Difficulties in giving feedback by the fourthyear students of English during their teaching practicum at high schools

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i ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to express my gratitude to all those who gave me great help during the completion of my study Firstly, I would like to express my deepest sense of gratitude to my supervisor: M.A Nguyen Thi Thu Hang who has contributed to my study with many excellent suggestions, detailed critical comments and encouragement Secondly, I would like to thank all the lecturers, teachers and staff at Hung Vuong University, especially those in Department of Foreign Languages who have created favorable conditions for me to study and write the graduation paper My sincere thanks go to all teacher- trainees and students in Viet Tri high school and Viet Tri Industrial high school whose endless enthusiasm has helped me to carry out surveys, which are very useful for my thesis I am really in indebted to my beloved family and my friends who have encouraged me, given me useful suggestions, lent me materials and always help me to stay on my toes and complete the thesis Although the study has been done with all my attempts, my limitations of ability and knowledge may cause mistakes in the thesis Therefore, I am looking forward to receiving the sincere comments from all of you! Viet Tri, May 2015 Nguyen Thi Thanh Huyen ii ABSTRACT As one of the first attempts to investigate giving feedback skills among fourth-year students during their practicum at college levels, the paper aims at exploring teacher- trainees' perception of effective feedbacks and the level of effectiveness with respect to time, speech modification and techniques To fulfill this primary aim, both qualitative and quantitative methods with three research instruments including observations and questionnaires were adopted The participants of the study were fourth-year students of K10 English pedagogical university and teachers of Faculty of Foreign Language, Hung Vuong University The most significant finding of the research was that the language for instructions was the most problematic issue among the teachertrainees Other difficulties included time and techniques for giving feedbacks as well as checking students’ understanding The paper, therefore, would serve as a good reference for both pre-service and in-service teachers who desire to have a closer look at this issue or to improve their giving feedback skills iii TABLE OF CONTENTS ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS i ABSTRACT ii TABLE OF CONTENTS iii LIST OF FIGURES v PART A: INTRODUCTION 1 Rationale of the study Previous studies 2.1 In the world 2.2 In Viet Nam Aims of the study Research questions Research methods Scope of the study 7 The significance of the research Design of study PART B: CONTENT 10 CHAPTER 1: LITERATURE REVIEW 10 1.1 Classroom management 10 1.2 Feedback 13 1.3 Practicum 30 CHAPTER 2: METHODOLOGY 33 2.1 Subject of the study 33 2.2 Research setting and participant 33 2.3 Research methods 34 2.4 Data collection instruments 35 iv 2.5 Research procedure 38 CHAPTER 3: FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION 40 3.1 Results from the questionnaire 40 3.2 Result from the observation 45 3.3 Data discussion 46 CHAPTER 4: SUGGESSTIONS AND IMPLICATIONS 50 4.1 Suggestions 50 4.2 Implications 52 PART C: CONCLUSION 54 Conclusion 54 Contributions of the study 55 Limitations of the study 56 Suggestions for further studies 57 PART D: REFERENCES 59 APPENDIX 1: QUESTIONNAIRE 62 APPENDIX 2: OBSERVATION SHEET 66 v LIST OF FIGURES Figure 3.1- The importance of giving feedback as perceived by teacher- trainees Figure 3.2- The difficulty level of giving feedback Figure 3.3- Teacher-trainees’ ratings of usefulness of feedback Figure 3.4- Necessity for the use of full sentence when giving feedback Figure 3.5- The level of difficulties in giving feedback PART A: INTRODUCTION Rationale of the study Nowadays, English has become a world language rather than the language of only English speaking countries such as the UK and the US because the number of the people who use English as a means of communication exceeds much more than the number of the people who speak it as their mother tongue English is used as a common foreign language to contact the people in other countries, and thousands of people belonging to various professional groups are going abroad Therefore, human being is appreciating the role of English English has been considered to be the most necessary subject for students in all levels of education systems It has been used for Final Examination to evaluate students’ level of knowledge Thus, the demand of learning English is gradually increasing To meet the need of the society, education is required to be improved, how to final the most effective method in teaching English has become a big concern now Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) as evaluated by Nunan (1991) has put the emphasis on learning to communicate through the interaction between the teacher and students and among students themselves in the target language Students are required to create and develop the habit of getting involved in the lesson The language classroom now has become more learner-centered Besides, Harmer (2001:56), when discussing learnercentered teaching, has put forward that teaching should make “the learners’ needs and experience central to the educational process.” In other words, the teacher no longer keeps the center position in class Instead, students are encouraged to actively take part in the lesson by interacting with the teacher who gives the feedback to help students to understand the lesson fastest and most accurately School-based practicum feedback is considered a highly important, influential and central component in helping teacher-trainees learn to teach and teacher education programmers (Soares & Soares, 2002 & Simpson, 2006 cited in Al Sohbani, 2012) Practicum is viewed as critical to the development of teacher-trainees because it is their first hands-on experience with teaching (Al Sohbani, 2012:196) Effective practicum offers teacher-trainees an opportunity to get both oral and written feedback from their mentors Moreover, practicum feedback should allow dialogue between students and their mentors and promote their thinking and reflection skills and consolidate their pedagogical skills Effective practicum feedback should focus on the task and the associated learning outcomes and inform the teacher-trainees whether they are on the right track Therefore, giving feedback is one of the most important responsibilities of a teacher-trainee during their teaching practicum Despite their importance, giving feedback during the teaching practicum has scarcely been researched so far, especially in the context of Vietnam In Viet Nam there have not been any studies focusing on teacher-trainees, who are learning to become teacher’s and needed to practice necessary techniques and skills of teachers Therefore, the researcher wanted to fill these gaps by expanding the scale of the present research to the teacher-trainees in their teaching practicum at university level The study was entitled “Difficulties in giving feedback by the fourth-year students of English during their teaching practicum at high schools” Previous studies 2.1 In the world Many studies have been made and become valuable to understand thoroughly about this problem One of them is “How to Give Effective Feedback to Your Students” by Susan M (2008) He studies so that giving students good feedback on all their schoolwork is one of the toughest challenges every teacher faces But here at last is a guide that helps us always know how to give the right feedback for all kinds of assignments, in every grade level and subject area Susan M Brookhart covers every possible aspect of the topic, including: What kinds of feedback work best in specific content areas? When and how often to give feedback? Learn how to build a foolproof feedback plan so that your feedback always helps students understand where they are in their learning and what to next, gives students the feeling that they have got control over their own learning, creates a classroom environment where students see constructive criticism as a good thing and understand that learning can’t occur without practice Another study is “Providing Effective Feedback to EFL teacher-trainees” by Holi & Hamed (2013) This study also aims to offer practical ideas that would empower both teacher-trainees and supervisors in improving the practice of giving and receiving feedback in practicum The findings indicated that teacher-trainees and their mentors perceived their feedback practices on practicum positively; however, the teacher-trainees believed that both types of feedback are important to them but they are in favor of written feedback more than oral one The study offered some pedagogical implications and recommendations with regard to feedback on practicum The practice of English of language teaching by Jeremy Harmer (2001) is an invaluable source of ideas for language teaching All of these contemporary issues are reflected in this study, which also looks at a range of familiar topics, from motivation to the roles of the teacher, from classroom management to feedback and correction This study is aimed at practicing teachers and those studying on in-service training program and postgraduate courses In that, it differs significantly from its sister volume, how to teach English, which is designed specifically for those wanting a gentler introduction to the science and art of teaching English 2.2 In Viet Nam The issue of giving feedback in language classroom was examined in graduation paper for Bachelor of Art in English Language Teaching conducted by Huynh Minh Hien (2008) The study titled “the Impact of Online Peer Feedback on EFL Learners’ Motivation in Writing and Writing Performance: A Case Study at Can Tho University” In this paper, he presented the results of his study on the impact of using online peer feedback in writing classes The study aims to find out the impact of online peer feedback on learners’ motivation in learning to write in English and their writing performance, the correlation between motivation in learning to write and writing performance, and the students’ attitude towards this kind of collaborative learning The study tested the role of the online peer feedback plays in developing students' writing abilities and increasing their motivation in writing in English Another study is “Giving and checking instructions skill among fourth- year students during their practicum” by Đinh Thi Ha Phuong (2011) According to this study, the research paper is aimed to examine teachertrainees’ perceptions of giving and checking instructions skills Moreover, the study is also to find out the common techniques of giving and checking instructions used by 4th year students in their practicum Afterwards, the effectiveness of these strategies is also examined so that it can figure out the possible difficulties that teacher- trainees may encounter when giving instructions in class, and pave the ways to improve their ability of giving and checking instructions Conducted in 2010, the study of Nguyen Thi Thanh Huong aimed at finding out the difficulties in classroom management during their six-week practicum The critical role of classroom management in teaching and learning, the difficulties of teachers in general and the novice in particular in applying appropriate managerial strategies and the shortage of research in the issue have driven the researcher to conduct a study on “4th Year Students’ Classroom Management Skills during Their Teaching Practicum at the Faculty of English Language Teacher Education (FELTE), University of Languages and International Studies, Vietnam National University (ULIS- VNU): Difficulties, Causes and Solutions” First, the researcher conducted with a view to finding out the difficulties fourth year students at FELTE, ULIS-VNU have in managing classroom as perceived by them during their teaching practicum at the FELTE, ED, ULIS-VNU Then, the researcher expects to identify the types of classroom management problems they confront during their teaching practicum Causes of and solutions to such problems as perceived by the students themselves and as suggested by their supervising teachers are also what the researcher aims at Despite the fact that giving feedback has always been a primary concern for teachers in general and beginning teachers in particular, the systematic study of effective giving feedback is a relatively recent issue in the field of language research Furthermore, there has been little attention paid to the difficulties of giving feedback problems encountered by teacher trainees and 53 effective feedback, we need have some features such as motivating students, easy to understand, illuminating the students’ strengths and weaknesses, giving feedback timely and regularly, find the right level of feedback- the balance between support and challenge and giving feedback to make something take action to improve their skills and knowledge In addition, teacher-trainees need to be noticed that one of the reasons for conducting this study was to help the teacher-trainees improve their giving feedback Thus, teacher-trainees should pay attention to the difficulties of giving feedback during teaching practicum, causes and the solutions to overcome them To have a successful lesson, teacher-trainees’ giving feedback should be very clear, positive, they need to be simple, brief, precise and exciting So that teacher-trainees must ensure that students understand your feedback Students will be motivated in learning and teacher-trainees have more succeed in teaching The research also pointed out other giving feedback However, their employment was still limited because of the time limitation for a lesson As a result, carefully designing a lesson plan and being flexible in exploiting various giving feedback might help the teacher-trainees to use the time budget more effectively since they are not experienced enough 54 PART C: CONCLUSION The previous chapters have thoroughly elaborated on the introductions, literature review as well as the implementation and results of the research Finally, this concluding chapter will summarize and evaluate the outcomes of the whole paper by summing up and discussing the findings, presenting the contributions along with the limitations of the paper, and putting forwards suggestions for further studies Conclusion With exhaustive analysis of the data collected from questionnaires and observation, the researcher come up with some major findings to answer the research questions Firstly, giving feedback is one of the most important responsibility of a teacher Most of the teacher-trainees were aware of the importance of giving feedback, the majority of the teacher-trainees agreed that giving feedback are extremely important However, the teacher-trainees regarded giving feedback as fairly difficult As we know, feedback is extremely useful because feedback can help students evaluate their success and progress Therefore, feedback is very important, useful but it is also difficult There is the perception of teacher-trainees in teaching Secondly, at Viet Tri high school and Viet Tri industrial high school, most teacher-trainees gave feedback ineffectively Teacher-trainees often used some feedback forms such as giving praise and encouragement, correcting, having discussions about how the group as a whole is doing, giving individual tutorials In correcting written work, they wrote the correct answers on the board, or got students to come out and write them If spelling was not important they went through the answer orally However, they lack of 55 experience in encouraging the students; avoid humiliating students or making students feel that making a mistake is “bad” Teacher-trainees often correct errors slowly, they spend too much time on correction Therefore, the lesson is ineffective and students were not interested in learning Thirdly, the study showed that teacher-trainees faced with many difficulties in giving feedback during the practicum such as: don’t motivate students, difficulty to understand and don’t illuminate the students’ strengths and weaknesses This is reason why teacher-trainees gave feedback ineffectively Lastly, the research was done as a fairly comprehensive study on the causes of and solutions to the problems teacher-trainees encountered during their teaching practicum The suggested solutions might be: the teacher- trainees should give positive feedback to motivate learners, language used in feedback must be easy to understand and feedback must illuminate the students’ strengths and weaknesses Through the in-depth analysis and discussion of data collected from questionnaires and classroom observation In conclusion, from difficulties in teaching practicum The researcher gave some solutions to help them to solve these difficulties To have a success lesson, teacher-trainees’ should make their feedback clear, essential, positive and exciting They should point out students’ strength and weakness to help them make their students better, and more specially, it must motivate students to encourage them in their learning Once students have more motivation in learning and teacher-trainees will have more success in teaching Contributions of the study In general, the findings of the research could be considerably helpful for teacher-trainees, their mentors as well as their English Language Teaching 56 (ELT) lecturers As for the teachers- trainees, the researcher helps them recognize their problems in giving feedback Realizing their difficulties and problems helps these teacher- trainees improve and perfect their classroom management skills that will in return facilitate their future teaching career In addition, the solutions suggested by the teacher-trainees themselves, by their supervising teachers and from books, articles; magazines are expected to serve as good references for those who are going to the teaching practicum Regarding the mentors, understanding the difficulties teachertrainees have in managing the classroom, they can offer more timely and appropriate advice and assistance To be more specific, mentors should raise the students’ awareness of having a detailed and carefully prepared lesson plan that may help reduce problems with time management, giving feedback and checking students’ comprehension and the awareness of getting to know the students better in terms of their language proficiency, their characters as well as their needs and expectations to help prevent problems from misbehaviors Besides, mentors can provide teacher trainees with tips and suggestions to help them perfect their classroom management skills Lastly, findings of the paper are also expected to be a good source of reference for the ELT group When making changes and amendments the course will help students achieve better classroom management skills and facilitate their future teaching career Limitations of the study In spite of a great effort to complete this researcher, the researcher still could not avoid several limitations Firstly, because of time constraints, researcher is impossible to explore all components of classroom management skills such as managing time and space, managing students’ attention and engagement and giving instructions 57 but also many others Therefore, the researcher only study of one of them that is feedback Another limitation, the researcher has no experience in research as well as in designing questionnaires and analysis Therefore, the methodology of the study, the questionnaires, analysis and the content of the study still contains some unexpected mistakes Nevertheless, with all efforts of the researchers, it is hopeful that the study will become a beneficial reflection to help teacher-trainees and other teachers to give effective feedback for lesson and set a light in the process of exploring its functions Suggestions for further studies Giving feedback is a very broad research area It offers other researchers large room to conduct further studies in different approaches Future study may concentrate on investigating other element of giving feedback such as motivation or comprehension checking In this way, they are enabled to dig deeper into the issue and discover more hidden problems, which cannot be found in a small-scale research like this one, the main purpose of which is to provide the student teachers a broad and holistic view of their giving feedback skills Another way is to conduct the research with bigger target population such as teachers in Phu Tho province etc Since it is the first time, feedback has been allocated to have their teaching practicum at a college degree, the researcher wants to be the pioneer in investigating the giving feedback skills of these teachers However, teacher- trainees are also allocated to conduct their teaching practicum at high schools or secondary schools Another target 58 population means another set of problems and difficulties and another approach to look at the issue 59 PART D: REFERENCES Huỳnh Minh Hiền (2008), “The Impact of Online Peer Feedback on EFL Learners’ Motivation in Writing and Writing Performance: A Case Study at Can Tho University” Nguyễn Thị Thanh Hương (2010), “4th Year Students’ Classroom Management Skills during Their Teaching Practicum at the Faculty of English Language Teacher Education (FELTE), University of Languages and International Studies, Vietnam National University (ULIS-VNU): Difficulties, Causes and Solutions” Đinh Thị Hà Phương (2011), “Giving and checking instructions skill among fourth-year students during their practicum”, University of Languages and International Studies, Vietnam National University Vo, T T (2009), Classroom Management Skills among fourth year students (English Department, HULIS - VNU) during Teaching Practice, Hanoi Al Sohbani, Y A (2012), Prospective EFL teachers’ perception of the teaching practice experience at AUST Borg, S (2003), Review article: Teacher cognition in language teaching: A review of research on what language teachers think, know, believe, do, Language Teaching, 36(2), 81 - 109 Brookhart, S.M (2008), How to Give Effective Feedback, Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development Jeremy Harmer (2001), The practice of English language teaching, Longman 60 Gower, R & Walters, S (1983), teaching Practice Handbook: reference book for EFL teachers in training, Heinemann International 10 Ishihara, N (2005), Intercultural challenges and cultural scaffolding: The experience of a nonnative English-speaking student teacher in a us practicum in second language teaching, Creating teacher community: Selected papers from the third international conference on language teacher education, Minneapolis, MN: Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition 11 McLeod, J., Fisher, J & Hoover, G (2003), The Key Elements of Classroom Management: Managing Time and Space, Student Behavior and Instructional Strategies, Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development 12 Nunan, D (1991), Communicative tasks and the language curriculum, TEOSL Quarterly, 25(2), 279-295 13 Susan M (2008), Teaching Practice Handbook New York: Macmillan 14 Walkers, H M & Walkers, J E (1991), Coping with non-compliance in the classroom: A positive approach for teachers, Austin, TX: Pro-Ed 15 Abdullah, J (2003), teaching Practicum: Perceptions of Teacher-trainees towards Roles of College Supervisor in Kole Islam Johor Bahru, Johor, accessed on April 25th, 2016 16 Arab World English Journal, 3(4), 195-213, Retrieved from 17 Emerson, C.M, Weinstein, C.S (2006) Handbook of Classroom Management: Research, Practice and Contemporary Issues 61 accessed on March 20th 2016 18 Holi & Hamed (2013), Providing Effective Feedback to EFL Teachertrainees accessed on March 20th 2016 19 Lind, G (2001), From Practice to Theory - Redefining the role of Practice in Teacher Education, retrieved March 22nd 2016 from: 20 White, S (2007), Investigating effective feedback practices for teacher- trainees education students on practicum, Journal of Teacher Education, 18(4), 299-311, 21 Yılmaz, H & Çavaş: H (2007), The Effect of the Teaching Practice on Pre-service Elementary Teachers‟ Science Teaching Efficacy and Classroom Management Beliefs, Retrieved April 9th 2016, from: 62 APPENDIX 1: QUESTIONNAIRE This questionnaire aims at finding out about “Difficulties in giving feedback by fourth-year students of English during their teaching practicum at high schools” Your assistance in responding to the following questions is highly appreciated Your answers in this questionnaire are absolutely confidential and the respondents will not be disclosed under any circumstances Please choose the best answer! Thank you very much for your kind cooperation! ******************* GENERAL INFORMATION Please fill in the blank with appropriate information Your name: ……………………………………………………………… The group you are assigned to teach during your practicum: ………… The skill(s) that you are assigned to teach: ………………………… A Your perception of effective in giving feedback How important is giving feedback? A Not important B Important C Very important D Extremely important How difficult is giving feedback? 63 A Not difficult B Difficult C Very difficult D Extremely difficult B How you give feedback? How often you give feedback in class? A always B usually C seldom D hardly E never In what way you often give feedback in your practicum? A Spoken feedback B Written feedback C Both spoken and written feedback Rating usefulness of spoken feedback? A Extremely useful B Very useful C Useful D Not useful 64 Rating usefulness of written feedback? A extremely useful B very useful C useful D Not useful When giving feedback, is it necessary to use full sentences? A Yes B No Other opinion (please specify): …………………… C Some difficulties in giving feedback and the causes What problems you have in giving feedback? A Don’t motivate students B Difficult to understand C Don’t illuminate the students’ strengths and weaknesses D Don’t give feedback timely and regularly E Don’t make students take actions to improve their skills and knowledge What you think are the causes of the problems? A Lack of experience B Lack of confidence C Lack of skills in giving feedback D Poor teaching method E Others (please specify) 65 ………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………… D Solutions to the problems 10 What should be done to improve the feedback? A Teacher-trainees should be confident B Teacher-trainees should improve teaching skill C Teacher-trainees should use simple or familiar languages D Teacher-trainees should know the way to give feedback Others (please specify): ………………………………………………………………………………… If you meet any difficulties in giving feedback during your practicum, please specify them in the blank provided ….……………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………… 66 APPENDIX 2: OBSERVATION SHEET Class size: …………………………………… Date ……………… Level of students: …………………………… Teacher-trainees ……….…………………… Lesson: …………… A Area to focus on: giving feedback How teacher-trainees give feedback in their practicum? ………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………… How effective are feedback given by teacher-trainees? …………………………………………………… ………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………… What problems they have in giving feedback? ………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………… Giving feedback Issues Don’t motivate students Difficult to understand Don’t illuminate the students’ strengths and weaknesses Don’t give feedback timely and regularly Problems/Difficulties Solutions Don’t make students take action to 67 improve their skills and knowledge B Overall comment Good point: ………… …………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………… Weak point: ………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………… Observer’s signature ... of feedback in teaching? How teacher-trainees give feedback in their practicum? What difficulties of giving feedback the teacher-trainees face with in their teaching during the practicum? What... fill these gaps by expanding the scale of the present research to the teacher-trainees in their teaching practicum at university level The study was entitled Difficulties in giving feedback by the. .. at the college degree is carried out All in all, this is the first time the study Difficulties in giving feedback by the fourth-year students of English during their teaching practicum at high
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