The effective techniques in teaching speaking, Ö ZEYTİN

Tags: students, teaching speaking, language learners, The teacher, English lessons, Language Learning, Techniques in Teaching, Teaching English, The students, English as a Second Language, the language, Oxford University Press, New York, speaking English, Cambridge University Press
Content: i T.C. DOKUZ EYLЬL ЬNVERSTES ETM BLMLER ENSTTЬSЬ YABANCI DLLER ETM ANABLM DALI NGLZCE ЦRETMENL PROGRAMI YЬKSEK LSANS TEZ THE EFFECTIVE TECHNIQUES IN TEACHING SPEAKING ЦZGE ZEYTN Lisansьstь Eitim ­ Цretim ve Sinav Yцnetmeliinin ngiliz Dili ve Eitimi Anabilim Dali iзin Цngцrdьь YЬKSEK LSANS TEZ olarak Hazirlanmitir. zmir 2006
ii T.C. DOKUZ EYLЬL ЬNVERSTES ETM BLMLER ENSTTЬSЬ YABANCI DLLER ETM ANABLM DALI NGLZCE ЦRETMENL PROGRAMI YЬKSEK LSANS TEZ THE EFFECTIVE TECHNIQUES IN TEACHING SPEAKING ЦZGE ZEYTN Daniman YRD.DOЗ.DR. KADM ЦZTЬRK Lisansьstь Eitim ­ Цretim ve Sinav Yцnetmeliinin ngiliz Dili ve Eitimi Anabilim Dali iзin Цngцrdьь YЬKSEK LSANS TEZ olarak Hazirlanmitir. zmir 2006
iii YEMN METN Yьksek lisans tezi olarak sunduum "The Effective Techniques in Teaching Speaking" adli зalimanin, tarafimdan, bilimsel ahlak ve geleneklere aykiri dьecek bir yardima bavurmaksizin yazildiini ve yararlandiim yapitlarin kaynakзada gцsterilenlerden olutuunu, bunlara gцnderme yapilarak yararlanilmi olduunu belirtir ve bunu onurumla dorularim. ....../...../2006 Цzge ZEYTN
iv
Eitim Bilimleri Enstitьsь Mьdьrlььne bu зalima , jьrimiz tarafindan ................................................... .............................Anabilim Dali.................................................Bilim Dalinda YЬKSEK LSANS TEZ olarak kabul edilmitir.
Bakan :......................................................................................
Ьye
:....................................................................................
Ьye :....................................................................................
Onay
Yukaridaki imzalarin, adi geзen цretim ьyelerine ait olduunu onaylarim. ..../..../2006 Prof. Dr. Sedef GDENER Enstitь Mьdьrь
v
YЬKSEKЦRETM KURULU DOKЬMANTASYON MERKEZ TEZ VER FORMU
Tez No:
Konu Kodu:
Ьniv. Kodu:
Tezin Yazarinin
Soyadi: Zeytin
Adi: Цzge
Tezin Tьrkзe Adi: ngilizce Konuma Цretiminde Kullanilan Etkili Teknikler
Tezin ngilizce Adi:The Effective Techniques in Teaching Speaking
Tezin Yapildii Ьniversite: DOKUZ EYLЬL
Enstitь: ETM BLMLER
Yil: 2006
Tezin Tьrь:
1. Yьksek Lisans :
Dili
: ngilizce
2. Doktora
:
Sayfa Sayisi : 53
3. Tipta Uzmanlik :
Referans Sayisi: 68
4. Sanatta Yeterlilik:
Tez Danimaninin
Ьnvani: Yrd. Doз. Dr.
Adi: Kadim
Soyadi: Цztьrk
Tьrkзe Anahtar Sцzcьkler: 1. Konuma Цretimi 2. Цretim Teknikleri Speaking 3. ngilizce Цretimi 4. Yabanci Dil
ngilizce Anahtar Sцzcьkler: 1. Teaching Speaking 2. Techniques in Teaching 3. Teaching English 4. foreign language
vi ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to express my deepest appreciation to my thesis advisor, Assistant Prof. Dr. Kadim ЦZTЬRK who with his academic guidance, invaluable emotional support and endless patience enabled me to move forward on a continuum of professional development with this thesis. I am also grateful to Assistant Prof. Dr. Halim AKGЦL for his support and invaluable guidance during the period of creating data collecting instruments and analysis of data. I also would like to thank all the other people for their comments and understanding. Finally, I am grateful to my beloved family for their continuous support, constant encouragement, patience and love at every stage of this study. Without the support and the endless patience of the people mentioned above, this thesis would never be completed.
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The Table of Contents
YEMN METN TUTANAK TEZ VER FORMU PREFACE THE TABLE OF CONTENTS THE LIST OF THE FIGURES AND TABLES ЦZET ABSTRACT
CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION
1. 1. Introduction
1
1. 2. The Purpose of the Study
3
1. 3. The Significanca of the Study
3
1. 4. The Statement of the Problem
4
1. 5. The Research Problems
4
1. 6. Limitations
5
1. 7. Assumptions
5
1. 8. Abbreviations
5
CHAPTER 2 literature review
2. 1. Introduction
6
2. 2. The Methodology of Oral Interaction
6
2. 2. 1. Rivers and Temperley's View of Oral Interaction
6
2. 2. 2. Littleewood's View of Oral Interaction
11
viii
2. 3. Oral Interaction Activities
14
2. 3. 1. Littlewood's Oral Interaction Activities
14
2. 3. 2. Penny Ur's Oral Interaction Activities
15
2. 3. 3. Jeremy Harmer's Oral Interaction Activities
20
2. 3. 4. Rivers and Temperley's Oral Interaction Activities
23
CHAPTER 3 METHOD
3. 1. Introduction
26
3. 2. The Model of the Research
26
3. 3. The Universe and the Sample of the Study
26
3. 4. Data Collecting Instruments
27
3. 5. Data Collection
29
3. 6. Analysis of Data
30
CHAPTER 4 FINDINGS AND INTERPRETATIONS
4. 1. Introduction
31
4. 2. The Display of Questionnaire Results
31
4. 3. The analysis of Questionnaire Statements
36
4. 4. The analysis of Oral Interview Questions
41
CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSIONS, DISCUSSION AND SUGGESTIONS
5.1. Introduction
43
ix
5.2. Conclusions and Discussions
43
5.2.1. Conclusions and Discussions Related to the Questionnaire
43
5.2.2. Conclusions and Discussions Related to the Oral Interview
46
5.3. Suggestions
47
BIBLIOGRAPHY
49
x
List of Figures and Tables
Figure 2.1. The language learning Diagram
7
Figure 2.2. The Language Learning Exercises Diagram
11
Table 3.1. The Distribution of the Participants in the Sample with
27
regard to Universities
Table 4.1. The number of the students involved in marking
32-33
the best alternative for the questionnaire statements
Table 4.2. The percentage of the students involved in marking
34-35
the best alternative for the questionnaire statements
Table 4.3. The total ratio of the students who have difficulty and
36
don't want to speak in English
Table 4.4. The reasons of their difficulty in speaking English
37
Table 4.5. The ratios related to anxiety
38
Table 4.6. Language Students' perception of their teachers
38
Table 4.7. Practicing speaking in English
39
Table 4.8. Language class atmosphere
39
Table 4.9. The ability to learn a foreign language
40
Table 4.10. The proportion of the students who can speak English fluently 40
Table 4.11. The response, frequency and percentage for the first question 41
Table 4.12. The response , frequency and percentage for the second question 42
Table 4.13. The response, frequency and percentage for the third question 42
xi ЦZET Bu зalimanin amaci ngilizce konuma becerisi цretilirken kullanilan metotlarin ne kadar etkili olduunu bulmak, цrencilerin ngilizce konuma becerisinde ne kadar baarili olduklarini saptamak ve ngilizce цretmenlerinin konuma цretimindeki rollerini aratirmaktir. Aratirmanin цrnekleminde yer alan katilimcilar DEЬ ve EЬ Yabanci Diller Y.O. ngilizce Hazirlik Programina devam eden orta dьzey lisans hazirlik цrencileridir. Veri toplama ilemi, anket ve mьlakat uygulanarak yapilmitir. Ankete DEЬ den 229 kii ve EЬ den 195 kii katilmitir. Mьlakat ise 40 kiinin katilimiyla yapilmitir. Verilerin зцzьmlenmesi iзin kullanilan frekans, ortalama ve yьzdeler цrencilerin ngilizce konuma becerisinde baarili olmayi istemelerine ramen baarisiz olduklarini gцstermektedir. Bunda kaygi dьzeylerinin yьksek olmasi etkili olmaktadir. Sцzlь mьlakat sonuзlari цrencilerin derste en rahat olduklari zamanin ngilizce oyun oynadiklari zaman olduunu ortaya зikarmitir. ngilizce konuma becerisi цretilirken kullanilan metot ve tekniklerin цrencilerin bu beceriyi цrenmesine pozitif yцnde katkida bulunduu ancak bunun yeterli olmadii saptanmitir. Konuma becerisini цreten цretmenlerin цrencilere kari sergilemekte olduklari tavir, davrani ve tutumlari цrenciler tarafindan takdir edilmekte ancak bu ngilizce konuma becerisinde baarisiz olduklari gerзeini deitirmemektedir.
xii ABSTRACT The purpose of this study is to investigate how effective the methods of teaching speaking are, and how successful the students are in speaking English. And also this study aims to find out the role of the language teacher in teaching speaking. The participants in the sample group of this study were intermediate level undergraduate preparatory program students at the School of Foreign Languages at DEU and EU. The data were obtained by two instruments, a questionnaire and oral interview. The questionnaires were distributed to 229 students from DEU and 195 students from EU. In oral interview, 40 students participated. The data analysis conducted by means of frequency, mean and percentage revealed that the students are unsuccessful in speaking English although they are highly eager for having this skill. High anxiety level is an important factor in this failure. The findings of oral interview demonstrated that the students only feel themselves not irritated while playing games. The techniques and the methods used in teaching speaking in English assist learning this skill positively but it is confirmed that this is not enough. The attitudes, manners and behaviour of the language teachers who teach speaking English to the language learners are appreciated by the students; however, this does not change the reality that they are unsuccessful in speaking English.
xiii
CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION 1. 1. Introduction Speaking is the most distinguishing feature of human beings from the other living creatures because it is the natural state of language that all human beings are born to speak their native language. In learning a second or foreign language, most of the learners find speaking the most difficult skill to have a success because it needs oral communication that consists of both speaking and listening. (Nunan, 2002) In the past speaking was not considered much in language learning and teaching. Primarily, learning structures, rote memorization of sentence patterns and vocabulary, and using literary language were of great importance. Grammar Translation Method defends this. In the mid-nineteenth century, by the traveling, the trade and interpersonal connections of Europeans, the primacy of grammatical and literary language decreased, and the use of conversational skills increased. In this period, the Frenchman F. Gouin (1831-1896) created new language teaching methods by using the natural physical actions such as walking across the room, opening the door, and so on (Richards and Rodgers, 2001). He and some language specialists contributed to the language teaching by the physical actions. Then other new methods supported the language learning by using speech-based approach. These new methods were assisted by Direct Method into the 20th century. The Audio-Lingual Method (ALM) in the United States and Situational Language Teaching in the United Kingdom stressed the importance of speaking and
listening skills in language teaching towards the end of the 1950s. Although ALM gave importance to speaking, it emphasized the use of accurate pronunciation and structures instead of natural and spontaneous use of language. Silent Way, Community Language Learning and Suggestopedia aimed at speaking the target language with a native-like pronunciation; however, they were still defending the accurate learning of structural knowledge. In 1960s as a compensation for these language teaching methods, Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) appeared. CLT gave equal importance to the functional as well as the structural language. In CLT language is regarded as a tool for productive and purposeful conversation or communication. Its goal was comprehensible, not native-like pronunciation (Nunan, 1987; Littlewood, 1983). Content-Based Instruction, Project Work and Task-Based Instruction are all created thanks to CLT because all of them favor that language is learned by using it communicatively. As we can see through this very brief history of language teaching, the importance has been given to speaking since 1960s. I have been teaching English for five years. As far as I observed, most of the language teachers' lessons are taken up with grammar. We teach grammar and we think that our students have learnt it. In examinations we test what we taught in written English so the results become very well. The students can answer all the written questions about that grammar topic. However, when you ask a simple question orally, they have difficulty in answering it. They cannot use their knowledge of grammar for their verbal communication. Generally speaking, language is a tool of communication. If you cannot speak, all your effort is in vain. Thus we have to give importance to speaking in our English lessons right from the beginning because there is no use of knowledge about a language without having the skill of using it.
We know that there is a difference between knowledge and skill. (Bygate:1991) talks about this difference by giving an example. Think about a driver. Normally a driver knows the names of the controls, where they are, what they are for and how they are operated. While knowing these things, a driver has to use these controls to drive the car on the road without hitting the other vehicles or the things that can get in the way. He/she has to keep the normal speed, drive smoothly and be careful not to get too close to the vehicle in front or nearby. Although these are necessary, they are not enough. Driving in a straight line is a must, but getting adapted to the variations in road conditions safely is a necessity. The things we do in language learning is the same. We not only have to know how to create sentences but also have to change our sentences according to the conditions. "This means making decisions rapidly, implementing them smoothly, and adjusting our conversation as unexpected problems appear in our path" (Bygate, 1991: 4) 1. 2. The Purpose of the Study The purpose of the current study is to investigate how effective the methods of teaching speaking are, and how successful the students are in speaking English. And also this study aims to find out the role of the language teacher in teaching speaking. 1. 3. The Significance of the Study The current research focuses on the effective methods of teaching speaking in English. Although speaking has been the vital part of language in recent years, little research has been conducted in the undergraduate English preparatory program
classrooms at the university level. Thus, it may provide general information for schedule planners at the university level by providing an additional tool for the development and improvement of students' speaking skills. 1. 4. The Statement of the Problem As I stated in 1.1. I have been teaching English for five years and during this time period I have observed that many of the students have difficulty in speaking English although they are very successful in grammar. Therefore the question came to my mind. Why? Why are the students successful in grammar but not in speaking? Then I wanted to have a research on this topic. This study aims to examine the effective techniques on the development of learners' communicative skills in speaking English in DEU and EU. After completing the intensive English program in preparatory classes, many of the students complain about their lack of communicative competence which may result in part from the fact that students do not attempt to practice enough in speaking classes or may not find appropriate environment to practice using the language. 1. 5. The Research Problems This study intends to find out answers to the following questions 1. Are the undergraduate English preparatory program students of DEU and EU successful in speaking English? 2. What is the teachers' role in teaching speaking? 3. How effective are the methods used for teaching speaking?
1. 6. Limitations The research only covers the intermediate level undergraduate English preparatory program students of the School of Foreign Languages at Dokuz Eylul University and Ege University. 1. 7. Assumptions It has been assumed that the subjects in the sample of the current research have responded to the questions in the scales sincerely. 1. 8. Abbreviations ALM: Audio-Lingual Method CLT: Communicative Language Teaching DEU: Dokuz Eylul University DIS: Disagree EFL: English as a Foreign Language EU: Ege University MA: Mostly Agree PA: Partially Agree Q-A-Q-A: Question-Answer-Question-Answer SA: Strongly Agree UND: Undecided
CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW 2. 1. Introduction In this chapter, the literature relevant to this study is presented in two categories: the methodology of oral interaction and oral interaction activities. First, Rivers and Temperley's, second, Littlewood's view of teaching speaking are explained in the methodology of oral interaction part. Then oral interaction activities of four ­ Littlewood, Penny Ur, Jeremy Harmer and Rivers and Temperley's are explained in detail. 2. 2. The Methodology of Oral Interaction 2. 2. 1. Rivers and Temperley's View of Oral Interaction Rivers and Temperley (1978) make a diagram in order to show the difference and the relation between the processes skill-getting and skill-using which are the vital parts of learning to communicate.
LANGUAGE LEARNING
SKILL-GETTING
SKILL-USING
COGNITION (knowledge)
PRODUCTION (pseudo-communication)
INTERACTION (real communication)
PERCEPTION (of units, categories, and functions)
ARTICULATION (practices of sequences of sounds)
ABSTRACTION (internalising, rules relating categories and functions)
CONSTRUCTION (practice in formulating communications)
Figure 2.1. The Language Learning Diagram
RECEPTION (comprehension of a message) EXPRESSION (conveying personal meaning)
In skill-getting process, first students learn to understand the units, categories and functions, in general the rules, of the target language; then, they internalize these rules about the functions and categories. That's why skill-getting process is called as skill development. In skill-using process, real communication takes place. It consisted of two elements. First reception, the ability to comprehend the message that is told; second expression, the ability to convey the personal meaning, to express themselves.
Between these two processes, in order to fulfill the gap they suggest production ( pseudo-communication ) activities that help the students to make a shift from skill-getting to skill-using. These activities consist of articulation ­ practices of sounds ­ and construction ­ practice in formulating communications. They are useful in leading "naturally into spontaneous communication". (1978: 5) Rivers and Temperley contrast two views of language learning 1. Progressive Development View Progressive Development View supports the view that using language can take place merely after the students have learned the grammar and the vocabulary of the language. It is "the ability to speak the language derives from the systematic study of grammar, phonology and lexicon". (Bygate, 1991: 56) 2. Immediate Communication View Immediate Communication View supports the view that the more you are exposed to the language, the more you learn it. It is "speaking skill is developed from the contact with the language". (1991: 56) In order to be successful in immediate communication, they suggest three kinds of activity. a. Oral practice for the learning of grammar b. Structured Interaction c. Autonomous Interaction a. Oral Practice for the Learning of Grammar These activities are designed for presenting, exemplifying and practising grammatical rules. They are for practising "the use of grammatical structures and applying the various facets of grammatical rules in possible sentences" (Rivers and Temperley, 1978: 110). The techniques generally used in these activities are blankfilling and several forms of syntactic manipulation. If these activities are basically intended as written activities, they may be unsatisfactory as oral practice. For demonstration and familiarization, structure orientated exercises may be beneficial.
"Such exercises serve an introductory function. They are useful only as a preliminary to practice in using the new structural variations in some natural interchange, or for review and consolidation of the use of certain structures when students seem in doubt". (1978: 120) By the use of oral practice for the learning of grammar, the students "understand the changes in meaning they are affected by the variations they are performing".(Rivers and Temperley, 1978: 120) b. Structured Interaction These activities are useful in filling the gap between the knowledge of the rules and the students' ability to express their own meanings. In other words, they are the activities of pseudo-communication. "This is communication in which the content is structured by the learning situation, rather than springing autonomously from the mind and emotions of the student. We bridge the gap to true communication by encouraging the student to use these structured practices for autonomous purposes from the early stages". (Bygate, 1991: 58) As pseudo-communicative activities, dialogue techniques ­ gapped dialogue and oral reports ­ are used for teaching the foreign language. Direct method techniques generally supported by realia, visual aids and actions of the teacher, and the students are used for the same purpose. Oral reports may be short and they may be performed as group work in the early stages. For creating gapped dialogues, recorded dialogues with gaps left for the students to fill in relevant words are used. For creating the dialogues, Rivers and Temperley propose a list including the following points to check before: a. whether the purpose is grammar-demonstration, conversationfacilitation or recreational b. the interest and naturalness of the communicative content c. the interest and naturalness of its language d. whether the focus on language items is successful e. the length of the dialogue and of utterances f. inclusion of an element of revision
g. possibilities of exploitation
(Bygate, 1991: 58)
c. Autonomous Interaction These activities help the students to express their personal meanings into language. "Students must learn early to express their personal intentions through all kinds of familiar and unfamiliar recombinations of the language elements at their disposal. The more daring they are in linguistic innovation, the more rapidly they progress". (1991: 59) For being successful in autonomous interaction, the students must be given the chance of using the target language "for the normal purposes of language in relation to others".(1991: 59) The teachers should be awake for the interaction possibilities that are created in the classroom and also they must add the students to language use for various purposes. Rivers and Temperley list fourteen "categories of language use", as : 1- Establishing and maintaining social relations 2- Expressing one's reactions 3- Hiding one's intentions 4- Talking one's way out of trouble 5- Seeking and giving information 6- Learning or teaching others to do or make something 7- Conversing over the telephone 8- Solving problems 9- Discussing ideas 10- Playing with language 11- Acting out social roles 12- Entertaining others 13- Displaying one's achievements 14- Sharing leisure activities (Bygate 1991: 73)
2. 2. 2. Littlewood's View of Oral Interaction For defining activities, Littlewood makes another categorization. He divides the activities into two, pre-communicative activities and communicative activities, and then subdivides each into two. Thus, he suggests four major kinds of language learning activities.
LANGUAGE LEARNING EXERCISES
Pre-communicative activities
Communicative activities
Structural activities
Functional communication activities
Quasi-communicative activities
Social interaction activities
Figure 2.2. The Language Learning Exercises Diagram
1- Pre-communicative activities can be called as preparatory activities which prepare the learners to communicate. Their target is making the students use the language with desired fluency without thinking of giving the message accurately. "In pre-communicative activities, the teacher isolates specific elements of knowledge or skill which compose communicative ability, and provides the learners with opportunities to practice them separately. The learners are thus being trained in the part-skills of communication rather than practising the total skill to be acquired". (Bygate 1991: 61)
They are divided into two. Structural activities focus on grammar and the ways in which the linguistic items can be combined. Quasi-communicative activities consist of one or more typical conversational exchanges. Here are three examples; · A: Shall we go to the cinema? B: No, I'd rather go to a concert. A: What kind of concert? B: I'd like to hear some jazz. · P: By the way, has John written that letter yet? S: Yes, he wrote it yesterday. P: Has he seen the film yet? S: Yes, he saw it yesterday. · (working from a plan) P: Excuse me, where's the post office? S: It's near the cinema. P: Excuse me, where's the bank? S: It's opposite the theatre. (Littlewood 1981: 10 ­ 13) Bygate (1991) states these quasi-communicative activities help the students to relate forms and structures to three typical kinds of sentence meanings. 1- Communicative function : how to apologize, how to complain about a situation or how to use question forms to make suggestions, request or invitations ...etc. 2- Specific meaning : the use of language for real things, for example for real information, real facts or the learners' real ideas ...etc. 3- Social context : making and accepting invitations, polite conversation, exchanging opinions or planning for going out ...etc. He also says "drills and dialogues can be combined so as to provide a bridge from formal exercises to communicative use" (1991: 63). Three ways of doing this are: a- A four line dialogue, with particular substitutions to be chosen by both speakers.
b- A timetable, statistical table, map, consumer's comparison chart or price list. Students' roles are to ask for or give specific information. c- Situational dialogues allowing repeated use of the same structure, for example buying from a list over a shop counter. 2- Communicative activities are designed to alter the pre-communicative knowledge and skills into communicating meanings, which Littlewood calls "whole-task practice". In considering how people learn to carry out various kinds of skilled performance, it is often useful to distinguish between (a) training in the part-skills of which the performance is composed and (b) practice in the total skill, sometimes called "whole-task practice". [...] In foreign language learning our means for providing learners with whole-task practice in the classroom is through various kinds of communicative activity, structured in order to suit the learners' level of ability. (1991: 61) Communicative activities are also divided into two. Functional communication activities help the students use the language they learned effectively to get meanings. In other words, they are related only to the communication of information. In these activities, "students have to overcome an information gap, get information from someone or somewhere else, or solve a problem". Bygate (1991 : 63) Social interaction activities are role-playing and exploiting simulation. [These create] a wider variety of social situations and relationships than would otherwise occur. Success is now measured not only in terms of the functional effectiveness of the language, but also in terms of the social acceptability of the forms that are used. (1991: 64)
2. 3. Oral Interaction Activities 2. 3. 1. Littlewood's Oral Interaction Activities (Bygate, 1991: 67) Littlewood suggests two types of interaction activities. The first one is functional communication activities and the second is social interaction activities. There are four basic kinds of functional communication activities. 1- Sharing information with restricted co-operation · Identifying a picture from a set · Discovering identical pairs · Discovering sequences or locations · Discovering missing information · Discovering missing features · Discovering secrets 2- Sharing information with unrestricted co-operation · Communicating patterns and pictures · Communicating models · Discovering differences · Following directions 3- Sharing and processing information · Reconstructing story sequences · Pooling information to solve a problem 4- Processing information · problem solving tasks
Littlewood's second type of interaction activities are social interaction activities. They are divided into two. 1- The classroom as a social context · Using the target language for classroom management · Using the target language as a teaching medium · Conversation or discussion sessions · Basing dialogues and role-plays on school experience 2- Simulation and role-play · Role-playing controlled through cued dialogues · Role-playing controlled through cues and information · Role-playing controlled through situation and goals · Role-playing in the form of debate or discussion · Large-scale simulation activities · Improvisation 2. 3. 2. Penny Ur's Oral Interaction Activities Penny Ur (2004) classifies the types of oral activities into three main types. 1- Brainstorming Activities · Guessing games: In guessing games, the students are divided into two ­ the knower(s) and the guesser(s). The guesser tries to find out information that the knower knows. Guessing games are suitable for the very earliest stage of language learning. · Finding connections: In these activities, the students try to find out connections and similarities between different items. They are useful for the students whose vocabulary store is enough for expressing their own ideas and imagination.
· Ideas from a central theme: In these activities, the similarities and connections are given to the learners and they are wanted to find out the related items. They are suitable for elementary level students. · Implications and interpretations: In implications and interpretations activities, the teacher wants the students imagine about a picture, a noise, doodle or situation. They are relevant for every stage of language learning 2- Organizing Activities · Comparing: In comparing activities, the students are asked to find out both the differences and the similarities between several items. They are relevant for every stage of language learning. · Detecting differences: These activities are alike comparing activities but the quality of the material is different; in other words, in detecting activities the material consists of complicated pictures, descriptions or stories whereas comparing activities are formed by simple items. The students are required to detect differences by recalling the materials they have seen before. · Putting in order: The teacher gives the students some sentences, pictures or passages that they have to put them in a logical order. The learners have to analyze the items given to them and try to put them in an order by finding out the relationships between them. Picture-sequence activities are more useful for elementary students whereas sentence or passage-sequence activities are more relevant for upper levels. · Priorities: The students are divided into groups and each group is given items with a list of components. The students evaluate their friends according to these components. For example, "a panel of judges may assess the relative merits of the contestants in a singing competition" (Ur, 2004:68)
Especially comparisons are used by the students therefore these activities are appropriate for all levels of learners. · Choosing candidates: In choosing candidates activities, the students are asked to choose only one candidate for a specific purpose. Before the activity the teacher must be well-prepared because for each candidate, the teacher has to prepare a card including personal background, qualifications, characters, needs, tastes, ... etc. These cards are distributed to the candidates and they are wanted to participate in role-plays. Choosing candidates is appropriate for mature learners because they must be aware of acting seriously. A wide variety of structures can be used in them. · Layout problems: These activities are different from the previous ones in that they have no only one right answer. There are always possible solutions, so the learners have to compromise. "A set of people or animals are to be arranged in some sort of layout ­ round a table, for example, or in a set of dwelling-places ­ which has to take into account various limitations, relationships or individual quirks: that A cannot be near B, or that nobody likes C, for instance." (2004: 80) The class is divided into groups. The members of each group are given a sheet of information that includes characters, their problems, a map or plan; a pencil and paper. The teacher reads the text aloud and gives the students 15 minutes to discuss for a reasonable solution. Then all the groups show their results on the blackboard and if they are mistaken, the other groups may object to them. Layout problems are appropriate for mature and advanced students. · Combining versions: In these activities, two students sit opposite one another, they have texts in their hands and their aim is to find out the differences or mistakes of their texts. When all of the mistakes are corrected, the passage becomes logical. Thus the teacher's job is tough. While preparing the texts, he/she has to be very careful.
To understand clearly, let's give an example. Here are two beginning sentences of a text given to the students. A: "We are going to take a family of about five students on a cycling trip to the Himalayas for one week. B: We are going to take a small group of about fifty students on a boating trip to central France for two weeks." (2004: 90) The students think over the sentences and they are wanted to recognize that "a small group of about five students" instead of "a family of about five students" or "a small group of about fifty students". Then the second error is wanted to be corrected as "cycling trip to central France" and as the last error, we cannot be certain of the duration of the trip, the next sentence gives us evidence whether it is one week or two weeks. At the end of the activity, both of the students read their corrected versions of the text. If they can correct all the errors, the rest of the class and the teacher approve; if not, they want the student think over again or tell the true sentences. 3-Compound Activities · Composing letters: In this activity, the students write response letters to the ones given to them. The teacher divides the class into groups and distributes letters that are "provocative: advising, insulting, appealing, complaining, threatening ­ anything, in fact, which stimulates a reaction from the recipient" (2004: 98) these letters may be taken from somewhere else or the teacher can create his/her own sentence about the common problems of the students. The teacher warns the students that they should write their response letters at the same level of formality. When the students finish their task, each group reads its letter. Different letters are written by the groups. As the final step, the students discuss over them. · Debates: The students are divided into two or three groups and each group is given a topic; for example, money is more important than love and love is more important than money. Every member of the groups get prepared for the
presentation of the topic. Each group studies on its topic, thinks over and notes down the possible counter-ideas. There must be a time limit and also the seating should be relevant for class discussion, a circle or conventional rows can be suitable for a debate in which all of the students participate. The teacher decides on the formality of the language used in debates. · Publicity campaigns: Publicity campaigns are the activities that the students have to convince the other students of something. In this activity, the teacher does not have a load of work as a pre-study. He/she only thinks about the topics that will be suggested. The teacher divides the students into groups and gives three or four alternative topics. The groups decide on their topics and brainstorm. After ten or fifteen minutes, the groups are given the chance of talking about their topics briefly just as a rehearsal and the teacher gives feedback. Afterwards they study in detail. While presenting, role-play helps them; for example, the group may be a political party, a commission, a committee ...etc. then the groups show their final campaigns on the board by the use of leaflets, slogans, posters, films, advertisements, radio interviews, TV programmes, newspaper articles ... etc. · Surveys: The students are divided into groups and each group is given a general heading that they have to investigate. The groups decide what kind of question types they use for preparing the investigation questions. They have three alternatives: the open-ended type, the agree/disagree type and the multiple choice type. After that, they decide on the questions and prepare a questionnaire. All of the students in the class have to answer the questions in the questionnaires. Then the groups gather these questionnaires, discuss over the results and they inform the class about their findings with a written or an oral report. In this activity, there is no use for role-play. · Planning projects: These activities are a little bit complex and timeconsuming when you compare with the previous ones, that's why they are more relevant for mature, advanced students. The students are divided into groups and
they are given the duty of planning projects "some sort of socio-economic enterprise" (2004: 112) in detail. While planning these projects, the students have to think over "problems of authority and administration, individual needs, social relations, economic viability, ... etc." (2004: 112) The teacher asks the students "If you were told to set up this project, how would you do it?". As the first step, the students have to decide their roles, characters and the setting, who and where they are. Then they make up a story about their roles in the group. After creating their personal information, they have brainstorming about the problems they may encounter while planning their project. Later on, the students organize the procedure and the process of their talks. Then they prepare the blueprint that will be announced to the class. If needed, they can support their presentation by the use of maps, diagrams, schemas ... etc. 2. 3. 3. Jeremy Harmer's Oral Interaction Activities Harmer (1993) differentiates practice activities from communicative activities A) Practice Activities Oral Practice 1- Oral Drills Oral drills make the students feel safe because they are highly controlled. They should not be used too frequently or for a long time because the students cannot create their own sentences. · Four-phase drills : There are four stages in these drills that's why their name is four-phase drills. Question ­ Answer ­ Question ­ Answer is the most specific example of them. These drills are more useful when you revise the previous lesson in the next one. · Mixed question and answer drills : These drills are just like Q-A-Q-A drills but they have more questions and also the order of the questions is not important. · Talking about frequency of activities : This drill is less controlled by the teacher and mostly performed by the students so they feel
themselves free. The class is divided into groups. Each group has four people. They have flashcards which have everyday activities on and they ask each other how often a person they know do these activities. · Chain drills : Chain drills are used to rehearse a structure over and over. The students like chain drills because while they are practicing the structure they newly learnt, they have to be quick and remember the sayings of the previous students. To sum up, oral drills are useful for the students to practice the structures but the limit of usage is important. Harmer (1993 : 95) says " Drill work is very useful since it provides opportunities for students to practice a new bit of language in the most controlled way. [...] It is important to remember the limitations of drills, however, and to use them sparingly". 2- Information Gap Activities : In information gap activities, the teacher gives the students different pieces of information and wants them to complete a task by exchanging information. These activities are more enjoyable than the previous set because the students try to fulfill their knowledge and while doing so, they can communicate. 3- Games Games are essential in language teaching because the students both enjoy and learn at the same time. Games help the teachers when the students get tired or bored with the lesson. The students think that they are playing games just for fun but they are not aware that they are practicing the structures they have learnt and they are learning to communicate via games. There are a lot of kinds of games. 4- Personalization and Localization In personalization and localization activities in order to practice the structures they have learned, the students talk about themselves or people and places they know well.
"Personalization and localization are techniques for getting students to practice language in a way that ensures appropriate language use. Students have to be able to make the connection between the grammar that they have learnt and the way to apply it to things that have real meaning for them." (1993 : 105) 5- Oral Interactions The teacher distributes cards, some general prompts or a questionnaire to the students and wants them to ask questions in order to get to know the likes, dislikes, family and daily habits of their friends. B) Communicative Activities 1- Reaching a consensus : In this activity the students discuss for some time and then they have to agree with each other and they perform the task. The students are free while speaking. 2- Discussion : Discussion activities are very important in that the students both talk about their ideas and oppose to the ideas of the other people. But the teachers must be careful in organizing this activity. The teacher first has to put the students in groups. Then give students a chance to prepare and finally give the students a task as scoring the participants from zero to five. "The main thing to remember (for discussion activities) is that proper organization can ensure their success. Lack of it can provoke their failure." (1993 : 125) 3- Relaying Instruction In relaying instruction the students are given the instructions to do something, e.g. dance or build a model and then the students themselves instruct different from the original ones. If the student who is instructed achieves the task completely, it means that this type of activity works. 4- Communication Games Communication games are principally based on information gap. In order to complete the task, the students have to use the target language. Find the
differences or similarities, describe and arrange, story construction and poem reconstruction are several examples of communication games. 5- Problem Solving The students are divided into groups and they are given a problem situation for example on the situation that they have survived a plane crash in a desert with some tools and limited survival rations, they must decide what they should do. 6- Talking about Yourself This activity can be used for interpersonal exchange. It can be used at the beginning of classes for warm-up or to provide a positive atmosphere in new groups. 7- Simulation and role play In these activities the purpose is to create a real-life situation in the classroom. The teacher wants the students to simulate the real world. For example, the teacher gives the students individual role cards for a travel agent and a customer. By doing so, the teacher tries to give the students a chance of practice in real-world English. 2. 3. 4. Rivers and Temperley's Oral Interaction Activities In 2.2.1. I mentioned about Rivers and Temperley's fourteen categories of use that the students have to handle for autonomous interaction skills. Also, they propose that the teachers should use these categories to check whether the learners are involved in the right activities. The teacher will select and graduate activities to propose from these categories, so that the attitude of seeking to communicate is developed early in an activity which is within the student's growing capacity. An impossible task, which bewilders and discourages students too early in their language learning, is just as inhibiting of ultimate fluency as lack of opportunity to try what they can do with what they know. (Rivers and Temperley, 1978 : 48)
Here is the list of the activities that Rivers and Temperley suggest: 1- Establishing and maintaining social relations: short dialogues based on small situations, answering the door; making a phone call; giving birthday greetings; interacting at a party; welcoming visitors, customers. 2- Expressing reactions: situations requiring reactions to TV show, photographic/painting exhibition, or slide show. 3- Hiding one's intentions: students given a mission to carry out must not reveal it under any provocation; for example, the group decides on a spying mission, and individual group members are questioned by other groups to find out the mission. 4- Talking one's way out of trouble: students are asked awkward or embarrassing questions which they must answer or avoid without making any revelation. 5- Seeking and giving information: interviews, surveys, questionnaires, small projects involving class members or outsiders. 6- Learning or teaching how to make or do something: for example, a sport, a hobby, a craft, a dance, a game. 7- Conversing over the telephone: social calls or enquiries about goods, services or timetables. 8- Problem-solving: guessing games, logical puzzle-solving, project study. 9- Discussing ideas: arising from readings, stories, films; projects; debating topics, short texts. 10- Playing with language: crossword puzzles, spelling games, nonsense rhymes, word histories 11- Acting out social roles: dramatic improvisations, based on simple situations and character descriptions. 12- Entertaining others : through producing a show or concert, a TV or radio-type programme or show.
13- Displaying one's achievements, after another activity such as a project report. 14- Sharing leisure activities: participation in typical national meals, festivities, celebrations or pastimes.
CHAPTER 3 METHOD 3. 1. Introduction In this chapter of the study, the research model, the universe and the sample of the research, data collecting instruments that are used in the research, the process of data collection and analysis are described and explained. 3. 2. The Model of the Research This is a descriptive study based on both a survey research and interview. 3. 3. The Universe and the Sample of the Study The universe of the current research is the intermediate level undergraduate Preparatory Program students at the School of Foreign Languages of Dokuz Eylьl University and Ege University in the spring semester of 2005 ­ 2006 academic year. A total of 452 intermediate level students involved in the data collection process. However, 28 students have been removed from the sample group because of marking more than one choice in any of the items or leaving any item unmarked.
Therefore their responses have been disregarded; as a result, the sample group of the research consists of 424 participants. In Table 3.1. the distribution of the participants involved in the sample of the research is demonstrated. Table 3.1. The Distribution of the Participants in the Sample with regard to Universities
University Ege Dokuz Eylul Total
Frequency 195 229 424
Percent 46.0 54.0 100.0
As it can be seen in Table 3.1., of all the 424 participants in the sample of the research, 195 of them are from Eagean University, and 229 of them are from Dokuz Eylul University.
3. 4. Data Collecting Instruments In this research, for collecting data, oral interview with open-ended questions as qualitative and a questionnaire as quantitative research instruments are used. The participants were asked to respond to the questionnaire statements distributed to them. While preparing the questionnaire statements, in two intermediate level undergraduate English preparatory classes of Dokuz Eylul University, the School of Foreign Languages, I told the students "If you were a researcher who is going to have a research about speaking skill of the students, which questions would you prepare for the questionnaire?", and I wanted them to create their own questions. I
took all of them, eliminated the irrelevant ones, and with the ones I could use I made the questionnaire statements. There are two parts in the questionnaire. First, personal information part which consists of six items; university, department, level of English, gender, the education of parents and English mark in autumn. Second, 34 questionnaire statements. These statements are written in Turkish in case the students misunderstand them. While preparing the Turkish statements, I consulted with a Turkish teacher for analyzing the grammar and the meaning of the statements and a psychologist whether the students can perceive the meaning I wanted to express. In the questionnaire a five-point Likert - Type scale has been used to determine the level of agreement or disagreement of the participants on each statement. The participants have responded to each statement by deciding whether they strongly agree, mostly agree, partially agree, undecided, and disagree , and afterwards mark the item that they think best describes their preference. The pilot study of the questionnaire for reliability was conducted with 150 students. However, 14 students have been disregarded thus, 136 students' questionnaire responses were used for reliability. In the pilot study, since Corrected Item ­ Total Correlation of 4 of 34 items were under 0,20, they were take out of the questionnaire and the statements were limited with 30 items. Afterwards, the findings of this pilot study have indicated that the correlation of Alpha Reliability Coefficient was 0,85. As I stated in 3.2., 454 students from 20 classes participated in this research. From each class two students were chosen at random for the oral interview; in other words, totally 40 students were interviewed. As Nunan (1992) suggests, the oral interview had two steps. Before the interview begins, in pre-interview part, briefing and explanation took place. I explained the nature and the purpose of the research and how their responses will
affect the result. Also, I answered the questions they had. The second step was questioning. Each interviewee was interviewed alone. As Walker, cited in Nunan (1992) states, the physical positioning of the interviewer and the interviewee were considered. I chose sitting side ­ by ­ side instead of face ­ to ­ face since it "can convey the message that the interaction is meant to be cooperative rather than confrontational" (Walker, cited in Nunan 1992: 152). As the recording device, I preferred note ­ taking. 3. 5. Data Collection In order to collect data, the questionnaires were administered to all of the participants in the sample group by myself in order to provide them with the necessary explanations. The participants were briefly informed of the purpose of the research and its instrument. They are also told to mark the statements sincerely as it is extremely important for the credibility and the reliability of the research. The students were given ten minutes for responding the statements. Then, the responses of the participants were put on computer for data analysis. In the oral interview, three questions were asked to the participants. 1- When do you speak in your English lessons? 2- Are you volunteer to speak in your English lessons? 3- When do you feel yourself not irritated during speaking English? The responses of the participants were recorded by note-taking.
3. 6. Analysis of Data The data collected through the instrument have been analyzed by using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences ( SPSS 14.0 ) . To analyze and describe the data obtained, Frequency, Mean, Percentage and standard deviation have been employed.
CHAPTER 4 FINDINGS AND INTERPRETATIONS 4.1. Introduction In this chapter, the display of the Questionnaire results, the analysis of Questionnaire Statements, and the analysis of Oral Interview Questions are described and explained in detail. 4.2. The Display of Questionnaire Results The findings' obtained from the questionnaire are shown in Table 4.1. and 4.2. The number of the students who participated and ticked the relevant box of the Likert-type scale are displayed in table 4.1 and the percentage of the students who participated and ticked the relevant box of the Likert-type scale are displayed in table 4.2.
Table 4.1. The number of the students involved in marking the best alternative for the questionnaire statements.
Questionnaire Statements
DIS UND P.A M.A S.A
27 25 129 119 124
I have difficulty while speaking English.
I am afraid of making mistakes while speaking in 107 38 127 84 68
English.
I do not want to speak in English.
281 37 46 13 47
I cannot speak in English because of my lack of 122 64 118 62 58
grammar.
I cannot speak in English because my vocabulary 34 44 105 103 138
store is not enough.
I can speak English fluently.
303 48 41 15 17
I get excited while speaking in English.
123 51 129 76 45
I forget what I have planned to tell when I get 112 58 131 79 44
excited.
I cannot speak in English because of my poor 136 77 114 58 39
pronunciation.
I cannot speak in English because I do not have 86 64 144 65 65
enough knowledge about it.
I cannot gather my opinions and express them. 80 79 144 86 35
I cannot speak in English because I do not 180 73 116 34 21
understand what the others say.
I do not know how to study for speaking skill.
69 56 98 94 107
I do not want to speak in English because of my 292 43 40 16 33
teachers' negative behaviour.
I think that nobody would understand me while I 232 68 80 25 19
am speaking in English.
I have difficulty because of thinking in Turkish 51 46 115 87 125
before speaking in English.
I do not want to speak in English because my 308 44 41 17 14 friends can mock with my mistakes. I do not participate in speaking in English because 285 49 39 29 22 I think that the other students are better than me.
I am afraid of not being understood by the others 186 75 99 38 26
while speaking in English.
I think that I do not have the ability to learn a 244 62 44 31 43
foreign language.
While speaking in English, I cannot remember the 38 40 154 122 70
English equivalents of the words I am going to use.
I think my teacher is not interested in what I say 337 46 22 7
12
while I am speaking in English.
I do not have the turn to speak in English lessons. 375 21 18 4
6
My friends tell the ideas I think of before me in 217 70 101 25 11
English lessons.
I can't be aware of the mistakes I make while 120 75 148 53 28
speaking in English.
I prefer only learning the structure of English, not 230 50 48 42 54
speaking.
I cannot use the computer because I do not know 315 36 50 15 8
English.
I cannot surf on Internet because I do not know 308 38 62 10 6
English.
I can watch serials and movies in English.
101 66 139 61 57
I can read magazines and newspapers that are 126 75 144 46 33
printed in English.
Table 4.2. The percentage of the students involved in marking the best
alternative for the questionnaire statements.
Questionnaire Statements
DIS UND P.A M.A S.A
6,4 5,9 30,4 28,1 29,2
I have difficulty while speaking English.
I am afraid of making mistakes while speaking in 25,2 9 30 19,8 16
English.
I do not want to speak in English.
66,3 8,7 10,8 3,1 11
I cannot speak in English because of my lack of 28,8 15,1 27,8 14,6 13,7
grammar.
I cannot speak in English because my vocabulary store 8 10,4 24,8 24,3 32,5
is not enough.
I can speak English fluently.
71,5 11,3 9,7 3,5 4
I get excited while speaking in English.
29 12 30,4 17,9 10,6
I forget what I have planned to tell when I get excited. 26,4 13,7 30,9 18,6 10,4
I cannot speak in English because of my poor 32,1 18,2 26,9 13,7 9,2
pronunciation.
I cannot speak in English because I do not have 20,3 15,1 34 15,3 15,3
enough knowledge about it.
I cannot gather my opinions and express them.
18,9 18,6 34 20,3 8,3
I cannot speak in English because I do not understand 42,5 17,2 27,4 8
5
what the others say.
I do not know how to study for speaking skill.
16,3 13,2 23,1 22,2 25,2
I do not want to speak in English because of my 68,9 10,1 9,4 3,8 7,8
teachers' negative behaviour.
I think that nobody would understand me while I am 54,7 16 18,9 5,9 4,4
speaking in English.
I have difficulty because of thinking in Turkish before 12 10,8 27,1 20,5 29,4
speaking in English.
I do not want to speak in English because my friends 72,6 10,4 9,7 4
3,3
can mock with my mistakes.
I do not participate in speaking in English because I 67,2 11,6 9,2 6,8 5,2 think that the other students are better than me.
I am afraid of not being understood by the others while 43,9 17,7 23,3 9
6,1
speaking in English.
I think that I do not have the ability to learn a foreign 57,5 14,6 10,4 7,3 10,1
language.
While speaking in English, I cannot remember the 9 9,4 36,3 28,8 16,5
English equivalents of the words I am going to use.
I think my teacher is not interested in what I say while 79,5 10,8 5,2 1,7 2,8
I am speaking in English.
I do not have the turn to speak in English lessons.
88,4 5 4,2 0,9 1,4
My friends tell the ideas I think of before me in 51,2 16,5 23,8 5,9 2,6
English lessons.
I can't be aware of the mistakes I make while speaking 28,3 17,7 34,9 12,5 6,6
in English.
I prefer only learning the structure of English, not 54,2 11,8 11,3 9,9 12,7
speaking.
I cannot use the computer because I do not know 74,3 8,5 11,8 3,5 1,9
English.
I cannot surf on Internet because I do not know 72,6 9 14,6 2,4 1,4
English.
I can watch serials and movies in English.
23,8 15,6 32,8 14,4 13,4
I can read magazines and newspapers that are printed 29,7 17,7 34 10,8 7,8
in English.
4.3. The analysis of Questionnaire Statements In this part, the questionnaire statements will be shown with regard to their total ratios. Table 4.3. The total ratio of the students who have difficulty and don't want to speak in English.
Questionnaire Statements I have difficulty while speaking English. I do not want to speak in English. I prefer learning only the general structure of English, not speaking in this language.
Percentage 87,7 % 75 % 66 %
As we can see from table 4.3., although 75 % of them want to speak in English, 87,7 % of the students have difficulty in speaking English, which is really a huge amount. 66 % of the language learners prefer learning only the general structure of English, not speaking in it. When we look at the reasons of their difficulty in speaking English table 4.4 comes to the scene.
Table 4.4. The reasons of their difficulty in speaking English
Questionnaire Statements
Percentage
I cannot speak in English because of my lack of grammar. I cannot speak in English because my vocabulary store is not enough. I cannot speak in English because of my poor pronunciation. I cannot speak in English because I do not have enough knowledge about it. I cannot speak in English because I do not understand what the others say. I do not want to speak in English because my friends can mock with my mistakes. I do not participate in speaking in English because I think that the other students are better than me. While speaking in English, I cannot remember the English equivalents of the words I am going to use.
56,1 % 81,6 % 50,3 % 64,6 % 59,7 % 83 % 78,8 % 79,6 %
As it is shown in table 4.4 , lack of grammar, lack of vocabulary, poor pronunciation, not having enough knowledge about English, lack of comprehension, peer mockery, and thinking that the others are better are main reasons of not speaking in English for the language learners. Anxiety is another factor of having difficulty in speaking English. The result of the ratios related to the anxiety is given in Table 4.5.
Table 4.5. The ratios related to anxiety Questionnaire Statements I am afraid of making mistakes while speaking in English. I get excited while speaking in English. I forget what I have planned to tell when I get excited. I think that nobody would understand me while I am speaking in English. I am afraid of not being understood by the others while speaking in English.
Percentage 65,8 % 58,9 % 59,9 % 29,2 % 38,4 %
As it is obvious from table 4.5, anxiety level of most of the language learners are high for making mistakes, getting excited and forming sentences while speaking in English, but it is note-worthy that most of the students have self-confidence in being understood by the other members of their classroom. Language Teachers' attitude is another important factor in teaching English. The result of the students' perception of their teachers is written in table 4.6.
Table 4.6. Language Students' perception of their teachers
Questionnaire Statements
Percentages
I do not want to speak in English because of my teachers' negative behaviour. I think my teacher is not interested in what I say while I am speaking in English.
21 % 9,7 %
The negative behaviour of the language teachers has been known as the reason of having difficulty in speaking English for the students but the results of this
questionnaire show that in our universities , the students are pleased with their language teachers. They think that their teachers care about their ideas and they have positive attitudes towards the students.
Table 4.7. Practicing speaking in English
Questionnaire Statements
Percentage
I do not know how to study for speaking skill. I have difficulty because of thinking in Turkish before speaking in English.
70,5 % 77 %
Most of the language students don't know how to study for speaking skill and how to practice it. Thinking first in the native language seems to be the biggest problem for the language learners.
Table 4.8. Language class atmosphere
Questionnaire Statements
Percentage
I do not have the turn to speak in English lessons. My friends tell the ideas I think of before me in English lessons.
6,5 % 32,3 %
A great number of the students are content with their language class atmosphere that is, they have the turn to speak in English and they have the chance to express their own opinions.
Table 4.9. The ability to learn a foreign language Questionnaire Statements I think that I do not have the ability to learn a foreign language.
Percentage 27,8 %
The proportion of the students who think that he or she does not have the ability to learn a foreign language is shown in table 4.9. Most of the students think that they have the ability to learn a foreign language.
The questionnaire results show that for being a computer ­ literate, knowing English is not a must. However, for watching the English movies and serials, and reading magazines and newspapers , it is.
Table 4.10. The proportion of the students who can speak English fluently
Questionnaire Statements
Percentage
I can speak English fluently.
17,2 %
In table 4.10 , the proportion of the students who can speak English fluently is shown. As a summary of the questionnaire results , most of the students say that they cannot speak English fluently.
4.4. The analysis of Oral Interview Questions
The Oral Interview consisted of three questions. These questions are:
1. When do you speak in your English lessons? 2. Are you volunteer to speak in your English lessons? 3. When do you feel yourself not irritated while speaking English?
The responses that the students gave frequency and percentage of the participants are shown in the following tables.
1. When do you speak in your English lessons?
Table 4.11. The response, frequency and percentage for the first question
Answers
Frequency Percentage
When my teacher asks a question When I want to express my opinions When I have to speak Total
34
85 %
4
10 %
2
5%
40
100 %
As a result 85 % of the students speak in English lessons when their teacher asks them a question , 5 % of them speak when they have to ; in other words, when their teacher forces them to speak. Only 10 % of the language learners speak when they want to express their ideas.
2. Are you volunteer to speak in your English lessons?
Table 4.12. The response , frequency and percentage for the second question
Answers
Frequency Percentage
Generally I'm not
34
85
Yes, I always want to participate in the lessons.
6
15
Total
40
100
We conclude that 85 % of the students are not volunteer to speak in English but 15 % of them are actually eager to do so.
3. When do you feel yourself not irritated while speaking English?
Table 4.13. The response, frequency and percentage for the third question
Answers
Frequency Percentage
While playing language games Total
40
100
40
100
As we see from the table , 100 % of the students feel themselves not irritated during playing games.
CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSIONS, DISCUSSION AND SUGGESTIONS 5.1. Introduction In this chapter of the study, Conclusions and Discussions Related to the Questionnaire and Conclusions and Discussions Related to the Oral Interview that are yielded by the data collecting instruments are highlighted. Finally, suggestions for further research are presented. 5.2. Conclusions and Discussion The first part of this section shows the findings of the Questionnaire and the second part copes with the findings of the oral interview. 5.2.1. Conclusions and Discussions Related to the Questionnaire According to the findings obtained from the Questionnaire, 87,7 % of the language students who participated in this research have difficulty in speaking English. This shows that speaking is the most problem causing skill of a foreign language.(Ladousse 2002)
Only 75 % of the students involved in this study want to speak in English, the rest 25% do not . Here motivation is needed for the latter. Also 66 % of the students prefer only learning the structure of English not speaking. The language teachers must emphasize the importance of speaking in the foreign language and stress the significance as Nunan (1991) wrote "success is measured in terms of the ability to carry out a conversation in the (target) language." Thus , if the language learners do not learn how to speak or do not get any chance to speak in the language classroom, they may soon get de-motivated and lose interest in learning it. In order to make the classroom a dynamic and a fun place , right activities should be conducted in them. If we can create such an atmosphere , we can raise general learner motivation. As a result of this research the reasons of having difficulty in speaking English can be written lack of grammar, lack of vocabulary, poor pronunciation, not having enough knowledge about English, and lack of comprehension. The teaching of the speaking skill requires much practice in lexical items, morphological and syntactical patterns, and sentence types (Rivers, 1968; CelceMurcia, 1991). Controlled practice is vital for acquiring the grammatical input. Celce Murcia (1991) names these activities as " manipulative" activities. They do not have much meaning but their aim is to repeat the grammar mechanically with repetition drills and pattern practices. The research results show that anxiety is one of the most important cause of not learning a foreign language. Zhanibek (2001) states that anxiety has been found to be associated negatively with language performance and language proficiency. In addition, it seems to be a key determiner of learner achievement and success in language learning classrooms. In his research, anxiety correlated with participation negatively, indicating that students who are more anxious participate less in class. The students who were motivated were more self-confident and less anxious as the result of which they participated actively in class, whereas students who were not motivated were not self-confident and they felt anxious.
In general, there is a common decision among the people that if a student does not like his or her teacher, he or she can not be successful in this lesson. I agree with this statement and I think it is true. The research results show that in our universities the students like their teachers and they are happy with the teachers' manners and attitudes towards them. Tchudi and Mitchell (1989) defend that learning Oral language is related to using the skills of it and say "we believe the teacher should focus attention on making the classroom a place where the use of spoken language is strongly supported" (page 271). In the light of this saying we conclude that the teachers of these two universities are good at making the classroom a place for speaking in English. Classroom atmosphere is another factor in teaching speaking. Rivers (1968) and Robinett (1983) stress the importance of classroom atmosphere. Rivers (1968) defends the importance of giving the students many opportunities to implement the speaking skill, and says "(the teacher) will need to use his imagination in devising situations which provoke the student to the use of the language in expression of his own meaning, within the limits of what he has been learning." (page 160). Robinett (1983) states that language learning is not only a motor skill, it is a cognitive process. The language learners must learn the language cognitively. The more practice the students have, better they learn and adopt what they have learned to their everyday life. Therefore students must be given chance to use English in many different situations. This study reveals that 82,8 % of the participants can not speak English fluently. Edge (1989) says if the students always practice the separate pieces of language, they can not be successful in using the language in real situations. He also states · Students need the experience of uninterrupted, meaningful communication if they are to learn to use the language.
· If students are to say anything meaningful, they need to feel that people are listening to what they are saying, not to how they are saying it. · Making mistakes in language use is not only normal, but necessary to language learning. In order to bring fluency to speaking , instead of correction , we must support our students by encouragement. In the light of the findings , we may conclude as the techniques that the language teachers use in language classes must differ because every language learner is unique. They have different tastes and different learning styles. As Tchudi and Mitchell (1989) stress teaching speaking is not an easy job because a wide range of spoken language activities must be brought to the classroom. They must be originally expressive, done for the purposes and needs of speaker, and productive, focused on communicating with the listener. The effective techniques in teaching speaking must decrease the level of anxiety, fulfill the gaps in grammar, motivate the language learners, promote language classroom atmosphere and accelerate the students' fluency. 5.2.2. Conclusions and Discussions Related to the Oral Interview To the first question of the oral interview "When do you speak in your English lessons?" , 85 % of the students gave the answer "when my teacher asks a question". This shows that the language learners are not eager to participate in the lesson. They respond to the questions when their teacher forces them. Here again lack of motivation comes out. If the students were motivated to speak in the target language, they would be more volunteer to take part in the lesson.
To the second question of the oral interview "Are you volunteer to speak in your English lessons?", 85 % of the students responded like "Generally, I am not". The students do not want to involve in the English lessons because of the reasons of having difficulty in speaking English that are listed in part 5.2.1. Our duty as a teacher is to remove these obstacles from language teaching process by making the students well-educated in grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation, decking them out by enough knowledge and comprehension ability. To the third question of the oral interview "When do you feel yourself not irritated during speaking English?" , 100 % of the participants answered "while playing games". Thus we understand that for the language students playing games are important factors in the teaching of English as a foreign language. They support fluency. At the same time they promote using the language creatively, individually and purposefully. 5.3. Suggestions This study aimed to investigate how effective the methods of teaching are, how successful the language students are and what the role of the language teacher is in speaking English. The sample of this study consisted of only intermediate level undergraduate preparatory program students of the School of Foreign Languages of DEU and EU ; so , the findings have validity only for the participants in the sample of this study , in the 2005 ­ 2006 academic years. The sample of the research can involve more participants from different levels of preparatory programs of other universities. In the light of the findings of the current study, certain suggestions can be given.
As I stated in the previous parts, 25 % of the language learners who are attending an undergraduate preparatory program want to speak English. To me, the causes of this must be investigated. It is clear from the findings of this study that anxiety level of the students is high in English lessons. The reasons of high anxiety may be studied in another research. 81,6 % of the participants say that they can not speak in English because their vocabulary store is not enough. The reasons of not having enough vocabulary may be investigated in a further study. Another research may focus on why the students prefer learning the structure of a foreign language but not speaking it. In another study, a research may be conducted on the relationship between the gender and the success in speaking skill.
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