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Towards adapting speaking activities in Tiếng anh 10 to increase students participation in english speaking classes + Nghiên cứu thiết chỉnh một số hoạt động nói trong sách Tiếng anh 10 nhằm tăng cường sự thạm gia của học sinh trong giờ học tiếng anh

Table of contents
Contents

Page

SUB COVER PAGE .................................................................................

I

STATEMENT OF AUTHORSHIP ..........................................................

II

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ......................................................................

III

ASTRACT...................................................................................................

IV


TABLE OF CONTENTS ..........................................................................

1

LISTS OF ABBREVIATIONS .................................................................

5

LISTS OF TABLES AND FIGURES ......................................................

6

PART A: INTRODUCTION ....................................................................

7

1.

Rationale ..........................................................................

7

2.

Previous Studies Related to the Toppic ..........................

9

3.

Aims of the Study ..........................................................

11

4.

Research Questions ........................................................

12


5.

Scope of the Study .........................................................

12

6.

Significance of the Study ..............................................

12

7.

Organization of the Study ...............................................

12

PART B: DEVELOPMENT …………………………………………….

14

Chapter 1:

THEORETICAL BACKGROUND ………………..

14

1.1.

What is “Students’ Participation”?……………………

14

1.2.

Factors affecting Students’ Participation ……………..

15

1.3.

Background of Speaking ………………………………

19

1.3.1.

The Nature of Language Skills ………………………..

19

1.3.2.

The Importance of Teaching English Speaking ……….

21

1.3.3.

Teaching Speaking ……………………………………

21

1.3.4.

Speaking Activities …………………………….………

23

1.3.5.

Problems

24

1.3.6.

Activities ………………………………………………
Ways of Organizing Speaking Activities ……………..

26

1.4.

Material Adaptation ……………………………………

28

1.4.1.

Definition ………………………………………………

28

with

English

-1-

Speaking

and

Speaking


1.4.2.

The Purpose of Adaptation …………………………….

28

1.4.3.

Techniques of Adaptation ……………………………..

29

Chapter 2:

METHODOLOGY ………………………………….

34

2.1.

Research setting ………………………………………..

34

2.1.1.

Brief Introduction of Tĩnh Gia 3 High School …………

34

2.1.2.

Students and their English Background Knowledge……

35

2.1.3.

General Description of the Curriculum of Textbook

35

2.2.

‘Tiếng Anh 10’ …………………………………………
Research Method ……………………………………….

38

2.3.

The Participants ……………………………………….

39

2.4.

Data Collection Instruments …………………….….…

40

2.4.1.

Classroom Observations ……………………………….

40

2.4.2.

The Teacher Interview ………………………………….

41

2.4.3.

Student Questionnaire ………………………………….

41

2.4.4.

Follow-up Students’ Interviews ......................................

42

2.4.5.

Textbook Analysis ...........................................................

42

2.5.

Data Collection Procedures …………………………….

43

CHAPTER 3:

FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION …………………….

45

3.1.

Results

3.2.

Experimental- Observation ............................................
Results from Students’ Questionnaire ………………….

3.2.1.

Students’ Self Evaluation of their Participation in

3.2.2.

Speaking Lessons…… …………………………………
Students’ Motivation in Learning Speaking English ….

49
50

3.2.3.

Students’ Learning Styles ………………………………

51

3.2.4.

Factors Prevent Students from Participating in Speaking

52

3.2.5.

in the English Class …………………………………….
Students’ Attitude toward Speaking Skill, Speaking
Topics and Activities in ‘Tiếng Anh 10''………………
Students’ Opinion about the Way their Teachers Teach

53

3.2.6.

Speaking ………………….……………………….……

60

of

Students’

-2-

Participation

from

Pre45
49


3.2.7.

Students’ Evaluation on their Teacher’s Adaptation …

60

3.2.8.

Students' Evaluation towards their Current Speaking

3.3.

Lessons ………………………………………………..
Results from Teachers Interview ……………………..

3.3.1

Teachers’ Evaluation on Speaking Activities in “Tiếng
Anh 10” ………………………………………………...
Teachers’ Satisfaction with Students’ Participation in

63

3.3.2

67

3.3.3.

Speaking Class …………………………………………
Teachers’ Perception on the Factors Affecting Students’

67

3.3.4.

Participation in Speaking Lessons ……………………..
Teachers' Perception on Which Parts of Speaking

61
62

Activities in “Tiếng Anh 10” Need Adapting to Increase
68

3.3.5.

Students’ Participation in Speaking Lessons ………….
Teachers’ Reasons for Adapting Speaking Tasks of
“Tiếng Anh 10” ………………………………………...
Teachers’ Frequency of Adapting the Speaking

70

3.3.6.

71

3.3.7.

Activities in “Tiếng Anh 10” …………………………..
Teachers’ Opinions of Speaking Activities Should be

3.4.

Adapted to Apply in “Tiếng Anh 10” … ………………
Results from the End of Experiment Observations …

73
74

3.4.1.

Observations in Control Group ………………………...

74

3.4.2.

Observations in Experimental Group ………………….

75

3.5.

Students’ Participation in Experimental and Control
87

3.6.

Group in Three Lessons at the End of the Intervention...
Comparison of Students’ Participation before and at the

3.7.

End of the Experiment ………………………………….
Follow-up Student Interviews ………………………….

88
89

3.8.

Results of Document Analysis …………………………

90

PART C:

IMPLICATIONS AND CONCLUSION …………….

96

1.

Implications …………………………………………….

96

2.

Conclusion ……………………………………………..

99

3.

Limitations of The Study ………………………………

100

4.

Suggested Further Study ……………………………….

100

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REFERENCES ……………………………………………………………
APPENDICES

LISTS OF ABBREVIATIONS
CLT: Communicative Language Teaching
EFL: English as a Foreign Language
e.g: Exempli gratia (for example)
etc: et cetera
MOET: Ministry of Education and Training
STT: Student Talking Time
TTT: Teacher Talking Time
TG3HS: Tĩnh Gia 3 high school

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102


LISTS OF TABLES AND FIGURES
Page
Chart 3.1: Students’ self - evaluation of their participation in speaking
Chart 3.2:

lesson …………………………………………………………….
Factors prevent students from participating in speaking in the

49

English class …………………………………………………….
Chart 3.3: Evaluation of speaking skill …………………………………….
Chart 3.4: The importance of speaking skill ……………………………......

52
54

Chart 3.5: Students’ interests in speaking lessons ……………………..…...
Chart 3.6: Reasons for students’ low interests ……………………………..

56

Chart 3.7: Students’ assessment on speaking topics in “Tiếng Anh 10” .......
Chart 3.8: Level of difficult of speaking tasks in “Tiếng Anh 10” …………

58

Chart 3.9: Students’ evaluation on their teacher’s adaptation ……………..

60

-5-

55
57
59


Chart 3.10: Students' evaluation towards their current speaking lessons ……
Chart 3.11: Teachers' perception on which parts of speaking activities in

61

“Tiếng Anh 10” need adapting to increase students’ participation

Table 3.1:

Table 3.6:

in speaking lessons ……………………………...........................
Chart 3.12: TTT and STT of experimental group in adaptation 1 …………...
Table 1:
The four –macro skills …………………………………………..

69
82

Table 2:

Students' background information………………………………
STT and TTT in control and experimental group before the

38

experiment ………………………………………………………
Table 3.2: Students’ reasons for learning English ………………………….
Table 3.3: Students’ learning styles in both groups ………………………...

48
50

Table 3.4: Students’ opinion about the way their teachers teach speaking …
Table 3.5: TTT and STT of control group at the end of experiment ……….

60

20

51
75

Students’ participation in experimental and control group in
three lessons at the end of the intervention. .……………………
Table 3.7: TTT and STT in the two classes before and at the end of
experiment ............................................................................
Table 3.8: Speaking activity analysis in “Tiếng Anh 10” ..............................
Figure 1: Framework for adaptation ……………………………………….

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87
89
93
33


PART A: INTRODUCTION
1. RATIONALE
English is seen as a means of access to scientific and technological
development and as the language for international communication. For young
people, English is an effective tool for further study as well as better job
opportunities. English has therefore, been most widely taught not only at all
universities and colleges, but also at almost every senior high school and it is
considered as a compulsory subject at secondary school.
However, teaching speaking skills to students in Vietnamese classrooms is
still a matter of much concern by language teachers due to current teaching
materials, characteristics of learners as well as teachers’ proficiency and classroom
methodology.
At Tĩnh Gia 3 high school, the 10th graders have three periods of English
every week with “Tiếng Anh 10”, which consists of sixteen units combining fours
skills with grammatical structures and language funtions introduced in meaningful

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contexts. All of the units are designed to aim at encouraging students to learn not
only grammar structures but also all the four- language skills: reading, speaking,
listening, and writing. The English textbooks for general education in which the
exercises are primarily task-based. Although the new text books have shown a
great deal of improvement as compared with the old series of grammarbased, it seems that not all activities or tasks in the books, especially in speaking
part are suitable to the different teaching and learning contexts of different
localities within Vietnam. Beside communicative tasks, some tasks are not very
communicative. Others are very difficult for students to interact or participate well
during their learning.
After 6 years teaching “Tiếng Anh 10” text book at Tĩnh Gia 3 high school, I
find out that speaking is considered the most challenging to teach and still remains
neglected due to students’ low level proficiency, time constraints and low
motivation. Therefore, it is difficult to teach speaking successfully because of the
class size, the students’ language level, and additionally, students are not acquainted
with CLT. Moreover, a majority of the teachers were trained under the strong
influence of the Grammar-Translation method which impedes them from teaching
speaking successfully even the textbook follows the communicative approach.
With 7 year – experience in teaching English at high school, the author
realizes that the English lessons with speaking activities adapted or designed by
teachers always motivate students and get them involved in speaking effectively.
Therefore, it is necessary for teachers to adapt some speaking activities in “Tiếng
Anh 10” to increase students’ participation. As Cunningsworth [11] said, even the
"best" course book requires adaptation.
From the reasons above, the study “Towards adapting speaking activities in
‘TIẾNG ANH 10’ to increase students’ participation in English class” is carried
out with the hope to increase students’ involvement in learning speaking.
2. PREVIOUS STUDIES RELATED TO THE TOPIC

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Because of being a very important skill to master a foreign language, speaking
has received a lot of attention from a number of experienced experts as well as
methodologists in the world and in Vietnam particular. These research works also
outline some activities to increase learners’ participation in speaking lessons that
help the author a lot to do this research.
Christine Kuramoto’s [23] action research was about improving Motivation in
Oral Communication Classroom in three third-year high-school classes in Japan.
Because of three practical reasons: a large number of students, one researcher and
limited time, the method chosen for data collected consisted self-report
questionnaires for students at the beginning and at the end of the term and
immediate feedback after each new activity. The result showed that the students’
motivation did increase in her classroom although it was different from class to
class and student to student. The improvement was in attitudes, extrinsic and
intrinsic motivation. She suggested that Gardner’s [16] attitude/motivation test
battery questionnaire was recommended as a practical and enlightening tool to
measure students’ motivation.
Another research by Trịnh Thị Ánh Hằng [42] investigating the effects of pair
work and group work activities to increase motivation for non- English major
second year students was conducted at Hanoi University of Technology. The
problem found out was that group activities could not motivate students unless they
were introduced and monitored by the teacher, then an action plan was
implemented. And with the new plan, the researcher could totally enhance the
motivation among her learners.
The research conducted by Nguyễn Thị Thu Linh [30] was about some
techniques to increase students’ participation in classroom activities and oral
activities in particular of second-year students at Thai Nguyen University of
technology. She mentioned some factors effecting the students’ low participation
coming from students themselves, teachers and classroom. Then, she recommended
one effective technique- group work and showed some ways to get students into

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working in group to increase their involvement as well as participation in speaking
lessons.
Nguyễn Thị Tuyết Mai [31] carried out a research on implementing taskedbased teaching to increase motivation for grade 10 students at Ngo Quyen upper
secondary school. An action research was planned and implemented with such data
collection instruments as classroom observation, questionnaire and document
analysis. The results showed that in order to make the speaking lessons more
motivating to students, the teacher should prepare the tasks carefully detecting
vocabulary and phrases, allocating time, considering skills and techniques to be
employed
The research conducted by Đoàn Thị Lê Nhung [12] was about using
differentiated instructions to increase learners’ participation in multi- level classes
at Phuong Dong University. In this thesis, she mentioned three major factors of
learners’ low participation. They are the activities themselves uninteresting and
unsuitable instruction for speaking activities. She applied differentiated instructions
strategies in the action plan suggested by Tomlinson [40] which were aimed at
modifying the content, process and products and learning environment on the basic
of learners’ readiness, interests, etc. to improve their participation. The evaluation
showed that the action plan was successful when applying differentiated
instructions to increase students’ participation in speaking classes.
In summary, it can be seen from the above review that researchers focused on
modifying speaking activities to increase students’ participation and motivation in
speaking class. Furthermore, their research subjects were mainly students at the
tertiary level, not high school students. However, there are not many researchers
have conducted

research on adaptation of "Tiếng Anh 10" yet. Therefore, the

author has decided to conduct the research with the aim of adapting some difficult
speaking activities in “Tiếng Anh 10” to increase students’ participation in speaking
lessons and help improve teaching and learning English at Tĩnh Gia 3 high school.

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3. AIMS OF THE STUDY
The main purpose of this study is to increase students’ participation in
speaking lessons at Tĩnh Gia 3 high school. To achieve this aim, firstly, the study
attempts to find out the reasons why teachers at Tĩnh Gia 3 high school should
adapt speaking activities in “Tiếng Anh 10” from both teachers and students
viewpoints. Secondly, the research points out what speaking activities in “Tiếng
Anh 10”should be adapted. Finally, it determines the effect of the adapted activities
in increasing students’ participation in speaking lessons at Tĩnh Gia 3 high school.
4. RESEARCH QUESTIONS:
In relation to the above-mentioned aims, this research tries to seek the
answers to the following questions:
1. Why should teachers adapt speaking activities in “Tiếng Anh 10”?
2. What speaking activities in “Tiếng Anh 10” should be adapted to increase
students’ involvement?
3. To what extent do the adapted speaking activities in ‘Tiếng Anh 10’
increase students’ participation in speaking classes at Tĩnh Gia 3 high school?
5. SCOPE OF THE STUDY
Adaptation is a complex issue for teachers, especially teachers of English.
Due to the time limit and research condition, this study does not cover all aspects of
textbook adaptation teachers meet in teaching English. The study will focus on
teachers’ adaptation of some difficult speaking activities in ‘Tiếng Anh 10’ at Tĩnh
Gia 3 high schools in Thanh Hóa . As the result, the samples of the study were
restricted to 6 EFL teachers and 90 students at 10th form at Tinh Gia 3 high school.
6. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The result of this research will bring about meaningful suggestions and
pedagogical implications which are very beneficial for my professional
development. After having conducted this research, I myself can develop
knowledge, skills and experience to improve my teaching quality. Furthermore, the

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study also helps teachers at TG3HS overcome difficulties mentioned previously and
improve English language communication for students through speaking lessons.
7. ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
The research consists of three parts as follows:
First, the Introduction presents the background of the research including the
rationale, the previous studies related to the study, the aims of the research, the
research questions, the scope of the study, the research significance and the overall
organization of the study.
The Development is divided into 3 chapters.
Chapter 1: Theoretical Background, describes fundamental and theoretical
concepts which are relevant to the study. Additionally, this chapter focuses on the
theory about textbook adaptation including definition of adaptation, reasons for
adapting, principles of adapting textbook. Furthermore, it gives out an overview of
the curriculum and the ‘Tiếng Anh 10’ textbook. Finally, the brief overview of
Tĩnh Gia 3 high school and current situation of teaching English speaking at Tĩnh
Gia 3 high school will be presented.
Chapter 2: Methodology, describes the research method, participants, data
collection instruments, and data collection procedures.
Chapter 3: Includes the findings and discussion about the results of the
investigation.
Finally, the Conclusion summaries the study, pedagogical implications,
limitations, and suggestions for further study.

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PART B: DEVELOPMENT
CHAPTER 1: THEORETICAL BACKGROUND
1.1. What is “students’ participation”?
There are several views on student participation. Howard, Short, & Clark [21,
8-24] stated that participation

is

the student’s

active

engagement in

the

classroom to promote effective learning (Howard, Short, & Clark, 1996). The
student’s activities may include reciting in class, having conversations with the
instructor or their classmates, doing written outputs, and sharing ideas with
others (Howard, Short, & Clark, 1996; Howard & Henney [22, 384-405]. It
means a participative learner is one that is not passive. As Fraser [15, 221- 227]
defines student participation as the extent to which students are encouraged to
participate rather than be passive listeners. Similarly, Sylvelyn, Judith & Paulin
[39] define participation as students who actively engage in classroom discussions,
rather than be passive learners who simply take in knowledge. They affirm that
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in a classroom-based learning, participation can be a positive feedback given
by students to either the lesson or the teacher which can lead to possible ways in the
development of an improved classroom learning experience.
Teachers of large classes have found that students’ participation can be
identified in terms of three kinds of interaction: students to their teacher, students to
students and students to material. The interaction between students themselves is
established when they are working in groups. The kind of interaction between
students and material can be understood as students’ success in completing assigned
reading activities. In term of the interaction between students to their teacher,
students who maintain good interaction with their teacher always participate in the
class discussion. They become involved in what is happening in the classroom by
asking more question, share personal ideas, opinion and experience with their
classmates. Thus, participation can be understood in more ways than just come to
class on time, take notes what teachers say and write down on the blackboard, and
stay in the class all the time and get to know the teacher. Students who are active
and attentive that means they work on the problem with the teacher during the class,
laugh at jokes, respond to the teacher’s questions, often show great desire to learn
and become good students.
1.2. Factors affecting students’ participation
1.2.1 Students factors
There are some factors from students affecting their participation such as: their
learning style, their attitudes and motivation, their language levels and habits as
well as gender differences.
• Students’ learning style:
Willing (1985), cited in Nunan [33, 93] classified learners’ styles into four groups:
 Concrete learners: They preferred learning by games, films and videos
talking in pairs and learning though the use of cassettes.

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 Analytical learners: These learners liked studying grammar, studying
English book, finding their own mistakes and learning through reading
newspapers.
 Communicative learners: They liked to learn by observing and listening to
native speakers, talking to friends in English and learning English
whenever possible.
 Authority-oriented learners: They liked the teacher to explain everything,
writing everything in their notebooks, having their own textbooks, learning
to read, studying grammar, and learning English words by seeing them.
Harmer [19] emphasizes the importance of understanding that there are different
individuals in our class if we are to plan appropriate kinds of activities for them.
Different individuals may have different learning styles, prefer different kinds of
work and expect different degrees of care and attention from the teacher.
We can see that if the teacher neglects these differences among students,
only one or two groups of students can benefit from the activities organized by the
teacher while others do not. This is one reason for the fact that when one activity is
in progress, not all students participate in actively.
• Students’ attitudes and motivation
Attitude and motivation are considered key factors leading to students’ success
in learning second language. Motivation refers to the combination of effort plus
desire to achieve the good of learning the language plus favorable attitudes toward
learning the language. That is, motivation to learn a second language is seen as
referring to the extent to which the individual work or strives to learn the language
because of a desire to do so and the satisfaction experienced in this activity.
Harmer divides motivation into extrinsic motivation and intrinsic motivation.
Extrinsic motivation is caused by such outside factors as the need to pass an exam,
the hope of financial reward, or the possibility for future travel... In contrast,
intrinsic motivation is caused by inside factors like the enjoyment of the learning
process itself or by a desire to make them feel better.

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Clearly, motivation plays an important role in the success of language learning
in general but we may wonder how much or to what extent motivation accounts for
students’ participation in oral activities. We may not give the exact answer but we
can conclude with certainty that the degree of motivation is directly proportional to
the level of involvement in oral tasks. In general, the more motivated students are,
the more actively they will participate in oral activities.
In order to raise students’ motivation we have to understand motivation.
According to Harmer they can derive from the society we live in, significant others
like parents, the teacher and the method. Among these sources, the teacher and the
method may be of the most important.
Downs [13, 8-13] also points out some conditions that help increase students’
motivation. He says that motivation increase when students feel acknowledged and
understood, when students are confident they can succeed, when language has a
communicative purpose and when students take responsibility for their own
learning.
Obviously, the degree of motivation is directly proportional to the level of
involvement in speaking tasks. In detail, the more motivated students are, the more
actively they will participate in oral activities.
• Students’ language levels:
For students’ language levels, Harmer [15] mentions that in a class where
students’ language levels are different, teachers may have some difficulties in
choosing a suitable teaching method, language and activities used in class. Harmer
also claims that some techniques and exercises are suitable for some students but
less appropriate for others. The limitation in the students’ language level can
directly after their participation however much they like the activities. We,
therefore, should choose the topics as well as the kinds of activities of their levels to
encourage their participation.
In addition, for a long time students have formed a habit of learning subjects
in Vietnamese passively. They are hardly willing to speak out their ideas in class

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unless they are called. This habit may have a negative effect when they are learning
a foreign language which needs their frequent practice. Besides, even for English,
many schools and learners only focus on written exams while developing learners’
communicative abilities is not emphasized.
To conclude, those are the main factors originating from students’ side that
may affect students’ participation in classroom activities in general and oral ones in
particular.
1.2.2 Teacher factors
• Teachers’ teaching methods:
The first mentioned is teacher’s teaching methods including teacher-centered
and learner- centered methods. In more recent time, concerning developing
learners’ communicative competence Communicative Language Teaching (CLT)
has captured pedagogues’ attention due to its salient characteristics including a
desire to communicative, a communicative purpose, content not form, variety of
language, no teacher intervention or learner-centeredness, and no material control.
Listing out these methods does not mean that we can choose a method to be
perfectly applied to a certain class to increase students’ involvement. However, it
helps us understand the strengths and shortcomings of these methods. In order to
have suitable method, the teacher should take some of the following factors into
consideration including learners, teaching purposes and other available classroom
conditions. This method can be one or a combination of those above mentioned
methods. Choosing an inappropriate or not being flexible in applying methods to a
certain class may have negative effects on students’ participation.
• Teacher’s knowledge:
A good teacher of English is a person who is supposed to have language
ability, specialist knowledge and general knowledge of an English speaking
country. In the study: What Makes a Good Teacher, Breach [2, 30-37] points out
that most students believe that the teacher is a fountain of knowledge and their main
responsibility is to pass on that knowledge to students. Breach compares the teacher

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with a teapot and the students with empty cups waiting for the knowledge from the
teacher to be poured down in. To discuss teachers’ knowledge, we are going to
focus on language ability, specialist knowledge and general knowledge of Englishspeaking countries. A good teacher is not a fluent, accurate English speaker but they
understand the difficulties their students often face.
• Teacher’s characteristics:
Besides the knowledge, teachers’ characteristics may have a great effect on
students’ participation. Teacher who always manage to create an exciting class are
thought to have a “special gift” for the teaching job. Actually, the thing called
‘special gift’ is his characteristics and qualities.
Barry [1] lists out some characteristics a teacher should have that help
motivate students to participate in classroom activities. These are being natural,
being warm, pleasant, approachable and tolerant.
In conclusion, students’ participation can be affected by teachers’ factors
including teaching methods, teachers’ knowledge and characteristics.
Besides these factors mentioned above, some classroom factors including
classroom itself, classroom structure, and classroom atmosphere and other factors as
the place of examinations and tests also have effect on students’ participation in
classroom speaking activities. This is very important work as it provides us with
basic theory to find out techniques to overcome those factors and increase students’
participation.
Summary
It is not easy to study all the affective factors affecting students’ participation
in oral activities. It can be also affected by different affective factors originating
from students, teachers and other classroom related factors. In this study, we have
pointed some major factors that may affect learners’ participation in classroom
speaking activities. This is very important work as it provides with basic theory to
find out techniques to overcome those factors and increase students’ participation.
1.3. Background of speaking

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1.3.1. The nature of language skills
Based on the purpose of analysis and instruction, language is divided into
different skill areas. On the teaching point of view, language skills consist mainly of
four macro-skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Those four skills have
supportive relationship.
Byrne [9] divides the four language skills into two groups. The group of
productive skills consists of speaking and writing. The group of receptive skills
includes listening and writing. They are also divided according to the manners by
which they are formed. The skills which are related to articulate organs are called
oral skills which include listening and speaking. The ones in connection with
manual script are named literacy skills which consist of reading and writing. All
these four are represented in table 1.

Receptive skills

Oral Skills
Listening
Speaking
Reading
Writing
Literacy skills
Table 1: The four –macro skills

Productive skills

Of the four skills, speaking plays an essential role. Byrne [10, 9] proves that this
oral skill in communication is complementary. If one man is good at speaking skill,
other skills will be much supported.
Many language learners considerer speaking ability is the measure of knowing a
language. As for them, fluency is the ability to converse with others much more than
the ability to read, write or comprehend oral language. They regard speaking as the
most important skill they can acquire and they access their progress in terms of their
accomplishments on spoken communication. Bygate [8] considers speaking as an
undervalued skill in many ways; he also comments that speaking is a skill that
deserves attention every bit as much as literacy skill in both first and second

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language. Learners often need to be able to speak with confidence in order to carry
out many of their most basic transaction. Bygate highly appreciates speaking skill by
stating that speaking is the medium through with much language is learnt. Brown [6]
defines “speaking as an interactive process of constructing meaning that involves
producing, receiving and processing information”. In Brown and Yule’ [5] opinion,
spoken language consists of short, fragmentary utterances in a range of
pronunciation.
Different linguists have different concepts of speaking but they are all agree that
if learners do not learn how to speak or do not get any opportunities to speak in the
language classroom, they may soon get demotivated and lose interest in learning. On
the contrary, if the right activities are taught in right way, speaking in class can be a
lot of fun, raising general learner participation as well as motivation, making the
English language classroom a fun and dynamic place to be.
To sum up, it is undeniable that speaking is the key to communication. To
increase students’ participation in English class, it is necessary to try to change
traditional lessons into new lessons or adapted speaking lessons with foster students’
interaction. It is teacher’s responsibility to provide opportunities for participation and
interaction (Brown, 1994). Methodologists suggest that teacher can increase the level
of participation if they can provide activities that can facilitate learner’s participation,
maximize their practice time, encourage them to voice ideas and feelings, and then
increase their motivation in oral activities. By considering what good speakers do,
what speaking tasks can be used in class and what specific needs learners report,
teachers can help learners improve their speaking and overall oral competency.
1.3.2. The importance of teaching English speaking.
It is observed that many Vietnamese teachers of English are good at teaching
vocabulary and grammar in order to translate texts and to to prepare students for
examinations. Howevver, organizating lessons to practice speaking English can be a
big challenge for both teachers and students. Many teachers worldwide have to
teach mainly grammar and vocabulary because tense areas are tested in

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examinations. This means that speaking is a neglected language skill in many
classrooms. Students may have a good knowlege of grammar and a wide range of
vocabulary, they can use this knowledge to pass the examiantions, but they find it
difficult to speak English in the real-life situations.
A classroom is not only a place where we learn about the rules of language. It
is also a place where students can practice using the language in a supportive
environment. As a result, we, teachers have to try to speed up this process. This
means that teachers have to introduce new language and help students practice it
often.
Teachers need to use lots of interesting ways to motivate students to speak and
improve their speaking ability. Teachers not only gie them new words (vocabulary)
and tell them how to put words together correctly (grammar) but also give them
opportunities to use and practice the language they have learnt. Also, providing
extra speaking skills.
1.3.3. Teaching speaking.
a) The role of the teacher and learner in teaching and learning speaking
• The role of the teacher
According to Breen and Candlin [3], the teacher has three main roles in a
speaking class. The first is to act as a facilitator of the communicative process, the
second is to act as a participant, and the third is to act as an observer.
• The role of the students
The aim of teaching speaking is to enable learners to communicate effectively
and successfully in real life. So in Nunan’s [36] view, to meet this aim, the learners
have to take some roles such as: the passive recipient of outside stimulation, the
integrator and negotiator capable of giving as well as taking, a listener and
performer little controlling over the content of learning, and they should be
involved in a process of personal growth and in a social activities. Especially, they
must take responsibility for their own learning developing autonomy and skills in
learning how to learn.

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b) Principle for teaching speaking.
Thankfully, language teaching methods have changed somewhat since the
nineteenth century. This is particularly true of the last twenty- five years, which
have seen a change of focus from “language structure” to “language use”. In the
area of speaking, researchers have put increasing emphasis on “natural speech”.
That is to say there has been a shift in focus from the product of speaking to the
process involved. This has led us to a fresh view of the students’ free expressions as
the goal of teaching speaking.
The governing principle for the processes involved is to give students more
and more opportunities to use language as they wish, they try to express their own
ideas so that they become aware that they have learnt something useful to them
personally, and thus they are encouraged to go no learning (Byrne [8]). The best
speech is creative. However, teacher may help students’ progress through several
steps. First, the teachers present new language to the students, then they must
practice the new language in a controlled way. Finally, students can try to use
language they have learnt in free or creative speech. For the purposes of this,
teaching spoken language should start from the early stage of learning.
Burns [7] has suggested some general principles for the teaching of speaking,
namely:
+ Speaking involves an understanding of the way in which context influences
the choices of language made.
+ Speaking involves an understanding that spoken texts differ from written
texts in their grammatical patterns and discourse strategies.
+ Speaking activities should focus on whole text in contexts, rather than one
sentence level grammatical construction in isolation.
+ Speaking activities aim to develop the confidence, desire and ability to use
the target language not only accurately but also appropriately and effectively for the
purpose of communication.

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+ Learning and practicing vocabulary, grammatical structures and
pronunciation should be related to contexts and lead to the use of whole the texts.
+ Spoken discourse types or texts can be analyzed with the learners for their
typical structures and grammatical patterns.
1.3.4. Speaking activities
Characteristics of a successful English speaking activity.
According to Ur [43, 120], a successful speaking activity consists of the
following characteristics:
- A lot of learners talk: learners speak as much as possible during the period of
time allowed. Time taken up with teacher talk or pauses is minimized.
- Even participation every learner takes part in the speaking activity. The
participants’ contributions are fairly distributed.
- High motivation: The topic makes them interested and eager to speak or
learners want to fulfill the task to get the goal.
- An acceptable language lever: Learners use relevant and comprehensible
expressions. Language accuracy is of an acceptable level.
- Also discussing the features of speaking activities, Nunan (1998) suggested
that the features of “good” activities should:
- Get all students to participate actively
- Not make students feel embarrassed
-

Not make students feel stressful
Enable students to use their own language even when they are not in the

classroom
Be practical to daily life
Mobilize the ability for the desire of speaking and interacting from
students themselves
Enable students to work in groups and discuss to find out the solution to
their common task.
1.3.5. Problems with English speaking and speaking activities.
a) Problems with English speaking
Everything has bad and good sides. Speaking also has its own problems.

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According to Brown (1994: 256), the characteristics of spoken language can make
oral performance easy as well as in soe cases difficult. There are following
problems with speaking:

Clustering
Fluent speech is phrase not word by word. Learners can organize out put both
conitively and physically through such clustering.

Redundancy
The speaker has an opportunity to make clearer through the redundancy of
language. Learner can capitalize on this featured of spoken language.

Reduced forms
Contraction, elisions, reduced vowel, etc all form special problems in teaching
spoken English. Students don’t learn colloquial contraction can sometimes develop
a stilted, bookish quality of speaking that in turn stigmatize them.

Colloquial language
Colloquialism appears in monogues and dialogues. If learners are only
exposed to standard English and/ or ‘textbook’ language, they somtimes have
difficulty in understanding and producing words, idioms and phrases of colloquial
language.

Stress, rhythm and intonation
This is the most important characteristic of English pronunciation because the
stress-timed rhythm of spoken English and its intonation patterns convey important
massages. But the fact that the learners of English often find it difficut to pronounce
English words, to stress the right syllables, to follow the tress-timed rhythm and
intonation patterns of spoken English.

Affective factors
In the process of learning speaking, students often encounter the risk of saying
out things that may be wrong, stupid and incomprehensible. At those times, they
tend to be anxious because they do ot want to be judged by other learners.

Interaction
The greatest difficulty that the students face in learning to speak originates
from the interactive nature of most communication. Engaged in the process of
negotiation of meaning with any discourse constraints, learners have to do the
complex task of choosing what to say, how to say, when to say, ... Learners are also
affected by thier interlocutors’ performance.
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b) Problems with English speaking activities
Classroom activities that develop learners’ ability to express themselves
through speech is an important component of a language course where CLT is
applied. However, it is more difficult to design and adminster such activities than to
do so for listening, reading or writing. Teachers often come across the problems that
Ur [43,121] lists out:

Inhibition:
Unlike reading, writing and listenig actiities, speaking requires some degree of
real time exposure to an audience. Learners are often inhibition about trying to say
things in a foreign language. In the classroom: worried about making mistakes,
fearful of criticism or losing face, or simply shy of the attention that thier speech
attracts.

Nothing to say:
Even if they are not inhibited, you often hear learners complain that they can
not think of anything to say, or that they have no motive to express themselve
beyond the guilty feeling.

Lows or uneven participation:
Only one participate can talk at a time if he or she is to heard; and in a large
group this means that each one will have only very little talking time. This problem
is compounded by the tendency of some learners to dominate, while others speak
very little or not at all.

Mother-tongue use:
In classes all, or a number of the learners share the same mother tongue for
many reasons: Firstly, they may tend to use it because it is easier. Secondly, they
feel unnatural to speak to one another in a foreign language and lastly because they
feels less ‘exposed’ if they are speaking thier mother tongue. If they are talking in a
small group it can be quite difficult to get some class-particularly the less
disciplined or motivated ones to keep to the target language.
Through two sections above, we can know most of the difficulties that
students often encounter in learning English speaking skill. Basing on these views,
an action research is to caried out on adapting some English speaking activities for
the ‘Tieng Anh 10’ to reduce these difficulties.
1.3.6. Ways of organizing speaking activities.
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