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FACULTY OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHER EDUCATION
VŨ THU THỦY
THE EXPLOITATION OF ELICITING TECHNIQUES TO ENHANCE THE READING COMPREHENSION ABILITY FOR THE FIRST-YEAR STUDENTS AT ULIS, VNU
SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF BACHELOR OF ARTS (TEFL)
HANOI, MAY, 2010
VIETNAM NATIONAL UNIVERSITY, HANOI UNIVERSITY OF LANGUAGE AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES
FACULTY OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHER EDUCATION
VŨ THU THỦY
THE EXPLOITATION OF ELICITING TECHNIQUES TO ENHANCE THE READING COMPREHENSION ABILITY FOR THE FIRST-YEAR STUDENTS AT ULIS, VNU
SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF BACHELOR OF ARTS (TEFL)
SUPERVISOR: PHẠM MINH TÂM, M.A.
HANOI, MAY, 2010
First and foremost, I would like to register my profound gratitude to Ms. Pham Minh Tam, my supervisor, for her invaluable instruction, expertise and encouragement. I would like to express my appreciation to the teachers and students in English Division 1 of the Faculty of English Teacher Education in University of Languages and International Studies, whose participation and opinions are the valuable materials for my research. I would also like to give my special thanks to my classmates and my friends whose warm support and enthusiasm have contributed greatly to the development of the research. Lastly, I am grateful to my family for their kindly encouragement during the research’s finalization.
In current English Language Teaching (ELT), communicative competence is the most important goal for learners but it is a big problem of Vietnamese students. This can be seen obviously in English classes, especially in Reading sessions. The reason for that may be they lack opportunities of practicing talking in English and linking their knowledge to the learnt issues. Students, consequently, feel embarrassed or even afraid of talking in public and pretend that they can understand easily the content of the lesson despite the opposite fact. This situation urges teachers trying to involve students in the activities in class to make sure that they are able to fully understand the lessons. Amongst numerous solutions offered by teachers, the exploitation of Elicitation is one of the most common ways. In this research, Elicitation is examined in three aspects: what the commonly used Eliciting techniques are, how they affects students’ comprehension ability in Reading classes, and what attitude teachers have toward them. For the accomplishment of these purposes, the teachers and the first-year students in the Faculty of English Language Teacher Education of University of Languages and International Studies has participated in the research with the triangulated data collection method of classroom observation, interview, and questionnaire. The collected data were then processed and analysed to find the answers for students’ response to the use of Eliciting techniques by teachers. The study also aims to point out the benefits of employing Elicitation in teaching Reading as well as the problems teachers may encounter when using those techniques and figure out the solutions to them. Eventually, the whole research process entailed several practical implications and suggestions for this method to be well conducted in teaching Reading.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS………………………………………………………i ABSTRACT ……………………………………………………………………. ii LIST OF TABLES……………………………………………………………...vii LIST OF FIGURES…………………………………………………………….vii CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION………………………………………………..1 1.1. Statement of the problem and the rationale for the study ………………..1 1.2. Research aims and Research questions …………………………………..3 1.3. Scope of the study ………………………………………………………..3 1.4. Significance of the study ………………………………………………. ..4 1.5. Method of the study …………………………………………………….. 5 1.5.1. Design ……………………………………………………………… 5 1.5.2. Sampling …………………………………………………………… 5 1.5.3. Data collection instruments …………………………………………6 1.5.4. Data collection procedure ………………………………………….. 7 1.5.5. Data analysis procedure……………………………………………...8 1.6. Organization of the study ………………………………………………...8 CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW………………………………………...9 2.1. Eliciting techniques ……………………………………………………. 9 2.1.1. Eliciting …………………………………………………………… 9
188.8.131.52. Definitions of Eliciting ………………………………………..9 184.108.40.206. Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Eliciting ……………10 2.1.2. Eliciting techniques ………………………………………………...12 220.127.116.11. Asking questions ……………………………………………. 12 18.104.22.168. Using visual aids……………………………………………… 13 22.214.171.124. Conducting games or activities ………………………………. 14 126.96.36.199. Giving definitions and examples …………………………….. 14 188.8.131.52. Organizing group discussion ………………………………… 15 2.2. Reading comprehension ability …………………………………………16 2.2.1. Reading …………………………………………………………….16 2.2.2. Reading comprehension ……………………………………………17 2.2.3. Reading comprehension ability …………………………………….18 2.2.4. Eliciting techniques and Reading in second language teaching…… 19 2.3. Related studies ………………………………………………………. ...23 2.4. Conclusive Remarks …………………………………………………... 25 CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGY…………………………………………….. 26 3.0. Research questions …………………………………………………….. 26 3.1. Participants …………………………………………………………….. 27 3.1.1. The teachers of English Division 1 in the Faculty of English Teacher Education………………………………………………………….. 27
3.1.2. The students in the Faculty of English Teacher Education………...27 3.2. Instruments …………………………………………………………….. 28 3.2.1. Classroom observations ……………………………………………28 3.2.2. Interviews …………………………………………………………..29 3.2.3. Questionnaires …………………………………………………….. 30 3.3. Procedure of data collection……………………………………………..31 3.4. Procedure of data analysis ………………………………………………32 3.5. Conclusive remark ……………………………………………………...33 CHAPTER 4: RESULTS AND DISCUSSION………………………………...34 4.1. RESEARCH QUESTION 1: What techniques do the teachers use in eliciting the first-year students in Reading classes? ……………………34 4.2. RESEARCH QUESTION 2: To what extent are these techniques effective in improving students’ level of Reading comprehension as perceived by the teachers and the students? ………………………………………….39 4.2.1. The aims of the Teacher’s exploiting Eliciting techniques in Reading classes…………………………………………………..39 4.2.2. The effectiveness of applying Eliciting in Reading classes perceived by the teachers and the students …………………………………41 4.3. RESEARCH QUESTION 3: What are the teachers' perceptions in applying these techniques in teaching Reading? ……………………….48 4.3.1. Teacher’s attitude towards Eliciting techniques in Reading classes……………………………………………………………..48
4.3.2. Benefits of using Eliciting Techniques in Reading classes perceived by the teachers …………………………………………………….51 4.3.3. Teacher’s difficulties in applying Eliciting Techniques in Reading classes and their solutions ………………………………………...53 4.4. Conclusive remarks……………………………………………………...55 CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSION………………………………………………….56 5.1. Major findings of the research…………………………………………..56 5.2. Pedagogical implications of the research ……………………………….58 5.3. Contribution of the research …………………………………………….60 5.4. Limitations of the research ……………………………………………...60 5.5. Suggestions for further studies ………………………………………….61 REFERENCES …………………………………………………………………63 APPENDICES…………………………………………………………………..67 Appendix 1: Observation scheme……………………………………………68 Appendix 2: Samples of Observation scheme ………………………………70 Appendix 3: Questions for interview ………………………………………..76 Appendix 4: Questionnaire form …………………………………………….77
LIST OF TABLES
Table 1. Major techniques applied by the teachers to exploit Elicitation in reading class for the first-year students…………..p. 34-35 Table 2. Different ways of assessing Eliciting techniques in Reading classes by teachers………………………………………………… p. 43 Table 3. Students’ reaction to Eliciting techniques used by teachers in Reading classes …………………………………………………. p.45 Table 4. Students’ opinion of Eliciting techniques that teachers use in Reading classes ………………………………………………….p. 47 Table 5. Teachers’ preparation for Eliciting in teaching Reading …………..p.50 Table 6. Teachers’ opinions on the benefits of using Eliciting in teaching Reading …………………………………………………...p. 52 Table 7. Teachers’ difficulties in using Eliciting techniques in teaching Reading ……………………………………………………………p. 53
LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 1. Teachers’ aims in using Eliciting techniques in teaching Reading ……………………………………………………............p.39 Figure 2. Teachers’ assessment of their using Eliciting techniques in teaching Reading ……………………………………………….p. 42 Figure 3. Teachers’ opinion of the importance of using Eliciting in Reading classes ………………………………………………...p. 49
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION
1.1. Statement of the problem and the rationale for the study Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) has recently been viewed as a default approach in almost every English language classroom worldwide since it aims at producing students who are communicatively competent. As a result, students are required to develop a new habit of getting engaged in every activity of every subject actively. The aim of being communicatively competent is considered to be really hard to achieve in Reading classes. Despite the fact that Reading is an active process itself since readers are required to work hard when reading and understanding a text, it is still considered a Receptive skill in learning and teaching English. In the Reading lessons, students are often asked to work on their own, which create the impression that the interaction between students and teachers are not strong enough. Also, students may find the Reading lessons boring. This might be the case in Vietnamese classes, as students find no interest in sitting for hours for reading a text, answering the questions and waiting for teacher’s correction. The students in Reading classes gradually become silent and lazy to participate in class activities. This situation puts the question WHY into consideration. The reasons may lie on the way that teachers attract students in Reading classes. One of the most common ways to attract students in the lesson is eliciting, “a technique used by the teacher during the lesson that involves the language learner in the process of discovering and understanding language” – mentioned ESLFocus Teacher Expert (2009) in www.eslfocus.com. “Eliciting helps to develop a learner-centred classroom and a stimulating environment, while making learning memorable by linking new and old
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information” (Darn, 2009, from Teaching English of BBC website). Teachers can apply it in the lessons by asking questions, using a visual or providing a simple definition of something. Therefore, theoretically, it is an effective way to activate students in a lesson. However, the fact that students are not eagerly involved in the Reading lessons hypothesizes about the teachers’ exploitation of Eliciting in Reading sessions: they are likely to be ignored or limitedly used. This results to the less interaction between teachers and students and silent class atmosphere. It is the reason why the researcher chooses to investigate the current situation of exploiting eliciting techniques in teaching Reading. Moreover, CLT is not widely applied in many high schools in Vietnam for several reasons: the major aim of high-school-students is to pass the national entrance exams; they only learn to get high achievements for showing off; or the teachers are not qualified enough. Thus, CLT is more favourable in English specialised schools, for example the University of Languages and International Studies (ULIS) of Vietnam National University. In addition, the academic year 2009-2010 is the first time that the fourth year students in the Faculty of English Language Teacher Education, ULIS are allowed to have Practicum Program with the first year students. This is a great chance for the researcher to have direct interactions and observations of the Reading lessons of the first-year students and to investigate the real situations of the investigating issue – the use of eliciting techniques in Reading classes. With all the above reasons, a research is conducted to verify the hypothesis of using Eliciting Techniques with the title: The Exploitation of Eliciting Techniques to Enhance the Reading Comprehension Ability for The First-year Students at ULIS, VNU
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1.2. Research aims and research questions In doing the research, the author wants to discuss three main issues. Firstly, the study investigates what techniques the teachers employed to elicit information to help students fully understand the Reading texts. Secondly, it examines the teachers’ and students’ evaluation on the effectiveness of eliciting techniques. Thirdly, the study aims to identify the benefits expected by teachers when they use Elicitation as well as the encountered problems in the process of using these eliciting techniques, followed by some suggestions to overcome these problems. These objectives are accomplished by answering the following questions: 1. What Eliciting techniques do the teachers use in Reading classes of the first-year students? 2. To what extent are these techniques effective in improving students’ level of Reading comprehension as perceived by the teachers and the students? 3. What are the teachers' perceptions about applying these techniques in teaching Reading? 1.3. Scope of the study The research targets at the first-year students as they are the direct subjects of the Practicum Program in which the lessons are taught by the forth-year themselves. It provides the researcher a great opportunity of fully examining the real situations successively to get frequent and reliable data. Besides, their Reading lessons are in the fixed schedule with fixed aims for the entire course which is PET (Preliminary English Test) which is similar to Level B1 in the Common European Framework of Reference. This level is described as the ability to:
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Understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc.
Deal with most situations likely to arise whilst travelling in an area where the language is spoken
Produce simple connected text on topics which are familiar or of personal interest
Describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes & ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans
The study is restricted to the main stream first-year students at the Faculty of English Language Teacher Education, University of Languages and International Studies of Vietnam National University, Hanoi, as they represent the majority which can provide the reliable results. Besides, the study only focus on the Eliciting techniques which are commonly used in classes such as asking questions, using visuals or providing definition and examples to get information from students and help them to understand texts better. 1.4. Significance of the study The research is expected to have a certain impact on the way how Reading comprehension is taught by encouraging teachers’ Elicitation in Reading classes. It is justified by the positive evaluation of both teachers and students in the Faculty of English Language Teacher Education, University of Languages and International Studies on enhancing comprehension ability of students and involving students in class activities as a result from exploiting Eliciting techniques. It also evaluates the most common problems and their solutions suggested by teachers to smooth the lessons. In addition, this study serves as a referential material for both the researcher and other EFL teachers in teaching Reading.
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1.5. Methodology of the research 1.5.1. Design The study starts with a Literature Review with the premise from some previous related studies. It describes the situations, discusses the issues related and suggests some solutions to existing problems. In this research, observations were chosen as the most important tool because it is the most effective technique to record the learners and teachers’ behaviour. In addition, in-depth interviews in combination with
questionnaires were also employed to get the supplementary data to support the researcher in analyzing and discussing the issue. 1.5.2. Sampling As the investigated issue is the exploitation of eliciting techniques which are used by the teachers and have effect on the students at the same time, the study involved both the first-year students and the teachers in the Faculty of English Language Teacher Education, ULIS. According to Nguyen (2008, p.37), “in a survey research literature, a range between 1%-10% of the population is usually mentioned as the ‘magic sampling fraction’, depending on how careful the selection has been”. This is the base for the researcher to believe that the result from the expected participants, including 40 to 50 students, which are equivalent to eight to ten percents of 500 students in the Faculty of English Language Teacher Education, is quite reliable and valid. They were randomly selected in observed classes to interview together with the teachers to collect data after the classroom observations.
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1.5.3. Data collection instruments In order to collect the most reliable and valid data for the research, three applied instruments were observation schemes, interviews, and
questionnaires. 184.108.40.206. Observation scheme Since the research is on a practical issue, classroom observation is regarded as an effective tool to record the behavior of both teachers and students in class. It is the great chance for the researcher to gather the actual data in real situations. It allowed the author to dig in the problem and analyze the issues carefully and thoroughly. Observation scheme was carefully built with the detailed checklist. The data collected from the observation schemes were mainly used to answer the first Research Question. 220.127.116.11. Teachers and students interview In the present research, semi-structured interviews were employed. - Teachers interview: This interview consisted of two parts. In the first part, it was aimed to find out the answers to the Research Questions number 2 and 3 which would be compared with students’ opinions. In the other part, the interview helped the researcher find out problems and solutions of the employment of eliciting techniques in Reading classes. - Students interview: The researcher chose randomly some students from each observed classes to involve in the interview part. This provided the result to answer the second question in the study about the effectiveness of the teachers’ eliciting techniques in Reading classes.
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The participants were contacted in advance to ask for permission before carrying out the collecting data stage. 18.104.22.168. Questionnaire As the classroom observation could not involved all the teachers in the Faculty of English Language Teacher Education who are expected to participate in the research, questionnaires were a good choice to collect more information. The questionnaires were designed to get the answers for all the three Research Questions. 1.5.4. Data collection procedure This stage consisted of three steps related to activities carried out both out of class and inside classrooms. - Step 1: Classroom observations were carried out once in each of eight classes: 09E2, 09E4, 09E7, 09E12, 09E15, 09E17, 09E20, 09E21. Those classes were chosen by the researcher herself but on permission of the teachers. Before the date of observation, a checklist was
drafted to make the observation more oriented and focused. - Step 2: Semi-structured interviews were conducted face to face with selected teachers and students after finishing the observations step. While interviewing, the researcher tried her best to take notes and taperecord the content under the interviewees’ permission. - Step 3: Questionnaires were separately sent via emails to the teachers in English Division 1 of the Faculty of English Language Teacher Education as it was difficult to meet all of them in school. Teachers answered by highlighting or marking on their choices. After a few days, questionnaires with answers were sent back to the researcher.
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1.5.5. Data analysis procedure The results from observations were summarized, evaluated and categorized by Microsoft Excel with the detailed checklists from the observation schemes. After that, the students and teachers interviews were transcribed and categorized into groups. The information from the interviews was the basis to compare the teachers’ and students’ opinions and draw the conclusion of the effectiveness of teachers’ applying Eliciting techniques in Reading classes. In addition, the answers in questionnaires were also grouped to add more information to the discussion of the three Research Questions.
1.6. Organization of the study This research report is organized into 5 chapters: 1. Introduction: provides the rationale for, the aims, significance, scope and organization of the study. 2. Literature Review: presents related literature that provides the theoretical basis for this study. 3. Methodology: describes the research instruments, participants and the procedures to conduct the research, including data collection and data analysis. 4. Results and Discussion: presents and discusses findings to derive valid implications. 5. Conclusion: summarizes the main findings, and draws out lessons and suggestions for similar studies in the future.
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CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW
This second chapter will define some key concepts discussed in the research: “Eliciting techniques” and “Reading comprehension ability”. After that, the overview of some related studies will be shortly described to justify the objectives of this research paper. 2.1. Eliciting techniques 2.1.1. Eliciting 22.214.171.124. Definitions of Eliciting Stated in the website of Teaching English in BBC, Eliciting (elicitation) is a term “which describes a range of techniques which enable the teacher to get learners to provide information rather than giving it to them”. It is commonly used to familiarised students with vocabulary, language forms and rules of a targeted skill, and to brainstorm a topic at the beginning of a lesson. According to Doff (1988, cited in To & Nguyen, 2009, p.12), “Eliciting involves the class by focusing students’ attention and making them think. This happens even if students do not know the words being elicited; so elicitation can be used for presenting new language as well as reviewing what was taught earlier” Eliciting is also stated in Teaching English of BBC website to be based on several premises: - Students have a great deal of knowledge, both of the language and of the real world, which needs to be fully activated and constructively used
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- The teaching of new knowledge is often based on what the learners already know - Questioning assists in self-discovery, which makes information more memorable Eliciting helps to develop a learner-centered classroom and a stimulating environment. Moreover, it plays the role of the link between new and old information, which forms a good way to make learning memorable. Eliciting is not limited to any single language or academic knowledge. Teacher can elicit ideas, feelings, meanings, situations, associations, memories or anything that help provide the key information about a topic, and therefore a starting point for the lesson. 126.96.36.199. Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Eliciting a. Advantages of Using Eliciting Case (2009), a teacher, pointed out in www.usingEnglish.com that Eliciting in EFL classrooms provides many benefits. They include: - Keeping students concentrate on the lessons - Checking students’ understanding of the focusing issues - Activating students’ background knowledge - Increasing student talking time (STT) / cutting down teacher talking time (TTT) - Helping students learn how to guess and work things out for themselves Moreover, Doff (1988, cited in To & Nguyen, 2009, p.12) emphasized on one of the most obvious advantages of teacher’s using eliciting that is “Eliciting gives teachers a chance to see what students know and what they do not, and so adapt their presentation to the level of the class”. That way will involve all
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members in class in the lesson, the stronger ones will not be bored with the “too easy” questions and the weaker ones will not be panic because of their slower understanding. b. Disadvantages of using Eliciting On the one hand, eliciting is a powerful tool of the teachers with many benefits they can gain. On the other hand, it also challenges teachers with several difficulties it can create. First and foremost, “Eliciting takes more time than straightforward presentation of new knowledge”, said Doff (1988, cited in To & Nguyen, 2009, p.12). For example, eliciting a word or an explanation may take ten times as long as just explaining it. Students may get too engaged to the discussion themselves and forget about the main topic or the main tasks. Ways to avoid this problem are quite various: plan your elicitation and make sure you have found the quickest way, use pictures and other prompts, if that will cut down on the amount of time eliciting will take, etc. Other hindrances may result from both teachers and students. Specifically, they are also stated by Case (2009) as follows: STT is not always longer Students may unequally understand and answer the questions of the teachers that aimed at eliciting Students’ response is passive and silent which fails the objectives of eliciting The information elicited can be too old or boring/ repetitive, or even not worth answering Eliciting may lead students to “unreal” communication - the language used is not appropriate in real life
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With all these listed advantages and disadvantages, it should be noted that eliciting clearly contributes to student involvement but it does not always produce the desired or expected results. That is the reason why teachers should selectively use this efficient tool in class. 2.1.2. Eliciting techniques In the viewpoint of Richards and Rodgers (1986, cited in To, 2008, p.22), technique is “an explicit procedure employed to achieve a particular teaching and learning objective or set of objectives.” This procedure is commonly organized in class in the means of classroom activities, exercises and devices to present and practice new targeted language. Thus, the Eliciting techniques discussed in this study involve the students’ process of discovering and understanding guided by teachers. Elicitation can be applied in explaining vocabulary, grammar, experiences, and ideas. By eliciting, learners are given the chance to actively participate in the learning process, expressing their acquired or intuitive knowledge, and studying critical thinking which will enhance their language abilities by adding knowledge to what they already know. Eliciting techniques can be applied in various ways and in numerous activities. They can be listed as below: 188.8.131.52. Asking questions Doff (1988, cited in To & Nguyen, 2009, p.12) pointed out that “Eliciting can take place at any stage of the lesson and is mainly done by asking questions”. Questioning is crucial to the way teachers manage the class, engage students with content, encourage participation and increase. According to Steve Darn (2010), a trainer in Izmir University of Economics, Turkey, there are two
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main types of questions in classroom: Display questions and Referential questions.
Display questions are designed to elicit learners’ prior knowledge and to check comprehension. They often focus on the form or meaning of language structures and items, and the teacher already knows the answer. Referential questions. These require the learner to provide information, give an opinion, explain or clarify. They often focus on content rather than language, require ‘follow-up’ or ‘probe’ questions, and the answer is not necessarily known by the teacher. (Cited in Teaching English, BBC)
184.108.40.206. Using visual aids - Showing pictures Following Doff’s point of view (1988, cited in To & Nguyen, 2009, p.1213), it is commonly believed that “One of the easiest ways to elicit new vocabulary (or structures) is by using pictures, either in the students’ textbook or brought in specially”. It is aimed to set the scene for teachers to ask students some questions about the related topic like “what they see in the pictures, why they think it happens, what they think will happen next and how they feel or what they think about it”. This is the most interesting way to give students chances to practice guessing and also motivate them in studying at the same time. - Using miming, gestures, facial expressions or body language One of the most attractive ways of communicating is using body language. In teaching, it also helps to elicit new vocabulary or structures. It plays the key role in helping students to develop their ability to understand in a real environment since body language and expressions
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convey a message about how speakers – teachers in this case – think or feel. Therefore, to be effective as an instructor, teachers need communication skills that should include careful listening, speaking clearly in a well-modulated voice, and using reinforcing body language. 220.127.116.11. Conducting games or activities According to Wright, Betteridge and Buckby (1984, p.1), “Language learning is hard work ... Effort is required at every moment and must be maintained over a long period of time. Games help and encourage many learners to sustain their interest and work.” Moreover, “they give students a break and at the same time allow students to practice language skills. Games are highly motivating since they are amusing and at the same time challenging. Furthermore, they employ meaningful and useful language in real contexts. They also encourage and increase cooperation.” – said Arsoz (2000) in The Internet TESL Journal. That is the reason why games and funny activities are always welcomed by students in all ages. Games are commonly used as a lead-in activity at the beginning of a lesson to motivate students and draw their attention. 18.104.22.168. Giving definitions and examples Bouma (2000), a writer of an English website, clarified the difference between the two usually-mistaken terms: “meaning” for “definition”: “Whereas a definition is the way you explain what is understood by a word, a meaning is the factual, physical and emotional significance of something (a word, experience, event, etc.). It’s the difference between explaining and interpreting.” Definitions are mostly used to elicit vocabulary. She also pointed out the three main types of definitions:
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- Simple definitions: teachers using synonyms, antonyms, dictionary descriptions and physical descriptions - Operational definitions: teachers will explains by purpose descriptions and combination descriptions which answer the two questions: “What something does” and “How it works” - Lexical definitions: they are the most complicated type of definition which requires wide background knowledge. They often include etymology, word history, etc. With the same function as definitions, giving examples is a powerful, universal way to illustrate concepts and transfer knowledge in a subject area. Many teachers could benefit from a more informed way to develop and use examples in their courses. Most disciplines have “signature examples” such as demonstrations, diagrams, videos, stories, and models. 22.214.171.124. Organizing group discussion Gisela Konopka (1985, p.288), a German researcher and educator, believed that “True group discussions are appropriately used to sharpen thinking, to weigh facts, to make decisions on the basis of thinking encouraged by diversity” as the ideas derived from individual thinkers are stimulated and brought out through questions and discussions with others. “Discussion of ideas is a typical medium of a society which expects and fosters freedom of thought and freedom from fear of expression”. In addition, group discussion also encourages students in cooperating and learning from each other’s knowledge. That is a good way of actively sharing information. These listed techniques are commonly applied in teaching English skills. However, whether being widely used means that they can put good effects on students or not is worth concerning, especially when they are exploited in
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teaching Reading – a perceptive skill. It is the focus of the researcher in this study. 2.2. Reading comprehension ability 2.2.1. Reading a. Definitions of reading in general Reading is an ambiguous word which has multiplicity of meanings. Those meanings mostly depend on its context in which they occur. As a result, there is no point in looking for a simple and concise definition of “Reading”. According to Anderson (2003, p.1), Reading can be defined as “an active, fluent process of readers combining information from a text and their own background knowledge to build meaning” This “active process” is explained as “meaning does not reside on the printed page, nor it is only in the head of the reader. A synergy occurs in reading which combines the words on printed page with the reader’s background knowledge and experiences. Readers move through the printed text with specific purposes in mind to accomplish specific goals”. Another way to describe Reading is shown by Grabe (1991, cited in Silberstein, 1994, p.12) as a “complex information processing skill in which the reader interacts with the text in order to (re)create meaningful discourse”. The common between these two definitions is the process of collecting information from the written text that readers need to do to understand its content. That is the closest meaning of Reading referred in this study.
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b. Purposes of reading in general Suggested by To et al. (2006, p.150), Reading is classified by different types: - Receptive reading: reading for different purposes in real life - Reflective reading: reading and “pause to reflect and trackback” - Intensive reading: getting detailed meaning for the improvement of reading skills and language components - Extensive reading: archive general understanding with the combination of background knowledge - Skimming: getting general information from the text - Scanning: finding details in the text All those types of reading aim to “get something form the writing” (Nuttal, 1989, p.2-3). He mentioned that “Reading is to get a message from the text”. As a result, it is significant to clarify the particular purpose when we read, since Nuttall believes that there are different reasons for different ways of reading (p.44). 2.2.2. Reading Comprehension “Comprehension” has three dictionary definitions (Merriam Webster, 1963, cited in Singer, p.901) 1. the act or action of grasping with the intellect 2. knowledge gained by comprehending 3. the capacity for understanding These definitions imply that the term “comprehension” can refer to “a process, a product, or a potential”. These different concepts mix together, whether the focus is on teaching, testing, or on a theory of comprehension.
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Then what is “Reading comprehension”? Dr. Keith Lenz from the University of Kansas (2005, p.7) stated that: “Reading comprehension is the process of constructing meaning from text. The goal of all reading instruction is ultimately targeted at helping a reader comprehend text. Reading comprehension involves at least two people: the reader and the writer. The process of comprehending involves decoding the writer's words and then using background knowledge to construct an approximate understanding of the writer's message.” Richard and Thomas (1987, p.9) also considered Reading Comprehension as “an understanding between the author and the reader. The emphasis is on the reader’s understanding of the printed pages based on the individual’s unique background of experience. Reading is much more than pronouncing the words correctly or simply know what the author intends. It is the process whereby the printed pages stimulate ideas, experiences, and responses that are unique to an individual” These two definitions agreed on the main feature of Reading comprehension which is the interaction between writers and readers, between old information and new information. It can be considered one of the most straightforward and widely applied ideas in mainstream studies. It is also the concept of Reading comprehension that the researcher applies in this study. 2.2.3. Reading comprehension ability As stated above, Reading comprehension is the interaction between new and old information. In other words, it is the result of the combination of the two elements: the meaning of given text and the background knowledge of readers. Thus, the Reading comprehension ability of readers is the capability
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to “mix and digest” the formed information in reading process, i.e. the level of understanding in readers’ mind about the issues mentioned in the given texts. In the viewpoint of Akmar Mohamad, a professor at the University Sains Malaysia, reading comprehension is divided into three levels: comprising lexical comprehension, referential comprehension and critical comprehension. o The first level, literal comprehension, involves understanding surface meanings. At this level, teachers can ask students to find information and ideas that are explicitly stated in the text. In addition, it is also appropriate to test vocabulary. o The second level is interpretive or referential comprehension. At this level, students go beyond what is said and read for deeper meanings. They are required to be able to see relationships among ideas, for example how ideas go together and also see the implied meanings of these ideas. Referential comprehension includes intellectual processes such as drawing conclusion, making generalization and predicting outcomes. o Finally, the third level is critical comprehension, by which ideas and information are evaluated. At this level, students need to be able to differentiate between facts and opinions or to judge the accuracy of the information given in the text. Critical evaluation occurs only after our students have understood the ideas and information that the writer has presented. 2.2.4. Eliciting techniques and Reading in second language teaching In a second language classroom, reading plays a significant role in building both linguistic and background knowledge for other language skills.
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a. Purposes of reading of second language learners As pointed out by Rivers and Temperley (1978, cited in Nunan, 1989, p.34)), second language learners may read in another language for the following reallife purposes: to obtain information as being curious about some topics to obtain instructions on how to perform some tasks to act in a play, play a game, do a puzzle to keep in touch with friends by correspondence or to understand business letters to know when or where something will take place or what is available to know what is happening or has happened for enjoyment or excitement
However, the reading purposes of language learners in Reading classes are not always related to real life. According to Nuttall (1996, p.223), students who are required to read in class are asked to do some exercises such as gapfill or multiple choice questions. As a result, the aim of understanding the content of the text in real-life meaning is often ignored and replaced by the academic purposes. In Reading classes, teachers tend to apply the techniques in Communicative Language Teaching approach to help students archive the communicative goals. To be more specific, students are provided many chances to practice to read silently the unfamiliar authentic texts to enhance some needed skills including extracting specific information, inferring opinions and attitudes, deducing meaning from the context… Reading is also a good way to exploit and enhance students’ background knowledge on the common fields mentioned in the text. That is the reason why Reading is one of the most important skills for EFL learners to attain great development in academic areas.
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b. The exploitation of Eliciting techniques in a Reading lesson The process of teaching a Reading lesson in Communicative approach is often divided into three stages namely pre-, while- and post-reading. Each stage has its own aims and features or procedure in which Eliciting techniques are employed and adapted accordingly as follows: o Pre-reading stage Pre-reading stage plays an important role in the whole process as it is of great help in motivating students and giving them preparation for the information from the text they are going to read. Specifically, in this early stage, teachers are expected to: Assess students' background knowledge of the topic and linguistic content of the text Give students the background knowledge necessary for
comprehension of the text, or activate the existing knowledge that the students possess Clarify any cultural information which may be necessary to comprehend the passage Make students aware of the type of text they will be reading and the purpose(s) for reading These aims are commonly achieved by the teacher’s employing Elicitation in guiding and explaining. Several techniques which can be used in this stage are: using pictures, predicting from the titles, guessing and brainstorming to see what students have already known.
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o While-reading stage Later on, students are lead into the main reading activity of the lesson. In this second stage, teachers are guiders who will help students to: understand the specific content become aware of the rhetorical structure of the text The Eliciting techniques applied in this stage widely vary to fulfill the two main goals. However, it is the most common to use the ones like guessing new words in contexts, asking questions to note - taking. o Post-reading stage Finally, teachers may conduct some activities in order to review the content. This final stage is generally aimed at checking students’ understanding of the text or linking the information they gain from the text with their knowledge, interests and opinions. Some possible techniques which teachers may exploit in this stage include discussing the main points, retelling and rewriting the stories. To be brief, Reading comprehension in class is strongly affected by the interactions between teachers and students in the process of exchanging information. That process as well as its result on student’s comprehension ability is boosted by teacher’s techniques in eliciting and communicating in class. That is the reason why the main aim of this study is describe the fact and effectiveness of applying eliciting tools in teaching Reading comprehension.
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2.3. Related studies Teaching approaches and techniques are the “fertile ground” for numerous researchers in many decades as the desire to perfect the education system keeps rising in society. The researches on improving the effect of teaching and learning Reading as the second language are one of them. Many experts dug deep in the basis of Reading to discover its nature and its features to build up the techniques to help the learners easier in reading and learning to read. Byrnes (1998) with the research on “Reading in the beginning and intermediate college foreign language class” clarifies the Goals and Techniques for Teaching Reading. He focuses on the Reading processes and their aims. After that he draws some integrated strategies which can be applied in classroom which include previewing, predicting, skimming and scanning, guessing from context and paraphrasing. Whereas few systematic studies have been found, plenty of initiatives have been taken in order to authenticate reading in the classroom. One of them has been suggested by Vogt (1997) in her journal article “Cross-Curricular Thematic Instruction”. Vogt believes that the inclusion of a variety of content areas from narrative and expository literature to "real world" materials could help students to vary their experience and thus, well prepare them for future "real-life" reading tasks. Specifically, she refers to a selection of texts of different difficulty levels, teachers’ elaboration of new concepts, students’ group-work and role-play activities as several notable techniques to authenticate reading in an ESL classroom. Jonathan Newton (2001) has an article on a smaller aspect of vocabulary learning, which titled “Options for vocabulary learning through
communication tasks”. In his study, Newton emphasizes on the activities which can encourage the constructions of multiple associations between old
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and new knowledge in the lexical systems of learners. Also, he draws readers’ attention on the meaningful contexts and the immediate opportunities for students to use vocabulary in real communication. That is the tasks teachers should fulfill and also the aims they want to achieve. Going to exploring more details on teaching Reading, Hibbing and RankinEriekson (2003) describes some specific tools in enhance student’s understanding in Reading. Their article named “A picture is worth a thousand words: Using visual images to improve comprehension for middle school struggling readers” discusses teacher and student drawings in the classroom. The materials include illustrations in texts, picture books, and movies as external image-based tools that support reading comprehension. Those are one of the tools for eliciting information in teaching Reading. Although there are many related studies on techniques in both teaching and learning Reading in second language classes, the researcher finds it hard to search for the researches specified in Eliciting itself as well as its techniques. Despite the fact that Eliciting is used in almost all Reading classes as a familiar teaching technique in Communicative Language Teaching approach. In addition, it is claimed to be one of the most effective way to teach Reading but its proofs are not satisfactory for readers and researchers, especially in Vietnam. Such limitations obviously offer a gap for researchers to conduct a study on the same target with the attempt to examine the effectiveness of using Eliciting techniques in teaching, particularly in Vietnam University. 2.4. Conclusive remarks In this chapter, the theoretical background of the study has been briefly reviewed with the key concepts which are Eliciting techniques, Reading comprehension and Reading comprehension ability of students. Most importantly, it pointed out that Elicitation can be used in every stage in every
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Reading session with the major objective of helping students understand texts easily and thoroughly. In addition, the review of a number of related studies in this chapter has detected a research gap which the researcher is pursuing to bridge by seeking the answers to the three research questions.
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CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGY
Chapter 2 has briefly reviewed the literature on the research topic for the theoretical basis of the study. Next, this chapter 3 discusses the participants, the research instruments, and the procedure of data collection and data analysis as a means to maximize the validity and reliability of the whole research. 3.0. Research questions As mentioned in the first two chapters, CLT has put an emphasis on communicative competence in teaching and learning English, thus Elicitation is the most commonly employed tool in English classes to engage students in the lessons. However, it is the fact that Eliciting is limitedly used in Vietnamese classes, especially in Reading sessions. This contradiction urges the researcher to investigate the current situation of exploiting Eliciting techniques in teaching Reading. To fulfill that aim, this research is conducted to answer three questions related, which are: 1. What Eliciting techniques do the teachers use in Reading classes of the first-year students? 2. To what extent are these techniques effective in improving students’ level of Reading comprehension? 3. What are the teachers' perceptions about applying these techniques in Reading?
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3.1. Participants The process of data collection involved the participation of both the teachers of English Division 1 and the first-year students in the Faculty of English Language Teacher Education at University of Languages and International Studies – Vietnam National University (ULIS – VNU) as follows: 3.1.1. The teachers of English Division 1 in the Faculty of English Language Teacher Education As playing the role of the instructors in student-centered classes, the teacher’s roles in designing activities and controlling students in the classrooms should be considered. Therefore, all the 30 teachers in English Division 1 in the Faculty of English Language Teacher Education were expected to involve in the data collection process. They are in charge of teaching the first-year students in four English skills. They are all graduated from English specialised universities with excellent degrees. Thus, there is no doubt that they are quite qualified to be chosen as the participants in this study. However, for some reasons of further learning and private excuses, not all of 30 teachers are officially teaching the first-year classes. Moreover, because of the intense teaching procedure and neat timetable, only 22 teachers can take part in the research which is believed to be a large number of participants. It is aimed to report the factual situations of English teaching and learning at their schools as well as to share their valuable experience related to the topic. 3.1.2. The first-year students in the Faculty of English Language Teacher Education The number of students in the first year in the Faculty of English Language Teacher Education is large, about 500 people, which are divided into 24
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classes. They are all good students who can pass the entrance examination to enter the university. They are all specialised in English, therefore they are rather familiar and fluent in using English. Amongst them, only 40 students in eight classes are chosen randomly to participate in the research. This number is equivalent to 8% of the total population. The sampling procedure was carried out by the researcher herself: asking three to five students from each class she observed to answer some questions in the interview. Their answers were recorded to be analysed later. 3.2. Instruments For a collection of sufficient reliable and valid data for the study, classroom observation, interview, and questionnaire were fully employed. 3.2.1. Classroom observation Since the exploitation of Eliciting techniques for ULIS first-year students was a practical educational topic by its nature, classroom observation was also employed since it is asserted that “Classroom observation helps to make educational research more accessible and practical” (Hoang & Nguyen, 2006, p. 55). Specifically, during a six-week practicum of the researcher at the Faculty of English Language Teacher Education, the observation checklist was completed for the implementation of the use of eliciting techniques in Reading classes of first-year students. As for the structure, the observation checklist (see Appendix 1) comprises two parts: - Some personal information of the teachers and their classes - Evaluation of teacher’s exploitation of Eliciting techniques
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The second part contains the most important data for this study as it lists out some common activities teachers used in teaching Reading as well as their frequency and aims. Besides, researcher also added some criteria to the observation scheme to evaluate students’ responses to Eliciting. Those criteria were measured basing on student’s involvement in the lesson combined with their answers in the interview followed. 3.2.2. Interview Oral interview has been widely used as a research tool in applied linguistics. In this study, researcher chooses the semi-structured interview as it is believed to be “quite extraordinary” with its incredible rich data, full control and close interactions. The questions expected in the interview have been planned as followed: o For teachers: 1. Do you think that you should use Eliciting Techniques in your class? Why (Why not?) 2. Do you plan to use eliciting techniques when you prepare for the lessons? (When you write the Lesson Plan for example?) 3. Can you give some comments on Ss's reactions/response to your ways of eliciting? + Good (Ss understand) --> What might be the reasons? + Bad (Ss still confuse) --> What might be the problems? (Current situations) 4. Do you have difficulties in using eliciting techniques? What are they? (In general?) 5. What might be the solutions for those problems?
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o For students: 1. Do you have any comments on Reading lesson you just had? Do you understand all the terms or explanation of the teachers? 2. I can see that in the lesson, T used _________ (the techniques used by teachers), do you like it? (Yes/No, why and how?) 3. Do you think that way of teaching help you understand the lesson better? Why and how? (Compare the result of the exercises you did before and after listening to teachers’ elicitation and guide) 4. Do you like that way of teaching? What can you benefit/ gain from it? The interviews were conducted immediately after the class observation to collect the most fresh experiences and feelings of the participants. 3.2.3. Questionnaire The last instrument was a questionnaire survey including the participation of all the research objects, i.e. all the 40 students, was used. It helped collect data about students’ assessment/review of the applied strategies. This instrument was chosen for its various advantages and compatibility with the aim of the research, i.e. to survey the level of tolerance of students toward the use of Eliciting techniques in teaching reading comprehension. Firstly, questionnaire is an economical way of collecting data as it helps gather a large amount of information within a relatively short period of time. Secondly, it enables researchers to obtain data quantitatively, which later on will assist their study with persuasive numbers concerning the issues investigated. The questionnaire includes ten questions which are written in the type of multiple choice questions and open questions. It was sent to teachers via
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email to get the answer. For the complete questionnaire form, see the Appendix. 3.3. Procedure of data collection Broadly speaking, the process of data collection could be put into three major phases as follows. - Phase 1: Classroom observation Classroom observation is expected to be conducted in two or three lessons successively. However, due to the tight schedule, researcher managed to observe 8 classes, once for each. The class choice was determined by the researcher herself which were picked up randomly. Soon after permission was granted, an appointment was made and initiated with a brief introduction of the interviewer, the research topic and the confirmation of confidentiality - Phase 2: Interviews Semi-structured interviews were conducted face to face with selected teachers and students after finishing the observations. While interviewing, the researcher tried the best to take notes and tape-record the content under the interviewees’ permission. - Phase 3: Questionnaire In addition to the observations and interviews of Reading teachers and first-year students, the questionnaire was sent to teachers via email so that they can take time to fill in it. In the questionnaires, teachers were asked about their perception in
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using Eliciting in teaching Reading, i.e. what the benefits and the difficulties are. 3.4. Procedure of data analysis Initially, the collected data were classified according to the three research questions. That is, all of the data gathered from the teachers were mainly used to answer the first and the third research question, whereas students’ responses would help to reply to the second one. Finally, a combination of responses from both the teachers and the students were analyzed to address the third question of the research paper. The results from observations were also summarized, evaluated and categorized with the help of Microsoft Excel. All the data were taken from the detailed checklist from the observation scheme. The researcher used the content analysis which focused on the actual content and internal features. After that, the students and teachers interviews were categorized into groups. The results from the interviews would be the basis to compare the teachers’ and students’ opinions and to draw the conclusion of the effectiveness of teachers’ applying eliciting techniques in Reading classes. The data was enriched by collected information from the questionnaires. The information was categorized by Microsoft Excel also and the statistic was illustrated by the tables and figures. It helped researcher ensure the accuracy of the data and findings for this study.
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3.5. Conclusive Remarks This Methodology chapter has discussed the participants; the three data collection instruments used namely observations, interviews and
questionnaires; the data collection and data analysis procedures as justifications for the methodology of the research. The following chapters present the research findings and discussion.
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CHAPTER 4: RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
In the previous chapter, the methodology applied in this study has been clarified with descriptions and justifications of the choice of participants, the instruments and the process of data collection and analysis. In this chapter, all collected data will be analyzed and discussed to reveal the answers to each research question in turn.
4.1. RESEARCH QUESTION 1: What Eliciting techniques do the teachers use in Reading classes of the first-year students? Collecting the data for the study, researcher saw that Eliciting techniques were quite popular in teaching Reading. All the teachers noticed the importance of interaction between teachers and students in class, which urged them to employ the Eliciting techniques in their lessons. As the result of class observation and the statistics from the questionnaire, teachers – 22 participants in this study – commonly used eight techniques as follows:
Number of respondents 22/22 8/22 Percentage (%) 100 36.4
Asking questions Using visual aids Giving definitions of words/ terms / concepts in Reading text
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Techniques Linking the ideas of the text with SS’ background knowledge / daily life Letting SS discuss in groups / pairs Giving examples Using Vietnamese in explaining Using games/ quizzes
Number of respondents 16/22
12/22 18/22 10/22 3/22
54.5 81.8 45.4 13.6
Table 1. Major techniques applied by the teachers to exploit Elicitation in reading class for the first-year students
The table shows that the teacher has applied different variations of Eliciting techniques in their Reading classes. The most common technique was ‘asking questions’ which had the highest rate of 100% which means it was used by all the teachers involved in the research. They used many questions on the first two stages of the lesson which are pre-reading and while-reading. In pre-reading, the questions focused on the background knowledge. The teachers thought exploiting students’ common knowledge is a good way to lead them to the lesson and make them more interested in it.
“I think it is beneficial as students will have chances to know what are they are going to deal with in the lesson…” (A teacher participated in the research)
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In the while-reading stage, questions were even employed more to get students involved in the small discussions related to the Reading texts, or add some information and some facts, for example, to the topic so that students would have good interactions with the text itself, with the teachers and even with the authors. That is a useful way to help students dig deeper in the issues they are learning. The second popular technique was ‘giving example’ which was followed by ‘linking the ideas of the text with student’s background knowledge’. Their percentages were 81.8% and 72.7% respectively. These two techniques were often employed in pre-reading stage to explain the topics or the key words of reading texts. However, with the same aim to elicit vocabulary, teachers seemed to avoid ‘directly giving definitions of words/ terms / concepts in Reading text’ as it contributes only 27.3% which ranks seventh in eight used techniques. One of the most common ways to apply this technique was the combination of teacher’s description and student’s guesses. Interestingly, these techniques were mixed quite smoothly by the teacher, which successfully attracted the attention of students. For example, “mediate” was a new word to students, so the teacher was the one who give them definition. After that, teacher asked students to guess the meaning of “mediator” and described the characteristics of a mediator in a map as follows: (Next page)
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After eliciting the characteristics, teacher asked student’s reasons for each to activate their background knowledge. This way of teaching was proved to be useful to students as they found it easy to understand and remember.
“I like the way teachers asking questions and explaining new words by mind-map and graphs from the very first lesson. I find it really interesting. Teacher often give us the definitions and let us think about the related things and concepts. It keeps out brain working in the lesson so we can understand more and remember more easily…” “I like it (the eliciting techniques that teacher used) because it warms the class’s atmosphere up…” (Students’ comments from the interview)
The forth ranked technique was ‘group discussion’ whose percentage was 54.5%. This technique was mostly applied in while-reading stage when students are given texts and do the exercises. Students were also eager when working in groups since it kept them motivated and “awake” because, in their
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opinions, “Reading lessons are mostly silent and even boring when we just sit, read, and do the exercise silently”. The next technique preferably used by the teachers in Reading classes was ‘explaining in Vietnamese’. Due to the fact that students in the first year of University have limited vocabulary, they sometimes complain that the lessons are difficult to fully understand as teachers use English most of the time. Realizing this problem, some teachers adapted their explanation with the use of the first language to get the best result for students. This way of teaching was warmly welcomed by learners but it seemed to be unpopular. The two least used techniques were ‘using visual aids’ and ‘organizing games/quizzes’ whose percentages were 36.4% and 13.6% respectively. The former was commented as “hard to use” and “unnecessary to use” in Reading teaching by some of the teachers. They explained their reasons including “it is time-consuming”, “it may distract students” or “my drawing is not good”, etc. However, the teachers who could exploit the use of visual aids in teaching, they could raise the motivation and attention of students to a remarkably high level. The same case went with the teacher’s using games and quizzes in teaching Reading. With just a very simple game like “The hang man” – a game to guess new words – the teachers could involve almost all students into the lessons and help them to remember the words in an easy and funny way. Nevertheless, this technique was quite limitedly used. In short, Eliciting techniques namely asking questions, giving examples and definitions, linking ideas, using visual aids and mother tongue, or group discussion, were largely applied in almost all Reading classes. They were creatively and variously used, adapted and mixed by the teachers which were excitedly welcomed by the students.
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4.2. RESEARCH QUESTION 2: To what extent are these techniques effective in improving students’ level of Reading comprehension as perceived by the teachers and the students? The discussions for this question examined the teachers’ and students’ evaluation on the effectiveness of eliciting techniques by finding out the main aims of teachers when applying Eliciting techniques in Reading classes. 4.2.1. The aims of teacher’s exploiting Eliciting techniques in Reading classes Using Elicitation in teaching, Reading teachers expected to achieve many goals in regard of both knowledge and skills. Among them, these following objectives were the most common for almost all the teachers involved in this study:
Teachers' aims in using Eliciting techniques in teaching Reading
Exercise checking Exercises guidance
6 10 10 18 21
Main ideas of the text Vocabulary Background knowledge 0 5
Numbers of respondents
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The chart illustrates the five main aims of teachers when they used Elicitation in Reading classes. It is notable that most obvious goal of all the Reading teachers was activate students’ background knowledge. It was first ranked in the checklist with 21 out of 22 respondents which equal 95.4%.
“A Reading lesson should always have Warm-up activity and Follow-up activity. […] I think eliciting is a good way to activate background knowledge of students to help them link the old and the new information. It makes students easier to interact to the new topic of a lesson” (Teachers’ opinion quoted from the interviews)
This aim was attached to the most popular technique in Eliciting which was asking questions as well as the process of linking ideas from texts to students’ own experiences and using Vietnamese in explaining. The next major objective of employing Eliciting techniques in teaching Reading was to explain/ build up the vocabulary for students. Amongst 18 out of 22 teachers (81.8%) taking the surveys, even two of them thought that Eliciting only aims at preparing the new words for learners before they read a text. Almost all the techniques were applied to fulfill this goal including giving examples, linking ideas with background knowledge, giving definitions and using visual aids (pictures, drawings…) The two next aims shared the same vote of 10 out of 22 teachers (45.4%) which were helping students to get the needed ideas/ information from the text and guiding students to do the exercises after reading the text. These goals were reached by teachers’ using questions and group discussion. When students answered the questions, teachers could tell how deep they understand the discussing issue, what they know and what they do not know. It showed
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the teachers how and what to teach to raise the comprehension level of students. Teachers also gave students some tips or typical steps to do a typical type of exercise. It was definitely useful for the examination preparation. Apart from learning under teacher’s guidance, students found it easier for them to learn from peers. That was the reason why group discussions were used in teaching. After reading, the information was shared among group’s members so that it could be viewed in different aspects. It was also a good way to provide students the chances to practice critical reading. The least percentage went to the aim of checking the exercises related to reading text. Asking questions was the main techniques employed to archive this goal. By successively asking questions, teachers required students to convey their answers to the exercises and justify them by giving clues from the text. It was a good way to make learners read more carefully and understand as well as remember the information more easily. To sum it up, the five listed aims for exploiting Eliciting techniques of Reading teachers all focused on making the text more understandable for students. Consequently, the level of students’ comprehension was encouraged to be raised up high.
4.2.2. The effectiveness of applying Eliciting in Reading classes perceived by the teachers and the students The term “effectiveness” used in this study referred to the results of the techniques that teachers used to elicit students in Reading lessons, i.e. “Is it useful to help students improve their understanding” and the reasons lead to that result. This level of “effectiveness” was judged from the view point of both sides: the teachers’ and students’.
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126.96.36.199. The effectiveness perceived by the teachers Being asked “Do you find it useful to use Eliciting in improving Reading comprehension level of students in your classes?” all the answers were positively YES. Their assessment could be summarized in the following chart, using the five-point scale in the questionnaires.
Indifferent (Passive) 0% Neutral 4%
Silent 0% Excited 13%
Excited Willing/ Eager Neutral Indifferent (Passive) Silent
Willing/ Eager 83%
Figure 2. Teachers' assessment of their using Eliciting techniques in teaching Reading
In the teachers’ viewpoint, the Eliciting techniques applied in their Reading classes are quite effective to students. The majority of them (19 out of 22 teachers) agreed that their students were willing to take part in their activities. They occupied 83% of the total respondents. Amazingly, there were three teachers who ensured that their activities were excitedly welcomed by the students (13%). In contrast, the remaining teacher said that the eliciting techniques she/ he applied were still rather confusing to learners. The reason for this was students’ attitude. To be more specific, students were commented
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as being afraid or lazy in talking. Thus, they were not able to answer the questions of teachers, which made the classroom’s atmosphere become tense. However, that teacher still thought that she/he has been successful in helping students with the typical and important tips to do the exercises. “How the teachers can assess the effectiveness of their exploiting Eliciting techniques in teaching?” This question was also given to teachers and here were their answers:
Ways to assess
Number of respondents 10/22
Check the exercise Check students’ answers to teachers’ questions Ask directly “Do you understand?” No checking
Table 2. Different ways of assessing Eliciting techniques in Reading classes by teachers
All teachers reached an agreement on the most useful way to assess students’ understanding was to check their answers with different questions related to the topic and the text. In addition, half of them (45.4%) believed that students’ comprehension could be examined by checking the exercises after the texts. Learners’ answers and their clues found in the texts was also a good base to tell teachers the gaps of knowledge and information they need to fill up.
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Differently, three of the teachers chose to directly ask students whether they understand or not. This may solve the confusion quickly and effectively. Apart from the suggested options for assessing students’ comprehension, some of the teachers also exploited different ways like checking students’ understanding by asking them to repeat what has been discussed. This was a common process of teachers in giving instructions for the exercises. It could draw students’ attention to the lesson and help them remember the important information. Another suggested way was checking by students’ products in a reading task. This could refer to the reflections or students’ answers for the questions as well as the exercises mentioned above. In short, in teachers’ perception, the techniques they employed to elicit students in Reading classes were quite effective. 188.8.131.52. The effectiveness perceived by students The result for the effectiveness judged by students was found through the data from the observations combined with the interviews. Firstly, the result from the observation could be described in the following table: (next page)
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Students’ reaction Class 5 Class 1 Class 2 Class 3 Class 4 Class 5 Class 6 Class 7 Class 8 0% 4 3 2 1
Students’ change in understanding concepts YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES 100%
Percentage 50% 87.5% 62.5% 37.5%
Table 3. Student’s reaction to Eliciting techniques used by teachers in Reading classes
In the checklist, the assessments for students was also categorized by the fivepoint scale which goes from the most excited response (5) to the silent response (1). The scale was set as following:
(4) Willing Eager
(2) Indifferent (Passive)
After observing eight Reading classes of eight different teachers, the researcher could find the most common reaction of the students when the teachers elicited some information was eager (87.5% in total). They participated energetically and contributed to the lessons with all their might. This level of reaction went up and down in some activities at different time in
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the lesson. Some funny games and interesting examples were found attractive to students since they could learn something new while enjoying the fun in the same time. 50% of the researched students were quite excited when they were learned in such a friendly and funny atmosphere. However, sometimes the techniques were not appropriately applied which was the main reasons for the neutral attitude of students in Reading classes (62.5%). There were even some classes in which students did not pay much attention to what teachers were trying to do. The teachers kept asking and talking but the students rarely replied to them. That was the situation of 37.5% observed classes with mark 2 in the scale. The reasons for which were the topic or the terms explained were quite unfamiliar, even strange to students, and the way teachers delivered them to learners was confusing. Secondly, the same question was asked when researcher had interviews with students – participants. For the first part of “like”, 100% students asked gave the positive answer “YES”.
“Teacher does not force us to do too many exercises or to remember too many things at a time. She also organizes the lessons with many group discussions and games which gives us freedom and comfort in learning. We feel less bored and stressed when coming to Reading class.” “Teacher is creative and funny when leading to the lessons. That way makes us more interested in the topic we learn.” (Students’ opinion from interviews)
For the second part of “understand”, students’ replies were divided into two groups – YES and NO – which went with their own reasons as follows:
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Reason(s) o “Teacher asks many questions to make us think to find the answer ourselves. As a result, when we can answer those questions, we feel excited and we can remember them for a long time.” o “Teacher uses interesting games and chooses interesting ways to explain the topic, which gives us inspiration in the
lesson. […] When guiding us to do the exercises, she gives us many tips, step by step so we find them easier. She also provides new words in interesting ways which really impressed us. It is easy to imagine, easy to remember” o “We can understand all the points she mentioned.” (Students’ opinions from the interview)
o “Reading classes is boring because we only sit and read silently most of the time. The topic is hard to understand and the text is too long to read. However, teacher only let us read with few instructions and guidance and then check the answers …” o “Teacher uses English to explain most of the time and we find it hard to understand fully what she wants to say. Sometimes the speed of talking to also too fast for us to catch up with the ideas…” (Students’ opinions from the interview)
Table 4. Students’ opinion of Eliciting techniques that teachers use in Reading classes
Additionally, 100% students mentioned that they could gain much more knowledge about the learning issues from teacher’s elicitation which helped
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them understand the reading text more. This resulted in the higher rate of correct answers to the exercises related to the text. Nonetheless, sometimes the students were confused when teachers elicited the information from them as they believed that the way of asking questions or games or even group work were more suitable for Speaking lessons despite they still enjoyed them. Besides, many of them used the word “fine” or “ok” to answer the questions about the techniques teachers used in Reading lessons since those techniques were expected to create more fun in class. In short, the majority of students had good comments on the lessons with teachers’ eliciting techniques. They found the techniques useful to help them enhance the ability to deeply understand the texts and give them great motivation.
4.3. RESEARCH QUESTION 3: What are the teachers' perceptions about applying these techniques in Reading? 4.3.1. Teacher’s attitude towards Eliciting techniques in Reading classes To explore the role of Elicitation in teaching Reading, the researcher gave the respondents the questions of how they considered the importance of Eliciting in Reading, compared with Eliciting in other skills such as Listening, Writing and Speaking. Their answers could be described by the pie chart below: (next page)
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Figure 3. Teachers' opinion of the importance of using Eliciting in Reading classes
Less Same More
It was clearly seen from the pie chart that the Elicitation was of equal importance compared with the three major English skills to almost all the teachers (19/22 respondents).
“Each English skill includes numerous sub-skills and techniques and I think all of them are important. Of course Eliciting is one of them” (Teacher’s opinion form the interview)
Nevertheless, there existed two contrast ideas on this question. Two of the teachers asked (9%) believed that Elicitation in Reading was more important than in other skills since Reading was, for a long time, misjudged as a passive and boring skill. That was the reason why the task of the teachers was to activate students in Reading classes, to get them out of the routine of reading and answering the questions silently. In their opinion, eliciting techniques were a wonderful tool to bring motivation to students, which was considered a big key for a successful Reading lesson. On the contrary, one teacher (which made up 5% in total) claimed that Elicitation in Reading was less important than other skills as it was only of good use when it was applied in the pre-
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reading stage to lead students in the lesson. The main part which conveyed the main message was in the while-reading stage. However, generally speaking, all the teachers agreed that Eliciting was undoubtedly important to some extent in Reading classes. Consequently, they always prepared for it before the lesson began. Ways of preparation Note down in Lesson Plan Plan in mind (specifically) Prepare some general ideas Ignore Number of respondents 3 22 7 0
Table 5. Teachers’ preparation for Eliciting in teaching Reading
Percentage (%) 13.6 100 31.8 0
It was notable that a100% the teachers made careful preparations for eliciting for their lessons. They read the text to find the words, phrases and ideas which might get students in trouble and form the explanation for them. They took the three questions of “What to elicit”, “Where/When to elicit” and “How to elicit” into consideration.
“I will expect in advance what problems or difficulties students may encounter when learning Reading or reading a text, then I expect the way and techniques to elicit to ease those problems” “I often take short notes of important points in the lesson. For example, to brainstorm for the word “ART” and the types of art, I will prepare the definition or the advantages of art, etc. But they are all simple key points, which are not written in Lesson Plan” (Teachers’ opinion from the interview)
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Yet, different teachers had different way to prepare for the lesson. The ones who wanted to perfect their teaching periods might fully note every technique and important terms they were going to use in Lesson Plan. Others might just keep some general ideas of whether or not they might use the Elicitation in teaching Reading with no specific tool. The teachers’ preparation also varied due to the nature and aims of each Eliciting activity.
4.3.2. Benefits of using Eliciting techniques in Reading classes perceived by the teachers Using Elicitation in teaching Reading brought many benefits to both teachers and students. As mentioned in chapter 2 – Literature Review, the main advantages of Eliciting include: - Keeping students concentrate on the lessons - Checking students’ understanding of the focusing issues - Activating students’ background knowledge - Increasing student talking time (STT) / cutting down teacher talking time (TTT) - Helping students learn how to guess and work things out for themselves These were also the benefit that the teachers involved in this study mentioned when they did the questionnaires. The specific answers could be illustrated in the following table:
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Advantages It helps students get more background knowledge on studying theme. It gives students chances to speak and practice expressing thoughts in English. It leads students to the main problems/ issues of the lesson more easily. It makes students brainstorm and concentrate more on the lesson. It can help teachers check students’ understanding of a certain issue. It is a good way to inspire students in learning and involving in the lesson. It creates funny and friendly class atmosphere.
Number of respondents 22/22
Table 6. Teacher’s opinions on benefits of using Eliciting in teaching Reading
Gladly, all the teachers could see clearly the strong points of exploiting Eliciting techniques in Reading lessons. From the chart, it was obvious that they focused on activating student’s background knowledge, brainstorming and checking the comprehension of students. The motivation and inspiration were also considerable benefits of Elicitation in Reading. This could create the funny atmosphere for students which might well encourage them in learning.
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4.3.3. Teacher’s difficulties in applying Eliciting techniques in Reading classes and their solutions In spite of such benefits, teachers still encountered many difficulties which were listed in the table below: Number of respondents (out of 22) Percentage (%)
Problems The topic is too difficult for teachers to elicit and explain to students The way of eliciting is not suitable with students Teachers do not precisely judge the background knowledge of students Students cannot understand what teachers are asking/explaining (students’ ability) Students do not cooperate with teachers (students’ attitude)
Table 7. Teacher’s difficulties in using Eliciting techniques in teaching Reading
The table showed that the most common difficulty that teachers might have is related to the topic. In the first-year program, there existed some really unfamiliar topics which made teachers hard to explain to make students understand. The solutions to this problem might be the combination of explaining from the simplest definitions related to the most general one and explain in Vietnamese if necessary.
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“If the topic is too difficult, I will try to explain the topic and its coverage first, and then check Ss understanding to make sure they have grasped it. If Ss already understand the topic, usually I will continue asking them to explore their background knowledge, or require them to work in groups and exchange information while I go around and help them with the vocabulary related to the topic. This, as I expect, will facilitate their reading process.”
On the other hand, the teachers could make students get closer to the topic by providing more background knowledge to students apart from checking them.
“Try to simplify the topic by providing background knowledge to students or assist them with warm-up activities in which the vocabulary related to the theme is drilled.” (Teacher’s opinion from the interview)
The second problematic situation mentioned by the teachers was that they had not correctly acknowledged the right level of students’ background information. This case mostly happened in class so its solution depended a lot on teacher’s flexibility. Teachers could base on the answers of learners and ask more questions on the unclearly specified points or the impressed and interesting points. That way might encourage students to talk, to interact and to brainstorm more on the topic discussed. Sometimes, the reasons for the problems lay on the students themselves. They could not understand the questions from the teachers or the explanations teachers gave, thus they did not speak a word to answer the questions. The other case was that students were too shy or they did not cooperate with teachers, so they also kept silent. Both these two situations might worsen the class atmosphere and demotivate all class members, including the teachers. Teachers might be confused since they did not know why students keep silent:
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they did not understand or they found the lecture boring. This phenomenon was said to be resulted from several causes such as: o Students did not expect for doing anything rather than silently reading and do the exercises. They did not understand why to learn the structures in the texts so they do not want to learn those. o Students might be tired because they stayed up late the previous night or they had to do some hard work before. o Students were too shy as they were freshmen in university. They were passive and afraid to talk in front of the whole class. Those problems were solved by teachers with many different ways. The simplest solution was paraphrasing the questions and explanations in more familiar words to students. To some teachers, it was also a good way to “wake the lazy students up by asking them a lot of questions. If they still seem not to cooperate, ignore them but warn them that they will be called more in next lessons.” “The important thing is making the questions interesting to call for students’ attention”. When students still could not understand what teachers wanted to explain, using Vietnamese was the best solutions to all teachers.
4.4. Conclusive remarks In short, Eliciting techniques were fully exploited in Reading classes to raise the inspiration together with the comprehension of first-year students in Reading classes. Those techniques were believed and proved to be effective and beneficial to both students and teachers despite some inevitable difficulties in teaching which was overcome by simple but useful solutions.
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CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSION
Previous chapters have thoroughly elaborated on the introduction, the literature, the implementation and the results of the research. Finally, this concluding chapter will summarize and evaluate the outcomes of the whole paper by summing up the findings, limitations, contributions of the research as well as putting forward several suggestions for further studies. 5.1. Major findings of the research On the whole, this research paper performs as a fairly comprehensive study on the exploitation of Eliciting techniques in teaching Reading for the firstyear students at ULIS. Through the analysis and discussion of data collected from classroom observation, interviews and questionnaires, significant findings concerning the research questions were revealed as follows: Firstly, the study confirmed that Eliciting techniques have been widely used by teachers in Reading classes including: - Asking questions - Giving examples - Linking the ideas of the text with SS’ background knowledge / daily life - Using group discussions - Using Vietnamese - Using visual aids - Giving definitions of words/ terms / concepts in Reading text - Using games/ quizzes These techniques were mixed to make the lesson more attractive and more comprehensible to the students.
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Secondly, the research also revealed that those eliciting techniques applied were effective in all stages of a Reading classes which are: pre-, while-, and post-reading. In the first stage, Elicitation was the most common and useful way to lead students in the lessons. The students were quite interested in the activities like games, answering the questions on background knowledge of discussing the definitions of the given terms. Next, in while-reading stage, the teachers exploited Eliciting techniques like group discussion, asking questions and linking ideas to involve students in the lesson. The result was that they all found it easier to understand the text and do the comprehension exercises. The elicitation was also proved to be of good use in the last stage since it encouraged students to dig deeper in the main issues discussed in the text and link them with their own experiences to make them much easier to remember. Thanks to the techniques of Eliciting, the students were able to fully understand the Reading texts and do the task better. Lastly, the study showed that all the teachers had positive attitude toward using Eliciting techniques in Reading classes since they clearly aware of their advantages. However, it is inevitable for the teachers to encounter many problems when applying those techniques in teaching depending on the level and characteristics of the students. Fortunately, those problems have been realized and solved by different ways including: - paraphrasing the questions, trying to make them interesting to students - explaining from the most general point to the most detailed one - warming up the atmosphere by games and jokes - using Vietnamese Those solutions were warmly welcomed by the students since they made the lessons funnier and more comprehensible.
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5.2. Pedagogical implications of the research Conducting this study, the researcher would like to acknowledge that Eliciting techniques have been effectively exploited by the teachers in the Faculty of English Language Teacher Education, ULIS. Their efforts, which principally aimed at enhancing students’ comprehension ability and warm the atmosphere of their Reading classes, had been initial but significant steps towards better achievement of teaching Reading comprehension. However, there existed some obstacles which were disagreed by the interviewed teachers and students. They are thus open for solutions suggested by the researcher. Firstly, some teachers were not well aware of the benefits of using Elicitation in their Reading classes as they considered it the tool only for teaching new words and structures for the students. As a result, many techniques supposed to be employed as Eliciting techniques have been ignored by them since they thought that they are time-consuming and boring if being exploited all the time. This can demotivate both the teachers and students in teaching and learning English. Moreover, some of the techniques commented by students as quite effective are also hardly employed by the teacher, such as using visual aids, using games or explaining in Vietnamese. The solution in this case may depend on the flexibility of the teachers. The more various techniques they use, the more interested their students would be. Changing the types of questions and games successively is the best way to encourage students to concentrate on the lessons. Mixing two, three or even more techniques together is also a wise alternative in teaching. That may heighten the student’s attention and understanding ability consequently. Secondly, the effectiveness of the Eliciting techniques employed in Reading sessions perceived by the students and teachers is different. Almost all the teachers believed that the techniques they used in class were quite suitable for
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students’ needs and level; however, students did not totally agree as they found those Eliciting techniques more suitable for other skills, Speaking and Writing for example. The reason for this phenomenon was that the teachers did not clarify the objectives of the tasks they use for students. Even though students all enjoyed the activities organised in class, they found them not quite useful in studying. They did not fully understand the reasons why they should do those tasks, thus their effort is all put into playing, ignoring the messages of teachers from those activities. This may form a bad habit for students which is being lazy in thinking or brainstorming, and the time they learn in class become useless. This problem can be easily solved by providing the students the implied aims after each Eliciting tasks that teachers assign. Especially, to the point of the students who are studying to be a teacher, it can be a good way to “kill two birds with one stone”: First, the students will not miss the necessary information that teachers want to convey; Second, they also learn how to organise and control class, how to make use of the planned activities in class as they are teachers-to-be. Finally, Eliciting can also be applied when teachers assign the exercises for the students. As investigated through the teachers and students interviews, one of the assignments of the first-year students in the Faculty of English Language Teacher Education is the Reading Portfolio. In this portfolio, students are supposed to collect one piece of reading text weekly, the content of which depends on the topics in Reading syllabus. This is a good opportunity for the learners to get more background knowledge as well as the vocabulary and interesting structures. Yet it seems to be rather unfamiliar with the teachers since they let students search and reflect on the texts of free choice. Take the chances and get students ready for the lessons by preparing with their homework and the result of the lessons is surely better.
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5.3. Contributions of the research Overall, the research could be considerably helpful for teachers as well as researchers working on the related studies. As for the teachers, the study explores the ways that Elicitation is used to involve the students in Reading sessions. Therefore, the paper first and foremost would help teachers to become more aware of Eliciting as a meaningful alternative. Secondly, the study provides teachers with some suggestions and ideas so that they could take their own initiatives to effectively exploit Elicitation according to their own classroom situations. Finally, with regard to researchers, those who happen to develop an interest in this topic or language teaching and learning of EFL could certainly rely on this research to find reliable and useful information for their related studies in the future.
5.4. Limitations of the research Despite considerable efforts of the researcher, certain limitations could be detected in this study due to time constraint and other unexpected factors. First and foremost, this study involved relatively few participants (22 teachers and 40 students), which might affect the representativeness of the sample. The expected teachers are 30 people in the English Division 1 of ULIS, however, due to some reasons of studying abroad or even not being interested in the topic, some of them refused to take part in the research. Some others who have agreed to be the participants of the study but they are not quite involved in the research topic so that the interviews are not equally effective.
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Secondly, time and scope of the study also did not allow the research sample to be expanded, as all the Reading classes are scheduled in the first two periods of Monday and Friday afternoon. As a result, number of observed classes is limited. Researcher tried to enrich data by reducing the frequency of observing to once for each classes so that the number of observed classes is maximized. Yet, it becomes another limitation of this study since the data collected is not constantly collected.
5.5. Suggestions for further studies On the foundation of the study’s very limitations, the researcher would suggest future studies on this matter to focus on expanding the sample size. For instance, those who wish to learn more about the exploitation of Eliciting techniques in teaching Reading could varying the sampling of participants. Specifically, teachers and students from different classrooms at various schools in Hanoi could be involved for better representativeness. Moreover, this research only research on first-year students but these techniques are widely applied in almost all the Reading classes, including the classes in highschools. Larger samples, in other words, would help to explore a wider variety of techniques applied by the teachers to exploit Elicitation in reading task authenticity in their classrooms. Moreover, since the paper placed its focus on teachers’ perception of Eliciting in Reading classes, other researchers may wish to evidence the effectiveness of these tasks, which is perceived by students. This may require experimental studies which compare the effects of the lessons with Elicitation and the lessons without Elicitation on different groups of students and their language learning. Expectedly, the results of such studies would be extremely helpful in
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encouraging teachers to consider a further exploitation of Eliciting in EFL in Vietnam. Additionally, as this paper revolves around reading activities, further research could expand this scope to other language skills, including Listening, Writing and Speaking. In this way, it might be easier and more accurate to examine the effects of Eliciting on the language learning curriculum as a whole.
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Anderson, N. (2003). Reading. In D. Nunan (Ed.), Practical English language teaching (p.67-86). China: McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc and Higher Education Press. Anderson, N.J., (1999). Exploring Second Language Reading: Issues and Strategies. Canada.Heinle & Heinle Publishers. Anderson, R. (1984). Role of the reader's schema in comprehension, learning, and memory. New York: Longman. Anderson, R., & Pearson, P. D. (1984). A schematheoretic view of basic processes in reading comprehension. New York: Longman. Bouma. E. (2000). Using definitions as a teaching tools. Retrieved March 5, 2010 from http://eng.1september.ru/2000/no26_3.htm Byrnes, H. (1998). Modules for the professional preparation of teaching assistants in foreign languages. Washington, DC: Center for Applied Linguistics. Canale, M., & Swain, M. (1980). Theoretical bases of communicative approaches to second language teaching and testing. Applied Linguistics , 1, p.1-47. Case. A. (2009). The advantages and disadvantages of eliciting in the EFL classroom. Retrieved February 27, 2010 from http://www.usingenglish.com/teachers/articles/advantagesdisadvantages-eliciting-in-efl-classroom.html Celce-Murcia, M., Dornyei, Z., & Thurrell, S. (1995). Communicative competence: A pedagogically motivated model with content specifications. Applied linguistics, 6 (2), p.5-53.
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Chu. T. H. M. (2009). Techniques teachers use to elicit grade-10 students’ talk in upper secondary schools in Hanoi. Unpublished research paper for Degree of bachelor of Art. Hanoi: ULIS-VNUH Cohen, A. D., & Aphek, E. (1980). Retention of second language vocabulary over time: investigating the role of mnemonic associations. System , 8 (3), p.221-235. Darn, S. (2010). Asking Questions. Retrieved March 5, 2010 from http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/think/articles/asking-questions Darn, S. (2009). Eliciting. Retrieved February 20, 2010 from http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/think/articles/eliciting Developing Reading Activities. Retrieved February 20, 2010 from http://www.nclrc.org/essentials/reading/developread.htm Doff, A. (1988). Teaching English: A Training Course for Teacher. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Ersoz. A. (2000). Six games for the EFL/ ESL classroom. The internet TESL journal (Vol 6). Retrieved April 7, 2010 from http://www.teflgames.com/why.html ESLFocus Teacher Expert (2009). Techniques for Eliciting. Retrieved March 18, 2010, from http://www.eslfocus.com/articles/techniques_for_eliciting_-445.html Goals and Techniques for teaching Reading. Retrieved February 22, 2010, from http://www.nclrc.org/essentials/reading/goalsread.htm Harmer, J. (1998). How to Teach English: An Introduction to the Practice of English Language Teaching. Hong Kong: Pearson Education.
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Harmer, J. (2001). The Practice of English Laguage Teaching (3rd Edition). Malaysia: Pearson Education. Hedge, T. (2000). Teaching and learning in the language classroom. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Hymes, D. (1971). On Communicative competence. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press. Konopka, G. (1968). A brief note on the differential use of group discussion. The Social Service Review (Vol. 32), p.287 – 289. The University of Chicago Press. Mohamad, A. (1999, December 12). What Do We Test When We Test Reading Comprehension? The Internet TESL Journal, V (12). Retrieved March 22, 2010, from http://iteslj.org/Techniques/Mohamad-TestingReading.html Nguyen, T. M. (2008). Research Methodology (Coursebook). ULIS – VNUH. Nunan, D. (1989). Designing tasks for the communicative classroom. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Nunan, D. (2003). Practical English Laguage Teaching. New York: McGraw Hill/ Comtemporary. Nunan, D. (1988). The learner centered curriculum. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Nuttal, C. (1989). Teaching reading skills in a foreign language, Heiemann. Richards, J. (2005). Communicative Language Teaching Today. Retrieved March 27, 2010, from
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http://www.cambridge.com.mx/site/EXTRAS/jack-CD.pdf Richards, J.C. (1997). From reader to reading teacher – Issues and Strategies for second language classroom. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Richards, J., & Rodgers, T. (1986). Approaches and Methods in Language Teaching. New York: Cambridge University Press. Robinson, G. (1993). Learning to read English as a second language: the interactive nature of reading and the implications of this for comprehension. The Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, 16 (3). Singer, H. (1978). Active comprehension: From answering to asking questions. JSTOR: The Reading Teacher (Vol. 31). pp. 901-908. Retrieved March 27, 2010 from http://www.jstor.org/pss/20194673 Tanner, R. (1998). Tasks for Teachers Education: E Reflective Approach. Essex: Addition Wesley Longman. To, T. H., Nguyen, T. M., & Nguyen, T. T. (2008). ELT Methodology I Course book. Hanoi: ULIS-VNUH. To, T. H., Nguyen, T. M., Nguyen, T. T., Nguyen, H. M., & Luong, Q. T. (2009). ELT Methodology II Course book. Hanoi: ULIS-VNUH. William.E. (1984). Reading in the classroom. London: Macmillan. Wright. A., Betteridge, D., & Buckby. M. (1984). Games for language learning. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
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Appendix 1. Observation scheme Appendix 2. Samples of observation scheme Appendix 3. Questions for interview Appendix 4. Questionnaire form
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The Exploitation of Eliciting Techniques to Enhance the Reading Comprehension ability for The First-year Students at ULIS Date: …………....... (week…..) / Time: …………………./ Class: …………../ Skills: …………………………………………………………..... Students’ reaction 5 4 3 2 1 Students’ response BefoAfter re Notes
Time Activities PreWhil ePostBack Kno
Teachers’ Aim Voca Ques Othe Ideas b Ans rs
Using visual aids
Linking ideas/ concepts
Discussing in pairs/ groups
Using examples Others (specified)
Note: Students’ Reaction: Excited – Willing/Eager – Neutral – Indifferent (Passive) – Silent (5 1) Students’ Response: Understand: O – Not understand: X Back Kno: Background Knowledge Vocab: Vocabulary explanation Ques Ans: Questions – Answers part (exercises)
TEACHERS 1. Do you think that you should use Eliciting Techniques in your class? Why (Why not?) 2. Do you plan to use eliciting techniques when you prepare for the lessons? (When you write the Lesson Plan for example?) 3. Can you give some comments on Ss's reactions/response to your ways of eliciting? + Good (Ss understand) --> What might be the reasons? + Bad (Ss still confuse) --> What might be the problems? (Current situations) 4. Do you have difficulties in using eliciting techniques? What are they? (In general?) 5. What might be the solutions for those problems?
STUDENTS 1. Do you have any comments on Reading lesson you just had? Do you understand all the terms or explanation of the teachers? 2. I can see that in the lesson, T used _________ (the techniques used by teachers), do you like it? (Yes/No, why and how?) 3. Do you think that way of teaching help you understand the lesson better? Why and how? (Compare the result of the exercises you did before and after listening to teachers’ elicitation and guide) 4. Do you like that way of teaching? What can you benefit/ gain from it?
The Exploitation of Eliciting Techniques to Enhance the Reading Comprehension ability for The First-year Students at ULIS
Dear teachers, my name is Vu Thu Thuy, from 06.1.E1. I am conducting a research on teachers’ use of Eliciting Techniques in Reading classes to enhance first-year students’ reading comprehension. I would like to ask for your help by answering these following questions concerning the English teaching. Your sincere answers will contribute greatly to the result of this research. They will be treated with strictest confidence. Thank you very much! ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Please tick on the options which are true to you. You can choose more than one option for each question. 1. How do you consider the importance of Eliciting in Reading, compared with Eliciting in other skills? (Speaking, Writing or Listening) More important Less important Same level 2. Which activities do you use as Eliciting tools in Reading classes? Asking questions Using visual aids Giving definitions Linking ideas/concepts in the text with students’ background knowledge Using examples Letting students work in groups Others (Please specify) ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ 3. How do you often prepare for using Eliciting in your Reading class? Plan in the Lesson Plan (Note down in paper) Plan in mind (which techniques to use, where and when to use them)
Think of some general ideas which may need eliciting (no specific tool/ technique) Ignore it (depending on the situations in class to adjust the way of teaching/explaining) Other ways (Please specify) ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ 4. What are your aim(s) in using Eliciting in teaching Reading? To explore students’ background knowledge To build up students’ vocabulary To help students get the needed ideas of the text To guide students to do exercises To check the exercises Others (Please specify) ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ 5. How do you assess the effectiveness of the Eliciting techniques you use in Reading class? By checking the exercises By checking students’ answers to your questions By asking “Do you understand?” No checking Other ways (Please specify) ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ 6. How is students’ response while you use Eliciting in teaching Reading? (in general/ most of the time) 5……4……3……2……1 Excited – Willing/Eager – Neutral – Indifferent (Passive) – Silent (5 1)
7. If your answer for Q6 is from 1 to 3, what do you think is the reason(s) for that situation? Reasons The topic is too difficult for students to understand Solutions
The way of eliciting is not suitable with students
Students do not cooperate with teachers (students’ attitude)
Others (Please specify)
8. What are the benefit(s) of using Eliciting in teaching Reading? It helps students get more background knowledge on studying theme. It gives students chances to speak and practice expressing thoughts in English. It leads students to the main problems/ issues of the lesson more easily. It makes students brainstorm and concentrate more on the lesson. It can help teachers check students’ understanding of a certain issue. It is a good way to inspire students in learning and involving in the lesson. It creates funny and friendly class atmosphere. Others (Please specify) ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________
9. Do you have any difficulties in using Eliciting techniques in teaching Reading? (In general) YES NO If your answer is YES, what are the difficulties? The topic is too difficult for teachers to elicit and explain to students The way of eliciting is not suitable with students Students cannot understand what teachers are asking/explaining (students’ ability) Students do not cooperate with teachers (students’ attitude) Others (Please specify) ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________
10. The solutions for those problems would be: _______________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________
Thank you for your cooperation!
Your name: Class teaching:
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