Problem facing english majored freshmen at tay do university when learning english listening subject

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TAY DO UNIVERSITY FACULTY of LINGUISTICS and LITERATURE PROBLEMS FACING ENGLISH MAJORBD FRESHMEN AT TAY DO UNIVERSITY WHEN LEARNING ENGLISH LISTENING SUBJECT Supervisor: Dang Thi Bao Dung, MA Student's name: Thai Fham Anh Duy Student's code: 1157010011 Class: English ,rUdlto:oHtAvoo L.003728 May 2015 ACKNOWLEDGEMENT My research could not be finished without the help of a lot of people I would like to give my profound gratitude to all those who helped me to complete this research First of all, I would like to send my sincere thanks to the University of Tay Do, especially, the teachers of Faculty of Linguistics and Literature for bringing me opportunities to study and conduct the research Secondly, I want to express my honest gratitude to my supervisor, Ms Dang Thi Bao Dung, for her precious comments and important instructions She was always willing to help me correct every mistake in my research, provide me many useful references and timely give me directions to lead my research to the right path Besides, during the years leaming at University, she was a good and enthusiastic teacher who encouraged students by giving her valuable advice, understood and wholeheartedly created the best conditions for her students to study better Truthfully, my research could not be completed successfully without her dedicated assistance In addition, I would like to thank the students of English class for spending their time joining in the questionnaire and the interview questions Their cooperation was a very meaningful contribution to my research Finally, I want to give my deep gratefulness to my family for supporting me the best condition and encouraging me throughout the years of studying They absolutely trust me and love me with all their heart This is the motivation that helps me accomplish this study COMMENTS ll TABLE OF CONTENTS ACKNOWLEDGEMENT CoMMENTS TABLE OF CONTENTS LIST OF FIGURES AND TABLES ABSTRACT """"""' Rationale L.2 Research aims and research .vi """""'vii question ii .iii CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION 1.1 i 1 """"""' study " 1.2.2 Research question """""" 1.3 The significance of the study ."""""""' 1.4 The organizationof the study ".""" CILAPTER 2: LIIERATURE REVIEW 2.1 Definitions of listening """ 2.2 The importance of listening """'7 2.3 Problems in learning listening subject """""""" 2.3.1 Problems related to linguistics Pronunciation, intonation and accent problems """"""' ."' 10 Vocabulary problems ""' 11 GrammarProblems 1.2.1 Aims of the 2.3.2 Problems related to background knowledge '.""" 12 subject 13 13 Psychological obstacles 14 The speech rate 15 Unfamiliar topics 17 CHAPTER 3: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY 2.3.3 Elements affecting learning English listening 111 5: CONCLUSION, IMPLICATIONS, LIMITATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS CHAPTER 1V l? v LIST OF FIGURES AND TABLES LIST OT'F'IGURES Figure Students' living environment 20 Figure The subjects that students learned in high school 21 Figure The amount of years in learning English of students 22 Eng1ish Figure The importance of listening Figure The importance of leaming 23 25 Figure Students' self-evaluation on their listening ability .27 LIST OF'TABLES time 22 Table2 Students'purposes of leaming English .24 Table l Student's weekly practicing of statements about participants' opinion towards the listening 26 Table The findings importance of Table Students' daily practicing time .27 Table The participants' difficulties in pronunciation, intonation and accent .28 Table Problems in vocabulary of the respondents 30 Table Students' difficulties in grammatical points in leaming listening .31 knowledge Table Respondents' psychological obstacles in listening Table Difficulties caused by background llll 1l"l* ":::" : ::"*: : ::::: :: vl :::::: :": 32 32 ":**lI' "';; ABSTRACT Listening is said to be an indispensable subject which partly contributes to the suocess of leaming English and daily communications It is also the subject that many students usually face diffrculties in leaming Therefore, this survey research entitled "Problems facing English majored freshmen at Tay Do University when learning English listening subject" was conducted to figure out common problems in studying listening of students majoring in English Statistical data were collected from fifty Engiish majored freshmen course at Tay Do Univers ity The two main instruments of the study were questionnaire and interview The findings of the study would point out the students' difficulties in linguistics (pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar) background knowledge, the rate of speech, psychological obstacles, etc Thanks to the results, some solutions would be suggested for the students' improvement vll CHAPTER INTRODUCTION Chapter presents rationale, aims oJ'the study, research question, significance : of the study and organization Nowadays, Vietnam is in the process of integrating with other countries around the world, so this brings people many opportunities to cooperate and work with foreign partners both inside and outside the country Therefore, being able to use a foreign language proficiently is quite essential because it can help people work more effectively Actually, the language which has been considered as an international language is English It is used widely in every life aspect and becomes a decisive factor of employers in recruiting staff In other words, it is compulsory for people who want to get a good job with high salary to speak English well For that reason, many people nowadays, especially students, want English to become their second or foreign language so that they can be successful in work Nevertheless, learning English seems to be a difficult process of many students To study English effectively, students must improve four basic skills including reading, writing, speaking and listening These four skills have a mutual relation If listening and reading are the language input, then writing and speaking are said to be the language output Among these skills, listening is a prominent skill which is hard to be mastered and plays a significant role in communication According to Epictetus, "nafure has given men one tongue but two ears, that we may hear from others twice as much as we speak" Listening directly affects daily conversation because "the most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen Just listen Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention" (Rachel Naomi Remen) In fact, if there is no listening, people find thoughts, feelings or ideas with others Gradually, there it hard to share their will be an existence of an invisible distance between person and person In contrast, understand clearly what was said, no reply to the speakers conversation if will be sent and the will be intem.rpted That is why listening is a subject which neglected for English learning students Nunan (1988, p.l) asserts that the basic skill in language learning Without listening skill, learners to people not communicate effectively In fact, over 50% cannot be "Listening is will never learn of time that students spend functioning in a foreign language will be devoted to listening" However, it appears as a challenge in the process of learning English "Listening is far more difficult than many people can image" (Mee, 1990) because it "involves a:r active process of deciphering and constructing meaning from both verbal and non-verbal messages" (Nunan, 1998) Listening is a complex and long-term process It is not as easy as we eat an apple or learn by heart a song in a short period of time To improve listening skill, students should spend much time practicing Many of them may think that listening is less important than grammar or other skills, so they not frequently practice their listening It results in the failure in English learning process Similarly, students at Tay Do University especially the English majored freshmen, usually encounter many problems when studying listening subject It is hypothesized that students have a passive way in learning They commonly wait for the information from the iecturers instead of actively finding their own materials for learning Yet, it is not easy for them to recognize their weak points when accessing to English listening subject Their drawback leads to a series of problems relatecl to linguistic knowledge, including vocabulary, pronunciation, intonation, accent and grammar, background knowledge and some other elements as well Consequently, this research was conducted to figure out the problems facing English majored freshmen at Tay Do University when learning listening subject Since then, students can realize their difficulties Moreover, basing on the problerns stated in this study, students can overcome their problems in listening and improve their listening skill much as possible to gain knowledge of different fields in life and be familiar with native speakers' pronunciation Besides these difficulties, there were many other elements adversely affecting students' listening ability They could be listed as psychological factors, rate of speech and strange topics The students also added other difficulties when studying listening in class such as the noise outside classroom, the lack of equipment supporting listening, the quality of the cassettes (answering on interview papers) In general, investigating the problems in studying English listening subject was a useful method to help English majored freshmen learn listening effectively From these mentioned problems, they could propose appropriate resolutions for their improvement 5.2 Implications The analyzed results from the questionnaire and the interview show that most of the participants of this study rcalized the vital role of English subject It is almost always true that if in studying listening one wants to be successful in a specific field, he has to know clearly about his real ability Therefore, English majored freshmen need to be aware of their difficulties in studying listening in order that they can be good listeners The findings of the research reveal that students had many problems in listening related to linguistic knowledge (pronunciation, grarnmar and vocabulary), background knowledge, the rate of speech and etc They researcher hopes that students recognize their weak points so that they can find out proper resolutions and suitable studying methods to improve their listening ability Furthermore, this study is also useful for the teachers who want to know what difficulties their students often meet From that, they can offer their students suitable materials for learning and teaching methods that help students study listening more effectively 40 5.3 Limitations Despite being instructed and supported enthusiastically and whole-heartedly by the supervisor and frie,nds, there were still some limitations In fact, some mistakes in the research are unavoidable because this is the first time ever the researcher conducts such a real study Although the researcher made an effort to collect information from participants many times, the research's outcomes were not highly reliable because the number of participants was limited Actually, there were 56 students in English 9; however, only 50 students took part in the questionnaires In addition, to the interview, at first, the researcher delivered 15 interviews for students but only 10 papers were returned after weeks Additionally, it wasted a lot of time in analyzing the data since some participants did not focus on fulfilling the questionnaire The last banier of this study was the restricted use of research's instruments ln this research, there were only two instruments used to collect data (questionnaire and interview for students); nevertheless, to increase high reliability for the research, it is necessary to have more than two instruments 5.4 Recommendations This research can be seen as a basis for further research in the fufure Based on the results of this survey study, other research should go into the details of larger population consisting of both English majored students and non English majored students In addition, as the researcher already completed the work of pointing out the corlmon problems in studying listening subject of freshmen, hopefully in the near future, there will be some research about solutions for students to surmount these obstacles The teachers are also expected to offer some resolutions to help their students improve this skill 41 REFERENCES References from books: Adler, R et al 2001 Based on the research of: Adler, R., Rosenfeld, L and Proctor, R (2001) Interplay: the process of interpersonal communicating (8th edn), Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt Anderson, A., & Lynch, T (2000) Listening oxford: oxford university press Ausubel Nathan (1968, Hardcover) Book of Jewish Knowredge Barker, L.L (lg7l) Listening behavior.Englewood cliffs, NJ: prentice-Hall Boyle, Joseph (1984) Factors affecting listening comprehension ELT Journal Vol 38/1 P.37 Brand, L.M (2010) The ffict of technologt on attention and concentration within the classroom contexf January University of south Africa Brazil, D., coulthard, M., & Johns, c (1980) Discourse, intonation and languoge teaching London: Longman Bulletin (1952) The Teaching of Listening.InArif Saricoban Hacettepe University (Beytepe- Ankara, Turkey) The Internet TESL Journal, vol v, No.12 Chen (1983) A Stud1, of Pronunciation Problems of English Learners in China.By Fachun Zhang Vol.5 N.6 cook, v (1996) second Language Learning and Language Tt?aching London : Arnold Feyten, C M (1991) The Power of Listening Abitity: An Overiooked Dimension in Language Acquis it ion The Modern Language Journal :17 -g0 viii Flowerdew, J and Miller, L (1996) Student perceptions, problems and strategies In second language lecture comprehension RELC Journal23 (2),60-80 Gebhard, J (2000) Teaching English os a Foreign or Second Language A Teacher self-development and methodologt Guide United States of America: The University of Michigan Press Gilakjani, A.P (2012) The significance of pronunciation in English language teaching English Teaching Journal, 5(4),96-107 Gilbert, J (1984) Clear Speech: Pronunciation and Listening Comprehension in American English Teacher's manual and answer key Cambridge: Cambridge University Press Grey Buck (2001: 31), cited by Do Van Hoa (2010) Improving Listening skills for third-year students at Hong Duc University Through portftlio Hasan (2000) Learners' perceptions of listening comprehension problems: language, culture and curriculum Howatt, A & J Dakin (1974) Language laboratory materials, ed, J P B Allen, S P B Allen, and S P Corder Michael P and Deborah B, 1997 Listening in language learning London: Longman Nguyen Thi Phuong (2013), The Dfficulties Majored-Freshmen at Tay Do University in English Listening of English P.ll Nunan, D (1998) Approaches to teaching listening in language classroom Paper presented at the Korea TESOL conference, Seoul M (2011) A Study of Factors Affecting EFL Learners' Listening Comprehension and The Strategies for Improvement Journal of Pourhossein English A &, Reza Language Teaching and Research,Yol.2, No 5,p.977-988, September tx Proverb, R (1990) Applying Strategies to the Four Language Skills Language Learning Strategies: what every teacher should know Richard, J C., & Renandyo, W A., eds Methodologt in language teaching: an anthologt of current practice (pp 254-266) Carrhridge: Cambridge University Press.2002 Print Richards, J C., Platt, J Apptied Linguistics 2nd & Platt, H (1992) Dictionary of language teaching & edition Longman Rubin, J (1994) A reyiew af second language listening comprehension research Modern Language j ournal, 8(2), 199 -221 Samuels, S (1984) Factors Influencing Listening: Inside and Outside the Head 23(3), p.183-p.189 Sapir, E T Language: an introduction to the study of speech [MJ New York: Harcourt Brace & Company 1921 Thornbury, S (2002) How to teach vocabulary Essex: Pearson Education limited, p.33 Underwood, M 1989 Teaching Listening [MJ Longman group Limited p17 Ur, P (1984) Teaching of English as a Second or Foreign Language Cambridge: Cambridge University Press Wheeless, L R An investigation of receiver apprehension and social context dimensions of communication apprehension Speech Teacher vol 24, pp.26l-268 (te7s) Wilt, M E (1950) A study of teacher awareness of listening as a factor in elementary education Journal of Educational Research, 43 (8), pp 626-636 x Wipf, J (1984) C ompr e hens Strategies for Teaching Second Language Listening ion Foreign Language Annals I : 45 -4 Wolvin.A.D & Coakly, C (1985) Listening Dubuque: Williani C Brown Yagang, F (1994) Listening: Problems and solutions Development: Making the Right Moyes Washington, In T Kral (ed.) Teacher DC: English Language Programs Divisions, USIA References from the internet Barthes, Roland (1985) In the Responsibility of Forzs New York Hill and Wang Retrieved from: Brown Retrieved http :// 987e6f0 I I ca3 00a6c3 90b4.html Brownell, Judi 2006 Listening: Attitudes, principles and skill.c 3rd Ed Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon Retrieved from: http:/hvww.academia.edr:/561201 lllisteninglThilost_communication_skill English Club Retrieved from Engtish grarnmar - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Retrieved from: http :// glish_grammar Epictetus Retiieved from: http://www.eoodreads.corn/quotes/194362-nature-hath- given-men- one-ton gue-but-two- ears-that Mee (1990) Retrieved from skillby-usinq-Watching-Movies_at_the_Eishth_Grade_students_olSMp_N_3OKU x1 Nagy & Anderson (1984), Big ideas in beginning reading; center on teaching and learning retrieved from: Nunan, D (1998) Approaches to teaching listening in languoge proceedings classr.oom.ln of the 1997 Korea TESOL Conference Taejon, Korea: KOTESOL Retrieved from: http ://www.kon.ore/urc/v9lbakhtiarvand.html Dictionary Retrieved from: http:/ Rachel Naomi Remen Retrieved from: skills.html Rost, M (1994).Introducing listening London: Penguin Retrieved from: http ://j alt-publications Rost, org/old tltlfi les/97lsep/nunan.html M (2002), Teaching and Researching Listening London, uK: Longman Retrieved from: Stahl, S., and M Fairbanks 1986 The Effects of Vocabulary Instruction: A Model- Based Meta-Analysis Retrieved from: ess_the Literacy_Gap The International Listening Association (1996), (vyww.listen.ore), cited in pUBLIC SPEAKING, TIIE ACA OPEN KNOWLEDGE ONLINE GUIDE Retrieved from: http://textcommons org/node/ I I West, Richard; Turner, Lynn (2010), (Jnderstanding Interpersonal Communication p 186 ISBN 9780495908753 Retrieved xll from: APPENDIX QUESTIONNAIRE FOR STUDENTS Dear students, My name is Thai Pham Anh Duy and I am a senior of English major I would like to give my thanks to you for spending your precious time helping me with this questionnaire This questionnaire is one of the instruments for my research about "Problems facing English majored freshmen at Tay Do University when learning English listening ;ubject" Please take your time to fulfill these below questions carefully because its result is important to my research Thank you very much Part Student's name: Gender: male E femalel Class: Age: Please read the following questions and circle the appropriate answer opinion Give the specific answers if needed - How long have you studied English? Where are you from? a Urban arca/ city b Rural areal countryside x11l years to your According to you, learning English is: a Very important b Important c Normal d Not important What are your purposes of learning English? a Finding a good job with good salary b Studying abroad c Living in English speaking countries d Communicating with foreigners effectively e Others: which subject did you learn when you were in high school? a Listening b Speaking c Reading d Writing How many periods a week did you practice listening to English? period(s) a week xtv What you think about listening subject? a Very important b Important c Normal d Not important How is your listening skill? a Very good b Good c Normal d Bad e Very bad How much time you spend practicing listening a day? a hour(s) a day b minute(s) aday xv Part2 Strongly Statements agree Listening plays an important role in studying and everyday life aspect If you have a good listening skill, you can avoid misunderstanding in communication is an Listening component second essential in the process of or foreign language acquisition You often face many difficulties in learning listening because your pronunciation and intonation are not good You cannot recognize familiar words when they are spoken since you have mispronunciation of those words Different intonations make the same sentence have various , D meanings You find it hard to distinguish which word was mentioned when hearing a new accent for xvl Agree No idea Disagree Strongly disagree the first time You have a trend of listening to word by word When listening, an unknown word can make you stop and think about its meaning; thus, you will probably miss the next part of the speech 10 Usually, you cannot realize the words you learned before when facing listening texts 11 You are not able to understand new strucfures in the process of listening 12 You have a habit translating of all the information you heard into Vietnamese 13 Background knowledge is a vital factor in listening process background Lacking knowledge is one of your 14 barriers in listening 15 Psychological obstacles restrict your ability of receiving information 16 You often get anxiety when listening 1.7 Long listening texts make you feel stressful and xvii embarrassed 18 You are not capable of remembering the information in the listening text because the text is so long 19 It is hard for you to recognize the main idea of a lecture 20 The speech rate is also an obstacle in listening process 21 You not understand the message conveyed in unfamiliar topics because there are many strange words, terms and terminology The end Thanks for your help! APPENDIX xvlll INTERVIEW Dear sfudents, My name is Thai Pham Anh Duy and I am a senior.of English major I would like to give my thanks to you for spending your precious time helping me with this - interview questions This interview is one of the instruments for my research about '?roblems facing English majored freshmen at Tay Do University when learning ' English listening subject" Please take your time to fulfill these below questions carefully because its result is important to my research Thank you very much Student's name: Class: Age: Gender: male E female n Why you choose English Do you like learning listening subject? Why? as your major? ! xlx Do you think listening subject is the most difficult one? Why or why not? What are your problems when studying listening subject in clas;? According to you, which factor has become your biggest difficulty in learning listening (vocabulary, pronunciation, cultural background knowledge, psychological obstacles, topics, etc)? Why? In your opinion, what should you to improve your listening skill? The end Thanks foryourhelp! ffirrt,l ! alo U vrtN I ... research entitled "Problems facing English majored freshmen at Tay Do University when learning English listening subject" was conducted to figure out common problems in studying listening of students... the problems facing English majored freshmen at Tay Do University when learning listening subject Since then, students can realize their difficulties Moreover, basing on the problerns stated... studying listening subject Being unable to listen well leads to the lack of confidence in communication This is also the problem that English majored fi'eshmen at Tay Do University face when learning
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