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The Exploitation Of Post Listening Activites For 11 Th Form Students In Hanoi Bui Thi Hang
 

The Exploitation Of Post Listening Activites For 11 Th Form Students In Hanoi Bui Thi Hang

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    The Exploitation Of Post Listening Activites For 11 Th Form Students In Hanoi Bui Thi Hang The Exploitation Of Post Listening Activites For 11 Th Form Students In Hanoi Bui Thi Hang Document Transcript

    • VIETNAM NATIONAL UNIVERSITY, HANOI UNIVERSITY OF LANGUAGES AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES ENGLISH DEPARTMENT BUI THI HANG THE EXPLOITATION OF POST-LISTENING ACTIVITES FOR 11TH FORM STUDENTS IN HANOI SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF BACHELOR OF ARTS (TEFL) 1
    • Hanoi, May 2009 VIETNAM NATIONAL UNIVERSITY, HANOI UNIVERSITY OF LANGUAGES AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES ENGLISH DEPARTMENT BUI THI HANG THE EXPLOITATION OF POST-LISTENING ACTIVITES FOR 11TH FORM STUDENTS IN HANOI SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF BACHELOR OF ARTS (TEFL) SUPERVISOR: TRAN HIEN LAN, M.A 2
    • Hanoi, May 2009 ABSTRACT The recent education reform, most obviously in ELT for high school students has brought a new identity to the teaching procedure of language skills, comprising three stages: Pre, While and Post stage. However, the importance of the post stage tends to be lowered as the optional part of an English lesson and poorly or even ineffectively carried out due to a number of factors. Post-listening stage is not excluded. In response to this depressing fact, a study on “The exploitation of post-listening activities for the 11th form students in Hanoi” was initiated, carried out and completed. Taking into consideration the importance of post-listening stage as well as the research gap in this field, the paper focuses primarily on the current situation of teaching and learning at this phase, especially the utilization of follow-up activities, teachers’ difficulties and recommended solutions. In an attempt to realize aforementioned objectives, this graduation paper is conducted by means of survey questionnaire and class observation which are described in detail in chapter 3 after the theoretical background knowledge of the subject matter has been provided in chapter 2. The findings presented in chapter 4 reveal that post-listening activities have been widely conducted but not as effectively as expected mostly due to the lack of time and students’ enthusiasm. The suggested measures vary from teacher to 3
    • teacher. Also, the follow-up activities for the betterment of post-listening stage in teaching listening for grade 11 students are offered in chapter 5. It is the great ambition of the researcher that this study will function as a useful reference for teachers of English who take interest in the subject matter. I hereby state that I: Bui Thi Hang, 051E5, being a candidate for the degree of the Bachelor of Arts (TEFL) accept 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 4
    • ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS My words of thanks go to all the people who have contributed to the accomplishment of this graduation paper. First of all, it is with affection and appreciation that I would love to express my heartfelt gratitude to my supervisor Mrs. Tran Hien Lan, without whose valuable advice and enthusiastic guidance, this research would not have become a reality. Secondly, I would be honestly grateful to Mrs. Do Kim Phuong, my supervisor during the teaching practicum at Xuan Dinh school, who was very busy with her work but still spent precious time discussing and sharing her teaching experiences relating to my research field. Also, I owe a great debt to my family, teachers and friends for their continuous support, advice and encouragement whenever I was in need of. 5
    • Last but not least, my sincere thanks are warmly sent to the teachers of English and the 11th form students who enthusiastically and patiently helped me collect significant data for the study. TABLE OF CONTENTS Acceptance…………………………………………………………………..i Acknowledgements…………………………………………………………ii Abstract…………………………………………………………………….iii List of tables and figures ………………………………………………….iv CHAPTER I: INTRODUCTION I.1 Statement of the problem and rationale for the study……………………1 I.2 Aims of the study and Research Questions………………………………2 I.3 Significance of the study ………………………………………………...3 I.4 Scope of the study ……………………………………………………….4 I.5 Methodology……………………………………………………………..4 I.6 Organization of the study………………………………………………...5 CHAPTER II: LITERATURE REVIEW II.1 The nature of listening II.1.1 Definition of listening…………………………………………………6 II.1.2 The process of listening……………………………………………….8 II.1.3 The importance of listening skill in language teaching and learning………………………………………………………..8 II.1.4 The relationship between listening and other language skills……….10 6
    • II.2 The teaching of listening viewed by different teaching methods II.2.1 The Grammar translation method…………………………………....11 II.2.2 The Audio-lingual method…………………………………………...12 II.2.3 Communicative language teaching…………………………………..14 II.3 Teaching listening procedure II.3.1 Pre-listening……………………………………………………….....16 II.3.2 While-listening………………………………………………………16 II.3.3 Post-listening………………………………………………………...16 II.4 An in-depth overview of post-listening activities II.4.1 Purpose of post-listening activities…………………………………..17 II.4.2 Factors affecting the choice of post-listening activities……………..18 II.4.3 Forms of post-listening activities……………………………………19 II.4.4 Integration in post-listening activities……………………………….20 II.5 Related studies………………………………………………………..22 II.6 Summary……………………………………………………………...23 CHAPTER III: METHODOLOGY III.1 Participants III.1.1 Teachers of English............................................................................24 III.1.2 Students……………………………………………………………..25 III.2 Data Collection Instruments III.2.1 Questionnaire……………………………………………………….26 III.2.2 Classroom observation.......................................................................28 III.3 Data Collection procedure III.3.1 Phase 1: Preparation………………………………………………...29 III.3.2 Phase 2: Conduction………………………………………………...29 III.4 Data Analysis Procedure....................................................................30 CHAPTER IV: RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS 7
    • IV.1 Findings from questionnaire IV.1.1 Students’ survey questionnaire IV.1.1.1 Current situation of learning listening skill………………………31 IV.1.1.2 Students’ attitudes towards post-listening stage and the exploited activities………………………………………………...34 IV.1.2 Teachers’ survey questionnaire IV.1.2.1 Current situation of teaching listening skill………………………41 IV.1.2.2 Teachers’ attitudes towards post-listening stage and the exploited activities…………………………………………………42 IV.1.2.3 Teachers’ suggested solutions to overcome difficulties at post- listening stage………………………………………………………………49 IV.2 Findings from observation IV.2.1 Types of post-listening activities……………………………………53 IV.2.2 Duration of post-listening stage…………………………………….54 IV.2.3 Effectiveness of post-listening activities………………………….....54 IV.3 Summary..............................................................................................56 CHAPTER V: SUGGESTED POST-LISTENING ACTIVITIES V.1 Speaking activity……………………………………………………....57 V.2 Reading activity………………………………………………………..61 V.3 Writing activity………………………………………………………...62 V.4 Language focus activity………………………………………………..65 CHAPTER VI: CONCLUSION VI.1 Summary of findings……………………………………..................68 VI.2 Limitations of the study……………………………………………..70 VI.3 Suggestions for further studies……………………………………..71 REFERENCES APPENDICES 8
    • LIST OF TABLES AND FIGURES Diagram 1: The two ways in which four skills are integrated Tale 1: A classification of 15 surveyed teachers by their schools, location and level of English specialization Table 2: A classification of surveyed students by their schools and English competence Table 3: Teachers’ perception of the difficulty of teaching listening Figure 1: Students’ attitude towards listening Figure 2: Students’ purposes of listening Figure 3: Students’ interest in listening lessons Figure 4 & 5: Reason for students’ interest and lack of interest in listening lessons Figure 6: Real situation of carrying out post-listening stage Figure 7: The way post-listening stage is conducted Figure 8: Frequency of the utilization of post-listening activities 9
    • Figure 9: Students’ favorite post-listening activities Figure 10: The impacts of post-listening activities Figure 11: Teachers’ attitude towards listening Figure 12: Teachers’ attitude towards post-listening stage Figure 13: The frequency of implementing post-listening stage Figure 14: Teachers’ methods of conducting post-listening stage Figure 15: Frequency of the utilization of post-listening activities Figure 16 & 17: Teachers’ opinion of effectiveness & ineffectiveness of post-listening activities Figure 18: Teachers’ perceived difficulties at post-listening stage 10
    • CHAPTER I: INTRODUCTION I.1 Statement of the problem and rationale for the study As a matter of fact, the WTO entry is of great significance to Vietnam’s international economic integration, urging the demand for using English as a common means of communication among Vietnamese students. Therefore, English as a foreign language has become one of the integral and compulsory subjects of our secondary schools’ curriculum so far. The ultimate goal of teaching and learning English is learners’ ability to use English for communicative purposes. In an attempt to obtain this aim, the implementation of the new textbook among upper-secondary schools has made a remarkable change in English teaching and learning method. Thanks to the new curriculum, together with learning English grammar and pronunciation, students have chances to practice the four fundamental skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing, among which listening makes a significant contribution to the process of language acquisition. In the textbook English 11, the listening section is subdivided into three main parts: Before you listen, While you listen and After you listen reflecting the three stages of a listening class procedure including pre-, while-, post- 11
    • listening respectively. Nevertheless, in reality, the problem is that the teaching and learning of listening skill in our upper-secondary schools appear not to be effective as not all the teachers cover the three stages of a listening class, most notably post-listening stage. The main focus of almost all listening lessons is to make students listen to the text with exercises to be completed during the while-listening stage. Noticeably, the post-listening stage is said to be ineffective and irrelevant to what students have listened to or even ignored in some listening classes notwithstanding that this stage is as important as all other stages. Added to this, most of the activities at this stage are initiated and controlled by the teachers and listening skill is frequently isolated from other language skills. In terms of pedagogical view, there has been lack of proper research interests and investigations into the post-listening stage even though researches on pre-listening and while-listening strategies as well as activities have been constantly carried out. This stems partially from the inherent conception that the post-listening stage merely deals with checking listening comprehension exercises. The above-stated facts honestly generate strong motivation in the researcher to conduct a study titled “The exploitation of Post-listening Activities for 11th form students in Hanoi”. She desires to take a closer look into the current situation of teaching and learning listening, especially at post-listening stage among 11th form classes in Hanoi. Her hope is also to figure out useful post-listening activities and possible solutions to teachers’ difficulties during this stage. I.2 Aims of the study 12
    • In carrying out this research, the researcher desires to explore two main issues. First, the study aims to investigate the real situation of teaching and learning listening in general and at the post-listening stage in particular among the 11th form students in some upper-secondary schools in Hanoi. The goal is to find out the most commonly utilized post-listening activities, teachers and students’ evaluation of these activities, problems facing teachers while carrying out this stage as well as corresponding solutions. Second, the author would like to suggest effectively-exploited activities at post-listening stage to form the good habit of listening as well as reinforce other language skills for the 11th form students in Hanoi. These objectives can be achieved by answering the following questions: Research questions • What can be described about the current situation of teaching and learning listening in the 11th form classes of some high schools in Hanoi? • What are teachers and students’ attitudes towards post-listening stage and the exploited activities? • What solutions would be recommended by the teachers to overcome identified difficulties in conducting post-listening stage? I.3 Significance of the study As one of the under-researched issues in teaching listening for high school students in Vietnam, the present study on post-listening stage will make certain contributions to high school students, teachers, educationists and researchers of the related fields. 13
    • Firstly, as for teachers and students in Hanoi, they may have an overall look into the current situation of teaching and learning at the post-listening stage as well as their evaluations of the utilized follow-up activities. Besides, the teachers will certainly realize the difficulties facing them during this stage and feasible solutions pointed out by their colleagues. This study is beneficial for students in the sense that they tend to become fully aware of the importance of the follow-up stage and their responsibilities to actively take part in this stage. Second, since obstacles to the implementation of post-listening stage, along with measures are clearly demonstrated in the research, educationists may base on them to make necessary changes in terms of curriculum, facilities to exploit post-listening activities to the full. Last, the research will serve as the foundation for further related researches. Other researchers may also take the strengths and weaknesses of the study into account to better theirs. I.4 Scope of the study This study lays great stress on common activities used for post-listening stage for the 11th form students in some Hanoi high schools. Therefore, the pre-listening and while-listening stage will not be taken serious view. Besides, due to time pressure and other inconveniences, the research is to stay within the confines of several high schools in Hanoi and there is a limitation in the number of participants who have been working with English 11 for a period of time. I.5 Methods of the study 14
    • To find out the answers to the research questions, the researcher employ survey questionnaire and classroom observation as the two main instruments to collect the data. As for survey research, the data will be much more reliable and economical for the reason that a considerable amount of information can be collected in a short period of time and applied to objects in different contexts. With regard to class observation, the findings are of great assistance to ensure the validity of the information gathered from the survey questionnaire. I.6 Organization of the study This study consists of six chapters which focus on specific areas. Chapter I specifies the reasons why the topic is chosen and provides an overall view on the development of the study. Chapter II presents the relevant literature underlying the subject matter involving listening in general and post-listening stage in particular. Much of what follows in chapter III and IV are dedicated to describe the methodology of the study and the analysis of the data collected respectively. In chapter V, the researcher recommends effectively-utilized post-listening activities for 11th form listening lessons. The last chapter is the conclusion of the study in which the findings and the limitations are clarified and suggestions for further researchers are proposed. In summary, the chapter has specified rationales for conducting the research, aims, research questions, scope, significance, methodology and overview of the rest of the paper. 15
    • CHAPTER II: LITERATURE REVIEW This chapter provides a detailed insight into theoretical background knowledge underlying the subject matter involving the nature of listening, the teaching of listening viewed by different teaching methods and notably the post-listening activities. II.1 The nature of listening II.1.1 What is listening? First and foremost, there is an essential need to mention that listening here is associated mainly with listening and understanding what we hear at the same time. In fact, through the years, various definitions of listening have been proposed but quot;there indeed appears to be no universally accepted definitionquot; (Dunkel, 1986, pp.433). Rost (1990) may be the person who defined listening in the most comprehensible way: “Listening is one of fundamental language abilities that allow users of language get not only information but also instruction.” In addition, Brown (1994)’s simplest definition stated that “Listening is the ability to identify and understand what others are saying. This involves understanding a speaker’s accent or pronunciation, his grammar and his vocabulary and grasping his meaning”. 16
    • However, one of the most complete and detailed definition of listening is the one provided by Brownell (1994): ... it is not a skill, but a set of skills all marked by the fact that they involve the aural perception of oral signals ... [it] is not passive. A person can hear something, but not be listening ... it is absolutely necessary for almost any other work with language, especially for speaking and even for writing. (p. 129) It is noteworthy to emphasize three points in this definition by which some typical features of listening can be revealed. First, listening requires full interpretation of oral sounds. In other words, the person should be capable of distinguishing the smallest units of sound of phonemes. Second, listening is not a passive skill but a receptive one since it calls for as much attention and mental activity as other language skills. Far from passively receiving and recording aural input, listeners actively involve themselves in the interpretation of what they hear, bringing their own background knowledge and linguistic knowledge to deal with the information contained in the aural text. Last but not least, “a person can hear something, but not be listening” means that there is a great difference between hearing and listening. Specifically, hearing is simply a physical ability whereas listening is a highly complex, interactive process “by which spoken language is converted to meaning in the mind” (Wolvin & Coakly, 1979, p.11). Hence, Saricoban (1999) stressed that “Listening is more than merely hearing words. It is a process in which students receive, construct meaning from, and respond to spoken or nonverbal messages”. In brief, no matter how variously listening is defined; it is worth noting that listening is a fundamental language skill making a significant contribution to learners’ process of language acquisition. 17
    • II.1.2 The process of listening There have existed quite a few assumptions considering listening as a complex active process which requires much attention, thought, interpretation and imagination. Lundsteen (1979) stated that “Listening is a highly complex, interactive process by which spoken language is converted to meaning in the mind”. Besides, H. Douglas Brown revealed in his research in 1979 that listening comprehension is not only the process of sending and receiving sounds but also the conscious process to send and transmit the message to the brain which will influence the process of communication. Probably the most detailed and comprehensive theory of listening process is the one recommended by Wolvin and Coakly (1979). From their perspectives, listening is the process involving three basic steps: “receiving, understanding; judging and responding”. The first step means listening to catch what speaker is saying. After receiving the message, the listener must understand and interpret the information. The next step is to judge whether the message makes sense and can be reliable to believe in. The listening can not end without the last step: “responding”. It is the form of feedback that completes the communication transaction and results in the listener’ actions. II.1.3 The importance of listening skill in language teaching and learning 18
    • In the era of mass communication, undeniably, it is of vital importance that listening skill be taught in the teaching process and students be trained to become effective and critical listeners. Quite a few efforts have been made to reinforce the significance of listening in everyday communication. According to Byrnes H. (1984), more than 40% of people daily communication is devoted to listening, approximately 35% to speaking, 16% to reading and only 9% on writing. In a report delivered by Rost (1990), it is estimated that adults spend almost half their communication time listening and students may receive as much as 90% of their in-school information through listening to instructors and to one another. In Harmer’s words, “Listening is a medium through which children, young people and adults gain a large portion of their education, their information, their understanding of the world and of human affairs, their ideals, senses of values and their appreciation” (1991). Seeing the importance of listening in real-life interaction, Nunan and Miller (1995) emphasized that “listening skill is one of the basic skills in language teaching and learning”. Nevertheless, in the areas of second language acquisition research and second language teaching, there used to be times when “listening has always been the most forgotten and least researched of the four macro skills”. (Underwood, 1989). In the viewpoint of some researchers and teachers, listening was something which could just be “picked up” and there was little need for developing a specific research agenda or approaches to teach listening. Luckily, until recent years listening has received wider attention and is not considered a separate and independent skill but an activity or means by which the other language skills could be taught and acquired. In fact, learners’ receptive language abilities 19
    • like listening precede their productive ones (speaking and writing), so they need to spend a great deal of time listening before and as they develop other abilities. Some linguists also argue that listening skill is at the core of second language acquisition and therefore demands greater emphasis and concern from both teachers and students. In a word, since listening is a continuous complex process which can not be mastered easily, it is crucial that language teachers give the learners many opportunities to listen to spoken foreign language as well as necessary strategies to become effective and critical listeners. II.1.4 The relationship between listening and other language skills Researchers have indicated for many years that there is a strong relationship between listening and other language abilities. (Gass, 1988). It is commonly acknowledged that listening, speaking, reading and writing are four vital components of English language arts curriculum and each one provides the base for the growth for the others. Traditionally, the integration of these four skills was not taken serious view for the reason that it might diminish the importance of each separate language skill. However, in the light of communicative approach, the four-skill incorporation appears to be a preferable choice in almost lesson plans of language teachers not only to provide a variety in classroom but also to allow the recycling and revision of language taught separately in each skill. Thus, “An integrated approach to learning enables students and teachers to participate in new dialogues and pathways to learning”. (Seely, 1988, p. 36). 20
    • There is no doubt that improving listening serves as the base on which the development of speaking, reading and writing abilities is formed. Listening is the first and foremost language art. It is true that babies start identifying sounds and speech patterns before they are born. According to Peterson (1991), listening is also a receptive skill which gives way to productive skills of speaking and writing. Speaking is closely related with listening because one cannot speak until he/she knows the sounds of the language and has some understanding that these sounds represent things in the real world. In addition, whether ideas in written forms can diversify depends on the great amount of language that learners speak and listen. How the two receptive skills of listening and reading are correlated is worth answering. Both of them are phases of language information acquisition and require higher mental process. Peterson also assumes that if the child listened to a simple story in his first reading book, he would have no difficulty understanding it. All things considered, listening skill can reinforce the other three skills and they are all inextricably linked with one another. II.2 The teaching of listening viewed by different second language teaching methods II.2.1 The Grammar translation method As the offspring of German scholarship, the grammar translation method whose overall objective was “to know everything about something rather than the thing itself” was the primary method used to teach language during the late nineteenth century. Broadly speaking, the grammar translation 21
    • method viewed foreign language study as a “mental discipline”. That is to say learning a language aimed at reading its literature and benefiting from mental discipline and intellectual development. Therefore, language learning was recognized as “consisting of little more than memorizing rules and facts in order to understand and manipulate the morphology and syntax of the foreign language” (Richards and Rodgers, 1996) and “the first language is maintained as the reference system in the acquisition of the second language” (Stern 1983:455). Several notable features of the grammar translation method are listed as follows:  The use of target language in classes is extremely limited. In contrast, the students’ native language is the medium of instruction to explain new items.  Vocabulary is selected on the basis of the reading texts and taught in the form of isolated words  Grammar is taught deductively. That is, the elaborate and intricate presentation of grammar rules is followed by translation exercises  Reading and writing are the major focus and very little systematic attention is paid to listening. The students’ main amounts of listening input are long explanation of grammar rules and the translation of disconnected sentences from the target language into the mother tongue. II.2.2 The Audio-lingual method 22
    • The Audio-lingual method came into being in accordance with the increased attention given to foreign language teaching in the United States at the end of the 1950s. The theory of language underlying Audio-Lingualism was known as Structural Linguistics, which viewed language as “a system of structurally related elements for the encoding of meaning, the elements being phonemes, morphemes, words, structures and sentence types” (Richards & Rodges, 1996). Besides, under the view of the Audio-lingual methodologists, the behaviorist model of learning could develop good habits in language learners through a continuous process. The primary objective of this method was to create communicative competence and improve oral proficiency in learners through extensive repetition and a variety of elaborate drills. The Audio-lingual method advocated the principles as follows:  Language skills are learned more effectively if the items in the target language are presented in spoken form before they are seen in written form. Oral training provides the foundation for the development of other language skill.  The meaning of a word must be associated with its linguistic and cultural context, not in isolation. According to Delvin (1982), teaching a language thus involves teaching aspects of the cultural system of the people who speak the language.  Notably, listening is mainly attributed with dialogues drills, emphasizing on correct pronunciation, recognition of speech sound and form. In other word, listening is considered largely as training in aural discrimination of basic sound pattern, which is one of the shortcomings of this method 23
    • II.2.3 Communicative language teaching The origins of Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) were to be found in the changes in British language teaching tradition from the late 1960s when previous foreign language teaching method all proved their drawbacks. CLT has been put forth around the world as the “innovative” approach to teach English as the second language. Teaching materials, course descriptions, syllabus guidelines have proclaimed a goal of communicative competence. According to Heiline (2001), language is more than simply a system of rules rather it is seen as a dynamic resource for the creation of meaning. As revealed through its name, CLT stand firm in the belief that teaching students how to use the language and how to communicate in a language is considered the most important. Students in communicative classrooms are seen as active participants in the construction of knowledge rather than passive receivers of information provided by teachers and textbooks. Besides, teachers are no longer viewed as the authority of the knowledge but the roles of a facilitator, a participant and a counselor to create more fascinating experience for their students. David Nunan (1995) offered five features to characterize CLT as follows: • An emphasis on learning to communicate through interaction in the target language. • The introduction of authentic texts into the learning situation. 24
    • • The provision of opportunities for learners to focus, not only on the language but also on the learning process itself. • An enhancement of the learner’s own personal experiences as important elements to classroom learning. • An attempt to link classroom language learning with language activation outside the classroom. The teaching of listening is mainly attached to these above features. More specifically speaking, listening is a means of communication and a communicative behavior in which listeners try to construct a reasonable interpretation of a text for real-life communicative purposes. As a result, CLT methodologists realize the imperative need to teach listening basing on communicative principles and involving more active participation of the learners rather than teachers. That is to say listening provides learners with following features of the target language: • How the language is organized • How native speakers use the language • How to communicate in the language Under the light of CLT, the notion of three-stage format listening class and integration of different language skills are first introduced. These issues will be given further concern in the following parts. II.3 Teaching listening procedure One of the main advancements of researches into listening strategies was the understanding that a listening class could be divided into three main parts: Pre-listening, While-listening, Post-listening stage. Each phase is separately carried out to “deal with listeners’ problems in the listening 25
    • process and help them build up their skills and strategies for later real-life listening situations”. (Leifang, 1999) II.3.1 Pre-listening According to Rixon (1981), pre-listening is defined as a phase of preparation or warm-up for listening in several ways. It is vital that students know some details of what they are about to hear, why they are listening, how many times they will hear the speech. Unfamiliar vocabulary should be elicited/pre-taught. In other words, this stage supplies students with context, motivation, the purposes for the forth-coming listening input and activates their background knowledge. II.3.2 While-listening While-listening stage is the focus of a listening class. During this stage, students are given time to listen silently and independently without interruption, which enables them to build up hypotheses with the help of well-designed listening comprehension questions. Activities in this stage must follow the learners’ specific needs, instructional goal, listening purposes and learners’ proficiency level. They can run a mental commentary on it; they can doubt it, talk back to it, or extend it. They can rehearse it in order to remember it; that is, they repeat interesting points back to themselves. They can formulate questions to ask the speaker ... jot down key words or key phrases ... They can wonder if what they are listening to is true, or what motives the speaker has in saying it, or whether the speaker is revealing personal feelings rather than objective assessments. (Saricoban, 1999, p. 55) 26
    • II.3.3 Post-listening Rixon (1981) assumes that well-planned post-listening activities are as significant as those before and during since they deals with students’ reflection on the language of what they have listened. Students may work in groups to exchange opinions or debate the relating topics. Sometimes it is a good idea to discuss how they found the answers because this is a way of developing their awareness of successful listening strategies. However, in order to provide authentic assessment of students' listening proficiency, a post-listening activity must reflect the real-life uses to which students might put information they have gained through listening. II.4 An in-depth overview of post-listening activities II.4.1 Purpose of post-listening activities Post-listening activities are considered effective when implemented immediately after the listening experience, becoming a direct extension of it. The overall goals of these activities, as pointed out by Tchudi & Mitchell (1989) are: to give students an opportunity to relate what they have just listened to their own ideas and experiences; encourage interpretive, critical listening and reflective thinking; provide opportunities for teachers to assess students' comprehension, check their perceptions, and clarify their understandings. In fact, the follow-up activities are of great importance since they extend students’ learning by emphasizing that the information gained will be useful later on. Generally, there are six main purposes of this stage: 27
    • To check students’ comprehension, correct inaccurate concepts: Teacher helps students correct their exercises and answer their wonderings about the task. Through discussion and response activities, students are able to develop a clearer understanding of the topic and of the listening experience. To scrutinize the relationship between prior knowledge and new ideas and information gained through listening: Students' comprehension can be enhanced if post-listening activities encourage them to make connections between what the speaker says and their own knowledge and experience. To invite and encourage student reflection and response: Students may be either for or against the point of the speaker. However, it is essential that they stand on their ground and give convincing reasons to protect their view To extend and clarify comprehension beyond the surface meaning: to help students ‘listen between the lines’, evaluate the value of the information via analysis of speaker’s ideas. To help students apply new information immediately: Thanks to these activities, students tend to become attentive and active listeners instead of passively listening to the recording as assigned. To integrate listening with other language skill: Post-listening activities are carried out in various forms: reading, writing and speaking in order to develop the link between listening and other skills as well as help students move easily from listening to other skill. (http://www.sasked.gov.sk.ca/docs/mla/speak008.html) II.4.2 Factors affecting the choice of post-listening activities 28
    • As specified by Brownell (1996), the teachers should take into account these following factors before selecting the post-listening activity in their listening lessons: • The amount of time left to implement post-listening work at the end of the listening lesson. • The type of other language skills (reading, writing or speaking) that should be carried out after the main process of listening. • The work pattern (whether students should work in pairs, groups or individually) • The level of motivation and interest that students can benefit. II.4.3 Forms of post-listening activities As categorized by Zhang Wu Ping (1982), post-listening tasks take two basic forms. They are reaction to the context and analysis of the linguistic features used to express the content of the text. The former which focus on students’ response is exploited more commonly since this is something people do in real-life communication for specific purposes. Some examples can be shown as follows • To begin with, students can work in groups to express their opinions and debate relevant topics. Mendelsohn & Rubin (1995) suggest that students should analyse and evaluate critically what they have heard • Students can be given opportunities to engage activities in that build on and develop concepts acquired during an oral presentation. These may include writing (e.g., response journal, 29
    • learning log, or composition), reading (e.g., further research on a topic or a contradictory viewpoint), art or drama (e.g., designing a cover jacket after a book talk or developing a mock trial concerning the topic through drama in role). Follow-up activities as analysis of linguistic features also play a crucial role because they offer students opportunities to recycle and review the language in the listening text. For instance, it could take the form of an analysis of sentence elements, vocabulary or collocation work. II.4.4 Integration in post-listening activities It is commonly acknowledged that language must be taught in an integrative way where all four skills are focused. On the basis of a strong link between listening and other language skills, methodologists recognize that one of the most important principles of teaching listening is to combine listening with speaking or writing. Why so? Listening is a receptive skill which provides the support for productive skills. Production and reception are two sides of a coin and cannot be split. And if teachers give students chances to produce something, the teaching of listening will be more communicative. Among the three stages of a listening class, post-listening is probably the stage where the four-skill link is clearly demonstrated and consolidated. There is no doubt that post-listening integrated activities offer a number of benefits. They practice and extend the learners' use of a certain language structure and function; develop the learners' ability in the use of more than two skills within real contexts and communicative frame work. Moreover, 30
    • integrated activities provide a variety in the classroom and thus maintain motivation for students. The question is how four skills can be integrated. In fact, there are two types of integration: ◇ Simple Integration Receptive Skill : listening reading ↓ ↓ Productive Skill: speaking writing ◇ Complex Integration Oral medium: listening ←(a dialogue) →speaking ↑(a dictation)↓ Written medium: reading ← (a letter) →writing Diagram 1: The two ways in which four skills are integrated 31
    • II.5 Related studies The four English skills, namely reading, speaking, writing and listening have continuously become the great concern for many researchers in recent years. Concerning listening skill, the procedure of teaching listening comprising pre-, while-, and especially post-listening phase has triggered a lot of research interest and investment. Rixon (1981) stress the tremendous importance of after-listening stage since it enables students to connect what they have heard to their own ideas or experiences and extend their critical thinking. Another study of Brownell (1996) investigates the most common activities exploited in post-listening stage such as giving opinions, answering teachers’ questions, critically analyzing the information and using the notes to summarize the listening text. Also, the factors affecting teachers’ choice of types of post-listening activities are put forth including the amount of time, the combined skill, the work pattern as well as the degree of students’ motivation. Also, a study on “A new way of teaching listening” by Xiaomei Xu, Northeast Normal University suggests that each stage of listening class 32
    • should design appropriate listening tasks based on communicative principles in order to inspire learners’ interest and prepare them to deal with the demands of real world communication. In terms of domestic research relating to this field, Nguyen Thi Thanh Van (1999) investigates the integrating of listening and speaking in listening lessons at non-professional universities. She pointed out that the teaching of integrative skills will truly help students achieve the aim of being successful in communication. Another study titled “Research on improving the method of teaching listening skills to 10th form students at the FLSS-CFL-VNU, Hanoi”, conducted by Vo Thuc Anh (2002) partially touches upon the present fact of implementing three phases in the process of teaching listening skill and points out that among these three stages, post-listening is poorly covered or even virtually neglected due to the lack of time and students’ fascination. Post-listening stage among the first year students majoring in English is the topic for scientific research of Pham Phuong Hoa, K38A1, ED, CFL- VNU, Hanoi. Remarkably, she claims that the most significant strategy of follow-up activities is to analyze and find solutions to the mistakes they made at while listening stage as well as consult their teachers if possible II.6 Summary To sum up, in this chapter, the researcher has briefly reviewed relevant background theory relating to listening and the teaching of listening viewed by different teaching methods. Besides, the teaching procedure, especially 33
    • the post-listening stage and the activities carried out at this stage have also been paid adequate attention before the research dig deeply into the subject matter in reality. CHAPTER III: METHODOLOGY This chapter discusses the methodology used to study the post-listening stage in teaching listening for 11th form students in Hanoi. There are four main parts in this chapter: participants, data collection instruments, data collection procedures and data analysis procedures. III.1 Participants In order to investigate the post-listening stage in teaching listening for 11th form students, the study involved the participation of two parties: the teachers of English in Hanoi with experiences of teaching New English 11 and the grade 11 students in Hanoi. III.1.1 Teachers of English 15 teachers of English in Hanoi were selected to participate in the survey according to the principle of Stratified Random Sampling, which might provide a great assurance that these participants could accurately represent the whole target population. Besides, in an attempt to intensify the representativeness of the study, the researcher tried to choose the subjects on the basis of three following criteria: gender, teaching experiences and 34
    • teaching contexts. Firstly, they were both female and male teachers, 13 and 2 respectively. Secondly, regarding teaching experiences, 6 teachers have taught English for a comparatively short time of less than 5 years; 5 teachers have had the working period from 5 to 20 years and the others have had more than 20 years of teaching experience. Finally, these teachers had different teaching contexts. They came from 4 high schools located in different districts in Hanoi, either language specialized school like Foreign Language Specializing School, “mainstream” ones like Thang Long and Nguyen Trai or school with limited level of English specialization such as Xuan Dinh. Level of English Location of Number of Schools specialization schools teachers Foreign Language High Cau Giay 3 Specializing School 2 Thang Long Hai Ba Trung 3 Medium Lomonosov Tu Liem 3 Nguyen Trai Ba Dinh Low Xuan Dinh Tu Liem 4 Total 15 Table 1: A classification of 15 surveyed teachers by their schools, location and level of English specialization III.1.2 Grade 11 students The research data collection included 260 randomly-chosen grade-11 students in Hanoi. They were from the five above-mentioned schools which 35
    • differed in specialization of English and geographical location. The reason for this selection was that each school might self-demonstrate a different situation of teaching and learning at the post-listening stage. Besides, in each school, the researchers tried to collect the information from students of different English competence, specializing in Natural Science and Social Science. Name of schools Classes Number of surveyed students Foreign Fast-track 18 Language Mainstream 21 Specializing School Thang Long Social Science 24 Natural Science 26 Lomonosov Social Science 22 Natural Science 32 Nguyen Trai Social Science 19 Natural Science 24 Xuan Dinh Social Science 39 Natural Science 35 Total 260 Table 2: A classification of surveyed students by their schools and English competence III.2 Data Collection Instruments To address the three research questions, the study was conducted by means of quantitative approach and qualitative one. According to Burnes (1999, p.22), this combination can offer extensive detailed descriptions and interpretations to form a thorough understanding of the research matter. III.2.1 Questionnaires 36
    • The first data collection method was questionnaire. Wilson and Mc Lean (1994) complimented this tool on its tremendous benefits such as “providing structured, numerical data, being able to be administered without the presence of the researcher and often straightforward to be analyzed”. The research is aimed at investigating listening classes where teachers and students are the two key objects. Therefore, two sets of questionnaires, one of which for the teachers of English and the other for the grade 11 students, were utilized. Each set of questionnaire included both closed and open-ended questions, which gave the researcher certain control over the subsequent analysis and allowed the subjects to offer in-depth information. Specifically, the questionnaire for the teachers consisted of 11 questions in total. The first three questions were supposed to discover the teachers’ attitude towards listening and the teaching of listening. Questions 4,5,6,7 were to find out the current situation of implementing post-listening stage in their listening lessons. The kind of teachers’ exploited post-listening activities and their level of frequency were comprehensively examined through question 8. The last four questions were spared for teachers’ evaluation of the effectiveness, difficulties that they encounter as well as their recommended solutions to these problems for more helpful exploitation of post-listening activities. There were 10 questions in the questionnaire designed for students. The first five items dealt with students’ attitude toward learning listening. Question 6 and 7 explored in what way their teachers carried out post- listening stage after they had finished all the listening comprehension exercises in While you listen part. The kind of post-listening activities, the 37
    • extent to which they were exploited as well as students’ favorite ones were carefully examined through question 8 and 9. The last three questions were about students’ evaluation of these activities’ influences on their study and their expectation for more effective post-listening stage. III.2.2 Classroom observation Classroom observation was another instrument that the research used to collect data for the study. Discussing observation, Verma and Miller (2005) assure that there is no substitute for direct observation as a way of understanding language learning and teaching in classroom. Observation with carefully designed checklists was of great assistance to ensure the validity of the information gathered from the survey questionnaire. Added to this, observing a thorough listening lesson was a chance for the researcher to have a practical view about teachers and students’ attitude towards activities during post-listening stage. For the above reasons, four observations were carried out in four classes, two of which at Thang Long and the rest at Xuan Dinh high school. The observation sheet was designed to assess teacher’s performance in actual listening lessons and students’ motivation generated by their teacher’s post-listening activities. It was organized in note forms, focusing on teaching procedure: whether post-listening activities were carried out in listening classes, how long were these activities, how these activities were organized and how students involved in these post-listening activities as well as the difficulties encountered by the teachers at the follow-up stage 38
    • III.3 Data Collection Procedures III.3.1 Preparation During this stage, a research design was first specified with a careful selection of participants and well-written drafts of questionnaires. Thereafter, a piloting scheme was constructed. After the pilot, necessary amendments were made to have better editions of questionnaire. Besides, the observation sheet with detailed checklist was also carefully drafted. III.3.2 Conduction This stage consisted of two steps including out-of-class and inside- classroom ones. The former was conducted in anticipation as it provided the researcher with a background understanding of the situation before actually digging into the practice. Step 1: The researcher contacted the teachers to ask for permission and reach the agreement on date and time. After that, teacher questionnaires were distributed. Step 2: Classroom observation was conducted in randomly-chosen listening classes to investigate the real exploitation of post-listening activities. Questionnaires for students were then delivered right after the lessons were over. The researcher gave brief introduction of the research topic, its significance and then asked for students’ help. While students were filling in the questionnaire, the researcher was willing to give any explanations to avoid respondents’ misunderstandings. 39
    • III.4 Data Analysis Procedure III.4.1 Calculation and statistics of the survey findings The results of the survey were given in-depth analysis according to pre- determined categories. The collected data were first calculated, analyzed in percentage term and grouped in different categories. With a purpose to present the data in a clear and straightforward way, useful tools, namely charts and tables were then employed to compare and contrast figures. III.4.2 Analysis of observation reports Those from observation check list were analyzed under three main headings:  Types of post-listening activities utilized in listening lessons  Duration of the post-listening stage  Effectiveness of post-listening activities 40
    • CHAPTER IV: DATA ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION This chapter shreds the light on the findings achieved from the questionnaires and observation carried out in several high schools in Hanoi. The results visualized by different charts and tables are given detailed analysis and devoted to answer the three research questions. IV.1 Findings from questionnaires IV.1.1 Students’ survey questionnaire IV.1.1.1 Current situation of learning listening skill This part of the questionnaire is intended to reveal students’ attitudes towards listening skill as well as the situation of learning listening skill in 11th form classes in Hanoi. The first question explores students’ viewpoint of the importance of listening skill. The data collected is displayed as follows. Figure 1: Students’ attitude towards listening As can be seen, a large proportion of students seem to have realized the 4.61% 14.61% 34.61% significance of listening skill, without Very important Important Not very important Not important at all which they hardly become competent 46.15% English users. Specifically, as many as 46.15% of the surveyed students decided on “important” and 34.61% of the whole population even judged the role of 41
    • listening beyond the word “important”. However, a small percentage of students (19.22%) have not been enlightened about the contribution of this receptive skill to the language development. When being asked about the main purpose that they want to achieve from listening, more than half of the surveyed students (50.76%) emphasized on the desire of improving communication skills like listening and speaking. 42.23% of the respondents wished to acquire native-like pronunciation through listening. The purpose of learning new language items (vocabulary, grammar) and knowing more about the world outside represented 30.76% and 34.61% respectively. The rest elaborated: “I learn listening skill in order to understand English news on International channels and acquaint myself with different accents of native speaker” Figure 2: Students’ purposes of listening 60.00% 50.76% 50.00% 42.32% 40.00% 34.61% 30.76% 30.00% 20.00% 10.00% 5.76% 0.00% To improve communication skills To learn new words and grammatical structures To know more about the world To acquire native-like pronunciation Others In spite of a positive sign in students’ awareness of communicative purpose of listening, the percentage of respondents taking little or no interest in listening lessons is nearly equal to those who find them interesting. To be 42
    • more exact, 48.23% picked up “Yes”, 20.78% “No” and 30.99% chose “So so” when being asked whether they like listening lessons or not. Figurer 3: Students’ interest in listening lessons So so 31% Yes 48% No 21% This above statistic reveals an unpleasant fact that listening lessons are not taught in the way it should be to attract student’ attention and interest. The explanation for this situation is shown in the following figures. Figure 4&5: Reason for students’ interest and lack of interest in listening lessons Ot hers 9.20% Others 4.60% Boring 25.12% Interesting 26.90% Lack of list ening 30.67% skills Relaxing 11.50% Low qualit y of 28.21% t apes Useful 76.15% Dif f icult list ening 48.42% exercises 43
    • It can be clearly seen that the reason for those who show their interests in listening is mainly the usefulness of listening to their language learning process as well as other language skills (76.15%). This result is true in accordance with Brumfit’s finding (1979) which indicated that quot;the quality of an individual's listening ability will affect the quality of both their spoken and written language developmentquot;. The fascination resulting from listening skill is also due to other factors such as interesting listening activities (26.90%); relaxing nature of listening lessons (11.50%) or even experienced teachers (4.60%). However, listening seems to be more a challenge than a comfort. The difficulty of listening exercises is an obstacle that most students encounter (48.42%). Other comparatively high figures are the percentage of participants choosing “lack of listening skill”, “low quality of tapes and cassette players” and “boring”. 9.2% of the respondents attributed their lack of interest in listening lessons to other factors such as teachers’ boring teaching methods and the boring topics of the listening texts. IV.1.1.2 Students’ attitudes towards post-listening stage and the activities carried out in this phase This is the focus of the survey questionnaire. Questions 6, 7 and 8 find out the current situation of implementing the post-listening stage in listening lessons. The findings to the question “Does your teacher ask you to do further task after checking your listening comprehension?” are shown in figure 6. 44
    • Figure 6: Real situation of carrying out post-listening stage The numbers of students who had chance to participate in the after- No 31% listening activities constitute a large part of the pie (69%). However, a Yes 69% relatively high proportion of students (31%) said that their listening lessons often ended without any so-called “post-stage”, after they had finished all the listening comprehension exercises. That is to say not all the teachers conduct the last stage of a listening lesson in spite of its equal importance as other stages. “A listening lesson without follow-up stage fails to motivate students to link the theory to the reality or the world outside” (Jimson, 1998). Hence, this is an alarming sign which shows that listening skill has not been taught effectively in a few upper-secondary schools in Hanoi. Deeper investigation into 69% of the participants enables the researcher to explore in what way their teachers conducted the post-listening stage. Figure 7: The way post-listening stage is conducted 57.12% The largest target population (57.12%) claimed that they, 27.60% 15.08% at the follow-up stage, were simply required to fulfill the Students are required to complete Af ter you listen part in the textbook requirements of After you Students do activities designed by their teachers listen part in the textbook. Both The smallest percentage of 45
    • 15.08% represents the respondents who frequently did the post-listening activities designed by their teachers. Probably, in this case, these teachers constantly identified the need to adapt the activities in the course book to suit student’s different levels and interests. Nevertheless, 27.60% said that their teachers preferred to incorporate the two methods to conduct post- listening stage, which can partially diminish the listeners’ boredom and create a logical ending for listening lessons. In listening classes where post-listening stage is conducted, students can engage in a variety of post-listening activities to successfully connect what they have heard to their real world communication. The chart below presents the frequency of teacher’s post-listening activities. Figure 8: Frequency of the utilization of post-listening activities 8 10 18 13 29 32 50 59 30 42 36 35 30 23 20 25 35 18 25 14 22 10 Giving personal 9 7 (pronunciation, related texts completion discussion Main ideas Summary Language retelling Reading grammar) Group opinions focus Always Often Sometimes Never According to the chart, group discussion, giving personal opinions and retelling the main ideas are among the activities which are most frequently 46
    • utilized, followed by the use of summary completion exercise. Reading and language focus activity were noticed to be rarely used at follow-up stage in EFL classrooms. To be more precise, retelling the main ideas of the listening passage based on given suggestions ranks first with 35% students who ticked “always” and 42% “often”. Following closely to the top are group discussion and personal opinion expression. This surveyed result is understandable and rational for the two following reasons. First, almost all post-listening tasks offered in New English 11 take the form of these speaking activities. Besides, it is generally proved that the teaching of listening will be more communicative if the students are given chances to do speaking activities immediately after absorbing the input information. It can be seen that the post-listening activity which was applied at the medium level is summary completion. This task requires students to complete the text given by the teachers, which summarizes the main ideas of the listening passage. One of the most obvious advantages of this follow-up activity is to enable listeners to retain the original information longer. “Reading related texts” and “Focusing on language” experienced the highest percentage of the option “Never” (50% and 59% respectively). A good explanation for this statistic is that these kinds of activities fail to help students reduce the stress and boredom resulting from fairly difficult listening comprehension exercises during the while-listening stage. Question 9 is designed to examine students’ favorite listening follow-up activities. The result is presented in the following chart. 47
    • Figure 9: Students’ favorite post-listening activities Giving personal opinions 35.00% Group discussion 32.12% 30.00% 28.23%28.13% 25.00% Retelling main ideas 20.00% 15.45% 15.00% Summary 12.30% completion 10.00% 8.90% Reading related 5.00% texts 0.00% Language f ocus (pronunciation, grammar) The highest percentage (32.12%) represents those who would love to discuss in group the issues related to the listening passage. This figure is understandable as students often prefer group work than individual one. Additionally, they claimed that group discussion can help them get ideas from friends, which is also the process of double-listening as they listen to not only the recording itself but also their peers. Group discussion is followed by the two activities “giving personal opinions” and “retelling main idea” which received the concern of equal number of students (over 28%). It is noteworthy that all the three above-mentioned activities take the form of speaking skill. Therefore, it is advisable that speaking activities, organized in group work or pair work, should be conducted at listening follow-up stage to remove the feeling of isolation and attract students’ interest. Summary completion came next with 15.45% polled respondents who value the importance of recalling the listening text. The rest was divided among reading texts and language focus. Specifically, 8.90% 48
    • respondents expressed their special interests in reading some funny stories relevant to the content of the listening passage. 12.30% students held the view that focusing on language such as new grammar items or pronunciation is of great usefulness to help them deal with English tests. This demand originates from the fact that grammar-based exams are still the only kind of assessment in English teaching and learning in Vietnam. Therefore, there has been a tendency of “teach what we test”, not “test what we teach”. However, there were some ideas noted that it will be very beneficial if students have chances to get involved in varied types of activities after listening. Such a requirement may impose a lot of pressure on teachers. Apart from being able to manage the allotted time, the teachers also possess an abundant source of post-listening techniques and activities so that students will never get bored. The last item of the survey questionnaire examines whether post- listening activities have a good impact on students’ foreign language acquisition. More than 88% acknowledged that these activities did have certain positive effects. The following figure describes students’ evaluation of these effects. Figure 10: The impacts of post-listening Remember t he inf ormat ion of t he list ening t ext longer Impr ove ot her language skills Ret ain new wor ds and st r uct ur es activities Ot her s 0 14.59 As perceived by more than half of the 32.12 students, post-listening activities play an important role in enhancing other language 57.48 skills especially speaking ability. This figure 49
    • reflects one of the basic principles of communicative approach to teaching listening. It is the integration of listening and other language skills. 32.12% of the target population thought that listening follow-up tasks motivate them to remember the information they have heard longer and therefore, broaden their background knowledge to some extent. The rest complimented post- listening activities on helping them learn new words and structures, which is useful for their performance on English tests in the long run. 50
    • IV.1.2 Teachers’ survey questionnaire IV.1.2.1 Current situation of teaching listening skill This part of questionnaire is intended to look into teachers’ attitudes toward listening skill as well as the situation of teaching listening in 11th form classes in Hanoi. Figure 11: Teachers’ attitude towards listening In terms of teachers’ evaluation of the 0% 14% importance of listening skill, the Ver y impor t ant Impor t ant number of teachers who deem highly of Not ver y import ant 29% 57% Not impor t ant at all listening skill as “very important” and “important” constitutes a very large part of the pie (86% in total). The rest of 14% teachers do not seem to recognize the contribution of listening skill to one’s English ability. Question 2 aims at the level of difficulty that teachers perceive about their teaching of listening skill. Table 3: Teachers’ perception of the difficulty of teaching listening Easy 0% Not very difficult 13.3% Difficult 66.7% Very difficult 20% Inevitably, none of the selected teachers was confident to say that teaching listening is just a piece of cake or easy to deal with. In the process of teaching listening skill, it is comprehensible that most of the teachers 51
    • (86.7% in total) are likely to experience certain difficulties. They complained that these limitations originate from either their teaching methods; their students’ difference in English proficiency or even the listening exercises’ level of difficulty. IV.1.2.2 Teachers’ attitudes towards post-listening stage and the activities carried out in this phase The researcher desires to take a deeper insight into the current exploitation of post-listening activities among 11th listening classes in Hanoi through the main part of the teachers’ survey questionnaire. Question 3 discovers teachers’ opinions about the last stage of a listening lesson: post-listening stage. The findings are displayed as follows. Figure 12: Teachers’ attitude towards post-listening stage Not important at 0% all Not very 14% important As important as 66% other stages Most important among three 20% stages Noticeably, none of the 15 respondents was unaware of the significance of follow-up stage. As can be seen, the majority of teachers (66%) put equal emphasis on the three stages of every listening lesson. That is to say post- listening stage is equally important as other stages in the sense that it 52
    • extends student’s critical thinking about the information gained through listening. Three out of 15 teachers even judged post-listening phase as “the most important stage”, without which a listening lesson would hardly reach its ultimate goal. However, there are still two teachers who cited “Not very important” option and as they specified, the main focus of a listening class is to provide students with necessary listening skills during the while-listening stage. Honestly speaking, as far as the researcher is concerned, this way of thinking is proved to be misleading since it does not correspond with the theory of the listening process stated previously. The theory claims that listening is the process of not only receiving and understanding the input information but also judging and responding to it. Hence, if a listening lesson comes to an end without the post-stage, it will merely accomplish very little of what it is supposed to. Despite the high percentage of teachers considering post-listening stage important, the current situation of implementing this phase does not live up to the researcher’s expectations. Figure 13: The frequency of implementing post-listening stage 80% 71% 70% 60% 50% 40% 29% 30% 20% 10% 0% 0% 0% Very often Sometimes Rarely Never 53
    • It can be seen from the chart that post-listening stage is frequently conducted in 71% polled teachers’ listening classes. However, the rest admitted that even though they have been trying to push up the speed of the two beginning stages, they sometimes still fail to implement this stage, leaving their listening lessons incomplete. In an attempt to investigate teachers’ methods to carry out post-listening stage, the researcher gained the following figures. Figure 14: Teachers’ methods of conducting post-listening stage 20 is the percentage of teachers who 20% considered post-listening activities designed in the textbook as the best 14% 66% choice for their students to achieve the objectives set for each listening lesson. Let students do After you listen part in the course book Design your own activities However, rigidly adhering to the Both prescribed exercises in the textbook can hardly lead to successful teaching and learning. As a result, a small proportion of participants (14%) made an every effort to adapt or design their own activities to maximize the effectiveness of these activities as well as arouse student’s interests. Not surprisingly, the combination of two above methods in the post-listening stage was quoted by the highest number of teachers which accounted for 66%. They either utilize the text-book recommended activities or design their own activities. Its main purpose is to provide a variety in classroom and maintain students’ motivation. In general, this result did correspond with students’ opinions as reported previously, 54
    • which indicated teachers’ attempts to vary the forms of post-listening activities. In the below chart, further insights are taken into the frequency of teachers’ organizing different kinds of post-listening activities. Figure 15: Frequency of the utilization of post-listening activities Always Often Sometimes Never 0 6.7 13.4 13.3 20 33.3 40 53.3 33.3 46.7 46.7 40 33.3 33.3 26.7 26.7 26.6 26.7 26.7 20 20 13.3 Giving personal (pronunciation, 0 0 related texts completion discussion Main ideas Summary Language retelling Reading grammar) Group opinions focus Unlike the statistics analyzed from student’ survey questionnaire, group discussion was considered as the most repeatedly utilized by teachers, among whom 26.6% marked its frequency degree as “always” and 46.7% as “often”. Retelling main ideas and giving personal opinions came next with a little bit lower level in comparison with the number one activity. However, in terms of this question, it would be a shortcoming if one striking similarity between students and teachers’ ideas was not mentioned. It is agreed by both teachers and students that speaking activities including three above- mentioned ones are the preferable post-listening tasks for listening classes. 55
    • Probably it is due to the communicative principal reflected through the essential integration of listening and speaking skill. As can be seen from the chart, summary completion activity experienced the moderate exploitation since nearly half of the teachers (46.7%) circled its frequency at “sometimes” level. Nowadays, in the light of communication language teaching, such post-listening activities, namely reading related text or language focus, are of little importance in strengthening students’ communicative abilities. Therefore, these two activities are rarely or even never exploited at the majority of teachers’ listening classes. Regarding the teachers’ assessment, 73.33% of the target respondents complimented on the effectiveness of these activities. A small percentage of 26.66% held the opposite view. The two following figures are shown to clarify teachers’ two contrasting opinions Figure 16& 17: Teachers’ opinion of effectiveness & ineffectiveness of post-listening activities Hel p students r ef r esh thei r 18.18% Noisy 0% knowl edge Hel p students to r etai n new l anguage 18.18% Exhausting 25% i tems Im ove students’ pr Bor ing 25% other l anguage 63.63% ski l l s Hel p students Time-consuming 50% r ecal l and r etai n 36.36% what they have hear d 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 0.00% 10.00% 20.00% 30.00% 40.00% 50.00% 60.00% 70.00% 56
    • Among the teachers who considered post-listening activities effective, 63.63% claimed that they help to improve students’ other language skills such as reading, speaking and writing; 36.36% emphasized their effectiveness as a good way to help students recall and retain the information of the listening passage. The equal percentage of 18.18% is shared the two other options: “help students refresh their knowledge” and “help students to learn new language items”. As mentioned above, 4 out of 15 teachers showed their disapproval of post-listening activities’ efficiency. According to the chart, the main reason given by the half was that these activities were rather time-consuming in comparison with the restricted time assigned for each listening period. Maybe, in this case, the teachers put much focus on the two first listening stages in which students are taught new language items, listen to information and do the exercises in the textbook. Besides, one teacher attributed the failure to the boredom that such activities may cause to his students. Another teacher gave up his idea of organizing post-listening activities since he found out that students, after having to sit still and pay close attention to the listening exercises, feel too exhausted to continue any further activities. Question 11 enables the teachers to present their difficulties in carrying out the activities at post-listening stage. The result is shown as below. 57
    • Figure 18: Teachers’ perceived difficulties at post-listening stage 120% 100% 100% 80% 80% Lack of time Lack of facilities 60% Lack of interesting activities Lack of st udents’ enthusiasm 40% Ot her 40% 20% 20% 6% 0% From the statistics, it can be inferred that time pressure is the most typical obstacle that all the teachers encounter during post-listening stage. 45 minutes per period is asserted to be insufficient for the teachers to fully cover all the three stages of a listening lesson. It may cause them to loose control and badly interfere in their time allocation for the whole listening lesson. Secondly, despite teachers’ notable effort in organizing follow-up activities, the effectiveness was limited by student factor itself, which is forthrightly expressed by 80% teachers. The problem arising from their students’ tiredness after having to finish the listening comprehension exercises, which leads to their lack of interest in post-listening tasks and therefore prevents the students from actively and enthusiastically participating in these activities. Besides, regardless of the activities provided by the course book, it is a real challenge for teachers to adapt and design other activities for this stage. This is because the requirements for these tasks are quite demanding. They must not only be interesting enough to attract students, closely relevant to 58
    • the content of the listening passage but also suitable to students’ different level of language proficiency. For the above-stated reason, those who hesitate to implement post-listening stage due to the lack of interesting activities accounted for 40%. Six out of 15 teachers regarded the unsupportive teaching and learning conditions, particularly the lack of facilities as the hindrance to the effectiveness of post-listening stage. It is a common situation that upper-secondary students have a limited accession to computer, projector, library and language lab room. Added to this, one teacher honestly showed another hindrance which inhibited the efficiency of follow-up activities, namely large-sized class. According to her, big numbers of students discourage her to conduct further activity and maintain class discipline. IV.1.2.3 Teachers’ suggested solutions to overcome identified difficulties at the post-listening stage Also, in the last question, teachers were requested to put forth the measures to tackle with above-listed difficulties.  Limited time class As highlighted earlier, having trouble with time allocation for each stage was incontrovertibly the most stumbling block that all the teachers experienced. To deal with this problem, there emerged different remedies. To begin with, the majority of the teachers shared the idea that a listening period should be lengthened up to 50 minutes to accomplish all the objectives set for it. In particular, there should be adequate amount of time 59
    • of nearly ten minutes spared for post-listening stage in which students can exploit the knowledge obtained through listening to the full. Secondly, quite a few teachers held the view that well-prepared lesson plans can effectively eliminate dead time since all the activities are designed, ordered in a reasonable way. Additionally, on drafting the lesson plan, teachers may anticipate possible problems arising in the class and prepare several back-up plans. Therefore, the class time can be reasonably allocated to various activities held in each stage. In addition, some teachers emphasized the significance of exercise adaptation as a good way to save class time. In fact, the teachers’ problem of being under time pressure is rooted from their misunderstanding that the new text book is knowledge-based rather than skilled-based. Moreover, the ultimate goal of a listening lesson is not to assess how well students can do listening comprehension exercises but to communicatively transfer listening skill to the world beyond the classroom. Hence, adaptation seems to be the best strategy to cope with class time restriction. As every lesson has many tasks, teachers should make decision and focus on the more important one. The other can be omitted and combined to save time. Last but not least, teachers’ talk should be reduced, giving the chance for students’ work. Also, instruction must be brief, easy to understand and are made clear to all the students.  Lack of students’ enthusiastic participation It is understandable that students’ lack of enthusiasm at post-listening stage results from their tiredness caused during the two previous stages. 60
    • Therefore, it exerts a big challenge for the teachers to evoke students’ interests and then promote their active participation. A number of solutions are listed out as follows. First, teachers should get to know their students’ backgrounds, needs, interests and levels, based on which certain adaptations can be made to meet specific demands for each class. Second, before introducing a post-listening activity, teachers should make its objectives and connection with the listening text explicit to the students by raising such questions like: “You are going to do this because it will help you how to express the agreement and disagreement with your friend’s argument” or “it is useful to retain a number of points presented in the text by doing this task”. Via this technique, teacher can raise students’ awareness of the importance of post-listening activities and therefore, motivate their involvement in them. Also, the teachers can mention at the beginning that active participation at the post-listening stage is highly evaluated and it is worth a certain percentage of the total course assessment. Teachers should also make attempt to randomly call non-volunteers so that all the students are forced to speak and join the activity. Finally, ideas from some teachers suggested the vital change in the English test format which should involve four skills altogether. To a certain extent, this alteration may indirectly affect the students’ awareness and consequently increase their need to improve four language skills by actively participating in post-listening activities. 61
    •  Large-sized class As a matter of fact, large-sized class is still one of the most striking characteristics of English classroom in Vietnam, which has posed big challenges to the teachers’ class management skills. Therefore, one teacher proposed that the average number of students in listening class fluctuate from 20 to 25. If this was done, teachers, at any stage of a listening period, would monitor the work easily, provide feedback and correction appropriately as well as maintain the class discipline. However, frankly speaking, it is extremely infeasible to put this measure into practice in almost upper-secondary schools, with the exception of foreign language specializing ones. To the researcher’s thinking, in this case, the teachers can intensify the use of team work to solve the problem of class crowdedness and involve the students’ participation as well. 62
    • IV.2 Findings from observation It is noteworthy that the observation carried out at four English listening lessons mainly focuses on the post-listening stage including the types, the duration, the effectiveness of the exploited follow-up activities as well as the difficulties facing the teachers at this stage. IV.2.1 Types of post-listening activities Among the observation of four listening lessons, two were carried out at Thang Long and the other two at Xuan Dinh high school where the researcher did the teaching practicum. Results from observation revealed that the types of post-listening activities varied from class to class, from teacher to teacher. The first listening class was, to a certain extent, similar to the traditional one in which the teacher merely asked students to complete listening tasks in the text book. There was around one minute left and the lesson ended there. The second teacher did go through the last stage but in an ineffective way. She just told a very simple funny story in English which was irrelevant to the listening text about “Sources of energy”. Hence, there seemed to be no place for students’ work as teacher talked most of the time. The post-listening activity in the third class was summary completion designed by the teacher. She supplied each pair of students with an incomplete summary of the listening passage about “The hobbies of reading book”. Students’ tasks were to recall the information and find suitable words to fill in the blanks. After a few minutes, the teacher called two students to 63
    • write their answers on the board and then reached the agreement on the right ones. In the last listening lesson, students had chance to take part in a group discussion which was designed in the text book. After listening, the teacher divided the class into groups of four to discuss the issues related to the topic “Recreation”. All members joined the discussion actively and raised their viewpoints freely. After that, three representatives were asked to share what they had discussed. IV.2.2 Duration of post-listening stage The duration of post-listening stage varied from class to class, depending mainly on teachers’ time management. The first teacher ended her lesson abruptly without any amount of time spared for post-listening stage. The second teacher’s funny story lasted about 4 minutes. The post-listening activity named summary completion in the third class was implemented for more than 6 minutes (4 minutes for students’ pair work and 2 minutes for teacher’s quick check). The last took the most amount of time of 8 minutes, in which half of the time was used for students’ group discussion and the rest for their presentation and peers’ comments. Generally speaking, the duration of post-listening stage in the two latter lessons seem more appropriate than the two former ones. IV.2.3 Effectiveness of post-listening activities Also, the degree of effectiveness ranged from class to class. Clearly, due to time pressure, the first two teachers’ post-listening stage can not be said effective enough in involving students’ participation and recalling what they 64
    • had absorbed. Students in the first class expressed a feeling of relief when their lesson came to an end right after their teacher had finished checking comprehension exercises. This situation can be found in many other listening classes in Hanoi where teachers put great focus on the stage of students’ receiving the information and completing all the exercises in the text book. Under such circumstances, the students’ role is reduced to passive receivers of the knowledge input. As a matter of fact, this teaching method sounds more like “testing” listening rather than “teaching” listening. The second class’s post-listening stage was completely controlled by the teacher and there was no chance for students to recall and apply what they had heard. The students took interest in their teachers’ funny story whose content had nothing to do with the listening text of “Sources of energy”. Some students sitting at the last rows even talked privately, waiting for the ending signal of the lesson. The third listening lesson’s follow-up task namely summary completion, to some extent, did motivate students to recall not only the general content but also the detailed information of the listening passage. This activity might take effect at that time but it can hardly enable students to retain the information in the long run. The missing words did not naturally come from their minds but could be captured easily from the text book itself. In terms of communicative approach, honestly speaking, this kind of post-listening activity had little impact on students. Merely asking students to complete the short version partially diminish students’ chances to reinforce their critical thinking and interpersonal interaction. Besides, this activity seemed not to call for much of the students’ interest and participation. There were still 65
    • some students in the last rows who did not involve in the activity, letting their peers do it alone. Probably, the last lesson’s post-listening activity, which involved group work discussion, was the most effective and pleasurable in the sense that it could accomplish communicative objective set for a listening lesson. Specifically, students were given chances to express their personal opinions freely to their friends. Thus, this activity created a good environment for students to get ideas from others, reinforce the knowledge gained through listening as well as enhance speaking skill. The limitation of this teacher’s activity was that there was lack of teacher’s comment and feedback; students were vague about whether their expressions were appropriate and grammatically correct. IV.3 Summary Owing to the results obtained from two sets of questionnaire and the observation of four listening classes, the researcher could have a closer look into the teachers and students’ perceptions, attitudes, follow-up activities’ exploitation and difficulties at post-listening stage, based on which meaningful implications can be worked out for more effective post-listening stage. 66
    • CHAPTER V: SUGGESTED POST-LISTENING ACTIVITES FOR 11TH FORM LISTEING LESSONS Based on the results of the study, the researcher would like to propose some follow-up activities which can be effectively conducted at the post- listening stage for 11th form students. All the suggested activities are of various forms and built on students’ expectations as well as the listening texts in English 11 text book. V.1 Speaking activity Nowadays, the demand for communication in teaching and learning English as a foreign language has become increasingly crucial. As a result, exposing students to spoken language seems to be of greater importance than written one. In an attempt to do this, the communicative approach to teaching listening has integrated listening with speaking skill. Listening is to enhance speaking and speaking can not exist without listening. Undeniably, speaking activities in the post-listening phase motivate students to apply the new vocabulary and sentence patterns to meaningful conversation and prepare learners to handle the demands of real world communication. Also, ideas from both teachers and students suggest that hardly any other activities can be more interestingly and communicatively exploited than speaking. In reality, speaking activities may be conducted in many different ways according to students’ proficiency. However, it is advisable that teachers increase the level of difficulty time by time to help students progress steadily. Teachers can increase the challenge degree of speaking activities by moving from the simple to more complex one. The former involves the 67
    • activities in which students are required to simply repeat what they have heard or imitate some of the sounds, words or phrases. In the latter, teachers may ask students to apply new vocabulary and grammar structures to reproduce the spoken text, give small presentation, act a dialogue or discuss related issues. The followings are different kinds of follow-up speaking activities. V.1.1 Group discussion Apart from individual work, discussing in group is a highly suggested post-listening activity because of its communicative benefits. Group-work is carried out with the purpose of getting ideas and building knowledge through discussion. This is also the process of Double-listening because students listen to not only the recording but also their friends: whether they like or dislike, be for or against, etc. The key of this activity is not to be the winner in the debate, but to express oneself successfully and to enrich one’s knowledge by collecting ideas from others. One thing should be taken into consideration is that the topics for discussion must closely relate to the listening passages and trigger students’ interests as well as their critical thinking. For example, after listening to the text about the hobby of reading, students may be allowed to work in group of four to discuss the advantages disadvantages of over-reading (English 11: 151) 68
    • V.1.2 Giving personal opinions This type of activity connects what students have gained to their own experiences and requires their quick reactions to the text. It is also the opportunity for teachers to provide authentic assessment of individual’s understandings and perceptions. For instance, requiring some of the students to talk about their own best friends or their most memorable birthday parties is considered a good extension based on the listening text about “Friendship” and “Birthday party”. (English 11: 18 & 37). V.1.3 Retelling the main ideas Retelling main ideas is a means to recall the information contained in the listening text and a time when summarizing skill is needed. Students, on the basis of given suggestions, are expected to capture all the most important parts of the original text but express them as briefly as possible. It is worth noting that the best way to summarize is not to “repeat” every word like a tape recorder, but to break down bits of what has been absorbed, then to paraphrase these bits. This activity can be done individually or in pairs, depending on the students’ language proficiency and the intricacy of the listening passage. However, in order to make this task more communicative, teachers can turn it into information gap activity so that the feeling of isolation among students can be removed and replaced by their cooperation to exchange the information. The following is the post-listening activity which can be exploited after the listening text about the Great Wall in China. (English 11: 183) This task 69
    • requires not only students’ summarizing skill but also their abilities to communicate well. Teachers may get students to work in pairs and distribute the following cards to each pair. One uses the suggestions to ask and the other bases on the main ideas of the listening text to answer CARD A CARD B Ask your Chinese friend about Tell your Vietnamese friend the Great Wall. Ask about: about the Great Wall. Use the main ideas from the listening text. • When it was built • How many years Chinese people use to build it • How long it is • Why it is considered one of the greatest man-made wonders in the world Add more questions if you like V.1.4 Role-play One of the feasible speaking activities as listening follow-up task can be a role-play in which specific situations relating to the text are created to inspire students’ imagination and allow them to recycle the new language. This activity is believed to promote face-to-face communication by shaping students’ social development, confidence and self-image. 70
    • Take the listening text relating to the Spring School and its voluntary activities as an example. (English 11: 52). Teachers may create a real-life interview to recruit the volunteers into Spring School for the new project. Students, as playing the role of the interviewee, may be asked about the information of Spring School presented in the listening text or about their own evaluations as well as perceptions of this voluntary organization. Therefore, this activity may serve as a practical training experience for those who intend to apply for organizations through interview later on. V.2 Reading activity In the current context of teaching and learning English in Vietnam, not all the teachers possess the time management skill and often leave their lessons incomplete, without carrying out post-stage in the way it should be. Post-listening stage is a typical example. That is when the reading activities are employed for three main purposes. First, they still save teachers’ listening lessons from the verge of unexpected incompleteness since reading tasks can be organized within a relatively shorter time than others. Secondly, the reading texts also equip students with further information about the same topic, which can enlarge their knowledge of the topic given, develop their critical evaluation or provide different approaches to one subject matter. Last but not least, the reading text accompanied by exercises is a necessity for students to enhance their reading skill. It should be taken into account the point that the reading texts’ level of difficulty may vary from time to time to suit students’ interests and language proficiency. One reading text which can function as post-listening activity for Unit 2: Personal experience (English 11: 27) is taken as an example as follows. 71
    • Reading the following text about Home Fires and choose the best answer Many fires are caused by cooking. Cooking is the number one cause of home fires. You should always watch what you are cooking. Never leave something cooking on the stove without watching it. Three out of ten home fires start in the kitchen. That is more than any other room in the house. Many people are killed and injured from kitchen fires. Kitchen fires can be prevented. Follow safety rules and you can keep yourself safe. 1. What is the number one cause of home fires? A. matches B. cooking without watching C. fireplaces 2. What room in the house has the most fires? A. family room B. basement C. kitchen 3. Kitchen fire can be prevented by A. watching food on the stove every 10 minutes B. always watching what you are cooking C. cooking with a frying pan V.3 Writing activity There is a common complaint from high school students that writing is the most difficult language skill to master. In some cases, although the communicative approach to teaching listening is not clearly demonstrated, the exploitation of writing activities at the post-listening stage still offers a 72
    • number of benefits. Undoubtedly, the ultimate goal of this activity is to enhance students’ writing skill. In addition, like the reading activities, writing is exploited in the listening lessons when there is not enough time to carry out proper post-listening activities However, it can still recall students’ memory of the input information; check their deep understanding and encourage them to read more references in order to gather materials for their pieces of writing. Teachers should bear in mind that the form of writing activity must be varied to suit the level of students and make them progress steadily in studying. The following writing activities are adapted based on those aforementioned objectives. V.3.1 Summary completion Summary completion directs students to the main points of the text for a full understanding. Students’ task is to complete the summary passage by filling in the blanks with a single word or group of words. In order to fulfill this task well, students must process in their mind the information they have gained and recycle the language presented in the text. For example, teachers may ask students to deal with incomplete summary of the listening passage about “The Asian Games Report” (English 11: 141). In some cases, teachers may provide them with a list of words to choose from, which should be applied for students with little specification in English. 73
    • The program was on at_________. It was “The Asian Games Report”. The most important event was the women’s 200-meter__________. The Japanese, Yuko got the gold medal. She made a new world record time of __________. By the third day, the Japanese athlete had won___ gold medals. In the Gymnasium, Lily, the Chinese gymnast won the gold medal with an average of ______points. Lee Bong-ju, a Korean athlete, won the gold medal in the _____________event at the distance of 8.9 m. The last event mentioned was_____________. Vichai from Thailand still failed at his third attempt. He felt very________as he couldn’t do what he himself had wished. It is necessary to notice that the passage used for this type of activity must be based on the listening text and focus from the general ideas so that students can make full use of what they have heard. V.3.2 Writing reflection Writing reflection is tremendously beneficial for students of medium or high level of English. This type of activity is proved to trigger students’ imagination and motivate their critical thinking on the issue related to what they hear. Apparently, before being able to judge a listening text, learners need to master the comprehensive stage, which appears challenging to a number of students. However, Jay McTighe (2000) once suggests that “Listening activities should teach, not test”. Therefore, if the listening stage 74
    • stops at the comprehension stage, students can never reach the real value of this skill. To be more specific, after listening to the recording about Spring School- one voluntary organization (English 11: 51), students may be given task to write a letter to this organization in order to become its official member. In the letter, they should point out what they have already known about the organization and clarify the reasons for their choice. V.4 Language Focus activity Even though the new text book has officially come into use for a few later years, the new instruments for evaluation remain the same. That is to say grammar-based exams are still the only kind of assessment in English teaching and learning in Vietnam. Therefore, it is completely practical to satisfy the demand for language focus activity at post-listening stage among grade 11 students. They desire to take a closer look into the language items presented in the listening text, involving pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar structures. These activities can be illustrated vividly in the following examples  After the recording about “Sources of energy” (English 11: 129) in which there appear a lot of words containing “A” letter. Teachers can present different ways of pronunciation for this letter and then offer an exercise to help students consolidate the target language items. 75
    • /ei/ /Θ/ /↔/ / / /Α/ replace natural necessary call grass change air vital water carbon dangerou land importanc all s e carefully contain solar animal amount gas human Exercise: Circle the word with a different vowel sound 1. A. sad B. bag C. salt D. tap 2. A. case B. lake C. name D. care 3. A. watch B. catch C. match D. land 4. A. arm B. dance C. garden D. warm 5. A. space B. change C. plate D. square 76
    •  Providing useful language of “increase and decrease” accompanied by an exercise is a good follow-up task for the listening text about “World Population” (English 11: 84). Verbs Nouns Adjectives Adverbs Rise Rise Slight Slightly Increase Increase Marginal Marginally Fall Fall Steady Steadily Decrease Decrease Sharp Sharply Decline Decline Gradual Gradually Dip Dip Dramatic Dramatically Plummet Considerable Considerably Plunge Significant Significantly Rocket 77
    • CHAPTER VI: CONCLUSION The five previous chapters have introduced and justified the research topic, thoroughly reviewed the literature, described the exploitation of post- listening activities and proposed some useful ones. Finally, in this concluding chapter, the summary and evaluation of the whole study will be given. Specifically, it will summarize main findings, figure out the limitations of the paper and then put forth several recommendations for further researches. VI.1 Major findings of the study Delving into the exploitation of follow-up activities in teaching listening for 11th form students in Hanoi, the researcher has gathered and analyzed the data from the questionnaires and observation to address the research questions. Three significant findings of the study are presented as follows. First and foremost, it is found out that post-listening activities have been widely exploited in listening lessons of grade 11 students in Hanoi. The majority of teachers and students adopt positive attitudes toward the importance of post-listening stage as well as its considerable contribution to the success of a listening lesson. As a result, a great deal of effort has been made to maximize the usefulness and effectiveness of these activities. The teachers either make full of the designed post-listening tasks in the course book or try their best to offer the most suitable activities in accordance with their students’ abilities and interests. In return, it is with cognition and 78
    • enthusiasm that many students take part in these activities to establish the connection between listening and other skills. Secondly, the study detects both effectiveness and ineffectiveness of the exploitation of post-listening activities in listening classes under the viewpoint of involved parties namely teachers and students. Concerning the advantages, the majority of teachers and students agree that follow-up activities, especially in the form of speaking, considerably help students retain the knowledge gained through listening and improve other language skills. However, despite its significant role, post-listening activities have not been conducted as effectively as expected. On the teachers’ side, it is mainly the time restriction spared for this post-stage and the lack of students’ interest that lead to their cursory implementation of post-listening activities. From the students’ perspectives, doing further activities after having to pay full attention to the listening comprehension exercises is terribly strenuous or even counter-productive. Last but not least, the researcher has also explored teachers’ and students’ recommendations for more effective exploitation of listening follow-up tasks. As proposed by some teachers, there are a number of measures to overcome identified problems. Time constraint is thought to be satisfactorily solved by an extension in the allotted time, careful lesson planning and exercise adaptation. To call for the students’ participation at this stage, the teachers may take their interests into consideration and make the objectives as well as the course assessment criteria explicit to all the students. Ideas from students also reveal that they would prefer to have speaking as follow-up activity than any other activities so as to reduce the stress and foster communication skill. 79
    • VI.2 Limitations of the study Notwithstanding the researcher’s considerable effort, the study inevitably exposes certain shortcomings due to the limited number of participants and the time constraint. One of the most obvious drawbacks of the study is the limited scale. The quantity of research participants, including 15 surveyed teachers and 260 surveyed students remained comparatively modest in comparison with the huge number of high school teachers and students in Hanoi. Besides, observations in only four 11th form classes were not adequate enough to evaluate the effectiveness of the activities carried out at post-listening stage. Therefore, the result of this study should not be generalized to represent the whole picture of teaching and learning at listening follow-up stage of 11th form classes in Hanoi. The second limitation of this research was time constraint leading to the fact that participants’ recommendations for more effective exploitation of post-listening activities could not be thoroughly experimented and evaluated. Besides, the suggested activities provided in the study were not diversified and innovative enough to serve as an abundant source of reference for the teachers. Thirdly, due to the tendency of generalizing the collected data, the study failed to clarify clear distinction among the answers of two objects: teachers who differ in terms of age, gender and teaching experiences; students of 80
    • different levels of language proficiency and from schools with various specifications in English. VI.3 Recommendations for further studies On the whole, all the issues relating to listening procedure can not be covered in this study. Due to aforementioned limitations, the paper only sets the first step in the research on post-listening stage which has not been adequately investigated so far. Inevitably, further studies with broad scope of topic and population as well as thorough data analysis are highly recommended. To be more specific, the scope of other studies may touch upon the remained stage of a listening lesson, namely pre-listening and while-listening stage. Besides, since the paper focuses on the real exploitation of post-listening activities among 11th form listening classes, other researchers may investigate the integration of listening and other skills demonstrated at post-listening stage. 81
    • REFERENCES I. Books Brown, H. D. (1994). Principles of Language Learning and Teaching. Beijing: Pearson Hall Regents Brown, H. D. (1994). Teaching by principles: An interactive Approach to Language Pedagogy: Pearson Hall Regents. Brownell, J. (1996). Listening: Attitudes, principles, and skills. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon. Brown, G. & Yule, G., (1983), Teaching the Spoken Language, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Brumfit, C. J & Johnson. K. (1979). The Communicative Approach to Language Teaching: Oxford University Press. Byrnes H. (1984). The role of listening comprehension: A theoretical base. Foreign Language Annals, 17: 317-329. Devine, T. G. (1982). Listening skills schoolwide: Activities and programs. Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English. Dunkel, P. (1986). Developing Listening Fluency in Language Learning. The Theoretical Principles and Pedagogical considerations. The Morden Language Journal, 70(2), 99-106. Gass, S. M. & Seely, A. E (1988). Integrating research areas: A framework for second language studies. Applied Linguistics. 9:36-217. Harmer, J. (1991). The Practice of English Language Teaching. London: Longman. 82
    • Fang, L. (1999). Listening: Problems and Solutions, English Teaching Forum Mendelsohn, D. J & Rubin, J. (1995). A guide for the teaching of second language listening. San Diego, CA: Dominie Press. Nunan, D & Miller, L. (Eds.). (1995). New ways in teaching listening. Alexandria, VA: TESOL. Peterson, P. W. (1991). A synthesis of methods for interactive listening. In M. Celce-Murcia (Ed.), Teaching English as a second or foreign language Boston. MA: Heinle & Miller. Rixon, S. (1981).The design of materials to foster particular linguistic skills. The teaching of listening comprehension. London: The British council Rost, M. (1990). Listening in Language Learning. London: Longman. Wolvin, A. D. & Coakley, C. G. (1992). Listening. Dubuque, IA: William C. Brown Underwood M. (1989). Teaching listening. London: Longman.January 31, pp. 16-19. To, T. H & Nguyen, T. M. (2007). ELT Methodology III (Course book & Recommended reading). University of Languages and International Studies, Vietnam National University, Hanoi. To, T. H et al. (2006). ELT Methodology II (Course book). University of Languages and International Studies, Vietnam National University, Hanoi. Nguyen, T. V (1999). Integrating Listening and Speaking in Teaching English at Non-Professional Universities Vo, T. A (2002). Research on Improving the Method of Teaching Listening Skills to 10th form Students at the FLSS-CFL-VNU, Hanoi 83
    • Pham, P. H (2004). Post-listening strategies and activities for 1st year students at CFL-VNU, Hanoi II. Websites Brown, D. H & Lundsteen, M (1979). The Process of Listening. Applied Linguistics. Retrieved October 24, 2008 from http://www.ingilish.com/listening-activities.htm Mowbray, G. & George, J. (1992). Objectives set for after-listening. Regina, SK. Saskatchewan Education. Retrieved March 27, 2009 from http://www.nclrc.org/essentials/listening/liindex.htm Ping, Z. W. (1982) Effect of Schema Theory and Listening activities on Listening Comprehension. English Department, Chinese PLA Postgraduate School of Medicine, Beijing 100853, China. Retrieved December 26, 2008 from www.linguist.org.cn/doc/su200612/su20061205.pdf post- listening+activities Saricoban, A. (1999). The Teaching of Listening. Hacettepe University, Beytepe-Ankara, Turkey. Retrieved January 15, 2009 from http://iteslj.org/Articles/Saricoban-Listening.html. Tchudi, S. & Mitchell, D. (1989). The listening process, HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. Retrieved December 8, 2008 from http://www.sasked.gov.sk.ca/docs/mla/speak.html. Xu, X. M. (2004). A new Way of Teaching Listening- A combination of Seeing, Listening and Speaking, Northeast Normal University, China. Retrieved from February 2, 2009 from www.linguist.org.cn/doc/su200404/su20040405.doc 84
    • APPENDICES Appendix 1: Questionnaire for teachers Appendix 2: Questionnaire for students (English version) Appendix 3: Questionnaire for students (Vietnamese version) Appendix 4: Observation checklist Appendix 5: Observation sheet Appendix 6: Observation sheet 1 Appendix 7: Observation sheet 2 Appendix 8: Observation sheet 3 85
    • Appendix 1: QUESTIONNAIRE FOR TEACHER My name is Bui Thi Hang, a forth year student of Vietnam National University, College of Foreign Languages. This survey questionnaire is designed to collect information for my study on “The exploitation of post-listening activities for 11th form students”. Your assistance will contribute greatly to the success of my research. Thank you very much for your support and cooperation! ********************** Please circle the letters(s) that you choose or fill in the missing information 1. How important do you think listening skill is? A. Very important B. Quite important C. Not very important D. Not important at all 2. How difficult is it to teach listening skill? A. Easy B. Not very difficult C. Difficult D. Very difficult Reasons…………………………………………………………………….. 3. Do you follow the three-stage format: “Pre-While-Post” in your listening lessons? A. Yes B. No 4. In your opinion, how important is post-listening stage? Not important 1 2 3 4 5 Very important 5. Within the limit time assigned for the teaching of listening, how often do you organize post-listening activities? A. Very often B. Sometimes 86
    • C. Rarely D. Never 6. What do you often do after students finish listening comprehension exercises? A. Nothing B. Let students do After you listen part in the course book C. Design you own activities D. B&C 7. What kinds of activities do you carry out in post-listening stage? (Circle the activities and tick the level of frequency that you carry out them) Level of frequency Activities Always Sometimes Rarely Never 1. Giving personal opinions 2. Group discussion 3. Retelling main ideas 4. Summary completion 5. Reading related texts 6. Language focus (pronunciation, grammar) 8. How do you assess these activities? A. Effective (go to question 9) B. Ineffective (go to question 10) 9. Why do you find post-listening activities effective? Because they…..(more than one option) A. Help students recall and retain what they have heard B. Improve students’ other language skills such as reading, speaking and w writing C. Help students to retain new language items that appear in the listening t text D. Help students refresh their knowledge 87
    • Others Please specify…………………………………………………………….. 10. Why do you find post-listening activities ineffective? (more than one option) A. Doing these activities is a waste of time and money B. Your students find it boring to do these activities C. Students feel too exhausted to do further tasks D. The class is so noisy Others Please specify…………………………………………………………… 11. What difficulties do you often encounter while conducting post- listening stage? (more than one option). What are your suggestions to overcome these difficulties? A. Lack of time Solutions………………………………………………………………………… B. Lack of facilities Solutions………………………………………………………………………… C. Lack of interesting activities Solutions ……………………………………………………………………….. D. Lack of students’ enthusiasm Solutions ……………………………………………………………………….. THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP! Appendix 2: QUESTIONNAIRE FOR STUDENTS 88
    • (English version) My name is Bui Thi Hang, a forth year student of Vietnam National University, College of Foreign Languages. This survey questionnaire is designed to collect information for my study on “The exploitation of post-listening activities for 11th form students in Hanoi”. Your assistance will contribute greatly to the success of my research. Thank you very much for your support and cooperation! ************************* Please circle the letters(s) that you choose or fill in the missing information 1. How important do you think listening skill is? A. Very important B. Important C. Not very important D. Not important at all 2. What do you want to obtain from listening? (You can choose more than one option) A. To improve listening skill B. To learn new words and grammatical structures C. To know more about the world D. To acquire native-like pronunciation Others…………………………………………………………….. 3. Do you like a listening lesson? A. Yes B. No C. So so 4. Why do you like a listening lesson? A. Useful for language learning and other language skills B. Relaxing C. Interesting Others……………………………………………………………………. 5. Why do you dislike a listening lesson? Because of 89
    • A. Difficult listening exercises B. Low quality of tapes and cassette player C. Lack of listening skills D. Boring Others……………………………………………………………….... 6. In a listening lesson, does your teacher ask you to do further task after checking your listening comprehension? A. Yes B. No 7. If yes, what do you often do after finishing the listening comprehension exercises in While you listen part in your text-book? A. You are required to complete After you listen part. B. Your teacher designs his/her own activities for you to do. C. A&B 8. What kind of post-listening activities do you do? And how often? Level of frequency Activities Always Sometimes Rarely Never A. Giving personal opinions B. Group discussion C. Retelling main ideas D. Summary completion E. Reading related texts F. Language Focus 9. Which of the above-mentioned activities do you like best? (You can choose more than one option) A B C D E F Reasons…………………………………………………………………. 90
    • 10. Do you think these activities have a good influence on your English study? A. Yes B. No, they are boring and ineffective 11. If yes, what are the good influences? A. Help me remember the information of the listening text longer B. Help me improve other language skills such as reading, speaking and writing C. Help me to retain new words & structures presented in the listening text Others………………………………………………………………… THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP! Appendix 3: QUESTIONNAIRE FOR STUDENTS (Vietnamese version) 91
    • Chào các bạn,! Tôi tên là Bùi Thị Hằng, sinh viên năm thứ 4 trường Đại học Ngoại Ngữ, Đại học Quốc Gia Hà Nội. Tôi soạn thảo phiếu điều tra này nhằm thu thập số liệu cho đề tài khoá luận mà tôi đang nghiên cứu có tên là: “The exploitation of post- listening activities for 11th form students”. Rất mong các bạn nhiệt tình giúp đỡ tôi hoàn thành phiếu điều tra để kết quả thu được chính xác và có giá trị. Xin chân thành cảm ơn sự hợp tác của các bạn! ******************** Xin vui lòng khoanh tròn vào câu trả lời phù hợp hoặc điền thêm thông tin vào chỗ trống 1. Bạn đánh giá thế nào về tầm quan trọng của việc học kĩ năng nghe? A. Vô cùng quan trọng B. Khá quan trọng C. Bình thường D. Không quan trọng 2. Theo bạn, kĩ năng nghe có khó không? A. Rất khó B. Khó C. Bình thường D. Dễ 3. Bạn có thích thú với giờ học nghe trên lớp không? A. Có B. Không C. Bình thường 4. Vì sao bạn thích giờ học nghe? A. Giờ học nghe rất bổ ích cho việc học Tiếng Anh cũng như các kĩ năng khác B. Giờ học nghe giúp em thư giãn C. Giờ học nghe vô cùng thú vị Các lí do khác………………………………………………………………………. 5. Vì sao bạn không thích giờ nghe? Bởi vì A. Các bài tập nghe thường rất khó B. Chất lượng băng nghe quá kém C. Giờ học nghe thường rất vô vị D. Em thiếu kĩ năng nghe Các lí do khác……………………………………………………………………… 92
    • 6. Mục đích của ban thông qua kĩ năng nghe là gì?(Có thể có nhiều lựa chọn) A. Nâng cao khả năng nghe hiểu Tiếng Anh B. Trau dồi vốn từ vựng và cấu trúc ngữ pháp C. Có thêm kiến thức về cuộc sống D. Học hỏi cách phát âm và ngữ điệu của người bản ngữ Mục đích khác:…………………………………………………………….. 7. Sau khi đă hoàn thành các bài tập nghe hiểu trong phần While you listen, giáo viên có thường xuyên yêu cầu bạn tham gia thêm hoạt động nào khác không? A. Có . Hoạt động trong phần After you listen B. Có. Hoạt động do giáo viên tự thiết kế C. A &B C. Không 8. Nếu có, đó là những hoạt động cụ thể nào? (Vui lòng khoanh tròn vào những hoat động và tích vào mức độ thường xuyên bạn tham gia vào các hoạt động đó) Mức độ thường xuyên Các hoạt động Luôn luôn Thỉnh thoảng Hiếm khi Không bao giờ A. Lấy ý kiến cá nhân về một vấn đề liên quan B. Thảo luận theo nhóm về một vấn đề liên quan C. Kể lại nội dung chính của bài nghe D. Hoàn chỉnh bản tóm tắt nội dung bài nghe E. Đọc một bài đọc có liên quan F. Làm các bài tập về ngữ pháp, ngữ âm 93
    • 9. Trong các hoạt động trên, hoạt động nào bạn thích nhất? (Có thể có nhiều lựa chọn) A B C D E F Lý do là…………………………………………………………………. …. 10. Theo bạn, các hoạt động đó có tác động tốt đến việc học Tiếng Anh của bạn không? A. Có B. Không. Các hoạt động này thật vô vị và không có hiệu quả gì 11. Nếu có, đó là những tác động cụ thể nào? (Có thể có nhiều lựa chọn) A. Giúp em ghi nhớ lâu hơn những thông tin trong bài nghe B. Giúp em học tốt các kĩ năng khác như đọc, nói và viết C. Giúp em trau dồi vốn từ vựng và củng cố ngữ pháp Các hiệu quả khác………………………………………………………..... XIN CHÂN THÀNH CÁM ƠN SỰ GIÚP ĐỠ CỦA CÁC BẠN! Appendix 4: OBSERVATION CHECKLIST 1. General information • Date 94
    • • Class • School • Lesson • Course book • Teacher • Number of students 2. Teacher’ s activity at post-listening stage 3. Type of post-listening activity 4. Activity interaction mode 5. Teacher’s role 6. Students’ participation 7. Effectiveness of post-listening activity 8. Difficulties facing the teacher at post-listening stage. 9. Duration of post-listening activity Appendix 5: OBSERVATION SHEET Date Class, School 95
    • Level Lesson Course book Number of students Observed Post-listening stage Options class Speaking Reading Type of activity Writing Language focus Other Suggested in the textbook Source of the activity Designed by the teacher Individual work Activity interaction Pair work Group work mode Whole class Controller Teacher’s role Guider Students’ Most of the students Many students participation Some students (The activity None involves…….) Very effective Effectiveness Effective Not effective T’s difficulties Duration Other comments: 96
    • Appendix 6: OBSERVATION SHEET 1 Date: March 4th , 2009 Class, School: 11A3, Thang Long high school Level: Pre-intermediate Lesson: Unit 11- Sources of Energy: Listening Course book: New English 11 Number of students: 48 Observed Post-listening stage Options class Speaking Reading Type of activity Writing Language focus Other (T read a funny story)  Suggested in the textbook Source of the activity Designed by the teacher  Individual work Activity interaction Pair work Group work mode Whole class  97
    • Controller  Teacher’s role Instructor & Guider Students’ Most of the students Many students participation Some students (The activity None  involves…….) Very effective Effectiveness Effective Not effective  Lack of time to conduct the post- T’s difficulties listening stage appropriately Duration 4 minutes Other comments: Despite of its relaxing nature, the funny story told by the teacher is not relevant to the content of the listening text and therefore fails to achieve any objectives set for post-listening activity. Specifically, it can hardly motivate students recall the absorbed knowledge as well as show off their responses to it. Appendix 7: OBSERVATION SHEET 2 Date: March 10th , 2009 Class, School: 11D7, Xuan Dinh high school Level: Pre-intermediate 98
    • Lesson: Unit 13- Hobbies: Listening Course book: New English 11 Number of students: 42 Observed Post-listening stage Options class Speaking Reading Type of activity Writing (Summary completion)  Language focus Other Suggested in the textbook Source of the activity Designed by the teacher  Individual work Activity interaction Pair work  Group work mode Whole class Controller Teacher’s role Instructor & Guider  Students’ Most of the students Many students  participation Some students (The activity None involves…….) Very effective Effectiveness Effective  Not effective Lack of students’ interest and active T’s difficulties participation Duration 6 minutes Other comments: In general, this activity is effective in the sense that the students can retain the information and the vocabulary presented in the 99
    • listening text. However, some pairs of students were noticed to have resorted to the textbook when they could not find the appropriate words to fill in the blanks. Besides, as the researcher observed, there were still some students in the last rows who did not involve in the activity, letting their peers do it alone. Appendix 8: OBSERVATION SHEET 3 Date: March 12th , 2009 Class, School: 11A2, Thang Long high school Level: Pre-intermediate Lesson: Unit 14- Recreation: Listening Course book: New English 11 Number of students: 52 Observed Post-listening stage Options class Speaking (Discussing in group)  Reading Type of activity Writing Language focus Other Suggested in the textbook  Source of the activity Designed by the teacher Individual work Activity interaction Pair work Group work  mode Whole class 100
    • Controller Teacher’s role Instructor & Guider  Students’ Most of the students Many students  participation Some students (The activity None involves…….) Very effective Effectiveness Effective  Not effective T’s difficulties Time pressure and large-sized class Duration 8 minutes Other comments: Broadly speaking, this post-listening activity is of great usefulness to the students and suits their interests. Discussing in group not only helped them to reveal their thinking by openly exchanging ideas but also improved their speaking skills. Nevertheless, the large-sized class and time pressure prevented the teacher to provide her appropriate comment and feedback to the presented groups. 101