techniques to teach short story for primary students

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TABLE OF CONTENTS INTRODUCTION………………………… CONTENT Part 1: Theoretical and practical background I.Theoretical background: 1: The definition of short story:………………………………3 2: The importance of short story to young learners Students’ characteristics…………………………………………………… II The practical background Advantages………………………………………………………………….7 Disadvantages……………………………………………………………….8 Part II : The solution Stages of a listening lesson…………………………………………………9 a Pre- storytelling activities……………………………………………………………9 b While – storytelling activities………………………………………………………… 12 c Post- storytelling activties…………………………………………………………… 13 2.Demonstration ……………………………………………14 Recommendations to teachers ……………………………18 a Preparation…………………………………………………………………… 18 b Suggested techniques ……………………………………………………………………20 Part III: Finding and evaluation ……………………………………………23 CONCLUSION …………………………………………………………… 25 Experienced lessons ……………………………………………………….25 2.Proposals………………………………………………………………… 25 APPENDIX For teachers APPENDIX For students APPENDIX The mid –second term test INTRODUCTION English nowadays is used in a lot of fields in our life and it is considered as the number one international language in the world It is not only a means of communication but also a "useful tool" and a "master- key" to discover the world of science, technology, education, culture, business and diplomacy With the trend of strong global integration, teaching and learning English, therefore, is achieving an important position and now it is a major subject in educational systems in Viet Nam Especially, it is taken to primary schools in most towns and cities throughout the country As a teacher of English for primary students, I always try my best to find and select interesting activities and suitable teaching methods with a view to taking inspiration and enhancing the students' activeness and creativeness Through my practical teaching, I see that children enjoy listening stories very much and ‘short stories’ in Tieng Anh is very useful for our students It not only enhances listening skills, helping children develop an ear for the sounds of the English language and it also helps students develop speaking skills and increase vocabulary and understanding of language structure However, teaching short stories for young learners effectively is not easy I encountered many difficulties during short story lessons Many of my students were interested in short stories They are always eager to listen to stories But most of other students felt bored and paid no attention to my lessons Some students seem not to understand sentences and words in the short story , they easily get bored and make noise in the class As a result, they not demonstrate well in the following exercises and they are not confident enough to perform in front of the class This has inspired me to conduct a study to explore some techniques and activities to arouse students’ motivation and interest in short stories, thus, help them to study short story lessons more efficiently Basing on my real teaching process , the research on students in grade at my school and the consult on my colleagues' experiences, I would like to suggest " Some ways to motivate students’learning through short story lessons in Tieng Anh Be hopeful that I will contribute my small part to help teachers overcome difficulties to enhance the effectiveness of teaching and learning short story lessons at primary schools CONTENT PART Theoretical and practical background I.Theoretical background: 1: The definition of Short story : Short story is a short work of fiction with narrative format, in which the theme, plot, setting and characterization are unity at the aim of creating the most communicative effect, as well as make its own difference from the other genres Story that always has introduction of setting, conflict and then solution However they are more simple than long story or novel Short stories tend to be less complex than novels Usually a short story focuses on only one incident, has a single plot, a single setting, a small number of characters, and covers a short period of time - Form: Stories tend to contain certain core elements of dramatic structure: exposition( the introduction of setting, situation and main characters); complication( the event that introduces the conflict); rising action, crisis the decisive moment for the protagonist and his commitment to a course of action); climax( the point of highest interest in terms of the conflict and the point with the most action); resolution( the point when the conflict is resolved); and moral - Length: Determining what exactly separates a short story from longer fictional formats is problematic In contemporary usage, the term short story most refers to a work of fiction no longer than 20,000 words and no shorter than 1,000 - Genres: Short stories are most often a form of fiction writing, with the most widely published form of short stories being genre fiction such as science fiction, horror fiction, detective fiction, and so on The short story has also come to embrace forms of non-fiction such as travel writing, prose poetry and postmodern variants of fiction and non-fiction such as ficto-criticism or new journalism ( From “ The short Oxford history of English literature, 2003, p.112 by Andrew Sanders) Short stories seem to be the most suitable choice for this due to its potential to help students enhance the four skills—listening, speaking, reading and writing— more effectively because of the motivational benefit embedded in the stories Short stories also are the most suitable literary genre to use in English teaching due to its shortness, is supported by Collie and Slater (1991: 196) when they list four advantages of using short stories for language teachers First, short stories are practical as their length is long enough to cover entirely in one or two class sessions Second, short stories are not complicated for students to work with on their own Third, short stories have a variety of choice for different interests and tastes Finally, short stories can be used with all levels (beginner to advance), all ages (young learners to adults) and all classes Pardede’s (2011) study at Christian University of Indonesia revealed that the majority of English teachers training students basically found short stories interesting to use both as materials for selfenjoyment and of as components language skill classes The findings denoted that only 0.37% of the responses went into “Disagree” criterion; and 18.4%, “Neutral” The other 81.5% went into the criteria of “Agree” and “Strongly Agree” The use of short-story in English teaching should be aimed to encourage the students to use what they have previously learnt By doing this, the learning process will be student-centered However, the teacher plays a great role She/he must choose suitable techniques to use in class, and should help her/his students understand the story with various activities The importance of short story to young learners According to Mimi Rothschild in “ Short story in education”, in English teaching, short stories play as an important role Stories can provide rich materials of language teaching, and stimulate children’s study motives They also help children to understand their world and share attainments with others Children always look forward to hear more marvelous plots from the teachers and are always curious with stories When children concentrate their attention to listening to stories, it will be the best encouragement and feedback for story teachers “… Listening to stories build vocabulary, enhance memory, imagination, and listening skill; help children think more complex, abstract and creative ways; broaden children’s range of experience; and help children develop phonemic awareness through rhythm and rhyme…” ( from Thirteen core understandings about learning to read, Northwest Regional Education Laboratory-1995) Or “ Listening to stories is the easiest, most natural way for young children to learn language, and it is language that follows us to organize, structure, manipulate, think about and make sense of our world.” ( from “ The story of my life”, p.23 by Helen Keller “… Storytelling is an essential, perhaps an essential activity of human being It serves a myriad functions for the young child Story allow children to learn about their culture, but also serves as a kind of passport into the culture” ( from The Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory Language and Literacy Team) Followings are the benefits of short story to young learners : - Establish good listening and speaking ability For getting good listening ability, children need to practice constantly We should encourage children to understand by themselves when they listen to stories It is helpful if they have active attitude - Be familiar with English when listening to stories, children would be familiar with pronunciation, intonation and usage of English They would contact with vocabulary, phrase and grammar structure then could speak English better “….Children who listen to stories are exposed to many new words They may not know all the words mean, but hearing or reading stories helps them to understand the meaning through the context The teacher take advantage of children’s curiosity to understand the story, and children are more motivated to consult a dictionary or use the new words in the story of their own creation” ( by Linda Fredericks – North Central Educational Regional Laboratory) - Arouse speaking and writing output After finishing the story, teacher may bring up some related questions, ask children to write down their feelings, and encourage children to express their opinions Teacher could also stimulate higher- degree children to say the story, even arrange the story In the study process, the class could be divided into groups and they would learn how to cooperate and communicate with others It would be meaningful on language learning Students ' characteristics : Primary students in general and grade students in particular are active learners and thinkers They are fun ,social, curious , energetic but easily frustrated They are eager to learn and eager to please but they have short attention spans They have great imaginations and a lot of questions , so students need attention , repetition, routines , praise, movement and patience Children love stories They are always eager to listen to stories, want to understand what is happening and enjoy looking at storybooks by themselves In order to have successful and effective lessons, teachers must base on these students’ characteristics while choosing and designing activities and give students opportunities to be exposed the language as many as possible II, The practical background: Advantages: Firstly, Nghe An Service of Education and Training, as well as Vinh Department of Education has had right policies in teaching English for primary level The vanguard application ‘English primary innovation project’ of the Ministry of Education and Training has proved this The new English textbook that covers a systematic, helical and topic- based development of the basic English language skills with emphasis on listening and speaking has oriented concretely for teachers This is one of advantage that help teachers to have better teaching plans Furthermore, the Education Department has held many teaching method conferences, which helps teachers to improve their professional skill The Education Department has also equipped some modern facilities: such as robot teacher, touch software board, computer They are very useful in teaching short stories Secondly, Teaching and learning English in Nghi Lien primary school nowadays are prosper The material facility and teaching aids are equipped quite sufficiently Especially , teaching and learning innovation movement has been strengthened highly and school leaders are always willing to provide teachers and students with good equipments such as radios, pictures, posters… Thirdly, teaching staff are standardized Most of them graduated from Universities, two teachers of English had B1 and B2 degree Especially, they have had experienced in teaching English for primary students Besides, they have ever attended some English conferences in methodology During this period of time teaching, they are all active and creative teachers to find out more and more new methods, techniques in order to get better result Finally, many students are very studious and obedient, they are very eager to take part in learning English They always show their interest in the lessons during the learning process They pay much attention to the teacher's lessons and are enthusiastic to contribute their ideas to the lessons They also tend to work in pairs or small groups and really want to interact with other students .Some parents care about students' study They provide their students with enough school things Above are motivations that arouse our creativeness in improving teaching method in order to have better lessons Disadvantages: For teaching facilities: There is still a lack of teaching aids such as reference books, pictures, puppets, posters and cards, which makes it difficult for teachers to plan and design teaching activities For teachers: We have not invested satisfactorily in to short story lessons Many of us underestimate the importance of short story lessons to learning process For students: Although they have learnt English for three years, They find it difficult to understand the content It is not easy for me to elicit the answers and check the information in short story Some students not have enough knowledge of English to engage in learning activities actively, these students often show their unwillingness and shyness when being asked to the tasks or answers because they have limited vocabularies, knowledge and experience This affected the teaching and learning quality I took a simple survey for students to know how interested they were in short stories what their main difficulties were And here is the result: Difficulty CLASS short lessons in Factors that cause problems in short story lessons No Difficulty Too many Boring story motivation to new content understand words 4A 20/36 10/36 15/36 15/32 12/36 36 4B 19/38 11/38 16/38 17/38 10/38 22/25 12/25 18/25 19/25 7/25 38 4C 25 The result from the survey indicates that the problems come from both teachers and students Teachers seem not to provide students with sufficient activities and encouragements , so students lack motivation and interest to short story lessons For students, the difficulty arises from limited vocabulary, background knowledge, poor pronunciation, shyness and nervousness… From this reality, I have noticed that my students have had lots of difficulties in short story and students wish to get a great deal of support from their teachers to overcome difficulties I see that teachers should find out more and more effective techniques and activities in short story lessons This became a strong inspiration for me to have a study on how to interest students to short story lessons in Tieng Anh through which I could help them to overcome their difficulties , arouse students’ interest , activeness and creativeness in learning to grasp knowledge I hope that it would help the teachers of English to work out possible solutions to enhance the effectiveness of teaching and learning short story in primary schools Part 2: The solution Basing on the factors mentioned above, I would like to suggest some activities and techniques that I have been applying to successfully and effectively I short story lessons for students in grade in my school and some recommendations for teachers interest to short story lessons with a view to increase students’ Stages of story telling a Pre-storytelling activities This is the first and important step to begin telling story, just like many other activities Pre story-telling means before telling story, it is somehow teachers’ preparation for what they are going to with their students Before starting telling a story, I often some of the following activities and techniques to prepare my students: - Capture their attention Introduce the story in a fun and interesting way I often choose games, songs and chants to lead my students the story - Connect to prior knowledge and experiences Brainstorm or web ideas and concepts related to the story or the characters of the story in order to connect students lives to the story - Review language students have learned If the story contains vocabulary and structures that students have learned, it can help to review this language This is especially important when the story is a part of a larger thematic unit and recycles language previously learned - Pre-teach new vocabulary or expressions If there are some key words or structures that are necessary to comprehend the story and cannot be inferred from the context, it is better to teach them before the storytelling Try to this in the context of connecting to prior knowledge - Predict what will happen in the story Give students a chance to think about what might happen in the story It is a good critical thinking skill to encourage We can let them give answers in L1 if necessary - Give students a purpose for listening Before you begin, try to give students a purpose for listening in addition to pure enjoyment In short, by giving out some information beforehand, the students can have a good back ground in both vocabulary and grammar So that they can keep track of the story better, as well as keep them in memory longer bWhile - storytelling activities Telling or reading stories to students is quite unlike the all other kinds of reading The difference is decided by the way or the action of story-teller to attract or get attention from the students There are many ways or methods in telling stories, but whatever way, the same rule is the story- teller must change his pitch of voice, emotion, all the time and movement or body language are always effective The teachers can choose or consult one of these following activities and techniques to check comprehension of the story and encourage students to practice new language: -Tell the story using pictures, prompts, real objects… -Use different voices for different characters - Q & A( questions and answer ) Prepare comprehension questions for students to answer orally - TPR (Total Physical Response) If the story has movements, I often a TPR with the students -Elicit children’s reactions and opinions about the story -Get children to join in the repeated phrases in the story c Post –story telling activities Apart from entertainment purpose, the teachers hope that their student can learn something after listening to the stories Many post_ story-telling activities are being in used and they seem to be very effective However in order to help students get the most from story-telling time, it should be practice times to times Basing on the following Evidence of storylistening skills, the teacher can step by step choose an appropriate activity for students - Creative story-telling: Joining to the story-telling time means the students can let their imagination fly, they live with the stories-world in which their favorite characters express their hope and dream And we all know that almost the folktale and fables have a moral lesson, the students can learn a lot from them So after telling the stories, why don’t the teachers let their students’ imagination continuing fly? _ By asking them to build up a new story in their own word, mind, and expectation basing on the moral lesson of the stories - Drama Do a retelling by having students act out the plot of the story - Projects Have students work together in small groups to create a wall display for a story or put on a performance of a story You could invite students’ families or other classes to see the students’ work PART III: Findings and evaluation Applying this teaching experience in to teaching short story lesson for students in grade four in my school has given satisfactory results First, this study is suitable for new English textbook curriculum and the dominant view of language teaching and learning that favors a great amount of student-centered learning with the purpose of enhancing students' activeness, creativity and self- study in English language learning Students have more positive attitude towards English learning They are more interested in short story , active and creative to widen and grasp knowledge , the learning atmosphere is ebullient and gentle Learners have chances to express themselves and feel more confident in communication Now they are more interested in short story lessons The teachers are always encouraged to find out more effective technique to enhance quality of education Students are motivated to get better result in studying and practicing These are the reasons for the satisfactory results of my mid - second semester test This test was designed and marked basing on the criteria of the Ministry of Education and training MARK CLASS 4,5-5 4A 36ps 10 ps 31,25% 3,5-4,25 2,5-3,23 < 2,5 14 ps 7ps 1ps 43,75% 21,88% 3,13% 4B 9ps 13ps 9ps 2ps 38ps 27,27% 39,39% 27,27% 6% 4C 9ps 12ps 8ps 3ps 25ps 28,13% 37,5% 25% 9,38% After applying this theme successfully, I have gained considerable results and valuable experiences for myself I see that we help our pupils learn language when what we ask them to is enjoyable, meaningful, supported ,social, purposeful and full of practice So teachers should use some following techmiques: - If students are unfamiliar with storytelling, begin with short sessions which not demand too much from them and over-extend their concentration span -If possible, have younger children sit on the floor around you, making sure everyone can see you and the illustrations and can hear you clearly - Read slowly and clearly Give your pupils time to relate what they hear to what they see in the pictures, to think, ask questions, make comment However, vary the pace when the story speeds up - Make comments about the illustrations and point to them to focus the pupils’ attention - Encourage your pupils to take part in the storytelling by repeating key vocabulary items and phrases You can invite them to this by pausing and looking at them with a questioning expression and by putting your hand to your ear to indicate that you are waiting for them to join in Then repeat what they have said to confirm that they have predicted correctly and, if appropriate, expand by putting the word into a full phrase or sentence - Use gestures, mime, facial gestures to help convey the meaning - Vary the pace, tone and volume of your voice Are you going to whisper to build up suspense? Are you going to introduce an element of surprise by raising your voice? - Pause where appropriate to add dramatic effect or to give children time to relate what they hear to what they see, and to assimilate details in the illustrations - Disguise your voice for the different characters as much as you can to signal when different characters are speaking and help convey meaning - Ask questions to involve children What you think is going to happen next? What would you do? -Do not be afraid to repeat, expand and reformulate This increases opportunities of exposure to the language and gives children a second (or third) chance to work out the meaning and have it confirmed If you need to walk around the class to show children the pictures, repeat the text To sum up, the teachers, with their active role, need to train their students to become efficient learners The teachers have to adjust the time and efforts to manage the class and make their students involve in the short story lessons in This study is done in the hope of finding out and contributing some activities and techniques to interest students to short story lessons in Tieng Anh for teachers in improving the effectiveness of teaching short story lessons Although this teaching experience is learned from the study on teaching short story lessons of Tieng Anh , it can be applied to any short stories , especially for Tieng Anh and This is not the only way to interest students to short story lessons , but it is a way that I have found to be effective and motivating for my students As an English teacher, I truly believed that this study would be a great contribution to my current teaching CONCLUSION 1, Experienced lessons Short story lessons are very effective for teaching English to young learner They offer children a world of supported meaning that they can relate to They can help children practice listening, speaking, reading, and writing Therefore, teachers should try their best to find out effective activities and techniques to arouse students’ interest, activeness and creativeness We should plan the short story lesson carefully with various logical and interesting activities in order to arouse students’ interest to short story lessons This help students feel more confident, interested and active and thus, help them to study more effectively It can not be denied that teachers’ creativity is a key to get students involved in the lessons Hopefully, the findings and recommendations of this study will be of some help to the improvement of the teaching short story lessons to students Above are my ideas and experiences about carrying out teaching short story lessons for students in grade at my primary school Although I have tried as hard as I could, there are some limitations about applying time, experiences and my qualification Therefore, my research is not very perfect I really expect the jury and colleagues to give me some contributions Proposal: The Department of Education should strengthen to organise more training classes to improve knowledge about teaching method for teachers and hold many conferences so that teachers have chances to exchange and foster teaching experiences Besides this, the school leaders should promote to provide enough teaching aids for English teachers such as reference books, pictures, cards, posters and facilitate for teachers to have chances to attend further methodology training classes APPENDIX QUESTIONNAIRE (For teachers) This questionnaire is designed to survey for a study on how to improve motivation for primary students in general and for grade students in particular in short story lessons Your contribution is of great importance to my experience initiatives I would be very grateful for your contribution Please read carefully and answer the questions below What are the factors that contribute difficulty in short story lessons ? □ Lack effective activities □ Lack motivation □ the content of the short story □ All of above What are the reasons if your students not involve in your listening lesson ? □ Nervousness and shyness □ Inefficient learning activities □ Insufficient English knowledge □ Not speaking English fluently □ All of above Do you encourage your students to use their own background knowledge in pre-story telling activities ? □ Yes □ No Do you create comfortable environment for students to discuss and exchange information before telling story ? □ Frequently □ Sometimes □ Rarely □ Never What types of pre –story telling techniques you often organize in your classroom? (Tick more than one) □ Prediction □ Eliciting □ Discussion □ Using pictures □ Songs ,chants □ Reordering □ Games □ Asking and answering questions How pre – storytelling activities enhance your students' learning ? □ A lot □ Quite a lot □ A little □ Not at all Which activities you often use in post-story telling ?( please tick more than one) - Creative story-telling □ Project □ Drama □ Role play □ Game □ Asking and answering questions □ Problem- solving THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR CO-OPERATION APPENDIX QUESTIONNAIRE (For students) 1.Các em có hứng thú với câu chuyện ngắn sách Tiếng Anh khơng? Có Khơng Những lí em làm cho em khơng thích câu chuyện ngắn sách Tiếng Anh khơng? Người nói có giọng khác Có nhiều từ em khơng hiểu Câu chuyện có nội dung khơng hay Em khơng hứng thú APPENDIX Nghi Lien Primary School English Name: Class: Marks Q.1 Listening Q.2 Q.3 Q.4 MID- SECOND TERM TEST School year: 2015 - 2016 Time: 40 minutes Q.5 PART I: LISTENING: (20 minutes) Question Listen and number (1 pt) Reading and writing Speaking Total Q.6 Q.7 Q.8 Q.9 Q.10 A B C D Question Listen and colour (1pt) Question Listen and draw the line There is an example (1pt) B A C D Question Listen and tick (1 pt) Jenny: What you want? E Example: C ٧ Scott: A Kate: Do you want ice-cream? B Andy: A Lan: Can you pour it? B Mai: A Lisa: What you like? B Jenny: A B C C C C Nam: Do you like birds? An: A B Question Listen and complete (1pt) Lisa: I'm hungry Jenny: What you want? Lisa: I want an Jenny: Here you are Lisa: Thank you C Jenny: Scott: Kate: Andy: John: Andy: What you want? I want cake and What's your favorite color? I like What you like? I like PART II: READING AND WRITING: (15 minutes) Question Look and read Put a tick or cross V in the box as examples (1pt) Mary can drink juice They don't like pizza This is a violin Question Fill in the blanks (1pt) favorite like These are cats It can fly about is A: What’s your (1)……………………….color ? B: It (2)………… red What (3)……………… you ? A: I (4)……… green Question Look at the pictures Look at the letters Write the words (1 pt) shif ywidn llab risepd Question Look and insert a suitable word in the gap to complete the text (1 pt) I am Kathy My favorite food is I always drink in the morning I like playing very much I like , too PART III: SPEAKING: ( minutes) Question Speaking (1 pt) Listen and repeat Listen and comment The End Point, ask and answer Interview REFERENCE DOCUMENT I Reference book How to interest students through ‘ short story’ in Tieng Anh Campbell, Robin (2001) Learning from interactive story-readings Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press Dickinson, David K, and Smith, Miriam W (1994) Long-term effects of preschool teachers’ book reading on low0income children’s vocabulary and story comprehensions Cambridge, MA: MIT Press Morrow, Lesley Mandel, & Smith Jeffrey K (1990) The effects of groups size on interactive story book reading Cambridge University Press Andrew Sanders (2002) The short Oxford Of English Literature Oxford University Press Sara Cone Bryant (2000) How to tell stories to children and some stories to tell University of Virginia Library Press II Websites: www.story-telling.com www.storyart.org www.storyteller.net www.aesopfable.com www.libraryfairy.com 32 How to interest students through ‘ short story’ in Tieng Anh + 33 ... applying to successfully and effectively I short story lessons for students in grade in my school and some recommendations for teachers interest to short story lessons with a view to increase students ... related to the story or the characters of the story in order to connect students lives to the story - Review language students have learned If the story contains vocabulary and structures that students. .. some activities and techniques to interest students to short story lessons in Tieng Anh for teachers in improving the effectiveness of teaching short story lessons Although this teaching experience
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