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The Value Of Eltm Microteaching From Perspective Of Fourth Year Students Dam Ha Thuy

The Value Of Eltm Microteaching From Perspective Of Fourth Year Students Dam Ha Thuy






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    The Value Of Eltm Microteaching From Perspective Of Fourth Year Students Dam Ha Thuy The Value Of Eltm Microteaching From Perspective Of Fourth Year Students Dam Ha Thuy Document Transcript

    • I hereby state that I: Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1, being a candidate for the degree of 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 Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 3
    • ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I owe the success of this paper to the following people without whom this research could not have been in its current shape. First of all, I would like to express my great gratitude to my supervisor - Ms. To Thu Huong (PhD) for her valuable comments and supportive encouragement. My sincere thanks also go to the teachers of ELTM II in English Department who allowed me to conduct classroom observation and their fourth-year students who spent their time participating in the questionnaire survey. I am also thankful for the support I have had from my family during the four years of my tertiary study and their encouragement when I conducted this graduation paper. Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 4
    • ABSTRACT English Language Teaching, like any other teaching professions, has to provide its students with chances to practice before they become real teachers of English. Microteaching, since its first appearance in the early 1960s, has proved its effectiveness in familiarizing students with their real teaching practice. In their microlessons, students are to practice the teaching techniques that are taught in their ELT syllabus. The application of microteaching and what is practiced during microlessons in the context of the English Department – Hanoi University of Languages and Foreign Studies (ED-HULIS) also reflects this common trend. Due to the fact that this issue has not been thoroughly investigated so far, this research attempts to provide a closer look at the situation, the application of teaching techniques in microteaching sessions, some common advantages and disadvantages of microteaching practice and also suggest some possible changes to improve the practice of microteaching. With the help of 122 students in the questionnaire survey and the observation of ten microlessons, it is found out that individual and group-of-three microteaching are the two popular and favorite types of microteaching among the students. Also, the advantages and disadvantages of microteaching as perceived by them tend to coincide with each other. From this reality, some practical suggestions are proposed by the participating students with a view to further improve the application of microteaching. Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 5
    • TABLE OF CONTENTS Acknowledgements i Abstract ii List of tables, figures and abbreviations vi CHAPTER I: INTRODUCTION 1.1.Statement of the problem and rationale for the study......................... 1 1.2.Aims and objectives of the study…………............................................ 3 1.3.Significance of the study.......................................................................... 4 1.4. Scope of the research................................................................................ 5 1.5.Organization of the study........................................................................ 5 CHAPTER II: LITERATURE REVIEW 2.1.Definition of key terms ……………....................................................... 7 2.1.1. Overview of microteaching in English Language Teaching Methodology ……………………………………………………… 7 of microteaching …………………………............. 8 of microteaching ………………………………............. 9 of microteaching ……………………………………... 1 of microteaching …………………………………… 0 about microteaching ………………………………... 1 2.1.2. The application of microteaching in ELT in ED - HULIS - VNU 3 context…………………………………………………................... 1 of the teacher-training curriculum in ED – HULIS – 6 VNU………………………………………………………… application microteaching in ELTM II for TEFL fourth- 1 year students in HULIS ………………………………............... 9 Fourth-year students majoring in TEFL in HULIS........... 1 The practice of microteaching in ELTM II course …....... 9 Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 6
    • ELT techniques included in ELTM II .............................. 2 2.2.Related studies ………………………………………………………… 2.2.1. Overseas studies …………………………………………………... 2 2.2.2. Vietnamese studies …………………………………………........... 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 1 3 1 3 3 CHAPTER III: METHODOLOGY 3.1. Research questions ……………………………………………………... 3 3.2.Selection of subjects ……………………………………………............ 5 3.3.Research instruments …………………………………………………. 3 3.3.1. Classroom observation …………………………………………….. 5 3.3.2. Survey questionnaire .……………………………………………… 3 3.4. Procedures of data collection ………………………………………….. 7 3.5. Procedures of data analysis ……………………………………………. 3 8 3 9 4 Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 7
    • 0 4 3 CHAPTER IV: RESULTS AND DISCUSSION 4.1. Presentation of results ............................................................................. 4 4.1.1. Types of microteaching applied in ELTM II course ………………. 5 4.1.2. The application of teaching techniques in ELTM II into 4 microteaching sessions …………………………………...……….. 5 The students’ overall evaluation ………………………........... Students’ exploitation of EFL teaching techniques ………….. 4 6 Using visual aids…………………………………........... 4 Eliciting techniques………………………………........... 7 Giving and checking instructions………………………. 5 Giving corrective feedback…………………………….. 0 Teaching large class……………………………………. 5 Motivating students ……………………………………. 0 4.1.3. The common advantages and disadvantages of practicing 5 microteaching in the context of ED – HULIS ……………….......... 0 The common advantages ………………………………........... 5 The common disadvantages ……………………………........... 2 4.1.4. Suggestions to improve the situation ………………………………. The suggested type and duration of a microlesson ……........... 5 3 Suggested solutions to improve the effectiveness of microteaching ………………………………………………... 5 4.2. Discussion of results ................................................................................. 4 4.2.1. The situation ……………………………………………………….. 5 Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 8
    • Types of microteaching used in ELTM curriculum……........... 5 Students’ application of the ELT teaching techniques into microteaching ………………………………………………... 5 4.2.2. Advantages and disadvantages …………………………………….. 6 Advantages ……………………………………………............ Disadvantages …………………………………………........... 5 6 4.2.3. Suggested solutions ……………………………………………….. 5 Preferred types of microteaching …………………………….. 8 Suggestions to improve the effectiveness of microteaching 6 sessions ………………………………………………………. 1 6 4.3. Implication ………………………………………………………............ 1 6 3 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 9 7 2 7 Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 9
    • 2 7 4 7 6 7 6 7 7 7 9 CHAPTER V: CONCLUSION 8 3 5.1.Summary of findings ……………………………………….................. 8 5.1.1. The situation ……………………………………………………….. 3 5.1.2. Advantages and disadvantages …………………………………….. 8 5.1.3. Solutions ……………………………………………………............ 4 5.2. Limitations of the study ………………………………………………... 8 5.3. Suggestions for further study ………………………………………….. 5 8 6 8 7 REFERENCES 8 9 Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 10
    • 9 APPENDICES 3 Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 11
    • LIST OF TABLES, FIGURES AND ABBREVIATIONS I. Tables: 1. Table 1: Assessment and grading in ELT Methodology II (Adapted from To et al., 2008, p.v) – p.23 2. Table 2: Schedule for data collection – pp.40-41 3. Table 3: Time allocation for ONE microlesson – p.45 4. Table 4: Disadvantages of microteaching in familiarizing students with real teaching experience – p.59 5. Table 5: Students’ suggestions to improve the effectiveness of microteaching – p.64 II. Figures: 1. Figure 1: 2+2 evaluation protocol – p.16 2. Figure 2: Types of microteaching practiced in the 4th-year ELTM course – p.46 3. Figure 3: Level of application of classroom techniques in ELTM II into microteaching – p.47 4. Figure 4: The effectiveness of microteaching in preparing students for real teaching experience – p.48 5. Figure 5: Advantages of microteaching in familiarizing students with real teaching experience – p.57 6. Figure 6: Disadvantages of microteaching in familiarizing students with real teaching experience – p.59 7. Figure 7: Students’ suggestion of microteaching type – p.62 8. Figure 8: Suggested time allocation for a microlesson – p.63 Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 12
    • 9. Figure 9: Students’ suggestions to improve the effectiveness of microteaching – p.64 III. Abbreviations: Abbreviation Full form BA Bachelor of Arts CLT Communicative Language Teaching ED English Department EFL English as Foreign Language ELT English Language Teaching ELTM English Language Teaching Methodology HULIS Hanoi University of Languages and International Studies ICT Information Communication Technology MA Master of Arts NTU Nanyang Technology University PhD Doctor of Philosophy TEFL Teaching English as Foreign Language UQ University of Queensland VNU Vietnam National University CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION This chapter casts light on the research problems, the significance and the scope of the study. More importantly, the aims of the study are presented in Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 13
    • the form of four research questions. Finally, the organization of the rest of the paper is given so as to orientate the readers throughout the study. 1.1. Statement of the problem and rationale for the study: In the world of globalization today, the divisions of languages have become more and more visible. Thus, language teaching as a tool to help bridge the language borders of different countries is seen more important than ever (Wallace, 1991, p.2). As a result, the training of language teachers should be paid due attention to. Though it can be described under the names of different “models of professional education”, the process of language teacher training includes several similar stages. Wallace (1991, p.6) names three major models, including “the craft model”, “the applied science model” and “the reflective model”. Although they are viewed from different perspectives, all share a common stage – the Practice. One of the very effective and popular ways to carry out the Practice stage is Microteaching which is considered a technique for students “to present a sample “snapshot” of what/how to teach and to get some feedback from colleagues about how it was received” (www.fdc.fullerton.edu). The three main ways to scale down the teaching session into microteaching is given by Wallace (p.92), namely: • Simplified and specific teacher’s task • Shortened lesson’s length • Reduced class size Proven by its popularity, microteaching is acknowledged as to “give instructors confidence, support, and feedback” during their trial teaching sessions conducted with their friends which they intend to teach real students Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 14
    • (www.isites.harvard.edu). It is factual that when “learner teachers”, i.e. those who are being trained to become teachers of language (as proposed by Bailey et al., as cited in Freeman & Richards, 1996) can practice their teaching skills among their colleagues, they tend to feel safer and draw more practical lessons from observing each other’s microteaching sessions. Since its very first appearance in the 1960s by Dwight Allen and his colleagues at the Stanford Teacher Education Program (www.fdc.fullerton.edu), microteaching has been applied in a great number of professional education programs in the world. It is seen as a transition stage in which learner teachers familiarize themselves with the profession of teaching during the mock lessons they practice with their classmates. Microteaching, therefore, can limit the risks encountered in teaching practicum that exposes learner teachers to real students and sometimes comes as a sudden change to them as they do not have time to prepare themselves for the situation. With great effort to catch up with international education worldwide, a number of educational establishments in Vietnam have put this technique into practice in their teacher education programs. However, the exploitation of microteaching in the Vietnamese context has not been thoroughly investigated. Microteaching session has just officially been introduced into the Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) Bachelor program in the English Department – Hanoi University of Languages and International Studies – Vietnam National University (ED – HULIS – VNU) for some academic years. Therefore, its effectiveness in helping 4th-year students to get ready for their real teaching experience requires more in-depth investigation. For this reason, the researcher determines to carry out this graduation paper on “The value of ELTM Microteaching from perspective of fourth-year students”. Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 15
    • With a view to investigating the current situation in which microteaching is being exploited to help 4th-year students of BA TEFL familiarize themselves with necessary professional skills, the study also aims to suggest some possible solutions so as to even better the application of this technique in the English Language Teaching Methodology (ELTM) course. If the expected purposes of the research could be fulfilled, it would hopefully contribute to the improvement and popularization of this technique in ED – HULIS – VNU in particular and in other language teacher training institutes all over Vietnam in general. 1.2. Aims and objectives of the study: Firstly, the research is expected to find out different variations of microteaching which are being exploited in the current ELTM II course for the 4th-year students at ED-HULIS. Afterwards, the reality of students’ transferring the ELTM II teaching techniques into their microteaching sessions is also investigated. The details of achievements and drawbacks of this application as perceived by 4th-year students in ED – HULIS is another part of this study. Lastly, this paper manages to provide some possible suggestions given by those students so as to overcome the mentioned drawbacks. These above objectives could be summarized into four research questions as follows: 1. What types of microteaching are used in the 4th-year ELTM course? 2. To what extent do the students apply the teaching techniques in ELTM II into their microteaching? Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 16
    • 3. What are the common advantages and disadvantages of the practice of microteaching in terms of familiarizing students with real teaching experience as perceived by the students? 4. What changes should be made to improve the effectiveness of the microteaching sessions as suggested by the students? 1.3. Significance of the study: If the aforementioned objectives could be achieved, the study would hopefully provide a closer look at the implementation of Microteaching in the context of TEFL education. Hence, it would facilitate better performance of both teachers and students in their ELTM course. With regard to the students in their TEFL Bachelor course, this paper would contribute to their better employment of Microteaching in their ELTM course to “develop experiential knowledge of professional action” (Wallace, 1991, p.87), which helps prepare themselves more carefully before conducting real teaching practice. For teachers who supervise the Microteaching sessions and have the authority to make changes to the ELTM course, the research would partly enable their endeavour to make fuller use of Microteaching with practical suggestions from their students. Lastly, this study would be a reliable source of information for researchers who wish to carry out studies on similar issues in the future. Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 17
    • 1.4. Scope of the study: This paper focuses on the value of ELTM microteaching sessions from the perspective of 4th-year students majoring in TEFL in ED – HULIS – VNU only. Also, the transfer of ELTM II teaching techniques into microteaching sessions as contextualized in this paper refers to the students’ actual microteaching practice only. In other words, the feedback from colleagues and supervisors are not covered in this research. Therefore, the advantages and disadvantages of this technique, if found by the researcher, are solely related to the microteaching sessions within ELTM II. The steps of pre-teaching and post-teaching are not what this research aims at. Finally, it should also be stated that the sample of this study is extended to the class-observation of ten randomly chosen microteaching sessions and the survey among 140 representative students selected from fourteen TEFL 4th-year classes who experienced microteaching in their ELTM II course. 1.5. Organization of the study: In order for the readers to follow this paper more easily, the rest of the paper is divided into four chapters as presented below. • Chapter Two – Literature Review: This chapter provides basic theoretical background to the research problem, helping the readers to better orientate themselves to the contents of the study. • Chapter Three – Methodology: This chapter is responsible for the description of the sampling, the instruments used for data collection, the procedure in which the data were collected and analyzed. Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 18
    • • Chapter Four – Results and Discussion: This chapter is devoted to the presentation of the findings of the research and the analysis of these data with reference to previous studies and relevant theoretical background. • Chapter Five – Conclusion: This chapter summarizes the findings of the study, states the limitations and gives some suggestions for further research. In short, this first chapter has justified the reasons for conducting this research paper and simultaneously stated four research questions as an initial guide for the rest of the paper. Afterwards, the significance, the scope and the organization of the paper are also provided. Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 19
    • CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW In this chapter, the theoretical background of microteaching and other related issues are provided so as to cast light on further discussion on the results of this study. Firstly, the term microteaching will be investigated in terms of its definition, its importance to ELTM, its internationally popular variations and some controversies regarding this practice. Later on, an insight of how microteaching is being applied to the ELTM course in ED – HULIS will be given. The last section presents some related studies and their findings about the application of microteaching in various contexts whose gaps and limitations form the basis for this study. 2.1. Definition of key terms: 2.1.1. Overview of microteaching in English Language Teaching Methodology (ELTM): In Duff’s words (1988, p.111), training should be practical and directly applicable to the working context; therefore, the more teacher trainees get acquainted to the teaching environment, the better prepared they become for their career. That is the reason why microteaching is described as “one of the most powerful techniques for improving teaching and provides a basis for self-reflection and professional growth” (www.yorku.ca). One of the first integration of microteaching into the English language teaching program happened at the Scottish Centre for Education Overseas at Morey House College of Education, Edinburgh in 1971 (Wallace, 1979, p.57). From then on, microteaching has been a vital part of the ELTM curricula all over the world. Following is some background knowledge of this useful technique. Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 20
    • Definition of Microteaching: As a familiar term to anyone majoring in teacher training, microteaching has been defined by different educational experts. Allen and Wang (2002, p.1620) consider it as “a scaled down, simulated teaching encounter designed for the training of both pre-service and in-service teachers”. In this definition, microteaching is not only applied to students who are trained to become teachers but also to in-service teachers who want to improve their teaching skills. Thus, it is easy to understand why it is soon included in “more than half of the teacher training programs in the United States and (…) other parts of the world” (Allen & Wang, p.1621). Wallace (1991, p.92) gives a more detailed description of how microteaching should be: Microteaching denotes a training context in which a teaching situation has been reduced in scope and/or simplified in some systematic way. There are three main ways in which the teaching encounter may be scaled down: The teacher’s task may be simplified and made very specific; the length of the lesson may be shortened; the size of the class may be reduced. With this depiction, the picture of a microteaching session becomes clearer. It is the place where the teachers do not have to work as much as usual. They just practice one skill at a time and keep on doing this repeatedly until it is accepted by the supervisors. Besides, a microteaching session often lasts five to ten minutes, which is far different from real lessons (40-45 minutes). The class size is also smaller than in reality. Usually, fewer than ten students who may be real students or other teacher trainees form a class. In short, no matter how it may be perceived, microteaching has provided novice teacher trainees with opportunities to try teaching and correct themselves before being thrown into the real teaching profession. Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 21
    • Aims of microteaching: The purposes of microteaching in teacher training mainly relate to the effort to “give instructors confidence, support, and feedback” for what they are planned to do with their real students in the future (www.isites.harvard.edu). While doing the microteaching sessions with their colleagues and supervisors, teacher trainees may feel more comfortable to practice the language skills and components intended for their classes. Thus, one of the focuses of microteaching is the safe practice that a learner teacher may have when teaching before those who are familiar to them. It helps eliminate the pressure of “the need to face large numbers of students, some of whom are hostile temperamentally” (Ananthakrishnan, 1993). Creating a friendly environment for learner teachers to practice their teaching lessons is the first factor worth mentioning herein. Another factor is the lessened workload the teacher trainees deal with in a microteaching session. The pressure of the length of the lecture, the content of the matter to be taught and the long duration of the lesson are no longer big worries, which encourages them to perform with more confidence. “Simple, single-concept lessons” (Allen & Wang, 2002, p.1620) help them pay due attention to their performance, resulting in detailed analysis of the microteaching practice. Their application of every aspect of teaching methodology is looked into to see what has come up to expected standard and what has not. This is what can be done in a microteaching session only, not in a usual long and complicated lesson in which the teacher tends to “cover far more materials than students could absorb” (Dadswell, n.d., p.1). Furthermore, the analysis and discussion - one of the main elements of a microteaching session - proves very effective when the teacher trainees can Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 22
    • express “a vague but genuine feeling about how well or how badly they have done” (Chan, 1999, p.1) and the supervisor is capable of “harnessing the trainees’ own powers of analysis” (Wallace, 1991, p.102). On the one hand, teacher trainees tend to give excessively self-critical comments which can be made more supportive and encouraging by their supervisors and fellow trainees (Wallace, p.102). Chan (p.1) also states that peers’ comments can be absolutely fair, unbiased and become a substantial part of a trainee’s teaching assignment. On the other hand, receiving comments and corrective feedback, even a seemingly critical or strict constructive one, from familiar people is far more acceptable than from the aliens. In short, the ultimate goal of microteaching is vividly symbolized with the comparison made by Ananthakrishnan (1993) that “while classroom teaching is like learning to swim at the deeper end of the pool, microteaching is an opportunity to practice at the shallower and less risky side.” Stages of microteaching: As proposed by Wallace (1991, p.93), the perfect model of a microteaching session often consists of four different stages, namely “the briefing, the teach, the critique and the reteach”. Other descriptions also share similar procedures such as the one described by Ananthakrishnan (1993) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (www.web.mit.edu). In the first stage, the teacher trainee is to present brief information about what he/she intends to teach in the microlesson, including the skill to be taught and the techniques to be used to fulfill the teaching aims. The trainee can do this orally or in written form. Another way to do the briefing is to watch or listen to models which offer the suggestions for the teacher trainee to teach the lesson. However, there remain some arguments around this issue, one saying it Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 23
    • is helpful for inexperienced trainees to imitate such models while the other saying it could create a fixed image of good teaching in the trainees’ mind that can limit their teaching potential. What Wallace and Ananthakrishnan share is the planning of the microlesson though it is not included in the four stages mentioned by Wallace. Teacher trainees are usually given “scenarios to prepare in advance”; so they should take this time to prepare not only the lesson but also how to use class management skills in general (www.isites.harvard.edu). In order to reduce the challenges for the trainees, they are often required to design a 5 to 10-minute lesson. They can do this individually or in groups. Wallace (1991, p.99) suggests that either an individual or a group of trainees does the design and then send a representative to teach the lesson and the others will act as “guinea pigs”. When the preparation time is finished, there comes the teach stage. The microlesson, as stated before, runs in about 5 to 10 minutes in which the trainee has to apply all theories learnt to acquire what she or he has planned (Wallace, 1991, p.100). While one trainee is teaching, all the others try to note down their comments on the teaching session often with a checklist handed out at the beginning of the course (Moore, 1979, p.64). The reason for a short lesson is that it is sufficient for the trainees to accomplish the targeted teaching skill(s) and also for the observers (fellow trainees and the supervisors) to analyze the session and generate a fruitful discussion later. Furthermore, by watching the teacher trainee conducting the microlesson, other students can learn from both their own teaching practice and their friend’s performance (www.isites.harvard.edu). Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 24
    • The third stage of a microteaching session is the critique (analysis and discussion) in which the supervisor facilitates other teacher trainees to give feedbacks on the microlesson. However, it is recommended that the teacher of the microlesson should be given a chance to raise her/his voice first of all in order to explain what she/he has intended to do and what has been achieved and what has not (Wallace, 1991, p.102). Chan (1999, p.1) shares this point by implying that we ourselves (as the mock teachers) can sometimes be the most reliable source of feedback. After that, the supervisor and fellow trainees add their opinions to the critique so as to help improve the forthcoming microlesson. It should be noted for this stage that both giving and receiving comments require the qualities of being “practical, tactful, and upbeat” (www.web.mit.edu). The last stage in the cline of microteaching is the reteach. This is the time for the teacher trainees to plan and teach the skill again trying to avoid the mistakes they have made in the previous microlesson. Unfortunately, very few schools can afford the luxury of repeated attempts at a certain skill (Wallace, 1991, p.102). This stage is often omitted from the microteaching program and the introduction to several microteaching courses makes no mention of it in their course. To improve the situation, some adjustments have been made to include this stage in the microteaching cline in a less costly way. One is invented by Ahrens (as cited in Wallace, p.103) when a pair is responsible for the microlesson with one doing the teach and the other doing the reteach. The theoretical microteaching continuum has the above four main stages. In reality, it may appear in different forms due to the conditions of different educational institutions. In ED – HULIS, the reteach stage is also omitted due to the time constraint. Up to now, there has been very little investigation to Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 25
    • find out whether this elimination has any effect on English teacher training program in this institution and how it is perceived by the 4th-year students. This points to the need to conduct a study in this area. Variants of Microteaching: Wallace (1991, p.95) emphasizes that one of the greatest advantages of microteaching is its flexibility, which means microteaching can be designed to adapt to different conditions. As a result, there are various modifications of microteaching although they all share the same theoretical background. In most of the cases, microteaching no longer keeps its original procedure due to the “constraint of resources” of the training institutions. The first modifications were made in Malawi, then Namibia, China and even in the United States to facilitate the incorporation of the teach and reteach stages (Allen & Wang, 2002, p.1622). Some typical changes made to microteaching are described below. The very first variant to mention is related to the reteach stage. In some schools, teacher trainees are allowed to reteach the microlessons after a day or a week. For example, in Moray House, they have at least a day to prepare for that (Wallace, 1979, p.58). In some other programs, the reteach is skipped altogether as it is sometimes regarded to be too luxurious to be included in the course. Despite the fact that this detract may have negative effect on the whole microteaching session, it is unavoidable due to the limited time allowed for this practice. Another popular adaptation of microteaching is the increase in the class size used for microteaching. Ideally, four or five students form a microclass for the trainees to carry out the lessons; however, this is inconvenient regarding “the lack of facility and staff for multiple, simultaneous sessions” (Allen & Wang, Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 26
    • 2002, p.1622). This requires fellow trainees to work as mock students for a great number of lessons and often have only one time to teach, resulting in their incapability to do the reteach stage. The third variant that can be easily found is the longer microlesson for each learner teacher. Instead of teaching a 5 to 10-minute lesson, a trainee has to work in 15 to 20 minutes, in some cases up to 45 minutes like a real lesson. An excuse for that is the difficulty in breaking down the whole lesson into single simple concepts to be taught. Understandably, there are reasons for the choice of lengthening the microlesson. The first one is that it replicates the real situation in which teacher trainees have to teach 45-minute lessons. Secondly, it helps reduce the number of microteaching sessions for each individual trainee, seeming to lessen the workload for them. However, 5- minute microlessons still prove to be more sufficient for the practice of many teaching skills in all subjects (Allen & Wang, 2002, p.1622). That is why another modification was proposed by Beattie and Teather (1971, as cited in Wallace, 1979, p.58) in which a complete 30-minute lesson is divided into several units, each of which is taught by a different teacher trainee. One more variation invented due to the lack of technology is microteaching without hardware which was conducted in Malawi (Wallace, 1979, p.58) and many other undocumented places. Microteaching is supposed to be carried out with video- or audio-taping in order for the supervisors and teacher trainees to look back to their performance in the critique stage (www.en.wikipedia.org). Yet, such technologies are not always available in some educational institutions which ideally can afford “one out of three or four sessions to be videotaped…to view the lesson immediately” (Allen & Wang, 2002, p.1622). Moreover, the time allocation for microteaching practice is not sufficient for Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 27
    • long discussions with the replaying of the taped microlessons. With regard to this issue, Moore (1979, p.65) states that microteaching is still a powerful tool and the training results are acceptable without the presence of video although teacher trainees are highly appreciative of trying modern technologies in their classes. Allen and Wang (2002, p.1621) present three new concepts of microteaching which tend to simplify the procedures but concurrently increase its flexibility and adaptability. This revolution was first launched in Namibia where teacher trainees were low-qualified and technologies were limited and then more developed in China where it became one of the measures applied to modernize their teaching practice. The first concept is self-study groups in which trainees take turn to act as “mock teachers” and “mock learners”. The second one is peer supervision in which fellow trainees provide their comments and feedbacks on their friend’s performance. In return, the mock teacher has the opportunity to evaluate the suggestions they receive and decide to accept or reject them. It is interesting to note that comments from peers and supervisors are said to be equally valued. Last but not least, the 2+2 evaluation protocol has been developed and well received in many microteaching programs (Chan, 1999, p.1). The procedure for a 2+2 protocol is presented in the following graph: Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 28
    • Figure 1 – 2+2 evaluation protocol This protocol still works as a usual microteaching session. Its focus is that the critique stage is composed of two compliments and two suggestions from each mock student so as to maximize the helpfulness of the feedbacks. With this 2+2 protocol, if there are five teacher trainees in a microclass, each trainee will receive up to eight positive and eight constructive comments from her/his fellow trainees, which seems more well-structured and easier to digest. In ED – HULIS – VNU, some of the above adaptations have been practiced. However, their effectiveness and appropriateness evaluated by the teacher trainees themselves have not yet addressed. This study can be considered as an endeavor to bridge the gap between the theoretical and the empirical aspects of this issue in this specific context. Debates about Microteaching: Like any other teaching techniques, microteaching also has its advocates who give positive evaluation to it effectiveness as a practice tool and opponents who express their concerns about the way microteaching is conducted. To help Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 29
    • the readers have a more balanced view, some cardinal advantages and disadvantages of microteaching are given in this part. According to Wallace (1979, p.57), few experts consider microteaching as a substitution of teaching practice. While this point is not agreed upon by many, there are several other advantages of microteaching that have been claimed so far. The first one is that it allows trainees to totally focus on teaching and not be distracted by other factors of classroom management that are very likely to happen in teaching practice when teacher trainees are exposed to real classroom with real students. Again, as the scope of a microlesson is small, learner teachers are able to concentrate on teaching one skill at a time. It can be said that only in microteaching can they do such kind of practice. Even in teaching practicum, they are required to teach the whole period, not just a segment of it. By splitting a lesson into its component skills, microteaching “lays the basis for a truly scientific approach to teacher training.” (Wallace, p.57). As microteaching is sometimes likened to a role-play (Geddes & Raz, 1979, p.63), teacher trainees can act as real teachers and have the power to monitor and adjust their performance when necessary. In other words, they are provided the opportunity to manage themselves in an active way. The last benefit mentioned in Wallace (p.57) is the critique session which evaluates the trainees’ performance as a process, guaranteeing better self-awareness of the trainees about their teaching. Sharing his opinion about the advantages of microteaching at this point, Ananthakrishnan (1993) also adds another good point of microteaching which is the “repeated practice without adverse consequences to the teacher or his students.” Despite being dropped from many programs, the reteach stage still remains a major advantage of microteaching. As practice makes perfect, the more microteaching is practiced, the better the teacher trainees’ performance will become. Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 30
    • A great number of advantages do not protect microteaching from criticisms since its inventions half a century ago. There are several common disadvantages that can be mentioned. The very first one is the artificial environment that microteaching creates (Wallace, 1979, p.57). A leaner teacher trying to teach their fellows is thought by some as not a good idea to prepare for their teaching career. Ananthakrishnan (1993) cites some criticisms that microteaching is “a form of play acting in unnatural surroundings and it is feared that the acquired skills may not be internalized.” However, bearing in mind that all training procedures are somehow artificial, it is acceptable that microteaching really creates a safe environment for teacher trainees to practice their teaching skills. Another worry is the pressure a trainee has to suffer when standing in front of their colleagues and supervisor teaching a lesson. This fear is argued by Wallace (p.57) that most trainees get acquainted to that situation very quickly and microteaching is so popular that it is no longer a fear to any trainees. Moreover, the stress undergone by the teacher trainees in their teaching practice and real teaching career in the future is much more than in microteaching. The last question about the shortcomings of microteaching is the possibility of splitting the teaching process into component skills as the way it is now (Wallace, p.57). Although some supervisors take it for granted that this should be done in teacher-training programs, there is still some room for discussion to find out whether breaking down the teaching process in microteaching is a good choice or not. With its obvious advantages and some remaining bones of contention, microteaching still has many aspects for us to investigate. In each circumstance, these “pros and cons” manifest themselves differently. The Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 31
    • application of microteaching in ED – HULIS – VNU also has its own version of “pros and cons” which requires a close examination. 2.1.2. The application of microteaching in ELTM in ED- HULIS – VNU context: It is two years since microteaching was officially introduced into the ELTM course in ED – HULIS. Since then, it has proved its effectiveness in preparing teacher trainees for their future career. This part of the paper is to investigate how microteaching is applied in the teacher-training curriculum in ED – HULIS – VNU. Overview of the teacher-training curriculum in ED – HULIS – VNU: The teacher training curriculum in ED – HULIS – VNU is composed of three components, namely core units, methods and professional experience, which resembles the proposal by the New South Wales Institute of Teachers (Watson & Morton, 2008, p.3). In this context, these components are specified as follows.  Core units: They are all the units covered in the curriculum and spread through the four academic years in the university. As the credit system has been applied recently, those units are taught dispersedly in accordance with students’ wants. Usually, those components are finished by their third academic year. They are: Psychology I and Psychology II, Pedagogy I and Pedagogy II, Music, Computer Science, Logics, Politics (composed of 5 sub-subjects), and Physical Education (composed of 5 kinds of sports). Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 32
    • There are some other subjects related to language and country studies which students have to study until their fourth academic year. They are: Language skills, Research Methodology, Grammar, Phonetics, Pragmatics, Discourse Analysis, American Studies, British Studies, American literature and British literature. Training non-native students to teach English, the university is responsible for educating them to become advanced English users. Therefore, these above subjects are compulsorily included in the curriculum.  Methods: In ED – HULIS – VNU, the component of methods is divided into four sections, including English Language Teaching (ELT) Methodology I, II, III and IV. Each section is composed of different issues of English Language Teaching. The whole pack of these course books are complied and edited by lecturers of the English Department of HULIS with Ms. To Thi Thu Huong (PhD) as the chief editor and other contributors namely Ms. Nguyen Thi Thuy Minh (PhD, Assistant Professor at NTU, Singapore), Ms. Nguyen Thi Mai Hoa (UQ PhD Candidate), Ms. Luong Quynh Trang (Melbourne University PhD Candidate) & Ms. Nguyen Thi Huyen Minh (MA). ELT Methodology I, accounting for 2 credits, provides theoretical background and the principles of ELT. To be specific, it presents the major approaches and methods of ELT, and reveals what they have to offer to English language teachers. According to To, Nguyen and Nguyen (2008, pp. 1-2), this section covers the following topics: common assumptions about language learning and teaching; the nature of approaches and methods in language teaching; main approaches and methods in ELT; current directions and development in ELT and the current situation of ELT in Vietnamese upper-secondary schools. Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 33
    • ELT Methodology II, accounting for 5 credits (for Fast-track students & 4 credits for Mainstream students), provides an introduction to and practice in techniques of ELT. The techniques described by To, Nguyen, Nguyen, Nguyen and Luong (2008, p.ii) are classroom management, lesson planning, and the teaching of the elements and skills of English as a foreign language in the light of Communicative Language Teaching Approach. It also includes a microteaching component in each module. ELT Methodology III, valued 2 credits, provides an introduction to and practice in language assessment and ELT material development. It addresses ELT material evaluation, use and adaptation, language testing and assessment and their implications for classroom practice (To & Nguyen, 2008a, p.1). The last official material in this series is ELT Methodology IV which continues to fully develop students’ teaching capacity. It provides an introduction to and practice in pedagogical techniques necessary for successful classroom language teaching. According to the course description (To & Nguyen, 2008b, p1), it addresses the practical aspects of lesson planning, work arrangement, giving and checking instructions, giving corrective feedbacks, motivating students, teacher positioning and board writing for successful classroom practice. Additionally, other practical aspects of teaching the What and How, Material Development and Language Assessment are also given.  Professional experience: As described by Watson and Morton (2008, p.2), professional experience involves “schools implementing a jointly agreed curriculum that continues the education of students in a more formal way and as a continual process of total education”. In Vietnamese context, professional experience coincides with the Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 34
    • teaching practicum at upper-secondary schools (“high schools” has similar meaning in this paper) in which teacher trainees are required to be responsible for teaching the whole lesson and managing a large class to apply what have been learned during the course (Brandt, 2006, p.115). This is what has been confirmed by Nemser (as cited in Encyclopedia of Education, 2002, p.2486), teacher trainees only start their learning in earnest when they “step into their own classroom and take up the responsibilities of full-time teaching.” This saying powerfully explains firstly the importance of teaching practice and consequently why it is always included in all teacher-training programs. The application of microteaching in ELT Methodology II for TEFL fourth-year students in HULIS: Fourth-year students majoring in TEFL in HULIS: Up to the present time when the study is conducted, fourth-year students are those who enrolled in the TEFL Bachelor course in HULIS in 2005. Their target career is teaching English for upper-secondary school students after their graduation. The academic year 2009 is their last year at university in which they do microteaching in the first semester and go on with teaching practicum in the second semester. The practice of microteaching in ELT Methodology II course: McGarvey and Slallow (as cited in Wallace, 1991, pp.104-105) indicate that the New University of Ulster assesses its trainees based on 70% for practical work (microteaching with real students included) and only 30% for the written exam. Another possibility to evaluate teacher trainees using microteaching is that they are not assessed based on the microlessons, but on “the demonstration of their ability to reflect critically on and to self-evaluate their own teaching” by watching back the video of the microlessons. It is finally Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 35
    • suggested by Wallace (p.105) that microteaching should not be directly linked to assessment though it could contribute to the assessment of trainees’ “power of self-evaluation.” In accordance with the worldwide trend and the suggestions by experts, the assessment of teacher trainees based on microteaching in ELT Methodology II in ED-HULIS is balanced with other assessments. The specific grading is as follows: Form Weighting Task Participation 10% Students participate in class discussions and and Discussion debates and/or present topics assigned by their lecturers. Microteaching 40% In 5 weeks (5-10), students write lesson plans, do (Group work) microteaching and evaluate their own and peers’ teaching in their class. Final exam 50% Students answer both theoretical and practical questions Table 1 – Assessment and grading in ELT Methodology II (Adapted from To et al., 2008, p.v) ELT techniques included in ELT Methodology II: Wallace (1991, pp.96-97) defines the skills for microteaching as “a technique which can be described and learned” such as techniques of reading aloud, use of visual aids and giving instructions. Similarly, Ananthakrishnan (1993) describes microteaching in terms of component skills approach which means splitting the teaching activity into small skills for learning purposes. The nine skills practiced in microteaching are lesson planning, induction setting, Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 36
    • presentation, stimulus variation, proper use of audio-visual aids, reinforcement, questioning, silence-body language and closure. The techniques taught in ELT Methodology II, though not identical, bear some resemblance to these above component skills. They are divided into four large categories, namely: lesson planning, classroom management, teaching the “What” and teaching the “How”. As the focus of this paper is on students’ practice of the ELT techniques included in the ELT Methodology II course book, the following part will provide essential information about these techniques only. The inclusion of lesson planning is solely for the discussion of the classroom observation later to discover whether teacher trainees properly follow the designed lesson plans or not.  Lesson planning: Lesson plans are defined by Farrell (2002, p.31, as cited in To et al., 2008, p.33) as “systematic records of a teacher’s thoughts about what will be covered during a lesson.” Harmer (2001, p.308) has his own way of defining lesson planning which is “the art of combining a number of different elements into a coherent whole so that a lesson has an identity which students can recognize, work within and react to.” Definitions of lesson plan can differ from each other in terms of wording; however, they all share the same purposes. According to To et al. (2008, p.34), it helps teachers keep in their mind what they are about to teach in a lesson, therefore helping them feel more confident of their teaching process. Moreover, they can please their supervisor with a detailed plan of the lesson, showing that they are careful and responsible teachers. Another use of lesson plans is a guide for substitute teachers to take charge of the class. Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 37
    • Harmer (1998, p.122) suggests a written lesson plan should consider the four following questions:  Who are the students?  What do the teacher and students want to do?  How are the teacher and students going to do it?  What might go wrong and how can it be dealt with? These questions are presented in a real lesson plan in eight components which are class description, time allocation, objectives of the lesson, assumed knowledge of the students, anticipated problems, teaching aids, procedure and evaluation of the lesson (To et al., 2008, p.43).  Classroom management: This category contains a large number of techniques a teacher has to apply simultaneously in order to manage a class. Six groups are emphasized in ELT Methodology II course book, including:  Using visual aids  Giving corrective feedback  Eliciting techniques  Teaching large classes  Giving and checking  Motivating students instructions These six technique groups will be discussed respectively hereafter.  Using visual aids: Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 38
    • They are a kind of teaching aids that teacher use to present and help students practice new language. They are also used to motivate students and relieve anxiety, fear or boredom (To et al., 2008, p.4). According to Hubbard, Jones, Thornton and Wheeler (1983, p.105), blackboard is “the most useful of visual aids” without which many teachers may feel disadvantaged. In Dobbs’s words (2001, pp.3-10), the board should be not only the teaching aid but the learning aid as well. The lessons can also “be enlivened enormously” (Hubbard et al., p.113) with other visual aids like realia, flashcards, magazine pictures, and wall-charts. However, it should be noticed that visual aids only have positive effects on students when they are appropriately utilized. Gower, Phillips and Walters (1983, as cited in To et al., 2008, pp.8-9) provide some reminders when using visual aids: - They must be visible to everyone. - They must be interpreted in the way the teacher intends. - They can be referred to after the lesson.  Eliciting techniques: As defined by Scrivener (2005, p.98), eliciting means “drawing out information, language, ideas etc, from the students.” Eliciting is considered very useful because it allows teachers to know where the students are and start to work from that base. There are some advantages of eliciting that make it popular among language teachers. Some of them are mentioned by Doff (1988, as cited in To et al., 2008, p.12). Firstly, it involves the students by focusing their attention and provoking their thinking. Secondly, it encourages students to use what they Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 39
    • already know in order to acquire new knowledge. Also, it provides teachers with the opportunity to see students’ knowledge so that they can make adaptation to their lessons. Lastly, the combination of eliciting and direct presentation can make the lesson more comprehensible.  Giving and checking instructions: Instruction is characterized by Cohen, Manion, and Morrison (2004, p.171) as a didactic or teacher-controlled event in which the teacher is a fact teller and the students are always the listeners. From this definition, it can be seen that giving instructions is the privilege of the teachers only and the only thing the students have to do is to follow the instructions. However, the teacher “should not suppose that students have grasped the entire message” (To et al., 2008, p.16). In order to give a clear instruction, Scrivener (2005, pp.90-91) suggests teachers should follow these steps: - Be aware of their own instruction-giving, - Plan important instructions in advance, - Separate instructions clearly from other noises in class, - Demonstrate what students are to do rather than explain it, and - Check whether students have fully understood what they are to do. The last step - checking instructions is emphasized in the ELT Methodology II course book and therefore some techniques are provided for this step, including: “step-by-step”, “demonstrate it”, “say-do-check” approach and “student recall” (To et al., 2008, pp.17-18).  Giving corrective feedback: Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 40
    • In Communicative Approach, correction is seen as “a technique to get students to refine what they want to say” (Nguyen et al., as cited in To et al., 2008, p.19). Letting students do self-correction and looking at their mistakes in a positive way are the main features of giving corrective feedback in CLT. In this way, students will feel more encouraged and confident of their learning. Doff (1988, as cited in To et al., 2008, p.19) presents several techniques of giving corrective feedback during oral work and written work. The principles of correcting oral work are to focus on what students get right to praise them, to avoid humiliating their mistakes and to give students chances to correct themselves. For written work, it is suggested that only the most important errors should be corrected; the amount of written correction in the margin should be reduced and some mistakes should be indicated for students to do self-correction. In order to correct a mistake, Broughton, Brumfit, Flavell, Hill, and Picas (1980, pp.136-139) proposes a procedure of five steps: - Establishing what the error is, - Establishing possible sources of the error (i.e. why it happens), - Deciding how serious the error is, - Establishing the area of error, and - Doing the correction.  Teaching large classes: Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 41
    • Large classes are common in many countries, including Vietnam, especially in our secondary education when up to fifty students form a class. Although there is not any official definitions of a large class, Hubbard et al. (1983, p.303) suggests that a class of over 45 students would “demand special teaching techniques and would present the teacher with numerous problems.” In ELT Methodology II, To et al. (2008, pp.26-27) list out some pieces of advice for teacher of a large class such as using group work to increase learning, using group work to solve the problem of inadequate resources and establishing good class disciplines. Agreeing on these points, Hubbard et al. (1983, p.308) proposes another way which is using team teaching. It is said that two teachers working together can teach the lesson very effectively as they can share the teaching duties with each other.  Motivating students: Ellis (2000, p.75, as cited in To et al., 2008, p.28) defines motivation as “the attitudes and affective states that influence the degree of effort that learners make to learn an L2.” The motivations bringing students to study English can come from different sources. Harmer (2001, p.52) describes those sources in his work as follows. The first source is the society we live in, meaning that if the society considers learning English to be important, this could affect students’ attitude towards learning English. The second factor is the people who are familiar to the students. The attitude of their parents and siblings is a crucial factor to students’ interest in learning English. The teacher also plays an important role in motivating students to study. The very thoughts of appealing lessons given by an enthusiastic teacher could be a reasonable motivation to study English. The last source mentioned by Harmer is the Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 42
    • method used to teach and learn the language. If both teachers and students feel comfortable about the method, they are more likely to succeed in their class. To et al. (2008, p.28) give some suggestions to initiate and maintain motivations in classroom such as: - Allowing students to make decisions in their learning, - Paying attention to students as individuals, - Developing their belief in themselves, - Educating students to view learning as a “trial and error” process, - Creating a friendly and helpful learning environment, and - Giving informative feedback. All of the classroom management techniques above help teachers “create the conditions in which learning can take place” productively (Scrivener, 2005, p.79). They are used by teachers in every lesson, irrespective of what skills or components of language being taught. As can be seen so far, different experts and educational specialists have their own ideas about the necessary teaching skills to be practiced in microteaching. While other skills are examined in other teacher training programs, the skills provided in ELT Methodology II course book have not been officially investigated in terms of its applicability and effectiveness to teacher trainees in ED – HULIS, leaving a well-founded motive for the researcher to carry this study. Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 43
    • 2.2. Related studies: As microteaching has been applied in many teacher-training programs, there have been also a great number of studies related to this area of teacher education, some of which are given below in order to confirm the significance of this study. 2.2.1. Overseas studies:  Microteaching: Effective knowledge transfer for sustainable technology innovation (research by Overschie, M, Wayenburg, A., Vries, P. and Pujadas, M. - 2006) In this project, microteaching was used as a tool for training employees about new knowledge of sustainable technology. Although it was acknowledged that companies needed to provide their employees with the latest information about their working field, they could hardy find suitable time for this kind of knowledge transfer because of the rigid working hours of the employees. In this difficult case, Microteaching was a preferred choice as it helped save time for all people involved. Microteaching applied in this project was perceived as an activating approach focused on motivating feedback, joined by various learning styles and participants and taught in 15 to 30 minutes. After the observation of how this project worked, the authors came up with some major findings regarding the use of microteaching as follows: - Microteaching was flexible to apply thanks to the frequency, the time and the content. - The teaching sessions occurred in only 15 minutes, guaranteeing that it fitted into the work week of the employees. Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 44
    • - The preparation time for a 15 minute session should not be underestimated as it may take three hours of work. - A small class size helped to involve everyone in the lesson.  Studying pupil – teacher interaction (Geddes, M. & Raz, H. - 1979): In this article, two authors discussed the application of role-play in a microlesson. Initially, they confirmed that microteaching was artificial and expressed their fear that microteaching could turn teachers into an actor rather than interactor. Then they began to convince us by proposing an adaptation of this technique to make it much less “teacher-centered”. The procedure for their experiment which was carried out in Oranim (Israel) is as follows. Eighteen international students in their third year of a Bachelor of Education course who already practiced some microteaching were chosen to participate in the experiment. Two days before the microlesson, they were asked to design microlessons for grade-nine students. At the beginning of the microlesson, the researchers prepared eighteen different role cards for these students, asking them to perform those roles in the forthcoming microlesson. The role cards described eighteen typical types of students met in a grade-nine class. The result was better than what had been expected when the teacher trainees wanted to have one more microteaching session after they participated in the first one. After each lesson, the mock teacher and mock students were required to make comments, especially the mock students were to talk about their feelings from the viewpoint of their assigned roles. There are several interesting points to make: - First, the teacher needed to be flexible in their teaching to avoid many problems that could arise during the class. Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 45
    • - Second, by playing their roles attentively, the teacher trainees would have precious experience of what real students might feel in a class. - Third, practicing microteaching with people who knew each other well made the teacher trainees play their allotted roles “without so much self-consciousness.” These two studies partly prove the popularity of microteaching in all field of science, from teacher training to employee training. However, they consider microteaching as a means to discover about other issues, not the microteaching technique in itself. Therefore, they cannot answer the question of how successfully microteaching has been used in the teacher training contexts. 2.2.2. Vietnamese studies: In Vietnam, the number of studies in this area is very limited. According to what is available to the researcher, microteaching has also been investigated in the two following papers.  Using microteaching technique to improve effectiveness of teacher training - Sử dụng kỹ thuật dạy học vi mô nhằm nâng cao hiệu quả bồi dưỡng giáo viên (by Phung, N. T. – 2006) In the report, the researcher evaluated microteaching as a technique to furnish teachers with major teaching skills. Microteaching, therefore, is not a stereotype and is especially suitable for novice teachers. It can be inferred that the application of microteaching here is for in-service teachers who have completed their training programs but not yet mastered teaching techniques. What is right for in-service teachers may not be right for pre-service ones. Thus, the importance of microteaching to Vietnamese teacher trainees (pre- Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 46
    • service) still remains unknown, which propels the researcher towards conducting this research.  Applying microteaching technique in training pedagogical competencies for students of Geography Faculty – Hanoi University of Education - Vận dụng phương pháp dạy học vi mô trong rèn luyện năng lực sư phạm cho sinh viên khoa Địa lý - Trường ĐHSP Hà Nội (Ngo, T. H. Y – 2005) The study compensates for what the previous research has not completed as it examines the application of microteaching in pre-service teacher training. However, how microteaching is used in this context is much different from that in teaching English as a foreign language which requires a different approach from other mother tongue-use subjects. With these findings, it is believed that the research into the value of microteaching to fourth-year TEFL students in ED – HULIS will make a substantial contribution to the study of this useful technique. This chapter has presented the theoretical background of the research problem, briefly describing the definition, aims, major characteristics of and the debates around microteaching. Also, some related studies, conducted either overseas or domestically, are named or quoted with a view to laying the grounds for the development of this research. The next chapter reports the methodology employed to finds answers to the four research questions set in Chapter 1. Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 47
    • CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGY The following chapter describes in details how the data for the research were collected and analyzed. As this research aims to find out the value of microteaching sessions in reality from the viewpoints of fourth-year TEFL students, it employed both qualitative and quantitative approaches to data collection. Specifically, data were collected by means of classroom observations conducted by the researcher with the help of video taping and questionnaires issued to students. 3.1. Research questions: 1. What types of microteaching are used in the 4th-year ELTM course? 2. To what extent do the students apply the teaching techniques in ELTM II into their microteaching? 3. What are the common advantages and disadvantages of the practice of microteaching in terms of familiarizing students with real teaching experience as perceived by the students? 4. What changes should be made to improve the effectiveness of the microteaching sessions as suggested by the students? 3.2. Selection of subjects: As stated in Cohen, Manion and Morrison (2000, p.92), “the quality of a piece of research stands or falls by the suitability of the sampling strategy that has been adopted”, it is of great importance to decide on the key factors of sampling before conducting any kind of data collection. The very first factor to be considered was the sample size. From initial investigation, there are about 350 fourth-year students majoring in English teaching in ED – HULIS in the academic year of 2008-2009 who are equally Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 48
    • divided into 14 groups. As Bechhofer and Paterson (2000) stated “in order to find out characteristics of that whole population, it was not necessary to measure the whole population but a relatively small one [sample]”, the researcher chose to video-tape five classes and deliver questionnaires to 140 out of 350 students. This number of subjects guaranteed the representativeness of the whole population. The second factor to be taken account of was the sampling strategy. Stratified Random Sampling was found to be the most suitable one for the situation of the study. The key characteristic of this strategy is the equal and independent chance of being selected of each member of the population (Cohen, Manion & Morrison, 2000, p.100). Therefore, random sampling provides “a degree of generalizability” (Cohen et al., 2000, p.99) which substantially contributed to the precise findings of the study. The classes to be observed had to guarantee the diversity in the types of microteaching so that the dissimilarities of their characteristics could be looked into in the research. After some time studying the Microteaching sessions organized by a number of trainee teachers in the English Department, the researcher found out the differences among those Microteaching sessions (i.e. the time allocation and the number of mock teachers working in one Microteaching session). Afterwards, they were stratified into several groups according to their Microteaching structures. The researcher then made a random choice to attend the microteaching sessions of five classes which represented the above structures. Thus, to be more specific, the strategy exploited here is stratified random sampling which was divided into two steps, including: (1) dividing the whole population into discrete groups, (2) Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 49
    • randomly picking up samples within these groups (Cohen, Manion & Morrison, 2000, p.101). The groups are: - Four individual and 30-minute Microteaching sessions. - Two group and 45-minute Microteaching sessions (one group of 2 and one group of 3 mock teachers). - Two group and 45-minute Microteaching sessions (2 groups of 2 mock teachers). - Two group and 45-minute Microteaching sessions (2 groups of 3 mock teachers). With regards to the questionnaire survey, these handouts were delivered to 140 fourth-year TEFL students in ED – HULIS. The number of students to be surveyed in each class was equally ten who were chosen under the following procedure. After the number of students in each class was confirmed, the students who had the even numbers in the class list were asked to do the questionnaire. Under no circumstances did these numbers be changed so as to guarantee the rigour of the sampling as “tighter limits mean more reliable conclusions” (Bechhofer & Paterson, 2000, p.33). 3.3. Research instruments: As aforementioned, the data collection instruments used for this paper were classroom observations followed by questionnaire survey in order to seek qualitative and quantitative data respectively because they mutually facilitate each other in order to provide a comprehensive picture of the situation (Blaxter, Hughes & Tight, 2006, p.85). Following are the justifications for the researcher’s choice of the instruments. Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 50
    • 3.3.1. Classroom observation: According to Sanger (1996, p.3), “observation is brought on by the stimulus to be necessarily aware.” Thus, it is hoped to collect more in-depth information of the situation studied. Also, it “allows the study of a behavior at close range with many important contextual variables present” (Mackey & Gass, 2005, p.188). As the study focuses on the practice of Microteaching sessions of 4th-year students, classroom observation is supposed to give an objective and sufficient view of those teaching hours, increasing the precision of the research conclusion. Between the two popular ways of collecting data via observation, namely “participant-as-observer” and “observer-as-participant” (proposed by Gold, as cited in Bechhofer & Paterson, 2000, p. 92), the researcher carried out this observation in the second way. To be more specific, there was no participation of the researcher into the Microteaching sessions in those classes. The intervention of the observer’s presence in the teaching context, according to Bechhofer and Paterson (p.93), is not a big problem thanks to the fact that “after a while people come to ignore an observer, and the researcher will have very little impact on what happens.” In accordance with the involvement of the researcher in “watching, recording and analyzing events of interest” given by Blaxter, Hughes and Tight (2006, p.178), a camera and a checklist was exploited to help the researcher carry out the observation sessions. The camera was arranged in a convenient place so as to record the whole teaching process of the leaner teachers and simultaneously minimize the effects of the video taping on both the learner teachers and their mock students (their classmates). The checklist was for the researcher to check whether some given criteria were fulfilled by the learner teachers or not. Each Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 51
    • time they were observed, a note was taken against the criteria, which represent the “event sampling” way of collecting data by the method of structured observation (Cohen, Manion & Morrison, 2000, p.308). This so-called “predetermined framework” (Blaxter et al., 2006, p.178) was divided into three parts, namely the basic information of the microlessons, the time management and the application of the six groups of teaching techniques taught in ELTM II. Also, because the events happening in the class required great attention of the researcher, further notes were taken to record significant details of the sessions which might be skipped during the transcription of the video-tapes. 3.3.2. Survey Questionnaire: In this study, questionnaires were used to collect the data from the students. This choice is proved to be “one of the most widely used social research techniques” (Blaxter, Hughes, & Tight, 2006, p.179) for some following reasons. First, questionnaires help to collect a large quantity of data in a relatively short time as respondents only have to read the questions and tick responses or write in short answers (Wallace, 1998, p.124). Secondly, questions in a questionnaire are presented in a “very systematic way” (Wallace, p.124) so that the participants can understand and answer them easily. Also, using questionnaires is considered an economical way of collecting a large amount of information (Dornyei, 2003, p.9). With regard to the language used in the questionnaires, they were preferably kept in English as the students’ proficiency of English was high enough for them to well understand the questions in English. Moreover, there were some technical terms that would be hard to appropriately translate into Vietnamese. Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 52
    • The questionnaires included three groups of questions. The first group asked for factual information related to the real situation of the students’ class. The second aimed to seek students’ evaluation and opinion about the advantages and disadvantages of the microteaching sessions practiced in their classes. The last group was to ask about their suggestions to improve the situation. All of the questions were in the form of close-ended ones which only required the respondents to do multiple-choice, rating and quantity items, which enabled the researcher to “generate frequencies of response and make comparisons” among a great deal of respondents (Cohen, Manion & Morrison, 2000, p.207). Additionally, there were also some room for the participants to express their opinions and further discuss some issues related to the advantages and disadvantages of Microteaching thanks to the inclusion of some open-ended items. The effectiveness of open-ended questions are highly appreciated as they are likely to “contain the ‘gems’ of information” and “catch the authenticity, richness, depth of response” (Cohen et al., 2000, p.255). 3.4. Procedures of data collection: To make it easy for the researcher to carry out the study, the procedure of data collection was planned as follows: Phas Duration Activity e 1 3 weeks Prepare data collection instruments 2 2 weeks Conduct classroom observation Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 53
    • 3 1 week Issue questionnaires to students and receive the answered questionnaires back 4 2 weeks Transcribe video tapes Table 2 – Schedule for data collection • Phase 1 (3 weeks): This phase was the preparation for data collection instruments and lasted about 3 weeks, including designing questionnaire, classroom observation checklist and piloting these two instruments. The purpose of this piloting step is to “increase the reliability, validity and practicability” of the instruments (Oppenheim, 1992; Morrison, 1993; Wilson and McLean, 1994:47, as cited in Cohen, Manion & Morrison, 2000, p.260). • Phase 2 (2 weeks): This phase lasted 2 weeks which coincided with the last 2 weeks of microteaching in the ELTM II course. After asking for the consent of the teachers in charge of ELTM lessons of the chosen classes, the researcher observed microteaching sessions carried out in those classes. The description of each class is provided below: - Two individual and 30-minute Microteaching sessions with 16 mock students. - Two individual and 30-minute Microteaching sessions with 20 mock students. - Two group and 45-minute Microteaching sessions (one group of 2 and one group of 3 mock teachers) with 19 and 20 mock students in each lessons respectively. Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 54
    • - Two group and 45-minute Microteaching sessions (2 groups of 2 mock teachers) with 18 mock students. - Two group and 45-minute Microteaching sessions (2 groups of 3 mock teachers) with 21 mock students. The observer also introduced herself to the class so as to increase the learner teachers’ comfort during the sessions. As stated before, the camera was located in a safe place which was to decrease its effect on the class as much as possible. Among ten periods observed, 6 lasted 45 minutes and 4 lasted 30 minutes in accordance with the substitute teacher’s requirement. • Phase 3 (1 week): The questionnaires were issued to different 14 classes majoring in TEFL, which took the researcher about one week to finish. After a brief introduction of the study, the researcher delivered ten questionnaire papers for those who were chosen from the class lists. The respondents were also required to indicate their position in the class list in order to guarantee that the chosen samples truly reflected the random sampling procedure. Due to the fact that some students were absent from their lessons at the time the researcher conducted the survey, the number of returned questionnaires was 128 out of the target number 140 (91.43%). After synthesizing the data, some more questionnaires were disposed of because some had not been finished yet and some others were done by students with odd numbers in the class list. The final result was 122 adequate questionnaires (87.1%) to be analyzed later on. • Phase 4 (2 weeks): After all the observation sessions, the tapes were replayed and transcribed. The notes were rearranged in a more logical way for the researcher to recall the events better in the data analysis procedure. Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 55
    • 3.5. Procedures of data analysis: The data collected were both quantitative and qualitative ones as they could throw light on the insights of each other (Wallace, 1998, p.38) to help answer the four research questions set for the study. The framework for analysis of collected data, thus, is made up of these four themes. They are: 1. Types of microteaching applied in ELTM II course; 2. The application of teaching techniques in ELTM II into microteaching session; 3. The common advantages and disadvantages of practicing microteaching in the context of ED – HULIS; and 4. Suggestions to improve the effectiveness of microteaching sessions. As questions in the questionnaires were in the form of rating multiple choice and quantity items, it was essential to use the coding system to synthesize the results. After collected, the results were categorized according to the three groups of questions. All close-ended questions were statistically analyzed and presented in tables after being converted into a “numerical score” (Dornyei, 2003, p.98). They were then presented in the form of charts, tables and figures which were created by Excel program. The answers for open-ended questions were presented with the method of “content analysis” (Dornyei, p.116). The respondents’ answers were summarized and compared with each other when necessary. The same procedure was applied to the classroom checklists as the data were presented mostly in the form of manifestations noted down. Although the data Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 56
    • to be sought were qualitative, they could still lend themselves to the “routinized forms” of data analysis (Blaxter, Hughes & Tight, 2006, p.213). By doing so, the findings could become more accessible to the audience. Other notes which appeared to be more quantitative were also included to ensure a thorough analysis at the observed Microteaching sessions. This chapter has given a detailed description of the major research methods used in this study in order to collect representative data for the research, namely questionnaire survey delivered to fourth-year students majoring in TEFL and classroom observation conducted in randomly chosen microteaching sessions. Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 57
    • CHAPTER FOUR: RESULTS AND DISCUSSION The following chapter provides major findings of this research and includes detailed analysis of the situation based on the theoretical background provided in the previous chapters. The content of this chapter is presented in the form of answers to the four research questions respectively. The first section of this chapter contains the results of the questionnaires and class observation demonstrated by charts and tables. The second section is devoted to the discussion of the findings and organized by the order Situation – Advantages & Disadvantages – Solutions. In the last section named Implication, some suggestions will be provided by the researcher after taking all the pros and cons into consideration. 4.1. Presentation of results: 4.1.1. Types of microteaching applied in ELTM II course: As presented in the previous chapter, the types of microteaching vary correspondingly to the conditions in which microteaching is applied. In the context of HULIS – VNU, the researcher decided to investigate this question based on the number of group members who taught the microlesson together in one period which was supposed to differ as decided by different supervisors. The result is demonstrated in the tables and charts below. Duration Percentage 45 minutes 87.7% 30 minutes 16.3% Table 3 – Time allocation for ONE microlesson Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 58
    • TYPES OF MICROTEACHING 4.10% 22.13% Individual Pair 8.20% Group of 3 Group of 4 65.57% Figure 2 – Types of microteaching practiced in the 4th-year ELTM course It can be inferred from Table 3 that one microlesson often lasted from 30 to 45 minutes. Among 122 students asked, about 87% did their microlessons in 45 minutes and the others in 30 minutes. The time for each of them to become “a real teacher” depended on how many group members performed in one microlesson which is reflected in Figure 2. As can be seen above, more than 65% of the 4th-year students surveyed did microteaching practice in groups of three, which turned out to be the most common type of microteaching in ED – HULIS context. The next popular type of microteaching applied was individual practice, accounting for nearly one-fourth (22.13%) of the students asked. Group-of-four and pair microteaching appeared the least favored by ELTM supervisors, sharing the last 12.3% of the choices. 4.1.2. The application of teaching techniques in ELTM II into microteaching sessions: This question was answered with the help of two data collecting instruments that were questionnaire item numbers 3 and 4 and classroom observation. Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 59
    • The students’ overall evaluation: The very first point to be mentioned is the overall evaluation of students themselves about their own application of the classroom techniques provided in ELTM II. LEVEL OF APPLICATION OF CLASSROOM TECHNIQUES IN ELT II INTO MICROTEACHING 0% 5.74% 7.38% Very much Quite a lot 37.70% So so Not really 49.18% Not at all Figure 3 - Level of application of classroom techniques in ELTM II into microteaching According to students’ self-assessment, their application of classroom techniques in ELTM II was not very satisfactory. Up to nearly 50% of the students asked thought that their level of application was “so-so”, i.e. the extent to which they exploited these techniques was normal. The helpfulness of these theories to students’ performance was not highly appreciated. More than one-thirds of the students valued the exploitation of these techniques at a higher level. They thought that they exploited these techniques quite a lot in their microlessons. About 7% of students used the techniques provided very much, which meant that microteaching provided them with precious chances to practice the teaching techniques in classroom settings. Fortunately, only 5% of the students did not Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 60
    • really apply these techniques in their microteaching and none of them said that these techniques were not used in their classrooms. By applying these theories, the students’ reactions to the teaching situation changed as they were furnished with sufficient teaching techniques. Therefore, the next question was about students’ evaluation of how the theories of ELTM II helped teacher trainees prepare for their real teaching experience. The result is presented in the following chart. EFFECTIVENESS OF MICROTEACHING IN PREPARING STUDENTS FOR REAL TEACHING EXPERIENCE 77.87% 62.30% 51.64% 28.69% I feel more I react to I design the I allocate the confident before unexpected lesson plan time for each my students class problems more properly activity more more quickly appropriately Figure 4 – The effectiveness of microteaching in preparing students for real teaching experience The effectiveness of microteaching was evaluated by the students based on some benefits given by the researcher. The benefits provided in the questions replicated the major aims of microteaching as presented previously. The students were able to choose more than one of them. Among the given choices, lesson planning was the skill developed the most as assessed by the students in the survey with about three-fourths of them sharing the opinion that they designed the lesson plan more properly. More than 60% of the teacher trainees asked said that their confidence was increased before Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 61
    • their students with the help of microteaching practice. The third advantage was time allocation when more than half of the pre-service teachers agreed that they could divide time for different activities more appropriately. It could be inferred that these benefits were taught and exploited well in the microteaching practice in ELTM II course. However, the ability of reacting to unexpected problems was not developed much as only one-thirds of the students asked agreed on this point, suggesting that more theories and techniques should be taught about this skill. Another benefit shared by some students was that they could make more accurate evaluation of their own teaching and lessons. This finding suggested that microteaching developed not only the teaching skills but also the skill of self-assessment of the teacher trainees. Although this skill was named in the ELTM II course book, little theory was provided so as to help students evaluate their own performance other than the critique stage of the microteaching section. Thus, more information about self-assessment should be added to the current course book. Another significant comment was that microteaching helped the teacher trainees develop their time management skill as it provided them the opportunity to estimate and allocate time more efficiently by themselves. These above findings were concluded from the method of questionnaire survey only. That was what the students thought in theory. With the help of class observation method, the researcher had a chance to discover how the teacher trainees behaved in their real microlessons. In the following part, the exploitation of six groups of teaching techniques taught in the ELTM II course was investigated. The major results related to each technique are presented hereby. Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 62
    • Students’ exploitation of EFL teaching techniques: Using visual aids: In all of the ten observed lessons, teacher trainees used visual aids to support their teaching. The forms of visual aids exploited varied. In general, the popular aids were pictures, PowerPoint slides, wall charts and realia. However, the more the teacher trainees used other kinds of visual aids, the more they ignored the blackboards – the very handy visual aid they had. Most of the time, the blackboards were used to stick wall charts and pictures on them or as a draft for the teacher trainees to write their explanation when necessary. Well-organized blackboards were not observed in eight out of ten lessons the researcher attended. On the other two better organized blackboards, the shape of letter “H” as taught in the course book was also not followed. The handwriting on the board was not managed well and often looked as if the teachers had written it on impulse, not intentionally. Eliciting techniques: This was employed very effectively by the teacher trainees. They had tried their best to elicit from their mock students in various ways taught in the ELTM II course book. A typical example of the teacher trainees’ endeavour to exploit various eliciting techniques was seen in a speaking lesson when the teachers organized activities for students to talk about the topic “Festivals.” These excerpts below are taken from this lesson. When the lesson started, teacher A provided the students with a hangman game and some pictures to ask them about the topic of the lesson: Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 63
    • Now I would like all of you to guess the topic of the lesson today. I will give you the clue. The name of the topic today has 9 letters and in plural form. It means that the final letter is “s”, right? Ok. (pictures are shown on the screen). This is the picture which relates to the topic of our lesson. Now, look at it carefully, all right and guess the topic of the lesson today. Now, you just can guess. After that, teacher A helped the students guess new words of the lesson by initiating another game in which pictures and jumbled words were used. Following is an example of her eliciting when explaining new words to the students: Apricot blossom. Can you guess what it means? Hoa anh đào? It’s cherry blossom. What about this? This is apricot. (students say “Hoa mai”). Yes, very good. Apricot blossom has two colors, white and yellow. Yeah, group 3. Very good. It can be seen that the teacher did not provide the meaning of the word “apricot” herself but asked for help from the students. Certainly, there were some students who knew the answer and the help could be sought from them. After that, teacher A asked students to link different pictures and words with one another to find out the festival suggested by these hints. As can be seen, with the provision of stimulating teaching aids, the lesson went on more interestingly and the students felt more engaged in it as they could prove their knowledge of English when asked by the teacher. Can you think of any festival relate to the words here? Now, can you guess any festival by the activities, things like this. Lunar, apricot blossom, firework and lucky money. Which festival has these ones? (student says Tet holiday). Tet holiday, right. These are some examples from one microlesson only, which indicates that our teacher trainees did apply the theories of eliciting techniques quite well in their microteaching practice. Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 64
    • Giving and checking instructions: It was noted that whenever a task was given, its instruction was provided accordingly and the teacher trainees never forgot to do that. This seemed to be the technique done most frequently by the teacher trainees. However, they were sometimes abused as the teachers paid too much attention on giving instructions. The time spent on this part in an observed lesson lasted over five minutes, taking up the time which should have been devoted to the students’ activities. This is a typical instruction given by a teacher trainee in a microlesson (the excerpt was taken from a speaking lesson – topic of Cinema): Good morning students. And today we’ll continue with the unit 13. (T1 writes the title of the lesson on board). Firstly, I would like to give you a warm-up activity. I will divide our class into 3 groups. Three tables here will gather into group 1. This is group 2 and these tables will form group 3, right? And now, we will work in 3 groups, and then try to find out the answer for each line of the crossword. And after I have finished saying about the suggestions, each group will give the answer by raising your hands, have the right true answer. If it’s wrong, the other group will have the chance to answer. Each group have the correct answer will have 1 point. The winner has the highest point. Do you understand about our warm-up activity? This excerpt suggests that the instructions given by the teacher trainees were often wordy. The instruction was provided at once and concluded by a question like “do you understand?” or “are you clear?” Although it was praiseworthy that the teacher trainees always provided their expectations at the beginning of a task, it should be noted that the theories of giving and checking instructions in the ELTM II course book did not work well here. This finding was consolidated by the researcher’s observation that only two teacher Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 65
    • trainees did use the techniques provided in the course book to give and check instructions in the microlessons. Giving corrective feedback: The most striking finding about this point is that the teacher trainees tried to focus on what the students got right rather than emphasizing their mistakes, which tended to ease the students. The teacher trainees often followed the procedure of giving positive comments before negative ones. Together with their own comments, the teacher trainees also asked for comments from audience before giving their own. Two excerpts below can prove that point. I want to make some comments on the performance of the two. I must say that you have done a good job. You have been very creative. They asked about the double Decker which is not in the script. I think that it is an interesting point. Just pay attention that in the first part of the conversation, you said, “Hi, hi. Could you tell me about New York?” I think it is not a natural way of greeting. And T. (name of the student), try to be more confident and N. (name of the student), thank you for your creative idea but pay more attention to your grammar. So class, what do you think about your friends’ performance? (wait for some seconds). OK, if not, then I will give my comments. First of all, in terms of the language, it was very good of you to try to use the comparison structure. But T. (student’s name), try to pay attention to the ending sounds. And if you want to make an indirect question that is “Can you tell me?”, then you should make it “Can you tell me when London was crowded?” And H. (student’s name), try to speak more smoothly. Thank you. Another important point drawn out from these excerpts is that the teachers personalized their comments by calling students’ names in their feedback. On the one hand, it was good to help individual students know what each of them should pay attention to when speaking. On the other hand, this way of giving comments might hurt sensitive students who did not want to be criticized Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 66
    • directly by their teachers. Therefore, the teacher trainees are advised to get to know their students’ personalities before making any remarks in class. Teaching large class: Although the mock classes used for microteaching in our Department usually contained about 20 students, the teacher trainees also applied many techniques taught in the course book to monitor the classes more effectively. There were some outstanding points discovered through the process of classroom observation. Firstly, group teaching was a preferred model of microteaching in which the mock teachers could help each other in monitoring the classes and swap their roles to avoid boredom in the lesson. In one lesson that two teachers worked together, it was usual that when one teacher instructed the students, the other one delivered the handouts or wrote necessary information on the board. Another technique used to lessen the workload of the teachers in a large class was designing group work and pair work. It was noted that 95% of the activities required the students to work with their partners. By doing this, the teachers could move around to monitor the groups instead of paying attention to individuals in the class. The teachers also encouraged their students to work with their classmates, leaving no one alone in the group work environment like in this example: L., talk with your partner, will you? Don’t hesitate to talk with him, he’s your classmate. The boy sitting next to L., the boy, work with your partner. Don’t keep silent like that. L., OK, cooperate with our friend. (Move around). Work with your partner. Yet, a shortcoming discovered was that the teachers did not fully exploit the codes of conduct in their lessons. Most of the time, they attracted students’ attention by using words when they were too noisy. One example taken from a Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 67
    • speaking lesson about hobbies is given herein, “Are you done? (pause) Have you finished? (pause) Attention! (pause) You seem very enthusiastic. But can anyone report what you have discussed so far?” It can be seen from this example that verbal code of conduct sometimes did not work well in a noisy atmosphere. A reason for this poor practice was that the teachers and students were not unanimous in this matter beforehand. Thus, the students did not respond as expected by their mock teachers. Motivating students: This group of techniques also witnessed good application of the teacher trainees into their microlessons. All suggestions given in the ELTM II course book were exploited to the fullest. To begin with, the mock teachers always called their students by their names, making an impression that they paid due attention to each individual in the class. This can be explained by the fact that they were classmates who had studied with each other for nearly four years. Therefore, calling each other by names was not a difficult task for them. Giving feedback, as presented earlier, was also a strong point of the teacher trainees. Although their comments sometimes rather straightforward, they did try to give positive comments besides corrective ones. As observed by the researcher, a variety of compliments were made by the teacher trainees such as “very good”, “excellent”, “that’s wonderful”, and “please, give them a long round of applause”. Though this was practiced among fellow trainees, it did help them get acquainted with praising their students later on. The exploitation of games and challenging tasks was a striking feature of these microlessons. 80% of the class time was devoted to games and competitions (the remaining time was spent on presentation of new lessons and some Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 68
    • individual work). By this way, the mock students participated in the activities very enthusiastically and shy students also had chances to contribute to the group work. Creating a friendly learning environment was also successful. As the teacher trainees and the mock students were classmates, they helped each other feel comfortable to perform their roles. Positively noisy classes and pleasant teacher-student conversations were the common features of all the classes observed. The above findings suggest that although our teacher trainees did try to convert the theories they learnt into practice, there was still some room for improvement in their performance. Certainly, these students could realize what should be changed to facilitate the application of the teaching techniques taught into their microteaching practice. 4.1.3. The common advantages and disadvantages of practicing microteaching in the context of ED – HULIS: The common advantages: The common advantages of microteaching as specified in this research were drawn out from the reality of microteaching practice in ED – HULIS. Although it might not be correct in other contexts, these advantages could partly answer the question of how the mock-teaching conditions helped teacher trainees get acquainted with their future profession. Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 69
    • ADVANTAGES OF MICROTEACHING 3.8 3.713 3.7 3.574 3.6 students' evaluation 3.484 3.5 3.4 3.4 3.336 3.344 3.3 3.2 3.1 I teach mock Good students The mock I can organize I can use I teach a small students w ho help answ er students learn activities easily facilities in my number of are my friends difficult the lesson very thanks to the w ell-furnished students questions quickly desk-chair class arrangement advantages Figure 5 – Advantages of microteaching in familiarizing students with real teaching experience The advantages of practicing microteaching in ED – HULIS were categorized in two groups, in terms of mock students and classroom setting. As can be seen from the chart, the availability of teaching facilities in well-furnished class was considered the most advantageous feature of our microteaching practice. Within the scale of 5, this feature scored over 3.7, indicating that modern facilities like computer, cassette player and TV screen helped them quite a lot in their microlesson. The second advantage was related to the mock students (the fellow trainees who acted as high school students). Achieving approximately 3.6 out of 5, this advantage proved that thanks to the fellow trainees’ high proficiency in English, they were able to grasp the lesson content very quickly, helping to minimize the challenges posed to the mock teachers. The third convenience the teacher trainees had during their Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 70
    • microlessons was the fact that good mock students could help answer difficult questions raised by their friends. Evaluated just under 3.5 out of 5, this feature also proved that the help from the audience during a lesson was quite highly appreciated. The other three advantages in terms of the friendly fellow trainees, the desk-chair arrangement and the small number of mock students given in the questionnaires received the marks of 3.3-3.4 on the scale of 5, which indicated the average level of advantage attached to these features by the students asked. This question was also designed in the form of an open-ended one to dig deeper into the advantages that our teacher trainees could feel from what they experienced. Therefore, there were many mention-worthy conveniences discovered by these students in the survey. One of them was that microteaching sessions exposed them to real class problems as their friends played the role of genuine high school students. Secondly, as the microlessons were conducted among classmates, teacher trainees commented that they could get sincere comments on their performances and make remarks about their friends’ performance without fear of upsetting them. The common disadvantages: Like the advantages above, the common disadvantages were investigated with an attempt to draw a real picture of the difficulties and challenges that the teacher trainees encountered when they practiced their microteaching in ED – HULIS context. The disadvantages listed were based on either the common assumption made by preceding investigation into the issue or the reality witnessed by the researcher during her research process. They were divided into three groups, concerning the mock students, the classroom setting and the course design. Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 71
    • 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 1 2 3 4 5 Figure 6 – Disadvantages of microteaching in familiarizing students with real teaching experience 1. The mock students’ English proficiency are higher than that of real students 4.0574 2. The mock students participate in the lesson with unexpected mood 3.3033 3. The mock students pose difficult questions 3.1721 4. The classroom facilities are of higher quality than in reality 4.0574 5. The desks and chairs are arranged differently from in reality (in rows) 2.9098 6. The amount of time allowed for the lesson is less than in reality (1skill/period) 2.9836 7. The time allocation for microteaching sessions is inadequate 2.9262 8. The theories of ELTM II given are insufficient 2.5574 9. The practice of microteaching in ELTM II is mistimed 2.1557 Table 4 – Disadvantages of microteaching in familiarizing students with real teaching experience As demonstrated in the chart, the most problematic feature of microteaching in ED – HULIS (scoring more than 4 out of 5) was the fact that the facilities Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 72
    • equipped in the classroom were of higher quality than in reality (in high schools where the teacher trainees were supposed to do their teaching practicum). Also evaluated as giving the pre-service teacher “quite a lot” of trouble was the mock students’ high English proficiency level. Obviously, the mock students’ command of English was at the same level as the mock teachers, which proved quite different from reality where high school students’ English proficiency was at a much lower level. The second group of disadvantages sharing similar evaluation from our 4th- year students contained the following five features:  The mock students participate in the lesson with unexpected mood  The mock students pose difficult questions  The desks and chairs are arranged differently from in reality (in rows)  The amount of time allowed for the lesson is less than in reality (1skill/period)  The time allocation for microteaching sessions is inadequate Most of the students thought that these features were not big problems to them as the marks they gave for these statements ranged from 2.9 to 3.3. It can be inferred from these marks that the mock students’ mood and challenging questions, the desk-chair arrangement and especially the ELTM II course had nothing to do with the students’ complaints about the practice of microteaching if there were. This conclusion was strengthened by the next finding that is the lowest marks given in this question were for the ELTM II course (approximately 2.5 for the statement of insufficient theories and 2.1 for the complaint of mistimed microteaching practice). As this question was also designed as an open-ended one, there were some extra comments given by the teacher trainees on the disadvantages of Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 73
    • microteaching practice in our ELTM II course. The very first remark was that sometimes, mock students were even better than their mock teachers. Thus, what they performed in class turned out to be a play, which did not reflect the real teaching situation. Additionally, microteaching did not provide the teacher trainees with as many unexpected problems as they wished to have. The environment in which they taught the microlessons was so safe that they felt unprepared for their real profession. A more serious problem raised by some students was that microteaching was based too much on theory, not practice. The lack of genuine situations seemed to be the biggest concern to all pre-service teachers in our department. 4.1.4. Suggestions to improve the situation: The suggestions included in the questionnaire not only endeavoured to minimize the disadvantages found out in the research but also provided the students’ ideas about the type and duration of microteaching practiced in our ELTM course. The suggested type and duration of a microlesson: The suggestion of the suitable type of microteaching session in ED – HULIS context was based on the types currently exploited in different classes as described in the previous part. Among the proposed types, the students’ preferences are presented in the following chart. STUDENTS' PREFERENCE OF MICROTEACHING 1.64% 21.31% Individual Pair 55.74% Group of 3 Group of 4 21.31% Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 74
    • Figure 7 – Students’ suggestion of microteaching type The type that the teacher trainees liked the most was individual microteaching session. This type was chosen by more than half (55,74%) of the students surveyed. The major reasons given was that microteaching should be a chance for them to familiarize themselves with the real teaching situation in which they would be required to teach a class independently. About 20% of the students asked greed on pair microteaching and another 20% on group-of- three microteaching. The pre-service teachers who were in favor of these choices argued that microteaching was a chance to practice. Hence, they should work with other people so as to gradually build up their self-confidence and cooperate with each other to generate more ideas for their teaching and reduce the individual’s workload. Microteaching in groups of four was the least favoured type of microteaching. Only 2 out of 122 4th-year students surveyed liked this way of working, as four members in a group seemed too many. Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 75
    • TIME ALLOCATION FOR MICROTEACHING SUGGESTED BY STUDENTS 6.56% 3.28% 9.83% 5-10 minutes 10-20 mintues 30-45 minutes others 74.59% Figure 8 – Suggested time allocation for a microlesson The time allocation suggested was agreed upon by a large percentage of students. Up to three-fourths of the pre-service teachers asked shared the idea that a microlesson should last 30-45 minutes, which was similar to a real lesson at high school. Another 10% wanted to teach their microlessons in 5 to 20 minutes and perform it individually. The category of “others”, interestingly, only referred to a 45-minute lesson, which replicated a real teaching period. Moreover, it was explained that teachers should be given time to solve unexpected problems and reteach necessary language points. Suggested solutions to improve the effectiveness of microteaching: The solutions in the questionnaires were based on the disadvantages in the previous part. The students were allowed to choose more than one solutions given and give their own idea about how to improve the situation. The students’ ideas are demonstrated in this chart. Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 76
    • 9 8 7 Suggestions 6 5 4 3 2 1 0.00% 20.00% 40.00% 60.00% 80.00% Percentage of students agreeing Figure 9 – Students’ suggestions to improve the effectiveness of microteaching 1. Classmates should be strictly assigned the roles of mock students in class 54.10% 2. Classmates should be replaced by students of low-proficiency 45.08% 3. Classmates should totally obey the mock teachers 22.95% 4. The use of modern facilities should be limited 31.97% 5. The number of mock students should be the same as a real class 70.49% 6. The number of mock students should be smaller than a real class 11.48% 7. The time for microteaching practice should be increased 43.44% 8. Microteaching should be implemented sooner (in ELTM I) 34.43% 9. More theories of teaching skills should be provided in ELTM II 41.80% Table 5 – Students’ suggestions to improve the effectiveness of microteaching It can be seen from the chart that the best solution as suggested by the teacher trainees was that the number of mock students should simulate a real class. Up to 70% of the students chose it as a useful way to improve the effectiveness of microteaching in terms of preparing students for their real teaching practice. The next best solution chosen was the assigned roles of the mock students in Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 77
    • class. About 55% of them thought this solution would work. This corresponded to the biggest disadvantage pointed out by the students that was the mock students’ English proficiency was so high that sometimes they forgot to perform the role of incompetent language users. That reasonably led to another suggestions proposed by 45% of the students surveyed. They thought that students of low-proficiency should be used in their microlessons instead of their fellow trainees who sometimes “were better English users than the mock teachers themselves” as commented by a respondent. The next two suggestions agreed upon by more than 40% of the students were that there should be more time given to microteaching practice and more theories of teaching skills ought to be provided in the ELTM II course book. This fact implied that our students were still in need of both theoretical and practical instructions to become confident teachers in the future. Other suggestions guided by the researcher were not considered helpful enough in the respondents’ opinions. On the other hand, they also provided several precious suggestions to improve the situation. One of them was that the requirement for microteaching task should be made more specific at the beginning of the course. Besides, more classroom activities and games should be introduced in the course book so that the teacher trainees could exploit them when designing their microlessons. The last common idea was that each student should be given more than one chance per semester to practice microteaching to get familiar to the teaching context. Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 78
    • 4.2. Discussion of results: What has been presented above suggests some major discoveries about the exploitation of microteaching from the perspectives of or 4th-year students. While the previous part provides the basic view of the circumstances, this section will discuss these findings in details in comparison with the theoretical background of microteaching and the findings of other studies on this issue. 4.2.1. The situation: This part will answer the two first research questions. Each section below is to answer these two questions respectively. Research question 1: What types of microteaching are used in the 4th-year ELTM curriculum? Research question 2: To what extent do the students apply the teaching techniques in ELTM II into their teaching? Types of microteaching used in ELTM curriculum: Firstly, although microteaching was included in the course of ELTM II as a tool for teacher trainees to practice teaching, it is clear that there was a lack of time devoted to this practice. While according to Wallace (1991, p.92), the suggested time for each trainee is 5-10 minutes to teach a single concept of the lesson, the reality is that they were often grouped together to save time and effort. In the context of ED – HULIS, the students were often grouped together to teach a complete 45-minute lesson due to the fact that there were only 5 weeks for students to accomplish the microteaching part in their ELTM II course. Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 79
    • As can be seen in the previous part, the major types of microteaching practiced in the ELTM II course were the group-of-three and individual ones. The most common type of microteaching was group-of-three one. This finding is similar to what is proposed by Beattie and Teather (1971, as cited in Wallace, 1979, p.58) that is a complete lesson (30-45 minutes) is divided into several sub-sections, each of which is taught by an individual teacher trainee. In this way, the two advantages of this microteaching variant could be combined. Firstly, it helped reduce the workload for each teacher trainee as they had to microteach only once in the course. Moreover, each teacher trainee was in charge of the class for about 10-15 minutes, which not only replicated the ideal microteaching standard (5 – 10 minutes/1 microlesson) to some extent but also ensured the ELTM course worked well within its limited time allocation. The second popular type was individual practice. For the supervisor who chose to require individual students to perform 45-minute microlessons, this could be explained by the lack of chances teacher trainees had to practice teaching. Usually, teacher trainees in ED – HULIS had two chances to practice teaching before doing their teaching practicum at high schools. Therefore, each chance was so precious that it was devoted to duplicating a real teaching 45-minute lesson instead of a single lesson’s fragment, aiming at familiarizing teacher trainees with the situation. In short, there were two common types of microteaching practiced in the ELTM II course as discussed above. The reasons behind these choices were mainly the lack of time for practicing. As these students are trained to become teachers of English in future, they should be given more chances to teach in a Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 80
    • friendly environment before having to struggle by themselves in their teaching practicum, which is similar to the suggestions by Ananthakrishnan (1993). Besides the modifications analyzed above, when compared with several variants of microteaching presented in the Literature Review chapter, the application of microteaching in ED – HULIS bore some resemblance to them. Firstly, there was no reteach stage observed in the microlessons. While the teachers mentioned in Wallace (1979, p.58) had at least one day to prepare for their reteach stage, the teacher trainees in ED – HULIS did not have chances to do their microlessons again. What was to blame for was the constraint of time, which did not allow teacher trainees to perform their lessons again after listening to comments and correcting their work. The second modification found in ELTM II microteaching was the increased class size. Normally, there are about four or five students in a microteaching groups; however, in some areas where time and teaching facilities do not support, teacher trainees often have to teach a big class in their microlessons (Allen & Wang, 2002, p.1622). The same application happened in our ELTM II course. From the class observation, it can be concluded that the teacher trainees managed a class of about twenty mock students in their microlessons. Although this situation exposed the teacher trainees to a tougher task, the good point was that these students could get used to the real classroom organization from an early stage in their teacher training course. Another typical change made to the standard microteaching was the exclusion of video-taping in microteaching sessions. It seemed to be a disadvantage to students when they were not able to watch their performance again, this was proved by Moore (1979, p.65) that this shortage did not affect much the training results although the presence of such modern technology was highly appreciated. Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 81
    • Among the three new concepts of microteaching mentioned by Allen and Wang (2002, p.1621), two were popular in the context of ED – HULIS which were the peer supervision and an adaptation of the 2+2 protocol. After each microlessons, the teacher trainees were to listen to the comments not only from the supervisors but from their fellow trainees also. More importantly, they were given chances to evaluate their own performance and justify what they had done (i.e. they could accept or reject their peers’ comments). Additionally, the 2+2 protocol was flexibly modified when the fellow trainees were required to give constructive comments which consisted of both criticisms and compliments, helping the teacher trainees realize their shortcomings but still feel motivated with their microteaching practice. It can be inferred that all variants of microteaching has been applied into the ELTM II microteaching in ED – HULIS. Due to the fact that there was a lack of time, the necessity of familiarizing students with high-school teaching conditions and high-tech facilities to record the microlessons, these variants have helped increase the applicability of microteaching in this context. The following part will discuss in more details the application of ELTM II classroom techniques into microteaching as evaluated by the 4th-year students and through the exploitation of classroom observation. Students’ application of the ELT teaching techniques into microteaching: From the questionnaires, it can be seen that from students’ perspectives, their application of these techniques was not satisfactory and some solutions should be done so that their evaluation will be better. However, from what was observed in the ten microlessons, a brighter picture could be viewed. Most of the techniques were applied quite well although there were still some others needed to be practiced more. Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 82
    • Although lesson planning was not evaluated through class observation, a clear conclusion could be made that most of the teacher trainees endeavored to accomplish the lesson within the time limit. However, one out of ten lessons was not finished punctually and another saw an imbalanced time distribution among members of the “mock” teachers’ group, which meant the lesson plan was not followed properly. This skill is viewed as “an art of combining different elements into […] a lesson (Harmer,2001, p.308); hence, once the teachers failed to do it, they could not become artistic teachers. Thus, more attention should be made to train our students to better realize the lesson plans instead of having a well-designed one but then failing to accomplish it. With regard to the use of visual aids, the most outstanding finding was related to the board. In Hubbard et al.’s words (1983, p.105), it is “the most useful of visual aids” without which many teachers may feel disadvantaged but in the real application of microteaching in ED – HULIS context, the exploitation of the board was poor. If the teacher trainees wanted to have successful teaching practicum or teaching career, they should have been more engrossed in learning how to use the board appropriately. Among the well-applied techniques were eliciting techniques and motivating students. As eliciting technique could be realized in many ways from organizing games and activities to raising direct questions, the teacher trainees did use them frequently in their microlessons. In terms of motivating students, the advantage of knowing each other quite well before participating in the microlessons played an important role in the success of the teacher trainees to create a friendly learning atmosphere, give informative feedback without fearing to hurt the “mock” students and show their care to individual students (by calling their names, keeping an eye on every learner) as what is suggested in To et al. (2008, p.28). Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 83
    • As aforementioned, the technique of giving feedback is praiseworthy but that of checking feedback should be improved. The three ways of checking instructions provided in the ELTM II course book, including “step-by-step” approach, “demonstrate it” approach, “say-do-check” approach and “student recall” approach (To et al., 2008, pp.17-18) should be more emphasized. It is suggested that in the module where these theories are provided, a certain amount of time should be spent on giving the students chances to practice them. By this way, they can not only remember them but also bear in mind the importance of checking instructions as the teacher “should not suppose that students have grasped the entire message” (To et al., p.16). Giving corrective feedback can be viewed as a well-practiced technique in the microteaching sessions. Well aware of the CLT approach, the teacher trainees tried to include positive comments in their correction as suggested by Doff (1988, as cited in To et al., 2008, p.19). However, instead of giving positive comments before negative comments (i.e. separating the two sides of the feedback), they should follow the sandwich-layer procedure in which positive and negative comments take turns to be provided. This will reduce the demotivating effect of the lastly presented comments. Moreover, the personalization of the comments should also be avoided as it may discourage some sensitive students as they might not like being criticized publicly. The last technique to be mentioned is teaching large class. The fact that many activities and group works were created by the teacher trainees did not justify their poor exploitation of codes of conduct which were among some tips proposed by To et al. (2008, pp.26-27). As found out previously, their popular way of managing large class was made orally, which turned to be ineffective in a noisy classroom atmosphere. In these situations, beforehand agreed codes Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 84
    • of conduct might me more helpful and therefore save the teacher trainees more time of the lesson. 4.2.2. Advantages and disadvantages: An overview of how microteaching and the teaching techniques in ELTM II were applied in the context of ED – HULIS suggests that we should look at the issue from both positive and negative sides to see what has been achieved and what has not. In the following part, the advantages and disadvantages of the practice of microteaching are analyzed and related to the theoretical background and other studies in this field. Research question 3: What are the common advantages and disadvantages of the practice of microteaching in terms of familiarizing students with real teaching experience as perceived by the students? Advantages: With regard to the advantages of microteaching in the specific context of ED – HULIS, there are several significant findings when compared what was perceived by our 4th-year students with the current theoretical background of this problem. The first advantage mentioned by the students was the high-tech facilities they could take advantage of when conducting their microlessons. Although the lack of facilities caused the exclusion of video-taping in microteaching in our ELTM II course (as mentioned in the previous part), other kinds of ICT (information communication technology) such as computer, projector and cassette player were available in all classroom where the microlessons took place. Therefore, our teacher trainees found it easy to enliven the classroom atmosphere by using these facilities in the lessons, which was considered to be beneficial. This finding, to some extent, coincided with the implication made Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 85
    • by Moore (1979, p.65) that teacher trainees highly appreciated trying modern technologies in their classes. The next three biggest advantages realized by the teacher trainees were in terms of the mock students. It can be said that being able to practice microteaching with fellow trainees was a big advantage to these students. This point strongly proved the major aim of microteaching practice that is to greatly reduce “the need to face […] students, some of whom are hostile temperamentally” (Ananthakrishnan, 1993). Friendly learning atmosphere was created with the presence of classmates other than strangers. If the mock students had been replaced by real high school students, the situation may have been tougher to the teacher trainees. Besides, mock students with good command of English also contributed greatly to the success of their microlessons as it did not take the teachers much time to explain the subject matter to their students. In some other lessons, when difficult students posed questions, the teacher trainees had to ask for help from their mock students whose answers might help save the teachers’ face, which differed from the reality when they often faced the challenge alone. That finding could explain one of the new concepts of microteaching recommended by Allen and Wang (2002, p. 1821) which was the “self-study group” (i.e. the teacher trainees take turns to act as the mock teachers and mock learners). In contrast to these positive points concerning the mock teachers, the feature of “teaching a small number of students” was the least advantageous of all choices, suggesting that the teacher trainees did not highly appreciate this. This fact seemed to contradict Allen and Wang’s proposal of a limited number of students in a micro-class (often from 4-5 students). The explanation for this dissimilarity might be the students’ practical thought as they bore in mind that a larger Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 86
    • number of students would provide them with better simulation of a high school class. Disadvantages: The disadvantages as perceived by the teacher trainees in this study were in marked contrast with the advantages provided earlier. First of all, the high-tech facilities, though highly evaluated as the biggest advantage, now became the biggest disadvantage of all. As a matter of fact, having electronic facilities available to better their microlessons to many teacher trainees was a good point. Yet, to look on the other side, what they were provided in the microteaching practice was far different from what they were exposed to in a high school. It is undeniable that high schools in Vietnam can hardly furnish every classroom with ICT devices. Therefore, once the teacher trainees got acquainted with the exploitation of high technologies in the microlessons, they tended to ignore other sources of teaching aids which were widely used at high schools such as blackboards, wall charts and so on. The second contradictory finding was about the mock students’ high English proficiency. On the one hand, as mentioned in the part of advantages, teaching students with good command of English could reduce the teachers’ effort to explain new subject matters. Moreover, they could help answer difficult questions. On the other hand, these advantages would rarely happen in real teaching periods at high schools. It is usual that high school students now can hardly grasp all information provided by the teachers, requiring the teachers to elaborate on the point again, not to mention the precious help the teachers could count on from them. In addition, when the mock students turned out to be better English users than their mock teachers, they acted in the lessons as if Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 87
    • they had been participating in a play and did not consider the microlessons to be serious, which caused negative impacts on the quality of the microlessons. Another disadvantage of practicing microteaching in the context of ED – HULIS was the safe teaching environment that microteaching session gave them. The teacher trainees often expected more challenging and unexpected situations to happen in the class so that they could learn to solve them effectively. However, they could hardly have chance to do that as the lessons went smoothly most of the time as observed by the researcher. This finding, once again, disagreed with the advantage of “teaching mock students as their friends” discussed above. A safe teaching environment could guarantee them good mark for their microteaching assignment but concurrently could not sufficiently prepare them for their future teaching. From what has been presented in this part, it is clear that what can be viewed as big advantages could be considered big disadvantages if looked from another angle. In this case, a clear-cut distinction should be made between microteaching as an assignment and microteaching as a preparation opportunity. If microteaching was viewed in the first way, it did provide the teacher trainees with perfect conditions to complete their assignments. Yet, if it was viewed in the second way, the students expected something more similar to the situations they were expected to practice in (high schools). What the teacher trainees were worried about is also similar to the debates around microteaching presented by Wallace (1979, p.57). A safe environment was unable to sharpen the teaching skill of the mock teachers. Fellow students did not pose mock teacher to “other factors of classroom management”. Microteaching as a “role play” (Geddess & Raz, 1979, p.63) can either give Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 88
    • the mock teachers more power to monitor the class or reduce their mock students’ engagement in the lesson. Thus, there should be a more balanced view about this issue so that the students would be able not only to get good study results but also better familiarize themselves to the real teaching practice in the future. It should also be noted that the students should have more knowledge about the subject matter of microteaching because only when they understand it thoroughly, they will understand why they were practicing microteaching in the way they were in a safe environment and with the availability of modern teaching aids. 4.2.3. Suggested solutions: From the current situation and the pros and cons of microteaching practice in the context of ED – HULIS, the students also proposed several suggestions with a view to better this useful technique. The following part which aims to answer research question 4 consists of two sub-sections, one focusing on the preferred types of microteaching and the other on the recommendations to improve its effectiveness in preparing teacher trainees for their real teaching practice. Research question 4: What changes should be made to improve the effectiveness of the microteaching sessions as suggested by the students? Preferred types of microteaching: There were two favorable types of microteaching as revealed by the teacher trainees, the first one was individual microteaching and the second one was group-of-three microteaching. In fact, their diverse choices were primarily based on their perception of the nature of microteaching. Most of them thought of microteaching as teaching practice, expecting it to be a replica of a Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 89
    • real teaching period. That could partly explain for their choice of individual 45-minute microlesson. There are a variety of microteaching types to choose from but our students were in favour of the individual one because they thought that a microlesson should replicate a real one. Additionally, suggested time for a microlesson did not witness so many differences in the choices as about 75% of the participants agreed on 30 to 45-minute lessons. It could be inferred that the teacher trainees were very practical. They showed their preference not only for individual microteaching but for a real teaching period also. Suggestions to improve the effectiveness of microteaching sessions: With regard to the recommendations to improve the situation, the very first one to be mentioned in this research is the number of the students. The teacher trainees liked it to be the same as a real one although the standard type of microteaching only suggested four to five members in a microteaching group (Allen & Wang, 2002, p.1622). This finding helps consolidate the practicality of the teacher trainees who wanted to “swim at the deeper end of the pool immediately rather than practicing at the shallower and less risky side” first (Ananthakrishnan, 1993). The lack of theoretical background can be, to a certain extent, to blame for this risk-taking decision. The suggestions of pre-assigned roles for mock students and the replacement of low-proficient students bore a resemblance to what was done by Geddes and Raz (1979). The two authors tried a model of role play in a microteaching program in Israel and the results looked optimistic. In this study, there were eighteen roles which were assigned for each student before the class which they had to stick to during the microlessons. As a result, they could not only have the true feeling of such kinds of students but also give more constructive Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 90
    • comments on the mock teachers’ behaviors during class time. The same procedure is strongly recommended in the circumstance of ED – HULIS as the mock students sometimes forgot their roles and did not take the microlessons serious. Some of the suggested roles for students in the lessons listed by Geddes and Raz (1979, p.61) were: - A student of average ability who does not like English - A student who is cooperative but rather slow - A good student who is quiet and never volunteer - A very shy student who is always afraid of giving wrong answer - A slow learner who tries hard when encouraged by the teacher These aforementioned roles could be well applied in the context of ED – HULIS if they were modified appropriately. The third group of widely chosen suggestions was for the course. The teaching theories as evaluated by the students were not enough for them to carry out a real lesson, so they needed more background knowledge. In the ELTM II course, there were four modules to be dealt with, namely lesson planning, classroom management, teaching the “What” and teaching the “How”. This could be considered a large quantity of knowledge; however, if the students wanted, there were still some other teaching techniques to be included. A suggested addition can be based on Ananthakrishnan’s skills to be practiced in microteaching (1993) which are lesson planning, induction setting, presentation, stimulus variation, proper use of audio-visual aids, reinforcement, questioning, silence-body language and closure. Increased practice time for microteaching is also recommended by many students. In fact, the ELTM course in general and the ELTM II one in Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 91
    • particular at the present are already heavy. Therefore, it would be hard to find more time to devote to this kind of practice. However, there can be some alternatives to solve the problem of the limited time which will be mentioned in the following part. 4.3. Implication: Besides the precious recommendations from the students, the researcher would like to propose some suggestions so as to increase the feasibility of the students’ solutions and provide more alternatives which are likely to be chosen to improve the application of microteaching. Regarding the preferred types of microteaching chosen by the teacher trainees in the survey, it can be seen that each choice was justified by reasonable arguments. They showed their preference not only for individual microteaching but for a real teaching period also. What they expected from microteaching was helping them getting acquainted with real teaching situation. Those arguments seemed to reflect their understanding about microteaching with little application of theoretical background. Thus, the researcher would like to propose a solution to make microteaching become more effective that is to provide the teacher trainees with the knowledge of microteaching. If they are provided with the definition and some basic variants of microteaching, they can make a more reasonable and suitable choice for their own situation as the stereotype of microteaching could hardly persist in their minds. Another proposal is that the students should decide on their own what type of microteaching they will practice. From the questionnaire, it can be seen that some students liked individual practice but some preferred working in groups. Thus, if they are given the chance to make choices, they may feel more confident and comfortable to prepare and perform Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 92
    • their microlessons. These above two suggestions not only work well with the result of preferred types of microteaching but also match with that of the advantages and disadvantages of microteaching. Once the students are furnished with sufficient theories, there will be little likelihood that they perceive a certain feature of microteaching as both a positive and negative point as what has been happening in this study. Secondly, the discussion of the application of the teaching techniques into microteaching sessions brings home the idea that more practice should be made either in class time or not to make sure that our teacher trainees are able to master them before doing their teaching practicum or applying for a teaching post in the future. Moreover, when the teacher trainees begin the microteaching session, they should be required to state clearly the names of the teaching techniques they will perform in the lessons. By this way, the teacher trainees can become more aware of their duty to fulfill the task and simultaneously, the supervisors and fellow trainees also can pay more attention to those techniques to give focused comments after the lessons. Another important suggestion is the pre-assignment of students’ roles in the microlessons. In addition to those mentioned previously, there were many other interesting roles that could be applied in the microteaching program in ED – HULIS. Certainly, some adaptations should be made to make it work properly in this context such as: - The number of roles can be reduced to limit the complexity of assigning role task, - The mock teachers are given time to find suitable teaching strategies before conducting the microlessons with these mock students, Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 93
    • - The mock students must comply with their roles irrespective of their liking or preference (i.e. the roles they perform may be different from their personality). Thirdly, to solve the difficulty of limited time allocation for microteaching, there can be some choices to choose from. Firstly, the students can create the “self-study” groups on their own without the monitoring of the supervisor. By “peer comments”, they can help each other to improve their teaching skills. Also, in the critique stage, they can apply the 2+2 protocol. After the procedure is done, they can submit the report on their performance (and the video of the microlessons if possible) to the supervisors for comments. By this way, all the three new concepts of microteaching (Allen and Wang, 2002, p.1621) are able to be exploited effectively. The authorities no longer have to adapt the microteaching schedule and the students still have more chances to practice. Another suggestion, though not chosen by many teacher trainees, can still be taken into consideration that is to include microteaching right in ELTM I syllabus. Each microteaching session may last from 15 to 20 minutes in which the students are required to realize the language teaching approaches or methods presented in the course book. There would be two advantages of this practice. Firstly, the students are able to have more understanding of the theoretical background of English Language Teaching in general (which tends to be forgotten later on) so that the knowledge can be embedded in their minds for future use. Secondly, microteaching can be put into practice sooner than it was now. Thus, the students will have more opportunities to practice teaching and get used to the teaching profession sooner in their training course. Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 94
    • In conclusion, this chapter presents an important part of this study, including the presentation and the analysis of the study results which are aimed to answer the four research questions. Hopefully, this section, to some extent, can help improve the application of microteaching in the ELTM II course. Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 95
    • CHAPTER FIVE: CONCLUSION This final chapter is to summarize several major findings of this research and state its shortcomings so that other research in this area can minimize them. Also, some suggestions are given to help other researchers with similar interest to conduct further investigation into the same subject matter. 5.1. Summary of findings: The significant findings of this research concern the current application of microteaching in the ELTM II course in the TEFL course of ED – HULIS, the main advantages and disadvantages of this exploitation and some suggestions to improve the effectiveness of this technique to the teacher trainees’ preparation for their future teaching practice. 5.1.1. The situation: The application of microteaching in ELTM II witnessed a large number of microteaching variants which have been exploited throughout the world. Mostly due to the time constraint and the lack of facilities, microteaching was simplified so as to fit the situation and simultaneously help prepare the teacher trainees for their teaching job. Some adjustments made were: - Group and individual microteaching for one complete 45-minute teaching period, - Increased class size for microlessons, - The elimination of the reteach stage, - Microteaching without videotaping, - The three new concepts of microteaching: self-study group (teachers trainees took turns to be mock teachers and mock learners), peer supervision and the 2+2 protocol. Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 96
    • Regardless of the extent to which they were applied, all of the above adaptations were witnessed during the practice of microteaching in the ELTM II course in either prevailing form, group-of-three or individual microteaching. With regard to the application of the teaching techniques taught in ELTM II into microteaching, there are some key points as follows. In general, on being asked, the teacher trainees found their exploitation of these techniques not satisfactorily effective. However, when they actually performed the lessons, they did endeavor to include as many techniques as possible to perfect their lessons. Although there was still some room for improvement, it should be noted that what they did was really praiseworthy. Some techniques which required more practice could be: - Using blackboard, - Checking instructions, - Managing time, - Using codes of conduct 5.1.2. Advantages and disadvantages: It is interesting to find out that the advantages and disadvantages now and then coincided with each other. What was considered an advantage turned out to be a disadvantage at the same time. For example, the use of fellow trainees as mock students brought a safe teaching environment which was evaluated as an advantage of helping the teacher trainees feel more confident to perform the lessons. However, from the opposite viewpoint, this could be a big disadvantage as it was not challenging enough for the teacher trainees to practice their teaching techniques. Another illustration was the students’ conception of the available teaching facilities which were both greatly advantageous and disadvantageous. By “advantageous”, they meant that the facilities helped liven up the Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 97
    • microlessons, attracting more attention from the mock learners. Yet, by “disadvantageous”, they suggested that those facilities could hardly be handy at their real teaching institution – high schools (i.e. microteaching was not a good simulation to prepare them for the real situation). This disadvantage worried them in the sense that they might use the available facilities in their micro-classroom now but might fail to exploit the simple teaching aids at the high schools later on. This is two sides of a coin which could only be solved when a balanced exploitation of high-tech and traditional teaching facilities were taken into account by the authority. 5.1.3. Solutions: The favored types of microteaching were individual and group-of-three ones, which was slightly similar to what was applied in the current microteaching program. The only difference was that individual one was more favored than group-of-three one, which could be explained by the teacher trainees’ ideas that the more the microlessons replicated the real lessons at high school, the better they could get prepared for their future career. From this finding, the researcher comes up with a suggestion that is to provide some basic theoretical background of microteaching for the 4th-year students so that they are furnished with the essential knowledge of this technique, helping them to make wiser choice of the appropriate type of microteaching. In addition, they should be allowed to decide which types of microteaching will be practiced so as to increase their engagement in the microlessons. Regarding the microteaching program itself, the solutions were not only given by the 4th-year students but by the researcher as well. Most of the students asked suggested that the ELTM II course book should contain more theories of teaching techniques, class activities and games. The second important Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 98
    • recommendation was the increased practice time for microteaching in various ways such as self-study group without the presence of supervisors and the inclusion of microteaching in ELTM I course. The last important point is that the mock students in microteaching sessions should be assigned with certain roles to perform in the lessons to avoid the fact that some microlessons turned out to be a play which was not taken serious by the participants. The pre-assigned roles could serve three purposes: (1) to increase the students’ engagement in the lessons, (2) to raise the mock teacher’s awareness of the role-assigned students’ feelings, and (3) to improve the helpfulness of the critique stage when the mock students could express their feelings about how they were treated by the mock teacher. 5.2. Limitations of the study: First of all, it should be noted that this study was carried out within the scope of ED – HULIS only. What was true for 4th-year students in this context might not be true for other subjects in different contexts of research. The results may be different in terms of the types of microteaching, its advantages and disadvantages which tend to depend on the perception of the students, the available facilities and design of the ELTM course. Moreover, although the number of students surveyed in this research and the method of collecting data can be considered to be sufficient to guarantee the representativeness of the subjects, stricter control of the methodology should have been applied more strictly as of the 140 questionnaires issued, only 122 were returned. Secondly, due to the time limit and the scope of this research, the teaching techniques studied in this paper were not investigated as thoroughly as expected. Also, the application of these techniques in the microteaching practice was not the main focus of the study. They were investigated with a Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 99
    • view to analyzing the microteaching practice itself. Therefore, there is still some room for improvement in the analysis of this part. Lastly, it is a pity that the method of interview was not exploited in the data collecting procedure, which limited the depth of the investigation into students’ reactions to and their suggestions for the microteaching program. Yet, this fact was partly compensated by the inclusion of open-ended questions in the questionnaires in order to collect the students’ personal opinions in the hope of digging deeper into the issue. 5.3. Suggestions for further study: Firstly, as microteaching is an intriguing issue of professional teaching in general and in ELT in particular, there remain many aspects of the problem which were worth studying. The focus of this study was only on the practice stage of microteaching (i.e. types of microteaching, its advantages and disadvantages and the students’ suggestions to improve its effectiveness). Other aspects such as the preparation and the supervisors’ evaluation of microteaching are advisable topics which can be investigated by other researchers. Secondly, it is advisable that other researchers who would like to conduct research in this subject matter combine the three methods of collecting data, including questionnaires, interviews and class observation so that the credibility of the results could be improved. Thirdly, as microteaching is the very first teaching practice that helps students get acquainted with their teaching career, the students still meet with a great deal of difficulties in practicing it. The situation when they come to their ELTM IV teaching practice may be greatly improved. Thus, another suggestion for further study in this issue is to investigate 4th-year students’ teaching practice in a larger scale, which begins with microteaching practice Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 100
    • and finishes with the students’ teaching practicum at high schools. By this way, a more comprehensive view of the teacher training program could be reached, contributing to the success of the whole course. This chapter has given a general overview of what this study has achieved and what should be paid attention to when further research in the same subject matter is conducted. Although shortcomings are unavoidable, it is hoped that the study has made a contribution to the course of investigating and improving the application of microteaching in ED – HULIS – VNU in particular and in other teacher training institutions in general. Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 101
    • REFERENCES Allen, D. W. & Wang, W. (2002). Microteaching. In Encyclopedia of education, 2nd edition. (1620-1623). United States: Macmillan Reference. Ananthakrishnan, N. (1993). Microteaching as a vehicle of teacher training-its advantages and disadvantages. J Postgrad Med [serial online]; 39:142. Retrieved January 2nd 2009 from www.jpgmonline.com/text.asp? 1993/39/3/142/613 Bechhofer, F. & Paterson, L. (2000). Principles of research design in the social sciences. London: Routledge. Blaxter, L., Hughes, C. & Tight, M. (2006). How to research. England: Open University Press. Brandt, C. (2006). Success on your certificate course in English language teaching. London: SAGE Publications. Chan, T. Y. H. (1999). Learning matters at Lingnan. Retrieved January 10th 2009 from www.ln.edu.hk/tlc/learning_matters/03-2001-222001.pdf Cohen, L., Manion, L. & Morrison, K. (2000). Research methods in education. London: RoutledgeFalmer. Dadswell, S. L. (n.d.). Microteaching Session: So little time. Retrieved January 10th 2009 from www.yorku.ca/cst/grads/resources/Micro- Teaching-So-Little-Time.pdf Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning – Havard University. (n.d.). What is Microteaching?. Retrieved November 20th 2008 from www.isites.harvard.edu/fs/html/icb.topic58474/microteaching.htmlk Dobbs, J. (2001). Using the board in the language classroom. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 102
    • Dornyei, J. (2003). Questionnaires in second language research: Construction, administration and processing. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers. Duff, T. (1988). Explorations in teacher training: Problems and Issues. Essex: Longman. Freeman, D. & Richards, J.C. (1996). Teacher learning in language teaching. New York: Cambridge University Press. Geddes, M. & Raz, H. (1979). Studying pupil – teacher interaction. In Holden, S. (Ed.), Teacher training. (59-63). Melbourne: Modern English Publications Limited. Harmer, J. (2001). The practice of English language teaching. Essex: Longman. Harmer, J. (1998). How to teach English. Essex: Longman. Hubbard, P., Jones, H., Thornton, B., & Wheeler, R. (1983). A training course for TEFL. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Mackey, A. & Gass, S.M. (2005). Second language research: Methodology and Design. London: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Moore, A. (1979). Microteaching without video. In Holden, S. (Ed.), Teacher training. (63-65). Melbourne: Modern English Publications Limited. Nemser, S. F. (2002). In Encyclopedia of education, 2nd edition. (2485-2488). United States: Macmillan Reference. Ngo, T. H. Y. (2005). Vận dụng phương pháp dạy học vi mô trong rèn luyện năng lực sư phạm cho sinh viên khoa Địa lý - Trường ĐHSP Hà Nội. Retrieved February 9th 2009 from www.dialy.hnue.edu.vn/ index.php? option=com_news_content&task=showCategory&catid=11&limit=10&lim itstart=20 Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 103
    • Overschie, M., Wayenburg, A., Vries, P. and Pujadas, M. (2006). Microteaching: Effective knowledge transfer for sustainable technology innovation. Retrieved February 9th 2009 from www.zlw-ima.rwth- aachen.de/micro/htm/literaturliste.htm Phung, N. T. (2006). Sử dụng kỹ thuật dạy học vi mô nhằm nâng cao hiệu quả bồi dưỡng giáo viên. Retrieved February 9th 2009 from www.vst.vista.gov.vn/home/database/Folder.2004-04-19.4917/MagazineN ame.2003-09-22.5641/2006/2006_00139/MArticle.2006-12-06.4925/marti cle_view Sanger, J. (1996). The compleat Observer? A field research guide to observation. Washington, D.C.: The Falmer Press. Scrivener, J. (2005). Learning teaching – A guide book for English language teachers (2nd Edition). Oxford: Macmillan Publishers Limited. Teg, F. (2007). Microteaching technique. Retrieved January 2nd 2009 from www.associatedcontent.com/article/460888/microteaching_technique.html ?page=3&cat=4 To, T. T. H. (ed), Nguyen. M. H., & Nguyen, T. T. M. (2008). ELT Methodology I. Hanoi: English Department – HULIS – VNU. To, T. T. H. (ed), Nguyen. M. H., Nguyen, T. T. M., Nguyen, H. M. & Luong, Q. T. (2008). ELT Methodology II. Hanoi: English Department – HULIS – VNU. To, T. T. H. & Nguyen, T. T. M. (2008a). ELT Methodology III. Hanoi: English Department – HULIS – VNU. To, T. T. H. & Nguyen, T. T. M. (2008b). ELT Methodology IV. Hanoi: English Department – HULIS – VNU. Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 104
    • Wallace, M. J. (1979). Microteaching: skills and strategies. In Holden, S. (Ed.), Teacher training. (56-59). Melbourne: Modern English Publications Limited. Wallace, M. J. (1991). Training foreign language teachers – A reflective approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Wallace, M. J. (1998). Action research for language teachers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Watson & Morton, 2008. A new model for teaching professional experience. Internal circulation. Sydney, NSW: University of Western Sydney-School of Education. Giving and receiving feedback. (n.d.). Retrieved January 9th 2009 from www.web.mit.edu/tll/programs-services/microteaching/feedback.html Introduction to Microteaching. (n.d.). Retrieved November 20th 2008 from www.fdc.fullerton.edu/learning/CASTL/carnegie_microteaching_materials .htm Microteaching. (n.d.). Retrieved January 2nd 2009 from www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/microteaching Microteaching Information. (n.d.). Retrieved January 10th 2009 from www.yorku.ca/cst/grads/utp-guide/utp_microteaching.html What happens in a microteaching workshop? (n.d.). Retrieved January 9th 2009 from www.web.mit.edu/tll/programs- services/microteaching/workshop.html Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 105
    • APPENDIX 1: QUESTIONNAIRE VALUE OF ELT MICROTEACHING FROM PERSPECTIVE OF 4TH-YEAR STUDENTS My name is Dam Ha Thuy, a student of 051E1 – ED – HULIS - VNU. I am doing my graduation paper on how 4th-year TEFL students majoring of English Department – HULIS – VNU practice the theories of ELT Methodology II (ELTM II) in their microteaching sessions. This questionnaire is to find out your experience and to ask for your suggestions to improve it. You do not need to write your name on the paper and your answers will not be marked, so please choose the answers you agree the most. It is guaranteed that all the results will be confidential and used within this study only. Your number in the class list: ______________ A. The practice of microteaching: 1. What type of microteaching do you follow in ELTM II? a. Individual microteaching b. Pair microteaching c. Group microteaching (number of group members: ……..) d. Others (specify): 2. What is the time allowance for ONE microteaching session in your class? ______ minutes. 3. To what extent do you apply the theories of ELTM II into your microteaching? Please tick in ONE of the five positions to indicate your answer. ____Very much ____Quite a lot ____So-so _____Not really _____Not at all Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 106
    • 4. In your opinion, in what way did the theories of ELTM II help prepare you for the REAL teaching experience? You can choose MORE THAN ONE option. a. I feel more confident before my students b. I react to unexpected class problems more quickly c. I design the lesson plan more properly d. I allocate the time for each activity more appropriately e. Others (specify): B. The advantages and disadvantages of microteaching in ELTM: 5. What are the advantages of microteaching in terms of familiarizing yourself with the REAL teaching experience? You can choose MORE THAN ONE option. 5a. In terms of students: a. I taught mock students who are my friends b. Good students could help answer difficult questions c. The mock students learnt the lesson very quickly d. Others (specify): 5b. In terms of classroom setting: a. I could organize activities easily thanks to the desk-chair arrangement b. I could use available facilities in well-furnished class c. I taught a small number of students d. Others (specify): Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 107
    • 6. What are the disadvantages of microteaching in terms of familiarizing yourself with the REAL teaching experience? You can choose MORE THAN ONE option. 6a. In terms of students: a. The mock students’ English proficiency was higher than that of real students b. The mock students participated in the lesson with unexpected mood c. The mock students posed difficult questions d. Others (specify): 6b. In terms of classroom setting: a. The classroom facilities were of higher quality than the reality b. The desks and chairs were arranged differently from the reality (in rows) c. The amount of time allowed for the lesson was less than in reality (1skill/period) d. Others (specify): 6c. In terms of the course: a. The time allocation for microteaching sessions was inadequate b. The theories of ELT II given were insufficient c. The practice of microteaching in ELT II was mistimed (không đúng lúc) d. Others (specify): D. Suggestions to improve the helpfulness of the Microteaching sessions: 7. In your opinion, what type of microteaching should be used the most in your ELTM II course? Choose ONE type only. a. Individual microteaching b. Pair microteaching c. Group microteaching (number of members :_____) d. Others (specify): Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 108
    • Reasons for your choice: _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ 8. How long should a microteaching session be? a. 5 - 10 minutes b. 15 - 20 minutes c. 30 - 45 minutes d. Others (specify): 9. What do you think should be done to improve the effectiveness of Microteaching as a tool of teaching practice? You can choose MORE THAN ONE option. In terms of the students: a. Classmates should be strictly assigned the roles of mock students in class b. Classmates should be replaced by students of low-proficiency c. Classmates should totally obey the mock teachers d. Others (specify): In terms of the classroom setting: a. The use of modern facilities should be limited b. The number of mock students should be the same as a real class c. The number of mock students should be smaller than a real class d. Others (specify): In terms of the course: a. The time for microteaching practice should be increased b. Microteaching should be implemented sooner (in ELTM I) c. More theories of teaching skills should be provided in ELT II d. Others (specify): THANK YOU FOR YOUR COOPERATION! Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 109
    • APPENDIX 2: CLASSROOM OBSERVATION CHECKLIST 1. Basic information: Date of observation: Type of microteaching: Duration: 2. Time management: • Lead-in: • Task 3: • Task 1: • Task 4: • Task 2: • Wrap-up: Are the parts of the lesson divided appropriately? 3. Teaching techniques: TECHNIQUES MANIFESTATIONS NOTES Using visual aids Eliciting Giving – Checking instructions Giving corrective feedback Motivating students Teaching large class Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 110
    • APPENDIX 3: SAMPLE TRANSCRIPT OF A MICROLESSON TEACHER 1: Good morning. How are you today? Are you ready for the lesson? Now I would like all of you to guess the topic of the lesson today. I will give you the clue. The name of the topic today has 9 letters and in plural form. It means that the final letter is “s”, right? Ok. (pictures are shown on the screen). This is the picture which relates to the topic of our lesson. Now, look at it carefully, alright and guess the topic of the lesson today. Now, you just can guess. Hoang Anh (call 1 student)! Student answers right. Thank you. Good. You have good point. The lesson today is festival. And now start our lesson, unit 8 – festival. LEAD IN (17 mins): You see the picture? Ok, now. We’ll start the game. I would like you to divide the class into 4 groups. And you will help each other in each group to find out the word here. All the words here are not in original order. So your task is to rearrange the letters to make a new word. And of course, to make it easier, you can see the pictures here. The 10 pictures have related meaning to the words you are provided here. (While T1 instructs, T2 moves around to deliver lists of words. Then T1 writes the names of the groups on the blackboard. After that, T1 divides the group OOPS! organization) Ok, 2 minutes for you. All the pictures here provide the meaning of the words. (Then T1 moves around a bit to monitor the students doing the task, then she Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 111
    • comes back to her position near the door and talking to some students close to her. Then she moves to monitor again). Ok, have you finished? (Not yet from the students). Not yet? Is it difficult? Not really. Ok, stop here and each group will have one student and come to the blackboard and write down the words here. Now group 1, are you ready? Group 2, group 3 and 4. Be quick. (T1 moves to each group and asks them to send a representative). After the students finish their work on the board, T1 starts checking. Ok, now, group 1. Lunar. Right. What does it mean? (student answers, am lich). Right. What kind of the word, noun, verb? (student answers right). Yes, good. Lantern. What does it mean? Who can answer? Ok, Chi. (Students answers right). Ok, it’s a model of lamp. Apricot blossom. Can you guess what it means? Hoa anh dao, it’s cherry blossom. What about this? This is apricot. (students say Hoa mai). Yes, very good. Apricot blossom has two colors, white and yellow. Yap, group 3. very good. Fireworks, ok very good. Parade. What does it mean? (answer right). Ok, very good. (T1 checks some more words). Thanks. Very good. Number 9. lucky money. Right. Very good. And the final one, pumpkin. Thanks, very good. (T1 counting correct answers on the board). Group 3, very good. Congratulations! So who is the winner? (students say Group 3). Right. Everyone, pay attention. All these words about … all these words about… Can you think of any festival relate to the words here? Now, can you guess any festival by the activities, things like this. Lunar, apricot blossom, firework and lucky money. Which festifal has these ones? (student says Tet holiday). Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 112
    • Tet holiday, right. And pumpkin. (halowwen). And what about parade? (independence day). Independence day. Right. Now. Everyone, read after me. Lunar, …(T1 reads, class repeats). TASK 1 (13 mins): Thank you very much. Now, we move to the next part, ok. In this task, you have to find some famous celebrations in Vietnam from January to December. And we also compete with each other to find the group who is the winner. Now you have 2 minutes to do it. You talk to each other and list some famous celebrations in VN from Jan to Dec. notice that it’s only famous celebrations. (after giving instructions, T1 cleans out the board and write groups’ names again. Then, she moves around to monitor the groups). Ok, have you finished? (wait a bit). Time’s up. Ok, group 1, 2, group 3 and 4. a member to write your answer on the blackboard, right? (2mins to write). Ok, time’s up. Now group 1. (checking answer). Ok, good. Halloween, is it famous in VN? (students say No) cross out. Not really. (party establishment), T1 asks for clarification from Ss. (studens say Thanh lap Dang). ok. What’s it? (uncle Ho birthday). Ok, very good. … very good. … ok, group 4, how many? So, who is the winner? (group 3). Excellent, right? TASK 2 (5 mins): please, task 2. Match all things together, ok. You match the celebrations with their main purposes and activities. (teacher, group 2 not 13,  T1 corrects and asks again for the result group 3). Ok, have you finish the task 2? (yes). It’s so easy, right? (wait a bit). Now, ok, we’ll check the answer now. Have you got the answer? Ok. Number 1. read it. Chi. (student reads). Ok. Bce. Can you read it out for me? Mid-autumn festival. You read the whole sentence here. …ok, thank you. And number 2. group 2. what’s its purpose and activity? Ok, thank you. And number 3. group Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 113
    • 3. ok, now you read it out for me. Ok, thank you. Group 4. (student mispronounces Parade T1 corrects). Ok, what about the final one? Hoa, please. Ok, read it out. Yep, thank you very much. (T1 goes around to ask for the answers). And this is the end of part one. In the next part, Ms. Thuy ’ll help you practice speaking more about festivals. TEACHER 2: Hang’s just introduced to you some of our national festivals and now I want you to look toward throughout the world. There are some pictures here and I want you to look at and give me the names of all those festivals. Look at the names of these festivals. In the 1st picture. (songran). Ok, C please. (the 1st picture is the Songkran festival in Thailand.) yes, and the 2nd picture, I’m sure you all know the festival. D, please. (it’s Haloween). Yeah, it’s Haloween. And in the 3rd picture and the exact name of this festival. (La Tomanial, in Spain). Yes, La Tomania in Spain. And in the last picture, which country the ppicture can tell? Japan? And what is its name? can you translate it into English from the original name? I want to translate its name into English. This festival is bean throwing festival. And now I want to divide you into 4 groups. And each group will discuss about the purpose and the main activities of his festival, the main purpose and the main activities. Ok, this’s group 1 (moving to assign groups). These are activities they do in these pictures. Can you please give me the answer, the purpose of these festivals. What is the purpose and main activities of Songran festival? Students answers. Yes, in Thailand. This festival begins from 13th April. And people throw the water onto the other passing by. It means they want to … Understand? Yes. Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 114
    • And they want to wipe away the bad lack of the old year and bring the happiness in the next year. About the haloween. You can give the purpose of H? the last group, you have the answer? What is the purpose of H? Students answer. They threaten the living, the life, the live people? No, it’s not the purpose of H. I’m sorry. At H night, it is said that they hunt the alive…..(explaining H). What about the throwing tomatoes? N please. (students answer). Yes, it’s the purpose. (explain). Ok. What about the bean throwing festival? L please. (S answer, T2 explains more). I want you to do this exercise at home. I and Ms. Hang will perform as an example. And you practice at home in pair. (2 teachers demonstrate the situation). At home practice according to the model. This task also the homework. I will revise this in the next lesson. Some of you will go here and talk about your favourite festival and why they like it. And now it’s a funny game. Then the section is cut down by the supervisor’s order as they exceed time limit. Dam Ha Thuy – 051E1 115