Students’ perspectives on the use of socratic seminar in a speaking class at Hanoi Pedagogical University 2

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HANOI PEDAGOGICAL UNIVERSITY FACULTY OF FOREIGN LANGUAGES PHẠM TRUNG KIÊN STUDENTS’ PERSPECTIVES ON THE USE OF SOCRATIC SEMINAR IN A SPEAKING CLASS AT HANOI PEDAGOGICAL UNIVERSITY SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENT OF THE DEGREE OF BACHELOR OF ARTS IN ENGLISH HANOI, 2019 HANOI PEDAGOGICAL UNIVERSITY FACULTY OF FOREIGN LANGUAGES PHẠM TRUNG KIÊN STUDENTS’ PERSPECTIVES ON THE USE OF SOCRATIC SEMINAR IN A SPEAKING CLASS AT HANOI PEDAGOGICAL UNIVERSITY SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENT OF THE DEGREE OF BACHELOR OF ARTS IN ENGLISH Supervisor Le Thi Phuong Thao M.A HANOI, 2019 i STATEMENT OF AUTHORSHIP Title: STUDENTS’ PERSPECTIVES ON THE USE OF SOCRATIC SEMINAR IN A SPEAKING CLASS AT HANOI PEDAGOGICAL UNIVERSITY I hereby declare that I am the primary author of this bachelor thesis and I have not used any sources other than those identified as references I further declare that I have not submitted this thesis at any other institution in order to obtain a degree Date submitted: May, 2019 Student Pham Trung Kien ii ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS First and foremost, my heartfelt appreciation goes to my admirable supervisor, Ms Lê Thị Phương Thảo, for her continuous support and encouragement when I met obstacles during the journey Thanks to her valuable comments and kind words, I have found the motivation to complete the thesis which I had had intention to give up on The completion of this work would not have been possible without her expert advice, close attention and unswerving guidance Secondly, my thanks go to my family for encouraging me to continue with the thesis I owe my special thanks to my parents: Đỗ Thị Nga and Phạm Văn Miên, for their emotional and material sacrifices as well as their understanding and unconditional support Finally, I owe thanks to many people who helped me and encouraged me during my study My special thanks to Mr Phan Thúc Định for his suggestions for data analysis I am specially thankful to all the students of class K43English Language Teaching for their support and enthusiasm; to my special friends: Hoàng Thị Thu Nga, Trần Đình Xuân; to all my best friends at university: Trà Giang, Phương Linh, Vĩnh Thuỵ, Minh Phương, Thu Hiến for endless encouragement iii ABSTRACT This study is an action research which investigates the effectiveness of the use of Socratic Seminar in a speaking class by exploring how it is perceived by students The target group was twenty-five second-year students at a university in Vietnam The study was conducted in two cycles Data were collected by questionnaires, group interviews, video-based observation The results showed that the technique was positively perceived by students The technique, as welcomed by the students, created a more lively new learning environment when compared to the traditional one Moreover, the use of Socratic Seminar was believed to have improved their vocabulary, pronunciation, and fluency while students were uncertain about the use of Socratic Seminar could help them improve their accuracy Students also showed their agreement with the researcher that they were confident to speak and offered more opportunities to talk Furthermore, students’ autonomy in learning was promoted when they were put in charge of their learning It became evident that the use of Socratic Seminar could somewhat improve students’ speaking skills The use of Socratic Seminar in language teaching is expected to be a promising area for researchers to figure out the new discoveries Key words: Socratic Seminar, speaking skills, effectiveness, positive attitude, promising area iv TABLE OF CONTENTS Statement of Authorship………………………………………………… i Acknowledgments.…………………………………………………… ii Abstract.…………………………………………………… iii Table of contents.…………………………………………………… iv List of tables, figures and abbreviations.……………………………… v PART A INTRODUCTION Statement and Rationale for the study.………………………………… Aim of the study and research question……………………………… 3 Methods of the study……………………………… ………………… Scope of the study……………………………… …………………… Significance of the study……………………………………………… Organization of the study……………………………………………… PART B DEVELOPMENT CHAPTER I LITERATURE REVIEW Socratic Seminar……………………………………………………… 1.1 Definition ………………………………………………………… 1.2 The procedure of Socratic Seminar ……………………………… 1.3 Types of questions used in Socratic Seminar……………………… 1.4 Roles of Socratic Seminar in education …………………………… 1.5 Some problems might occur during the progress of a Socratic Seminar………………………………………………………………… Speaking teaching………………………………………………… 10 2.1 Definition of speaking skill………………………………………… 10 2.2 The importance of speaking skill………………………………… 10 2.3 Teaching and learning speaking skill……………………………… 11 2.4 Characteristics of a successful speaking activity………………… 12 2.5 Speaking problems………………………………………………… 12 Socratic Seminar in teaching and learning speaking skills………… 13 v Teacher and students’ interaction in Socratic Seminar………………… 14 Related research worldwide…………………………………………… 14 Action research………………………………………………………… 16 6.1 Definition…………………………………………………………… 16 6.2 Characteristics of action research………………………………… 16 6.3 Steps in action research…………………………………………… 17 6.4 Rationale for choosing action research…………………………… 19 CHAPTER II METHODOLOGY Objectives of the study………………………………………………… 21 Participants…………………………………………………………… 21 Data collection………………………………………………… 21 Action Research Design……………………………………………… 22 Summary……………………………………………… 26 CHAPTER III ACTION AND OUTCOMES OF RESEARCH CYCLE ONE Planning stage………………………………………………… 27 Action and Observation stage………………………………………… 30 Students’ responses from the first interview…………………………… 32 Reflection on research………………………………………………… 35 Summary………………………………………………… 35 CHAPTER IV ACTION AND OUTCOMES OF RESEARCH CYCLE TWO Planning stage………………………………………………… 36 Action and Observation stage………………………………………… 36 Reflection on changes………………………………………………… 37 Students’ responses from the second interview………………………… 37 Results from survey………………………………………………… 39 Summary ………………………………………………… 44 vi PART C CONCLUSION Summary of major findings…………………………………………… 45 Recommendations………………………………………………… 46 Limitations………………………………………………… 46 Suggestions for further study………………………………………… 47 References………………………………………………… .………… 48 Appendices Appendix A: Interview Guidelines……………………………………… 53 Appendix B: Interview Sample………………………………………… 54 Appendix C: Students’ questionnaire 1………………………………… 57 Appendix D: Students’ questionnaire 2………………………………… 59 Appendix E: Sample of a text used in the seminar (Cycle 1)…………… 61 Appendix F: Sample of a text used in the seminar (Cycle 2)…………… 65 Appendix G: Socratic Seminar Plan (Cycle 1)………………………… 67 Appendix H: Socratic Seminar Plan (Cycle 2).………………………… 69 Appendix I: Sample of Class Observation.……………………………… 71 vii LIST OF TABLES, FIGURES AND ABBREVIATIONS List of tables: Table 1.1 Students’ scores in the preceding term Table 1.2 The content in the textbook “Speak Out, Upper- Intermediate” is difficult for me Table 1.3 The speaking activities in the textbook “Speak Out, UpperIntermediate” are boring Table 1.4 I was afraid of speaking in front of the class Table 1.5 My vocabulary is not good Table 1.6 My pronunciation is not good Table 1.7 I not have enough opportunities to speak in the class Table 2.1 After participating in the Socratic Seminars, my pronunciation is improved Table 2.2 After participating in the Socratic Seminars, my vocabulary is expanded Table 2.3 After participating in the Socratic Seminars, I can frequently produce error-free sentences Table 2.4 The Socratic Seminar generally improves my ability to speak English Table 2.5 After participating in the Socratic Seminars, I can speak more fluently Table 2.6 After participating in the Socratic Seminars, I feel more confident to speak in front of the class Table 2.7 After participating in the Socratic Seminars, I can express my opinions in a respectful manner Table 2.8 After participating in the Socratic Seminars, I exchange more ideas with my classmates Table 2.9 I can learn from other students when participating in the Socratic Seminars Table 2.10 I have more chance to speak English in the class viii Table 2.11 I would like my teacher to use Socratic Seminars instead of traditional methods in the speaking class List of figures: Figure Cyclical AR model based on Kemmis and McTaggart (1988) List of abbreviations: AR Action Research ELT English Language Teaching EFL English Foreign Language T Teacher S Student ix My vocabulary is not good My pronunciation is not good I not have many opportunities to speak in the class 58 APPENDIX D: STUDENTS’ QUESTIONNAIRE NO.2 My name is Pham Trung Kien, from class K41A, Faculty of Foreign Languages, Hanoi Pedagogical University I am conducting my graduation paper on the topic: STUDENTS’ PERSPECTIVES ON THE USE OF SOCRATIC SEMINAR IN A SPEAKING CLASS AT HANOI PEDAGOGICAL UNIVERSITY I would like you to help me by completing this survey questionnaire All the information you give in this survey only serves for the purpose of carrying out the study and will be treated with confidentiality Please give your answer sincerely as only this will guarantee the success of the investigation Thank you very much for your kind cooperation Please state whether you agree or disagree with the following statements by putting a cross (X) in the appropriate column Neither Totally Statements Partly Disagree Disagree Agree Partly nor agree Disagree After participating in the Socratic Seminars, my pronunciation is improved After participating in the Socratic Seminars, my vocabulary is expanded After participating in the Socratic Seminars, I can frequently produce error-free sentences Socratic Seminar generally 59 Agree improves my ability to speak After participating in the Socratic Seminars, I can speak more fluently After participating in the Socratic Seminars, I feel more confident to speak in front of the class After participating in the Socratic Seminars, I can express my opinions in a respectful manner After participating in the Socratic Seminars, I exchange more ideas with my classmates I can learn from other students when participating the Socratic Seminars 10 I have more chance to speak English in the class 11 I would like my teacher to use Socratic Seminars instead of traditional methods in the speaking class 60 APPENDIX E: SAMPLE OF A TEXT USED IN THE SEMINAR (CYCLE 1) Half of Teens Think They’re Addicted to Their Smartphones I don't have teenagers yet, but watching my 8- and 10-year-olds spend endless amounts of time on iPads during spring break makes me worried about the day hopefully years from now when they have their own devices A new poll that confirms just how much teens depend on their phones gives me even more to worry about Fifty percent of teens feel they are addicted to their mobile devices, according to the poll, which was conducted for Common Sense Media, a nonprofit focused on helping children, parents, teachers and policymakers negotiate media and technology A larger number of parents, 59%, said their teens were addicted The poll involved 1,240 interviews with parents and their children, ages 12 to 18 "Technological addiction can happen to anyone," said digital detox expert Holland Haiis, who describes technology as "the new 21st century addiction" in her book "Consciously Connecting: A Simple Process to Reconnect in a Disconnected World." "If your teens would prefer gaming indoors, alone, as opposed to going out to the movies, meeting friends for burgers or any of the other ways that teens build camaraderie, you may have a problem." How many teens are truly addicted to their devices and the Internet? It is difficult to say A 2011 review of 18 research studies found that Internet addiction might affect between zero and 26% of adolescents and college students in the United States, according to Common Sense Media And, while Internet addiction is viewed as a public health threat in other parts of the world, it is not yet a recognized disorder in the United States After reviewing all the existing research, Common Sense Media concludes that more study is needed to determine how real digital addiction is, and what the signs and consequences could be 61 Whether it is an addiction or not, two-thirds of parents 66% feel their teens spend too much time on their mobile devices, and 52% of teens agree, according to the poll 'Teenage zombies' consumed by phones Nearly 80% of teens in the new survey said they checked their phones hourly, and 72% said they felt the need to immediately respond to texts and social networking messages Thirty-six percent of parents said they argued with their child daily about device use, and 77% of parents feel their children get distracted by their devices and don't pay attention when they are together at least a few times per week Terry Greenwald, a father of three grown children, works as a custodian at a high school in Homer, Alaska, and said the hallways are often half-filled with "teenage zombies who are glued to their phones." They often walk near the walls so they can move from class to class without looking away from their screens, he said "It gets interesting when they get to the stairways and the walls end for the stairway," he said "They don't want to look up and they don't way to tumble down the stairs but often just slow way down and inch along until they reach the wall just past the opening They are often late to the next class, but that's OK because they were successful at not diverting attention from their phone." Janis Elspas, founder of Mommy Blog Expert, believes the rules and boundaries parents set for their children when they get their first cell phone or smartphone might be helpful in heading off any addictions later on Her children, 18-year-old triplets and a 20-year-old, didn't own their first cell phones until they were at least a junior in high school and had a part-time job to pay for part or all of the monthly phone service She also has a no-phone policy at the dinner table, which extends to her and her husband "This rule also applies to the kids' friends who might be sitting at the table with us," said Elspas of Los Angeles "Sometimes they are shocked when I 62 reprimand them for bringing their phone out and if there's a notification or it rings, I ask them to turn off their device." Such a rule can prove to kids, firsthand, that they can "survive" without having to see or use their smartphone constantly, she added There are signs that some teens may be getting that message and realize too much time on their devices isn't necessarily a good thing More than onethird of teens, 37%, said they very often or occasionally try to cut down the amount of time they spend on their devices, the Common Sense Media poll found Parents have a problem, too Parents might complain about the amount of time their teens spend on their phones, but they admit they have their own difficulties when it comes to unplugging Twenty-seven percent of parents feel they are addicted to their mobile devices, while nearly the same number of teens, 28%, believe their parents are addicted, according to the poll Sixty-nine percent of parents check their devices at least hourly compared to the 78% of teens who say they that, and nearly half, 48%, of parents feel they need to immediately respond to texts and social networking messages More than half, 56%, of parents admit checking their mobile devices while driving and nearly the same number, 52%, very often or occasionally try to cut down the amount of time they spend on devices GG Benitez, a mother of three, said that as the founder and chief executive officer of her own public relations firm, she feels the pressure to always be available due to the fear of losing any potential press opportunities for her clients While she is often praised by her clients and her family and friends for her "immediate response" to texts, emails and social media posts, she said this constant need to be connected can be taxing Yet, even when she tries to stay off her phone in the evenings for at least one hour, she has a tough time 63 "I had taken my son to a movie, and he turned around to me and said, 'Are you serious, Mom? We are at the movies and you are still on your phone?'" said Benitez, who has a 10-year-old son and two daughters, ages 11 and 22 Haiis, the digital detox expert, said one way to try to curb an addiction to digital devices is to resist endless hours of surfing the Internet "We have constant access to new information and this is alluring, intriguing and exciting, but without setting limits for yourself, it's a slippery slope," she said She also said to limit posting on social media to three to five times a week, if possible, which will make you more specific about what you post and will lead to less time spent looking at other people's posts And, when you are at home and feel the urge to reach for your device, go outside, take a walk or exercise, she said "The dopamine in our brains is stimulated by the unpredictability that social media, emails and texting provide," said Haiis "It's a vicious cycle and in order to break that cycle, you need to find the same unpredictability and stimulation which is out there if you are exercising You never know what's around the bend when out for a jog, bike ride or walk." Benitez, the public relations executive who finds it hard to stay off her phone, said she has taken steps to curb her own digital addiction, such as setting aside the phone during mealtime "I have consciously made the decision to be more 'present' and will place the phone on silent and away from my vision, but not without the anxiety that I may be missing something important," she added 64 APPENDIX F: SAMPLE OF A TEXT USED IN THE SEMINAR (CYCLE 2) ARE CELEBRITIES BAD FOR YOU? ( Adopted from learningenglishteen.britishcouncil.org) Celebrities are everywhere nowadays: on TV, in magazines, online Is this preoccupation with famous people harmless fun or is it bad for us? How many people are truly obsessed with modern media idols? And on the other side of the coin, can fame be harmful to the celebrities? Studies suggest that the vast majority of teenagers not really worship celebrities Researchers have identified three kinds of fans About 15% of young people have an ‘entertainment-social’ interest They love chatting about their favourite celebrities with friends and this does not appear to any harm Another 5% feel that they have an ‘intense-personal’ relationship with a celebrity Sometimes they see them as their soulmate and find that they are often thinking about them, even when they don’t want to These people are more at risk from depression and anxiety If girls in this group idolise a female star with a body they consider to be perfect, they are more likely to be unhappy with their own bodies That leaves 2% of young people with a ‘borderline-pathological’ interest They might say, for example, they would spend several thousand pounds on a paper plate the celebrity had used, or that they would something illegal if the celebrity asked them to These people are in most danger of being seriously disturbed What about the celebrities themselves? A study in the USA tried to measure narcissism or extreme self-centredness, when feelings of worthlessness and invisibility are compensated for by turning into the opposite: excessive 65 showing off Researchers looked at 200 celebrities, 200 young adults with Masters in Business Administration (a group known for being narcissistic) and a nationally representative sample using the same questionnaire As was expected, the celebrities were significantly more narcissistic than the MBAs and both groups were a lot more narcissistic than the general population Four kinds of celebrity were included in the sample The most narcissistic were the ones who had become famous through reality TV shows – they scored highest on vanity and willingness to exploit other people Next came comedians, who scored highest on exhibitionism and feelings of superiority Then came actors, and the least narcissistic were musicians One interesting result was that there was no connection between narcissism and the length of time the celebrity had been famous This means that becoming famous probably did not make the celebrities narcissistic – they already were beforehand So, what can we learn from this? People who are very successful or famous tend to be narcissists and are liable to be ruthless, self-seeking workaholics As we can see from celebrity magazines, they are also often desperate and lonely They make disastrous role models Glossary: worship (v): love and admire somebody very much pathological (adj): impossible to control excessive (adj): too much narcissistic (adj): admiring yourself too much disastrous (adj): very bad, harmful or unsuccessful 66 APPENDIX G: SOCRATIC SEMINAR PLAN SAMPLE (CYCLE 1) Topic: Half of Teens Think That They Are Addicted to Smartphones (Adopted from CNN News) A Pre- Seminar  Aims: - To present Ss the background information about the seminar - To prepare Ss to discuss the selected text  Procedure: - T asks Ss to work in circles - T reviews the procedure and guidelines of the seminar - T informs Ss the goals of the discussion and Ss’ responsibilities - T: “In this seminar, my main responsibility is a facilitator, which means that I will ask you questions and move along the seminar in the positive direction.” - T: “Your mission is to think, listen, share your thoughts, feelings and ideas Pay careful attention to the speaker and wait for your turn You are encouraged to express your agreement and disagreement However, you need to take your stance in an appropriate manner.” B Seminar  Opening: Identify the main ideas from the text T asks: - What is the main idea of the text? - How many percent of teenagers were addicted to smartphones, according to their parents?  Core: Focus/ Analyze the textual details: T asks: - In line 23, what does the author mean by “teenage zombie”? - Why teenagers are addicted to smartphones? 67 - Why parents have difficulties in preventing their children from spending time on smartphones? - In the sentence: “While Internet addiction is viewed as a public health threat in other parts of the world, it is not yet a recognized disorder in the United States.” Can you explain why? - What does “curb” mean in the sentence: “Benitez, the public relations executive who finds it hard to stay off her phone, said she has taken steps to curb her own digital addiction, such as setting aside the phone during mealtime”  Closing: Personalize – Apply the textual ideas: T asks: - Do you have smartphone addiction? Explain? - What would you to prevent smartphone addiction if you were a parent? C Post- seminar - T ask Ss to write on their diary to reflect their participation, their speaking progress, interesting events and class atmosphere when engaging in the discussion 68 APPENDIX H: SOCRATIC PLAN SAMPLE (CYCLE 2) Topic: Are Celebrities Bad For You? (Adopted from British Council) A Pre- Seminar  Aims: - To present Ss the background information - To prepare Ss to read the selected text  Procedure: - T asks Ss to work in circles - T reviews the procedure and guidelines of the seminar - T informs Ss the goals of the discussion and Ss’ responsibilities - T: “ In this seminar, my main responsibility is an observer, which means that I appoint two students as a leader and co-leader who will ask you questions and move along the seminar in the positive direction.” - T: “Your mission is to think, listen, share your thoughts, feelings and ideas Pay careful attention to the speaker and wait for your turn You are encouraged to express your agreement and disagreement However, you need to take your stance in an appropriate manner.” B Seminar  Opening: Identify the main ideas from the text Leader asks: - What is the main idea of the text? - How many kinds of fan identified by the researchers?  Core: Focus/ Analyze the textual details Leaders asks: - What does the word “narcissistic” mean in the paragraph 7? - What does the author mean by “borderline-pathological’ interest”? 69 - In the sentence: “The most narcissistic were the ones who had become famous through reality TV shows” Can you explain why? - What are the effects of fame on the celebrities according to the text? Are the effects positive or negative?  Closing: Personalize/ Apply the textual ideas: Leaders ask: - Who is your favorite celebrity? Why? - How celebrities in Vietnam influence teenagers? C Post- Seminar - T asks Ss to write on their diaries to reflect their participation, their progress, interesting events and class atmosphere when engaging in the discussion 70 APPENDIX I: SAMPLE OF CLASS OBSERVATION 16 April 2019 Observation T: In this seminar, my main responsibility is an observer, which means that I appoint two students as a leader and co-leader who will ask you questions and move along the seminar in the positive direction Leader: I have a question for you How many kinds of fans were identified by researchers? (call on S1) S1: Researchers have identified three kinds of fans About 15% of young people have an ‘entertainment-social’ interest Co-leader: What does “entertainment-social interest” mean? S1: Hmm S2: In my opinion, that means the young people who are interested in both entertainment and society Leader: What does the word “narcissistic” mean in the paragraph 7? S3: It means that when a person is narcissistic, he or she admire themselves a lot Co-leader (ask S3): Do you think famous people are narcissistic? S3: Yes Because they are well-known by many people, so they think they are perfect It can make them narcissistic S4: For me, the famous people are not narcissistic They always act in a moderate manner because they need to attract more fans Leader: What are the effects of fame on the celebrities according to the text? Are the effects positive or negative? S5: People who are very successful or famous tend to be narcissists and are liable to be ruthless, self-seeking workaholics As we can see from celebrity magazines, they are also often desperate and lonely They make disastrous role models Leader: What are the phrase “be liable to something” mean? S6: It means “very likely to something” 71 Leader: S7, who is your favorite celebrity? S7: My favorite celebrity is My Tam S5: Why? S7: Because she often does a lot of work for charity She makes a positive model Co-leader: Recently, on the internet, we often see some people who are famous for doing bad things What are your opinions? (call on S7) S7: Like KB (the name of a phenomenon)? (Class full of laughter) S3: I think that they had a negative effect on teenagers I not understand why teenager worship them S4: I agree with you We need to something to raise awareness of people to get teenagers stay away from them S2: I assume because they are narcissistic, as mentioned in the text, so that they might not know they negatively affected teenagers In the text, the research indicated those who are narcissistic are liable to be ruthless Teens imitated the way they dress and rude behavior, which is warning S8: I totally agree with you Leader: Ok Now I would like you to write your thoughts and feelings in the diary form Thank you for your participation! (The discussion is over) 72 ... had a similar situation to the characters in the text 1.4 Roles of Socratic Seminar in education Thomas (20 09) argued the importance of the Socratic Seminar as a teaching technique that breaks the. .. more confident to speak in front of the class Table 2. 7 After participating in the Socratic Seminars, I can express my opinions in a respectful manner Table 2. 8 After participating in the Socratic. .. THE USE OF SOCRATIC SEMINAR IN A SPEAKING CLASS AT HANOI PEDAGOGICAL UNIVERSITY I hereby declare that I am the primary author of this bachelor thesis and I have not used any sources other than
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