An analysis on word stress errors commonly made by 12th grade students in Le Quy Don High School, Hai Phong and some solutions = Phân tích các lỗi thường gặp về

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VIETNAM NATIONAL UNIVERSITY, HANOI UNIVERSITY OF LANGUAGES AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES FACULTY OF POST - GRADUATE STUDIES AN THị NGà An analysis on word stress errors commonly made by 12 TH grade students in LÊ Quý ĐÔn High school, HảI Phòng and some solutions ( Phân tích các lỗi th-ờng gặp về trọng âm từ của học sinh lớp 12 tr-ờng THPT Lê Quý Đôn Hải Phòng và một số giải pháp ) -m.a. minor thesis- Field : English teaching methodology Code : 601410 Hanoi, 2010 VIETNAM NATIONAL UNIVERSITY, HANOI UNIVERSITY OF LANGUAGES AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES FACULTY OF POST - GRADUATE STUDIES AN THị NGà An analysis on word stress errors commonly made by 12 TH grade students in LÊ Quý ĐÔn High school, HảI Phòng and some solutions ( Phân tích các lỗi th-ờng gặp về trọng âm từ của học sinh lớp 12 tr-ờng THPT Lê Quý Đôn Hải Phòng và một số giải pháp ) -m.a. minor thesis- Field : English teaching methodology Code : 601410 Supervisor : Trần Thị Thu Hiền Hanoi, 2010 iv TABLE OF CONTENTS PART A : INTRODUCTION 1. Rationale …………………………………………………………………………… 1 2. Aims of the study 2 3. Scope of the study. 2 4. Significance of the study .2 5. Research questions. 3 6. Organization of the study 3 PART B : DEVELOPMENT Chapter 1: Literature review 1. Role of errors in language learning 5 2. Role of stress in language learning 8 2.1 Stress and learners’ intelligibility 8 2.2 Some theoretical background to the concept stress 9 2.2.1 Nature of a syllable. 9 2.2.2 Structure of syllable. .9 2.2.3 Characteristics of stressed and unstressed words. 10 2.2.4 Nature of stress. 11 2.2.5 Schwa sound. 12 2.2.6 Marking of stress. 13 2.2.7 Placement of word stress. 13 2.2.8 Levels of stress 17 2.2.9 Weak forms of words (Reducing function words). 17 2.3. Summary .17 Chapter 2 : The study 1. Research setting 18 2. Subjects of the study 19 3. Research methods 19 3.1. Questionnaire 19 3.2 Tests of Production 19 3.3 Post-questionnaire interview 20 4 Data analysis and findings 20 4.1 Findings from the questionnaire. .20 v 4.1.1 Students’ attitude toward learning word stress 20 4.1.2 Students’ awareness of the difficulty in word stress lessons 21 4.1.3 Degree of students’ certainty in marking stress patterns for a word 21 4.1.4 Frequency of students’ errors in word stress 22 4.1.5 Students’ most common errors in word stress . .22 4.1.6 Students’ expectation towards the teaching of word stress 23 4.2 Findings from the tests 24 4.2.1 Students’ failure to distinguish primary stress and secondary stress 24 4.2.2 Stress on the wrong syllables of multi-syllabic words 25 4.2.3 Stress on the wrong syllable bi-syllabic words 25 4.2.4 Students' failure to produce weak forms of words and schwa sound 26 4.3 Causes of the errors. 26 4.3.1 Influence of mother tongue 26 4.3.2 Inequality between the course book and the curriculum. .27 4.3.3 Lack of teaching and learning facilities 27 4.3.4 Students’ different learning styles and phonetic ability 28 4.3.5 Students’ lack of motivation and concern. 28 Chapter 3: Possible solutions 1 To the teachers 29 2 To the students . .33 3 To the school 's managers 34 4 To the course book designers 34 PART C: Conclusion 36 1 Summary of the study. 36 2. Conclusion 36 3 Limitation of the study. 37 4 Suggestions for further study 37 References 39 Appendix 1: Survey questionnaire for students I Appendix 2: The spelling of the schwa in English III Appendix 3: Weak forms of words IV Appendix 4: Production test and stress pattern key VII vi LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS EA Error Analysis FL Foreign Language vii LIST OF FIGURES Pages Figure 1: Students’ attitude towards learning word stress Figure 2: Students’ awareness of the difficulty in word stress lessons Figure 3 : Students’ degree of certainty when marking stress pattern for a word Figure 4: The frequency of students’ errors in word stress Figure 5: Students’ common errors in learning word stress Figure 6 : Students’ expectation towards the teaching of word stress Figure 7: Students ‘errors from the production test 20 21 21 22 22 23 24 1 Part A : Introduction 1. Rationale There is no doubt that making errors is part of learning and correcting errors is part of teaching. As a result, error correction is one of the ways that make the process of teaching and learning more effective. The role of errors and error correction are considered so important in teaching and learning a foreign language that a method called Error Analysis has developed and used as one of the most useful methods in studies related to teaching methodology. Richards, JC. (1984: 1) regarded Error Analysis as “a chief means of both assessing the pupil‟s learning in general and of the degree of match between his learning and syllabus and the teacher‟s teaching one.” He also added that “Thanks to Error Analysis, teachers know what language items their learners have already acquired, what they might not have been presented to, and what they have been taught but have not grasped accurately, which are considered as errors or mistakes” Error Analysis seems to have received a great deal of attention from many linguists. The importance of errors in theory and practice of teaching and learning languages can be seen in the works by researchers such as Corder S.P.(1967), Richards J.C.(1971), Dulay H.C. and Burt M.K.(1974). However, the errors analyzed in those studies come from their learners and may be the characteristics of those learners rather than Vietnamese students‟. In Vietnam, there is a number of studies on errors such as the one conducted by Pham Dang Binh (2003), which focused on the most common errors made by Vietnamese adult learners and some others by M.A candidates focusing on students‟ common errors in grammar (Trinh Phan Thi Phong Lan-2005) and students‟ errors on stress at sentence level (Luu Thi Kim Nhung- 2003), etc. Unfortunately, little concern is paid to errors on word stress. It is undeniable that stress plays a very important role in learning a foreign language and its pronunciation. It helps improve the learners‟ speaking as well as listening skill. A learner with correct rhythm, intonation and stress usually makes himself understood with ease. Despite the importance of stress, especially word stress in English pronunciation, Vietnamese students can not acquire it adequately. In fact, high school students commonly fail to use them correctly. 2 With the experience of more than ten years working as a teacher of English in Le Quy Don High School, the researcher realizes that whenever her students speak English or do tests on phonetics, they seem to confront with a lot of difficulties in using English word stress, consequently, a lot of errors occur. There errors are also committed by many of 12th grade students who have learnt English in their high school for 3 years and have had a chance to deal with English word stress in a few lessons. Being aware of the problem and with the intention of helping students to overcome these difficulties and to perfect their knowledge of English word stress, the researcher decides to choose the title: An analysis on word stress errors commonly made by 12 th grade students in Le Quy Don High school, Hai Phong and some solutions for her M.A thesis. It is hoped that the study, to some extent, will contribute to improving the teaching and learning of English word stress in Le Quy Don High School in particular and English study in general. 2. Aims of the study This study sets the following aims for investigation:  To identify the most common word stress errors made by 12 th grade students in Le Quy Don High School both in terms of their perception and production.  To figure out the causes of these errors.  To suggest some solutions to English word stress teaching and learning. 3. Scope of the study Stress is one important part of English pronunciation, which consists of sentence stress and word stress. However, due to both limited time and experience, this study only focuses on the errors in word stress derived from perception and production tests of the 12 th grade students of English in Le Quy Don High School. Any attempt to study English word stress errors on other aspect is beyond the scope of this thesis. 4. Significance of the study The study aims at bringing about some benefits for teaching English word stress to high school students especially the students of Le Quy Don High School. In terms of foreign language teaching and learning, the study tells about the students‟ attitude and method in learning English word stress, where they need help and what sort of help they need. An explicit understanding why errors arise can assist in adjusting teaching techniques. 3 Besides, for immediate purposes, remedial lessons or exercises can be designed to help eliminate errors. In terms of material designing, the study may assist designers in understanding the nature of errors occurring to high school students, which is useful for them in sequencing and arranging target language items in text books in such a way that helps prevent error occurrence as much as possible. 5. Research questions To achieve the aims mentioned above, the following research questions are addressed:  What are the most common word stress errors made by 12 th grade students in Le Quy Don High School?  What are the causes of these errors?  What should be done to reduce the students‟ errors? 6. Organization of the study The study is organized into 3 parts, which are presented as follows: PART A - INTRODUCTION Includes the rationale and the aim of the study. It also specifies the scope, the significance and provides the research questions as well as the organization of the study. PART B – Development Chapter 1- Literature review: Mentions theoretical background of errors and word stress In errors, this deals with notion of error, distinction among errors, mistakes, slips and attempts, error analysis and the importance of learners‟ errors. In word stress, it discusses some definitions such as syllable and its structure, schwa sound, nature of stress; the marking and levels of stress including mono-syllabic, bi-syllabic and multi-syllabic words as well as weak forms of words. Chapter 2- The study 4 This is the core part of the research, which describes the research setting, the subjects, the research methods as well as data analysis and findings. Chapter 3- Possible solutions In the first part, some possible solutions are given to help teachers and students in high schools overcome difficulties in teaching and learning English word stress as well as some recommendations for school‟s facilities and course book designers. Part C- Conclusion In this part, summary and conclusion of the thesis are emphasized. Further more, limitations of the study and some suggestions for further study are provided. [...]... the students recognize the importance of learning word stress, an indispensable part of learning pronunciation at school That is why, they do not find it interesting 12 out of 24 students( 50%)said they did not feel interested in word stress lessons while only 5 students (20.8 %) agreed that learning word 21 stress was very interesting and one-thirds of the students (29.2%) were interested in learning... attended to in class instructions 3.4.2.1.2 Stress on the wrong syllables of multi-syllabic words As many as 75 % of them had problems perceiving the stress patterns of and Los Angeles and California Among these subjects, some put stress on the first syllable of both words, some on the fourth syllable for Los Angeles and the last syllable for California This shows the students confusion in deciding stress. .. conducted in order to obtain objective assessments 3.1 Questionnaire The questionnaire for students consists of 7 questions Questions 1 and 2 investigate the students attitude towards the role of word stress and their difficulties in learning it Question number 3 aims at eliciting students degree of certainty in word stress Questions from 4, 5 and 6 aim at investigating the students most common errors. .. some changes in the students awareness in the ways they approach their target language 29 Chapter 3: Possible Solutions With all the findings and discussions presented in the previous sections of this study, this chapter will offer some solutions to these above problems Hopefully, they will be helpful to the teaching and learning of English word stress of the teachers and students at Le Quy Don in. .. suitable to their students With those assumed benefits, error analysis is placed on undeniable importance 2 Role of stress in language learning 2.1 Stress and learners’ intelligibility in language learning Stress is an important aspect of pronunciation, which decides one‟s communication ability The better one is good at stress patterns of English, the more he understands native speakers The fact that stress. .. have the same length as it will have in a stressed syllable A vowel in a stressed 12 syllable may in fact be longer than that in an adjacent stressed syllable, without depriving the latter of its prominence, e.g /æ/ and / ai / in ally, / ʌ / and / iә / in frontier” In other words, among others syllables with the same length, if only one of them is lengthened intensively, there is quite a strong tendency... 5: Students common errors in learning word stress 23 As mentioned above, the students appreciated learning word stress very difficult and they frequently made errors in it When question number 5 was asked: What are the most common errors in word stress that you often encounter ? A large number of students (ranking first with 41.6 %) agreed that they could not distinguish primary and secondary of stress. .. concept of word stress carefully was only 2, estimating at 8.3 % Through those students opinions, learning word stress traditionally is not considered the most effective way of learning word stress patterns On an overall look, it is concluded that almost students wish that the teaching of word stress should be in an active way rather than a traditional one 4.2 Findings from the test Firstly, the content... as content(lexical) words and function(or grammatical) words Content words are those that express independent meaning include: Nouns, main verbs, adverbs, adjectives, question words and demonstratives, which are usually stressed Function words are words that have little or meaning in themselves, but express grammatical relationships They include: Articles, prepositions, auxiliaries, pronouns, conjunctions,... could not find an appropriate style for their learning In the process of learning and teaching, Vietnamese teachers and learners tend to pay more attention to the fluency (how fast their students can speak) and to the number of vocabulary (how many words their students can remember) but less attention to the correctness that is how they can speak a sentence with correct stress and intonation By that, . English word stress, the researcher decides to choose the title: An analysis on word stress errors commonly made by 12 th grade students in Le Quy Don High school, Hai Phong and some solutions. AN THị NGà An analysis on word stress errors commonly made by 12 TH grade students in LÊ Quý ĐÔn High school, HảI Phòng and some solutions ( Phân tích các lỗi th-ờng gặp về trọng. focused on the most common errors made by Vietnamese adult learners and some others by M.A candidates focusing on students common errors in grammar (Trinh Phan Thi Phong Lan-2005) and students errors
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