The demand for communication in English is becoming very urgent in Vietnam since the government's wide open door insurance plan in later 1980. More and more people, especially employees and students have to learn English to utilize it at the job, in their studies or future jobs. Actually, many adult learners of British who start learning English even from level one speak British like "bulls in a China shop".
Therefore, the Communicative Procedure, using group work activities, has been predominant and greatly put on improve Vietnamese learners' communicative skills of English in Vietnam. Applying this learning-centered methodology in pedagogy is actually a concern for many English instructors in Vietnam generally speaking and specifically for the English educators at the British Section of my university or college. Group work has taken creativity in speaking more in terms of theory than in terms of Vietnamese teachers' real school room practices.
I am twenty-two years old and have been teaching English at my university for two years. I am instructing one section of speaking skill weekly in an exceedingly diverse course of students with different degrees of speaking proficiency. Many of my students are occasionally eager to talk in their categories while others just look tired and keep noiseless in these categories. Furthermore, my students sometimes use Vietnamese a whole lot in their speaking English school and one person in the group dominates others. According to Harmer (2007), uncooperative and unmotivated students present a significant problem and can easily disrupt the instructional process while productive activities affecting speaking in communities are more demanding and time consuming. Although cooperative learning was actually developed for standard education, several research workers have noted its software to second words learning (High, 1993; Holt, 1993; Kessler, 1992; McCafferty, Jacobs & DasilvaIddings, 2006). In terms of speaking English, I wanted to investigate the execution of group activities to understand their results on the English dental fluency of my first 12 months English major students at a Vietnamese University or college.
I'd like to explore how my students speak English with their associates and think of activities. I would like to find whether or not interpreting group work activities in several means of group work develops the first yr English major students' dental fluency in my own English speaking category. Hopefully, the study studies will be helpful for me to provide great perceptions and understandings about utilizing group work activities to develop English oral fluency with first year English major students within my university. Therefore, the result will be mirrored on my decisions about the organization of effective group work activities in my British speaking classes to develop the quality of teaching.
- How do group work activities be used with first time English major students at a Vietnamese College or university to build up their English dental fluency?
- Why do modifying group work activities effect on the English dental fluency of first season British major students at a Vietnamse University?
- Organization of the research
The research is divided into seven main parts under these headings: Benefits, literature review, framework, methods and technique, analysis and results, reflections, and final result.
- Part one, Benefits includes rationale, the research questions and the summary of the study.
- Part two, Literature review gives and discusses related theoretical backdrop to the study.
- Part three, Framework describes the context where the research has occurred.
- Part four, Methods and technique includes known reasons for the techniques chosen, the ethical method of my research and the down sides I faced.
- Part five, Evaluation and findings, explains to my report of the research.
- Part six, Reflections, includes strong and disadvantages of my research and my experience about doing research.
- Part seven, Finish, finally reviews the outcomes and summarizes the whole research project and implication for even more research.
Johnson, Johnson and Smith (1991, p 15) defines that:
Group work, in language category, is a co-operative activity, where students share aims and responsibilities to complete a task assigned by the tutor in groups or in pairs.
It can be said that in group work, all the participants have chances for higher independence to make their own learning decisions with no teacher controlling any longer. They learn to negotiate more evenly using their friends and generally they feel absolve to express themselves and use the words. In group work, the concentration is not on exactness but on fluency. In speaking category, group work is often conducted in small groups and lasts for approximately 10 minutes to a course period depending on specific jobs.
The following part discusses the pros and drawbacks of using group work activities in language classes.
Many different types of speaking activities such as dialogue, discussion, interview, etc can be carried out in groups. Using types of those activities, group work no doubt offers many advantages.
There have been lots of studies confirming the potential great things about pair and group work activities in words coaching and learning. According to experts in second terms acquisition, negotiation of meaning helps both learning and acquisition and is also thought as:
The changes and restructuring of relationship that occurs when learners and their interlocutors anticipate, perceive, or experience issues in massage therapy comprehensibility. (Pica, 1994, p. 494)
Following is the conclusion of the most typical benefits of using group work in words class.
- Group work helps bring about learners' responsibility and autonomy.
- Group work raises students' participation, communicating time and dental fluency.
According to Harmer (1997), group work provides more opportunities for students' initiation, practice in negotiation of interpretation, prolonged conversational exchanges, face-to-face give and take and adoption of jobs. Vygotsky (1978) also thinks that learning is not aimed a method between professor and students but in various ways between students and students and between educator and students. Ur (1996, p232) also shares the same idea:
In group work, learners execute a learning activity through small group connections. It is a kind of learner activation that is of particular value in the practice of dental fluency; learners in a class that is split into five groupings get 5 times as many opportunities to discuss as in full class firm.
- Working in groups allows students to create better decisions to solve a specific task.
- Group work stimulates individuals' desire.
Group work permits students to work with the language and also motivates them to be more included and concentrate on the tasks allocated. Richards and Lockhart (1994) feels that through working in communities, students feel relaxed and comfortable to talk about ideas and play energetic roles in the learning process with no correcting opinions of teachers. Therefore, they have the advantage of posting ideas with other group people, learning from other friends' blunders or success and assisting others to learn. As the comprehension of the subject under discourse is often increased in group work, students certainly became more stimulated. Matching to Doff (1988), employed in pairs or in teams motivates students to be more involved and to concentrate on the tasks. Inside the non-threatening performance environment of the collaborative class room, motivation is often improved upon as students feel less inhibited and much more able to explore opportunities for personal - expression.
The next part will discuss several troubles which are often believed to have an impact on the successful implementation of the group work activities in vocabulary class.
According to Sheils (1993), in a few teaching contexts, the use of group work activities is unacceptable due to the unsuitable physical setting. For instance, my school room is too large with unmovable tables or there are a sizable number of students in a school. This also brings about another difficulty associated with the category management. I am reluctant of arranging group work because of noises and indiscipline which influence other classes. It really is hard for me personally to provide proper management. If I go and focus on one group, the others of course may your investment job and play about. Students will convert into the mom tongue when they must work in communities or they'll use class the perfect time to chat with each other or become lazier. Consequently, their speaking skill cannot be better and their time is misused.
The insufficient linguistic knowledge to donate to group work is the normal difficulty confronted by many students. Speaking is one of the most complicated linguistic skills because it involves thinking of what is to be said and responding spontaneously from what has been thought. To become able to do this, patterns, set ups, and words must be chosen to match the right situation or situation or attitude intended. Byrne (1986) has pointed out that thoughts are controlled to a great extent by vocabulary. We can not talk about something if we have no words for this. The inability to verbalize thought or sense may distort one's perceptions of objective actuality, increase trend to overact and prevent the probability of easy collaboration. Once students do not know enough of the terms to express themselves with ease, they often times become unwilling to take part in group work.
There are also other situations in which the students' personality (e. g. , timid, passive, reserved, etc) or personality conflict(e. g. , incompatible personalities) effect students' contribution in group work activities. Vygotsky (1986) meant that marriage of peers in addition has an effect on interaction in groups. Peers can be efficient learners, learners who will vary from educators (Swain & Lapskin, 1998), more or less proficient learners (Ohta, 1995), pretty much educated junior students (McDonald, Kidman, & Clarke, 1991), and peers as local and non-native audio system in the class (Barnard, 2002). Sheils (1993) said that though many students are happy to speak in chorus or under the teacher's information when doing some kinds of drill, they are inhibited when being asked to express themselves widely in the existence of the complete class. Furthermore, worries to be corrected before the other students could also cause the uneasy collaboration and lead to unproductive groups. In those instances, students may never have been motivated sufficiently to "try it out" without fretting about mistakes or they may be accustomed to the original teacher- centered course.
Learning style choice certainly influences the students' performance in group work. In her analysis, Nguyen (2004) illustrates the influences of students' learning style inclination on the students' performance in group work activities. She mentions that the training style inclination in Eastern countries like China or Vietnam is greatly inspired by the Confucian culture. The students were often familiar with being transmitted knowledge from the teachers rather than using their company peers. Therefore, it could be problematic for the professors to put into action group work activities in terminology classes because of the students' negative reactions to communicative terminology teaching and learning.
Beside the factors talked about above, there are other situations in which some students, though they do not end up having the lack of appropriate linguistic competence or personality, haven't any ideas to add or to interact with the topic distributed by the teachers. This might happen when the topic needs too much professional knowledge to go over or even when there is nothing at all interesting to say about it or even though the tasks do not need multiple contributions from all students but can be completed by just a few individuals.
However, there have been lots of researchers who've reported positive effects of group work activities on the introduction of speaking capacity in the dialect classroom. They are, therefore, worth considering putting into the classroom more regularly. Also, more investigations should be conducted to discover the most likely techniques or methods to put into practice successful group work activities in speaking school, both teachers and students need that can be played effective roles. The following part discusses the jobs the educators and the students need to perform in order to apply group work successfully.
Concerning the allocation of associates into groupings, Hurd (2000) says there is no "one right way" to allocate students into organizations. Somewhat, there are customers of practices educators may use. He also declares that most selection methods get into four categories. They are random session, self-selection, selective appointment, task appointment.
Brown (2003) boosts a question "Can we really develop our students' fluency?" Regarding to him, in coaching fluency, professors must be eager to forget about some control in our class, let my students involve some of the control and let those to do a few of the task and setup situations in which fluency can form, and encourage my students to actually communicate. In fact, I do not want to teach fluency constantly, but some of that time period students need a little guided communication time where their knowledge of many aspects of the language can form into fluency. Dark brown (2003, p. 15) also states
Teachers set up activities and then get out of the way that many students can be communicating at the same time [. . . ] However, setting up such activities is exactly what the students need to develop.
There is a great many other research by Ur (1996) and Maurice (1983) noting that the utilization of group work activities can create many opportunities for students to practice speaking fluency.
Twenty four of my first calendar year English major students in my own class who required part in my own research were from eighteen to twenty- two with four guys and twenty females. I have trained them spoken British for just one term with Communicative Method which does not pay much attention to a fixed curriculum but concentrate instead on real materials. My students acquired one speaking lesson every week and each lesson continues for 90 minutes. Therefore, I had formed time to understand about their English competence very well along with their characteristics, and backgrounds. Before joining the University, 1 / 3 of them done 7 years of British at senior high school. The rest examined English for 3 years only. When entering the School, they already have some basic knowledge of English grammar, but most of them are still poor at speaking, reading, listening, especially, those who result from rural or remote control areas where in fact the conditions of learning British are incredibly poor. About 30 percent30 % of the students who resided in areas with good conditions of learning English in secondary colleges and high academic institutions are at better level. Nevertheless, in senior high school, the majority of them cannot use English communicatively, because they had been trained with the Sentence structure- Translation method with much concentrate on grammar rules, memorization of vocabulary, translation of text messages and exercising to enter into a university or college. Another reason was that they had few opportunities to communicate with foreigners or native speakers.
I had written inform consent words (see appendix 1) and sent them to all the students of the school to ask them for their authorization to participate in my research. I did so the research with two female informants. First of all I chose A because she has studied English for 7 years in the city senior high school with high level of communicative skills. Second I decided B because she has studied British for three years in a local institution with low level of communicative British skills but she actually is proficient at writing and reading British. I saw often A and B gone and chatted with one another inside and outside the course and been told other students say that A and B were good friends.
At the beginning of my job, I discussed my motives to the students and asked them for their permission to carry out the research. I advised two informants that I'd track record their spoken vocabulary within my research about how to build up their English dental fluency. Luckily, they agreed just because a and B got good attitudes to me, to University, especially to learning English to find good jobs.
I also provided each pupil a consent form notice that will be useful in setting out plainly for learners what their contribution would involve and how the results of the procedure would be utilized. The head of my office was aware of how and why I was performing my research.
Learners interviewed their friends and wrote up friends' characteristics, attitudes towards group work and useful strategies of speaking English. The results will help them develop desire in speaking British.
After collecting data I offered back my last draft of report to my students to check whether or not my interpretation of what they said corresponded with the own understanding. I officially thanked everyone who possessed helped me and directed copies of my findings to anyone who has been of substantive help me.
I put together observational and field notice techniques to set up data about conducts, contexts, group group and files of connections between informants. Therefore, using notes to collect research data became more effective than other data collection techniques got over. Besides, I used a tiny hand-held recorder as a time keeping option during group work activities and students' interviews. This allowed me to notice important data while these were still fresh in my own mind. I could also talk into the recorder, listen to the recordings again and start thinking.
I prepared A to interview B in Vietnamese on the feelings and views about group work and learning experience throughout their break time of 20 minutes. I provided a set of preplanned questions (see appendix 7) in no predetermined order and asked the group to audio-record their responses. I did this to to be able to increase my very own and my learners' understanding of students' thoughts about group work. I used semi organized interviews between learner and learner because they ensured greater consistency, stability and balance in the study relationship. Two students involved in their free moving conversational process in an agreeable way to talk about with one another about their learning experience in speaking English and their notion of group work. I decided to go with this approach to understand deeply about the factors affecting group work to develop English oral fluency.
I felt a lack of experience in writing up the final research results. It concerned me whether I got implementing the right methodology, which my data collecting methods became a bit slapdash and less in depth than they must have been. I sensed pressured for time during the process and on paper the article because I also taught and did the study at the same time.
I conducted the research with my students when that they had started studying in the second term for two weeks. The very first time, I detected speaking in the British class at the first period in the morning. The class hadn't had any study of speaking in the second term of the first season. Inside the first term, A got symbol 8 and B received 5 for speaking examination. We'd two speaking periods in the same day per week. The next time, I detected the speaking fluency of the and B after seven days of the first observation, at the first period each day. A sat next to B in the same entry desk of the class room.
Before conducting the study for a week, I informed them that I would do the study in the school. And I shipped 24 consent letters to all my students, asked those to tick the pack if they decided to participate, gathered all characters after five minutes and read at home.
During observing, I used highlighter, sticky records and gathered data on collection target in the observation sheet. I used themes or templates and rules (see appendix 2) to arrange and collect data in field records as i was observing. I position the recorders in each group of the course.
Because tables and chairs were fixed and unmovable I asked my students to work in groups of three using their neighborhood friends at the same desk and imagine a story about the picture (see appendix 3) on the blackboard. A and B were in the same group with C who could speak English very well.
At first, they were eager to talk in the group because they thought they had a lot of things to speak about and the picture was very interesting. I simply sat at my desk with catalogs, appeared and made notes in the observation linens. When I detected I realized a and B's dental English fluency had not been interfered by with the noises of other organizations.
I simply required my students to make their own tales about the picture in their teams in a quarter-hour and present their reports before the class. I saw almost all students seemed very excited and smiled whenever i confirmed the picture and said: "The best interesting report would get good marks". I set the picture on the blackboard and discussed about characters in the picture. A and B maintained quiet for some time in their group and later A asked: "B, what is your story? And just why will we have to do this activity?" B was too shy and said nothing while A began speaking English. She had plenty of ideas about the picture to talk about with other members while B just paid attention to A and nodded her head. Often, B said "right", "all right" and looked at me. After speaking English for 3 minutes, A asked B to take note what she had said. Sometimes, A discontinued speaking and asked others to express their ideas. B also spoke some short utterances to support the storyline. A commented on B and C's views. B more often than not agreed which has a and she just stored silent and looked very nervous to speak English. A and C dominated B while B experienced forget about chance to apply. For instance, B almost always asked questions and read sentences that have been written and said very short utterances like: "you should change this phrase into that word". Sometimes B recommended new ideas for the story but she was too timid to persuade others to acknowledge therefore B seemed unsatisfied in her group. After they finished the storyplot, A commenced to talk in Vietnamese with another girl friend at the table behind about a film on Television set that evening while B turned around and exchanged her stories with other organizations in Vietnamese. B wanted to speak but she got no chances in her group so she found another whom she could speak with. When enough time was up, I asked each group to inform their storyline. When other groupings were showing, A did not pay much attention to that. A asked B to provide the story in front of the class as i called them. B was too timid to speak and didn't speak fluently and always looked at her take note taking newspaper. C and A said "no" and they stood up and extended to present their own ideas. B sat down and believed more comfortable when she did not have to speak. The task was finished on time and almost all A and B's utterances were in English.
After the first class of observation, I asked students to be free for 20 minutes within the next period to interview in pairs. I paired A and B and registered their conversation to understand about their emotions, difficulties and battles of working in groups. I concluded that B noticed intimidated whenever using someone of much better ability even though more fluent students sometimes attempted to help their partners. Moreover, B could not talk because she made a lot of faults and did not learn how to say things in English. Although B wished to discuss she thought her friends would giggle at her when she spoke. My lessons was not interesting enough to encourage all students to activate in speaking however the picture was very good. Because I did so not give enough requirements and justification of the task A and B did not know very well what they should do in group work. I did not pay much attention to the group company, task need and students' understanding.
A and B acquired good marks nevertheless they did not like my lessons. A and B didn't feel content with the lesson. A said that the lesson had not been interesting enough and really should be produced clear for any students. Nevertheless, B liked to maintain groups with A, and other more fluent students because she got chances to learn from them to broaden her knowledge and vocabulary.
After the first observation, I changed my head about my coaching. I though about explanations why my students did not engage in their groups and decided that I will require them to produce a report with five or six simple tense and future tense sentences. And I should deliver this picture for all teams as a handout while the blackboard was used to present students' results. I should go around and listen to my students and encourage them to speak British.
In another period, I rearranged the desks of the class in a U formed arrangement of groupings to allow an easy transition to plenary function. Students grouped independently with friends who experienced the same interesting matters once they were provided some background understanding of each theme. After collecting information of observing, I compared the results of two consultations to discover differences between A and B in dental British fluency in their organizations. I'd not give each group the same draw because this was unfair and created competitive groups alternatively than co-operative categories and totally defeats the purpose of grouping at the first time. I wrote this issue "favorite places" and asked my students for related vocabulary. I made students mixed up in activity. A and B said aloud their vocabulary relating to this subject matter. Lan also brought up a few of her favorite places in Vietnam while Hoa asked me and her friends a whole lot of clarifying questions like "just how do we say this phrase mean in British?" or "Can you clarify again?" From then on I let my student read one short passage about a famous devote Vietnam (see appendix 4) without name and asked my students to think. A and B were very eager to talk because that they had been this place. Later, I asked those to choose one picture of famous places (see appendix 5) to create a conversation to bring in this devote communities and used as much comparative adjectives as it can be. I sent chosen pictures for every group and said: "It really is no issue if you make problems because you can learn something through setting it up incorrect. " I asked all students to stand up and discover other two partners to talk to. A and C made a decision to choose the same picture to discuss and called another C's good friend. B joined in a group of two other friends who also lived in the rural area and possessed the same level of speaking British as her. They reviewed to choosing a well liked place to discuss for 15 minutes. A got a great deal of suggestions to share with her associates. A talked loudly and continually then C and his good friend took a convert. A and B sensed comfortable to talk to peers whom they wished to talk with. B felt well informed to talk about ideas with other people who had the same capacity level. When other friends commented on B' ideas she also looked happy and tried out her better to negotiate. She paid attention to others and required notes on their ideas. When B satisfied with challenges she asked me for help. And I explained and encouraged her work like: "that is good", "say it again", "many thanks", "well done", etc. She motivated others to talk and commented on their ideas. She said: "good", "not suitable", "you merely think more about this". She helped others to obtain chances to talk. When they possessed time kept A's group continued to think more about how they might make their stories more interesting. When other groups were showing, A and B listened carefully to them. A and B were almost eager to present their group's conversation.
Based on all the data, I found that students transformed their feeling and tendencies when they caused different lovers. It intended that group organization played an important role in expanding students' English oral fluency. A and B spoke more fluently when these were in sets of the same potential level. In the second lesson, a protected climate had been achieved where everybody liked to work with each other. Inside the blended group, A almost do little or nothing while B was hesitant to speak British. In the next session, when these were in communities with the partners on a single level they thought more calm to talk. I found that B spoke 3 x more English whenever using students of the same capacity than when she experienced more fluent partners. I figured the students were determined to speak British but perhaps felts intimidated whenever using someone of far better ability.
While hearing the taped dialogue of the second observation I noticed that customers of B's group generally had taken turns to speak, that no person was dominant, and that they helped one another with vocabulary. The discussions were quite fluent and appropriate. B leaned up for grabs to consult with other partners. It was unavoidable for my students to work with Vietnamese but it was not much.
However, the taped chat of the very first time indicated that, although A was very cooperative and tried out to help her partner, she tended to dominate the dialog and overcorrect her spouse without supplying B much chance to talk.
From interviews, I found that my less able students liked to utilize English with an increase of fluent lovers when they had to be self-reliant, after i had not been present, when they were not corrected on a regular basis, and when they were not being examined or checked.
Besides, predicated on the observation and interviews, maybe it's figured the students' British oral fluency was also be influenced by the teacher's prep. Inside the first lesson, I did so not provide enough explanations, knowledge and encouragement to help them understand and take part in speaking British. In the next lessons, my students believed very excited in speaking English when that they had enough vocabulary and desire for the duty.
During this investigation, I learned a whole lot about my students' attitudes towards and abilities in using British. Gathering information from the students about how they use English was important to me. I discovered ways to deal with a school of mixed abilities and found a way to inspire my less able students. This job confirms my beliefs about the value of using group work and has reduced my anxiousness about grouping less able students together. I could create different categories for different activities. Depending on the task, I am going to want to have students of different skill levels working alongside one another or students with the same level working together. For example, a harder job might lead me to combine skill levels, however an activity where outcome is not an important goal, the instructions are not difficult, and the process easy to check out, could lead to homogeneous grouping.
During achieving this research, I put good support from my students because these were acquainted with group work in many topics at the start of the course. EASILY do another research next time, I will request another teacher to observe me. I think it is better for me personally to pay much attention to students' behavior and also have another teacher's reflections on my performance in lessons.
Using group work activities in producing students' speaking capability is not a new idea in terminology teaching. To sum up, any dialogue of benefits and drawbacks of a specific thing is comparative. There may be no absolute pros and cons. In my own research, I tried out to investigate the existing situation of using group activities in speaking class of the first year English- major students within my English Department of your Vietnamese University. Based on the results of observation, interview and the relevant literature review in chapter two, I did so an action research of altered procedure for making and putting into action group work activities in speaking school to see changes in my students' English oral fluency. The main problem the students often face in group work activities reported as their limited dental fluency in group work activities. There have been three main factors which affected students' English oral fluency. They included: linguistic factor, personality factor and the teacher's process. The most important studies are that students will speak more fluently in a safe environment. Grouping must be did the trick at rather than gets better without use. Within the further research, I am going to try to answer how the number of students and gender in each group affects students' English dental fluency.