the study enhancing the effects of english teaching by classroom eye contact at dong thap university

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i STATEMENT OF AUTHORSHIP Dong Thap, April 2012 Nguyen Cong Danh I certify that the work presented in this research report has been performed and interpreted solely by myself. I confirm that this work is submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement of the B.A Degree and has not been submitted elsewhere in any other form for the fulfillment of any other degree or qualification. ii ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS During the process of carrying out the study, I have received a large amount of contribution and support from many people. First, I would like to send my wholehearted thanks to Dean and all the lectures of the Foreign Languages Department of Dong Thap University who gave me a chance to study the thesis. Second, I would like to express my greatest and sincerest appreciation to Mr. Nguyen Van Tam, M.A, my supervisor, for his precious pieces of advice, guidance, and support inn the pursuance of this study. Finally yet importantly, I am grateful to Mr. Pham Van Tac and Ms. Tran Thi Hien who did allow me to carry out my observation and to other teachers of English and all the students in the Department of Foreign Languages for what they have done to help me finish the study. iii ABSTRACT The study is conducted to investigate what is the reality of using classroom eye contact in English teaching and to raise students‘ awareness of the importance of nonverbal language, especially eye contact. The questionnaire for teachers and for students was delivered to seek essential information about the current use of classroom eye contact and the teachers of English and students‘ attitudes toward the technique. The observation was also later carried out at two classes to collect relevant data. Then the data obtained from the above tools was analyzed including table charts, pie charts and discussions. The results show that most of the teachers of English have awareness to use classroom eye contact and the students seem to be more excited joining the teachers‘ activities. Some other teachers, however, have failed to bring eye contact to play in class and to combine the speaking technique with other nonverbal means. In brief, the data gained from the students and the teachers‘ answers as well as the observation sheets confirmed that classroom eye contact brings great advantages to classroom management and motivate students‘ participation. iv TABLE OF CONTENT STATEMENT OF AUTHORSHIP i ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ii ABSTRACT iii TABLE OF CONTENT iv INTRODUCTION 1 1. Motivation of the study 1 2. Aims of the study 2 3. Research methods 2 4. Scope of the study 3 5. Significance of the study 3 6. Related previous studies 3 7. Organization of the thesis 3 CHAPTER 1: LITERATURE REVIEW 5 1.1 Nonverbal communication 5 1.1.1 Definition of nonverbal communication 5 1.1. 2 The importance of nonverbal communication to language learners 5 1.1.3 Components of nonverbal communication 7 1.2 Eye contact communication 21 1.2.1 Definition of eye contact communication 21 1.2.2 The importance of classroom eye contact 22 1.2.3 Expressions of eye contact in teaching 24 CHAPTER 2: METHODOLOGY 26 v 2.1 Research questions 26 2.2 Research participants 26 2.2.1 The researcher 26 2.2.2 The subjects 26 2.3 Research procedure and data collection 26 2.3.1 Classroom observation 26 2.3.2 Questionnaire 27 CHAPTER 3: RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS 30 3.1 Results 30 3.1.1 The observation sheets 30 3.1.2 The questionnaires for students 35 3.1.3 The questionnaires for teachers 47 3.2 Discussions 56 3.2.1 Research question 1 56 3.2.2 Research question 2 56 3.2.3 Recommendations 57 CONCLUSION 59 1. Overview of the thesis 59 2. Limitations of the thesis 59 3. Suggestions for further research 60 REFERENCES v APPENDIX 1 vii APPENDIX 2 ix OBSERVATION SHEET xii 1 INTRODUCTION 1. Motivation of the study In the globalization, English is considered to be an international language to functionate communication as well as transform information and events. It is the fourth most widely spoken native language in the world and in terms of accurate number of speakers, it is the most official language in the world. Teaching and learning English, therefore, becomes a need of society. The fact is that even though all skills are equally important, people give different favor for different skills among the four ones: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Speaking skill is given more concern as we have to communicate with people in person at our job and in our normal life. Communication is regarded as the foundation of successful relationships both personally and professionally. As Liz & John Soars (1997) “We are great communicators”. We, human beings, communicate during our whole life for our own purpose. A child cries (communicates) to his parents as he needs changing his diaper or feeding. Family members communicate for help and emotional support and to maintain a good family relationship. At work, people communicate for the purpose of exchanging ideas, negotiating… We now are able to come to a conclusion that communication is very important in our lives, as Hybels (1992:5) claims ―Communication, then, is vital to our lives. To live is to communicate.‖ We, however, communicate much more than words. In the process of communication, people do not only send verbal messages but nonverbal ones as well. Nonverbal communication is understood as a way of communicating without the use of written or spoken language. People believe that the most effective way to communicate is verbal. However, nonverbal communication is still there even when people do not say a word. There is unexpectedly a sad fact that although important, most 2 teachers of English and even language learners, especially those major in English teaching do not always care much for this silent language. In this aspect, eye contact seems to be skipped most. We all know that eye contact is an especially important type of nonverbal communication since the visual sense is dominant for most people. The way we look at someone can communicate many things, including interest, affection, hostility, or attraction. Moreover, it is believed to be better to control a class, check students‘ understanding, etc. if teachers use eye contact in their classes. Most teachers, however, do not often care to use eye contact. Teachers, traditionally, just try to talk, explain, and ask questions, etc. in such a way that they even do not use any eye contact at their students to know whether they understand. This makes classes uncontrolled. Hence, by a lack of eye contact, classes gradually become less effective and students tent to be inattentive. This is seen as a signal of a failed class hour. It is, therefore, indispensable for teachers to prepare, use and teach with eye contact in class. For the sake of this, as an English major student, the researcher decided to do the study entitled ―Enhancing the effects of English teaching by classroom eye contact at Dong Thap University”. 2. Aims of the study The study aims to: - investigate what is the reality of using eye contact in English teaching at Dong Thap University; - raise the awareness of the importance of using nonverbal communication, especially eye contact in teaching English. - give suggestions for improvement. 3. Research methods In the process of doing the study, two research methods will be used to 3 collect relevant data are observation and questionnaires. First, the researcher will observe two classes to know how teachers use their classroom eye contact and its effects. Then questionnaires are employed to investigate the reality of the use of classroom eye contact in English teaching. 4. Scope of the study The scope of the study is about enhancing the effects of English teaching by using eye contact at Dong Thap University. 5. Significance of the study The findings of the study are expected to make a significant contribution to English teaching. Through the study, teachers may pay more attention to the use of eye contact and apply them more frequently in teaching. Besides, with the suggestions given, teachers may become more successful in controlling their classes with a new way ever by silent language. Additionally, the study is believed to be able to raise English majoring students‘ awareness of using eye contact in their future teaching. In short, no matter how the findings are, the study is hoped to bring certain benefits to students, teachers, and researchers. 6. Related previous studies 7. Organization of the thesis Introduction Chapter 1: Literature Review 1.1 Nonverbal communication 1.1.1 Definition of nonverbal communication 1.1.2 The importance of nonverbal communication to language learners 1.1.3 Components of nonverbal communication 1.2 Eye contact communication 1.2.1 Definition of eye contact communication 4 1.2.2 The importance of classroom eye contact 1.2.3 Expressions of eye contact in teaching Chapter 2: Methodology 2.1 Research questions 2.2 Research participants 2.2.1 The researcher 2.2.2 The subject(s) 2.3 Research procedure and data collection 2.3.1 Classroom observation 2.3.2 Questionnaire Chapter 3: Results and Discussions 3.1 Results 3.1.1 The observation sheets 3.1.2 The questionnaires for students 3.1.3 The questionnaires for teachers 3.2 Discussions 3.2.1 Research question 1 3.2.2 Research question 2 3.2.3 Recommendations Conclusion References Appendix 5 CHAPTER 1: LITERATURE REVIEW 1.1 Nonverbal communication 1.1.1 Definition of nonverbal communication Nonverbal communication is usually understood as the process of communication through sending and receiving wordless messages. Such messages can be communicated through gesture, body language or posture, facial expression and eye contact, object communication such as clothing, hairstyles or even architecture. Speech may also contain nonverbal elements such as rhythm, intonation and stress. Likewise, written texts have nonverbal elements such as handwriting style, spatial arrangement of words, or the use of emoticons. 1.1.2 The importance of nonverbal communication to language learners The silent language also aims to send messages to receivers by its own means. Nonverbal messages may communicate the exact same meanings as verbal messages. The same purposes that were identified for communication in general are served by nonverbal signals as well. People should take into consideration the following advantages of communicating nonverbally. First, nonverbal messages help us to discover to learn, to acquire information about the world and about other people. Nonverbal messages the smile, the focused eye contact, the leaning forward, and of course, the kiss also helps us to establish and maintain relationships. We signal that we like another person first through nonverbal signals; then, usually at least, we follow up with verbal messages. At the same time, of course, our nonverbal messages can help destroy and dissolve interpersonal relationships. When we avoid eye contact and touching, when we frown more than smile, and when our voice is without warmth, we are using nonverbal signals to distance ourselves from the other people. We can also use nonverbal messages to help. [...]... students‘ expectation of teachers‘ use of eye contact 30 CHAPTER 3: RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS 3.1 Results 3.1.1 The observation sheets The observation was carried out at two English classes at Dong Thap University by the researcher Nguyen Cong Danh The observation aims to investigate what is the reality of using classroom eye contact in English teaching here at the university The lessons by Tran Thi Hien... always The others making up 66.7% “sometimes” use their eye communication in class As stated above, with the intention to observe and the data collected, we can conclude that most of the teachers of English here at Dong Thap University have awareness of how classroom eye contact effects on their class hour In spite of that, the way the teachers look at their students seems to be one of the expressions of. .. general points of view about classroom eye contact - Question 2 to question 4: the reality of the use of classroom eye contact by teachers of English at Dong Thap University - Question 5 to question 10: teachers‘ awareness of the importance of nonverbal language in general and classroom eye contact in particular The questionnaire for students: the questionnaire for students consists of 15 questions... well classroom eye contact works and effects on the success of the lesson 26 CHAPTER 2: METHODOLOGY 2.1 Research questions The study tries to seek answers to the following questions: (1) How do teachers use eye contact in teaching English at Dong Thap University? (2) What should be done to enhance the effects of using eye contact in teaching? 2.2 Research participants 2.2.1 The researcher The researcher... teachers‘ use of eye contact in term of asking a question + Question 9: teachers‘ use of eye contact in term of combining with other nonverbal means - Question 5: the percentage of students follow the teacher‘s instructions as he or she uses eye contact - Question 7: students‘ reaction to teachers‘ use of eye contact - Question 10: the effects of teacher‘s use of classroom eye contact in terms of classroom. .. corresponding to the objectives of the study, the questions for both teachers and students are divided into two main groups to investigate the reality of using the technique by teachers of English and the awareness of students about it The questionnaire for teachers: the questionnaire for teachers consists of 10 questions to ask about the reality of their use of classroom eye contact and their awareness of this... teachers‘ use of eye contact and students‘ awareness of the importance of this speaking skill - Question 1: the general view of students about their teacher‘s use of eye contact - Question 2 to question 5: teachers‘ use of classroom eye contact - Question 6: students‘ reaction with teachers‘ use of eye contact 29 - Question 7 to question 14: students‘ awareness of the importance of classroom eye contact. .. On the grounds that ‗it‘s not what you say, it‘s the way that you say it‘, there is much to be said for teaching nonverbal communication either parallel to, or integrated with, a language and skills based syllabus, in the same way that phonology is often treated Nonverbal communication is a system consisting of a range of features often used together to aid expression The combination of these features... significance of eye contact vary widely between cultures, with religious and social differences often altering its meaning greatly The study of eye contact is sometimes known as oculesics 22 The effectiveness of eye contact When two or more individuals talk, the person that talks is used to being looked at Therefore, making eye contact is making other people expect conversation 1.2.2 The importance of classroom. .. could set the tone of a lesson As the lesson starts, the teacher can check whether the students are ready or not only through eye contact Research shows that there is a strong link between the amount of eye contact people receive and their degree of participation in communication It can be concluded that eye contact encourages students to take part in speech easily since teachers can nominate and invite . investigate the reality of the use of classroom eye contact in English teaching. 4. Scope of the study The scope of the study is about enhancing the effects of English teaching by using eye contact. contact at Dong Thap University . 2. Aims of the study The study aims to: - investigate what is the reality of using eye contact in English teaching at Dong Thap University; - raise the awareness. Motivation of the study 1 2. Aims of the study 2 3. Research methods 2 4. Scope of the study 3 5. Significance of the study 3 6. Related previous studies 3 7. Organization of the thesis
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