VIETNAM NATIONAL UNIVERSITY, HANOI UNIVERSITY OF LANGUAGES & INTERNATIONAL STUDIES

THE FACULTY OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHER EDUCATION

NGUYỄN HỒNG NGỌC

THE SELECTION OF AUTHENTIC TEXTS FOR READING REFLECTION ACTIVITY OF SECOND-YEAR MAINSTREAM STUDENTS AT FELTE, ULIS, VNU

SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF BACHELOR OF ARTS (TEFL)

Hanoi, May 2011

VIETNAM NATIONAL UNIVERSITY, HANOI UNIVERSITY OF LANGUAGES & INTERNATIONAL STUDIES
THE FACULTY OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHER EDUCATION

NGUYỄN HỒNG NGỌC

THE SELECTION OF AUTHENTIC TEXTS FOR READING REFLECTION ACTIVITY OF SECOND-YEAR MAINSTREAM STUDENTS AT FELTE, ULIS, VNU

SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF BACHELOR OF ARTS (TEFL)

SUPERVISOR: KHOA ANH VIỆT, M.A.

Hanoi, May 2011

ACCEPTANCE
I hereby state that I: Nguyễn Hồng Ngọc, K41-E1, being a candidate for the degree of Bachelor of Arts (TEFL) accept the requirements of the College relating to the retention and use of Bachelor’s Graduation Paper deposited in the library. In terms of these conditions, I agree that the origin of my paper deposited in the library should be accessible for the purposes of study and research, in accordance with the normal conditions established by the librarian or the care, loan or reproduction of the paper.

May 4th 2011

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
To complete this paper, firstly, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to my supervisor Mr. Khoa Anh Việt, M.A. for very valuable guidance and enthusiastic support. I also would love to send my heartfelt thanks to Ms. Nguyễn Minh Huệ, M.A. and Ms. Phạm Minh Tâm, M.Ed. for their priceless pieces of advice. Without them, I would encounter enormous number of difficulties when carrying out this research. I would like to thank all the second-year mainstream students who were willing to participate in my study. Especially, I am totally grateful to three cases: Student I, Student II and Student III for their willingness to provide me with precious information during the interviews. Without them, I would not have been able to complete this thesis. Last but not least, I would like to give my sincere thanks to my classmates at K41-E1 who have always encouraged me during the time this research was conducted.

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ABSTRACT
In the context of Faculty of English Language Teacher Education, students’ extensive reading is instructed, controlled and evaluated through Reading Reflection activity. In this task, they are encouraged to choose authentic texts since this type of texts can provide incredibly valuable language in real-life communication. As one of the first studies on students’ selection of authentic materials, this paper presents both important factors of authentic texts affecting students’ choices of materials for Reading Reflection and also the hindrances to their selecting procedures. By identifying these factors and hindrances, the researcher hopes to offer useful suggestions to improve the current situation. To achieve these aims, 3 cases out of 176 second-year mainstream students were deliberately chosen and investigated. It was indicated in this qualitative research that cases with lower English competence and little interest in Reading Reflection paid more attention to the readability, the appropriate length and content of authentic texts while the student with better English academic records and more interest in reading reflection greatly considered the exploitability, the sources as well as the writing styles of those texts. Moreover, these subjects overcame various hindrances before coming up to their final decisions. Those hindrances mostly came from disorganized sources of texts, low English competence, limited background knowledge, lack of guidance, lack of critical thinking, lack of study skills and lack of time. Thus, to minimize the hindrances to the students’ procedures of selecting authentic materials, teachers’ more thorough and passionate guidance was highly recommended together with learners’ habits of reading more frequently.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
TABLE OF CONTENTS Acknowledgements Abstract List of tables, figures and abbreviations CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION 1.1. Statement of the problem and rationale for the study 1.2. Aims of the study and research questions 1.3. Significance of the study 1.4. Scope of the study 1.5. Methods of the study 1.6. An overview of the rest of the paper CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW 2.1. Definitions of key terms 2.1.1. Reading 2.1.1.1. Definitions of reading 2.1.1.2. Reading purposes 2.1.1.3. Intensive reading vs. Extensive reading in L2 classrooms 2.1.1.4. Reading reflection 13 9 9 9 10 11 1 4 5 6 6 7 PAGE
ii iii vii

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2.1.2. Authenticity 2.1.2.1. Definitions of authenticity 2.1.2.2. Types of authenticity 2.1.3. Texts 2.1.4. Authentic texts 2.2. Advantages and disadvantages of using authentic texts 2.2.1. Advantages 2.2.2. Disadvantages 2.3. Related studies 2.3.1. An overview of related studies worldwide 2.3.1.1. Sources of authentic texts 2.3.1.2. Other important factors in selecting authentic texts 2.3.2. An overview of related studies in Vietnam CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGY 3.1. Research design 3.2. Setting of the study 3.3. Sampling and participants 3.3.1. Sampling method 3.3.2. Participants 3.4. Research Instruments

14 14 14 16 17 18 18 21 22 23 23 23 26

28 29 31 31 34 35

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3.4.1. Questionnaire 3.4.1.1 Reasons for using Questionnaire 3.4.1.2. Questionnaire Content and Format 3.4.2. Interviews 3.4.2.1. Reasons for using Interviews 3.4.2.2. Interview Content and Format 3.5. Procedures 3.5.1. Data collection 3.5.2. Data analysis CHAPTER 4: RESULTS AND DISCUSSION 4.1. Case analysis – Student I 4.1.1. Background information 4.1.2. Factors of authentic texts affecting the selection of Student I 4.1.3. Hindrances to Student I when selecting authentic texts 4.2. Case analysis - Student II 4.2.1. Background information 4.2.2. Factors of authentic texts affecting the selection of Student II 4.2.3. Hindrances to Student II when selecting authentic texts 4.3. Case analysis – Student III

35 35 35 36 36 38 39 39 41

43 43 45

47 50 50 51

53 55

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4.3.1. Background information 4.3.2. Factors of authentic texts affecting the selection of Student III 4.3.3. Hindrances to Student III when selecting authentic texts CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSION 5.1. Summary of findings 5.2. Implications for more effective selections of authentic texts for Reading Reflection activity 5.3. Limitations of the study 5.4. Suggestions for further studies REFERENCES APPENDICES APPENDIX 1: APPENDIX 2: APPENDIX 3: Questionnaire – Vietnamese version Questionnaire – English version Semi-structured interview schedules – Vietnamese version APPENDIX 4: APPENDIX 5: APPENDIX 6: APPENDIX 7:

55 57

59

61 62

65 66

Semi-structured interview schedules – English version Transcription of the interviews Guidelines for Reading Reflection Samples of authentic texts for Reading Reflection

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LIST OF TABLES, FIGURES AND ABBREVIATIONS
Lists of tables Tables Table 1. The differences between extensive and intensive reading (Yáng, 2007, p. 13) Table 2. Authentic materials vs. Non-authentic materials (Miller, 2003, p. 33) Table 3. Advantages & Disadvantages of Authentic Reading Materials (Berardo, 2006, p. 65) Table 4. Important Factors in Choosing Authentic Reading Materials (Berardo, 2006, p. 63) Table 5. Basic information about three participants 34 25 22 17 Page 12

List of figures Figures Figure 1. Types of texts selected by the second-year mainstream students for Reading Reflection Figure 2. The number of difficulties second-year mainstream students have encountered when selecting authentic texts for Reading Reflection Figure 3. Important factors of authentic texts affecting Student I’s selection of materials for Reading Reflection Figure 4. Student I’s hindrances when selecting authentic texts 49 47 4 Page 3

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Figure 5. Important factors of authentic texts affecting Student II’s selection of materials for Reading Reflection Figure 6. Student II’s hindrances when selecting authentic texts Figure 7. Important factors of authentic texts affecting Student III’s selection of materials for Reading Reflection Figure 8. Student III’s hindrances when selecting authentic texts List of abbreviations FELTE, ULIS, VNU

53

55

59

60

Faculty of English Language Teacher Education, University of Languages and International Studies, Vietnam National University

L1 L2 TEFL

First Language Second Language Teaching English as Foreign Language

.

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CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION
This first chapter states the problem and the rationale of the study, together with the aims, the objectives, the scope and the significance of the whole paper. Above all, the research questions are identified to function as the goals of the whole research. 1.1. Statement of the problem and the rationale for the study In every civilization, reading is a crucial activity. It is the method to share and acquire knowledge. On describing the popularity of reading, Anderson (2003, p. 64) states that “the modern world is filled with materials for reading”. They are newspapers, magazines and books; they also can be advertisements or the labels in the products people buy. In foreign language teaching and learning, along with speaking, listening and writing, reading is also an essential skill. According to Anderson (2003), teaching reading usually has at least two aspects. The first aspect is to teach the one who is learning to read at the first time. The second aspect “refers to teaching learners who already have reading skills in their first language” (p. 68). In other words, learners will learn how to transfer skills they have known to the new reading context in a new language. In foreign language classrooms, learners can practice intensive reading or extensive reading. While intensive reading focuses more on language and reading skills inside classrooms, extensive reading often focuses on the meaning of what is being read rather than on the language. It is widely believed that people become good readers through reading, and that learning how to read should mean a focus of attention on the meaning rather than the language of the text. Moreover, nowadays,
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learners have been taught not only to improve reading skills but also to emphasize on personal development. For this purpose, extensive reading is carried out outside the class, and that raises a question of how to control the development of learners. Reading reflection activity has been widely applied to answer this question. Wirth (2008, as cited in Pham, 2010) claims that Reading Reflections involve a range of higher order thinking skills. In this activity, students are asked to summarize the content of the reading (understand), describe what is new or interesting (analyze, evaluate, create), and identify those parts of the reading that are confusing (analyze, evaluate). The Faculty of English Language Teacher Education, University of Languages and International Studies has applied this activity in the curriculum for teaching reading skills. Students are asked to do Reading Reflection from the first year to the third year. However, during the process of completing Reading Reflection, students have encountered many difficulties and been confused about their self-improvements. For this activity, students have to decide on their own materials to summarize and reflect. They are encouraged to find texts about up-to-date topics from a variety of sources. When being asked, 168 out of 176 second-year mainstream students admitted that they did not use texts in any textbooks for their reflections. Instead, they selected real-life texts from magazines, newspapers or other Internet sources which are in general called authentic materials. The researcher has asked 176 participants whether they used authentic texts for Reading Reflection or not. The figure below describes their answers.

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Figure 1. Types of texts selected by the second-year mainstream students for Reading Reflection

It is the fact that giving students chances to select their own studying materials has increased students’ active learning which according to Pritchard (2005), is one of the best learning methods because of students’ engagement and contribution to the lessons. Moreover, students’ selection of authentic texts is also an opportunity for them to improve reading skills and especially critical reading since students are likely to give comments on the authors’ opinions stated in the texts, and justify whether their arguments are persuasive or not in their Reading Reflections. However, the difficulties in choosing authentic materials in teaching and learning language have been widely affirmed. The figure below describes the extent of the number of difficulties that the secondyear students who have filled in the questionnaires have encountered when selecting authentic reading materials for Reading Reflection:

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Figure 2. The number of difficulties second-year mainstream students have encountered when selecting authentic texts for Reading Reflection

These dominant facts have encouraged the researcher’s desire to carry out a multiple-case study on the selection of authentic texts for Reading Reflection of second-year mainstream students at FELTE, ULIS, VNU. It is highly expected that the special features of authentic materials as well as the variety of each case’s attributes will be presented and associated to reveal valuable contributions to the teaching and learning of English reading skills at FELTE, ULIS, VNU. 1.2 Aims of the study and research questions In this research, firstly, the researcher desires to find out the factors of authentic texts which influence students’ selection of materials for Reading Reflection activity. Secondly, this will be an opportunity for targeted students to share their hindrances during the process of choosing authentic texts for Reading Reflection activity.

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In brief, the aims of the study can be addressed by two following questions: 1. Which factors of authentic texts have second-year mainstream students considered when selecting materials for Reading Reflection activity? 2. What are the hindrances to the students’ selection of authentic texts for Reading Reflection activity? 1.3. Significance of the study Once having been completed, this research would serve as one of the initial studies on students’ decision on their own study materials. As the benefits of active learning have been widely recognized, the investigation on factors and hindrances affecting students’ procedure of selecting study materials could provide an in-depth understanding of the current situation, and then more pedagogical suggestions might be revealed. Hopefully, this study might be particularly practical and useful for teachers and students at FELTE, ULIS, VNU. In addition, “real” language exposure with variation being reflected in authentic materials has made them very useful for language learners to communicate in real life. In this study, three focal cases have been carefully chosen to present the clear cut instance of the phenomenon. Other students can partly find themselves in these cases. And then, the association among different facets could be found out for students to acknowledge and overcome their obstacles. As a result, students would be more confident to acquire more useful language to communicate successfully outside classrooms.

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1.4. Scope of the study As the aims of the research have been clearly stated, instead of studying the whole process of students’ completion of Reading Reflection, the researcher places a strong focus on their selection of authentic text for Reading Reflection activity. The primary concerns will be factors of authentic texts affecting the students’ selection of materials for Reading Reflection activity. In other words, while there are many factors influencing students’ choices, the researcher’s concentrations are only striking features within an authentic text. Moreover, it should be mentioned that the research is conducted in the context FELTE, ULIS, VNU where Reading Reflection activity has some particular requirements. These special requirements have also led in particular demands of materials (The requirements of materials for Reading Reflection can be seen in Appendix 6). Lastly, it is noteworthy that the samples in this study were restricted to second-year mainstream students at FELTE, ULIS, VNU. Although 176 students from 11 mainstream classes filled in the questionnaires, only 3 of them were chosen to distribute to the findings of this paper. 1.5. Methods of the study In this paper, multiple-case study method which bases on indepth investigations of some individuals was applied. First, the questionnaires were distributed to 11 classes with about 220 students so that the researcher could reach suitable cases more easily. Finally, 176 out of 220 questionnaires were collected. After the research analyzed the data in the questionnaires, three second-year mainstream students were
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deliberately chosen. Once these students agreed to participate in the research, individual semi-structured interviews were conducted in order to explore valuable information about the phenomenon. This method helped the researcher to understand the situation from the viewpoints of the insiders. It should be noted that the questions in the questionnaires as well as the framework of the interviews were considered meticulously through the piloting procedure so that no crucial point would be omitted. After the three interviews had been completed, the researcher transcribed the collected data in detail. The basic information of cases was also gathered from both questionnaires and interviews. To answer two research questions, the researcher analyzed cases one by one. Comparison and contrast among cases were emphasized to reveal the most significant distinctions of second-year mainstream students’ selection of authentic materials for Reading Reflection. 1.6. An overview of the rest of the paper The rest of this research is divided into five chapters: Chapter 2 (Literature Review) provides the background of the study including definitions of key terms and discussion of related studies in the world and in Vietnam about issues to be considered when selecting authentic materials. Chapter 3 (Methodology) firstly states the research design and the setting in which this research was conducted. In this chapter, the researcher also describes the sampling method, the participants and the instruments employed to carry out the paper. Finally, the detailed procedures of data collection and data analysis are presented step by step with exact dates and numbers.
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Chapter 4 (Results and discussion) presents, analyzes and discusses the results that the researcher have found out from all collected data in accordance with two research questions. Chapter 5 (Conclusion) summarizes the major findings of the research. In this chapter, the researcher presents some pedagogical recommendations for both teachers and learners, and also points out the limitations of the studies as well as some suggestions for further studies. Conclusive Remarks In this chapter, the researcher has elaborated on these following points (1) Statement and rationale for the study (2) Aims and objectives of the study (3) Significance of the study (4) Scope of the study (5) Methods of the study (6) An overview of the rest of the study Generally speaking, these elaborations have not only justified the major contents and structure of the study but will also work as the guidelines for the rest of the paper.

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CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW
The second chapter reviews the literature of the study, especially a number of related studies to the research topic. Firstly, the important key terms, namely “reading” and “text and authentic texts” will be provided. The advantages and disadvantages of authentic texts also will be pointed out. Finally, the researcher gives out an overview of related studies worldwide and in Vietnam. 2.1. Definitions of key terms 2.1.1. Reading 2.1.1.1. Definitions of reading According to Anderson (2003, pp. 67-68), reading is a fluent process in which readers combine “information from a text and their own background knowledge to build meaning”. He emphasizes that reading is “…an enjoyable, intense, private activity, from which much pleasure can be derived, and in which one can become totally absorbed”, and comprehension of the text is the purpose of this process. Hafner & Jolly (1982) defines reading as a process of converting written language symbols into the direct or implied symbols which could be understood by the readers. That requires readers and writers to have certain neutral amount of knowledge so that comprehension could be achieved. To be more simple, Williams (1986, p. 2) explains that reading is “a process whereby one looks at and understands what has been written”.

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No matter what explanation is given to the term, in this paper, the researcher perceives that reading is a process in which the readers associate their background knowledge with written language for the sake of comprehension. 2.1.1.2. Reading purposes Reading can be defined in different ways to different people. However, “reading always has a purpose” (Berardo, 2006, p. 61). The reasons for reading depend very much on the purposes for reading. Wallace (1992, pp. 6-7) gives out three main purposes of reading: “for survival, for learning or for pleasure”. “Reading for survival” is considered to be in response to our environment, to find out information and can include street signs, advertising, and timetables… It depends very much on the day-to-day needs of the readers and often involves an immediate response to a situation. In contrast, “reading for learning” is considered to be the type of reading done in the classroom and is goalorientated while “reading for pleasure” is something that does not have to be done. For Nuttall (1996, as cited in Richard, 2001, p. 52) the central ideas behind reading are: - The idea of meaning - The transfer of meaning from one mind to another - The transfer of a message from writer to reader - How we get meaning by reading - How the reader, the writer and the text all contribute to the process.

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2.1.1.3. Intensive reading vs. Extensive reading in L2 classrooms Though there are many different reading styles, this part only focuses on Intensive reading and Extensive reading in L2 classrooms because of the nature of Reading Reflection activity. Day and Bamford (1997, as cited in Tran, 2009) define that in L2 classrooms, intensive reading is used to digest short foreign language texts with the aim of complete and detailed understanding in terms of its components. Intensive reading has usually been used in classrooms to help learners to develop reading skills such as identifying main ideas, reading for details, recognizing text connectors… On contrary, extensive reading is related to reading longer texts, usually for one’s own pleasure (Grellet, 1981). In other words, extensive reading could, according to Levis and Hill (1992), be defined as the reading process in which students have basic information of the texts without understanding every detail. Day and Bamford (1997, as cited in Tran, 2009), extensive reading supplies students with the dynamics of reading when the students practice it in reality. They list ten characteristics discovered in crucial programs for extensive reading in L2 classrooms: - Students read as much as possible, perhaps in and definitely out of the classrooms. - A variety of materials on a wide range of topics is available so as to encourage students to read for different reasons and in different ways. - Students themselves decide what they want to read and have the rights to stop reading material that fails to interest them.
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- The purposes of reading are usually related to pleasure, information and general understanding. These purposes are determined by the nature of the materials and the interests of the student. - Reading is its own reward. It means that there are few or no follow-up exercises to be completed after reading. - Reading materials are well within the linguistic competence of the students in terms of vocabulary and grammar. Dictionaries are rarely used while reading because the constant stopping to look up words makes fluent reading difficult. - Reading is individual and silent, at the student's own pace, and, outside class, done when and where the student chooses. - Reading speed is usually faster rather than slower as students read books and other material that they find easily understandable. - Teachers orient students to the goals of the program, explain the methodology, keep track of what each student reads, and guide students in getting the most out of the program. - The teacher is a role model of a reader for students - an active member of the classroom reading community, demonstrating what it means to be a reader and the rewards of being a reader. Yáng (2007, p. 13) has summarized the differences between extensive reading and intensive reading in the following table: Extensive reading Development of faster reading Intensive reading Development of specific reading skills Self-chosen reading
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materials;

authentic Teacher-assigned texts with drills

Analytical reading

Focused

development

of

vocabulary, grammar, and study skills Improved motivation for L2 reading Clearly-focused grammar Greater entertainment & enjoyment Positive effects of building up (lower anxiety & better affective basic language skills in a short time factors) Wider range reading for pleasure Understanding purpose
Table 1. The differences between extensive and intensive reading (Yáng, 2007, p. 13)

instruction

of

author’s

bias

&

In general, while intensive reading plays an important role in L2 learners’ development of language and grammar, extensive reading emphasizes on the learners’ motivation of L2 reading. In intensive reading, students have to read the materials assigned by their teachers; whereas, in extensive reading, students have to decide their own texts. 2.1.1.4. Reading reflection Reflection is a form of mental processing – like a form of thinking – which is used to fulfill a purpose or to achieve some anticipated outcome. It is applied to relatively complicated or unstructured ideas for which there is not an obvious solution and is largely based on the further processing of knowledge and understanding and possibly emotions that we already possess (Moon, 1999, as cited in Pham, 2010). According to Mertens (2001, as cited in Pham, 2010), a reflection paper can be written on an assigned piece of reading, a lecture or an experience. A reflection paper probably will be further clarified by the
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teacher or professor who assigns students to do. However, for the most part, a reflection paper cites students’ “reactions, feelings and analysis of an experience in a more personal way than in a formal research or analytical essay” (p. 14). When writing a reflection paper on literature, the point is to include readers’ thoughts and reactions. Readers can present the feelings on what they have read, analyze and explain them. Personal experience and opinions are highly recommended in a reflection paper, but the readers should not depend on it; the material themselves are the main subjects. 2.1.2. Authenticity 2.1.2.1. Definitions of authenticity The terms “authenticity” is a relative concept which is often used to describe language samples that reflect the “naturalness of form, and appropriateness of cultural and situational context” (Rogers & Medley, 1988, p. 467). In language teaching and learning authenticity refers to “genuineness, realness, truthfulness, validity, reliability, undisputed credibility, and legitimacy of materials or practices” (Tatsuki, 2006, p. 17). Widdowson (1998) refers to them as possessing “genuineness” – a characteristic of the text or the material itself (p. 616). He distinguishes between “genuineness” and “authenticity” which refers to the “uses” to which texts are put. A certain kind of authenticity is created through the interaction of the users, situations and the texts. That kind of authenticity is determined mostly by the authenticity of situation in which the language is produced as well as by the source of the sample and the purpose of the speakers.

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2.1.2.2. Types of authenticity Breen (1985) emphasizes four types of authenticity within language teaching. These types are indicated to be in continual interrelationship with one another during any language lesson. These types include: - Authenticity of the texts which are used as input data for our learners: This refers to the authentic qualities of a given text. Authentic texts for language learning are any sources of data which serves as a means to help the learner to develop an authentic interpretation. - Authenticity of the learners’ own interpretations of such texts: Learner authenticity means that the learner must discover the conventions of communication in the target language which will enable him or her to gradually come to interpret meaning within the text in ways which are likely to be shared with fluent users of the language. - Authenticity of tasks conductive to language learning: Task authenticity reflects the purpose to which language input is put. It means that the chosen tasks should involve the learners not only in authentic communication with texts and others in the classroom, but also in learning and the purpose of learning. - Authenticity of the actual social situation of the language classroom: The authenticity of the classroom is a special social event and environment wherein people share a primary communicative purpose that is learning. The authentic role of the language classroom is the provision of those conditions in which the participants can publicly share the problems, achievements and overall process of learning a language together as a social activity.
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2.1.3. Texts According to Brown and Yule (1983, p. 6, as cited in Wallace, 1992, p. 8), a text is “a verbal record of a communicative act”. Halliday and Hasan (1985, p. 10, as cited in Wallace, 1992, p. 8), in the same line of definition, describe text as language that is functional, which is “doing some job” such as persuading people to buy products or conveying New Year’s greeting. However, now the definition of Text has been widened. In the book “Materials Development in Language Teaching”, Tomlinson (1998, p. 7) has defined text as “any scripted or recorded production of a language presented to learners of that language”. A text can be in both written or spoken forms and could be, for example, a poem, a newspaper article, a passage about pollution, a song, a film, an extract from a novel or play, a passage written to exemplify the use of the past perfect, a recorded telephone conversation, a scripted dialogue or a speech by a politician. In his book, Tomlinson (1998) also gives out the definition of Material in language teaching. Material can be anything which is used by teachers or learners to “facilitate the learning of language” (p. 7). Materials can be in the form of a text book, a work book, a cassette, a CD - Rom, a video, a photocopied handout, a newspaper, a paragraph written on a whiteboard: anything which presents or informs about the language being learned. In other words, materials are everything which is “deliberately used to increase the learners’ knowledge and/or experience of the language” (Tomlinson, 1998, p. 7). The similarities between the definition of “Text” and the definition of “Material” in language teaching have made these two concepts be used

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interchangeably. In this research, the researcher used both term “Text” and “Material” with the same purposes. 2.1.4. Authentic texts The traditional definition adopted for such texts are "those which have been produced for purposes other than to teach language" (Nunan, 1988, p. 99). On the same page, Bacon & Finnemann (1990, p. 73) states that “authentic materials are texts produced by native speakers for a nonpedagogical purpose”. They are therefore written for native speakers and contain “real” language. Harmer (1991, as cited in Matsuta, para. 1) defines authentic texts as materials which are designed for native speakers. They are “…real-life texts, not written for pedagogic purposes”. They are designed not for language students, but for the speakers of the language. Authentic materials is significant since it increases students' motivation for learning, makes the learner be exposed to the “real” language as discussed by Guariento & Morley (2001, p. 347). The common in these definitions is the “exposure to real language and its use in its own community”. Rogers and Medley (1988) define it as “appropriate” and “quality” in terms of goals, objectives, learner needs and interest and “natural” in terms of real life and meaningful communication (p. 467). There are many references to authentic material in the ELT literature. Books and journals contain thorough explanations of why it should or should not be included in lessons, and how it is to be used or best exploited. But those authors who support the use of authentic material have in common one idea: "exposure”, in other words, the benefit students get from being exposed to the language in authentic materials. The definition of authentic materials used in this paper is taken from Peacock (1997, as
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cited in Richard, 2001). Authentic texts are materials that have been produced to fulfill some social purposes in the language community not for pedagogical purposes. Authentic Materials Non-Authentic Materials

Language data produced for real life They are specially designed for communication purposes. They may contain false starts, and incomplete sentences. learning purposes. The language used in them is artificial. They contain well formed sentences all the time. They are useful for improving the communicative aspects of the language.
Table 2. Authentic materials vs. Non-authentic materials (Miller, 2003, p. 33)

They are useful for teaching grammar.

2.2. Advantages and disadvantages of using authentic texts 2.2.1. Advantages The advantages of using authentic texts are undeniable; they have been confirmed clearly in many literatures. According to Martinez (2002), using authentic materials in the classroom, even when it is not in an authentic situation, still provides the learners with many significant advantages. He summarizes several benefits of using authentic materials as follows: The first one is that by using authentic materials, students are exposed to real discourse, as in videos of interview with famous people where intermediate students listen for general ideas. Secondly, authentic materials keep students informed about what is happening in the world,
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so they have an intrinsic educational value. Thirdly, as language change is reflected in the materials so that students and teachers can keep abreast of such changes. Moreover, reading texts are ideal to teach/practise mini-skills such as scanning, e.g. students are given a news article and asked to look for specific information. Different authentic materials such as books, articles, newspapers, and so on contain a wide variety of text types, and language styles not easily found in conventional teaching materials. Thus, it can help students extend their vocabulary and help memorize them in a number of meaningful recyclings. Last but not least, authentic materials can encourage reading for pleasure because they are likely to contain topics of interest to learners, especially if students are given the chance to have a say about the topics of kinds of authentic materials to be used in class. As a result, learners will keep high motivation and interesting in language learning through these meaningful interactions with the materials. With almost the same points of view, Berardor (2006) also indicates various advantages of using authentic materials, especially authentic reading materials, Authentic materials also give the reader the opportunity to gain real information and know what is going on in the world around them. They can help learners “bridge the gap from the classroom lessons to real life by making immediate use of classroom lessons in their lives” (Spelleri, 2002, p. 3). They also produce a sense of achievement. Extracting real information from a real text in a new/different language can be extremely motivating, therefore increasing students' motivation for learning by exposing them to “real” language (Guariento & Morley, 2001, p. 352). They also reflect the changes in
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language use, (again something that does not occur in textbooks, which become very dated, very quickly) as well as giving the learner the proof that the language is real and not only studied in the classroom: “Authentic texts can be motivating because they are proof that the language is used for real-life purposes by real people” (Nuttall, 1996, as cited in Richard, 2001, p. 53). The wide variety of different types of text means that it is easier to find something that will interest the learner and may even encourage further reading or reading for pleasure. An advantage of taking a complete newspaper or magazine into classroom, rather than photocopies of an article, is that students can actually choose what they want to read. The more the learner reads the better readers they will become. One of the aims of authentic materials is to help the student react in the same way L1 speakers react in their first language (L1). Learners who live in the target language environment, once outside of the classroom will encounter a variety of situations in which different reading

purposes/skills are required. We can claim that learners are being exposed to real language and they feel that they are learning the 'real' language. The main advantages of using authentic materials are (Peacock 1997, as cited in Richards, 2001, p. 54):
• • • • •

They have a positive effect on learner motivation. They provide authentic cultural information. They provide exposure to real language. They relate more closely to learners ' needs. They support a more creative approach to teaching.

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2.2.2. Disadvantages Richards (2001) points out that alongside with these advantages, authentic materials often contain difficult language, unneeded vocabulary items and complex language structures, which causes a burden for the teacher in lower-level classes. Martinez (2002) mentions that authentic materials may be too culturally biased and too many structures are mixed, causing lower levels have a hard time decoding the texts. Even if the classroom is not a “real-life” situation, authentic materials do have a very important place within it. It has been argued that by taking a text out of its original context, it loses its authenticity: “As soon as texts, whatever their original purpose, are brought into classrooms for pedagogic purposes, they have, arguably, lost

authenticity” (Richards, 2001, p. 56). Moreover, she believes that authentic materials can also become outdated very quickly. The biggest problem with authentic materials is that if the wrong type of text is chosen, the vocabulary may not be relevant to the learner’s needs and too many structures can create difficulty. There comes the question of when authentic materials should be introduced and used in a classroom; in other words, can we use authentic materials regardless of our students' level? The advantages and disadvantages of authentic materials have been summarized in the following table by Berardo (2006, p. 65): Advantages - “Real” language exposure with - Often language change/variation being reflected Disadvantages too culturally biased,

difficult to understand outside the language community

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- Students are informed about what - Vocabulary is happening in the world - The same piece of material can be used for different tasks - Ideal for teaching/practising mini skills-skimming/ scanning relevant to

might the

not

be

student's

immediate needs - Textbooks tend not to include incidental/improper English and become outdated very quickly

- Contain a wide variety of text - Too many structures are mixed types, language styles not easily found in conventional teaching materials - Encourage reading for pleasure, likely to contain topics of interest so lower levels have problems decoding the texts - Special preparation is necessary, can be time consuming - Can become outdated easily, e.g. news stories, articles.
Table 3. Advantages & Disadvantages of Authentic Reading Materials (Berardo, 2006, p. 65)

2.3. Related studies As the significance of using authentic texts has been commonly justified, there are certainly number of studies on the using of authentic texts in L2 classrooms. However, almost all of these studies justify the benefits of using authentic texts to the learners inside classrooms, and the number of papers studying important factors of authentic texts that both teachers and learners have to pay attention to when making use of those materials is even smaller.

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2.3.1. An overview of related studies worldwide 2.3.1.1. Sources of authentic texts One of the important factors when deciding to use an authentic text is its origin. Authentic texts are varied in types and forms, they can be print, audio, and visual documents created and used by native speakers. Examples include books, Web sites, articles, artwork, films, folktales, music, and advertisements. According to Berardo (2006) in the paper “The use of authentic material in teaching reading”, the sources of authentic materials that can be used are infinite but the most common are newspapers, magazines, TV programs, movies, songs and literature, especially the Internet because “whereas newspapers and any other printed material date very quickly, the Internet is continuously updated” (p. 62). The texts found on the Internet are more visually stimulating as well as interactive. He also believes that authentic materials should be the kind of material that students will need and want to be able to read when travelling, studying abroad, or using the language in other contexts outside the classroom. Authentic materials enable learners to interact with the real language and content rather than the form. Learners feel that they are learning a target language as it is used outside the classroom. Consequently, those materials should be chosen from various sources deliberately. He states that the selection of authentic materials carelessly can lead to very serious problems. 2.3.1.2. Other important factors in selecting authentic texts As the variety and availability of authentic materials have been affirmed, the selections of them should be considered very seriously.
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Nuttall (1996) in the book “Teaching Reading Skills in a foreign language” lists three main criteria when choosing texts to be used, which are “suitability of content, exploitability and readability”(p. 44). Berardo also totally shares the same point of view about these features. He indicates that the most important criterion is whether the content of the text is suitable or not. The reading materials should be first of all, relevant to courses’ objectives, then interesting and motivating to students’ needs. He also highlights “the first criterion to me is that they are motivating or that the exercises that can be done with them are motivating”. Exploitability refers to how the text can be used to “develop the students’ competence as readers”. The fact that the texts are in English does not guarantee their suitability for any language classes. Once the texts are suitable and exploitable, readability is another point to be considered. The term “readability”, according to Berardo (2006, p. 63), is used to describe the “combination of structural and lexical difficulty of a text”. The amount of new vocabulary and any new grammatical forms presented should be enough for readers to read. It is important to assess the right level for the right students. Berardo also emphasizes that “variety and presentation also influence the choice of authentic materials” (2006, p. 62). Firstly, he believes that “a reading course can be made more interesting if a variety of texts is used”. Secondly, it is also very important that whether the text looks authentic or not. The “authentic” presentation illustrated by the use of pictures, diagrams, photographs, helps to clarify the context. “This helps the reader understand not only the meaning of the text better but also how it would be used” (Berardo, 2006, p. 63). A text which is appealing to readers should not only have interesting contents but also be attractive in term of presentation.
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It may seem to be a very superficial aspect but the appearance of any article is the first thing that the student notices. An “attractive” looking article is more likely to grab the reader’s attention rather than a page full of type.

(Berardo, 2006, p. 63) Berardo (2006, p. 63) summarizes some important factors in choosing authentic reading materials in the table below: Does the text interest the student? Suitability of Content Is it relevant to the student’s needs? Does it represent the type of material that the student will use outside of the classroom? Can the text be exploited for teaching purposes? Exploitability For what purpose should the text be exploited? What skills/strategies can be developed by exploiting the text? Is the text too easy/difficult for the student? Readability Is it structurally too demanding/complex? How much new vocabulary does it contain? Is it relevant? Does it “look” authentic? Presentation Is it “attractive”? Does it grab the student’s attention? Does it make him want to read more?
Table 4. Important Factors in Choosing Authentic Reading Materials (Berardo, 2006, p. 63)

There are some other factors worth taking into consideration when selecting authentic materials. One of these factors presented in the paper “Using authentic materials in classroom” is that the authentic texts should
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not “too ephemeral” (Cook, 1981, para. 9). Cook confirms that “there is nothing worse than entirely disconnected bits of authentic language that are not linked to other aspects of the teaching. The obvious way to make this link is through themes.” 2.3.2. An overview of related studies in Vietnam In the context of Vietnam, especially at FELTE, ULIS, VNU, the researcher could find some studies related to her concerns. Tran (2009) carried out a research about “The practice of extensive reading by second year English majors at ULIS-VNUH”. In this paper, the researcher describes how second-year English majors at ULIS, VNU practice extensive reading, what kind materials and reading strategies they have employed during the process of reading extensively. Moreover, Tran also explores the purposes, the benefits as well as the difficulties of extensive reading as perceived by second year English students. Later on, another comprehensive research titled “The exploitation of reading reflection task for third year students, ULIS, VNU” conducted by Pham (2010) also points out the benefits and difficulties that students have encountered on the way of completing Reading Reflection, and the strategies they have applied to overcome those hindrances. In this research, he also emphasizes the

difficulties in selecting good materials for Reading Reflection which badly affect students’ results of Reading Reflection. Nguyen (2005) underlines the importance of using authentic materials in teaching reading skills to first-year students in Vietnam in the study “The exploitation of authentic materials in teaching reading skills for first year students in English Department, CFL – VNU”. In this research, Nguyen provided the readers with the overall picture of

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how authentic materials are exploited in several different tasks to help students to improve reading skills. There are some researches about factors that teachers have to consider when applying authentic materials in L2 classrooms. However, the researcher hardly finds any papers about important factors of authentic texts affecting students’ selection of their own materials for reading tasks in general and for Reading Reflection activity in particular. Although there are some studies concerning the difficulties when students practice extensive reading, there is no exhaustive exploration about hindrances when students have to find appropriate texts to gain better improvements. Such gap in the literature actually encouraged the researcher to conduct a study about students’ selection of authentic texts for Reading Reflection activity. Conclusive Remarks In this chapter, key terms including reading, authenticity, texts and authentic texts have been clarified. After that, a review of several studies related to this current research in the world and in Vietnam has been described. Generally, the theoretical framework presented in this study manifests the advantages and disadvantages of using authentic materials and importance factors in selecting authentic texts in L2 classroom.

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CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGY
In the preceding chapter, the literature on the research topic was briefly reviewed for the theoretical basis of the whole study. Turning to the practical side, this research was carried out with strict adherence to justified methods of data collection and analysis in order to maximize its validity and reliability. This claim would be substantiated in this chapter as, the research design, the participants, the instruments as well as the procedures of data collection and analysis are discussed in detail. 3.1. Research design Weick (1979) highlighted the three crucial goals of research which can be accomplished by applying case studies: generality, accuracy, and simplicity – in other words, the understandability of the results. According to Marshall & Rossman (1999), case studies are intended to take the readers of the research into the world of the subject(s); case studies can provide a much richer and more vivid picture of the phenomena under study than other, more analytical methods. This method is used primarily when researchers wish to obtain an in-depth understanding of a relatively small number of individuals, problems, or situations (Patton, 1990). Moreover, case studies can present the “attempts, on one hand, to arrive at a comprehensive understanding of the event under study but at the same time to develop more general theoretical statements about regularities in the observed phenomena” (Fidel, 1984, p. 274). In this study, multiple-case study method which bases on in-depth investigations of some individuals was applied. It allowed the researcher to explore the phenomenon under study through the use of a replication
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strategy. As the “high degree of completeness, depth of analysis, and readability” (Duff, 2008, p. 43) of case study has been widely approved, the researcher wished to get a better understanding of the phenomenon from the perspective of the participants, not to find out a tendency of a group. It may also reveal new perspectives of processes or experiences from participants themselves; thus, generate new hypotheses, models, and understandings about the nature of language learning. Each individual with different characteristics has different factors to consider and various difficulties when selecting texts for Reading Reflection activity. The researcher desires to explore that situation meticulously, which could be feasible only by applying qualitative method. Moreover, through this method, the researcher may gain a

sharpened understanding of why the instance happened as it did; whether there is any relationship among all these dimensions and what might become important to look at more extensively in future research. For all these reasons, qualitative multiple-case study method was applied into this current research. The researcher hopes that all efforts would present valuable findings to teaching and learning of reading skills in FELTE, ULIS, VNU. 3.2. Setting of the study The study was conducted at Faculty of English Language Teacher Education, University of Languages and International Study, Vietnam National University (FELTE, ULIS, VNU). As one of the leaders in teaching and learning foreign language, this University has applied many modern methods to improve the quality of training.

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Reading Reflection is one of the activities has been applied to encourage students to read and respond. Students are required to do Reading Reflection from the first year to third year. This fact has proved the great emphasis of this activity because students at FELTE, ULIS, VNU hardly have to do one activity during three years. This is individual work, and second-year students only have to submit one reflection for the whole semester. According to Dang – a lecturer of English Division 2 at FELTE, ULIS, VNU (personal communication, February 24, 2011), one of the very important objectives for Reading IV this semester is to help secondyear students improve their Critical Thinking skills. Reading Reflection activity is one of the activities which can help students accomplish that goal. It encourages students to read extensively and critically. For this assignment, students have to choose their own reading materials, reflect on what they have read and share their thoughts and opinions concerning the content of the materials. Reading Reflection task assignment weighs 10% of the final result for Written Communication 4 (The instruction of Reading Reflection task for second-year mainstream students at FELTE, ULIS, VNU can be found at the Appendix 6 of this paper). Students of FELTE, ULIS, VNU need to build up a high level of academic English use and a constant access to English materials for purposes of applied linguistics. Moreover, second-year mainstream students have gone through 3 semesters at FELTE, ULIS, VNU. They had completed the course of Study Skills from which they can take in a lot of experience, knowledge and strategies to study more effectively. Guiding students to select useful study materials is one of the cores of this course.

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After analyzing the questionnaires, the researcher narrowed down the potential interviewees and contacted three of them to make appointments for the interviews. Later, she worked with them in person at Block B2, ULIS and implemented three in-depth interviews, each lasting for approximately 30 minutes in their mother tongue, Vietnamese, for the sake of natural and convenient expressions. Before this, the informants were guaranteed that their answers would be treated with the strictest confidence and they were entitled to be informed about the findings of this research. 3.3. Sampling and participants 3.3.1. Sampling method Purposive sampling – extreme cases In this study, the researcher selected potential participants purposively. Purposive sampling is virtually synonymous with qualitative research (Palys, 2008). While the desired population is relatively limited in number, those who are capable of giving informative and meaningful contributions are even harder to be located, as a result of separate class distributions and different levels of interest to the topic. Hence, only through purposive sampling that the researcher can seek out rich sources of information and carry out in-depth analysis of the issue being discussed. First, the questionnaire was distributed to second-year mainstream students to provide the researcher with their important personal information. The researcher chose cases representing a range of attributes, with differences in terms of variable criteria. The cases selection was based on extreme and multiple-case sampling with
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contrasting cases. The researcher chose this sampling method because it “represents the purest or most clear cut instance of a phenomenon” that the researcher was interested in (Palys, 2008). To be more specific, various cases with unlike conditions of studying, learning styles and characteristics expose particular choices of authentic texts. The extreme cases sampling method was applied as the researcher expects to see the clearest differences among second-year mainstream students’ selection of authentic reading materials by analyzing the most contrasting cases. The cases who have selected authentic texts for Reading Reflection were chosen basing on their answers in the questionnaires. Three attendants were selected because they manifested significant and representative features for the successful analysis of the study. 1. Choose extreme cases across students’ English Proficiency English competence is a very crucial factor. Even though the participants are all second-year mainstream students, their levels of English skills are not the same. This fact has been proved by the final results of English skills of the last semester. As the focus of the study was a reading activity, the result of Written Communication Skills is one of the most important attributes that the researcher bases on to find focal cases. 2. Choose extreme cases across the students’ frequency of reading English materials The main purpose of Reading Reflection activity is to encourage students to read extensively and critically Dang (personal

communication, February 24, 2011). Thus, the researcher asked for participants’ frequency of reading books and other materials, especially
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English ones. As the students’ habits of reading English materials are absolutely different, their procedures of selecting authentic material are also very varied. Students who read more frequently consider different features of texts when choosing materials for Reading Reflection activity from those who do not read usually. 3. Choose extreme cases across students’ interest in doing Reading Reflection activity The interest of the subjects in one activity has greatly influence on the effort that they would spend on it. This criterion also affects students’ procedure of selecting texts for Reading Reflection activity. The researcher expected to see the differences of text selections between motivated students and unmotivated ones. 4. Choose extreme cases across the students’ extents of difficulties in choosing reading texts for Reading Reflection. This is also very striking features when choosing focal cases for interviews. The aim of this action was to find whether there is any relationship among all important dimensions. In other words, it may helped the researcher to find out why this case with certain features have a lot of difficulties when selecting authentic texts for Reading Reflection activity while the others do not. Last but not least, focal cases are students who are willing to take part in the research and share their own feelings and opinions enthusiastically. They have provided the researcher with their personal information and also expressed their interest in the research’s focus.

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3.3.2. Participants After comparing and contrasting the data collected thanks to the questionnaires, the researcher contacted suitable cases to ask for their favor to participate in the research and arrange the schedule with them. Finally, three cases were very enthusiastic to meet the researcher and considered that as an excellent opportunity to express their opinions about Reading Reflection Activity, particularly, the selection of authentic materials. The researcher called these three students Student I, Student II and Student III. Some information about these subjects can be described in the following table: Student I Program of training Major Mainstream English Language Teaching Years of study English English Competence Frequency of 8 Very poor Student II Mainstream English – External Economics 9 Average Rarely Student III Mainstream English Language Teaching 12 Very good Always

reading Rarely

English materials Interest in doing Reading Very Reflection task interested in A great number Not at all Very interested in Some

Number of difficulties in A great selecting materials number

Table 5. Basic information about three participants

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3.4. Research Instruments 3.4.1. Questionnaire 3.4.1.1 Reasons for Using Questionnaire The researcher decided to use questionnaire as the first research instruments because of some certain reasons. Firstly, the questionnaire provided the researcher with the overall understanding about second-year mainstream students’ selection of authentic text for Reading Reflection activity among of FELTE, ULIS, VNU. In other words, using questionnaire, the researcher could collect the data which were “more likely to be standardized, uniform and consistent across subjects” (Brown, 2001, p. 77). Secondly, in order to find out suitable focal cases, the researcher really wanted to approach a large number of second-year students. Using questionnaire was a great tool to achieve that goal. 3.4.1.2. Questionnaire Content and Format The first part of the questionnaire served as a pre-face with a brief introduction about the research and the explanation of the key term “authentic text”. In addition, the questionnaire was delivered to students in Vietnamese in order to avoid any misunderstanding which could have bad influence on the results of this study. They were presented clearly and concisely so that students would not feel discouraged and willing to fill in all the questions. A variety of types of questions were applied to ask the responders to self-reflect their own performances when selecting texts for Reading Reflection activity: - Numeric items were used to ask participants about their self evaluation of English proficiency, especially Written

Communication skills. These questions focused on students’ years
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of studying English, their results for Written Communication 3 and Reading Reflection assignment. - Some specific open questions asked about concrete pieces of information such as students’ majors or experience in selecting study materials. These pieces of information were very valuable to the researcher to understanding the circumstances of the participants which would affect their access to sources of materials. - Likert-Scales questions which are effective for gathering students’ views, opinions about various language-related issues (Brown, 2001, p. 41) were also applied. Students had to choose the most suitable description about their level of English proficiency, Written Communication Skills, Interest in doing Reading Reflect, and the extent of difficulties that they had when choosing authentic texts for this activity. Through all these questions, the researcher believed that the most suitable focal cases were revealed. The more understanding the researcher could gain from the participants, the much better the situations were approached. 3.4.2. Interviews 3.4.2.1. Reasons for using Interviews In order to have an in-depth understanding about the phenomenon, the researcher conducted the interviews with three second-year students who had finished the questionnaires and were willing to give further information.

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In the book “Interviewing as qualitative research”, Seidman says that he chooses interviews because he is interested in people’s stories. The word “story”, as he explains, derives from the Greek word “histor”, which means the one who is wise and learned (2006, p. 7). He also emphasizes that the purpose of in-depth interview is not to get answers to questions, not to test hypotheses, and not to “evaluate” as the term is normally used. At the root of in-depth interview is an interest in understanding the lived experience of other people and the meaning they make of that experience. Interviewing provides access to the context of people’s behavior and thereby provides a way for the researcher to understand the meaning of that behavior. Reading Reflection activity is one of significant assignments on which second –year students have to spend a great amount of time and effort. In this paper, the researcher does not deal with the questions of how much or how. The research focus is the nature, the essence of second-year students’ selection of authentic text for Reading Reflection activity. The variety of contexts and characteristics of participants guarantees the assorted manners in deciding texts. Moreover, through these interviews, the researcher can collect a large number of details to have the most profound description of the phenomenon. Last but not least, interviewing cases individually gave the researcher opportunity to perceive the situation from the view of the participants. About this advantage, Merriam (2009, p. 1) has stated that “the insight and understanding from those who are studied offers the greatest promise of making difference in people lives”.

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3.4.2.2. Interview Content and Format The semi-structured interview was designed with clear division, flexible frame and some important suggested key points. The advantages of semi-structured interview are undeniable. It gives the interviewer a great deal of flexibility while offering the interviewees adequate power and control over the course of interview (Hoang & Nguyen, 2006). In this research, the researcher had had general ideas about the situation. The list of questions was not predetermined; however, the researcher also made use of some eliciting questions related to important factors in case the students could not remember all details at a time. It should also be mentioned that the researcher had grouped the questions into correlating aspects in such a manner that these could be expressed in different ways for different participants. The interviews were loosely formal when students talked with the researcher in a comfortable place as well as a pleasant atmosphere. In order to avoid possible misunderstanding, both the interviewer and interviewee used Vietnamese, not English. During the interviews, the students were encouraged to share their stories and opinions as much as possible. Moreover, the researcher also welcomed any further responses and sharing via any kinds of communication whenever the interviewees could recall some of crucial details after the interviews had finished. All the responses from interviewees would be recorded and transcribed to serve the purpose of meticulous and accurate analysis. The researcher believed that during those interviews, more detailed information which provided very thorough understanding about the situations were presented.

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3.5. Procedures 3.5.1. Data collection The data collection procedure basically consisted of four main steps; each of them was taken at different time. The steps would be listed as follows: Step 1: Pilot questionnaire and interview The first versions of the questionnaire were piloted on a randomly selected group of 9 students from 3 different classes. They were also the second-year students. Especially, that was the high time for them to select materials for Reading Reflections since the following week they had to summit the intended text for this activity to be approved by their teachers. Thus, they were most likely to understand, remember and concerned about the procedure, the important factors as well as the difficulties when choosing those texts for Reading Reflection. Therefore, they were able to contribute practical feedback on the questions. First, the researcher asked participants to fill in the questionnaire and highlight any ambiguous points. After filling those questions, the students were free to express their opinions and inquiries to the researcher. Some confusing questions were realized and revised. Second, a group discussion was carried out to encourage students to share their opinions about the two research questions. The researcher took part in that discussion with the role of the monitor. The friendly atmosphere of the discussion created a good opportunity for all participants to be quite open-minded. The researcher, actually, took in a

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lot of valuable information during this process. A more detailed frame with many important key points would be applied for the real interviews. The piloting process was carried out in Room 213, Block B2 on Tuesday, 15th, March, 2011. Step 2: Distribute questionnaires The feedbacks and suggestions were carefully considered and applied to make necessary changes in order to produce the final versions of the questionnaire. After this editing step, a number of remarkable changes were made, making the final versions noticeably different from the first ones. The distribution of questionnaires took place from Monday 21th March 2011 to Thursday 24th March 2011 to be exact, right at the due week for materials for Reading Reflections. 176 students from 11 classes completed the questionnaires. The great number of answerers guarantees the possibility to find out suitable cases for interviews. Step 3: Choose suitable focal cases Basing on the answers in the survey, the researcher identified the suitable interviewees by their specifically written answers in which thorough concern and care was shown. Three second-year students were finally selected for the interviews. This whole process took the researcher three days of analysis. Then, the researcher contacted the participants to ask for their favors to join in the study and arrange the suitable time for meeting.

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Step 4: Interview focal cases Three individual interviews took place at the French Department’s backyard on 29th and 30th March 2011 in a friendly and informal atmosphere as the participants and the researchers were all

undergraduates. The participants’ rights of privacy were announced at the beginning of the interviews. All the interviews were then recorded as audio files to avoid any omission of information. 3.5.2. Data analysis Step 1: Take notes and transcribe the data collected All the recordings were transcribed for the sake of meticulously and accurately analyzing. The researcher wanted to understand the phenomenon specifically and avoid any risk of leaving out crucial pieces of information. Step 2: Present the information After transcribing all the recordings, the researcher started to answer the research questions. The researcher compared and contrasted all the details collected during the interviews. During this process, the researcher also contacted the focal cases to clarify any ambiguous points in the interviews. Some cross-checks were made with the literature review to locate any emerging issues. For the convenience of getting each case thoroughly conveyed, the researcher described each case one by one, with comparisons and contrasts integrated. Some opinions from the informants were cited when necessary during the report.

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Conclusive Remarks So far, the research methodology with all related elements have been justified in this chapter. In this multiple-case study, questionnaires were implemented to find suitable focal cases. Then, three individual interviews were carried out for an in-depth investigation of the phenomenon. The procedures of data collection and data analysis were clearly described step by step with exact time and figures.

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CHAPTER 4: RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
In the previous chapter, the methodology applied in this study has been described and justified. The researcher has carefully explained choices of participants, the research instruments as well as presented the detailed procedures of data collection and data analysis. In this chapter, all collected data will be analyzed and discussed to answer each research question. It is worth mentioning that the researcher will analyze each case one by one in order to figure out any relationship among attributes within each participant. 4.0. Research questions 1. Which factors of authentic texts have second-year mainstream students considered when selecting materials for Reading Reflection activity? 2. What are the hindrances to the students’ selection of authentic texts for Reading Reflection activity? 4.1. Case analysis – Student I 4.1.1. Background information This student is from mainstream program. Her major is English Language Teaching. She has studied English for 8 years; however, she claimed that she was not confident with her English skills, especially Written Communication skills. She described her English proficiency at the lowest level (Very poor). She stated that reading skills were very challenging; and Reading Reflection was the hardest assignment she had to complete this semester. Her result for Written Communication 3 (the previous semester) was not good. She only got a C for this course.
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Student I is now living on the campus without the Internet access. She had to go to the Internet Center at the campus whenever she needed to find materials for her study. She claimed that everyday, she used the Internet for at least 3 hours. One of her important purposes of using the Internet was to read news and search for learning materials. Although she was really interested in reading Vietnamese news, she admitted that she hardly read English news as “they are difficult to understand”. In addition, she confirmed that she rarely went to the library of Faculty of English Language Teacher Education. Instead, this student usually visited the bookstores to find some interesting books. They were mainly novels or core books for her learning at FELTE, ULIS, VNU. Many of them were English ones which, according to her, are well-known and recommended by her teachers. Like other second-year students of FELTE, ULIS, VNU, Student I has taken part in Study Skills Course. She also usually asked her classmates for some pieces of advice when selecting materials, especially, authentic texts for Reading Reflection. Although she is not confident with her English skills, she is extremely interested in Reading Reflection task. She explained that this activity was very useful to her that she “studied a lot from this assignment: the vocabulary, the structures and other worldwide knowledge”. Furthermore, this assignment was a very good chance for her to improve not only reading skills but also writing skills. During the interview, students I always emphasized that she had to invest a great amount of time in Reading Reflection, particularly, in selecting suitable texts for it. She believed that it was a very “miserable” process which required a lot of patience. In the questionnaire that she had filled in beforehand, she chose the highest rank for the extent of difficulties when
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selecting authentic texts for Reading Reflection activity, which meant a great number of difficulties. One of the important factors should be mentioned was that for this semester (semester 4), her reading skills lecturer assigned specific topic for Reading Reflection to each student. 4.1.2. Factors of authentic texts affecting the selection of Student I The first and foremost factor that Student I considered when choosing a text as material for Reading Reflection activity was the level of difficulty of the texts. As a student who was not good at English Written Communication skills, Student I paid a lot of attention to this issue. She believed that if the text had been too difficult to understand, she would not have written a sharp and thorough reflection. And that would lead to very bad results for her Reading Reflection. She did not want a text with too many scientific terms, old English words or too complicated structures in her selected texts. However, she also did not prefer texts which were easy and trivial. She wanted a text including some new words or structures so that she could widen her vocabulary and English structures, which was one of the reasons why she was really interested in Reading Reflection activity. This factor referred to the usefulness of the texts to help Student I to develop her English competence. Moreover, as a student who was not confident in English, it was understandable why Student I strongly cared about this factor. The next factor that Student I also paid very special attention to was the exploitability of texts. It meant that the texts could be exploited for the purposes of writing a reflection. They must include some arguments or authors’ opinions: “The other factor I have to consider is that this text is suitable to do reflection”. It must contain some arguments and some author’s opinions about some social issues. Consequently,
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Student I never chose a text with sole stories, facts or general introduction. She also emphasized that whenever she read a text, she always thought of the questions: “what am I going to do with this text?”; “what is to reflect?” Length of texts was also put into serious consideration when Student I selected materials for Reading Reflection activity. Even when she knew that she could edit the text to make its length appropriate with the requirement, she still did not want to choose a text which was too short or too long. In the course guide, the criterion for the length of the text was about 700 – 1300 words; however, Student I only focused on the texts with about 1000 words. Her explanation for this situation was that she was not good at reading, while the long texts were usually very difficult with many terminologies and very complicated structures. She emphasized that she was “not patient enough to read and understand them meticulously”. Thus, Student I usually chose shorter and more concise texts for Reading Reflection. Another crucial feature of authentic texts that had influence on her selection of authentic text was the suitability of content. Firstly, the text content must focus on the topic she had been assigned. Secondly, Student I did not want to write a reflection on a boring and unattractive text. She was interested in a text that “can provide the readers with some useful information”. She claimed that “the content of the text is totally important. I am usually interested in an article which tells me about what is happening around the world”. On contrary, she never chose a text discussing “an everyone-known-issue.” Her last concern when choosing texts was the sources of these texts. Although this factor was not as important as other factors but it was
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always in her mind during the procedure of finding reading materials. All famous sources like the New York Times, the CNN or the BBC were always her priorities: “If there are two texts which are at the same level of length and interest, I would prefer the one from reliable sources”. Unsurprisingly, she tried her best to avoid any articles from blogs or public services. Her most concerns were printed sources and other wellknown websites.

Figure 3. Important factors of authentic texts affecting Student I’s selection of materials for Reading Reflection

4.1.3. Hindrances to Student I when selecting authentic texts The first and also the biggest difficulty that Student I has encountered was her poor English competence. She herself realized that her “most weakness is the very limited vocabulary”. That made her procedure of selecting texts very difficult and time-consuming. She found it very challenging to exploit the texts meticulously. Usually, she could not understand the text thoroughly with only one time of reading. Due to
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the limited vocabulary, she believed that she had missed some very useful texts. She said that “texts from well-known sources are usually very difficult to read. They are written by experts with a lot terminologies and complex analyses”. She knew that they were very beautiful texts for Reading Reflection, but she was “incapable of understanding them exhaustively”. And when she could not understand a text carefully, she would not choose it for her assignment since “it was a great danger”. Other difficulty that she had to overcome was the lack of Internet access. As mentioned in the previous part, student I now is living in the campus of FELTE, ULIS, VNU. There is no Internet in her room, and during the time finding materials for Reading Reflection, she has to go to Internet Center at the campus. That became a big inconvenience for her. It required more efforts, time as well as patience if she wants to find a really good text: “I want to read as much as possible. Nevertheless, I could only use the Internet to read articles about 2 or 3 hours per day. That is really not enough”. The researcher believed that this difficulty was partly because she only searched for materials about some days before the due date. Since she knew her assigned topic from the beginning of the semester, it was not too difficult to deal with this problem. The strategies she applied to find texts for Reading Reflection went opposite to the natures of extensive reading. The too disorganized sources of materials on the Internet brought Student I not only advantages but also disadvantages. Millions of articles on the Internet actually have confused the decisions of Student I. At first, she believed that the availability of texts on the Internet were a big convenience for her. However, after a period of time, she felt that it was very confusing. She believed that the sources of texts on the Internet were too chaotic: “there are millions of texts about my topic from several
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sources. I tried to read a lot of texts, and finally, I cannot decide which one was the best.” Moreover, the reliability of the source was not important factor to her, thus, she read texts from every source and then “got stuck” in a plenty of texts. Another difficulty that she mentioned during the interview was the lack of instructions. Even though Student I has taken part in Study Skills course at the second semester, she admitted that “what I studied was good, but we did not have a lot of chances to practice at that time”. Thus, all of them became a theoretical part which was easy to forget. Moreover, all the instructions she studied seemed to be too general. She believed that “When it comes to the reality, I hardly could apply what I have learned.”

Figure 4. Student I’s hindrances when selecting authentic texts

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4.2. Case analysis – Student II 4.2.1. Background information Student II is also from Mainstream Program; however, unlike Student I, her major is English – External Economic. This student has studied English for 11 years; and her self-assessment of English competence was average. Student II is more confident with her English Written Communication skills than her English Oral Communication skills. Her result for Written Communication 3 was also better than the result of Student I. She got a B for Written Communication and also a B for Reading Reflection in the previous semester. She also had the same point of view with Student I that Reading Reflection was a very difficult and challenging activity. She felt it was really hard to make a good Reading Reflection. Student II is living in the hostel where daily Internet access is available. However, surfing the Internet is not her hobby. She hardly read both Vietnamese English news. She also admitted that she never visited the library of FELTE, ULIS, VNU. She has read only few English books which are recommended by her teachers and friends. Although she has gone through Study Skills course, she hardly remembered any knowledge and skills that she has been taught. When the due date to submit materials for Reading Reflection was coming, she had to do anything on her own. She did not consult any one to find suitable texts. It is important to indicate that unlike Student I, Student II is not interested in Reading Reflection activity at all. She chose the lowest level to describe her interest in Reading Reflection activity. She explained that
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“this activity is so difficult; we had to do it again and again, from semester to semester. I totally lack inspiration to complete a reading reflection”. She used the phrase “personal crisis” to describe the time of doing Reading Reflection. Since there was no interest, she did not complete the assignment spontaneously and always “runs after the time”. This girl spent about 3 or 4 days selecting texts for Reading Reflection activity. Student II also chose the highest rank for her extent of difficulties when selecting authentic texts for Reading Reflection activity, which meant a great number of difficulties. And like Student I, Student II also did not have the right to freely choose her topic for Reading Reflection this semester. 4.2.2. Factors of authentic texts affecting the selection of Student II It was totally the same as Student I when Student II’s first concern of selecting texts for Reading Reflection was the level of difficulty of the texts. She could not write a Reading reflection if in the texts, there were too many new words and structures. She believed that “texts with some arguments are usually difficult to read”. She wanted to find a text with clear division; a text which was easy to read and easy to reflect. She emphasized that it was strategic decision affecting the final result. Although student II’s preference was texts which were at appropriate level of difficulty to her, she really wanted those texts to be up-to-date. The updated content of the texts was crucial to her as it could “motivate me to read more excitedly”. In other words, the text’s update had big influence on her final decision of reading materials. When being asked what helped her decide whether the text was up to date or not, she
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answered that she could rely on two factors. Firstly, it was the topic of the article: “Understanding the topic of an article is considerably important. It could make me know what the text is really about. Moreover, I will never choose a very old topic”. To be more specific, she associated her background knowledge with the title of the article to decide whether the main discussion in this article was up-to-date or not. She preferred some articles which discussed something new to her, or some “hot” issues that people around the world were caring about. According to her, “new” meant “good” and “interesting”. The second issue that would help her to make decision was the date of publication. A too old article which was publicized before 2000s would be immediately out of her list. Student I and student II shared the same opinion about the importance of text length. This is an essential condition to her: “It is essential. Too short or too long texts will be out immediately”. This case was the effect of the word limitation for Reading Reflection activity. The length of a Reflection was about 300 – 500 words, and if the text was too long, it was likely for Student II had to get over that limitation. She did not do that because it was so time-consuming. When being asked whether the source of the text was important, her answer was “a little”. Actually, she chose any texts that would be suitable for her to make Reading Reflection in with only some consideration of their sources. Her belief was that “not all articles from famous and reliable sources like CNN, BBC, or Washington Post are good. Good texts can be everywhere”. However, as being warned by the teacher, she avoided personal blogs or other social network like Wikipedia.

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Figure 5. Important factors of authentic texts affecting Student II’s selection of materials for Reading Reflection

4.2.3. Hindrances to Student II when selecting authentic texts As student II would like to write Reflection on a really up-to-date text, the first hindrance which she was aware of was her narrow background knowledge. As mentioned in background information of Student II, she rarely read books and articles, especially English ones. She agreed that she herself was a not an up-to-date learner; and “it is hard for a not up-to-date learner like me to find what I really want”. She understood that the world was changing everyday, something which was fresh or new today could become a trivial fact tomorrow. Student II did know that due to the lack of background knowledge, she had missed the chances to select many beautiful articles for Reading Reflection. The second problem that Student II had to face up with was her poor English vocabulary. This became a very serious problem to her especially, as Business English major: “Business English vocabulary was absolutely difficult. However, that is my major, and I should concentrate
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more on it”. She felt very frustrated when the text was full of new words, especially, economic terminologies. From her point of view, this obstacle exceeded her time of selecting and understanding the materials. The next problem that Student II was aware of was the lack of critical thinking. To explain this situation, she illustrated an example of her first article for Reading Reflection which was not accepted: “It is all about facts and general information. There was no opinion, no argument. I choose it simply because of its up-to-date content”. She even surprised the interviewer more by the confession that “to be honest, I did not understand what argument was until yesterday” after her teacher explained the term to her in the Critical Thinking course. One of the pedagogical objectives of Reading Reflection activity is to help students practice critical reading. Furthermore, this was not the first time Student II had to do Reading Reflection. The lack of critical thinking for a second-year mainstream students was acceptable; however, the fact that Student II even did not really understand what argument was after nearly 2 years studying at this Faculty was dramatically problematic. Her last hindrance was unique because Student II was the only case in this study that had to find the second article to submit as her first choice was officially refused by her lecturer. For the second time to choose text, she had to deal with quite serious timing problem. Student II only have one week to find another material as well as to submit the outlines for Reading Reflection. That made Student II felt very stressful because during the same time she had to complete many other assignments. To avoid any shortcomings like the first time, the second selecting procedure was significantly considered. However, it was not easy at all when “a lot of materials need reading while I actually have two days”. And again, Student II was not confident with her decision.
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Figure 6. Student II’s hindrances when selecting authentic texts

4.3. Student III 4.3.1. Background information This girl is also a mainstream student with the major of English Language Teaching. She has studied English for 12 years. She is very confident with her English. Her both Oral and Written Communication skills are very good. She is an excellent student who gets very high mark for all English skills. Her final results for Written Communication Skills the last semester was an A, especially, her mark for Reading Reflection last semester was 9.8. Student III is living with family with the Internet access. Different from Student I and student II, Student III is really interested in reading. Everyday, she spends at least two hours reading English articles. Her favorites were economics, political news and editorials. She said that she wanted to know what was happening around the world and also wanted to “learn the writing styles and the presentation of native writers”. She
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believed that they would be very useful for her to be an English teacher in the future. Student III admitted that she came to library sometimes. For this semester, she came to the library more frequently than the previous semesters. Like other second-year students of FELTE, ULIS, VNU, she has gone through Study Skills Course. Additionally, she usually asks her friends who are studying abroad for some pieces of advice when selecting materials, especially, authentic texts for Reading Reflection. This girl also totally appreciates what she has been taught about Internet searching skills with the seniors from class E1K41 during the Tutoring Program 2010. Student III extremely likes doing Reading Reflection task. She said that this activity had encouraged her to read more. It has helped her to “form the habit of extensive reading”. She realized that from semester 2, the semester that she began to do reflection activity, she has been more and more interested in reading English books and articles. For her, the importance of Reading was undeniable. She believed that reading was a very good habit which could help her to improve her English a lot. Student III agreed that it was difficult to find suitable materials for Reading Reflection Activity; however, unlike Student I and Student II, student III only had some difficulties when selecting texts for this activity. Besides, Student III can freely choose the topic of the text for her Reading Reflection.

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4.3.2. Factors of authentic texts affecting the selection of Student III Student III shared the same opinion with Student I about the most striking factor when selecting texts for Reading Reflection activity which was the exploitability of the texts. She stated that this was the first and foremost factor she would focus on when reading an article. It made “the materials for Reading Reflection activity different from materials for other learning activities”. The texts must present some social issues, and especially, the writers must be critical ones. She said “they (the writers) must express their viewpoints and give reasons or examples to illustrate these arguments”. Source of texts was also largely concerned by student III. She believed that materials from reliable sources were more valuable. Selecting texts on these sources brought her a lot of advantages: “The fact that finding texts from well-known sources really saves my time and effort. These sources guarantee quality”. Instead of swimming in several different texts, what Student III needed to do was to digest these wellknown sources. She even paid attention to the author of the texts: “It would be better to who my selected text belong to before using it”. The introductions about the authors of the articles are always available on reliable sources, which make Student III very “confident and assured” in her final decisions. Apparently, student III had very unique strategies to select materials for Reading Reflection. These may be the answer for her excellent academic record. Student III was the only case that mentioned the importance of academic writing styles. From her point of view, the writing styles of English articles, especially, editorials written by scholars were different from the writing styles of Vietnamese writers. She believed that
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“editorials from the New York times are presented very clearly and amazingly well-supported”. The academic writing styles made those texts very sharply illustrated. It actually proved the seriousness of the writers and greatly affected the qualities of their pieces of writing. Student III preference was authentic texts which strictly followed academic writing styles. The content of the text was also emphasized during the interview. However, it was not as important as the three previous ones. Her explanation was “an interesting text to read does not mean a good text to reflect, whereas a not really interesting text could be a promising piece of land for Reading Reflection”. Nevertheless, the content of the text had influence on her patience to do the Reading Reflection. An interesting text was really so motivating that Student III could spend the whole day reading the text, checking new words and considering its arguments. Thus, it would be better for her when the article had a beautiful content. Readability - the level of difficulty of language use was the last issue that she took into consideration. A too easy text with many familiar words and simple structures would never be a good choice as Student III also “intend to reflect on the language use of the article”. Contrarily, a too difficult material could easily lead to “misunderstanding and superficial reflection”.

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Figure 7. Important factors of authentic texts affecting Student III’s selection of materials for Reading Reflection

4.3.3. Hindrances to Student III when selecting authentic texts Student III did not have a lot of difficulties when selecting texts for Reading Reflection activity. She shared the same difficulty with Student I when being so confused with the large number of disorganized materials on the Internet. Although focusing on reliable sources, she rarely found suitable articles in these sources because “they were too difficult to be reflected thoroughly”. Finally, using the ordinary way to search for materials, she could find “too many options appearing with only one click, it becomes a real matrix which dazzles me”. The second difficulty that Student III expressed was the lack of Internet Searching Skills. Actually, Internet Searching skills were more complicated than she had thought: “I really don’t know what kind of key words should be used to get the closest results”. Some other features mentioned during the interview were “What is the arrangement of the results with Google search?” “What are some tips could be used to get
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the closest answers?” Student III explained “the conventional way of searching materials with lengthy sentences” did not work. What student III usually got finally is “some irrelevant articles”.

Figure 8. Student III’s hindrances when selecting authentic texts

Conclusive Remarks In this chapter, the findings of the study were revealed and some related discussions were made after the findings presented. Firstly, students with different level of English, interest in doing Reading Reflection and frequency of reading English materials have considered various factors when selecting authentic texts. They are: Source of texts, Text Content, Text Exploitability, Text Readability, Text Presentation and Text Length. Secondly, students also have many encountered many obstacles when selecting texts for Reading Reflection activities. These hindrances mainly come from: low English competence, limited background knowledge, lack of guidance, lack of time, lack of critical thinking, lack of study skills and disorganized sources of texts on the Internet.

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CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSION
Previous chapters have exhaustively elaborated on the introduction, the literature, the methodology as well as the results of this study. Finally, this chapter will conclude the paper by summarizing the outcomes, pointing out the limitations and some suggestions for further studies. Especially, the researcher also puts forward some pedagogical suggestions for a more effective selection of authentic materials for Reading Reflection task. 5.1. Summary of findings Initially, the study pinpointed the fact that many second-year mainstream students have to deal with difficulties when selecting texts for Reading Reflection activity. This procedure required students a lot of time and effort to select good materials. For this reason, it was necessary to find out important factors within an authentic text that students have to consider when selecting materials for Reading Reflection activity. Secondly, students with different levels of English, interest in doing Reading Reflection and frequency of reading English materials, have considered various factors when selecting authentic texts. In the context of FELTE, ULIS, VNU, these factors mainly belonged to the following categories: - Source of texts - Text Content - Text Exploitability - Text Readability - Text Presentation - Text Length
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While cases with lower level of English competence paid the most attention to the level of difficulties of texts, the appropriation of texts’ length and the suitability of texts’ content, the case with higher level greatly considered the exploitability of texts, their sources and writing styles. It was also illustrated that, students who liked doing Reading Reflection were more willing to read longer texts. Students also encountered many obstacles when selecting texts for Reading Reflection activities. These hindrances mainly came from: Low English competence, especially limited vocabulary Limited background knowledge Lack of guidance Lack of critical thinking Lack of study skills, especially Internet searching skills Lack of time Disorganized sources of texts

Among those these hindrances, low English competence and the lack of study skills were emphasized as very serious problems. 5.2. Implications for more effective selections of authentic texts for Reading Reflection activity As mentioned in the previous parts, the selection of texts for Reading Reflection activity has taken students a lot of time and efforts. Moreover, many of the selected texts are not inadequate to the requirements and not suitable for a reflection. According to Dang (2011), a lecturer of English Division II, FELTE, ULIS, VNU (personal communication, February 24, 2011) about 70% texts selected by her students are not good enough for writing Reading Reflections; and the
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same situation comes to some of her colleagues’’ classes. Thus, basing on the literature and the results of the research, the researcher pinpoints some pedagogical solutions for both teacher and students. For teachers Firstly, all cases in this study and also most of students helping the researcher in the piloting have stated that what they learned from Study Skills course in Semester 2 was not useful enough. They were all too general and lacked practicality. Thus, from the view of the researcher, more thorough instructions and studying skills should be presented to students. The consults from teachers and other sources like tutors, seniors, etc. are very important. Some tutoring programs and workshops should remain and be developed since they would be very good opportunities for students to get more strategies and experience from experienced ones. Almost all students said that they did not receive any feedbacks for Reading Reflections as well as the materials they had chosen the last semester. This is quite problematic when students cannot clarify what their shortcomings were. Teachers in this case, should give students very careful comments so that students would understand their weaknesses and solve them. Especially, the feedbacks on students’ materials should be given out from the first time student have to complete Reading Reflection seriously. Moreover, students’ interest in Reading Reflection task is also very important. If students are not interested in Reading Reflection activity, they will not invest much of their time in choosing a good text to reflect. As an instructor, teachers should try their best to improve students’
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motivation in doing Reading Reflection. They should create more activities to encourage students to read at home. One of the shining examples is the News Report activity when students have to read English news at home and share what they have read with their partners at classes. For students The emphasis of Reading Reflection activity is to ask students to read extensively. It means that students have to form the habit of reading longer texts for the purposes of interest and knowledge. Selecting authentic materials for this activity, likely requires a certain amount of time and patience. Instead of spending one or two days selecting materials, students should read more frequently. And during this process, they could collect any materials which are possibly suitable for Reading Reflection. Critical thinking skills are also really needed when students select authentic texts for Reading Reflection activity. Second-year students seem to be unfamiliar with those skills, which has bad influence on their selection of texts for Reading Reflection activity. One another purpose of Reading Reflection is to encourage students to read critically. If students lack of critical thinking skills or even do not understand what critical reading is, they could not find a text meeting the requirements to write good reflection. As a result, students should use more time to study and improve those skills with the help of teachers. Last but not least, the researcher wants to highlight the importance of reading to English learners, especially to students at FELTE, ULIS, VNU. It is extremely needed for an English major at FELTE, ULIS, VNU to have the ability to select valuable materials to support his or her study.
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This becomes an essential skill which greatly affects students’ improvements after 4 years. And it is Reading Reflection task that helps students to improve this skill. Thus, this task is especially crucial. Understanding this value, the researcher does hope that students would be more interested in Reading Reflection and have more effort to complete this activity. As Day and Bamford (1997, as cited in Tran, 2009, p. 15) has said: “reading is its own reward”, students should bear in their minds the long-term benefits of reading critically and extensively. Students should be more active and confident when selecting materials to study. 5.3. Limitations of the study Despite the researcher’s great efforts and her supervisor’s appreciable supports, the research still bears a number of shortcomings. Initially, even though the questionnaires were distributed to 176 students, three were only 3 cases investigated in this study. The reason for this limitation was partly because of the controlling criteria to find suitable cases. On the other hand, it was also the result of the researcher’s limitation of time. Secondly, the lack of literature related to the topic was a big obstacle for the researcher to have an exhaustive framework for the interviews. It would lead to the omission of some important dimensions, and then could badly influence the results of the study. Lastly, the suggestions for the phenomenon were pinpointed mainly basing on the researcher’s viewpoints and experience as a student of Faculty of English Language Teacher Education who had to deal with seven Reading Reflections. The validity of these suggestions should have

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been tested through means of case studies and experiments, for which the researcher was not able to afford. Despite all those shortcomings, the researcher’s flexibility, hard work and meticulously justification of research methodology and collected data have improved the validity and reliability of this research. For further studies, all these drawbacks should be taken into consideration seriously. 5.4. Suggestions for further studies It is highly recommended that further studies are conducted on a broader scale with more targeted population. More cases with varied attributes could contribute very valuable ideas. Additionally, when more cases are analyzed, some more commons points are likely to reveal, which could give chances for the researcher to come up with some generalization. Since authentic materials are more and more encouraged to be exploited in classes, especially language classes, the selection of appropriate and useful materials is absolutely important. Especially, the creation of opportunities for learners to decide their own materials for study is always considered a good method to increase learners’ contribution to the lessons. The focus of this research is only students’ selection of reading materials for Reading Reflection activity. A more exhaustive research with more investigations of students’ selection of materials for other learning activities could be conducted to make comparisons and contrasts to figure out more significant findings.

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Guariento, W. & Morley, J. (2001). Text and task authenticity in the EFL Classroom. ELT Journal, 55(4), 347-353 Hafner. L.E. & Jolly, H.B. (1982). Teaching reading to children. New York: Macmillan Hoang & Nguyen (2006). Research methodology, reading package. Unpublished course book. College of Foreign Languages, Vietnam National University. Lewis, M. & Hill, J. (1992). Practical techniques for language teaching. Language Teaching Publication Marshall, C., & Rossman, G. B. (1999). Designing qualitative research (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Martinez, A.G. (2002). Authentic materials: An Overview on Karen's Linguistic Issues. Retrieved February 12th 2011 from the World Wide Web: http://www3.telus.net/linguisticsissues/authenticmaterials.html Matsuta, K. (n.d.) Applications for using authentic materials in the second language classroom. Retrieved February 14th, 2011, from Asia University Cele Department Website: http://www.asiau.ac.jp/english/cele/articles/MatsutaAuthentic_Mat.htm Merriam, S. B. (2009). Qualitative research: A guide to design and implementation. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass: A Wiley Imprint. Nguyen, N.L. (2005). The exploitation of authentic materials in teaching reading skills for first year students in English Department, CLF – VNU. College of Foreign Languages, Vietnam National University. Miller, L. (2003). Developing listening skills with authentic materials. ESL Magazine, 6 (1), 16-19.

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Nunan, D. (1988). The learner-centered curriculum. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Nuttall, C. (1996). Teaching reading skills in a foreign language (New Edition). Oxford: Heinemann Palys, T. (2008). Purposive sampling. Retrieved December 12th 2010 from the World Wide Web:www.sfu.ca/~palys/Purposive%20sampling.pdf Patton, M. Q. (1990). Qualitative evaluation and research methods (2nd ed.). Newbury Park, CA: Sage. Pham, D. L. (2010). The exploitation of reading reflection task for third year students, ULIS, VNU. Hanoi: University of Languages and International Studies. Pritchard, A. (2005). Ways of learning: Learning theories and learning styles in the classroom. London: David Fulton. Richard, J.C. (2001). Curriculum development in language teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Rogers, C., & Medley, F., Jr. (1988). Language with a purpose: using authentic materials in the foreign language classroom. Foreign Language Annals, 21, 467–478. Seidman, I. (2006). Interviewing as qualitative research (3rd ed.). New York: Teachers College Press. Spelleri, M. (2002). From lessons to life: authentic materials bridge the gap. ESL Magazine, 2, 35–39. Tatsuki, D. (2006). What is authenticity? The language teacher, 16(5), 17–21. Retrieved November 16th 2010, from http://jalt.org/pansig/2006/HTML/Tatsuki.htm Tomlinson, B. (1998). Materials development in language teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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Tran, H.G. (2009). The practice of extensive reading by second year English majors at ULIS-VNUH. Hanoi: University of English and International Studies. Wallace, C. (1992). Reading. Oxford: Oxford University Express. Weick, K. E. (1979). The social psychology of organizing (2nd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Widdowson, H.G. (1998). Context, community and authentic language. TESOL Quarterly, 32(4), 705–616. Williams, E. (1986). Reading in the language classroom. New York: Macmillan. Yang,Y.(2007). Literature review, 13. Retrieved February 10th, 2010 from the World Wide Web: nccur.lib.nccu.edu.tw/bitstream/140.119/33440/6/100106.pdf

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APPENDICES
APPENDIX 1: Questionnaire – Vietnamese version
PHIẾU ĐIỀU TRA Tôi là Nguyễn Hồng Ngọc, sinh viên lớp E1K41 – Khoa Sư Phạm Tiếng Anh trường ĐHNN-ĐHQG HN, hiện tại tôi đang thực hiện khóa luận tốt nghiệp với tựa đề: “Việc lựa chọn ngữ liệu thực tế (authentic texts) phục vụ cho hoạt động đọc phản ánh (reading reflection) của sinh viên năm 2, hệ chính quy, khoa Sự Phạm Tiếng Anh trường Đại học Ngoại Ngữ, Đại học Quốc Gia, Hà Nội”. Trong bài nghiên cứu này, ngữ liệu thực tế được định nghĩa là tài li ệu được viết bởi những tác giả bản ngữ không nhằm phục vụ mục đích giảng dạy mà nhằm thỏa mãn một vài mục đích xã hội trong cộng đồng sử dụng ngôn ngữ đó. Trong việc học ngoại ngữ, đây là những ngữ liệu của cuộc sống có vai trò quan trọng trong việc thúc đẩy người học và giúp người học làm quen với ngôn ngữ giao tiếp hàng ngày. Ví dụ, các văn bản trong giáo trình hay trong các bài kiểm tra không được coi là ngữ liệu thực tế vì các v b ản này được tạo ra để áp dụng trong việc dạy học. ăn Ngược lại các bài viết hàng ngày trên báo chí hay trên Internet về các vấn đề xã hội chính là các ngữ liệu thực tế. Chúng có thể là sách, các bài báo, các bài xã luận, phim, âm nhạc, quảng cáo… Mong bạn giúp tôi điền đầy đủ thông tin vào phiếu điều tra sau đây. Rất mong sự giúp đỡ của bạn! 1. Chuyên ngành bạn đang học là gì? ……………………………………………… 2. Bạn đã học tiếng Anh bao nhiêu năm?..................................................................... 3. Bạn đánh giá trình độ kĩ năng đọc của mình ở mức độ nào? (khoanh tròn) 1 Rất không tốt 2 Không tốt 3 Bình thường 4 Tốt 5 Rất tốt

4. Điểm kĩ năng giao tiếp viết kì 3 của bạn là bao nhiêu (A, B, C, D)?.......................... 5. Điểm bài đọc phản ánh (reading reflection) gần đây nhất của bạn là bao nhiêu (A, B, C, D)? ……….. 6. Bạn có lựa chọn ngữ liệu thực tế cho hoạt động đọc phản ánh kì này không? Có/Không (khoanh tròn)

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7. Bạn đ t ừng được dạy về kĩ năng lựa chọn tài liệu học tập chưa? Chưa/Rồi ã (khoanh tròn) 8. Bạn có tham khảo ý kiến của ai khi lựa chọn tài liệu học tập? Có/Không (khoanh tròn) 9. Hay khoanh tròn chữ số thể hiện sư yêu thích của bạn với hoạt động đọc phản ánh (reading reflection) 1 Rất không thích 2 Không thích 3 Bình thường 4 Thích 5 Rất thích

10. Khoanh tròn chữ số thể hiện mực độ thường xuyên của việc đọc các tài liệu tiếng Anh của bạn 1 Không bao giờ 2 Rất hiếm 3 Thỉnh thoảng 4 Thường xuyên 5 Luôn luôn

11. Khoanh tròn chữ số thể hiện số lượng khó khăn mà bạn gặp phải khi tìm ngữ liệu thực tế (authentic texts) cho hoạt động đọc phản ánh (reading reflection) 1 Không có 2 Rất ít 3 Một số 4 Nhiều 5 Rất nhiều

Bạn có vui lòng tham gia nghiên cứu của tôi không? Có/Không (khoanh tròn) Nếu có, xin cám ơn bạn rất nhiều. Đây sẽ là cơ hội để bạn có tự đánh giá lại quá trình lựa chọn bài cho hoạt động đọc phản ánh, cũng như đóng góp những ý kiến của mình để giúp cho hoạt động này tại khoa Sư phạm Tiếng Anh ngày càng hiệu quả hơn. Xin bạn cung cấp thông tin cá nhân để tôi có thể liên lạc với bạn. Họ tên: Lớp: Email: Xin chân thành cám ơn! Số điện thoại:

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APPENDIX 2: QUESTIONNAIRE – ENGLISH VERSION
QUESTIONNAIRE I am Nguyen Hong Ngoc from E1-K41, ULIS, VNU. I would like to ask you some information so that some of you can help me further in my graduation paper about “The selection of authentic texts for Reading Reflection activity of secondyear mainstream students at Faculty of English Language Teacher Education, ULIS, VNU”. In this study, authentic texts are defined as materials written by native speakers for non pedagogical purposes. They are real-life texts which increase students' motivation for learning, makes the learner be exposed to the “real” language. Authentic texts are produced to fulfill some social purposes in the language community for language students, but for the speakers of that language. For example, materials which are written in the course books or designed for tests are not authentic texts. On contrary, real-life texts which are found in newspapers, magazines, online journals or books not for purposes of teaching and learning are authentic materials. They could be books, Web sites, articles, artwork, films, folktales, music, and advertisements. Please give your answers sincerely as it determines the success of my study Thank you very much for your help!

1. What major are you in now? ……………………………………………………… 2. How long have you studied English? ……………………………………………… 3. Circle the number that best reflects your self-assessment of your Written Communication skills 1 Very Poor 2 Poor 3 Average 4 Good 5 Very good

4. Which score did you get for Written Communication 3 (A, B, C, D or F)? ……. 5. Which score did you get for your last Reading Reflection (A, B, C, D or F)? ……. 6. Have you chosen authentic texts for Reading Reflection this semester? Yes/No (please circle) 73

7. Have you ever taken part in any courses related to selecting materials skills? Yes/No (please circle) 8. Did you consult anyone about selecting materials? Yes/ No (please circle) 9. Circle the number that best describes the extent of interest you have when doing Reading Reflection 1 Not at all 2 Below average 3 Average 4 Above average 5 Very interested in

10. Circle the number that best describes the extent of your frequency in reading English materials 1 Never 2 Rarely 3 Sometimes 4 Usually 5 Always

11. Circle the number that best describes the extent of the number of difficulties you had when selecting authentic texts for your Reading Reflection 1 No 2 A few 3 Some 4 Many 5 A great number

Are you willing to participate in my study? Yes/ No (please circle) Firstly, if you say Yes, it will be a big favor and I would really appreciate. Secondly, it is a very good chance for you to reflect on your own performance when selecting texts for Reading Reflection activity. Particularly, your help in this study contributes substantially to people’s understanding of factors as well as difficulties influencing students’ selection of authentic materials. If yes, please let me know some of your personal information so that I can contact you later. Your name: Class: Phone number: Email:

Thank you very much!

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APPENDIX 3: SEMI-STRUCTURED INTERVIEW SCHEDULES – VIETNAMESE VERSION
Phần I: Điều tra thêm thông tin cá nhân Trình độ ngoại ngữ Điều kiện học tập: có Internet hay không? Có thường xuyên đến trung tâm học liệu hay không? Kĩ năng học tập Sự yêu thích dành cho hoạt động đọc phản ánh Việc thường xuyên đọc tài liệu Tiếng Anh Việc lựa chọn đề tài cho hoạt động đọc phản ánh (chọn tự do hay bị chỉ định)

Phần II. Câu hỏi nghiên cứu 1: Những yếu tố quan trong của ngữ liệu thực tế có ảnh hưởng đến việc lựa chọn tài liệu cho hoạt động đọc phản ánh của sinh viên năm hai. Trong quá trình lựa chọn bài cho hoạt động đọc phản ánh, em phải cân nhắc những yếu tố nào? Vì sao? • • • • • Nguồn của bài Khả năng khai thác của bài Nội dung của bài Độ khó của bài Cách thức trình bày bài

Trong những yếu tố này, yếu tố nào theo em là quan trọng nhất? Vì sao?

Phần III. Câu hỏi nghiên cứu 2: Những trở ngại trong việc lựa chọn ngữ liệu thực tế cho hoạt động đọc phản ánh của sinh viên năm hai. Trong quá trình lựa chọn bài cho hoạt động đọc phản ánh, em gặp phải những trở ngại gì? • • • • • • Thiếu hướng dẫn từ giáo viên Nguồn ngữ liệu thực tế hỗn độn trên Internet Khả năng ngoại ngữ hạn chế Thiếu kĩ năng tư duy phê phán Thiếu kĩ năng học tập Các trở ngại khác

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APPENDIX 4: SEMI-STRUCTURED INTERVIEW SCHEDULES – ENGLISH VERSION
Part I: Basic information English competence Study conditions: Internet Access Study skills Interest in Reading Reflection task Frequency in reading English materials Topic for Reading Reflection (freely chosen or assigned) Which important factors of authentic texts

Part II: Research question 1:

affecting second-year mainstream students’ selection of materials for Reading Reflection activity? What are important factors of authentic texts you have considered when selecting materials for Reading Reflection activity? Why? • • • • • Sources of texts: The reliability of text’s origin. Suitability of Content: Text is relevant to the topic student is assigned; the content is updated interesting to read. Exploitability: Text can be exploited for the purposes of Reading Reflection (include good points for reflections) Readability: Text is in appropriate level of difficulty (not too much new words or complicated structures) Presentation: Text is presented clearly and attractively

In your opinions, among those factors which one is the most important? Why?

Part II: What are the hindrances to subjects’ selection of authentic texts for Reading Reflection activity? - What are the hindrances to your selection of authentic texts for Reading Reflection? Why? • • • • • • Lack of guidance Disordered source of texts in the Internet Limited English competence Lack of critical thinking Lack of study skills Other hindrances 76

APPENDIX 5: TRANSCRIPTIONS OF THE INTERVIEWS
I. INTERVIEW WITH STUDENT I • • • Time: 29th March 2011 Place: French Department Interviewee: Student I

I:

Thank you very much for your willingness to take part in my study. Firstly, I want to ask for some of your personal information. How do you think about Reading Reflection task?

S:

I am not good at Reading skills. They are very challenging, and reading reflection is the hardest assignment to me. However, I have studied a lot from this assignment: the vocabulary, the structures and other worldwide knowledge. Thus, I am totally interested in reading reflection task. This assignment is a very good chance for me to improve not only reading skills but also writing skills. I have to invest a great amount of time in Reading Reflection, particularly, in selecting suitable texts for it. This is a miserable process that asks me to be really patient.

I: S: I: S:

Are you living with you family now? No, I am living in the campus. Do you have the Internet at your room? No, that’s very inconvenient. I have to go to the Internet Center at the campus to find materials for study. Everyday, I surfs the Internet for at least 3 hours.

I: S: I: S: I: S: I: S:

For what? To read news and search for learning materials. So it means you really love reading, right? Yes, I read news everyday. English or Vietnamese news? Vietnamese news, I hardly read English news, they are difficult to understand. Do you usually go to the library of our Faculty? I rarely go to the library of Faculty of English Language Teacher Education. Instead, I usually visit the Bookstores to find some interesting books. They are

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mainly novels or core books that my teachers have asked me to read. They are very well-known. I: Have you received any pieces of advice when selecting texts for reading reflection? S: I usually ask my classmates for some pieces of advice when selecting materials, especially, authentic texts for Reading Reflection. I: When selecting materials for reading reflection, which factors have you considered? S: It is the level of difficulty; this is the most important factor. If the text is too difficult to understand, I could not write a sharp and thorough reflection; and that would lead to very bad results for my Reading Reflection. I am tired of scientific terms, old English words or too complicated structures in some texts. However, I don’t want my selected text to be too easy. One of the reasons that I am really interested in Reading Reflection activity is that when I read those texts, I can widen my English vocabulary and structures. The next is that this text must be suitable to do reflection. It has contains some arguments, some author’s opinions about some social issues. Whenever reading a text, I always think of the questions: what am I going to do with this text? what is to reflect? I: S: Is there any other factor? Yes, length of the texts is also put into serious consideration. I know that I could edit the text to make its length appropriate with the requirement. Nevertheless, I never choose a text which was too short or too long. I only focus on the texts with about 1000 words. I am not good at reading. The long texts are usually very difficult with many terminologies and very complicated structures. I am not patient enough to read and understand them meticulously. Thus, I choose shorter and more concise ones. I also want a text that can provide the readers with some useful information. The content of the text is totally important. I am usually interested in an article which tells me about what is happening around the world. I never choose a text discussing an everyone-known-issue. I: S: What’s about sources of texts? It is pretty important. If there are two texts which are at the same level of length and interest, I would prefer the one from reliable sources. I try to avoid any articles from blogs or public services. My most concerns were printed sources 78

and other well-known websites like New York Times, CNN, BBC. That’s all. I: Now we talk about the hindrances to your procedure of selecting texts. Can you list them? S: The first and also the biggest difficulty to me is my poor English competence. My most weakness is a very limited vocabulary. That makes my procedure of selecting texts very difficult and time-consuming. I could not understand the text thoroughly with only one time of reading. Texts from well-known sources are usually very difficult to read. They are written by experts with a lot terminologies and complex analysis. I know that they are very good texts for Reading Reflection, but I am incapable of understanding them exhaustively. It was a great danger when reflecting those texts. I: S: I see that. Anything else? I think it is the lack of Internet access. This procedure always requires a lot of time. I want to read as much as possible. Nevertheless, I could only use the Internet to read articles about 2 or 3 hours per day. That is really not enough. Moreover, the jumbled variety of materials on the Internet brings me some disadvantages. There are millions of texts about my topic from several sources. I tried to read a lot of texts, and finally, I cannot decide which one was the best. I actually got stuck. I: Oh, I believe that you have taken part in study skills course. You were taught how to search for materials effectively on the Internet, right? S: What I studied was good, but we did not have chances to practice at that time. Thus, all of them became a theoretical part which was easy to forget. When it comes to the reality, I could hardly apply what I have learned. I totally lack of instructions when selecting those texts. I: S: I: S: Is that all? Yes, that’s all! Thanks you very much! You’re welcomed!

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II. INTERVIEW WITH STUDENT II • • • I: Time: 30th March 2011 Place: French Department Interviewee: Student II Thank you for being here. As you know, my graduation paper is about the selection of authentic texts for Reading Reflection activity. Are you clear about the term “authentic text”? S: I: Yes, you have explained it in your questionnaire. Ok, firstly, I really want to ask you some questions about your personal information. Are you confident with your English skills? S: I: S: Not really, I think my Written Communication skills are better. So do you feel hard when doing? Of course, in my opinions, Reading Reflection is the most challenging task I have to complete this semester. Many of my friends share this point of view. It is so difficult to create a good reading reflection. This activity is so difficult; we had to do it again and again, from semester to semester. I totally lack inspiration to complete a Reading Reflection. I don’t like doing reading reflection at all. I: S: I: S: I: S: You are now living with your family, aren’t you? I am living in the hostel Do you have the Internet at your room? Yes, I cannot live without the Internet. Do you like reading, especially English materials? No, I don’t. I hardly read both English and Vietnamese texts. I only read whenever I am asked or when I have to complete the assignments. And these materials have been recommended by my teachers beforehand. I: You have been taught study skills, right? Do you think it is useful when you have to choose study materials yourself? S: To be honest, I hardly remember anything in this course. I do not apply any strategies I have been taught in this course to select learning materials. I: S: I: Do you spend a lot of time selecting materials for reading reflection? About 3 or 4 days, actually I always run after time. When selecting authentic materials for reading reflection, what are important

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factors that you have considered? S: I think that if I want to make a good reflection, the text must be first of all not too difficult. Texts with some arguments are usually difficult to read. I want to find a text with clear division; a text which is easy to read and easy to reflect. Actually, it is strategic decision affecting the final result of my reading reflection. I don’t want to reflect something that I don’t totally understand. I: S: Is there any other factor? Yes, the content of texts. A text with up-to-date content can motivate me to reading more excitedly. I: S: I: S: So the content of the texts must be up-to-date? Yes, up-to-date. How do you know that this text is up-to-date or not? I will rely on two factors. Firstly, Understanding the topic of an article is considerably important. It could make me know what text is really about. Moreover, I will never choose a very old topic, the one that everyone has read. I usually associate my background knowledge with the title of the article to decide whether the main discussion in this article is up-to-date or not. I want to read about hot issues that everyone is caring about. Every new thing is good and interesting. I: S: What’s about the second factor? The date of publication. On the Internet, the date that an article is publicized and edited is always available. A too old article which was publicized before 2000s would be immediately out of my list. I: Do you pay any attention to the length, the presentation or the source of those texts? S: The length is important. It is not a crucial factor but needs considering. Too short or too long texts will be out immediately. The length of a Reflection was about 300 – 500 words, and if the text is too long, I am likely to get over that limitation. It is too time-consuming when reading a too long text; I have a lot of assignments to do. I also pay attention to the origin of those texts, but just a little. Not all articles from famous and reliable sources like CNN, BBC, or Washington Post are good. Good texts can be everywhere. However, there is a warning from my teacher that we should avoid personal blogs or other social 81

network like Wikipedia. I: S: I: S: I: Is that all? Yes. So which one is the most important in your opinions? The first factor is the difficulty of texts. It will decide the whole results. The next problem I want to ask you is your hindrances when selecting authentic texts for reading reflection activity. You stated in the questionnaire that you have encountered a lot of difficulties. S: That’s right! This process is really hard and time-consuming. The first point is my narrow background knowledge. As I have said before, I really want an upto-date text for reading reflection; however, it is hard for a not up-to-date learner like me to find what I really want. I rarely read books and articles, especially English ones. The world is changing everyday, something which was fresh or new today could become a trivial fact tomorrow. I do believe that I have missed a lot of chances to select many beautiful articles for reading reflection. I: S: That’s quite problematic! Is there anything else? I am not a good English learner. My poor English vocabulary was very serious problem, especially when my major is Business English. English business vocabulary was absolutely difficult. However, that was my major, and I should concentrate more on it. I feel very frustrated when the text was full of new words, especially, economic terminologies. This problem exceeded my time of selecting as well as understanding the materials. I: S: I: S: That’s all? No, the next hindrance makes me very ashamed. Oh, don’t worry, I promise to keep secret your name. To be honest, I did not understand what argument was until yesterday. It was when my teacher returned the materials, and a lot of us have to select different text for reading reflection. My first article for reading reflection was not accepted. It is all about facts and general information. There was no opinion, no argument. I choose it simply because of its up-to-date content. Yesterday, when my teacher of critical thinking course explained what argument was, that was the first time I thoroughly understand this term. 82

I: S:

At least, you understand it now. Another hindrance, please? There is one other. This is my only problem. I have to find the second article to submit as her first choice is officially refused by my lecture. For the second time, I have to run after the time. There is one week to find another material as well as to submit the outlines for reading reflection. And I am very stressful. I do not want to make the same mistakes, so I have considered a lot. However, it is not easy at all when a lot of materials need reading while I actually have two days.

I: S:

I think you have a week? No, because there are a lot of other assignments, and also the due date for the outlines is coming.

I: S: I:

Is this the last hindrance? I think so. Okay, thank you very much for your cooperation. If you have something more to share, you can contact me at any time.

S:

Yes.

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III. INTERVIEW WITH STUDENT III • • • Time: 30th March 2011 Place: French Department Interviewee: Student III

I:

Good afternoon! Thank you for your cooperation. You seem to be very excellent English learner, quite impressive! You are living with your family, and the Internet is available, right?

S: Yes! I: Do you like reading?

S: Yes, I like reading very much, and I try to read as much as possible. I am interested in political news and editorials. I want to know what is happening around the world. And I also want to learn the writing styles and the presentation of native writers. They would be very useful for me to be an English teacher in the future. I: Do you usually read books in the library of FELTE, ULIS, VNU.

S: Sometimes, for this semester, I go to the library more frequently than the previous semesters. I: Who are your consultants when selecting study materials?

S: I ask some of my friends who are studying abroad. I also really appreciate what I have been taught about Internet searching skills with the seniors from class E1K41 during the Tutoring Program 2010. I: Why do you like reading reflection activity that much?

S: It helps me to form the habit of extensive reading. From semester 2 I began to read English books and articles more frequently. Reading is very important, its help me to improve my English competence a lot I: What are factors you have considered when selecting texts for reading reflection task? S: The first and foremost factor is that the text could be exploited for reading reflection. It makes the material for reading reflection activity different from materials for other learning activities. The texts must present some social issues, and especially, the writer must be a critical one; they must express their viewpoints and give reasons or examples to illustrate these arguments. Source of 84

texts is also very important to me. Finding texts from well-known sources really saves my time and effort. These sources guarantee quality. It would be better to know who the author of the text is before using it. That makes me confident in my decision. I: There are my other factors. Have you ever thought of them?

S: Yes, I also pay attention to academic writing style. The writing styles of English articles, especially, editorials written by scholars are different from the writing styles of Vietnamese articles. Editorials from New York Times are presented very clearly and amazingly well-supported. I prefer authentic texts which strictly followed academic writing style. I: What’s about the content of those texts?

S: Yes, it’s fairly important. An interesting text to read does not mean a good text for reading reflection, whereas a not really interesting text could be a promise piece of land for Reading Reflection. Of course, texts with beautiful content are always better. I could spend the whole day to read, check new words and consider its argument. I also considered the level of difficulty of language use. A too easy text with many familiar words and simple structure would never be a good choice. I intend to reflect on the language use of the article. I don’t want any misunderstanding and superficial reading refection. I: Is there any other feature?

S: No, that’s all I: Now, we come to the hindrances when you select those texts. You said you have encountered some. What are they? S: I am so confused with the large number of materials on the Internet. I rarely find suitable articles in reliable sources as they are too difficult to be reflected thoroughly. Too many options appearing with only one click, it becomes a real matrix which dazzles me. I: Oh, I see. And that’s all?

S: I also lack of Internet Searching Skills. I really don’t know what kind of key words should be used to get the closest results. What is the arrangement of the results with Google search? What are some tips could be used to get the closest answers? The conventional way of searching materials with lengthy sentences always leads to some irrelevant articles. At this time, I only can think of these 85

difficulties. I think it’s kind of…I mean I am not good at searching skills while the sources of texts on the Internet are too board, they kind of interacting each other. I: I see that

S: That’s all I can think of. I: Oh, that’s precious to me. If you find out something else, call me!

S: I’ll. I: Thanks so much again.

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APPENDIX 6: GUIDELINES FOR READING REFLECTION (According to the Course Guide for second-year mainstream students at FELTE, ULIS, VNU)
Number of reflection Deadline of submission ONE

Student List for each theme: Week 1 Reading Reflection Material: Week 7 Reading Reflection Outline: Week 11 Reading Reflection Material: Week 14

Type of work What to do?

Individual - For each reflection, find a reading text on the particular topic that you are assigned. Note: Teacher can either assign topics of reading texts for reflection or can let students choose their own topics of interest. - The reflection MUST be written based on answering the following questions:   What is the text about? What is the author’s purpose when he/she writes this? For whom is it written? What is the organization pattern of the text? What are the general style and noteworthy linguistic features of the text? What arguments does the author use to support his/her opinions? Are these arguments fair?

 

Or Are the ideas presented in the text persuasive?   What can you learn from the text (in terms of knowledge, language, and written communication skills)? Is there any information in the text agreeing with or contrasting with information you have ever read in other texts on the same topic and/ or your personal experience?

Requirements

- Length of reading text: 700 – 1300 words

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- Length of reflection: 300 – 500 words Submission - Submission to the teacher must include:  Reflection  Copy of Reading Text(s)  Source(s) of Reading Text(s) (name of author, year of publication, etc.) Marking criteria - The level of analysis of the materials read (answering all the questions) - Students’ writing ability - Consideration to plagiarism. Notes - Any quotations necessary for illustrating students’ ideas must be acknowledged. - Reflections with purely “cut and paste” quotes without any synthesis, analysis, reflection and acknowledgement will be given low or zero mark basing on the level of plagiarized information.

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APPENDIX

7:

SAMPLES

OF

AUTHENTIC

TEXTS

FOR

READING REFLECTION
I. STUDENT II’S MATERIAL FOR READING REFLECTION (the first choice) READING MATERIAL THEME 3: BUSINESS AND MONEY GUILDING A CHILD TO FINANCIAL INDEPENDENCE Total words: 1256 By BETH KOBLINER Published: November 4, 2010 LAST spring, Jamie McGurk, an independent producer in Los Angeles, knew that the rough economic climate would make it difficult for her 22-year-old daughter Stephanie to get a job. So when Stephanie decided to move back home after graduating from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., her mother was delighted. “We didn’t get to spend that much time with her when she was on the East Coast, so it was the best thing ever,” she said. Jamie McGurk, left, and her daughter Stephanie. Let graduates chart their own careers, the elder Ms. McGurk said. Unlike many adult children, however, Stephanie invited her boyfriend, Alex, to join her. The good-humored Ms. McGurk embraced the idea wholeheartedly. “I was happy they moved here and not Delaware, where he’s from,” she said. Welcome to parenthood in 2010. Of course, parents of adult children face all types of challenges, even in the best of times. These days, though, they have to help their offspring cope with a tough job market and, often, debt from credit cards and student loans. Many parents are also worried about their own jobs, shrinking home values and fading retirement dreams. That is a lot to handle. But with a bit of preparation, parents

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can prevent themselves from flying off the handle every time they see their child idling on the sofa watching “Family Guy.” These are particularly difficult times for people in their 20s, who had a 12.5 percent unemployment rate in September, compared with 9.2 percent for the general population on a non-seasonally adjusted basis, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. “The labor market has been a disaster for young people,” according to Andrew Sum, a professor of economics and the director of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University”. Not only is it difficult for young people to find work, he said, but “40 percent of college graduates under 25 who have jobs are mal-employed, meaning they’re working at jobs that don’t require college degrees.” That is up from 30 percent in 2000. Stephanie McGurk, who majored in environmental studies, eventually took a job as a nanny. On Oct. 15, four months after she had moved home, she and Alex, who landed a job in his field of graphic design, found a small rental in Burbank, Calif. Not all young people are able to transition as smoothly. As a result, parents are improvising as they find themselves in the role of life coach, career counselor, financial adviser, real estate agent and pseudo-psychologist for their adult children. Here are some tips: EXPECT CHILDREN TO MOVE HOME It no longer has the same stigma. One in five people aged 25 to 34 lives in a multigenerational household, typically with their parents, according to a study released this year by the Pew Research Center. That figure has nearly doubled since 1980. A survey released last month by Twenty something, a market research firm, found that 85 percent of those graduating last spring planned to move back home, up from 67 percent as recently as 2006. Even when children get jobs, parents should encourage them to continue living at home — at least as long as everyone can tolerate it, some personal finance experts say. Money that would have been spent on rent could be saved, or used to pay off credit cards and student loans. DO NOT SACRIFICE TOO MUCH If children move back home, it is reasonable to have them contribute in some way, said Ann Diamond, a financial counselor in New

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York City. “If they’re making enough money, you can ask them to pay some rent,” she said. Otherwise, agree on responsibilities, like making dinner a few nights a week or doing the laundry. Most important, parents should not put their own financial security at risk, experts say. “I see too many parents, especially mothers, helping out grown children when they should be squirreling away more money for their own retirement”, said Cindy Hounsell, president of the Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement, a nonprofit organization in Washington. DO NOT MICROMANAGE CAREERS Parents should make it clear to their children that they are expected to be moving toward financial independence and give them a specific time frame to get a job, experts say. It is a good idea, however, to resist pointing out that their hopes of becoming rock stars, poets or even Internet entrepreneurs may not be realistic. “Instead of saying you have to compromise on your dream job, let them figure this out by themselves,” said Ms. McGurk. She added that she and her husband had let their daughter and houseguest know that their comfortable arrangement was not intended to be indefinite. “Right now there aren’t too many jobs available in the fair trade, natural food movement, dealing with indigenous farmers in L.A.,” she joked, referring to her daughter’s college major. HELP WITH FINANCIAL PLANNING Even if the subject of personal finance terrifies parents, it is a good idea to confront it for their children’s sake. Ms. Diamond suggested that parents sit down and talk through their basic monthly expenses, including cellphone charges, credit card debt and car insurance. Introducing a Web site like mint.com to assist with budgeting, debt repayment and savings goals can help a parent avoid being the one doing the nudging. “It’s a rude awakening for many people recently out of school,” said Ms. Diamond. “But you need to start the conversation and talk to them like adults.” HAVE THE DEBT TALK The average college student leaves school with more than $4,000 in credit card debt and $24,000 in student loan debt. It is wise for parents to make sure that children know the rates on their student loans and credit cards, and that they should pay the highest interest debts first.

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Parents should not co-sign credit cards for their children because the parents’ credit score will most likely drop if the child misses just one payment, finance experts say. Also, have them find out if they are eligible for the government’s Income-Based Repayment plan, which can reduce the cost of their federal student loans significantly. Try finaid.org and ibrinfo.org. If your children need money for graduate school, steer them to the federal Graduate Plus loan program, which charge a fixed rate of 7.9 percent. That may be lower than many private student loans. Go to studentaid.ed.gov. CONSIDER HEALTH INSURANCE Grown children may want help in paying off their car loans, but if money is tight, springing for their health coverage is a better idea. Under the new Obama health care rules, you may already be allowed to cover your children under 26 years old on your policy, whether they live at home or not. (Check state laws, too. New Jersey, for example, allows parents’ policies to cover their children through age 30.) LET THEM DEFINE SUCCESS More young people are pursuing nontraditional paths because of the abysmal job market. (Applications to the Peace Corps, for example, were up 18 percent last year, the highest since 1998.) After graduating from high school in 2008, Zach Cooper trained at the French Culinary Institute in New York City for a year and then went to college. After his freshman year, he told his parents that he was not returning to school because he had been offered a full-time job as a line cook at Morandi, a Keith McNally restaurant in New York. His mother, Lynn Sonberg, was not thrilled at first. “I wanted him to have the luxury of a period of intellectual exploration,” she said. But she is proud of his achievement. “He’s almost financially independent at age 20 at doing something he loves,” she said, “and that’s a blessing.” http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/05/business/businessspecial5/05LAUNCH.html?_r= 1&sq=guiding%20a%20child%20to%20financial%20independence&st=cse&adxnnl =1&scp=1&adxnnlx=1300874534-M4SokvWTF4CA86zjLXgmGQ

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II. STUDENT II’S MATERIALS FOR READING REFLECTION (The second choice) READING MATERIAL THEME: BUSINESS AND MONEY CASHLESS SOCIETY: WHY WE NEED IT By Emmy Boy Total words: 1197

Paper money: do we still need it? The Need for Cashless Society Have you ever made a payment without any physical exchange of cash? Have you ever made or accepted any online payment on the internet with computers where only figures were involved? Did you notice that everything was easier and much more convenient than the ordinary physical cash exchange? You may not realize it then but you are actually using electronic cash payment systems. Welcome to the new world of cashless society! The payment system has gone through a lot of changes and evolution since the very first barter market system to the most recent electronic payment system which is being more and more globalized today. Electronic Cash can take on many forms; bank cards, credit cards, debit cards, mobile phones, electronic banking, ATMs and so on. I remember the time when I wanted to buy a very good phone that will suit my styles. After browsing through gsmarena.com website, I discovered the mobiles that had the 93

qualities I really wanted in a phone. I knew the phone could also be found on Amazon for purchase. So, everything was set. Then I discovered I still had one very big problem. Amazon.com does not have any shop in Nigeria which meant that there was no way they were going to even accept our Naira! That was how my desire to possess a nice mobile ended until I discussed the problem with a friend. I have always known that this guy was always buying most of his electronics and stuffs abroad but I have never bothered to ask him how he does it. So when this problem of mine came up, I had to ask him. He simply told me to consider that very day as my lucky day. In a moment, he went into action. Next thing I know, we were exchanging our Naira into USD at our local bureau de change. After the exchange, we paid the cash into his domiciliary account and that was that. The next day we were making some purchases on amazon.com with his American Express MasterCard and that was the beginning of how I got that very phone I so much desired. This is just one of the amazing advantages of having a cashless society. Cashless society makes it easily and readily possible for someone to make purchases anywhere in the world without being actually being physically present. It also promotes trades and business across borders by destroying the barriers of differences in national currencies. Thus cashless society allows for the easy payments of goods and services especially in our world today as the world is gradually migrating into a global village, hence the great need for people to go cashless. Another plus for going cashless is the ease of making such payments. People are now able to make payments with their mobile phones in the comfort of their homes. There is also a whole lot of time that is freed up for leisure, increased productivity, effectiveness and efficiency is increased because of the little amount of almost insignificant loss time required to effect payments under the electronic cash system. But then there are yet many other reasons why cashless society should be embraced. Cashless society is one effective way in which bank robberies can effectively be controlled or even put to an end. This is simply because there will be no more cash to be stolen by the dare-devil armed robbers. Unless, those robbers have devised a means of converting ordinary numbers seen on the computer screens into physical 94

cash, then they will go home empty-handed and electronically defeated. The problems and risks faced by armed police guards in transporting huge sums of raw cash from one bank location to another bank are too many. We have heard cases whereby these mobile policemen were waylaid and sometimes killed by criminals on the way when carrying these bulky sums of cash from one bank to another. All negative stories like these will simply become a thing of the past simply because there will be no cash to carry about. It is virtual money all the way as everything boils down to ATMs, credit and debit cards, plastics with embedded magnetic chips and passwords!

Electronic Cards: The best is yet to come? Reduced cost of printing money All over the world, governments are known to be spending so much money in printing in more money and in minting coins too. Also so much money is involved in maintaining the quality of such printed cash in terms of providing stronger securities as a guard against counterfeiting by unscrupulous individuals and syndicates. Again, the physical conditions of such printed cash should also be taken into consideration because paper money is one of the most handled objects in any society. Now, with the advent of cashless society, there will be no need whatsoever to print paper money as well as mint coins again thus saving huge amount of money for the government. Even other forms of physical money like checks and money orders will also disappear. Cashless society can effectively check money laundering amongst syndicates all over the world. This is because cashless society institutes an effective cash movement control whereby the transfer of cash from one place to another is monitored. As one of the pros for going cashless, there will be no need for individuals to even carry physical cash about. I have always imagined what it was like when people in Zimbabwe had to move large sums of almost worthless paper money during that dark period of the highest inflation witnessed in that African country! So that effectively 95

eliminates the availability of cash to be moved around by syndicates involved in money laundering all over the world. This advantage will at least go a long way in checking the corrupt tendencies of many African leaders who are well known to be involved in such dubious activities of money laundering. Paper money is one of the most ubiquitous and most widely-travelled articles on earth hence they carry some amount of disease and germs as they are moved around by people everyday. Have you ever wondered about all the places, all the nook and cranny, that piece of paper money you are holding right now in your hands have been to? I bet if you only knew, you might find it so hard to touch that paper again considering the dirt and germs it must have picked up in the course of its journey round the country to your pocket or wallet. There is no restriction on who should touch money or not. There is absolutely no control or legislation on the level of cleanliness of the hands that should handle the paper thus we are always exposed to great health risks anytime we handle money. Cashless society can seriously protect us from such health hazards. These advantages of moving toward a cashless society would not be limited to the above mentioned matters only, but considering these and many other factors affecting this movement, it seems like we are moving gradually toward the cashless society but not in a pace that we are ever going to reach it. http://hubpages.com/hub/cashless-society-why-we-need-it

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