A study on using games in writing lessons of grade 10th students at Yen Khe high school – Phu Tho province

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PART A: INTRODUCTION Rationale In the early 1990s, due to the impact of English as a globe language, more people around the world than ever before are studying and learning English It was introduced in Vietnam as a compulsory subject at both lower and upper secondary levels and as selective subject at primary level in Vietnamese general curriculum However, of four language skills, writing is one of the most challenging ones for learners It’s an extension of human language across time and space Writing most likely began because of political expansion in ancient cultures, which needed reliable means for transmitting information, maintaining financial accounts, keeping historical records Writing allows us to share our communication not only with our contemporaries, but also with future generation It permits people from the near and far distance past to speak to us Although writing is an essential skill, many students at high school have trouble with it They were not required to learn proper spelling or grammar They believe that they can not achieve, they are even not aware of the importance of writing skill in their learning They often get low marks when doing the tests on writing skill and it affects their learning’s result In the four skills in one unit, the researcher finds that writing skill is the most difficult and students always find it boring and difficult to learn and hard to write well a specific topic or task The researcher finds out that most of the students have faced many problems in learning writing They often feel tired and stressed during the writing lesson In addition, with the introduction of communicative language teaching, English language teaching and learning has become much more demanding for teachers and learners just like any other innovation poses challenges for its users Thus, games have become crucially important for English language learners and teachers not only because they provide enjoyment and relaxation, but also as they encourage students to use their language in a creative and communicative manner Games encourage learners to direct their energy towards language learning by providing them with meaningful contexts Besides, games provide language teachers with many advantages when they are used in classroom Because of this fact it is vitally important for teachers to create a positive learning environment, and to try to spark interest amongst their students both in the foreign language and culture because that is important to a successful language learning process Games help achieve these goals as they help satisfy the requirement of the national curriculum that language learning should be enjoyable for students Because of these advantages, it is useful for teachers to apply games in teaching writing skill In language teaching, language games have proved themselves not merely as “time filler activities” but as an important factor which can create more chances and interest to motivate students to write This is the reason why I decided to choose the title for my thesis: “A study on using games in writing lessons of grade 10th students at Yen Khe high school Phu Tho province” Previous studies 2.1 In the world There are several researches in using games to teach English language Mania Moayad Mubaslat (2011) studied The Effect of Using Educational Games on the Students’ Achievement in English Language for the Primary Stage She attempts to determine the role of educational games on learning a foreign language, and to compare games with more traditional practices as effective learning tools on the basic educational stage students at governmental schools in Jordan, an experimental research is conducted using three groups out of six randomly Ying-Jian Wang (2011) wrote Investigating the Impact of Using Games in Teaching Children English This study examines the overall effects of using games on the improvement of young children‟s English proficiency in relation to the following criteria: motivation; vocabulary acquisition; and anxiety due to peer pressure The overarching aim of the research is to investigate the relationship between the usage of games and students‟ English proficiency 2.2 In Vietnam In Vietnam, there are many studies on using games in teaching English or teaching other aspects of language like speaking, vocabulary or grammar Nguyen Thi Thanh Huyen and Khuat Thi Thu Nga (2003) studied “Learning vocabulary through games” The study found that learning vocabulary through games is one effectiveness and interesting way that can be applied in any classrooms The results of this research suggest that games are used not only for mere fun, but more importantly, for the useful practice and review of language lessons, thus leading toward the goal of improving learners’ communicative competence Luu Trong Tuan and Nguyen Minh Doan (2010) wrote Teaching English grammar through games This study focuses on a review and analysis of the literature on teaching English grammar encompassing an overview of grammar definitions and teaching grammar approaches, as well as definitions of games, classifications of games, the influence of using games on the language learners’ performance Prior researches on teaching English grammar through games have been included as well This is the first time “A study on using games in writing lessons of grade 10th students at Yen Khe high school Phu Tho province” was carried out in Phu Tho province Different from other studies, it focuses on the using of games in writing lessons Research purpose The study aims at: Investigating the current situation in using games in writing lessons of grade 10th students at Yen Khe high school by: - Finding out the students’ attitudes towards using games in their writing class - Finding out their understanding about the benefits and difficulties when using games in writing lessons Suggesting some writing games to improve the writing skill of grade 10 th students at Yen Khe high school and carrying out the experiment to assess their effectiveness and then drawing conclusions Research questions The research will find the answers for the following questions: What is the current situation in using games in writing lessons at Yen Khe high school? What solutions can be recommended to use games more effectively in the writing class and improve the writing skill of grade 10 th students at Yen Khe high school? Are the suggested writing games effective? Methodology 4.1 Research Methods In order to accomplish this thesis systematically and adequately, qualitative and quantitative were used - Quantitative method: The survey questionnaire is used to collect information for the study The survey questionnaire including pre-survey questionnaire and post-survey questionnaire They are for grade 10th students Yen Khe high school - Qualitative method: An interview was carried out with English teachers to get information about some benefits and difficulties she or he may meet in using games in writing lesson 4.2 Research Procedure The research has been done by the following steps: • Firstly, identify the related documents to give background of writing, writing games and other related aspects • Secondly, study about the current situation in using games in teaching and learning writing at Yen Khe high school • Thirdly, from collected data analyze to get the final results The significance of the research The findings of study are believed to be useful to help teachers who teach foreign language, especially writing, improve the knowledge about games In addition, it helps them widen knowledge about some benefits and difficulties in using games when teaching writing class This research is carried out with the hope that it can suggest good methods on using games in writing lessons and also provide for pedagogical students to improve their knowledge about using games in writing lessons of grade 10th students at Yen Khe high school Scope of the research The study cannot cover the all activities for high school students within the framework of a minor study Therefore it only puts emphasis on some games which are instructed to use while doing writing tasks designed in the textbook The subjects of the study are 40 students in class 10A4 of grade 10 th students at Yen Khe High School - Phu Tho province Design of the research The study consists of three main parts, references and appendices Part 1: Introduction This part introduces an overall view of the research Part 2: Content This part consists of chapters: Chapter 1: Theoretical background In this part, the study presents definition of major terms used in this study, including overview of writing skill, teaching writing, overview of games… Chapter 2: Methodology This chapter provides the detailed information about participants of the study and details the tools for data collection, data analysis and the procedure of conducting Chapter 3: Current situation of using games in writing lessons of grade 10 th students at Yen Khe high school Chapter focuses on investigating the current situation on using games in writing lessons of grade 10th students at Yen Khe high school Phu Tho province This chapter will consist of: Findings: From the data analysis, the researcher finds out the current situation on using games in writing lessons of grade 10th students at Yen Khe high school and notes some benefits and difficulties in using games when teaching writing class Chapter 4: Experiment and the results In this chapter, the researcher will analyze the collected data from postsurvey questionnaire and interview Then, the researcher recommends some solutions to use games more effectively in the writing class and improve the writing skill of grade 10th students at Yen Khe high school Part 3: Conclusion This part includes the summary of the major findings of the study, gives implications of study for teachers of English, for students, for researcher, lists limitation of the study recommendations for further studies and presents conclusion References Appendices PART B: CONTENT CHAPTER 1: THEORETICAL BACKGROUND In this chapter, the researcher reviews the background of the writing skill and games Those are important factors which help the researcher resolve problem in this research 1.1 An overview of writing skill 1.1.1 Definition of writing skill Writing is one of the important skills in teaching English It has always occupied place in most English language course Meyers (2005) says that “Writing is a way to product language, which you naturally when you speak Writing is communication with other in a verbal way Writing is also an action a process of discovering and organizing your idea, putting them on paper and reshaping and revising them.” According to Klein (1985), “Writing is the ability to put pen and paper to express ideas through symbols, this way, representations on the paper will have meaning and content that could be communicated to other people by the writer.” He refers writing skills are specific abilities which help writers put their thoughts into words in a meaningful form and to mentally interact with the message He also states that writing is not just about conveying content but also about the representation of self Michael (1981) studied that “Writing could be a semantically visible and permanent representation of the auditory and transient phenomena of speech He stated that writing is a primary means of recording speech, even though it must be acknowledged as a secondary medium of communication.” According to him, writing is about more than making our thoughts and idea visible and concrete He said that writing is a form of thinking; it is thing king for particular audience, and for particular occasion He considers that writing is also the important expression language activity Pretty and Jensen (1980) have an opinion that writing is process of expression thought of thinking and feeling and of shaping experiences, and it is an important medium for self expression, for communication, and for the discovery of meaning From definitions above, it can be concluded that writing is a way to product language that comes from our thought By using writing, we can share our idea, feeling or anything that exist in our mind It is written on paper or a computer screen It is influenced both by personal attitudes and social experiences that the writer bring to writing and the impact of the particular political and institutional context It is also a process that we write is influenced by constraints of genre and has to be present in learning activities So far we have looked at some definitions of writing which have been drawn from different writing theories and models by various researchers Now, it’s useful to have closer look at writing 1.1.2 The importance of writing skill Writing is one of language skill which has given an important contribution to human work There are so many records of recent activities that we can read today, which can also be read in the future Some important features of writing activities that are usually done by people such as teachers write some important things on blackboard, or students may write some notes that are dictated by the teachers, lots of people who are going to apply for job in offices write English In academic, Galah (2008) stated “English department students, especially, need to learn writing and prepare for the final academic assignment, thesis writing.” This, in terms of student’s needs, integrated in writing is necessary 1.2 Teaching writing 1.2.1 Approaches to teach writing Looking from the viewpoint of the product approach, White (1991) thought of writing as “a permanent record, a form of expression, and a means of communication” The provision of a model was indeed seen as being very important The teacher or the textbook was the source of language, and a good model was crucial In view of the process approach, White saw writing as “an act of discovery and a potentially powerful educational tool It is with these thoughts in mind that both of us, reader and writer, may know embark upon our journey of discovery” By engaging in the process of writing itself writers ultimately discover what it is that they want to say In short, each approach has its own view of writing, which has reflected that approaches to teaching writing have been improved and gradually met writers’ preferences and purposes Below is a brief description of common approaches to teaching writing among which the product and process approach are applied in this study Table 1.1 Common approaches to teaching writing (Synthesized from Richards & Rodgers, 2001 and Canh, 2004) Approach GrammarTranslation Structural Audio - Lingualism structural Language View Learning Theory Writing Purposes Writing Skill Development Teaching approach Teaching Techniques Assessment Method C L T Structural Eclectic Teaching structural functional functional Task -based Teaching structural functional interactional Behaviorism behaviorism interactional cognitivism constructivism Constructivism cognitivism Enhance students encourage students to help students write Enhance student’s constructivism enhance students purposeful grammar and reinforce structures, purposefully, meaningfully, grammar and vocabulary interaction and vocabulary accuracy vocabulary learned orally communicatively fluency communication in writing Accurate control of copy out sentences, write develop fluency accuracy, Sentence patterns and accurate and fluent sentence basic sentences out variations of structural awareness of sentences sentence combination in patterns and sentence patterns and sentences paragraphs or essays combination in grammar Process use of various tasks process and product tasks emphasize analytic and holistic communication and meaning analytic and holistic patterns, sentence combination combination in paragraphs or Product tasks given in product drills and tasks given in essays process and product authentic and meaningful situations Analytic and Holistic variant situations analytic and holistic tasks analytic and holistic 10 16 Mania Moayad Mubaslat, (2011), The Effect of Using Educational Games on the Students’ Achievement in English Language for the Primary Stage 17 Meyers, (2005), Theory and Practice of Writing An Applied Linguistics Perspective, Longman, London 18 Michael, (1981),Writing Academic English (2nd edition), Addison Wesley Publishing Company 19 Nguyen Bang and Nguyen Ba Ngoc (2001), A course in TEFL theory and practice III National University Publish 20 Nguyen Thi Thanh Huyen and Khuat Thi Thu Nga, (2003), Learning vocabulary through games, University of Languages and International Studies, Vietnam National University, ULIS, Vietnam National University, Viet Nam 21 Nunan D, (1991), Research methods in language learning, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 22 Nunan D (1989), Designing Tasks for the communicative Classroom, Cambridge University Press 23 Pretty and Jensen (1980) Communication games MAcmillian Publishers, New York 24 Richards & Rodgers, (2001) Language teaching games and contests Oxford: Oxford University Press 25 Steele (2005) A course in Language Teaching Cambridge:CUP 26 White ,(1991), Process writing, Longman, HongKong 27 Wilson and McLean (1994) Play games with English Heineman International, Great Britain 28 Wright, Betteridge and Buckby (1984),Teaching English as a foreign or second Language: A self development and methodology guides, Michigan: The University of Michigan Press 29 Ying-Jian Wang, (2011), Investigating the Impact of Using Games in Teaching Children English, How to use games in language teaching London: Macmillan, Publishers 30 Zdybiewska (1994), Second language research methods Oxford: OUP 54 APPENDIX Survey questionnaire for students (before and after experiment) This survey questionnaire is designed for my study “A study on using games in writing lessons of grade 10th students at Yen Khe high school Phu Tho province” Your assistance in completing the following items is highly appreciated All the information provided by you is of great use and solely for the study purpose Thank you! Please circle the answer where necessary Question What you think about writing skill? A Easy B Rather difficult C Difficult D Very difficult Question How you like learning writing? A Very much B Much C Not much D Not at all Question Do your teachers often organize games in writing lessons? A Yes B No Question How often you participate in the games when teachers use games? A Never B Rarely C Sometimes D Often Question How did you feel about the games in writing lesson? A Very interesting B Interesting C Boring D No idea Question Among the following games, which games have you ever joined in/ heard about? (Choose more than one option) A Jumbled Paragraph B Pass Story C Other games that you know……………………………………………… Question How you think about the lesson with games organized? (You can choose more than one option) A Make students more interested in the writing lesson B Make the writing lesson more effective C Foster the whole class’s participation D Other opinion………………………………………………………… Question What you think of using games in writing lesson? (You can choose more than one option) A Time wasting B Noisy class C Relaxing only D Both relaxing and useful for learning Question In your opinion, what factors prevent students (you) from participating in the games organized by teachers? (You can choose more than one option) A These games are not suit to students’ level B The instruction is not clear C These games are not various D The class is very noisy E Your own factor:………………………………………………………… Question 10 In your opinion, among the following solutions, which can be used to make games organization more feasible in the writing class? (Choose more than one option) A Teacher should organizing suitable games to students’ level B Teacher should giving instruction clearly C Teacher should organizing various of games D Teacher should keep controlled class E No idea F Your own solution:………………………………………………………… Thank you very much for taking time to complete this questionnaire! APPENDIX INTERVIEW QUESTIONS FOR ENGLISH TEACHERS This interview questions is designed for my study “A study on using games in writing lessons of grade 10th students at Yen Khe high school Phu Tho province” Your assistance in answering the following items is greatly appreciated Question Do you think that using games are useful for writing lessons? Question Were your students willing to join in the games organized in the writing lessons? Question What you think about the writing lessons after the teacher used games? Which games did your students like best? Question What were your difficulties you encountered when organizing games in writing lessons? Question What are your suggestions/recommendation about using the games in writing lessons? APPENDIX RESULT OF THE POST-SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE Question Question Question Question Question Question Question Question Number of the Result students (%) A B 12 30 C 15 37,5 D 12 30 A 17,5 B 12 30 C 18 45 D 7,5 A 40 100 B 0 A 0 B C 25 62,5 D 17 42,5 A 12,5 B 20 50 C 22,5 D 15 A 40 100 B 40 100 C 0 A 30 75 B 36 90 C 36 90 Answer Question Question Question 10 D 12 30 A 12,5 B 10 25 C 12,5 D 20 50 A 7,5 B 10 25 C 15 37,5 D E 12 30 10 A 20 50 B 25 62,5 C 28 70 D 23 57,5 E 10 25 F 15 APPENDIX HANDOUT TASK 2: Use the prompts below to complete the life story of Van Cao Van Cao / born / November 15th, 1923 / Nam Dinh / a poor worker’s family He / start / compose / music / when / very young He /write / first song / 1939 / and / quickly become / famous 1944 / he / write / Tien Quan Ca / our National Anthem Van Cao / not only / write / songs / poems / but also / draw / paintings He / die / July 10th, 1995 THE LIFE STORY OF VAN CAO …………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………… APPENDIX HANDOUT TASK 2: Rearrange these sentences into the correct order The film based on the novel Harry Porter It is produced in American There are a lot of interesting films, but Harry Porter is the one I like best The film tells a story of people in the wizarding world The central character was Harry Porter It was a fiction film It has an unexpected ending HARRY PORTER …………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………… ACKNOWLEDGEMENT I am much grateful so many people for the completion of this research study First of all, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to my supervisor Nguyen To Loan, M.A, for her enthusiastic instructions Without her insightful discussion, her critical comment, her dedicated support, and her valuable orientation, this thesis would not have been completed Next, I would like to give my thanks to all the M.A lecturers, who provided me with a worthy source of knowledge for my thesis fulfillment Thanks to them, this study would be fulfilled satisfactorily Then, my thanks go to all English teachers and students in the 10th class at Yen Khe high school in which my study was conducted for their devoted help and participation during my research After that, I wish to thank all the authors whose books are listed for their ideas shaping the background knowledge for my study Finally, I would like to send sincere thanks to my family, my parents for their support as well as encouragement, which helped me finish the research ABSTRACT The study aims to find out the current situation of using games in teaching writing of grade 10th students Yen Khe high school It is also used to evaluate the effectiveness of some games applying in teaching writing From these, the researcher try to give some suggestion to use game more effectively The study has been conducted to find out the current situation and the effectiveness of using games in writing lessons of grade 10 students at Yen Khe high school, Phu Tho province Thus, two sets of survey questionnaires are used to investigate student’s attitudes towards writing skills and some games adapted during writing lessons, to find out the teachers’ difficulties for carrying out this technique The study is composed of three main parts: introduction, contents and conclusion Part deals with the rationale, the aims, the scope, significance of the study, the methods as well as the design of the study Part consists of four chapters Chapter reviews the theoretical background of writing skill, writing games in writing lesson Chapter presents the methodology which gives detail description about the participants, the subject, the collection and analysis data Chapter focuses on analysis the results of pre-survey questionnaires Chapter presents the result of experiment Part summarizes the major findings of the study It is hoped that the thesis will make a small contribution to the improvement of learning and teaching writing skill TABLE OF CONTENT PART A: INTRODUCTION 1 Rationale Previous studies .2 2.1 In the world 2.2 In Vietnam 3 Research purpose .3 Research questions 4 Methodology 4.1 Research Methods 4.2 Research Procedure The significance of the research Scope of the research .5 Design of the research .5 PART B: CONTENT CHAPTER 1: THEORETICAL BACKGROUND .7 1.1 An overview of writing skill 1.1.1 Definition of writing skill 1.1.2 The importance of writing skill 1.2 Teaching writing 1.2.1 Approaches to teach writing 1.2.2 Product approach .11 1.2.3 Process approach .11 1.2.4 Product vs process approach 12 1.2.5 Principles to teach writing skill .13 1.3 Overview of game 14 1.3.1 Definition 14 1.3.2 Characteristics 15 1.3.3 The importance of games in writing skill 16 1.3.4 Some games used in the writing lessons 19 CHAPTER 2: METHODOLOGY .22 2.1 Participants 22 2.1.1 An introduction of students and teachers at Yen Khe high school 22 2.1.2 The current textbook “English 10” 23 2.2 Data collection instruments 25 2.2.1 Questionnaires for students .25 2.2.2 Interviews for teachers 27 2.3 Data collection procedure 28 CHAPTER 3: CURRENT SITUATION OF USING GAMES IN WRITING LESSONS OF GRADE 10TH STUDENTS AT YEN KHE HIGH SCHOOL 30 3.1 Data analysis .30 3.1.1 Data collected from pre-task survey questionnaire 30 3.2 Findings 36 CHAPTER 4: EXPERIMENT AND THE RESULT 38 4.1 Experiment 38 4.1.1 Suggested writing games and the reason to choose 38 4.1.2 Participants of the experiment 39 4.1.3 Data collection instruments .39 4.1.4 Procedure 39 4.2 Discussion of the data of the post-survey questionnaire 40 4.2.1 Result from post-survey questionnaire 40 4.3 Discussion of the data from the interviews 45 4.3.1 The assessment of teachers about using games in writing lessons (Question 1, 2, 3) .45 4.3.2 The teachers’ difficulties when organizing games in writing lessons .46 4.3.3 The teachers’ suggestion about using games in the writing lessons 47 PART C: CONCLUSION 48 Major findings .48 Suggestions 48 Limitation of the study 50 Suggestions for further research 51 REFERENCES 52 ABSTRACT ii LIST OF TABLES Table 1.1 Common approaches to teaching writing 10 Table 1.2 Product approach 11 Table 1.3 Process approach 12 Table 1.4.The differences between product and process approach 13 Table 2.1: Checklist of Writing Tasks in current Textbook “English 10” 26 Table 2.2: Summary of the students’ questionnaire 28 Table 3.1: The students’ attitudes towards English writing skill .31 Table 3.2: Students’ interest towards learning writing skill 31 Table 3.3: The frequency of using games in teaching writing lessons 32 Table 3.4 The students’ opinion towards the purpose of using games in writing lessons .34 Table 4.1 The procedure of carrying out games in the experiment 40 LIST OF FIGURE Figure The students’ attitudes towards games using in writing lessons 32 Figure The students’ interest in games using in writing lessons 33 Figure The students’ opinion towards the purposes of using games in writing lesson 35 Figure The students’ attitude towards the benefits of using games in writing lessons .35 Figure The students’ difficulties of using games in writing lessons 36 experiment 42 Figure The students’ attitude towards writing skill before and after experiment 41 Figure The students’ interest towards learning writing skill before and after Figure The students’ attitude towards games in writing lessons before and after experiment 43 Figure The students’ opinion towards the purposes of using games in writing experiment 43 Figure 10 The students’ difficulties when taking part in games before and after ………………………………………………………………………………….44 ... on investigating the current situation on using games in writing lessons of grade 10th students at Yen Khe high school – Phu Tho province This chapter will consist of: Findings: From the data analysis,... data collection, data analysis and the procedure of conducting Chapter 3: Current situation of using games in writing lessons of grade 10 th students at Yen Khe high school Chapter focuses on. .. through games have been included as well This is the first time A study on using games in writing lessons of grade 10th students at Yen Khe high school – Phu Tho province was carried out in Phu Tho
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