A study on some major factors affecting students’ interest in learning english at a high school in viet nam

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HANOI PEDAGOGICAL UNIVERSITY FACULTY OF FOREIGN LANGUAGES BUI THI YEN A STUDY ON SOME MAJOR FACTORS AFFECTING STUDENTS’ INTEREST IN LEARNING ENGLISH AT A HIGH SCHOOL IN VIET NAM (Graduation paper submitted in partial fulfillment of the Degree of Bachelor of Arts in English) Major: English Language Teaching Hanoi, 2019 HANOI PEDAGOGICAL UNIVERSITY FACULTY OF FOREIGN LANGUAGES BUI THI YEN A STUDY ON SOME MAJOR FACTORS AFFECTING STUDENTS’ INTEREST IN LEARNING ENGLISH AT A HIGH SCHOOL IN VIET NAM Major: English Language Teaching SUPERVISOR: TRAN THI MINH PHUONG, MA Hanoi, 2019 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I am deeply indebted to a number of people and organizations for helping me make the present thesis possible Firstly, I would like to express my deep gratitude to my supervisor, Ms Tran Thi Minh Phuong She is very enthusiastic to give me the strong encouragemement ,valuable suggestions for the problems that I had during the process of doing research Without her constructive advice and feedback, this research would not have been completed Secondly, I am grateful to all the lectures at Ha Noi Pedagogical University 2, especially the lectures at Faculty of Foreign Languages for their help and support I also owe my special thanks to the participants at Quynh Coi High School who helped me doing my surveys and cooperated with me If I had had no their support, I would not have completed the research on time Last but not least, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to my parents, close friends with whose inspiration I am able to complete the paper i ABSTRACT Teaching English as a foreign language in Viet Nam is a challenging task for a teacher Language learning should be more interesting and enjoyable for learners to learn The level of learners’ interest in learning process depends on many factors controlled by nature or shaped by nurture The present study aims at investigating some major factors affecting students’ interest in learning English of 90 students in grade 10 at Quynh Coi High School The primary methods of this research were survey questionnaire, interviews and classroom observation These findings indicated that interest in learning English was a significant issue for EFL learning Moreover, external factors had more impact on learners’ English language proficiency level compared to internal ones Based on the findings of the present study, some pedagogical implications were suggested to encourage students and teachers to improve themselves in learning and teaching English Keywords: students’ interest, learning English, external factors ii STATEMENT OF AUTHORSHIP Title: A STUDY ON SOME MAJOR FACTORS AFFECTING STUDENTS’ INTEREST IN LEARNING ENGLISH AT A HIGH SCHOOL IN VIET NAM (Graduation paper submitted in partial fulfillment of the Degree of Bachelor of Arts in English) I certify that I have not copied no part in this study from any others’ reports without acknowledgement and this work is written by my best under instruction from my supervisor Date of submission: May 2019 Student Supervisor Bui Thi Yen Tran Thi Minh Phuong iii LIST OF THE TABLES AND FIGURES Tables: Table 1: Indicators of students’ Interest (Slameto2003) Table Taxonomies of factors affecting learners Table Eb Mahlobo’s classification of factors(1999) 10 Table 4: Classroom observation checklist entries .25 Table 5: Students’ attitudes towards teacher 30 Table 6: Students’ attitudes towards textbook .31 Table 7: Classification of LLS types by students according to their frequency of use .32 Figures: Figure : The students’ most recent English learning results 27 Figure 2: Students’ intrinsic motivation 28 Figure 3: Students’ extrinsic motivation 29 Figure 4: Classification of LLS types in terms of frequency of use 33 iv LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS EFL: English as a Foreign Language TESL: Teaching English as a Second Language SILL: The Strategies Inventory of Language Learning LLS: Language Learning Strategies SLA: Second Language Acquisition ESL: English Second Language SA: Strongly Agree A: Agree U: Uncertain D: Disagree 10 SD: Strongly Disagree v TABLE OF CONTENTS PART A: INTRODUCTION 1 Rationale Aims of the study and Research questions 2.1 Aims of the study 2.2 Research Questions 3 Scope of the study Methods of the study .3 The significance of the study Overview of the study .4 PART B: DEVELOPMENT CHAPTER I: THEORETICAL BACKGROUND .5 Theories of Interest 1.1 Definitions of Interest 1.2 Indicators of students’ interest .6 1.3 The role of interest in learning Definitions of language acquisition Theoretical frameworks of factors affecting students’ interest 3.1 Eb Mahlobo’s classification of factors .10 3.2 Brown's classification of factors 10 3.3 Pawlak’s classification of factors .11 Research Framework .12 4.1 School/Classroom context 12 4.1.1 The school’s teaching- learning culture 12 4.1.2 The availability and use of educational resources 13 4.1.3 The influence of the learner- educator ratio 13 4.1.4 The teacher’s attitudes and skills in teaching English as a second language (TESL) .15 4.1.4.1 The teacher’s attitudes towards TESL 15 4.1.4.2 The teacher’s skill for TESL 15 vi 4.2 Motivation 15 4.3 Learner attitudes 18 4.3.1 Attitude towards teacher 18 4.3.2 Attitude towards textbook 19 4.4 Language learning strategies 20 CHAPTER II: METHODOLOGY 22 1.Participants .22 Data collection 22 2.1 Survey questionnaire .22 2.1.1 Reasons for using Questionnaire .22 2.1.2 Description of questionnaire 22 2.2 Interview 24 2.2.1 Reasons for using interview .24 2.2.2 Description of interview .24 2.3 Class observation 24 2.3.1 Reasons for using class observation 24 2.3.2 Description of class observation 25 3.Data collection procedure 25 CHAPTER III: FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION 27 Findings from survey questionnaire 27 1.1 Students’ most recent result of English learning 27 1.2.Students’ motivation towards English 28 1.3 Attitude towards teacher 30 1.4 Attitude towards textbook 31 1.5.Language learning strategies .32 Findings from interview 34 Findings from the classroom observation 36 PART C: CONCLUSION .40 1.Summary of the study 40 Implications for teaching .42 Limitations of the study 43 vii Suggestions for futher study 43 REFERENCES 44 APPENDIX viii Implications for teaching The participant of teachers, students and school involved in this research cannot generalize for all teachers, students and schools in Vietnam However, some pedagogical implications for English teachers and educators are worth discussing Firstly, teachers should be sensitive to learners’ interest by designing interesting lessons Educators need to update useful teaching techniques to deliver effective lessons They should apply technology effectively in teaching English that make their leaners excited and easy to remember the knowledge Moreover, teachers should give students great opportunities to show their abilities Studentcentered learning is becoming more and more necessary in development of learning approach It helps learners to be active, confident, more competitive Learners are encouraged to engage in creative activities, develop communication and teamwork skills Therefore, students can learn from each other, have positive attitudes and use English in a meaningful way Secondly, educators need to create teaching- learning culture for students Teachers should encourage learners to explore other varieties through out-of-class learning opportunities Teachers can design some activities which meet leaners’ and learning purposes of focusing on memorizing vocabulary and grammatical rules, such as: organize instead English speaking contest, explore about English culture, provide opportunities to practice English, etc The syllabus designers should make changes by reducing a large of vocabulary and grammatical rules which must be memorized for the sake of tests It is important for teacher to balance between four skills in curriculum It is not only a matter of balance the four skills of English, but how to integrate them in a lesson, in order to make the learners to be involved in a real communicative situation To reduce the pressure on marks and exams, teachers should design complementary activities and give positive comments to learners 42 Limitations of the study This is the first time the study “ A study on some major factors affecting students’ interest in learning English at a high school in Viet Nam” has been conducted in the context of Quynh Coi High School Although the research has made effort toward carrying out this research, it remains several inevitable shortcomings Firstly, the study was conducted with a small number of participants which lead to the vague finding Therefore, the research would have more objective and reliable if the number of learners participate in the study had been much larger Secondly, the research would have been successful if the researcher had been better at language proficiency and had had more experience in carrying out the research Suggestions for further study From the result of this research, there are some suggestions for further study The researcher should research a large number of learners to take a wider range of the result, which means the research will be more objective and reliable In this research, several affecting factors to students at high school have been explore, but for the scope of the study, there are some other factors have not been discussed such as: age, personality, cognitive style, first language, group dynamics, language aptitude, etc That could help readers to find something of relevant and practical use to their study and work with English 43 REFERENCES Ainley, M., Hidi, S., & Berndorff, D (2002) Interest, learning, and the psychological processes that mediate their relationship Journal of Psychology, 94, 545–561 Arnold, J Affect in language learning Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000 Askes, H & Kritzinger, W H C 1990 Teaching English as a second language: Methods and techniques Pretoria: Via Afrika Askes, H 1989 Second language teaching: Techniques and activities Pretoria: Via Afrika Britten, D 1988 Three stages in teacher training ELT Journal, 42 (1):3-8 Britten, D 1985(b) Teacher training in ELT, Part II Language Teaching, 18 (3):220- 238 Brown, R., & Hanlon, C (1970) Derivational complexity and order of acquisition in child speech New York: Wiley Brown, H Douglas 2000 Principles of language learning and teaching (4th edition) New York: Longman Brutt-Griffler, Janina 2002 World English A Study of its Development Clevedon, U.K.: Multilingual Matters Crystal, D (2003) English as a global language Cambridge: Cambridge University Press Gardner, R.C (1982) Social psychology and second language learning: The role of attitudes and motivation London: Edward Arnold Publishers Gardener, R.C (1985) Social Psychology and Second Language Learning London BNM/.,MEdward Griffiths, C (2008) Strategies and good language learners Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press Hidi, S (1990) Interest and its contribution as a mental resource for learning Review of Educational Research, 60, 549–571 Kothari, C.R (2004) Research Methodology India: New age international publisher 44 Krashen, S (2003) Explorations in Language Acquisition and Use: The Taipei Lectures Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann Lightbrown, P M & Spada N (2001) Factors affecting second language learning London: Routledge Mahlobo, E.B 1999 Contextual and learner factors in the development of English Second language Proficiency (Unpublished P.HD dissertation) Pretoria: University of South Africa Mangal, S K (2007) Essentials of educational psychology New Delhi: Prentice Hall Marwat, A (2010) Methods of data collection Oxford, R.L., 1990: Language Learning Strategies: What Every Teacher Should Know Boston: Heinle & Heinle Pawlak, Mirosław (ed.) 2009 Studies in pedagogy and fine arts Special issue: New perspectives on individual differences in language learning and teaching Pickett (1978), The Good Language Learner Research in Education No Toronto: Ontario Institute for Studies in Education Saville-Troike, M (2006) Introducing Second Language Acquisition Cambridge: Cambridge University Press Slameto (2003) Learning and the factors influence Jakarta: Rineka Cipta Smith, D P J & Pacheco, R 1996 Die konsep leerkultuur South African Journal of Education, 16(3):158-164 Wang, M.C and Finn, J.D 2000 How Small Classes Help Teachers Do Their Best Philadelphia, Pa.: Temple University Center for Research in Education Williams, M and Burden, R (1997) Psychology for Language Teachers: A Social Constructivist Approach Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 45 APPENDIX APPENDIX A: SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE Directions: This questionnaire is designed to support the study on “A study on some major factors affecting students’ interest in learning English at a high school in Vietnam” Below are some questions about your learning English process Please answer questions based on your personal experience There is no correct or incorrect answer Your answers will not be scored, which means these questions will not affect your grade in this class PART I: Students’ most recent result of English learning Your semester result, please tick: (M ≥ 8.0) (6.5≤ M ≤ 7.9) (5.0 ≤ M ≤ 6.4) (3.5 ≤ M ≤ 4.9) (M < 3.5) PART II: Students’ motivation towards English Please tick in the options that are close to you SA: Strongly Agree A: Agree U: Uncertain D: Disagree SD: Strongly Disagree Motivation items Learning English is a funny experience I learn English due to compulsory subject at school I always look forward to the day when we have English period I need to complete my English as a requirement to graduate When I have a problem understanding something in English class, I always ask my teacher for help SA A U D SD I want to have a good command of English in this class because it is important to show my ability to my family/friends/teacher/others I spend lots of time learning English because I’m interested in it English is important to me because it will broaden my view PART III: Attitude towards teacher Please tick in the options that are close to you A Always B Often C Sometimes Description A D Never B C D Teachers appear enthusiastic and friendly 10 Teachers use teacher-centered (didactic) methods too much 11 Teachers rely on drill, rote and memorization methods 12 Teachers use a variety of methods to reach the subject objectives (e.g: group discussions, student presentations, etc) 13 Teachers use short and interesting opening activities to start each lesson PART IV: Attitude towards textbook Please tick in the options that are close to you SA: Strongly Agree A: Agree Disagree U: Uncertain D: Disagree SD: Strongly Description SA A U D SD 14 The knowledge in the textbook is appropriate and close to my daily life 15 The language used in the textbook is at the right level for me 16 The instructions in tasks and activities are clear for me to them 17 The organization (pictures, color, artwork, font size) in the book is suitable PART V: Language learning strategies Please tick in the options that are close to you 1: Often 2: Sometimes 3: Never Description 18 I connect the sound of the new English word with the picture or image of the word so that I can remember the word 19 I use new English words in a sentence so that I can remember them 20 I remember new English words or phrases by remembering their location on the page, on the board, or on a street sign 21 I watch English language TV shows or movies 22 I find the meaning of an English word by dividing it into parts that I understand 23 I skim an English passage (read over the passage quickly) then go back and read carefully 24 If I cannot think of a word in English, I use a word or phrase that means the same thing 25 To understand unfamiliar English words, I make guesses 26 When I can't think of a word during a conversation in English, I use gestures 27 I plan my schedule so that I will have enough time to study English 28 I have a clear goal for improving my English skills 29 I notice my English language mistakes and make use of that information to help me better 30 I try to relax whenever I feel afraid of using English 31 I give myself a reward whenever I well in English 32 I talk to someone else about how I feel when I am learning English 33 I try to learn about the culture of English speakers 34 If I not understand something in English, I ask the other person to slow down or say it again 35 I ask English speakers to correct me when I talk THANK YOU FOR YOUR CO-OPERATION! APPENDIX B: INTERVIEW QUESTIONS Do you think that English is an important subject? Why? ……………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………… When you practice English? ……………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………… Do your parents encourage to learn English as much as they can both at home and at school? ……………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………… How you learn English at home? ……………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………… How you feel about the English lessons in the class? ……………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………… How often you raise your voice in the class? ……………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………… How you learn English at school? ……………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………… What you think about the English teaching methods at your school? What teaching methods you prefer? ……………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………… What needs improving regarding the overall of the textbook? ……………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………… 10 In your opinion, which factors are the most important to effect to students’ interest in learning English? ……………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………… APPENDIX C: CLASSROOM OBSERVATION SHEET Name of the teacher: ………………………………….Date: ………Class:…… Topic of the lesson: …………………………………… Part I: Classroom physical conditions Learner- educator ratio Number of pupils Seating arrangements Educational resources (board, screen, video, computer, etc.) Lighting Comments about physical conditions Part II: Teaching and learning procedure Time Stage Task/ Teacher’s Students’ Material Activity activities activities used Comments Part III: Lesson observation summary A Teacher talk – time for speaking (tick Comments appropriate choice) T always speaks English in class T usually speaks English in class T sometimes time speaking in class T never speaks English in class B Teacher talk – skills of language (tick Comments appropriate choice) T has a good command of English (accurate and fluent) T has a fairly good command of English (some errors/lack of fluency) T has a limited command of English T has a very limited command of English C Teacher talk – giving instructions (tick Comments appropriate choice) T always gives instructions clearly T sometimes gives instructions clearly T’s instructions are often unclear/confusing D Teacher use of the textbook (tick appropriate Comments choice) T always bases on the textbook to carry out the lesson Apart from using textbook, T uses other supplementary materials, equipment to carry out the lesson E Learner talk – speaking time (tick appropriate choice) Learners always speak English in class Learners usually speak English in class Learners sometimes speak English in class Learners never speak English in class Comments F Opportunities for leaners (tick any that apply) Comments Group work Pair work Individual work Conclusions: The school’s teaching- learning culture: ……………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………… The availability and use of educational resources: ……………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………… The influence of the learner- educator ratio: ……………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………… The teacher’s attitudes and skills: ……………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………… APPENDIX D- UNIT FOR OBSERVATION ENGLISH 10- UNIT 13: FILMS AND CINEMA – PART B: SPEAKING ... are some major factors affecting students’ interest in learning English? Scope of the study This study investigates factors affecting students’ interest in learning English at high school Also,... reason why the researcher has chosen that topic for the thesis namely A study on some major factors affecting students’ interest in learning English at a high school in Viet Nam This research...HANOI PEDAGOGICAL UNIVERSITY FACULTY OF FOREIGN LANGUAGES BUI THI YEN A STUDY ON SOME MAJOR FACTORS AFFECTING STUDENTS’ INTEREST IN LEARNING ENGLISH AT A HIGH SCHOOL IN VIET NAM Major: English
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