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THAI NGUYEN UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF FOREIGN LANGUAGES ỨNG THI HƯỜNG THE EFFECTS OF USING LANGUAGE GAMES ON SPEAKING ABILITY OF STUDENTS AT NGUYEN HUE HIGH SCHOOL Ảnh hưởng của việc sử dụng tro chơi ngôn ngữ đối với khả nói của học sinh trường THPT Nguyễn Huê M.A THESIS Field: English Linguistics Code: 8220201 THAI NGUYEN – 2018 THAI NGUYEN UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF FOREIGN LANGUAGES ỨNG THI HƯỜNG THE EFFECTS OF USING LANGUAGE GAMES ON SPEAKING ABILITY OF STUDENTS AT NGUYEN HUE HIGH SCHOOL Ảnh hưởng của việc sử dụng tro chơi ngôn ngữ đối với khả nói của học sinh trường THPT Nguyễn Huê M.A THESIS (APPLICATION ORIENTATION) Field: English Linguistics Code: 8220201 Supervisor: Dr Dương Đức Minh THAI NGUYEN – 2018 STATEMENT OF AUTHORSHIP This is to certify that the thesis entitled “The Effects of Using Language Games on Speaking Ability of Students at Nguyen Hue High School” has been written by me and the work in it has not previously been submitted for a degree In addition, I also certify that all information sources and literature have been indicated in the thesis Thai Nguyen, October 2018 Ứng Thi Hường i ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS During the process of carrying out this study, I have received a large amount of contribution and support from many people First, I would like to express the deepest gratitude to my supervisor, Dr Dương Đức Minh, for his invaluable encouragement and useful advice during the whole process of this master thesis Without his help, this paper could not have been completed Next, I am thankful to all my lecturers as well as staff at School of Foreign Languages, Thai Nguyen University for their great supports and suggestions Also, I am grateful to the teachers of English and the students at Nguyen Hue high school for their immense help and participation Finally, my special thanks go to my beloved family and friends for their love, care and support during my MA course, especially on the completion of this thesis Thai Nguyen, October 2018 Ứng Thi Hường ii ABSTRACT It goes without saying that speaking plays an important role in learning a foreign language However, in the context of learning English in Vietnamese high schools, students’ speaking is generally far from satisfactory This study, hence, aims at investigating the effects of using language games on students’ speaking ability The study was guided by two research questions regarding the extent to which the use of language games impacts students’ speaking skill and how students evaluate this technique To answer those questions, an action research in twelve weeks was carried out The participants included 40 grade 11th students at Nguyen Hue high school The data were collected from observation sheets and questionnaires, and subsequently were visualized and discussed The data from observation sheets indicates that though the use of language games did not result in change in the students’ ability to use the target language to speak, these activities helped the class atmosphere to be more enjoyable and the students more motivated Furthermore, it is demonstrated from the questionnaires that the students held a positive attitude towards the use of language games in their speaking lessons TABLE OF CONTENTS STATEMENT OF AUTHORSHIP .i ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ii ABSTRACT .iii LIST OF TABLES v LIST OF FIGURES AND CHARTS vii Chapter I: INTRODUCTION 1.1 Rationale 1.2 Aims of the study 1.3 Scope of the study 1.4 Significance of the study 1.5 Outline of the thesis Chapter II: LITERATURE REVIEW 2.1 Speaking teaching 2.1.1 Definitions of speaking skill 2.1.2 The teaching of speaking 2.1.3 Speaking activities 2.1.4 The teaching of English speaking in Vietnam 2.2 Language games 11 2.2.1 Definitions of language games 11 2.2.2 Reasons for using language games 12 2.2.3 Types of language games 13 2.2.4 Principles of using language games 15 2.4 Previous studies 16 2.5 Concluding remarks 18 Chapter III: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY 19 3.1 Research questions 19 3.2 Research participants 19 3.3 Research design 20 3.4 Data collection instruments 23 3.4.1 Observation 23 3.4.2 Questionnaires 24 3.5 Procedure of data collection 24 Chapter IV: FINDINGS AND DISCUSSIONS 26 4.1 The effect of language games on students’ speaking ability 26 4.2 The students’ attitudes towards the use of language games 33 4.2.1 Findings from the questionnaires 33 4.2.2 Findings from the Observation Sheets No.2 41 4.3 Discussion 41 4.4 Concluding remarks 42 Chapter V: CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 44 5.1 Summary 44 5.2 Recommendations 45 5.3 Limitations of the study 46 5.4 Suggestions for further study 46 REFERENCES 47 APPENDICES .I The second research question was addressed by the findings from the questionnaires and the observation sheets It was found that the students had positive attitudes towards language games and learning speaking Though some internal factors like lack of confidence and embarrassment still hindered them speaking fluently, they showed more interest and motivation in speaking activities Chapter V: CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 5.1 Summary The fundamental goal of the study is to investigate the use of language games in improving leaners’ speaking skill This goal was specified into two research questions, regarding the extent to which language games affect learners’ speaking skills and how learners perceive language games in their speaking class The participants of the research consist of 11th grade 40 students from Nguyen Hue High School, Dai Tu District, Thai Nguyen Province They have learnt English for years, yet they cannot master it, and especially, they fail to communicate orally in this language To find the answers to these research questions, the researcher followed action research design First, the observation sheets were completed before and after the intervention Second, questionnaires and observation checklists were employed to discover the learners’ attitudes towards the intervention of language games Subsequently, the data were collected and analyzed The results were visualized with the help of MS Office and then discussed The analysis reveals some important findings that fulfill the study goal They were presented based on the two research questions 5.1.1 Answer to the first research question The observation sheets informed that the participants had trouble dealing with making the right order (grammar), producing the right sound (pronunciation) and being fluent when speaking After the intervention, they did not really improve these language areas The language aspect that benefited the most from language games was the leaners’ vocabulary They had a better range of vocabulary after truly being engaged in the class activities Furthermore, language games exercised positive impact on the classroom atmosphere First, these activities increased the level of concentration and interest of the students in the lesson Second, they help to boost the learners’ participation in the lesson by voluntarily answering the questions, actively contributing ideas, asking for clarification or questions, and offering comments Last but not least, they were more willing to work with their partners, not only in group games but also in discussions 5.1.2 Answer to the second research question The questionnaire results, crosschecked with the notes from observation checklists No.2, presented the students’ attitudes towards the use of language games in their speaking class First, all of the students were aware of the significance of speaking skill; however, the majority of them considered their speaking far from satisfactory When language games were applied in the speaking lessons, all of the students expressed their interest in these activities and acknowledged the role of the games in facilitating their speaking at different levels In details, they agreed that language games established an enjoyable learning atmosphere and strengthened the teacher – student and student - student relationships Also, the games helped them have chances to speak and feel more motivated in speaking Better teamwork and increasing creativity are other benefits that language games offered the learners Nevertheless, their confidence was not considerably boosted after partaking the games The main obstacles the students had to face include lack of ideas, insufficient vocabulary, fear of making mistakes and embarrassment, which stemmed from the students themselves The other difficulties seemed not to affect the students’ participation in the games The students also expressed that they were willing to participating in the games in the next speaking lessons and preferred to play in a small groups, ideally of – members 5.2 Recommendations This study has proved that though language games did not significantly improve the students’ ability to speak English, they had positive impact on the class environment It can be used as reference for teachers, students and those who concern in improving the teaching and learning of speaking skill Teachers should be aware of the importance of language games in speaking class to create enjoyable atmosphere and make students more motivated and enthusiastic in the activities It is suggested that game instructions should be made with simple English and modeled by teachers or some students till the class has thorough understanding about how to play the game Meanwhile, students are advised to make use of games to have more verbal participation in the class, for example by asking for clarification or commenting the others’ performance Next, further discussions on the use of language games should be conducted for teachers to share experiences and resources with each other It can be done after some class observations to improve the quality of teaching and learning speaking 5.3 Limitations of the study The research contains several limitations that need addressing First, due to the time limit, there was only one cycle in the action research The students, therefore, did not have adequate time to work with language games and benefited from them, leading to insignificant change in their scores Furthermore, the number of the participants in the study is relatively small Many students did not have chance to work with language games and express their opinion Hence, it is not easy to generalize the findings of this study in a large scale 5.4 Suggestions for further study It is hoped that identifying the limitations of the study helped to improve further research of the same line For example, the time of the research should be lengthened to gain more valid results The action could be also made in a couple of cycles to fully evaluate the effects of language games Another suggestion is that research on language games can be conducted for other skills or with learners at different English levels to make possible comparisons and implications REFERENCES Aldabus S (2008), An Investigation into the Impact of Language Games on Classroom Interaction and Pupil Learning in Libyan EFL Primary Classrooms, Dissertation, Newcastle University Battersby A L (2009), Nonverbal Communication – Increasing Awareness in the General Music Classroom, General Music Today, 22 (3), p 14 – 18 Brown H D (2000), Principles of English Language Learning and Teaching, Longman, New York Burn A (1999), Collaborative action research for English language teachers, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge Burns R.B (2000), Introduction to research methods, 4th ed, SAGE Publications, London Cameron L (2001), Teaching Languages to Young Learners, Cambridge University Press, Edinburg Chaney A L (1998), Teaching Oral Communication in Grades K-8, Allyn & Bacon, Boston Chen I (2005), Using games to promote communicative skills in Language learning, TESL Journal [Online]-2, pp.125-132 Cresswell, J W (2005) Educational research, planning, condunting and evaluating quantitative and qualtative research, Dao T T H (2017), Identifying Factors That Negatively Influence Non - major Students' Speaking Skills, Higher Education Research, (2), p 35 – 43 Doan L C (2011), Guidance for Learners’ Improvement of Speaking Skills, Language Education in Asia, (2), pp 213 – 226 Ersoz A (2000), Six games for EFL/ESL classroom, The Internet TESL Journal, 6(6) Fajariyah D N (2009), Improving students’ speaking proficiency using games, Thesis, Sebelas Maret University, Surakarta Fellowes J (2006), ESL Students: Oral Language and Assessment, Practically Primary, 11 (2), pp 32 – 36 Fromme J (2003), Computer games as a part of children’s culture, Game Studies, 3(1) Hadfield J (1998), Elementary vocabulary games, Pearson Education Limited, Harlow Harmer J (1993), The Practice of English Language Teaching, Longman, New York Hoang V V (2010), The Current Situation and Issues of the Teaching of English in Vietnam Ritsumeikan Language Culture Study, 22(1), pp 7–18 Hong L (2002), Using games in teaching English to young children, ELT Journal, (8) Hybel R L W (2001), Communicating Effectively, Mc Graw Hill Hinger Education, New York Juul J (2003), The Game, the Player, the World: Looking for a Heart of Gameness, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen Kemmis S & McTaggart R (eds) (1988), The Action Research Planner (2nd ed.), Deakin University Press, Victoria Kroeker R.H (2009), The reality of English conversation classes: a study in a South Korean university, Master thesis, School of Humanities of the University of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom Lewis G & Bedson G (1999), Games for Children, Oxford University Press, Oxford Lubis Y (1988), Developing Communicative Proficiency in the English as a Foreign Language (EFL) Class, DEPDIKBUD, Jakarta Mróz A (2005), Gry i zabawy w procesie nauczania języków obcych in Języki obce w szkole, No Nguyen T H., Fehring H., & Warren W (2015), EFL Teaching and Learning at a Vietnamese University: What Do Teachers Say?, English Language Teaching, (1), pp 31 – 43 Nguyen T T & Nguyen B N (2017), Students’ opinion about communicative activities in speaking classes: An investigation in grade 10 students from Toan Thang High School in Vietnam, International Journal of Advanced Ressearch in Education and Technology (1), pp 28 – 33 Nguyen T H T (2015), Using games to improve pronunciation of the second year nonEnglish major students at Hanoi university of Business and technology, Mir nauki, 2, pp – Nunan D (2001), Research methods in language teaching, 9th ed, Cambrige University Press, USA O’Brien, R (2001) An overview of the methodological approach of action research Universidade da Paraiba, Joao Pessoa O’Sullivian B & Weir C J., Saville N (2002), Using observation checklists to validate speaking – test tasks, Language Testing, 19 (1), pp 33 – 56 Praneetponkrang S & Phaiboonnugulkij M (2014), The Use of Retelling Stories Technique in Developing English Speaking Ability of Grade Students Advances in Language and Literary Studies, 5(5), pp 141-154 Renandya W A (2004), Indonesia, In Kam H W & Wong R Y L (eds), Language policies and language education: The impact in East Asian countries in the next decade (pp 115 – 131), Eastern University Press, Singapore Richards J C (2013), Current Trends in Teaching Listening and Speaking, The ELT Teacher, 27 (7), pp – Richards J C (2008), Teaching Listening and Speaking From Theory to Practice, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge Richards J C & Renandya W (2004), Methodology in language teaching: Ananthology of current practice, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge Rooyackers P (2002), 101 language games for children: Fun and learning with words, stories and poems, Hunter House Inc, CA Scott W A & Ytrberg L H (2001), Teaching English to Children, Longman, London Sugar S (1998), Games That Teach, Jossey – Bass Pfeiffer, San Francisco Shrum J L & Glisan E W (2000),Teacher’s Handbook: Contextualized Language Instruction, (2nd ed.), Heinle, Boston Thornbury S & Slade D (2006), Conversation: from description to pedagogy, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge Toth M (1995), Children’s games, Heinemann Publishers, Oxford Tran, T T H (2009), Why is action research suitable for education?, VNU Journal of Science, Foreign Languages, 25, p 97 – 106 Ur P (2004), Discussions That Work : Task – Centered Fluency Practice, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge Wright A., Betteridge, D & Buckby, M (2005), Games for language learning (3rd ed.), Cambridge University Press, New York Zuber-Skerritt O & Perry C (2002), Action research within organizations and university thesis writing, The Learning Organization, (4), pp 171-179 https://www.ethnologue.com/statistics/size APPENDICES APPENDIX CLASSROOM OBSERVATION SHEET NO.1 Class: ………… Date: ………… Lesson: …………………………… PART 1: CLASSROOM ATMOSPHERE Students focus on the lesson and activities  always usually  sometimes  never Students participate in each of the tasks enthusiastically  always usually  sometimes  never Students’ gestures and facial expressions show that they are interested in the speaking activities  always usually  sometimes  never Students voluntarily answer the questions  always usually  sometimes  never Students actively contribute ideas to the lesson  always usually  sometimes  never Students ask for clarification if they not understand the task  always usually  sometimes  never Students ask questions after teacher’s and/ or another classmate’s speaking  always usually  sometimes  never Students offer comments after teacher’s and/ or another classmate’s speaking  always usually  sometimes  never Students are ready to work with other classmates  always usually  sometimes  never PART 2: STUDENTS’ ABILITY TO SPEAK ENGLISH Students manage to say what they wanted …  easily  with some help  with a lot of help Students manage to keep their speaking going smoothly  yes  on the whole  it was rather broken up  it was very broken up Students pronounce well enough to be understood  yes, always  on the whole  not really Students use suitable and on – topic words and phrases  yes, always  on the whole  not really Students manage the necessary grammar?  yes, always  on the whole  not really I  no  no  no  no PART 3: STUDENTS’ INDIVIDUAL PARTICIPATON S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9 S10 S11 S12 S13 S14 S15 S16 S17 S18 S19 S20 S21 S22 S23 S24 S25 S26 S27 S28 S29 S30 S31 S32 S33 S34 S35 S36 S37 S38 S39 S40 NOTES: ……………………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………… ………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………………… II APPENDIX BẢNG CÂU HỎI (Dành cho học sinh) Chúng lập Bảng câu hỏi nhằm phục vụ cho việc tìm hiểu thực trạng áp dụng hoạt động trò chơi ngơn ngữ dạy mơn nói (tiếng Anh) cho học sinh trường THPT Nguyễn Huệ Xin em vui lòng trả lời câu hỏi cách xác Những thơng tin câu trả lời em giữ kín khơng sử dụng với mục đích khác ngồi nghiên cứu Các em hãy khoanh tròn chữ hoặc đánh dấu vào ô phu hợp Em có nghĩ học môn nói quan trọng không? a Rất quan trọng b Quan trọng c Không quan trọng d Không quan trọng Khả nói tiếng Anh của em nào? a Rất tốt b Tốt c Khá tốt d Khơng tốt Em có thích hoạt động tro chơi ngôn ngữ hay không? a Rất thích b Thích c Thích d Khơng thích Theo em, tham gia vào hoạt động tro chơi ngơn ngữ có giúp ích cho ky nói của em hay khơng? a Có nhiều b Có c Có d Khơng Nếu có, tro chơi ngơn ngữ có những lợi ích gì? Em hãy đánh dấu (x) vào ô phu hợp với y kiến của Trò chơi ngơn ngữ … Rất đờng y tạo khơng khí vui vẻ, thoải mái cho lớp học giúp em thấy gần gũi với giáo viên bạn giúp em có hứng thú với ky nói Đồng y Không Rất không đồng y đồng y giúp em tự tin nói mà khơng lo mắc lỡi giúp em có hội nói trước bạn giúp em có ky làm việc nhóm sáng tạo Lời hướng dẫn tiếng Anh để thực hiên hoạt động tro chơi ngôn ngữ của thầy (cô) em có dê hiểu hay không? a Rất dễ b Dễ c Khá dễ d Không dễ Khi tham gia tro chơi ngôn ngữ, em gặp phải những khó khăn gì? Em hãy đánh dấu (x) vào ô phu hợp với y kiến của Rất đồng y Đồng y Không Rất không đồng y đồng y Em khơng hiểu u cầu Trò chơi q khó Các bạn khác khơng tham gia Các bạn khác nhóm lấn át phần chơi em Em thiếu vốn tư vựng Em thiếu y tưởng Em sợ mắc lỗi Em xấu hô Em có muốn tiếp tục tham gia tro chơi ngôn ngữ học nói không? a Có b Khơng c Khơng có y kiến Em thích hình thức tro chơi ngơn ngữ nhất? a cá nhân b theo cặp d theo nhóm – 10 bạn e lớp c theo nhóm – bạn 10 Em có muốn tham gia các tro chơi ngơn ngữ khác ngồi các tro chơi mà thầy (cơ) giáo đã giới thiêu lớp khơng? a Có b Khơng c Khơng có y kiến CÁM ƠN SỰ HỢP TÁC CỦA CÁC EM ! APPENDIX OBSERVATION SHEET NO.2 Date: …………………………………………… Game: ………………… Students’ involvement Yes No Notes Yes No Notes Students understand the rule of the game after teacher’s verbal explanation Students understand the rule of the game after teacher’s or peer’s modeling Students are interested in participating the game Students are active and enthusiastic Effect of the game on speaking Students are confident to speak Students not care about their speaking mistakes during the game Students can use English to express their ideas and opinions Students are more motivated in speaking lesson ... STUDENTS AT NGUYEN HUE HIGH SCHOOL Ảnh hưởng của việc sử dụng tro chơi ngôn ngữ đối với khả nói của học sinh trường THPT Nguyễn Huê M.A THESIS (APPLICATION ORIENTATION) Field: English
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