistakes” which is not significant to the language learning process , and reserve the term “ error” for the systematic errors of the learner from which his knowledge of the language can be reconstructed. He draws a careful distinction between regular and systematic erroneous utterances and occasional “lapses” and “ slips” which are not systematic and which the speaker can more or less readily correct. These slips of the tongue, are called “ mistakes” and are of no interest to the error analysis, as they tell nothing about the true state of the learner’s knowledge. It’s only errors (systematic errors) that deserve attention. H.D Brown (1994,p205) offered a quite similar distinction to Corder’s in 1967. According to him, a mistake is “a performance error that is either a random guess or a ‘slip’, in that it is a failure to utilize a known system correctly”. Thus, a mistake can be made by both native speakers and non native speakers while errors are problems that a native speaker wouldn’t have. Edge (1989) has a simpler distinction in which all wrong versions made by learners are called “ mistake”. Then this term is divided into three smaller types : slips, errors and attempts. In other words, “ error” is one subtype of “ mistake” and it differs from “ slips” and attempts in that a slip is what learners can self-correct, and an “ error” is what learners can not self-correct, but the teacher thinks that the class is familiar with the correct form. An “ attempt” takes place when neither the intended meaning nor the structure is clear to the teacher. He also gave some examples as followed: • He left school two years ago and now work in a factory.=> A slip because students could easily put it right if they concentrated enough attention on the details • This, no, really, for always my time...and then I happy=> an attempt because intended meaning and structure are not clear to teacher.
  • • Although the people are very nice, but I don’t like it here.=> an error because it is difficult for teachers to guess whether or not students will be able to self-correct. Snow ( 1977) has a different way of distinguishing errors from mistakes which is based on learners’ consciousness of doing something wrong. In his opinion, there are three stages that second language learners have to experience in language learning. The first stage is when the learner does something wrong without knowing it; in the second stage, he may know he is doing it wrong but does not know how to put it right; and the last stage is when he can correct his wrong version. For him, errors occur in the first two stages while mistakes belong to the last stage. In conclusion, there are many ways of defining an error. Each way has its own reasonable aspects and certain contributions to language teaching and learning. However, the writer of this study prefers the definition of Snow (1977) and takes it as the basis to define “ a speaking error”. This means that a speaking error is an error which occurs in the process of speaking and the speaker is not conscious of his doing wrong or he may know he is doing wrong but he doesn’t know how to correct it. According to Jack C Richards et al( 1992, p344), speaking errors are : “ faults made by speakers during the production of sounds, words, and sentences”. II.1.2 Changes in the attitude towards errors in ELT history Making error is inevitable but is it good or bad? Should we keep a positive or negative attitude towards errors? This question has been discussed for quite a long time, and different language teaching approaches have different viewpoints towards this matter. In this research, the author will mention the attitude towards errors of three main approaches: the grammar-translation method, the audio-lingual method and the communicative language teaching approach. II.1.2.1 The attitude towards errors of the Grammar-translation and Audio- lingual method
  • Grammar Translation dominated European and foreign language teaching from the 1840s to the 1940s, and in modified form it continues to be widely used in some parts of the world today. Accuracy is emphasized. Students are expected to attain high standards in translation, because of “ the high priority attached to meticulous standards of accuracy which, as well as having an intrinsic moral value, was a prerequisite for passing the increasing number of formal written examinations that grew up during the century” (Howatt 1984, p132). Therefore, heavy emphasis is placed on correct answers and having the students produce the correct answers is considered very important. For supporters of this approach, errors were considered as a wrong response to the input and a failure in acquiring a language or the manifestation of ineffective language learning which was undesireable and not to be willingly tolerated. As a result, whenever students make errors, teachers will supply them with the correct answers immediately. In other words, errors will be corrected as soon as it occurs. Audio- lingual method, which was very popular in 1960s, also had their own viewpoint towards errors. The proponents of this method were influenced by the ideology of the Behaviorism who states that the process underlying all learning is habit formation. Thus, language development is described as the acquisition of habits. For the behaviorists, errors are seen as first language habits interfering with the acquisition of second language habits. Therefore, errors are seen as undesirable and false- learning. Under the impacts of this doctrine, the Audio-lingual method assumes that if the learner fails to change his old habits so as to acquire new habits of the second language, an error may serve as a negative stimulus which reinforces “bad habits”. In other words, errors occur when the learner fails to respond correctly to a particular stimulus in the second language, therefore, they should be avoided at all costs. To reach this goal, teachers strive to prevent students’ errors by predicting trouble spots and tightly controlling what they teach students to say. Besides,
  • classroom drills were designed so that students would do their pattern drills without making mistakes and overlearning has become one of the main characteristics of this method. II.1.2.2 The attitude towards error of the Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) approach While Grammar Translation Method and Audio-Lingual Method look upon errors as evils which hinder the learning process and which have to be eradicated, the supporters of CLT approach consider errors as “positive steps towards learning” ( Nguyen et al, 2003, pp 35-36). Even more importantly, for Communicative Approach teachers, no mistakes in a lesson means that no real learning has taken place. This attitude is based on the conception that when students make mistakes, it means that they are not simply copying the teacher’s model but they are attempting to adapt the model to make something new- something that they really wish to express. In other words, it shows real learning process in which learners acquire new knowledge actively, not passively. It was Corder- one of the advocates of the Communicative Language Teaching Approach that reasserted the positive attitude towards errors by emphasizing the importance of errors in second language acquisition in the article “ The significance of learners’ errors” (1967). In this article, he mentioned three subjects to whom information about error would be helpful. The first one is the learner who can learn from these errors. If he makes errors one time and his errors are corrected, he can recognize and avoid them the other times. The second subject mentioned here is the teacher. Through students’ errors, he can know how their students are progressing, from which he can have suitable strategies to help his students. The last one who needs to know about errors is researchers because errors show how a language is acquired and what strategies the learner uses, which is also very essential to researches into second language acquisition.
  • Nguyen Bang and Nguyen Ba Ngoc in “ A course in TEFL: Theory and Practice III”( 2002,p18) also specifies the positive aspects of errors as follows: • Errors show that students are trying • By making errors, students can experiment the language themselves. By making errors and receiving appropriate feedback, they can draw the distinction between correct and incorrect language. • By noticing the errors that students make, teachers can see what needs focusing on in future lesson. In conclusion, from the viewpoint of Communicative Language Teaching, errors play a very positive role. Therefore, it shouldn’t be looked upon as sin or evil that should be strictly avoided. On the contrary , it should be considered as a natural part of language learning to discover the process of second language acquisition and how second language is developed (Ellis, 1995, p. 48). II.1.3 Classification of speaking errors When dealing with students’ speaking errors, it will be better if they are put in different categories for various treatments. Therefore, we should have an overview of different ways of classifying errors so far. As a matter of fact, different researchers have different purposes of studying errors as well as different criteria for categorizing speaking errors. Therefore, to reach a common classification of speaking errors seems to be infeasible. Even for the same author , his way of classifying speaking errors can change over time. As a matter of fact, it would be impossible to list all the ways of classifying errors. Therefore, in this graduation paper, the author just wants to mention some typical and common ones of some well-known authors. Based on the magnitude of errors, which includes errors at different levels such as a phoneme, morpheme, word, sentence or paragraph, Richards ( 1984, p123) divides errors into two kinds: global errors and local errors. According to him, “
  • global errors” are those which involve the “ overall structure of the sentence”. Therefore, it can hinder the communication and prevent the message from being understood. On the contrary, local errors are those which affect “ a particular constituent” of the sentence and they don’t prevent the message from being comprehended because the hearer can still guess the intended meaning easily. Brown ( 1994, p208) also based on the magnitude of errors for classifying but he categorized errors into overt errors and covert errors. Overt errors are ungrammatical at the sentence level while covert errors are grammatically well- formed at the sentence level but are not interpretable within the context of communication. Basing on the source of errors, Richards ( 1974, p206) supposed that there are two kinds of errors. The first one which student learners of the second language make in speaking English is intralingual errors which reflect ‘the general characteristics of rule learning’ such as incomplete application of rules. The second type is developmental errors, which refer to errors caused by “ learners attempting to build up hypotheses about English” However, Richards’ way of classifying errors changed over time. Jack C Richard, John Platt, Heidi Platt ( 1992,p 127-128), basing on the causes of errors, divided errors into two types: interlingual and intralingual errors. Interlingual errors are those which result from language transfer, that is, which are caused by the learners’ native language. For example, Vietnamese students may say that “Yesterday, I visit Hanoi capital”. In this sentence, they forget to put the verb “ visit” in the past tense. It is easy to understand because in Vietnamese, when talking about the past tense, they do not have to conjugate. Instead, they just use some adverbs of time such as “ Yesterday, last year, last month, two years ago, etc”, which is enough to describe the past tense. In contrast, intralingual errors are those which
  • result from faulty or partial learning of the target language, rather than from language transfer . In other words, it reflects the learners’ competence at a particular stage. Besides, Intralingual errors are further divided into some subtypes: errors of overgeneralization, errors of simplification, developmental errors, communication- based errors, induced errors, errors of avoidance, and errors of overproduction ( Jack C Richards, John Platt, Heidi Platt ( 1992, p127-128) In order to identify the source of errors, James (1998) distinguishes four categories of errors: 1. Interlingual errors: when the required target language item is unknown and the learner borrows a first language substitute. As a result, they can make a mother tongue transfer error (p.175) 2. Intralingual errors: Errors include false analogy (e.g. boy and boys vs. child and*Childs), misanalysis, incomplete rule application (under generalization),exploiting redundancy, overlooking cooccurrence restrictions, hypercorrection and overgeneralization (pp.185-187) 3. Communication-strategy errors: Errors include the use of holistic strategies (e.g. Students do not find the required form, so they try to use another near-equivalent second language item which they have learnt) and analytic strategies (expressing the concept indirectly, by allusion rather than by direct reference, also called circumlocution) (p187-188). 4. Induced errors: Errors include materials-induced error, teacher-talk induced error, exercise-based induced errors, errors induced by pedagogical priorities, look-up errors (p191-200) Dulay, Burt and Krashen (1982) have different ways of classifying the types of errors. For them there are four main types of errors including omissions, additions, misformations and misordering.
  • To be more specific, they point out the definition of each type of error as followed: 1. Omissions: the absence of an item that must appear in a well-formed utterance (e.g. in early stages of learning, the omission of function words rather than content words) (p.107). 2. Additions: the presence of an item that must not appear in well-formed utterances (e.g. failure to delete certain items: He doesn’t know*s me) (p.107) 3. Misformations: the use of wrong form of the morpheme or structure (sometimes called misselections ( pp.108-109) 4. Misorderings: the incorrect placement of a morpheme or group of morphemes in an utterance (E.g. The misplacement of adverbials, interrogatives and adjectives) (p.110) ( Cited in Ellis, 1995, p.56). To sum up, there are many different ways to classify the errors students of second language make. In this graduation paper, the researcher chooses the concept of communicative competence , especially the linguistic competence by Celce- Murcia et al 1995 to be the basis for error classification. In his point of view, linguistic competence consists of knowledge of such linguistic systems as syntactic, morphological, lexical , phonological and orthographic systems needed to realize communication in speech and writing. ( Cited in ELT Methodology I, pp40). Because in speaking , little attention is paid to orthography, so based on this, in this research, errors will be classified into several main categories as followed: a) Phonological error: These are the errors related to pronunciation. E.g. in a word like ‘river’ the last ‘r’ should not be pronounced fully. If this is done, it’s a phonological error.
  • b) Lexical error: These are the errors related to words. For example, inaccurate use of prefixes such as “unexpensive” or “incomfortable” whereas the correct forms must be “inexpensive” and “uncomfortable” . These are considered lexical errors. c) Grammatical error: These are errors due to problems with syntax. It is related to the sentence structure such as inappropriate use of Subject- verb agreement in the sentence: “ He often walk home” d) Besides three main types of errors mentioned above, sometimes there is another kind of speaking errors called “Lexico- grammatical errors”. These errors relate to both lexicon and syntax. For example: “I prefer tea than coffee.” The underlined part is incorrect. It should be ‘to’ instead. This is a lexico- grammatical error because it not only relates to the wrong use of preposition but also misuses the combination of words between “prefer” and “to”. II.2 Error analysis II.2.1 Definition of error analysis Error analysis is essential in second language acquisition, however, it was not until 1960s that it was paid attention to by linguists. There are many definitions of this term among which are those of some typical representatives quoted below: • “ Error analysis is the study of erroneous utterances produced by groups of learners” ( Corder, 1975,p207) • “ Error analysis is the process of observing, analyzing, and classifying the deviations of the language rules made by learners” ( Brown, 1980,p166) • “ Error analysis is the study and analysis of errors made by second language learners”
  • ( Jack C. Richards, John Platt, Heidi Platt, 1992, p127) II.2.2 Different approaches towards the study of error There are various approaches towards the study of error. In general, they belong to either Linguistic Approaches or Non- Linguistic Approaches. The Linguistic Approaches include : (i) Contrastive Analysis Approach (ii) Error Analysis Approach The Non-Linguistic Approaches include: (i) Sociological Approach (ii) Psychological Approach In the scope of this study, only Linguistic Approaches are closely considered. II.2.2.1 Contrastive Analysis Approach Contrastive Analysis Approach borrowed principles from the field of psychology of learning such as imitation, reinforcement, habit strength and positive and negative transfer. This approach presupposed that language development consists of the acquisition of a set of habits, so errors in the second language were regarded as the result of the first language habits interfering during the acquisition of the habits of a second language. Therefore , special attention should be paid to the differences between the mother tongue and the second language. Fries claimed that “ the most effective materials are those that are based upon a scientific description of the language to be learned, carefully compared with a parallel description of the native language of the learners” ( Fries, 1945/1972: 9). Lado, another supporter of this approach also says that: “ the plan of the book rests on the assumption that we can predict and describe the patterns that will cause difficulty in learning and those that will not cause difficulty , by comparing systematically the language and the
  • culture to be learned with the native language and culture of the student” ( “ Linguistics Across Cultures” (1957:9) This approach gives an incomplete presentation of the second-language acquisition process and it gradually became unpopular because of some obvious shortcomings. Firstly, it overemphasizes the interference of the outer environment of language study while the language learners themselves are totally neglected. Secondly, the fact shows that most of learners’ errors are not predictable on the basis of contrastive analysis. For examples, some types of errors like rule simplification and overgeneralization which show a striking resemblance to errors made by children while acquiring a first language , could not be accounted for by contrastive analysis. II.2.2.2 Error Analysis Approach This approach is considered more reliable than the Contrastive Analysis Approach. This approach adopts the view that the sources of linguistic interference are not restricted to the learners’ mother tongue. Many analysts of this approach has pointed out that there are some similarities between the types of errors made by second language learners and those made by native speakers in their first language acquisition . Therefore, the process of acquiring the first and second language are essentially the same ( according to Corder 1967, Dulay and Burt 1972, Richards 1973). This approach aims at describing the nature of the interlanguage in its stages of development through the evidence in errors, from which the process of second language acquisition can be inferred. Between these two linguistic Approaches, the writer of this research prefers the Error Analysis Approach because it reflects truthfully the nature learning a foreign language as well as the nature of errors which are not only caused by the interference of the mother tongue but by other intralingual factors as well.
  • II.2.2.3 The significance and limitations of error analysis in language teaching and learning As mentioned above, errors play a very important role in language acquisition. However, identifying those errors of second language learners is not enough because those errors are useful to language teaching and learning only when they are analyzed systematically . It is the error analysis that takes charge of this task. Therefore “ error analysis” is very significant in language teaching and learning. Jack C. Richards, John Platt and Heidi Platt ( 1992, p127) have summarized three main functions of “ error analysis” . Firstly, it helps to identify the causes of learner errors. Secondly, error analysis can be used to identify strategies which learners use in language learning. Finally teachers or researchers can obtain information on common difficulties learners have in language learning and can have better teaching techniques or better teaching material preparation. Despite these positive aspects, error analysis can not avoid some limitations and drawbacks. Firstly , if too much attention is paid to errors in the classroom, the correct utterances in the second language may be ignored. Thus learners’ motivation of learning can be reduced. Diminishing errors in speaking can increase language proficiency but it can interrupt students at the same time and reduce the communication fluency , which contrasts with the ultimate goal of communicative language teaching approach. Secondly, it fails to account for the strategy of avoidance. In error analysis, the absence of error may reflect the native-like competence of learners, which is not always true. In some cases, one student may try to avoid a particular sound, word, structure or discourse, which doesn’t necessarily mean that he has no difficulty in language learning. On the contrary, he may find these sounds or words difficult to produce, therefore he tries to avoid them. Finally, error analysis can easily keep us too focused on a specific language rather than viewing universal aspects of language.
  • II.3 Error correction As mentioned above, errors are unavoidable but essential in the process of language learning because no errors in a lesson means no real learning has taken place. However, discovering these errors in students’ speaking alone seems to be of no value if they are not treated reasonably. According to the study conducted by DeKeyser (1973), effective oral correction can bring dramatic effects on the language development of students because after receiving feedback treatment, students gain better fluency and accuracy on post-tests. That is the reason why teachers should understand about error-correction and its principles in correcting students’ speaking errors. II.3.1 Definition and types of error correction From the point of view of Julian Edge ( 1989, p20), “ correction is a way of reminding students of the forms of Standard English. It should not be a kind of criticism or punishment” Nguyen et al (2003) suggested that correction is known as a series of pedagogical techniques to get students to refine what they want to say. Basing on the person who gives correction, Edge ( 1989) classifies error correction into three types: self- correction, peer- correction and teacher- correction. In self-correction, teacher does not correct the errors for the students. Instead, he elicits correction from students who are forced to think, to discover their errors, to choose an alternative word and attempt to say it again. For this reason, Edge strongly asserts that “the best form of correction is self-correction” (1989, p.24) In many situations when the students fails to self-correction because he does not know how to correct his errors, teacher can invite other students to help out. In this case, it is called Peer-correction ( Bartram & Walton, 1991). Edge( 1989) also added that peer-correction is fairly useful in the case of what we called “ errors”. Besides, it can keep the whole class more involved in correction process. However,
  • peer-correction can have problems if the two or a group of students are not in habit of correcting each other. The third type of correction under Edge’s classification is called teacher- correction. If neither self-correction nor peer- correction works, teachers can give more help by providing a correct way of expressing what the students wants to mean. Basing on the moment of correction, Richards ( 1998) suggested two types of error-correction: delayed correction and immediate/ on the sport correction. In delayed correction, teacher postpones the correction until the end of the activity. While a speaking activity is in progress, the teacher moves around, listens discreetly and notes down errors that students commit. After the activities finishes, those errors can either given to individual learners in the form of “ feedback notes” or dealt with orally in open class.( Thornburry, 2005). Edge (1989) emphasized that in production phrase, the usual advice for teachers is to conduct “delayed correction”. In contrast with delayed correction, immediate/ on-the-spot correction is done immediately when an error is made. This type of correction is recommended when students are involved in the practice stage where accurate use of language is strongly insisted from students ( Kelly, 2006). However, it has certain limitations because pointing out the errors when the students are speaking will disturb and discourage more than help( Ur, 1991). This is because immediate corrective treatment may interrupt students who are in mid-conversational flow ( Harmer, 1998, 2001) In brief, there are many types of correction and each type has its own advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, teachers should consider carefully in advance which type of correction to use in different situations to bring the best to their students. II.3.2 Principles of error-correction
  • There are some principles that teachers should consider when providing corrective feedback in speaking lesson. In other words, teachers should answer some question before correcting students’ errors. Firstly, what to correct? Large number of methodologists share the same view that teachers should not correct every error students make when using English ( Ancker, 2000). Therefore, teacher should select which oral error is worth correcting. According to Nguyen et al(2003), which errors will be corrected usually depends on specific stage. During the practice, the emphasis is laid on accuracy, it is necessary for the teachers to treat all the mistakes associated with form and pronunciation. On the contrary, in production stage, errors of meaning and use should be paid more attention. Secondly, how much to correct? Gower et al.(1995) advise that teachers should spend more time on problems common to the whole group and less time correcting errors of only one student. He also added that teachers should avoid “ over-correction”. This opinion was supported by Budden (2006) who supposed that over-correction could easily demotivate students and destroy the flow of the class or the activity. Thirdly, when to correct? This question relates the right moment to intervene and provide corrective feedback. According to Scrivener (1998) errors can be treated immediately, after a few minutes, at the end of the activity, later in the lesson, at the end of the lesson, in the next lesson, later in the course, or even never. However, as recommended by Gower, et al (1995, p.168), when to correct errors “depends on the aim of the activity”. Concerning this question, teachers can refer to two types of correction: delayed correction and on-the-spot correction which have been mentioned above. Finally, who to correct errors? With respect to the matter of who should carry out corrective feedback provision in speaking class, teacher can consider three types of correction classified by Edge( 1989) including self-correction, peer-correction
  • and teacher-correction to choose the most appropriate and efficient option for correcting students’ oral errors in a particular situation. In conclusion, there are a lot of options for teacher to choose to correct students’ errors. However, it is vital for language teachers to “ develop intuition through experience and solid electric theoretical foundations” to find out the suitable approach of giving corrective feedback in each speaking lesson ( Brown, 1994, p.222) II. 4 Communicative competence and the aspects of communicative competence Nowadays, Communicative Language Teaching approach is being widely applied all over the world and it has been proved to have positive effects on language teaching and learning. This approach aims at producing students who are communicatively competent, therefore, communicative competence becomes the ultimate goal of all the teachers following this approach in every area of language teaching. Finding out common speaking errors and giving suitable feedbacks to each error type is in fact a way to evaluate students’ communicative competence and gradually help them to achieve it. Therefore, it is necessary that teachers should know about the definition of communicative competence as well as its components. II. 4.1 Definition of communicative competence The concept of “ communicative competence” was first introduced by Hymes in 1972 in response to Chomsky’s theory of competence. According to Chomsky, a person who has “communicative competence” must know its language perfectly and is “unaffected by such grammatically irrelevant conditions as memory limitation, distractions, shifts of attention and interest” ( Chomsky 1965: 3, p127) For Hymes, such a view of linguistic theory was impossible and he proposed that knowing a language involves more than knowing a set of grammatical, lexical, and phonological rules. From his viewpoint, “communicative competence” is the ability to use the language they are learning appropriately in a given social context.
  • In other words, linguistic theory needed to be seen as a part of a more general theory incorporating communication and culture.( Hymes 1972: 281). This definition of Hymes was examined by a lot of oriented language educators among whom are Canale and Swain. Then in 1973, it was developed by Canale who supposed that “ communicative competence” involved “the underlying systems of knowledge and skill required for communication”.(1973, p.5) Another scholar, Savignon ( 1972), in a research project at the University of Illinois, used the term “ communicative competence” to characterize the ability of language learners to interact with other speakers, to make meaning, as distinct from their ability to perform on discrete- point tests of grammatical knowledge. From different definitions suggested by different authors, it can be emphasized that “ communicative competence” concerns more than being excellent in grammar. To understand more about this term, it is suggested to look at its components as below. II.4.2 Components of communicative competence The diagram below illustrates the development of the concept of components of Communicative Competence: Canale and Swain(1980) Canale ( 1983) Celce-Murcia Dornyei, and Thurrell ( 1995) Grammatical Grammatical Linguistic Competence Competence competence Strategic Strategic Strategic Competence Competence competence Sociocultural Sociocultural Competence competence Sociocultural competence Actional competence Discourse Discourse competence competence
  • Figure 1:The chronological evolution of Celce-Murcia et al’s model (Cited in ELT Methodology I, Course Book, p 29) As can be seen from this figure, the concept of the components of Communicative Competence changed over time. According to Canale and Swain (1980), there were three components including grammatical competence, strategic competence, and sociocultural competence while there are four components in Canale’ point of view with discourse competence added ( Canale 1983). In 1995, Celce- Murcia divided Communicative competence into five components: Linguistic Competence, Strategic competence, sociocultural competence, actional competence and Discourse competence which was considered the core. In this study, the researcher prefer the division of Celce- Murcia et al (1995) who defined each component of communicative competence as followed: • Linguistic competence consists of knowledge of such linguistic systems as syntactic, morphological, lexical, phonological, and orthographic systems needed to realize communication in speech or writing.( Celce- Murcia et al, p25) • Actional competence is defined as the ability to match actional intent with linguistic form based on the knowledge of language functions and knowledge of speech act sets.( Celce- Murcia et al, 1995, p.26) • Socio-cultural competence refers to the speaker’s knowledge of how to express message appropriately within the overall social and cultural context of communication.( Celce- Murcia et al,1995, p.28) • Strategic competence is defined as knowledge of communication strategies and how to use them for negotiating and resolving communicative problems as well as for compensating for communicative deficiencies in any of the other four components.(Celce- Murcia et al, 1995, p.29) II. 5 Possible causes of common speaking errors made by students
  • As we can see, errors are an essential part of language learning, therefore, making errors , especially in speaking is inevitable. However, if we can find out the sources of speaking errors made by students , we can help them improve their speaking skills by paying attention to the causes of errors they usually make. In Richards’ research, errors that learners of second language make were intralingual errors, which reflect “ the general characteristics of rule learning” ( e.g. incomplete application of rules) and developmental errors, which refer to errors “ learner attempting to build up hypotheses about the English…” ( Richards, 1974, p206). Therefore, he concludes that some possible causes of errors can be overgeneralization, ignorance of rule restrictions, incomplete application of rules, and false concepts hypothesized ( Richards, 1974, p206). From the viewpoint of Ellis, learner errors can result from the first language transfer (e.g. interlingual errors) or developmental (e.g. errors similar to the first language acquisition) or from other explanations (Ellis, 1995). In this research, the author also wants to list out some possible causes of speaking errors students usually make in their speaking based on her reading and analysis of the real situation of teachers’ teaching and students’ learning. II. 5. 1 Mother tongue interference According to Brown, in early stages of learning a second language, before the system of the second language is familiar, the native language is the only linguistic system in previous experience upon which the learner can draw ( Brown, 1994, p213). Moreover, as the behaviorist theory of language once stated that if language is essentially a set of habits, then when we try to learn new habits, the old ones will interfere with the new ones (Norrish, 1983:22) , we can assure that the interference of the first language into second language acquisition is inevitable. For this reason, mother tongue interference has been considered one of the major causes of speaking errors made by most of second language learners.
  • Abbort, G. and Wingard, P. ( 1981,p230) assumed : “ wherever the structure of the L1 and the target language differed, there would be problems in learning and difficulties in performance, and that the greater the differences were, the greater the difficulties would be”. Basing on this theory and considering the differences between Vietnamese and English, we can see that Vietnamese students can certainly have some fixed difficulties in learning English as a second language. The level of mother tongue interference on second language acquisition depends much on the level of difference between two languages. To understand more about this, the author will take some examples to illustrate the differences between Vietnamese and English that prevent Vietnamese students from producing the correct ones in speaking. In the first place, we should take the impact of Vietnamese pronunciation system into account. For example, some sounds do exist in English but do not exist in Vietnamese such as /z/, /dz/, / [∫/, /w/, /j/, / æ /. Therefore, Vietnamese students find it difficult to pronounce these sounds or the words containing these sounds. Moreover , Vietnamese do not have a clear distinction between long vowels and short ones. As a result, mispronunciation errors are very common. In other cases , some sounds do exist in both two languages , however, their ways of articulation in two languages are very different. Nguyen Quoc Hung (1999) pointed out that / θ/ is a dental sound in English but is an alveolar sound in Vietnamese. Most of the Vietnamese make errors in producing this sound in speaking. Moreover, in Vietnamese pronunciation system, there is no word stress, no ending sounds as well as no liaisons which is compulsory in English. These totally new experiences when acquiring English as a second language really make many students confused and making errors becomes a matter of fact. II. 5. 2 Errors caused by language learning strategies In the early stages, students often have limited linguistic resources. Therefore, in order to communicate, he has to use some language learning strategies to
  • overcome the gap between his limited target language linguistic knowledge and his communicative needs, which can sometimes cause speaking errors. These strategies include overgeneralization, transference of some linguistic elements from mother- tongue, simplification by omission, reduction, avoidance of some certain linguistic elements in English. Now we shall discuss about these strategies in turns. II.5. 2.1 Overgeneralization Brown ( Brown, 1994:91) once defined that to generalize means to infer or derive a law, rule or conclusion, usually from the observation of particular instances. Overgeneralization is a phenomenon in which students apply their existing second language rules to another area where it does not apply and thus causes language errors to appear. Brown ( 1994: 225) cites research suggesting that the early stages of language learning are characterized by a predominance of interference ( interlingual transfer), but once learners have begun to acquire parts of a new system, more and more intralingual transfer- generalization within the target language- is manifested. Corder(1973, p.24) has pointed out some examples about overgeneralization errors in English that the second language learners usually make as follows: Number Examples of Example analysis overgeneralization 1 We are not knowing Overgeneralization of the rule for the rules forming progressives because the progressives do not apply for the verb “ know’ 2 Who can Angela Overgeneralization of the third-person sees? ending. 3 Who did write this Overgeneralization of the rule for book inserting “ do” into interrogative Cited in Corder, P. (1973). Introducing Applied Linguistics, Penguin
  • Books Australia. New York Other Two womans Overgeneralization of the rule of examples adding “s’ to a noun when changing it from singular to plural Yesterday, I flied to Overgeneralization of the rule of Hanoi adding “ed” to ordinary verbs to form the past tense In fact overgeneralization is thought to be a language learning strategy as learners inappropriately use their previously acquired knowledge of the second language. To make it clearer, Pitt Corder also explained that in the process of language learning, we often allocate items to categories. On the basis of these categories, we construct “ rules” which predict how the different items will behave. Based on that, initial errors due to overgeneralization of the rule can occur in either case below: a) For some reason, the rule does not apply to this particular item, even though we have allocated the item to the appropriate category. We must therefore learn an exception to the general rule. b) The item belongs to a different category, which is covered by another rule. We must therefore either reallocate the item to a different category which we know, or we must construct a new category and rule. (Corder, 1973, p23) Based on his theory , to limit errors of overgeneralization, teachers should always remember to supply students with the irregularities or exceptions of each rule and ask them to learn by heart these rules. II.5.2.2 Language transference of some elements from mother tongue The second impact of mother tongue interference on second language learning is the language transference of some elements from the first language to the second
  • one. Edge ( 1989, p7) states that when people do not know how to say something in a foreign language, one possibility is to use words and structures from their own language and try to make them fit into the foreign language. In other words, the learners use his previous mother-tongue experiences as a means of organizing the second language data. Barry Taylor found that transfer errors are more frequent with beginners than with intermediate students because the beginners have less previous second language knowledge to draw on to in making hypotheses about rules and might therefore be expected to make correspondingly more use of his first language knowledge. The transfer errors can be classified as errors caused by transfer of phonological, morphological, grammatical, or lexicon- semantic elements from the mother tongue. For example, because Vietnamese students find it hard to pronoun the alveolar sound / θ/ in English, they pronounce the dental sound instead whenever they find this sound. Nguyen Quoc Hung (1999) in his study entitled “ A model of teaching English pronunciation for Vietnamese learners” also find out another example of language transference of some elements from mother tongue. Interesting enough, the fact that Vietnamese is a tone language really affects Vietnamese learners’ acquisition of English pronunciation. They are more likely to use level tone when producing English sentences. In conclusion, mother tongue interference is one major cause of speaking errors made by students in general and Vietnamese students in particular. Therefore, teachers should pay attention to this cause to help students correct their errors II.5.2.3 Redundancy reduction by omitting elements Redundancy reduction can be seen as forms of simplification strategy. Omission can be understood as the ellipsis of some linguistic elements that do not prevent the meaning from being understood but make production easier. “ Redundancy reduction” can be considered the strategy students use to eliminate many items which are redundant to conveying intended message. Because of this
  • reason, it is a very popular cause of students’ errors, especially in speaking because the purpose of speaking is to communicate and this type of errors does not prevent them from meeting their communicative needs. Rutherford ( 1987:92) claims that : “where a learner ( unconsciously) perceives cohesion as governed not by grammar but by discourse , we may find him more readily resorting to the tactics of ellipsis” For example, in pronunciation, students can sometimes leave out or delete a sound. The deleted sounds normally fall in the single consonant at the beginning, middle or end of a word, especially consonants in sound clusters ( Kenworthy, 1987) such as students pronounce “image” as / 'imid/ instead of / 'imidʒ/ or “ bold” as /boul/ instead of /bould/ II. 5.2.4 Avoidance When students find it difficult to use certain features of language, they often avoid using them as a strategy in their language learning. For example, articles (a, an, the) may be left out of the utterance when the student are not sure whether the use of that article is correct or not. As a result, he chooses to avoid using it rather than running the risk of selecting the wrong one. Spada and Lightbown ( 1999: 75) states that this “ avoidance” may lead to the “absence of certain errors, but it also leaves the analysts without information about the learners’ developing interlanguage”. That is , the absence of particular features will be difficult for the researchers or the teachers to observe students’ progress, but this “ phenomenon of avoidance may also be a part of the learner’s systematic second language performance”. II.5.3 Errors caused by students’ external factors. This source of errors includes two main sub-causes: the effect of teaching and the learning environment. Firstly, about the effect of teaching, according to Brown (1994), in some situations, students can sometimes be subconsciously led to make up faulty hypotheses about the target language because of a misleading explanation
  • from the teacher or mistaken presentation of a structure or word in the text book. For example, if the teacher does not explain clearly the differences between two forms or the materials provided are not reliable and obvious enough, students can be confused and they are likely to make errors when using these forms. Therefore, the teacher’s teaching method is very important because teachers’ ambiguous explanation can be another source of students’ errors. Another case is that sometimes teachers may over-emphasize or over-practice a certain form or pattern, which cause students to produce it in inappropriate contexts. For example, Jack Richards (1971) has suggested that many teachers or materials place special emphasis on present continuous form in English because they worry that their students will use it less frequently than they should if there is no equivalent form in their mother tongue. However, this overemphasis can result in overuse of the present continuous form , at the expense of simple present. From these examples, we can see that teaching have special effects on learning a foreign language. It can either reduce or increase the errors students make depending on whether it is suitable or not. Another external cause of students’ error making mentioned here is the learning environment. Because in Vietnam, English is just a foreign language, therefore Vietnamese students do not have real environment to practice speaking English. In other words, they do not live in an ideal environment where people around them can speak the target language. As a result they have few opportunities to practice what they have learnt. Generally, most of students have few chances to communicate with the native speakers. Nowadays, in some universities, there have been some foreign teachers , however the percentage of these foreign teachers is still very small. In some cases, even when students can communicate with their partners in English, their errors are not pointed out because their partners may have the same problems like them.
  • In brief, there are many causes of students’ errors in speaking. The most obvious one is mother tongue interference on the target language. The second cause of students’ error making is that students apply some strategies to make their language learning easier to satisfy their communicative needs such as overgeneralization, language transference of some elements from mother tongue, omission or avoidance of some target language elements. Finally, some external factors like teaching methods and learning environment also result in students’ error making in some cases.
  • CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGY In the first chapter, the literature review, some related issues have been mentioned to be the theoretical basis of the whole study. In this chapter, the research is carried out seriously with the purpose of collecting reliable and valid data from the practical situation of teaching and learning English of the first year students in Vietnam national university, Hanoi University of languages and international studies, English Department (HULIS, VNU). To achieve this goal, the participants were chosen carefully and selectively. The data collection instruments including various methods such as survey questionnaires, interviews, observation checklists and recordings as well as the procedures of data collection were also thoroughly considered. All these matters will be discussed in details in this chapter. III.1 Participants To gather comprehensive information about the common speaking errors made by the first year students in English department, HULIS, VNU, and their possible causes, the process of data collection in this research involved the participation of both the teachers who had been teaching the first year students and the first year students themselves.. III .1.1 Teachers of English The teachers who had been teaching the first year students were those who had direct and regular contact with them, so they had a deep understanding of their students’ errors. Morover, they had experiences in dealing with these errors. Therefore , five teachers who had been teaching the first year students were involved in data collection process to report the common errors their students usually make in speaking and to share their valuable experiences on this topic.
  • Because of time-constraint, the researcher could not consult as many teachers as expected. That is the reason why the number of teachers participating in this study was unarguably limited. However, they were carefully selected so that their contribution would be reliable and best represent the opinions of most of the other teachers in English department. The selection of five teachers of English was on purpose. That is, the teachers should have at least two years of working with the first year students so that their reflection on students’ speaking errors would be reliable enough. Some of them may no longer teach the first year students now but they had a lot of experiences working with them while some others should be teaching these students so that the information collected would be updated enough. Besides, these teachers should be teaching as many different classes as possible on the purpose to increase the diversity of data collected. The selection of teachers could be illustrated in the table below: Whether the teacher Classes Teacher Years of teaching first is teaching first year responsible number year students students or not for 1 2 Yes E2 2 3 Yes E3 3 5 Yes E4 5 5 Yes E5 6 6 No E6 Table1 : Teachers’ profiles III.1.2 Students Nowadays, the “learner-centered” method is widely applied in language teaching. Morover, this research aims at finding the problems in speaking of the students themselves, therefore, the participation of the first year students plays a vital role in this research. However, only a limited number of 150 first year students in English Department, HULIS, VNU were asked to take part in this survey due to
  • the limited time allowed for this research. In fact, the “random sampling” was used as the principle underlying the sampling procedure of these students because it can “ minimize the effect of any extraneous or subjective variables that might affect the outcome of the survey study” ( according to Hoang and Nguyen, 2006). In the light of this principle, 125 of them were selected randomly from different classes from A2 to A7. The level of English proficiency of those students was Pre-intermediate and the rest 25 students who had higher English proficiency – Intermediate- were chosen from A1 class. Number of students Classes English proficiency 125 A2-A7 Pre-intermediate 25 A1 Intermediate Table 2: classification of the student participants according to their classes and their English proficiency. III.2 Data collection instruments To achieve reliable and valid data of the study, a variety of data collection instruments were used including survey questionaires, interviews, and class observations. III .2.1 Survey questionaires Survey questionnaire was used as the most important instrument because it is widely accepted that “it can be sent fairly easily to a large number of people” ( Robinson, 1991,p12). Therefore, we can gather a large amount of information over a short time In this research, the survey questionaires were designed and distributed to both teachers and students. They were written in simple English with specific examples to illustrate the difficult terms to avoid possible misunderstanding, which could affect the accuracy of the outcomes . The objective of these two survey questionaires was to collect both the factual and the attitudinal data relating to this research.
  • In teacher’ questionnaire, both close-ended and open –ended questions were utilized to get comprehensive collection of information. In some questions, which contained some technical terms , adequate examples were provided to illustrate the denotation of these terms so that they would be used and understood consistently by all the respondents throughout the survey. Students’ questionnaire also composed of both open-ended and close-ended questions. However, the number of open-ended ones was less than in the teacher’s questionnaire so that the least enthusiastic students could fulfill all the questions. Besides, all the technical terms were paraphrased carefully in a simple way and more examples to illustrate these terms were provided. Despite these differences, both of the questionaires aimed at finding the answers to the two research questions mentioned in chapter 1. Question 8 in student questionnaire and question 6 in teacher questionnaire were designed to answer the first research question about the types of speaking errors most first year students in English department made. Question 7 for teachers and question 9 for students helped to find out students’ possible causes of making errors to answer the second research question. Other questions included items containing students and teachers’ information and their attitude towards speaking, error making, error correction, as well as techniques for correcting these errors. III.2.2 Interviews Like questionaires, the interviews were also designed for both the teachers (see Appendix 2a) and the students.( see Appendix 2b) to have an insight into the answers collected in the questionaires. However, unlike the questionaires which included both the close- ended and open- ended questions, the interviews comprised of only open-ended ones and both these two interviews belonged to semi-structured type. This type of interview was chosen because it was believed to give the
  • interviewee a degree of power and control over the course and it gave the interviewer a greater deal of flexibility. To be more specific, the main objective of the interview for the teachers was to obtain more reliable and practical information about first year students’ errors and their possible causes thanks to the teachers’ experiences of working with these students for quite a long time. The teachers were asked about the types of errors their students usually made in speaking among three types: pronunciation errors, grammatical errors and vocabulary errors. Based on their answers, the interviewer went further to ask them to give some more examples of specific errors of those types that their students usually made. The information collected helped a lot in answering the two research questions and other questions relating to this research as mentioned in the first chapter of this graduation paper. Finally the last question in the teacher interview about their recommendations on how to limit students’ errors in speaking would help a lot in the final chapter of this research about some suggestion for better teaching of English speaking skill. Besides the teacher interview, another interview was also conducted with a group of eight first year students in English Department, HULIS, VNU. This interview aimed at finding out their perception of error making, their own errors in speaking that they usually made as well as their own causes of making these errors. Moreover, a question about their perception of teacher- correction and self- correction was also included to clarify the information collected in the questionnaire . This interview was ensured to take place in a very informal and comfortable atmosphere so that the students can share their opinion openly and freely. III.2.3 Classroom observation To achieve more practical evidences from real situation of teaching and learning English of the first year students in English department, HULIS, VNU,
  • classroom observation was also employed in this research as a data collection instrument. During the researcher’s teacher-training period, three observation checklists were carefully completed to achieve more practical data. These checklists included three main sections. The first one was students’ common errors in speaking. The second was some speaking activities that teachers used to teach speaking in classes and the rest was teachers’ ways of correcting students’ speaking errors. In fact, it was very lucky for the researcher that at the time of class observation, a new method of teaching speaking for the first year students called “mentoring method” was being applied for the first time by some teachers in English department, HULIS, VNU. According to this new method, many speaking activities were held in class, therefore, students had more chances to speak English. As a result, the researcher could record their voice and note down their common errors in speaking more conveniently. Morover, attending these classes, the researcher could also observe different ways of giving corrective feedbacks of the teachers to the students’ oral errors and their effectiveness in reality of language teaching. The data collected will be divided into different categories and analysed based on different research questions and questions relating to this study. III.3 Procedure of data collection To carry out all these three instruments mentioned above, the process of data collection had to be put in five phrases as follows: III.3.1 Phrase 1: The preparation for the data collection process This phrase is very important because it lays the foundation for the whole process of data collection. In the first place, the data collection instruments were thoroughly considered by the researcher and finally three instruments were chosen to achieve the goal of this research: survey questionaires, interviews, and class observation.
  • Also in this phrase, two survey questionaires and two interview schedules as well as the recording plan for the students were designed. Besides, the observation checklists were also carefully prepared for class observation scheme. During this process, the researcher received a lot of advices from the constructor and a lot of improvements were made. Furthermore, pilot questionaires and interviews were also conducted within a group of six students in room 408C in the hostel and two former teachers of the researcher. These students were very enthusiastic because they had been familiar with the researcher for quite a long time and the results from these pilot interviews and questionaires were very useful to formulate the satisfactory final draft. For examples, some technical terms were a bit difficult to understand and thanks to students’ feedback, they were changed into simple English with specific examples to illustrate them. Besides all these things, a sampling procedure was also carried out in this phrase to select the most representative sample for studying. At the end, random sampling was chosen and students were collected from five classes from A1 to A7.Appoinments with teachers for interview and class observation was also made at this phrase. III.3.2 Phrase 2: Carrying out the instruments For the teachers, after selecting some teachers to participate in the interview, an advance notice was made to each interviewed teacher via telephone to briefly introduce the interviewer, the research topic, the purpose and the nature of the research that the researcher was carrying out and invite their participation. After permission was given, an appointment was made at the teachers’ convenience. When the appointment came, the teachers were asked to fill in the questionnaire in the company of the researcher. The questionnaire items were frequently exchanged between the teachers and the researcher to ensure the accurate
  • comprehension of the questions, which would lead to the accuracy of the data collected. After teacher finishing the questionnaire, the researcher continued with an informal conversation with the teachers to check their comprehension of the research topic and to establish good rapport between the teachers and the researcher, which helped the interview go along. Then the researcher briefly explained the purpose of the interview for the project, the format and the length of the interview. Permission was also asked to tape record the interview. If the teachers allowed, the tape recording would be used and the researcher asked for any questions they had before actually recording the interview. During the interview, all the main questions in the interview question paper were covered and they were asked one at a time. Besides, some extra questions were added frequently to exploit in-depth information relating to the research from the interviewees. Sometimes, some techniques like clarification or reflection were also used to clarify the interviewees’ answers. During the interviews, the researcher also took some notes on a piece of paper to help remember the process of the interview and to summarize the interviewees’ main points. III.3.3 Phrase 3: Observing classes and carrying out the questionaires and interviews to the students In the third phrase, the class observations were conducted. After asking for permission from the teachers of the classes observed, the researcher tried to get to know these classes and tried to become familiar to them so that the production process in speaking periods could take place in a natural way and in a comfortable atmosphere. In fact the researcher could observe only three different classes but these classes were taught by three different teachers and they were taught different lessons. Therefore , the data collected was believed to be reliable and helpful enough to detect and disqualify any irrational findings collected from the questionaires and interviews. During these lessons all the observation checklists were fulfilled and
  • some other observation notes were taken by the researcher , for instance, some specific examples of students’ mispronunciation of /θ/ and /∫/ while they were speaking. After the lessons finished, the survey questionaires were also distributed to the students in these classes. Before asking them to fulfill the questionnaire, the researcher explained clearly to them the research topic and told them that if they had anything unclear about these questionnaire items, they could ask questions and the researcher would be willing to explain to them. By doing this, the researcher could limit the students’ misunderstanding of the questions which lead to the inaccuracy of the data collected. Besides, if the time was not allowed, the researcher would arrange another time with some random students for an interview. All steps of an interview with students were carried out in a similar way to the teacher interviews but all the personal information was promised to be kept confidentially so that they could express their ideas freely and comfortably. In addition to the interview, the researcher also recorded the voices of a group of six students in the room 408 C in the hostel who had been familiar with the researcher for quite a long time. Firstly they were asked to role-play a given dialogue prepared by the researcher. Secondly, they were given a topic and they had to express their opinions towards this topic. Finally, they could have some informal conversations with the researcher about their daily life. All these things were ensured to be recorded in a comfortable atmosphere. III.3.4 Phrase 4: After collecting data from questionaires , interviews, recordings and class observations, a plan for synthesizing and analyzing these data was quickly and thoroughly designed by the researcher to get the results. III.4 Procedures of data analysis:
  • All collected data were classified into five main categories as follows:  An overview of common situation of teaching and learning speaking skill of the first year students in English department, HULIS,VNU  Teachers and students’ attitude towards speaking skill, speaking errors, and error correction  Common speaking errors and their frequency in speaking by the first year students  Possible causes of speaking errors of the first year students and their frequency  Techniques used in class to correct students’ speaking errors by the teachers For the close- ended questions, tables and charts were used as the most significant instrument for analyzing and comparing the data collected especially in the case of the multiple-choice questions. Since the third and the fourth categories mentioned above expressed different levels of frequency of speaking errors and possible causes, they were translated into a three-point scale. Besides, most typical quotations from the interviews and useful classroom observations were frequently cited when necessary to illustrate the analysis of data For the close-ended questions, the researcher generated categories from the statements made by the respondents. Then the categories were grouped together according to whether they referred to speaking errors, speaking skill or error correction, etc. Chapter IV: Results and discussion
  • Following four phrases in the procedure of data collection mentioned in the previous chapter, some data essential to this research have been collected. After being analyzed seriously and elaborately, some results were revealed as below: IV.1 Results IV.1.1 An overview of oral skill develelopment for the first year students in English department, HULIS,VNU As mentioned in the section II.5 in the Literature review, some of the possible causes of students’ oral errors relate to students’ language competence, the effect of teaching and learning environment. Within this paper, some data concerning these matters are also discovered. IV.1.1.1 Students’ learning prior to college entry The figure below illustrates students’ years of learning English so far, which can reveal their language competence to some extent: Years of learning English Less than 5 years 3% 11% 5-10 years More than 10 86% years Figure 2: Q1 in Student Survey Questionnaire As can be seen from the chart above, the majority of the first year students in English Department, HULIS, VNU have learnt English from 5 to 10 years, which accounts for 86%. Only 11% of the participants choose the answer “less than 5
  • years”, however, the number of students who have learnt English for more than 10 years is also not much, only 3%. Most of the interviewees say that they have learnt English for 7 years, which means they started learning English when they entered the secondary schools. In comparison with the students in the cities, this is not an early age for starting learning English. However, it should be noted that a large number of first year students are from the countryside where there are not enough facilities and well- qualified teachers while those coming from Hanoi only occupy for about one quarter of the total. This is probably a good signal that students and their parents’ awareness of the importance of learning English in our present society has increased. Thanks to that, students’ language competence prior to college entry may be better than in the past. However, the fact that few students have learnt English for more than 10 years also suggests that more attention and investments should be put in primary education, especially in the countryside so that the students can have better conditions to get familiar with English from an earlier age. IV.1.1.2 Students’ chances for practicing speaking skill at high schools Learning environment has great impacts on learning process of a foreign language in general and learning speaking skill in particular. However, this chart below shows an unexpected fact of chances for students to practice speaking skill at high schools:
  • Chances for practising speaking skill at high schools 17% 7% Very often 29% sometimes Rarely 47% Never Figure 3: Q2 in student survey questionnaire Contrary to the researcher’s expectation, only 7% of the students were taught speaking skill very often in class at high schools by their teachers. Through interviews with these students, it turns out to be that most of them studied in some specialized schools in the cities. Surprising enough, 47% of the students admitted that they rarely had chances to speak English at high schools although most of them have learnt English from 5 to 10 years as mentioned above. 29% of the students could sometimes be given chance to practice speaking skill in class and it is even more surprising that the number of students who have not been taught speaking skill goes up to 17%. Those students belonging to the last group are mainly from the countryside. To some extent, these results unveil that speaking skill has not been paid as much attention as it deserves in most high schools. Except the minority of specialized schools in cities, others seem to focus more on grammatical competence to prepare for the exams and ignore the practice of listening and speaking skill. Consequently, when entering the university and really experiencing the target language for the first time, students had many difficulties in speaking. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why they made a lot of oral errors and whether this situation
  • can be altered or not might depend on the change of many other factors including the examination policy, high-school teachers’ awareness and language competence as well as high schools’ curriculum. IV.1.1.3 Students’ practice of speaking skill at university Students’ habit of practicing oral skill is possibly one of the factors that affect their progress in speaking. Two charts below represent practice habits of the first year students in English department, HULIS VNU including their practice time and practice environment. Students' time for practising speaking English 60 50 35.7 40 % 14.3 20 0 Less than one One hour More than one hour hour Figure 4: Q 3 in student survey questionnaire Speak English only in class 49% 51% Speak English both inside and outside class Figure 5: Q4 in student survey questionnaire
  • Concerning the practice time of speaking skill, half of the respondents admitted that one hour a day was their average time for practicing speaking English while 35.7% of the participants only spent less than one hour. The number of students who practiced speaking English more than one hour a day only occupies 14.3%. About the environment of speaking English, the results disclose a nearly equivalent proportion between the students who only speak English in class and those who speak English both inside and outside class (51% versus 49%) From the results collected, it seems that most of the students have not changed their old habits in the high schools yet either because they have not been fully aware of the important role of speaking skill or they are not hardworking enough. Moreover, more than a half of the students do not appear to be enthusiastic in practicing speaking spontaneously. Therefore, they only speak English in class when teachers force them to do so. Via interviews, many students shared that making too many errors sometimes made them feel discouraged, therefore, they did not want to speak English , especially speak by themselves at home. Perhaps teachers can help promote students’ motivation in practicing speaking by keeping a tolerant attitude towards their errors, getting them involved more in some interesting speaking activities,, and emphasizing the importance of communicative competence in their daily life and future jobs, etc. IV.1.1.4 Speaking activities used in speaking classes for the first year students As mentioned above, interesting speaking activities can attract students’ attention and motivate them to speak more at the same time, which can bring good influence on the learning environment. The chart below represents the number of activities that are being used in classes for first year students in English Department, HULIS, VNU.
  • Speaking activities used in class 120 100 100 100 100 100 80 75.7 80 65.7 64.3 60 Student 60 40 38.540 % Teacher 40 22.9 20 17 20 20 0 0 0 A B C D E F G H I Figure 6: Q5 in student questionnaire & Q3 in teacher questionnaire A. Students practice requesting and providing information in practical situations using some certain structures given by the teacher. B. Students practice a model dialogue and make similar conversations using the suggested information C. Students work in pairs, each student will be given different pieces of paper containing different information and they have to make questions and answers to get the missing information D. Students are asked to use their language to collect some required information by conducting surveys or interviews with their friends E. Students take part in role- plays F. Students discuss in groups on certain aspects of a topic G. Students share personal preference, feeling and attitude with their friends on a given topic H. Some of the students prepare a presentation on a given topic or their favorite topic in front of the class. I. Other activities
  • As shown in this chart, both of the teachers and the students share the same idea that a variety of speaking activities are being held in speaking lessons. Also from this chart, three most usually used speaking activities in most classes can easily be recognized . The first one is letting students work in pairs, Each student will be given different pieces of paper containing different information and they have to make questions and answers to get the missing information. The second is students taking part in role-plays. The third activity that teachers usually use in classes is to ask some of the students to prepare a presentation on a given topic or their favorite one in front of the class. It should be noted that some of the activities mentioned in the questionnaires are also available in the textbooks but the others depend on each teacher’ choice. If the activity does not prove its effectiveness in a certain class, teachers may employ another. Therefore, the reason why three activities above are most usually used in most classes is probably because they are popular to students. Interviews with students reveals that pair- work information gap activities motivate them to speak because they promote their needs to elicit the missing information. Some others consider role-plays very very interesting and relaxing. Many teachers ask students to make a presentation on a certain topic because they suppose that this activity not only creates chances for students to practice speaking skills by sharing their own ideas on a certain topic but also increases their confidence in speaking in public. From this result, it is suggested that teachers should use these activities more in class. IV.1.2 Teachers and students’ attitude towards speaking skill, speaking errors, and error correction Attitude plays a very important role in one’s behavior. For example, teachers’ attitude towards speaking errors can be attributable to different ways they use to treat these errors, which may leave certain effects on students’ learning process. For
  • this reason, some questions relating students and teachers’ attitude towards speaking skill, speaking errors and error correction are also included in the questionnaires and interviews. IV.1.2.1 Teachers’ attitude towards speaking skill The most important skill in teaching and learning English Writing 0 Reading 60 Speaking 20 Listening 20 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 Figure 7:Q2 in teacher survey questionnaire Concerning the conception of the most important skill in teaching and learning English, within this survey, it is noticeable that the majority of teachers (60%) choose reading to be the most significant skill while writing is not chosen by anyone. The number of teachers who suppose that speaking is the most important skill is equivalent to those who consider listening skill the most important (20%). This result can unveil one possibility that most of the teachers highly appreciate the role of teaching reading skill in the language teaching. This choice seems to be satisfactory when they give their explanation that reading can provide students with lot vocabularies, which will benefit them in all other skills. For example, the lack of vocabularies can sometimes impede the communication because students can not express their ideas completely. Only one fifth of the teachers emphasize the significance of teaching speaking among other skills. From the subjective opinion, the researcher considers speaking skill the most important one because the final goal of the learning process of a foreign language is to
  • communicate in the target language and mastering vocabulary and grammar does not necessarily mean speaking well. IV.1.2.2 Teachers and students’ attitude towards the role of error making Conception of making errors C( Making errors is a natural part of 100 language learning) 42.9 B( Making errors can serve as a 0 Teacher negative stimulus) 42.9 Student A( Making errors show a failure in 0 acquiring a language) 14.2 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 % Figure 8: Q6 in students’ survey questionnaire and Q4 in teacher’ survey questionnaire From this chart, it is notable that 100% teachers agree that making error is a natural part of language learning. This is a very progressive outlook and as mentioned in chapter 2, it is also the viewpoint of the Communicative Language Teaching approach which considers errors as “ positive steps towards learning” rather than a sign of failure or incomplete learning. In other words, they have adopted the view of new teaching method and widely applied it in their real teaching. This attitude is really helpful and worthy of high praise because working with these such teachers, students may feel more confident to speak and free to experiment with the language. These teachers seem to be more tolerant of their students’ oral errors. One of the teachers said: “Making errors is very normal. No one can be correct right from the beginning. If we consider these errors as negative
  • and try to correct them immediately, it can make students feel nervous and discouraged”1. On contrary to teachers’ results, students seem to be stricter about their speaking errors. 14.3 % students believe that making errors is undesirable and it should not be tolerated because errors show wrong response to the input and a failure in acquiring a language. This is the standpoint of Grammar Translation Method. 42.9% of students support the opinion of Audio-lingual Method who claims that making errors should be avoided at all cost because errors can serve as a negative stimulus, which reinforces “bad habit”. In contrast with teachers’ responses, only 42.9% consider errors as a natural part of language learning. Those students give similar ideas to their teachers that they can learn a lot from errors because recognizing these errors make them aware of their weaknesses. Moreover, after being corrected, they will be able to avoid making the same errors the next time. However, the others argue that errors should be corrected at all cost to make a perfect learning process. In short, the number of students who believe in the negative impacts of oral errors on their speaking still exceeds those who believe in the positive side of error making. It is perhaps due to the fact that they were only familiar with the traditional method used in high schools, which keeps a very strict attitude towards errors. Other possibility is that they have not been fully aware of the role of errors in their learning process. IV.1.2.3 Teachers and students’ attitude towards different types of errors Teachers’ conception of the influence of each error type on communication may affect their preference of errors corrected and frequency of correcting them. The chart below illustrates their opinions: 1 Quoted from interview with one teacher of English Department, VNU, HULIS who is responsible for first year students in class E3
  • Type of errors that affect communication most 100 76.7 80 60 60 student % 40 Teacher 13.7 20 9.6 20 0 0 Pronunciation Vocabulary error Grammatical error error Figure 9: Q7 in student survey questionnaire & Q5 in teacher survey questionnaire This chart shows that the majority of teachers and students highly appreciate the role of pronunciation in communication. 76.7% students and 60% teachers believe pronunciation errors can cause communication breakdowns. Besides, the percentage of teachers and students who think that vocabulary errors can affect the communication most is 20% and 13.7% corresponsively. Remarkably, only 9.6% students emphasize the influence of grammatical errors in communication and the rest 20% of teachers did not choose any answer because they believe that all kinds of errors can affect the communication equally On one hand, some who choose vocabulary errors as their answer give some reasonable reasons to support their opinion. One of them when being interviewed said: “There is always a context when people communicate. Therefore, if people mispronounce a word or use a wrong grammatical structure, the message can still be conveyed”.2 On the other hand, the majority of teachers and students share the same idea that when one makes vocabulary errors or grammatical ones, the listeners can still understand his ideas, but when one makes pronunciation errors, the listeners can 2 Quoted from interview with one teacher of English Department, VNU, HULIS who is responsible for first year students in class E5
  • not understand or can misunderstand what he says. The writer of this research also shares the same view with this group of answerers. To sum up, pronunciation errors are probably given the priority over other types by both the teachers and students. Moreover, the data collected show a change in the attitude towards the importance of grammatical errors, which is overemphasized at high schools. IV.1.2.4 Teachers and students’ attitude towards error correction Role of error correction Not necessary 0 1.4 Not very necessary 0 1.4 Teacher Necessary 60 Student 13 Very necessary 40 84.2 0 20 40 60 80 100 % Figure 10:Q10 in student survey questionnaire& Q8 in teacher survey questionnaire Relating to the conception of the role of error correction, the majority of teachers and students put it in either necessary or very necessary. As shown in the chart, 40% teachers and 84.2% students suppose that error correction is very necessary while 13% students and 60% teachers consider it necessary. To make it clearer, one teacher said that: “Students need to know their weaknesses so that they can correct them”3. Another teacher shared the same idea but he had different explanation: “Errors need to be addressed before they become habit. This is different from mistakes, though”4. Meanwhile, only 1.4% students assume error correction is not very necessary and the rest 1.4% think that it is not necessary at all. 3 Quoted from survey questionaire of one English teacher in English Department, VNU, HULIS who is teaching students in class E2 4 Quoted from interview with an English teacher of English Department, VNU, HULIS who has been working with the first years students for two years and now is responsible for class E6
  • This optimistic result, to some extent, indicates that most of the teachers and students have been well aware of the role of error correction in learning and teaching a foreign language. That attitude may benefit the language learning and teaching much because it shows students’ eagerness for the their speaking errors being corrected rather than being ignored and teachers’ enthusiasm to help students make progress. IV.1.2.5 Students’ preference of error correction Recognizing students’ preference of error correction might help teachers develop suitable and efficient strategies of correcting students’ oral errors. The chart below illustrates the results: Student's preference of error correction Teacher just corrects some certain 11.4 types of errors Teacher corrects every errors 22.8 Teacher notes down errors for later 37 correction Teacher corrects errors immediately 30 Teacher points out the errors for you to 47 correct Self-correction 47 Peer correction 52.9 Teacher correction 55.7 0 20 40 60 % Figure 11: Q11 in student survey questionnaire As shown in this chart, among three types of corrections including teacher correction, peer correction and self-correction, the majority of participants accounting for 55.7% prefer their speaking errors to be corrected by their teachers. There are some resemblance between these results in this research and those in
  • Pham’s study ( see more in References) conducted with the tenth form students in Hanoi in which almost 100% students insisted on the role of teacher correction. Besides teacher correction, peer correction also accounts for quite a large percentage of students’ preference( 52.9%). The least percentage of those participants prefer self-correction (47%). The results collected are not beyond the researcher’ prediction because most of these students may get used to being corrected by their teachers when they were still in high schools where the teacher-centered approach seems to be more prevalent. Therefore it is not a surprise that priority is given to teacher-correction. However, the question is whether they are clearly aware of self- correction? The answer received is illustrated in more details in figure 11 below: Student's conception of role of self-correction 3% 4% Very necessary Not very necessary self-correction is of no value 93% Figure 12: Q13 in student survey questionnaire Beyond the researcher’s expectation, the results collected are quite satisfactory .93% students rank the role of self- correction very necessary , only 4% think that it is not necessary and the rest 3% deny its value. To clarify their choice, some students thought that self-correction could help them remember the errors longer, therefore, they could avoid making that kind of errors next time. This is somewhat a good sign of students’ awareness of the importance of self-correction
  • right from the first year, which will be very beneficial to their future progress in learning speaking skill in particular and other skills in general. However, in comparison with the two other types of correction, they appear to be more interested in peer-correction and teacher- correction, which to some extent might indicate their dependence on others for correcting their errors. Back to figure 10, besides their preference of whom to correct their errors, the number of students who would like their teachers to correct every error doubles those who want their teachers just to correct some certain types of errors(22.8% versus 11.4%). This result seems to be consistent with the results collected in figure 12 below in response to the question : “ What types of errors do you want the teacher to correct in your speaking”: Student's preference of errors corrected All kinds of errors 68.4 Grammatical error 3.8 Vocabulary error 6.3 Pronunciation error 21.5 0 20 40 60 80 % Figure 13: Q12 in student survey questionnaire Based on this chart, we can easily realize that the number of students who prefer all kinds of speaking errors to be corrected dominates others with 68.4%, followed by those preferring their teachers to correct their pronunciation errors with 21.5%. Only 6.3% choose vocabulary errors and the least number (3.8%) choose grammatical errors to be their preference of error-correction. This seems to be supported by the results collected in those questions above because students do wish their teachers to correct every speaking errors for them and they put great emphasis
  • on the influence of pronunciation errors in communication. Therefore, these two choices are of course put in the first ranks. Also in figure 10, it can be seen that the number of students who wish their teachers to point out the errors for them to correct outnumbers others with 47% of the total participants. In the second place are those who would rather their teachers note down their speaking errors for later correction with 37%. Those students believe that if the teachers use delayed- correction, they can feel more confident and comfortable when they speak rather than be interrupted during their speech. Finally, those who prefer their teachers to correct their speaking error immediately as soon as they make it account for the least percentage (30%). Some interviewees revealed that if the teachers delayed correction, they might forget their errors right after they finished their speech. Basing on these attitudinal data, some inference might be made. On one hand most of the students prefer to have some autonomy over their error correction . On the other hand, they still wish to receive help from their teachers to find out the errors. To some extent, this might show students’ tendency towards learner-centered approach which is being encouraged in the context of language teaching nowadays. Besides, via these data, once again, Harmer’ opinion seems to be reasserted that immediate corrective treatment may interrupt students who are in mid- conversational flow ( Harmer, 1998, 2001) IV.1.3 Common speaking errors and their frequency in speaking by the first year students After being thoroughly analyzed, the data collected have revealed the fact of some most common oral errors that the first year students usually make in their speaking as well as their frequency of making these errors. These errors are classified into three categories: grammatical errors, pronunciation errors and vocabulary errors. The results are illustrated in the charts and table below:
  • Different types of grammatical errors inappropriate use of subject-verb agreement errors in verb tense used 17% 12% inaccurate forms of irregular verbs 13% inappropriate use of participles 11% omission of articles a, an, the 12% 12% redundancy of articles a, an, the 12% 11% confusion between articles a, an, the inaccurate use of prepositions Figure 14: Q8 in student questionnaire & Q6 in teacher questionnaire As can be seen from this chart, it is noticeable that the most common error in grammar is inaccurate use of prepositions( 17%). This is consistent with the results of the observation scheme in which the researcher had chances to take notes of students’ speaking errors. The errors of prepositions were often in the form of wrong use of fixed structures, for example, “ It is often harmful for your health” while it must be: “ It is often harmful to your health”. Some students also said: “ The bus stopped and everyone got out” instead of “ got off”, which is a phrasal verb. There seems to be not much difference in the proportion of other types of grammatical errors ranging from 11% to 13%. Among those who admit that they make some errors in grammar in speaking, their frequency of making these error is also clarified as in the following table: Types of grammatical errors Usually sometimes Occasionally Inappropriate use of Subject- verb 20.5% 31.8% 47.7% agreement Errors in verb tense use 13% 43.5% 43.5%
  • Inaccurate forms of irregular verbs 6.7% 48.9% 44.4% Inappropriate use of participles 14.7% 61% 24.3% Omission of articles a, an, the 18% 27.3% 54.7% Redundancy of articles a, an , the 22.8% 52.3% 24.9% Confusion between articles a, an, 37.5% 47.5% 15% the Inaccurate use of prepositions 24.6% 47.4% 28% Others Table 3: Grammatical errors made by students in speaking This table shows that though grammatical errors are one of the most common errors in speaking of the first year students, the frequency of these errors is not very often. For example, 48.9% students just sometimes make errors of inaccurate form of irregular verbs in comparison with only 6.7% those who usually make errors of this type. The number of students choose “ occasionally” answer for the omission of articles also seems to surpass two other choices with 54.7% Secondly, about the pronunciation errors, the results are reflected as follows: Types of pronunciation errors Percentage Omission of ending sounds 8% Confusion in pronouncing /s/ and /z/ 10% Mispronunciation of some consonants 8% Confusion between some similar sounds 8% Inaccurate pronunciation of long and short vowels 8% Inaccurate of pronunciation of consonant group 8% Little use of linking sounds 10% Inadequate knowledge about elision 8% Inadequate knowledge about assimilation 8% Little use of stress 9% Inappropriate use of stress 7% Inadequate knowledge of intonation 8%
  • Table 4 : students’ pronunciation errors The results from this table can partly disclose the fact that the most confusing problems in pronunciation in speaking of the first year students in general is probably in the distinction of /s/ and /z/ after plural nouns and the third singular verbs( 10%), the use of linking sounds (10% ) and little use of stress ( 9%). The least percentage of students have problems with stress (7%). However, more conspicuous difference between these subtypes of pronunciation errors discovered from these data is the frequency of error making in table 2: Types of errors Usually Sometimes Occasionally Omission of ending sounds 43% 31.4% 25.6% Confusion in pronouncing /s/ and /z/ after plural nouns and the third 48% 42.6% 9.4% singular verbs Mispronunciation of some consonants that do not exist in 55% 27.5% 17.5% Vietnamese Confusion between some similar 58% 36% 6% sound Inaccurate pronunciation of long 41% 47% 12% vowels and short vowels Inaccurate pronunciation of groups 48% 39.6% 12.4% of consonants
  • Little use of linking sounds 44.4% 38.9% 16.7% Inadequate knowledge about elision 41.2% 37% 21.8% Inadequate knowledge about 33.3% 48% 18.7% assimilation Little use of stress on particular 38.5% 44.2% 17.3% words or syllables Inappropriate use of stress on a 33.3% 44.4% 22.3% certain word or syllable Inadequate knowledge of intonation ( falling tone, rising tone, fall-rise 50% 28.3% 21.7% tone, rise-fall tone, level tone) Table 5: Frequency of pronunciation errors made by students in speaking The results from the table above reflect partly the real situation of making oral errors of the first year students. It is easily recognized that the majority of them usually have problems with pronunciation in all its subtypes such as ending sounds, linking sounds, stress, intonation consonant clusters, elision, etc. For instance 50% students usually make wrong use of intonation, 55% usually mispronounce some consonant that do not exist in Vietnamese like /θ/ and / ð/, 58% are usually confused between similar sounds like /dʒ/,/ ʒ/, /j/ & /z/. On the contrary, those who sometimes or occasionally make such kinds of errors are much less.
  • Thirdly, vocabulary errors in speaking are also chosen by a part of the students to be their common problems: Vocabulary errors inaccurate use of prefixes inaccurate use of suffixes 17% 16% using words with inappropriate meaning 14% inappropriate use of synonyms 17% collocation errors 17% 19% use more words than necessary Figure 15: Q8 in student questionnaire & Q6 in teacher questionnaire In this error category, the largest number of students make errors of using words with inappropriate meaning (19%) and errors of in appropriate use of synonyms, collocation errors and errors of using more words than necessary all rank in second place with 17% . Via interview, many students revealed that they found it difficult to distinguish some words with similar meanings but with different aspects such as “bring” and “take”, “ Go” and “come”. That was the reason why they made a lot of errors of this type. Their frequency of making these errors are reflected in the table bellow: Types of errors Usually Sometimes Occasionally Inaccurate use of prefixes 11.9% 52.4% 35.7% Inaccurate use of suffixes 2.7% 63.9% 33.4% Using words with inappropriate 14.6% 68.8% 16.6% meaning Inappropriate use of synonyms 15.9% 59.1% 25% Collocation errors 32.6% 51.2% 16.2% Use of more words than necessary 13.6% 56.8% 29.6% Table 6: Vocabulary errors made by students in speaking
  • To sum up, from all those tables and charts above, it might be inferred that all kinds of errors can appear in students’ speaking. However, they are more likely to make errors of pronunciation although they highly appreciate its role in communication. For example, they put very little attention to the use of linking sounds and stress. Many students may say / ðeə iz/ instead of /ðeəriz/ or // ðeə a:/ instead of / ðeəra:/ and they do not emphasize stressed words or stressed syllables at all. This can be due to the habits in their mother tongue because in Vietnamese, there is no linking sound. Moreover, all the words in Vietnamese are one-syllable words. As a result, there are no stressed syllables or stressed words. That is why not only the first year students in English Department, HULIS, VNU but also many Vietnamese in general have problems with these two kinds of errors IV.1.4 Possible causes of speaking errors of the first year students and their frequency This figure below shows the possible causes of students’ speaking errors as perceived by themselves and by their teachers: Possible causes of speaking errors 100 80 80 8080 80 80 80 80 80 80 60 56.7 60 60 61.7 55 53.3 53.3 53.3 58.3 60 46.7 student 40 45 4040 40 31.7 teacher 20 20 0 A MotherC A. B tongue interference G D E F H I J K L M B. Overgeneralization C. Language transference of some elements from mother tongue Figure 16 : Q9 insome elements ofquestionnaire&when speaking survey questionnaire D. Omitting student survey English system Q7 in teacher E. Avoidance of some elements in English F. Students’ state of mind G. Students’ abnormal articulation system H. Students’ timidness and embarrassment I. Students’ laziness J. Students’ carelessness K. Students’ poor language competence L. The effect of teaching and materials M. Learning environment
  • As shown in this chart, the large percentage of teachers agree that students’ speaking errors are mostly caused by mother tongue interference, language transference of some elements from their mother tongue, students’ strategies to omit some elements of English system in speaking, as well as some psychological factors of the learners such as state of mind, students’ carelessness , students’ poor language competence and learning environment. Each of these causes is contributed by 80% of the total teachers in the survey. For the students, the most common cause of speaking errors is that they try to omit some elements of English system to make it easier to speak( 80%). For example, they might omit the ending sounds when pronouncing words like “ Think, act, please, etc” The second cause of making oral errors might be attributed to students’ poor language competence (61.7%) and their efforts to avoid using some elements of English (60%). Only 46.7% students, compared with 80% teachers choose mother tongue interference to be one of the most important causes of speaking errors. Similarly, only 56.7% students versus 80% teachers choose language transference of some elements from mother tongue to be the cause. This may be explained by the fact that the students are still in their first year and they have not experienced the target language much in the past. Moreover, they have not been fully aware of the effects of these factors in their speaking. That is why the number of students choosing this factor to be the cause is still by far less than the number of teachers.
  • IV.1.5 Techniques used in class to correct students’ speaking errors by the teachers Another issue that should be taken into account when discussing about students’ oral errors is correction techniques used by teachers in class because students’ progress in speaking can be partly attributed to effective corrective feedbacks from teachers. IV.1.5.1 Errors corrected in class Errors corrected in class 100 80 80 60 40 47 student 31.2 40 20 20 teacher 20 10.9 10.9 0 pronunciation Vocabulary Grammatical all kinds of errors errors errors errors Figure 17: Q12 in student questionnaire & Q9 in teacher questionnaire As revealed from figure 11, the second largest number of students would rather their teachers to correct their pronunciation errors( 21.5%). In this chart, most of the teachers(80%) and students (31.2%) said that pronunciation errors were often corrected in class. This is quite consistent with the viewpoint of Chenoweth et al (1989) that learners’ preferences to error correction was essential, since corrective feedback was provided for the sake of learners. On the contrary, in spite of the fact that the largest number of students (68.4%) preferred their teachers to correct all kinds of errors for them, only 20% of teachers corrected every error in their students’ speaking. When being asked about their reason, they suggested that some errors should be reserved for self-correction to reduce students’ dependence on teachers for every error-correction. IV.1.5.2 Techniques used in correcting students’ oral errors in class
  • 120 100 100 80 60 60 Student 60 % 40 45.7 38.6 Teacher 40 27 30 21.4 20 20 20 20 0 0 0 A B C D E F G Figure 18: Q14 in student questionnaire & Q10 in teacher questionnaire A. Teacher corrects every error as soon as you make them. B. Teacher only corrects some serious errors immediately and leaves minor errors for later correction C. Teacher notes down all the speaking errors and corrects them later. D. Teacher lets your peers to correct your errors E. Teacher lets you recognize your own errors and correct yourselves F. Teacher points out some errors for you to correct yourselves G. Others Concerning teachers’ ways of correcting students’ speaking errors in class, it is noticeable that 100% teachers usually point out the errors for the students to correct themselves and no teacher corrects every error as soon as their students make them. Some of these teachers said that correcting every error immediately could interrupt the students and make them feel discouraged and nervous. Therefore, it could be counter-productive sometimes. As a result, teachers tried to avoid using it as much as possible except for some too serious errors, which could cause misunderstanding in communication. Many students agree that their teachers usually use delayed-correction by noting down all the speaking errors and correct them later or let their peers to correct their errors. This fact shows a very progressive viewpoint of the teachers in general in HULIS, VNU, English Department about error- correction because they have acquired the viewpoint of the Communicative
  • Language Teaching Approach. As a result, it can bring good effects to students’ learning process. To sum up, this chapter has answer two main research questions: Firstly, it helps to find out some common speaking errors made by first year students in English Department, VNU, HULIS. Through the procedure of data analysis, the results have revealed that pronunciation still cause students most troubles in speaking. The most typical pronunciation errors are confusion in pronouncing /s/ and /z/ after plural nouns and the third singular verbs, little use of linking sounds and stress on particular words or syllables. Besides, they also make errors relating to ending sounds, some consonants that do not exist in Vietnamese, especially /θ/ and ð/, the pronunciation of some similar sounds, consonant clusters, long vowels and short vowels, elision and intonation. Although these findings are not really new, they make their contributions to predict common pronunciation problems of Vietnamese learners in general. Besides pronunciation errors, students also make errors in grammar and vocabulary when speaking. The majority of students when speaking often use preposition inaccurately. In addition to this, many students sometimes make errors in verb tense, irregular verbs, participles, and articles. Some common vocabulary errors include using words with inappropriate meaning, inaccurate use of prefixes, inaccurate use of synonyms and collocations as well as word redundancy. Secondly, concerning the possible causes of these oral errors, some causes have been suggested by both the teachers and students, however, their opinions are a bit different. According to many teachers, mother tongue interference and language transference of some elements from their mother tongue can be one of the main causes of students’ speaking errors but only less than half of the students agree. However, they all approve that students’ learning strategies such as omitting or avoiding some elements of the target language to make the learning process easier,
  • students’ language competence, as well as some other factors like students’ state of mind, laziness , carelessness may sometimes lead students to error making. In addition to two main research questions, this research also provides the answers to some other questions relevant to this research topic. Firstly, it gives an overview of oral skill develelopment for the first year students in English department, HULIS,VNU. Secondly, it helps to find out teachers and students’ attitude towards speaking skill, speaking errors, different types of errors, error correction, and students’ preference of error correction. Finally, it reflects the practice of using different correction techniques of the teachers in English department to deal with first year students’ oral errors. IV.2 Pedagogical suggestions for more effective ways of correcting students’ errors and better teaching speaking skills Basing on the results above combined with some useful recommendations of the interviewed teachers, the researcher would like to give some personal suggestions to help limit students’ errors and to make the process of teaching speaking skill more efficient as followed: Firstly, more attention should be paid to teaching speaking skill by the teachers at high schools. In other words, their awareness of the importance of teaching speaking skill for students should be raised. As the fact shows that not many students had chances to practice speaking before entering university. As a result, they made a lot of oral errors because they have not had many chances to experience the target language. So, it is suggested that there should be more time for teaching and practicing speaking skill in the curriculum of high schools to improve their language proficiency before they go to study in the university. Secondly, as revealed in section IV.1.2.2, there were still more than a half of the students denying the role of errors in learning process. These students considered errors either as negative stimulus, which can reinforce “bad habits” or wrong
  • response to the input and a failure in acquiring a language, which demonstrated ineffective language learning. In both two cases, oral errors should not be tolerated. As mentioned in chapter two, these are the attitudes of Audio-Lingual Method and Grammar Translation Method corresponsively, which have been proved to be misleading especially in the light of Communicative Language Teaching Approach. According to CLT approach, this traditional conception of errors in speaking should be changed. Instead oral errors should be seen as “positive steps towards learning” (Nguyen et al, 2003, pp 35-36). Therefore, teachers who have been well aware of the new teaching approach should raise students’ awareness of the role of errors in speaking in particular and in learning process in general. Students should consider it as a natural and inevitable part of the process of learning a foreign language, especially in the early stages. By this way, teachers can help students overcome the fear of making errors in speaking which may hinder their production of the target language. Thirdly , as mentioned in IV.1.2.5 in figure 11, students have been well aware of the role of error- correction and self-correction in learning process. Therefore, teachers should take the most advantage of it by providing more chances for students to self-correct because Gower et al(1995) has pointed out that students learn more effectively if they are guided in such a way that they eventually correct themselves rather than if they are given the correct version of something straight away. However, it should be remembered that students’ capacity of self-correction is not something that can be achieved overnight, therefore, teachers should sometimes give appropriate encouragement and help to them if necessary. Besides, self-correction can be time-consuming and seems to be impossible especially in 45-minute period in class. To solve this problem, teachers can combine it with other types of correction such as peer-correction or teacher-correction flexibly and provide chances for self- correction at home by asking them to record their voice, replay, underlie and self-
  • correct their oral errors, then hand in their results to teachers every week, for example. Furthermore, based on students’ preference of error correction, teachers should make use of pointing out the errors for the students to correct themselves because this way of correction not only suits students’ interest but also gives them some autonomy over their oral errors. It is suggested that teachers could use verbal or non-verbal indicators such as facial expressions, hand gestures, etc, to signal that there is something wrong in students’ speech. Then they should pause and wait because : “ teachers we often feel an urge to rush in with the correct response before students have had enough time to process the information” ( Tedick &Gortari, 1998, p4) Thirdly, as shown in section IV.1.3 in the last chapter, the most outstanding problems of the first year students in speaking is pronunciation among which the most weaknesses are related to ending sounds, linking sounds, stress, intonation consonant clusters, elision, confusion in pronouncing /s/ and /z/ after plural nouns and the third singular verbs, and mispronunciation of some similar sounds . For this reason, teacher should focus more on these errors and try to help students improve their pronunciation. At the same time, teachers should bear in mind that different pronunciation errors should be treated by different strategies. For example, to avoid students’ mispronunciation of some consonants that do not exist in Vietnamese such as /θ/ or / ð/, teachers can follow some steps as followed: • Teacher gives clear explanation about the production of these sounds including (1) which articulators take part in the production of these sounds,(2) how these articulators move so as to produce these sounds • Let students listen to native speakers pronounce the sounds several times • Let students practice pronouncing these sounds, trying to make the articulators move in the right way
  • However, when dealing with students’ errors in using stress, teachers can try the methods of building learners’ awareness for English stress suggested by Kenworthy (1987), which consists of two steps: (1) let students understand the nature of stress in words, and (2) comprehending general rules of stress. In brief, teaching pronunciation requires a lot of efforts and time investment of the teachers. Moreover, it is necessary for the teachers to understand the causes of these oral errors to find suitable treatments. For example, some possible causes of pronunciation errors are mainly mother tongue interference, language transference of some elements from mother tongue. Therefore, when introducing a sound which exists in both two languages, differences in the pronunciation of that sound in their mother tongue and the target language should be noticed to students. For example, /t/ is an unaspirated sound in Vietnamese, but is an aspirated sound in English. By emphasizing these differences, students can remember these sounds better. Furthermore, sometimes teachers can try their best to have extra lessons in pronunciation on a specific problem to give students more chances to practice. In these lessons, various speaking activities should be combined to make the lesson more interesting and draw more attention from students. Due to time constraints, within this paper, the researcher can only gives two samples of two pronunciation lessons in which various activities are held (see Appendix 5&6 for reference) These are some suggestions made by the researcher of this research with the hope to make the process of teaching speaking skill and correcting students’ errors more efficient
  • CHAPTER V: CONCLUSION Four previous chapters including introduction, literature review, methodology, results and discussion have introduced all the concepts and viewpoints around this topic as well as thoroughly demonstrated the implementation and the results of this research. Finally, this concluding chapter will summarize and evaluate the outcomes of the whole paper by summing up the findings, and limitations , the contribution of the research. It also gives some suggestions for further study as well. V.1 Major Findings of the study On the whole, this research was carried out among the first year students in English Department, VNU, HULIS to find out their common errors in speaking as well as their possible causes of making these errors. Besides, this research also tried to learn about teachers and students’ attitude towards speaking skill, speaking errors and error correction as well as techniques used in class to correct students’ oral errors in class by teachers. Through exhaustive analysis and discussion of data collected from interviews, questionnaires and classroom observation, three significant findings concerning this research were revealed as followed: Firstly, concerning the attitude towards errors, all the teachers kept a positive attitude towards error making and seemed to be tolerant of oral errors. Whereas, more than a half of the students supposed that an error had negative effects on language learning because it could either reinforce “bad habits” or show a failure in acquiring a language. This finding seems to be similar to that in Pham’s study in 2006( See Appendices) in which most of the students denied the role of errors in their learning process. This unexpected concept among students is opposite to the viewpoint of CLT approach who considers errors as a natural part of language learning. About the concept of the relationship between different types of errors and the communication breakdown, most of the teachers and students highly appreciated
  • the role of pronunciation in communication. They also shared a very progressive view that the role of error correction is either necessary or very necessary. Relating to students’ preference of error correction, the majority of students preferred teacher- correction to peer- correction and self-correction. The most favorable way of correcting errors to these students is that teacher points out the error for the student to correct and they seem to be more interested in delayed-correction than on-the – sport one. Moreover, the number of students who wished all kinds of oral errors to be corrected outnumbered those who wanted their teachers to correct just a certain type of errors. Secondly, this research pointed out the most common oral errors students usually made in pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary. The most noticeable problems found in most of the students are inaccurate use of prepositions (grammatical errors), confusion in pronouncing /s/ and /z/ after plural nouns and the third singular verbs, little use of linking sounds and little use of stress(pronunciation errors), use of words with inappropriate meaning( vocabulary errors). Surprisingly enough, although students highly appreciated the role of pronunciation in communication, they seemed to most usually make errors of this type in comparison with the other two. Besides three remarkable types of pronunciation errors mentioned above, their errors also included the omission of ending sounds, mispronunciation of some consonants that do not exist in Vietnamese, confusion between similar sounds, inaccurate pronunciation of consonant clusters, inadequate knowledge about elision, and inadequate knowledge of intonation. Most of these results seem to be consistent with the common pronunciation problems of Vietnamese in general detected by Nguyen Quoc Hung (1999) in his study entitled “a model of teaching English pronunciation for Vietnamese learners” Finally, about the possible causes of these errors, from the opinion of both the teachers and students, five most prominent causes were found including mother
  • tongue interference, language transference of some elements from mother tongue, omission of some elements of the target language, students’ poor language competence, and learning environment. Besides students’ timidness and students’ carelessness were also listed among the most common causes of students’ oral errors. V.2 Suggestions for further studies Since making errors is an inevitable part in the learning process of second language learners of all ages, it offers other researchers large room to conduct further studies relating to this research topic. Firstly, those who are concerned about this topic can choose other participants for their studies. For example, they can carry out researches about common speaking errors made by tenth form students, or eleventh form students, etc who have not been exposed much to speaking skills. Some may even conduct similar researches with the fourth students and then compare with the results from this research to see whether students’ speaking errors have been reduced much after nearly four years of training in the university. Another alternative is to expand the scope of this study by investigating the common speaking errors of a larger group of people, for example, the first year students in universities of Hanoi, or to a larger extent, it can be the common problems in speaking of Vietnamese EFL learners. By expanding and varying sampling participants, these researches can have better representativeness. Besides, other researchers can also concentrate on common speaking errors of a specific type such as pronunciation, grammar or vocabulary problems of the first year students in English Department, VNU-HULIS. The results from these researches will be very useful because the researchers will have chance to have deeper and more thorough examination into a certain type of errors that students usually make.
  • Finally, because the writer of this study mainly focuses on students’ speaking errors of linguistic area. Therefore, other researchers can shift this topic to oral errors of other areas, especially errors in socio-cultural area. This is because sometimes students can be excellent in grammar, pronunciation, etc, but they fail to express message appropriately within the overall social and cultural context of communication due to their lack of cultural knowledge. To sum up, there are many alternatives for other researchers to choose from to do further studies relating to this topic. V.3 Limitations of the study In spite of the researcher’ considerable efforts, certain limitations are unavoidable due to the time constraints and some other factors: Firstly, the number of students directly get involved in this research is still limited. As a result, the representativeness of this study is not as high as the researcher’s expectation. To compensate for this limitation, the writer try to consult as many teachers as possible with the hope that they can provide more reliable data about common speaking errors of first year students thanks to their experience in working with them for at least two years. Secondly, due to limited time, observations were only conducted in two classes over six speaking periods. Thus, although the researcher has tried her best to reduce biases by selecting participants randomly, the observational results may reflect part of the actual situation of students’ making errors and teachers’ giving feedbacks Thirdly, the error analysis was also carried out basing partly on classroom observations and recorded speeches. For this reason, sometimes it is a bit confusing to determine whether the students are committing pronunciation or grammatical or pronunciation errors.
  • Despite these shortcomings, with serious work, justified data collection and analysis as well as thorough selection of participants and methodology, the researcher can ensure that the validity and reliability of the results are still well retained. However, it is suggested that other researchers should take these limitations into their consideration before carrying out further studies. V.4 Contributions of the study In spite of some limitations as mentioned above, this research has made its contribution to error analysis in general. On a narrow scale, it helps to give an overview of the teaching and learning situation of the teachers and the first year students in English Department, VNU, HULIS. By detecting common speaking errors of the students and some possible causes, this research might help teachers to find out suitable strategies to deal with each error type. In addition, it can also gives teachers more chances to understand their students’ perception of errors and their preference of error correction, from which they can adapt their teaching methods. On a larger scale, in relation with some of the previous researches such as the most recent one called “A study on common speaking errors made by 11th form students at Hanoi secondary school” by Ms Nguyen Thi Thu Ha, K36A13 in 2006, this research continues to give readers a deeper insight into each type of oral errors made by students. Besides, together with these researches, it partly lays the foundation for further researches into this topic in the future. Last but not least, it might contribute to the studies of common problems in speaking of Vietnamese people in general .
  • REFERENCES 1. Abbort, G., & Wingard, P. (1981). Teaching English as an international language. Collins E.L.T 2. Brown, H.D. (1980). Principles of Language Learning and Teaching. Prentice Hall Regents. 3. Brown, H.D. (1994). Principles of Language Learning and Teaching ( Third Edition). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall Regents 4. Canale, M. (1983). From communicative competence to communicative language pedagogy. London: Longman. 5. Celce- Murcia, M., Dornyei, Z., & Thurrell, S. (1995). Communicative Competenceee: A Content Specified Model. Los Angeles. 6. Corder, S.P. (1967). The significance of Learners Errors. Vol 9. No 2. International Review of Applied Linguistics 7. Corder, S.P. (1973). Introducing Applied Linguistics. Penguin, Harmondsworth. 8. Corder, S.P. (1975). Error analysis, Interlanguage and Second Language Acquisition. Vol 8. Language Teaching and Linguistics Abstracts. 9. Chomsky, N. (1965). Aspects of the Theory of Syntax. Cambridge, Massachussetts: M.I.T.Press 10. Edge, J. (1989). Mistakes and Correction. London: Longman 11. Ellis, R. ( 1995). The Study of Second Language Acquisition. Oxford: Oxford UP. 12. Ellis, R. (1995). Understanding Second Language Acquisition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • 13. Fries, C. ( 1972). Teaching and Learning English as a Foreign Language. Ann Arbort: University of Michigan Press. 14. Gower, R., & Walter, S. (1983). Teaching Practice Handbook. Heinemann. 15. Harmer, J. ( 1998). How to teach English. Essex, Longman. 16. Jack C. Richards, John Platt, Heidi Platt. (1992). Dictionary of Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics. Malaysia: Longman 17. James, C. (1998). Errors in Language Learning and Use- Exploring Error Analysis. Addison Wesley Longman. 18. Lennon, P. (1991), Error, some problems of definition and identification in Applied Linguistics, vol.12, num.2, Oxford, pp.180-195 19. Lado, R. (1957). Linguistics Across Cultures. Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Press. 20. Mendelson, David ( 1990) How to Correct Errors in the Communicative Language Talking Class. Prospect, Volume 5 21. Nguyen Bang et al. (2003). BA Upgrade – English Language Teaching Methodology. Ministry of education and training- Teacher- training project. 22. Nguyen Bang, & Nguyen Ba Ngoc. (2002). A Course in TEFL: Theory and Practice III. Vietnam National University, Hanoi: College of Foreign Languages. 23. Nguyen Quoc Hung. (1999). A Model to Teach English Pronunciation to Vietnamese Learners. Ho Chi Minh City Publishers. 24. Norrish, John. (1983). Language Learners and Their Errors. London: The Macmillan Press. S 25. Richards, J. (1984). Error Analysis: Perspectives on second language acquisition. Longman. 26. Richards, J. (ed.). (1974). Error Analysis. London: Longman.
  • 27. Rutherford, W.E. 1987. Second Language Grammar: Learning and Teaching. Longman. 28. Snow, C. (1977). Mother’s Speech Research: from insight to interaction. Cambridge University Press. 29. Savignon, S.J. (1983). Communicative Competence-Theory and Classroom Practice. The USA: Addison- Wesley Publishing Company.
  • APPENDIX 1: STUDENT SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE My name is Nguyen Thi Thu Hien. I am the fourth year student in K39A10, English Department, VNU, HULIS and I am doing my research paper called “Possible causes of common speaking errors made by first year students in Vietnam national University, Hanoi University of linguistics and international studies, English Department”. This research aims at finding out your own common problems in speaking, especially linguistic problems, and your own possible causes for making these errors so that the teachers can find out some solutions to help you to improve your speaking skill. This is not a test, so there is no “right” or “wrong” answers and you do not even have to write your name on it. I appreciate your personal opinion. Please give your answers sincerely and honestly as only this will guarantee the success of the investigation. Thank you very much for your cooperation. For question 1-4, circle one answer only 1. How long have you been learning English? A. Less than 5 years B. 5 to 10 years. C. More than 10 years 2. At high school, how often did your teachers create chance for you to practise speaking skill? A. Very often B. Sometimes C. Rarely D. Never 3. Nowadays, how many hours a day do you spend practising speaking English? Less than one hour A. One hour B. More than one hour 4. You speak English........... A. Only in class B. Both inside and outside the class
  • 5. What activities are held in your class to help you practise your speaking skill? (You can circle more than one answer) A. Practise requesting and providing information in practical situations using some certain structures given by the teacher. B. Practise a model dialogue and make similar conversations using the suggested information C. Work in pairs, each student will be given different pieces of paper containing different information and you have to make questions and answers to get the missing information D. Use your language to collect some required information by conducting surveys or interviews with your friends E. Take part in role- plays F. Discuss in groups on certain aspects of a topic G. Share personal preference, feeling and attitude with your friends on a given topic H. Prepare a presentation on a given topic or their favorite topic in front of the class. I. Other activities ( specify your answer)................................................................. ....................................................................................................................................... ...................................................................................................................................... 6. From your point of view, the role of making errors in speaking is:( circle one answer) A. Making errors is undesirable and it should not be tolerated because errors show wrong response to the input and a failure in acquiring a language B. Making errors should be avoided at all cost because errors can serve as a negative stimulus which reinforces “bad habit” C. Making errors is a natural part of language learning and it shows that you are trying to acquire the new language. 7. In your opinion, what type of speaking error mentioned below can affect the communication most?( circle one answer) A. Pronunciation errors B. vocabulary errors C. Grammatical errors Give brief reasons for your choice here:.. .............................................................................. .................................................................................................................................................. .................................................................................................................................................. ............ 8. Please put a tick beside the problems that you usually have in speaking English and fill in the frequency of making each type of error. There are three levels mentioned here. You can write :
  • - U for “ usually” - S for “sometimes” - O for “ occasionally”. Types of Typical errors Examples Frequenc Put linguistic y of your errors making tick this type here of error Inappropriate use of E.g :He often walk home Subject- verb agreement Errors in verb tense use Eg: Yesterday, he visit Halong Bay. Inaccurate forms of Last week, he winned the gold irregular verbs medal in marathon. Inappropriate use of The girl stands over there is participles Hoa Omission of articles a, He is worker. ( omission of Grammatical an, the “A”) errors Redundancy of articles We have a breakfast at eight. a, an , the Confusion between articles a, an, the Inaccurate use of There are a lot of cars on the prepositions street. Others: (specify your answers) ………………………… ………………….. ………………………… ……………...
  • Omission of ending Omission of the ending sound / sounds k/ in “book” Confusion in In “Hats”/ cars=> “s” is pronouncing /s/ and /z/ pronounced /s/ or /z/? after plural nouns and the third singular verbs Pronunciation Mispronunciation of Mispronunciation of /θ/, / ð/, / errors some consonants that do dʒ/, /ʒ/, /w/…in “think, these, not exist in Vietnamese . join, measure…” Confusion between some Difficult to distinguish /dʒ/,/ ʒ/, similar sounds /j/ & /z/;//ð/ in “pleasure, join, yes, zoo, then...” Inaccurate pronunciation Mispronunciation of /e/ and / æ/ of long vowels and short in Hat and bread vowels. Inaccurate pronunciation Difficult to pronounce of groups of consonants consonant group / lfθ/ in Twelfth /twelfθ/ or /pts/ in prompts/ prɔmpts/ Little use of linking - No linking between final sounds consonant to initial vowel Eg: put it on / put it ɔn/ Inadequate knowledge The consonant /v/ must be about when a sound omitted in lots of them disapears in speech [lɔtsəðəm] Inadequate knowledge The sound /d/ must become /b/ about when a sound before the sound /p/ in changes itself to become hard path [hɑ:bpɑ:θ], not similar to a neighboring [ha:dpɑ:θ] ,etc sound Little use of stress on All the words and syllables are particular words or pronounced nearly the same syllables without being emphasized Inappropriate use of Eg: One may put the stress of stress on a certain word the word “information” on the or syllable second syllable Inadequate knowledge of You may not know when to use intonation ( falling tone, falling tone or rising tone... rising tone, fall-rise tone, rise-fall tone, level tone) Others (specify your
  • Vocabulary Inaccurate use of This equipment is unexpensive errors prefixes Inaccurate use of suffixes Eg: He is the editer –in –chief of the Sunday paper. (=> editor) Using words with Eg: It is going to rain. Do not inappropriate meaning forget to bring the umbrella with you when going out! Inappropriate use of There are many beautiful places synonyms: to tour in this city. => the word “Tour” can not replace the word “travel” Collocation errors Eg: you can’t practice any exercise except sitting. Use of more words than Eg: He was very intelligent necessary and smart Others ( specify your answers) ………………………… 9. Following are some possible causes of making errors in speaking. I would like you to give your own causes of making speaking errors by putting a tick beside your choices. You can choose more than one choice or you can give your own causes. Possible causes of common speaking errors Examples of errors Put your made by first year students tick here The influence of the mother tongue on the Vietnamese has no word stress or second language acquisition. ending sounds Applying a language rule Many childs are playing in the to all cases, which is garden. unacceptable Errors caused by language Using some words, On the sky: Trên trời learning structures or some On the street: Trên đường strategies language rules in your mother tongue in speaking English. Omitting some elements Omitting the ending sounds of English system when speaking Avoidance of some Avoiding using words containing elements in English sounds like /θ/, / ð/
  • Errors caused by State of mind Whether you are in good mood or students’ not internal factors Unusual articulation You are not able to pronounce system correctly some certain sounds Timidness and embarrassment Laziness Carelessness Poor language proficiency The effect of teaching and Errors caused by materials students’ Learning environment external factors Other causes ......................................... ( Give your own . causes if there ......................................... is) . ......................................... . 10. In your opinion, the role of error correction is:( circle one answer) A. Very necessary B. Necessary C. Not very necessary D. Not necessary Give brief explanation for your answer :........................................................................................................................ ......................................................................................................................... ............. 11. How do you want your errors to be corrected?( circle your answers, you can choose more than one answer) A. They are corrected by your teachers B. They are corrected by your peers C. They are found and corrected by yourself D. The teacher points out the errors for you to correct E. Teacher corrects your error immediately right after you make it. F. Teacher notes down the errors for later correction G. Teacher corrects every error in your speaking. H. Teacher just correct some certain types of errors I. Other ways ( specify your answer)
  • ................................................................................................................. 12. What types of errors do you want the teacher to correct in your speaking?( circle your answer. You can choose more than one answer) A. Pronunciation errors B. Vocabulary errors C. Grammatical errors D. All kinds of errors mentioned above 13. What is your opinion about the role of error self-correction?( circle one answer) A. It is very necessary because it can help you remember the error longer. B. It is not very necessary because if we can not correct ourselves, the teachers and peers can correct these errors for you. C. Self- correction can be of no value because it can be inaccurate. 14. How does your teacher correct your speaking in class?( circle your answer. You can choose more than one answer) A. Teacher corrects every error as soon as you make them. B. Teacher only corrects some serious errors immediately and leaves minor errors for later correction C. Teacher notes down all the speaking errors and corrects them later. D. Teacher lets your peers to correct your errors E. Teacher lets you recognise your own errors and correct yourselves F. Teacher points out some errors for you to correct yourselves G. Others ( give other ways your teacher use to correct your speaking errors): ........................................................................................................ ............................................................................................................................. 15. What types of errors does your teacher correct when you speak English?( circle your answer. You can choose more than one answer) A. Pronunciation errors B. Vocabulary errors C. Grammatical errors D. All kinds of errors mentioned above Thank you for your cooperation!
  • APPENDIX 2: TEACHER SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE My name is Nguyen Thi Thu Hien. I am the fourth year student in class K39E10, English Department, HULIS, VNU and I am carrying out my research on “Possible causes of common speaking errors made by first year students in Vietnam national University, Hanoi University of languages and international studies, English Department”. This research aims at finding common problems in speaking, especially linguistic problems of the first year students and their possible causes of making these errors so that teachers can find out some solutions to help them improve their speaking skill. Your help in completing this survey questionaire is highly appreciated. I commit that all your personal information will be kept secret if you like and your opinions will be used for the purpose of this research only. 1. How many years have you taught the first year students?............................................................ 2. In your opinion, what is the most important skill in teaching and learning English? A. Listening B. Speaking C. Reading D. Writing 3. What activities do you often organize in your class to help your students improve their speaking skill?( circle your answer. You can choose more than one answer) J. Students practise requesting and providing information in practical situations using some certain structures given by the teacher. K. Students practice a model dialogue and make similar conversations using the suggested information
  • L. Students work in pairs, each student will be given different pieces of paper containing different information and they have to make questions and answers to get the missing information M. Students are asked to use their language to collect some required information by conducting surveys or interviews with their friends N. Students take part in role- plays O. Students discuss in groups on certain aspects of a topic P. Students share personal preference, feeling and attitude with their friends on a given topic Q. Some of the students prepare a presentation on a given topic or their favorite topic in front of the class. R. Other activities ( specify your answer) :...................................................................................................................................... ........................................................................................................................... 4. From your point of view, the role of making errors in speaking is:( circle one answer) A. Making errors is undesireable and it shouldn’t be tolerated because errors show wrong response to the input and a failure in acquiring a language B. Making errors should be avoided at all cost because errors can serve as a negative stimulus which reinforces “bad habit” C. Making errors is a natural part of language learning and it shows that your students are trying to acquire the new language. 5. In your opinion, what type of speaking error mentioned below can affect the communication most?( circle your answer) A. Pronunciation errors B. vocabulary errors C. Grammatical errors Give brief reasons for your choice here: ................................................................................ .................................................................................................................................................. .................................................................................................................................................. .................... 6. Please put a tick beside the problems that your students usually have in speaking English and fill in the frequency of making each type of error of your students. There are three levels mentioned here. You can write : - U for “ usually” - S for “sometimes” - O for “ occasionally”. Types of Typical student errors Put Frequency linguistic your of making errors tick this type of
  • here error Grammatical Inappropriate use of Subject- verb agreement errors Errors in verb tense use Inaccurate forms of irregular verbs Inappropriate use of participles Omission of articles a, an, the Redundancy of articles a, an , the Confusion between articles a, an, the Inappropriate use of prepositions Others: (specify your answers) …………………………………………….. ………………………………………... Omission of ending sounds Confusion in pronouncing /s/ and /z/ after plural nouns and the third singular verbs Mispronunciation of some consonants that do not exist in Vietnamese such as /θ/, / ð/, /dʒ/, /ʒ/, /w/… Confusion between some similar sounds such as /∫/ &/s/ or /dʒ/,/ ʒ/, /j/ & /z/;//ð/; etc Pronunciation Inaccurate pronunciation of long vowels and short errors vowels in words such as /e/ vs / æ/, / ɔ:/ vs / ɔ/, /i/ vs /i:/, etc Inaccurate pronunciation of groups of consonants such as /lfθ/ in Twelfth /twelfθ/ or /pts/ in prompts/ prɔmpts/ Little use of linking sounds Inadequate knowledge about elision Eg: The sound /v/ must be omitted in lots of them [lɔtsəðəm] Inadequate knowledge about assimilation Eg: The sound /d/ must become /b/ before the sound /p/ in hard path [hɑ:bpɑ:θ], not [ha:dpɑ:θ] ,etc Little use of stress on particular words or syllables Inappropriate use of stress on a certain word or syllable Inadequate knowledge of intonation ( falling tone, rising tone, fall-rise tone, rise-fall tone, level tone) Others (specify your answers): …………………………………………………………
  • Vocabulary Inaccurate use of prefixes errors Inaccurate use of suffixes Using words with inappropriate meaning Inappropriate use of synonyms: Eg: There are many beautiful places to tour in this city.( the word “Tour” can not replace the word “travel”) Collocation errors Eg: You can’t practice any exercise except sitting. Use of more words than necessary Eg: He was very intelligent and smart Others ( specify your answers) ………………………………………………………… … 7. Here are some possible causes of students’ error making in speaking English. Put a tick besides the causes that you agree with and fill in the frequency of these causes in students’ error making. You can put : O for “Very often” U for “ usually” S for “sometimes” R for “rarely” Possible causes of common speaking errors made by students Put Frequency your of these tick causes here Mother tongue interference Eg : Vietnamese has no word stress or ending sounds Overgeneralisation Eg: Many childs are playing in the garden. Language transference of some elements from mother Errors caused tongue by language Eg: On the sky: Trên trời learning On the street: Trên đường strategies Omitting some elements of English system when speaking Eg: Omitting the ending sounds Avoidance of some elements in English Eg: Avoiding using words containing sounds like /θ/, / ð/
  • Students’ state of mind Errors caused Students’ unusual articulation system by students’ Students’ timidness and embarrassment internal factors Students’ laziness Students’carelessness Students’ poor language competence Errors caused The effect of teaching and materials by students’ Learning environment external factors Other causes ...................................................................................... 8. In your opinion, the role of error correction is: (circle one answer) E. Very necessary F. Necessary G. Not very necessary H. Not necessary Please give brief reason for your answer :...................................................................................... 9. What type of errors do you most usually correct in your students’ speaking? ( circle your answer) E. Pronunciation errors F. Vocabulary errors G. Grammatical errors Give the brief reason for your choice: .................................................................................................................................................. .................................................................................................................................................. 10. In what ways do you correct your students’ speaking errors in class?( circle your answers. You can choose more than one answer) A. You correct every error as soon as your students make them. B. You only correct some serious errors immediately and leave minor errors for later correction C. You note down all the speaking errors and correct them later D. You let their peers to correct their errors E. You let the students recognise their errors and correct themselves F. You point out some errors for students to correct themselves G. Others ( give your own way of correcting students’ speaking errors): ..................................................................................................................... ............................................................................................................. Thank you for your help
  • APPENDIX 3: TEACHER INTERVIEW 1. In your opinion, should oral errors be tolerated or should they be avoided at all costs? Please clarify your answer. 2. From your experiences, among three types of errors including grammatical errors, pronunciation errors and vocabulary errors, which one do students usually make in speaking? 3. Can you list some common speaking errors that your students usually make in speaking? 4. In your opinion, what are the possible reasons for which your students make such kinds of oral errors? 5. In what way do you usually correct your students’ speaking errors? 6. Which do you prefer? Immediate correction or delayed correction? Please explain your reasons. 7. Do you usually correct your students’ oral errors or let them correct themselves? Why? 8. Can you give some recommendations to limit students’ speaking errors?
  • APPENDIX 4: STUDENT INTERVIEW 1. Do you think that making oral errors can have good effects on your learning process? Please give your reasons why? 2. Among three types of errors including grammatical error, pronunciation error and vocabulary error, which one do you usually make most in speaking? 3. Can you tell me some errors that you usually make in grammar/ pronunciation/ vocabulary when speaking? 4. In your opinion, what are the possible reasons that cause you to make such kinds of oral errors? 5. Which do you prefer, teacher correction, peer-correction or self correction? 6. In your opinion, how important is self-correction? Please clarify your answer. 7. How do you like your teacher to correct your oral errors? 8. Which do you prefer, immediate correction or delayed correction? Give your explanations.
  • APPENDIX 5: CLASSROOM OBSERVATION CHECKLIST I. CLASS PROFILE 1. Class name: 2. Place (Room) of observation: 3. Name of the lesson: 4. The objective of the lesson: II. SPEAKING ACTIVITIES USED IN CLASS 1. Activity 1: 2. Activity 2: 3. Activity 3: ............................................................................................................... III. TYPES OF ERRORS THAT STUDENTS USUALLY MAKE IN SPEAKING Types of Typical errors Examples Comment about the frequency of linguistic making each type of errors error
  • Inappropriate use of Subject- verb agreement Errors in verb tense use Inaccurate forms of irregular verbs Inappropriate use of participles Omission of articles a, an, the Redundancy of articles a, an , the Grammatic Confusion between articles al errors a, an, the Inaccurate use of prepositions Others................................... ............................................. .............................................
  • Omission of ending sounds Confusion in pronouncing /s/ and /z/ after plural nouns and the third singular verbs Mispronunciation of some consonants that do not exist in Vietnamese . Confusion between some similar sounds Pronunciati Inaccurate pronunciation of on errors long vowels and short vowels. Inaccurate pronunciation of groups of consonants Little use of linking sounds Inadequate knowledge about when a sound disapears in speech Inadequate knowledge about when a sound changes itself to become similar to a neighboring sound Little use of stress on particular words or syllables Inappropriate use of stress on a certain word or syllable Inadequate knowledge of intonation ( falling tone, rising tone, fall-rise tone,
  • Vocabulary Inaccurate use of prefixes Inaccurate use of suffixes errors Using words with inappropriate meaning Inappropriate use of synonyms: Collocation errors Use of more words than necessary Others …………………………… ………… IV. TEACHER’S WAY OF TREATING STUDENTS’ ORAL ERRORS. Teacher’s treatment of students’ oral errors Comments Teacher corrects students’ errors Teacher lets their peer to correct their errors Teacher lets the students correct themselves Teacher points out the errors for the students to correct Teacher corrects every errors Teacher just corrects a certain kind of error Teacher corrects the errors immediately Teacher notes down all the errors for later correction Others..........................................................
  • APPENDIX 6: SAMPLE LESSON PLAN 1 /θ/ & /ð/ 1. OBJECTIVES This plan is dedicated to: • Show students the right way to pronounce the two sounds /θ/ & /ð/ • Help students recognize and pronounce correctly some common words that contain the two sounds /θ/ & /ð/ • Give students practice of pronouncing the two sounds /θ/ & /ð/ in dialogues and tongue twister. 2. TEACHING AIDS Cassette Player and/or computer; handouts; blackboard 3. ASSUMED KNOWLEDGE The students: • Have acquired elementary to low intermediate level. • Are familiar with pair/group work. • 4. POSSIBLE PROBLEMS • Class time management • Students’ lacking energy
  • 5. PROCEDURE Teacher’s activities Students’ activities Activity 1 (15min) Individual Work - Have students listen to a song titled “The - Listen to the song and fill first Noel” in which there are a number of the blanks with the words words containing sounds /θ/ & /ð/ are they hear. blanked. - Give answers - Ask them to fill all the blanks with the words they hear. - Ask Ss for answers and then correct. - Ask them to tell the differences when pronouncing those sounds in their opinion. - Watch and listen to the - Show them how to pronounce those sounds teacher correctly by presenting the position of tongue and teeth. (/θ/ is pronounced with more muscular tension or is more aspirated than /ð/) - Read after the teacher - Read aloud the words containing sounds /θ/ & /ð/ slowly one by one and have students repeat Activity 2 (10min): Pair work - Provide students with a list of words containing sound /θ/ & /ð/ and ask them to classify those words into the correct
  • groups. - Work in pairs - Ask Ss for answers and read those words - Give the teacher answers aloud for them to correct. - Have Ss make a small dialogue (3-4 sentences) which contain as many words in the list above as they can. - Show them a model dialogue. - Give Ss time to prepare then call some - Work in pair pairs to demonstrate their dialogue. - Present their dialogues Activity 3 (5min) Group Work - The leaders run back to their Organize “tongue twister” game groups and whisper the - Divide the class into 2 teams and ask them tongue twister to the student to appoint their leaders and speakers that is directly on his/her Leader: the 1st person to hear the tongue twister right. from the teacher - As soon as that student has Speaker: the last person to hear the tongue twister heard the tongue twister, and has responsibility for writing it onto the board he/she should whisper it to and saying it aloud. the person on his/her right - Explain the rule to Ss and so it continues. This will - Whisper the tongue twister to the 2 leaders continue until it gets to the of 2 teams. last person who must then run to the board as soon as - Award the winning team they have heard the tongue twister and write it onto the board. - The team which is quicker and say the tongue twister
  • more correctly will be the winner. 7. EVALUATION: Evaluate Ss’ contribution in class activities - Listen to the teacher APPENDIX 7: SAMPLE LESSON PLAN 2 PRONUNCIATION : /∫/ and /ʒ/ 1. Objectives The lesson is designed in order to help students to: • Know how to pronounce accurately the two sounds: /∫/ & /ʒ/ • Listen and distinguish the two sounds /∫/ & /ʒ/ in everyday uses • Practice pronouncing the two sounds /∫/ & /ʒ/ and use them to communicate in real life 2. Materials needed • Handouts, CD and cassette player, computer, board and chalk 3. Assumed knowledge • Students: are familiar with pair / group work • Students: have acquired elementary to low intermediate level 4. Possible problems • Class time management • Bad performance of Students
  • 6. Procedure Teacher’s activities Students’ activities 6.1. Warm-up (7 mins) - Divide class into 2 groups to play a game. - Give 2 groups an example. - Have 2 groups guess 6 words basing on two - Work in group and use the ability of word hints. The first hint(20 point) is a mixed word guessing, basing on 2 hints to give out the and a sentence containing the word. The second correct answers. hint (10 point) is the picture describing the word. - Ask students to read aloud 7 words in the - Read aloud 7 words in the game. game again - Write them on the board with a prepared - Brainstorm the way of pronouncing the arrangement. Introduce the two sounds /∫/ & /ʒ/ two sounds /∫/ & /ʒ/ correctly and thanks to 7 words ( how to pronounce and distinguishing them. Read after the teacher distinguish them). 6.2. Task 1: Individual (8 mins) - Provide students with a list of words ending - Do the exercise individually. with “ion” and containing two sounds /∫/ & /ʒ/. Ask them the classify those words by writing A for words with /∫/ sound and B for /ʒ/ sound. - Ask students for answers and give out the - Give teacher the answer. correct ones. - Play the song including all words to check and - Listen to the song and check how to comment on the way to pronounce the words pronounce those words accurately. ending with “ion”. 6.3. Task 2: Pair-work (8mins) Information gap and Role play - Ask students to work in pair. Student A and - Work in pair. Communicate to each other Student B have their own handouts. Ask them to fill in the missing information about TV to make a dialogue about TV programs to fill in programs in the handout. Practice the two the missing information in the handout. sounds /∫/ & /ʒ/ - Call one group to present their dialogue. - One group presents the dialogue, trying to Ask the other to listen and give comments. pronouncing /∫/ & / ʒ/ accurately. The
  • Distinguish two sounds: /∫/ & / ʒ/ / in words ending with “ion”. Write A for the word having ∫/ & write B for the word containing / ʒ/ /. An example has been done for you. 0. solution A 1. resurrection 7. illusion 2. confusion 8. explanation 3. profusion 9. direction 4. vibration 10. comprehension 5. option 11. isolation 6. consolation 12. destruction Listen to the song and check the answers. There are too many questions And the love profusion There is not one 0. solution You make me feel There is no 1. resurrection You make me know There is so much 2. confusion And the love 9. direction You make me feel And the love 3. profusion You make me shine You make me feel You make me feel You make me know You make me shine And the love 4. vibration You make me feel I got you under my skin You make it shine I got you under my skin I got you under my skin There are too many 5. options I got you under my skin There is no 6. consolation I have lost my 7. illusions There is no 10. comprehension What I want is an 8. explanation There is real 11. isolation There is so much 12. destruction What I want is a celebration
  • Treasure in Chicago Help Sheila to find a way to treasure in Chicago. The word having /ʃ/ sound must be followed by another with /ʒ/ sound. You can move horizontally or vertically only. Ex. Wash /ʃ/  visual /ʒ/  /ʃ/ ??? Sheila /'ʃi:lə/ wash visual machine measure garage discover species some shoe cash exhibition news shut show special vision usual patient shush casual pleasure television shine shower leisure fashion shark massage shortage sure beige decision motion confusion illusion ambitious pressure sugar revision church zoo Treasure in Chicago /'treʒə/ /ʃi'ka:gəʊ/ Nguyen Thi Thu Hien K39E10