A study about what makes students get more interested in english listening lesson

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A STUDY ABOUT WHAT MAKES STUDENTS GET MORE INTERESTED IN ENGLISH LISTENING LESSON ABSTRACT With the effort to help upper-secondary students more interested in learning English, the researcher would like to have a closer look at students’ perception about English listening skill The study, therefore, is carried out to find out the hindrance from students’ side in listening to English as well as the expectation that students desire from English teachers’ side The researcher uses both quantitative and qualitative methods in the study to collect information from students and then analyze through tables to find out the results for discussion The study, hopefully, contributes considerably to motivate students’ love for English in general and listening skill in particular I Introduction Statement of research problem: Students in English-specialized classes have a reason to study English Therefore, English teachers find it easy to get students involved in listening lessons As for English non-specialized students, accounting 86.7% in Hung Yen Specialized High School, how to make students more active in studying English in general and listening to English in particular still remains a question The researcher, thus, chooses to the study on what makes students get more interested in English listening lesson with the hope to motivate students’ interest and aid English teachers in accomplishing an effective English listening lesson Research objectives: The research aims at finding out useful techniques that will increase students’ motivation and encourage students to listen to English enjoyably The participants who are in the first year at high school, as a result, will be equipped with good base to continue bringing up their love to English in the following years This study hopefully assists English teachers to overcome the hindrance to students’ listening and meet the students’ needs when carrying out English listening lessons; thus, contributing to a successful English listening lesson Research scope: The number of English non-specialized students in Hung Yen Specialized High School accounts for 86.7% The study aims at this subject, so it is done with 60 grade-ten students Thirty students come from a natural science class and the other thirty ones are from social science class This sample is big enough to ensure the objectiveness and precision for the research Research method: Quantitative and qualitative methods are used in this research Questionnaires are distributed to students in both Vietnamese and English to ensure students not misunderstand the researcher’s points The researcher guides students carefully to tick the right boxes that are right for them The information, then, will be analyzed through numbers and described on tables for discussion Concurrently, the researcher makes full use of the observation that she accumulates when teaching students over years to analyze all the factors for the best results Literature Review Over the years, researchers worldwide have spent considerable time and effort to detect the most effective ways of learning English The techniques or methods in teaching English are themselves excellent However, what to apply and how to apply depend on certain contexts, environment and regions In terms of teaching listening skills, there is also a wide range of methods proposed to build a successful lesson With the topic of raising students’ interest in English listening, below are some opinions Gardner (1985) mentions learners’ desire to communicate with other learners when researching on learners’ motivation He, later on, terms motivation as “behavior, feeling and cognition”; and, motivated students have “goals, desires, aspiration and enjoys the activity” (2001, p.9) William Collins and Justin Hunt (Jaltcalljournal, Vol 7, No 3, Pages 319-333) claim that when students have low interest, they will have low motivation These two authors also state that students’ motivation and confidence will be developed through a wide range of listening options in which video forums are of importance Sherman (2003) puts an accent on authentic videos in motivating students because of their valuable real-life nature When using computer to assist students, Adamson (1996) says that they “prefer and enjoy the type of software that is flexible and user-frienly” Brett (1997) compares success rate between two groups of students The one with the assistance of multimedia proves to perform more effectively than the one with either one of the media types Mackey (2006) and Leow (2011) have the same point of view on the CALL assistance They point out that listening performance on the computer connected to the internet provides students with quick answers and comments, which strengthens their motivation On the side of English teachers, Hadley and Alice Omaggio (Teaching Language in Context, p.190) emphasizes the importance of teacher talking English in class, which is considered listening materials, so that students are bathed in English environment McDonough (2000) believes that teachers should plan flexible questions before class and may give students extension tasks to make them more involved in the lesson Nunan (2001) suggests setting goals prior to listening to make students know what they are going to follow Wang Qiang (2006) also states that it is of utmost importance that listening activities are designed with “clear purpose, a specific task and an appropriate context” Robin (2006) advises joining listening with writing and speaking to both make students recall the listening content and “sharpen their interest and raise their motivation” As can be seen from the short summary above, few researchers look at the side of learners to find out what impedes students’ willingness to listen to English This research is, therefore, carried out to find an answer However, with the limited time and condition, the researcher just does the study within Hung Yen Specialized High School This research is done to answer two questions: Why are students afraid to listen to English? What are the most beneficial techniques to assist students in listening to English? II Discussion To answer the first question “Why are students afraid to listen to English?”, the researcher distributes questionnaire numbered to students to find out the hindrance that impedes their listening to English Questionnaire No 1: Here are the list of factors that may make you afraid to listen to English, tick the ones that apply to you (Đây danh sách số yếu tố khiến em ngại nghe tiếng Anh lớp, đánh dấu tick vào ô mà em thấy với thân mình.) Listening tasks are too difficult (Các tập nghe khó) I don’t understand what to (Em không hiểu em phải làm gì) There are usually too many new words (Có nhiều từ mới) The recording is too fast for me to understand (Phần nghe nhanh nên em không kịp hiểu) The sound on the CD is different from what I read or hear from the teacher (Các âm CD khác với âm mà em đọc hay nghe giáo viên đọc) I don’t know where to listen to and find the answer (Em phải nghe phần để tìm câu trả lời) The topics are unfamiliar (Các chủ đề thật lạ lẫm) The sound volume is not big enough for me to listen clearly (Âm không đủ to để em nghe rõ ràng) I don’t have enough time to take notes for the answer (Em không kịp ghi chép cho câu trả lời) 10 The listening in the textbook is so boring (Phần nghe sách giáo khoa tẻ nhạt) 11 Others (Khác) …………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………… And here is the result: What makes students afraid to listen to English Listening tasks are too difficult (Các tập nghe khó) I don’t understand what to (Em không hiểu em phải làm gì) There are usually too many new words (Có nhiều từ mới) The recording is too fast for me to understand (Phần nghe nhanh nên em không kịp hiểu) The sound on the CD is different from what I read or hear from the teacher (Các âm CD khác với âm mà em đọc hay nghe giáo viên đọc) I don’t know where to listen to and find the answer (Em phải nghe phần để tìm câu trả lời) The topics are unfamiliar (Các chủ đề thật lạ lẫm) The sound volume is not big enough for me to listen clearly (Âm không đủ to để em nghe rõ ràng) I don’t have enough time to take notes for the answer (Em không kịp ghi chép cho câu trả lời) 10 The listening in the textbook is so boring (Phần nghe sách giáo khoa tẻ nhạt) 11 Others (Khác) Number of students 11 Percentage (%) 18.3 11 18.3 33 55 40 66.7 44 73.3 15 1.7 10 22 36.7 8.3 1.7 As can be seen from the table, surprisingly, factor numbered is the first hindrance in students’ listening to English with 73.3% This shows that the sounds that students hear from teachers (current or from the ones who taught them in previous years) are so different from the sounds of the exactly same words on the recording Thus, students are not able to recognize the sounds This fact affirms again English teacher’s pronunciation and accent is of importance Only when English teachers master good pronunciation, can students better their listening skill The next two causes are that the recording is too fast for students to listen (66.7%) and there are too many new words (55%) Quite many students complain that they cannot keep up with the recording and new words really frustrate them to listen This means English teachers need to play CD several times or slow down the speed to students’ level so that students can have the opportunity to understand the content Also, teaching some new words as a background before listening is necessary It is advisable for English teachers to guide students to study some supplement skills for listening such as note-taking Factor numbered accounting up to 36.7% of students’ answers asserts again the importance and necessity of supplement skills that will assist students a lot in catching the ideas of the recording With the same percentage, both factor and take up 18.3% in impeding students’ listening Though small, this number needs to be taken into consideration to adapt the listening content appropriately and instruct students carefully when carry out listening activities Factor with 15% makes it clearer about the necessity of teachers’ giving careful instruction before listening Only 10% of the students think that the volume need to be bigger and 8.3% want to change the listening content in the book into something more interesting Other factors just account for only 1.7% To answer the second question “What are the most beneficial techniques to assist students in listening to English?”, questionnaire numbered is distributed to students to find out what English teachers can to assist their students and motivate them to listen to English Questionnaire No 2: What you think will assist you the most in English listening lesson? Tick the ones that apply to you (Theo em, điều hỗ trợ em nhiều nghe tiếng Anh, đánh dấu tick vào ô mà em thấy với thân mình.) English teacher provides some new words and structures before listening (Giáo viên đưa từ cấu trúc trước nghe) Teacher gives instruction carefully about what students are going to listen to and what they have to (Giáo viên hướng dẫn cách cẩn thận em nghe phải làm gì) Teacher organizes discussion about the topic before listening or develop mindmap for students to contribute ideas (Giáo viên tổ chức thảo luận chủ đề trước nghe vẽ sơ đồ mind-map cho học sinh đóng góp ý kiến) Teacher uses PowerPoint instead of cassette player (Giáo viên dùng PowerPoint thay máy cassette) Teacher provides listening materials outside textbooks (eg: songs) (Giáo viên cung cấp tài liệu nghe sách giáo khoa, ví dụ: hát) Students often does self-listening at home (Các em thường tự nghe nhà) Students are familiar with teacher’s using all English in class (Học sinh quen với việc giáo viên nói tiếng Anh thường xuyên lớp) Teacher combines listening with speaking or writing (eg: ask who can summarize or assign the writing task of summarizing the recording content.) (Giáo viên kết hợp phần nghe với phần nói viết, ví dụ: yêu cầu em nói viết tóm tắt nội dung phần nghe.) Others (Khác): …………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………… The outcome appears as follows: What assists students the most in listening to English Number of students 41 Percentage (%) 68.3 (Giáo viên đưa từ cấu trúc trước nghe) Teacher gives instruction carefully about what students are going to listen to and what they have to 31 51.7 (Giáo viên hướng dẫn cách cẩn thận em nghe phải làm gì) Teacher organizes discussion about the topic before listening or develop mind-map for students to contribute ideas 13.3 15 23 38.3 13.3 22 36.7 English teacher provides some new words and structures before listening (Giáo viên tổ chức thảo luận chủ đề trước nghe vẽ sơ đồ mind-map cho học sinh đóng góp ý kiến) Teacher uses PowerPoint instead of cassette player (Giáo viên dùng PowerPoint thay máy cassette) Teacher provides listening materials outside textbooks (eg: songs) (Giáo viên cung cấp tài liệu nghe sách giáo khoa, ví dụ: hát) Students often does self-listening at home (Các em thường tự nghe nhà) Students are familiar with teacher’s using all English in class (Học sinh quen với việc giáo viên nói tiếng Anh thường xuyên lớp) Teacher combines listening with speaking or writing (eg: ask who can summarize or assign the writing task of summarizing the recording content.) (Giáo viên kết hợp phần nghe với phần nói viết, ví dụ: yêu cầu em nói viết tóm tắt nội dung phần nghe.) Others (Khác): 20 33.3 0 When being asked what assists students the most in listening, up to 68.3% of the students believe teachers need to teach new words and structures before listening; and 51.7% think that they would like to be guided carefully about what they are going to Students also expect extra listening material outside textbook such as songs The habit of using English in class contributes considerably to assist students’ listening with 36.7 % of agreement Interestingly, up to 33.3% students see that combing listening with speaking and writing is an effective activity Only 15% students say that they prefer English teachers to use PowerPoint to teaching listening instead of cassette player Discussion or mind-map before listening just acquires 13.3% Additionally, listening at home also help students with listening activities in class However, only 13.3% of the students this task at home III Conclusion To sum up, determining the hindrances to students’ listening to English and finding out what will assist students the most help English teachers select the right way when carrying out a listening lesson There needs to be a proper combination to delete the hindrance but also to assist students so that they will take English listening lessons easy and enjoyable Using Standard English with correct pronunciation and good grammar frequently in class, giving careful and clear instruction and teaching new words are the most crucial factors that English teachers need to take into consideration Teaching supplement skills, assigning more listening tasks at home, taking extra materials and joining listening activities with speaking and writing also contribute considerably to motivate students to listen to English REFERENCES Adamson LB Communication development during infancy Boulder, CO: Westview; 1996 Adamson, R (1996) Student interaction when using CALL Language Learning Journal, 13, pp 62-64 Brett, P (1997) A comparative study of the effects of the use of multimedia on listening comprehension System, 25 (1), 39-53 Gardner (1985) The Role of Attitudes and Motivation Great Britain: Edward Arnold Publishers Ltd Hadley and Alice Omaggio (Teaching Language in Context, p.190) Leow Implicit and explicit conditions, processes and knowledge in SLA and bilingualism Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2010 Mackey, A (2006) Feedback, Noticing and Instructed Second Language Learning Applied Linguistics,27(3), 405-430 doi:10.1093/applin/ami051 McCall, W.G., & Craig, C (2009) Same-language-substitling (SLS): Using subtitled music video for reading growth In G Siemens & C Fulford (Eds.), Proceedings of World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications 2009 (pp 3983-3992) Chesapeake, VA: AACE Leow, R., Johnson, E & Zárate-Sández, G (2011) Getting a grip on the slippery construct of awareness: Toward a finer-grained methodological perspective" In C Sanz & R 10 McDonough, J & Steven, M (2000) Research Methods for English Language Teachers Beijing: Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press 11 Normah Yusof, Effective Uses of Computer-Based Software in Teaching the Listening Skill in ESL, Malaysian Journal of Educational Technology, Volume 12, Number 1, March 2012 12 Nunan, D (2001) Second Language Teaching and Learning Beijing: Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press 13 Robin, W & Guo Naizhao (2006, January 26) An Investigation of Factors Influencing English Listening Comprehension and Possible Measures for Improvement 14 Sherman, J (2003) Using authentic video in the language classroom Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 15 Wang Qiang (2006) A course in English Language Teaching Beijing: Higher Education Press 16 William Collins and Justin Hunt (Jaltcalljournal, Vol 7, No 3, Pages 319-333) Williams, M (1994) Motivation in foreign and second language learning: An interactive perspective Educational and Child Psychology ... Second Language Teaching and Learning Beijing: Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press 13 Robin, W & Guo Naizhao (2006, January 26) An Investigation of Factors Influencing English Listening. .. importance that listening activities are designed with “clear purpose, a specific task and an appropriate context” Robin (2006) advises joining listening with writing and speaking to both make students. .. that they will take English listening lessons easy and enjoyable Using Standard English with correct pronunciation and good grammar frequently in class, giving careful and clear instruction and
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