Tải bản đầy đủ

Ứng dụng hình thức kể chuyện để cải thiện kĩ năng nói cho sinh viên năm thứ nhất tại trường cao đẳng kinh tế tài chính thái nguyên

THAI NGUYEN UNIVERSITY
SCHOOL OF FOREIGN LANGUAGES

BUI NGOC MAI

APPLYING STORYTELLING TO IMPROVE SPEAKING SKILL FOR
THE FIRST YEAR STUDENTS AT THAI NGUYEN COLLEGE OF
ECONOMICS AND FINANCE
(Ứng dụng hình thức kể chuyện để cải thiện kĩ năng nói cho sinh viên
năm thứ nhất tại trường Cao đẳng Kinh tế Tài chính Thái Nguyên)

M.A. THESIS
Field: English Linguistics
Code: 8220201

THAI NGUYEN – 2018


THAI NGUYEN UNIVERSITY
SCHOOL OF FOREIGN LANGUAGES


BUI NGOC MAI

APPLYING STORYTELLING TO IMPROVE SPEAKING SKILL FOR
THE FIRST YEAR STUDENTS AT THAI NGUYEN COLLEGE OF
ECONOMICS AND FINANCE
(Ứng dụng hình thức kể chuyện để cải thiện kĩ năng nói cho sinh viên
năm thứ nhất tại trường Cao đẳng Kinh tế Tài chính Thái Nguyên)

M.A. THESIS
(APPLICATION ORIENTATION)
Field: English Linguistics
Code: 8220201
Supervisor: Dr. Nguyen Thi Viet Nga

THAI NGUYEN – 2018


DECLARATION
-----------*****----------I certify that the minor thesis entitled “Apply storytelling to improve
speaking skill for the first year students at Thai Nguyen College of Economics
and Finance” is my own study in the fulfillment of the requirement for the Degree
of Master of Arts at Foreign Language Faculty, Thai Nguyen University.

Signature:

Bùi Ngọc Mai

Thai Nguyen, 2018.

i


ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
This research has enabled me to investigate a new aspect of storytelling when
introduced as a curricular innovation and gain more insights into my teaching
practice. I am grateful to many people who have supported and encouraged me to
complete this minor thesis.
I would like to express my gratitude to Dr Nguyen Viet Nga, Academy of
Journalism and Communication. Without her insightful advice, encouragement and
dedication, this thesis would not have been successfully completed.


My sincere thanks also go to my colleagues and students at Thai Nguyen
College of Economics and Finance for their assistance during the process of data
collection. I am also grateful to 50 students who took part in my research. Their
efforts and cooperation during the innovation are highly appreciated.
My final indebtedness goes to my family, colleagues and friends who have
given me in-time support and encouragement. Their care and sharing have enabled
me to complete this thesis.
Bùi Ngọc Mai

ii


ABSTRACT

Previous research has been conducted related to the effectiveness of
storytelling towards different aspects of language learning, especially speaking skill.
It has been established by many researchers that storytelling can positively improve
learners’ speaking skill and be used as a useful method to engage students in the
classroom. While research to date has been launched outside Vietnam at different
levels of education, it has not been adequately done to investigate the relationship
between storytelling and speaking skill within the Vietnamese context. That is the
main reason for the researcher to carry out a form of action research as a trial to
check the effectiveness of storytelling in teaching students English speaking skill.
This minor thesis reflects on a qualitative research project to explore the
effectiveness of storytelling on 50 first year students’ speaking skill during five
weeks of learning and interaction.
Three research instruments including

observation, evaluation sheet, and

semi-structured interview were designed to investigate the improvement of the
students’ speaking skill via telling stories and their engagement in the classroom
activities over the given period of introducing storytelling as a curricular
innovation.
The

results showed

that the

students’

speaking

skill,

especially

pronunciation, intonation, body language and eye contact, were improved. It also
showed that students were engaged by listening attentively to their classmates’
stories in the classroom.

iii


LIST OF CHARTS
Chart 1: Elements of speaking skills improved by storytelling - Individual
presentations .............................................................................................................25
Chart 2: Elements of speaking skills improved by storytelling - Group presentations
...................................................................................................................................27
Chart 3: Determinants of a logical story - Individual presentation .........................29
Chart 4: Determinants of a logical story – Group presentation ..............................30

iv


TABLE OF CONTENTS
DECLARATION ........................................................................................................ i
LIST OF CHARTS ................................................................................................... iv
CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION ...............................................................................1
1.1. Rationale for the study .........................................................................................1
1.2. Aims of the study ................................................................................................3
1.3. Research questions ...............................................................................................3
1.4. Significance of the study ......................................................................................3
1.5. Scope of the study ................................................................................................3
1.6. Design of the study..............................................................................................4
CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW ....................................................................5
2.1. Storytelling ...........................................................................................................5
2.2. Speaking skill and speaking competence .............................................................7
2.3. Storytelling and digital storytelling as a useful pedagogical tool to improve
speaking skill ...............................................................................................................7
2.4. Storytelling as a method of engaging students...................................................10
2.5. The objectives and the steps of applying storytelling in speaking class .......................11
2.6. Review of Related Studies .................................................................................13
2.7. Theoretical Framework ......................................................................................14
2.8. Summary ...........................................................................................................15
CHAPTER 3. METHODOLOGY ............................................................................16
3.1. Research approach .............................................................................................16
3.2. Participants, Course Syllabus and Materials ......................................................16
3.2.1. Participants…………………………………………………………………..16
3.2.2. Course Syllabus……………………………………………………………...16
3.2.3. Materials………………………………………………………………..16
3.3. Research Methods ..............................................................................................17
3.3.1. Observation .....................................................................................................17
3.3.2. Evaluation Sheet..............................................................................................19
3.3.3.Interview ..........................................................................................................20
3.4. Data collection and data analysis .......................................................................22
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3.5. Triangulation ......................................................................................................23
CHAPTER 4. FINDINGS .........................................................................................24
4.1. Elements of English grammar and speaking skills improved by storytelling…24
4.2. The ways storytelling helps students engage into the classroom activities. ......31
4.2.1. The shift from being passive to active ............................................................31
4.2.2. Factors that help engage students ....................................................................32
CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSION AND SUGGESTIONS ...........................................35
5.1. Recapitulation ....................................................................................................35
5.2. Limitations of the study .....................................................................................36
5.3. Suggestions for further study .............................................................................36

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CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTION
1.1. Rationale for the study
Nowadays, English has become an officially international language in the
world. Due to its popularity, in Vietnam, the teaching of English is taken into
consideration and paid more attention in terms of the attitudes in society, the
policies of government and the efforts from teachers. It is an undeniable fact that
English is also a very important subject at college today. However, the results of the
English learning are not very good due to a number of reasons. One of which is that
the teaching of English has been strongly influenced by the teaching traditional
methods in which teacher played the role of the knowledge provider and the
students were the passive knowledge recipients. Teachers as well as students focus
on grammatical structures whereas four English skills especially speaking skill is
not considered. As a result, they have encountered a number of problems when
dealing with spoken English in real life. Vietnamese students have lots of
difficulties practising speaking skill because they are often shy or even express fear
toward public speaking. However, many students show their desire to learn
speaking skill; some of them even urge teachers to include speaking activities in the
lessons. It is the fact that speaking English well depends on the numer of factors.
They are personal characteristics of the learners, chances to communicate with
native speakers, or motivation of learners, methods of teachers….For college
students, these factors can only work well with the help of the teachers using
different methods in language teaching.
We cannot deny that traditional teaching methods are slowly moving towards
more innovative practices in Vietnam particularly in the Teaching English as a
Second Language (TESOL) which is an educational priority in Vietnam (London
2014, p.4). The Ministry of Education and Training, (MOET) has legislated farreaching changes that insist on all students in Vietnam learning English as a second
language (MOET 2020 Policy). This project is the result of a modest classroom
innovation where students were asked to construct brief stories and convey them
orally to each other. This process is called storytelling. The stories were based on
familiar Vietnamese proverbs and folk tales which the students then translated into

1


English and presented to the group. Processes such as storytelling allow for a more
student-centred approach to learning, and have received very positive anecdotal
responses to date. Student-centred approaches have a long history in Western-based
learning, but are still rather new and under-researched in the Vietnamese context.
An Indian well known proverb says ‘tell me a fact and I’ll learn. Tell me the truth
and I’ll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever’. In the
Vietnamese educational context, historical figures did use storytelling in their
teaching, and storytelling has, in the past, been a widely ‘accepted practice’ used by
them (London, 2011, p.6-7)
Recent researchers beyond Vietnam share the view that storytelling is
instrumental in the learning and teaching language. According to Ohler (2007), as
cited in Somdee and Suppasetseree (2011), and Yuksel, Robin, and McNeil (2011),
storytelling has increasingly been applied as a useful teaching technique. They point
out that storytelling is more actively engaged in many countries both inside and
outside the classroom for educational purposes. Indeed, storytelling has long been
used in the practice of teaching and has been suggested by many researchers to be
both a powerful tool to develop oral skill and a useful method of getting students
engaged in the lessons. Previous research has been launched outside Vietnam at
different levels of education. However, the particular elements of speaking skills
and the degree to which students are engaged in speaking while telling and listening
to stories are areas which are under-researched. In addition, research to date has not
been adequately done to investigate the relationship between storytelling and
speaking skill within the Vietnamese context
Being a teacher of English at Thai Nguyen College of Economics and
Finance, the researcher is well aware of the importance of applying storytelling in
English classes to improve speaking skill for students. This led me to the choice of
the study: “Applying Storytelling to Improve Speaking Skill for the first year
students at Thai

Nguyen College of Economics and Finance” as a trial to

investigate the effectiveness of storytelling in teaching students speaking skill and
detect an effective way to improve speaking skill for the first year students at Thai
Nguyen College of Economics and Finance. It is also hoped that this study may

2


offer the teachers of English at Thai Nguyen College of Economics and Finance
ways on how to use storytelling in teaching English speaking skill more effectively.
1.2. Aims of the study
The aims of the study are:
- To find out the elements of English grammar and speaking skills improved
by storytelling.
- To find out the ways storytelling engages students into the classroom
activities.
1.3. Research questions
This research was conducted in response to investigating the following
research questions
1. How does storytelling help students improve speaking skill?
2. To what extent does storytelling engage students into the classroom
activities?
1. 4. Significance of the study
This research study is to acquire the results that can be beneficial to both
students and teachers at Thai Nguyen College of Economics and Finance.
Students: The result of this study are helpful to the students. They clearly
acknowledge the importance of storytelling with the hope of improving their
English speaking skill. This research also pointed out some of students’ common
mistakes in pronunciation and detected English grammar aspects that could be
improved by storytelling. Consequently, students’ speaking performance will be
much improved.
English teachers: The result of this study provides teachers with the
recognition of some common difficulties in pronunciation as well as grammartical
aspects which their students had to face with when storytelling. This research also
found out the way that storytelling engaged students in class.With this awareness,
teachers, then, can cooperate with students with view to helping them overcome the
problems they met in English communication.
1.5. Scope of the study

3


As mentioned above, the study focuses on the effectiveness of storytelling to
improve English speaking skill for the first year students at Thai Nguyen College of
Economics and Finance. The researcher intendes to draw a brief overview of
applying storytelling in class at Thai Nguyen College of Economics and Finance
and to find out the ways to apply storytelling in teaching speaking skill more
effectively. Any other related issues should be included in further research.
1.6. Design of the study
This study consists of five chapters:
Chapter 1: Introduction

presents rationale, aims, scope, research questions,

methods and design of the study.
Chapter 2: Literature review: reviews the theory of storytelling and related studies
Chapter 3: Methodology: provides the methods that the researcher uses in the paper.
Data collection and analysis are also presented in this chapter.
Chapter 4: Findings and suggestions: focuses on the elements of English speaking
skill that are improved by storytelling and how storytelling engages students in class
and

gives some suggestions for the teachers to apply storytelling in teaching

English speaking skill with view to helping students imrove their speaking skill.
Chapter 5: Conclusion: summarizes all the key issues as well as the limitations of
the study and makes suggestions for further research.

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CHAPTER 2. LITERATURE REVIEW
This chapter is devoted to building a conceptual framework for the research .
It consists of eight sections which present a critical analysis of recent literature on
storytelling and its role in language acquisition. This literature is presented
chronologically and covers both local and international settings.
2.1. Storytelling
Up to now, different views on storytelling and digital storytelling have been
proposed by researchers, most of whom agree that storytelling plays certain useful
roles in human history. Haigh and Hardy (2011, p.408) agree that however different
the definitions of storytelling may be, they are common in the sense of “the effort to
communicate events using words, images, and sounds often including improvisation
or embellishment”. Hunter and Hunter (2006) state that ‘Humans are storied people’
because through such types of documentaries as novels, myths, or history, human
experiences are transferred in the form of stories. These two researchers suggest that
stories function as a mean of educating people, recording facts, teaching culture,
forming standards and values, and sharing common knowledge. Similarly, Wilson
(2002), as stated in Anggryadi (2014), believes that the habit of sharing stories is
common in every culture. It is considered as a method of entertaining, educating,
and maintaining cultural and moral values. It is concluded that via telling story
activities, connections and understanding between individuals are evident. Abma
(2003) also has the same viewpoint. These authors emphasize that telling stories
forms a social context where the same interest group of people will be able to share
experiences, connect themselves with others.
Other researchers consider storytelling as a technique of teaching from
educational perspectives. Widdershoven and Sohl (1999), as cited in Abma (2003),
state that besides playing a role of defining self and complex experiences, stories
help teachers to identify an action cycle and influence others. In addition, Cangelosi
and Whitt (2006) further develop the use of storytelling in education by stating that
it has long been applied as a useful method regardless of formal or informal
settings. These two researchers emphasize that past generations keep traditional
practices alive through verbal storytelling whereas the present convey meanings by

5


the art of story writing. Liu, Liu, Wang, Chen, and Su (2012), moreover, signify the
vital role of storytelling in children’s learning a language. They see storytelling as a
good tool to create opportunities for children to interact, self-express, and most
importantly sympathize with each other. A conclusion is drawn from their argument
that “telling stories collaboratively between children should be encouraged”. (p.39)
The recent technology boom has made researchers pay attention to the
effectiveness of digital storytelling. Somdee and Suppasetseree (2011) agree that
digital storytelling is a ‘powerful technological tool in education’ which combines
the use of computers and the art of telling stories. These two authors further
elaborate this idea by presenting a set of previous researchers’ statements for
support. Porter (2004), as stated in Somdee and Suppasetseree (2011), states that
digital storytelling is an art of telling stories which is combined with images,
posters, or music. Ohler (2007), as cited in Somdee and Suppasetseree (2011),
points out that digital storytelling has been more commonly employed in
classrooms. With the same standpoint, Sadik (2008) states that the use of digital
storytelling enables students to build their own knowledge to express or present
them more lively and attractively. Lynch and Fleming (2007), as cited in Sadik
(2008), share the view that with its ‘aural, visual and sensory elements’, digital
storytelling develops students’ multiple intelligences such as language, music,
space, interpersonal, and intrapersonal. In agreement with Lynch and Fleming,
Robin and Pierson (2005), as stated in Sadik (2008), argue that digital storytelling
help capture both teachers’ and students’ imagination and therefore, unfold their
experiences.
Yuksel, Robin, and McNeil (2011) suggest that digital storytelling should be
used in teaching because it brings specific benefits. According to them, should the
digital storytelling be employed, students will be able to firstly shape their
understanding and experience in a certain targeted content area, secondly work
effective in groups, and finally improve critical thinking skills. Moreover, this
method develops other important skills such as reflection skills, language skills and
artistic skills (p.1267-1268). Hwang et al (2014) further confirm the previous
authors by stating that with the support of computers, this activity is a vital tool to

6


develop speaking skills because animations act as a tool for students to describe
their stories and help them remember new words and structures.
2.2. Speaking skill and speaking competence
In order to implement the innovation in speaking skill, an understanding of
speaking and its components is crucial. Nolasco (1997), as cited in Akhyak and
Indramawan (2013), suggests that a student is competent in speaking if he or she is
able to show the mutual understanding and interactive norm of a conversation,
which means an awareness activity and feedback ability must be ensured in order
for the students to be aware of the target task and for the teacher to evaluate
students’ progress. It means that in any context of launching a speaking activity,
students are competent in speaking if they are conscious about the task designed by
the teachers and the teachers are able to give assessment after that.
Brown (2004), as stated in Akhyak and Indramawan (2013), puts forward
indicators of speaking competence, based on which the teachers are able to evaluate
their students’ abilities to present a short talk with a certain level of precision of
grammar, stress, and lexical resources, to exchange information, and to maintain
social relationship. (p.20)
Ur (1999), as cited in Akhyak and Indramawan (2013), also suggests another set of
criteria for a successful speaking classroom, including:
1. Learners maintaining speech as long as possible
2. Equal participation among learners
3. Learners’ eagerness to speak
4. A certain level of accuracy and relevance
Looking at these characteristics of speaking competence, the researcher can
employ them in feedback activity and assessment criteria.
2.3. Storytelling and digital storytelling as a useful pedagogical tool to improve
speaking skill
Internationally, storytelling has been engaged into the curriculum as a
technique of teaching with its primary aims of encouraging students at different
levels to speak and accordingly, conveying core lessons. In 2001, Gold and Holman
carried out research on the effectiveness of using storytelling and argument analysis

7


in management education. In this research, stories were told among managers with a
view to: 1. highlighting managers’ issues in their reality and checking whether they
might be problematic, 2. making them aware of their preference choices, value
orientation, and daily arguments, 3. helping managers realize expectations to find
solutions from others. The two researchers conclude that storytelling encourages
managers to reflect, promote self-awareness and self-development. More
importantly, storytelling helps managers to engage different perspectives into their
negotiations in hope of reaching a consensus. Using the same technique, Hunter and
Hunter (2006), Cangelosi and Whitt (2006), and Haigh and Hardy (2011)
introduced storytelling in their curriculum to teach nurse and midwifery students.
Regarding Hunter and Hunter’ research, the two researchers emphasize that
storytelling is a strategic tool in educating nurse-midwifery students. The latter
authors further support this point by indicating that stories told by teachers and
students help to form a ‘collegial relationship’ between teaching and learning. By
using stories, the instructor can check students’ comprehension and identify
students’ learning styles.
Directly related to the linguistic aspect, Sadik (2008) and Somdee and
Suppasetseree (2011), whose work was considered above in more general
educational terms, support the effectiveness of digital storytelling in teaching
speaking skills. According to Sadik, students were motivated to deepen their
thoughts about the given topic, personalize their experiences before presenting their
stories orally. Furthermore, in addition to reporting facts, students were able to
reflect their own thinking and typify their own or other issues. Robin (2005), as
cited in Sadik (2008) agrees that practitioners at all level can use digital storytelling
to support students by motivating them to reflect their knowledge. Comb and Beach
(1994) further share the view that storytelling helps students to understand
democratic and cultural ideas, improve their oral skills and create a sharing
environment via stories (as stated in Sadik, 2008, p. 490). Unlike Sadik, whose
focus was on motivating students to deepen their thoughts, Somdee and
Suppasetseree (2011) focus their attention on the relationship between storytelling
and speaking skills. They conclude that digital storytelling is suitable to teach first-

8


year students knowledge of English. In this method, students were motivated to
develop and practice their speaking skill. Bell (1991), as stated in Somdee and
Suppasetseree (2011), argues that the basic feature involved in oral language
comprehension is by connecting language and thought with imagery.
In the same view with Somdee and Suppasetseree, Isbell et al (2004),
Mokhtar, Halim, and Kamarulzaman (2010), Lockett (2011), Afrilyasanti and
Basthomi (2011), and Nguyen, Stanley and Stanley (2014) also pointed out the
influence of storytelling on students’ speaking skills. According to them, students
were more dynamic in terms of asking for elaboration, contributing to discussions,
and presenting their own new ideas. Another point worth discussing is that students
spoke more during the process of organizing and presenting their stories, than they
did in any other form of specifically spoken activity. Particularly, during
storytelling, students’ pronunciation and fluency were enhanced because of their
repeated exposure to some new words and listening to their recorded performances.
The two authors’ findings are backed up by other two previous researchers in the
field. Indeed, Porter (2007), as stated in Afrilyasanti and Basthomi (2011), agrees
that students will be more creative in their communication skills and think more
inventively due to storytelling. More notably, digital storytelling will equip students
with needed communication skills – whether oral, written or digital – which enable
students to function well in the society. Likewise, Neal (2004), as stated in
Afrilyasanti and Basthomi (2011), emphasizes the effectiveness of digital
storytelling in conveying information by clarifying its advantages. These factors are
stories’ nature of catching attention, subtlety, and ability to transfer different shades
of meaning.
Other researchers unveil other findings from the assistance of storytelling in
speaking skills. With regard to specific aspects of speaking competence, Akhyak
and Indramawan (2013) find that storytelling enables students to improve their
‘fluency, grammar pronunciation, vocabulary, and content’. They add that students
are motivated and stimulated to speak with fluency thanks to storytelling.
Abdolmanafi-Rokni and Qarajeh (2014) also suggest

storytelling be a

comprehensive teaching tool because it helps promote creativity and other language

9


skills thanks to its rich cross-cultural values. Besides, the two researchers argue that
storytelling is an effective method of teaching basing on its ability to assist learners
to understand the whole content of a story, use wide ranges of words and clearly
express their thinking. (p.253)
They conclude that storytelling is a powerful technique to higher student’s
cognitive ability and boost their imagination.
2.4. Storytelling as a method of engaging students
Beside its capacities to improve students’ speaking skills, storytelling proves
beneficial for teachers to engage their students into the classroom activities. In
management education, Greene (1997), as stated in Abma (2003), considers
storytelling as a collaborative process in which people will dynamically participate
from the start to the end. Moreover, both organizers and participants in the
workshop will approach the activity of telling stories as knowledgeable partners and
will, therefore, take turn to control the flow of stories. David (2004), as stated in
Somdee and Suppasetseree (2011), agrees that digital storytelling inspires students
by giving them motivation, engagement and a sense of interest. This suggestion is
further supported by Neal (2004), as stated in Afrilyasanti and Basthomi (2011),
who states that students are encouraged by digital storytelling to participate into the
speaking class activity. Gils (2005), as stated in Sadik (2008), similarly suggests
five advantages of digital storytelling as follows: 1. Providing teachers more options
in organizing activities, 2. Individualizing personal experiences, 3. Making speaking
activities more inspiring, 4. Approaching daily social situation more easily, and 5.
Involving students in learning. In nurse training, Cangelosi and Whitt (2006) state
that a sense of inclusiveness and community for learning and teaching will be
created through storytelling. Most important of all, Afrilyasanti and Basthomi
(2011) indicate that in digital storytelling students are empowered to express their
own stories and so they will be more encouraged in the lesson. Hence, an active and
responsive class is expected because students are confident to speak based on an
available source of ideas from their own lives.
Other researchers focus their attention on the ability of storytelling to boost
students motivation. Palmer et al (2000, p.100) confirm that storytelling is ‘an

10


exceptional teaching tool’ because it motivates children to follow sentence models
from the stories told and them make them their own. The most common phrases
imitated are ‘Once upon a time’ and ‘Long ago in a faraway land’. Lockett (2011,
p.9) and Mokhtar et al (2011, p.164) both agree that storytelling can attract listeners
and promote speaking skills because it helps students learn how to pay attention to
the storytellers, caters for students’ interests and improve their motivation. Mokhtar,
Kamarulzaman, and Halim (2012) explain the reasons why storytelling is able to
improve students’ participation. They believe that this activity emphasizes the
significance of listening, conveying ideas, and interacting with other students.
Therefore, students gain more confidence and with ‘improved self-esteem and
confidence, the students could learn their second language better’ (p.227).
2.5. The objectives and the steps of applying storytelling in speaking class
It is important to master the objectives as well as the steps of applying
storytelling in speaking class. Some researchers have suggested key findings relating
to these issues. According to Ellis and Brewster (1991), as stated in Anggryadi
(2014), storytelling serves five functions as follows: 1. Create positive responses for
students towards learning a foreign language, 2. develop students’ ability to
imagine, 3. create a habit of sharing information, 4. Enable students to learn new
vocabularies and structures, and 5. Enhance other extra skills such as concentration,
listening or grammar. (p.5)
Another set of objectives is also shared by Samantaray (2014). The author
suggests that the activity of storytelling should contain the following characteristics:
1. To enable the students to learn English language skills
2. To enhance their confidence and speaking skill
3. To increase the student’s knowledge of vocabulary, structure, context and
grammar
4. To develop problem solving skills
5. To shed inhibition
6. To teach narrative structure and practice description
7. To create interest and develop listening comprehension
8. To improve pronunciation and intonation

11


9. To enhance the skills of connecting to content, connecting to learners and
modeling
10. To create fluency in speaking and to think about narration in writing
11. To encourage interaction and share culture
(Samantaray, p.41)
To ensure these objectives, sets of criteria to select appropriate stories are
needed. Burn and Broman (1975), as stated in Akhyak and Indramawan (2013),
emphasize four factors as follows: a predictable plot with one main character, a
repetition of key vocabularies and structures, careful word choices. (p.21)
Ellis and Brewster (1991), as stated in Akhyak and Indramawan (2013),
suggest a more detailed selection category with nine elements as follow:
1. Appropriate level of difficulty
2. Pronunciation: stories should contain factors that listeners find interesting to
imitate
3. Catchy content or topic: stories should be chosen in a way that catches
listeners’ attention
4. Appropriate and catchy illustrations with visuals such as pictures or posters
5. Participation encouragement
6. Motivation
7. Provoking curiosity
8. Positive feedback and attitude form listeners
9. Appropriate language content with the target culture
(p.21)
Andrew Wright (1995), as stated in in Akhyak and Indramawan (2013), also
puts forward other characteristics to the list by stating that a good story should catch
students’ attention from the start of the story, be relevant with students’ age, be
comprehensible with simple and brief content, and create confidence for students.
(p.21)
Another thorough set of characteristics of storytelling is suggested by a recent
author. According to Samantaray (2014), an activity of storytelling should engage
students altogether, provoke and build students’ curiosity and interest, and improve

12


students’ communicative skills, particularly vocabulary, comprehension and story
sequencing. Other two key points are to help students with their short term memory
and erase their misery. (p.41)
Finally, Anggryadi (2014) proposes a procedure of eight steps to engage
storytelling in the classroom. It contains:
1. Teachers’ giving samples and modelling
2. Selecting and prescribing topics
3. Carrying out and ordering students to build up stories
4. Sharing vocabulary
5. Fifteen – twenty minute preparation
6. Presenting the story
7. Discussing the stories
8. Inviting the next turn
(p.6)
Among these lists of categories, Ellis and Brewster’s list, provided above —
for the purposes of this current research project — appears to be the most
comprehensive as it covers almost all aspects of language competence and benefits
both presenters and listeners. The recognition of ‘positive feedback and attitude
form listeners’ and ‘appropriate language content with the target culture’, which are
the final two items on their list, are particularly useful in a setting such as that in
which the current research took place.
2.6. Review of Related Studies
The researcher reviews several studies conducted before this study which
discussed the effectiveness of storytelling in speaking class. The first study was
conducted by Jason Ohler (2007) titled “ Digital Storytelling in the Classroom: New
Media Pathway to Literacy, Learning and Creativity”. The study consisting three
main parts with fifteen chapters was carried out for a large number of purposes. It
helps readers to see the significance of digital storytelling in the classroom, to
understand students’attraction to a good digital story and to introduce digital
storytelling procedures.

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The second study also gives the researcher better understanding on how to
use digital storytelling in education. The study is titled “ Educational Use of Digital
Storytelling Around the World” written by Pelin Yuksel, Benard R Robin, Sara
McNeil (2011). This study is to investigate how educators, students as well as
others around the world use digital storytelling to support the educational process. It
also gives a general framework about educational use of digital storytelling in
different countries and highlights the perceptions of people about this techonology.
In 2001, Gold and Holman conducted the research on the effectiveness of
using storytelling and argument analysis in management education. The title is “ Let
Me Tell You a Story: An Evaluation of the Use of Storytelling and Agrument
Analysis in Management Education” In this research, stories were told among
managers with a view to highlighting managers’ issues in their reality and checking
whether they might be problematic, making them aware of their preference choices,
value orientation, and daily arguments and helping managers realize expectations to
find solutions from others. The two researchers conclude that storytelling
encourages managers to reflect, promote self-awareness and self-development.
More importantly, storytelling helps managers to engage different perspectives into
their negotiations in hope of reaching a consensus.
Recent researchers beyond Vietnam share the view that storytelling is
instrumental in the learning and teaching language. They point out that storytelling
is more actively engaged in many countries both inside and outside the classroom
for educational purposes. Indeed, storytelling has long been used in the practice of
teaching and has been suggested by many researchers to be both a powerful tool to
boost oral skill and a good method of getting students engaged in the lessons.
2.7. Theoretical Framework
The theoretical underpinning of this research is based on the ideas made
popular by Stephen Krashen (1981). As an internationally acclaimed expert in the
field of linguistics, Krashen has specialized for the past 20 years in theories of
language acquisition and development.

His work is widely known and well

accepted and has had a large impact on second language research and teaching since
the 1980s. Krashen’s theory offers the basis for the choice of stories as a tool to

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create a condition in which students have interactions and convey meaningful
messages to their peers. Stories also provide a foundation for communicative
activities for students so that they can put more focus on the meaning conveyed
thanks to their speaking skill rather than grammar or written reports.
2.8. Summary
In conclusion, this chapter covered the theories related to the concept of
storytelling, the concept of speaking and speaking competence , storytelling as a
useful pedagogical tool to foster speaking skills, storytelling as a method of
engaging students, the objectives, selection, and implementation of storytelling in
speaking class. In view of the previous research, it can be seen that storytelling has
a well-founded background as a helpful pedagogical technique in education. It is
widely applied in almost every field of learning from management education, nurse
training to English language classroom. Despite looking at storytelling from
different angles, all researchers whose work has been considered in this Theoritical
Background affirm its advantages in the practice of teaching. Storytelling can firstly
be a powerful tool of unfolding personal experiences, conveying meanings and
lessons, forming a sense of inclusiveness and active participation. Related to the
researcher’s own context, storytelling is seen as a technique to improve students’
English speaking skills and engage them in the classroom activities. The
information relating to digital storytelling, provided above in this Theoritical
Background, is relevant to this current research because many elements are shared
between digital storytelling and the type of real-life, face-to-face storytelling that
formed the basis of this current research project. Many of the benefits of digital
storytelling apply also to the type of storytelling that was implemented during this
project. It is also important to note that all the research was carried out outside
Vietnam. This forms the foundation for the researcher to implement this innovation
within a local classroom of Vietnamese first year students.

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CHAPTER 3. METHODOLOGY
3.1. Research approach
This study employs qualitative approach to find out the effectiveness of
storytelling in teaching speaking skill for the first year students.
3.2. Participants, Course Syllabus and Materials
3.2.1. Participants
50 students at Thai Nguyen College of Economics and Finance took part in
this study. Choosing 50 the first year students from a class that the researcher
teaches helps her get the best observation. Of all 50 students, there are 30 female
and 20 male students at the age from 18 to 20. They come from different places in
the North of Vietnam so they may have different background and living condition.
Some of them have the local accents. All of them have learnt English for at least 7
years at their secondary school and high school. However, in term of knowledge
and learning environment, they are quite different. The study was carried out to
explore the effectiveness of storytelling on first year students’ speaking skill during
5 weeks of learning and interaction.
3.2.2 Course Syllabus
Detailed course outline is attached in Appendix 2
The scores collected from the Evaluation Sheet were counted and transcribed in 2
separate sheets of paper. Then Mean and SD were counted to build up the tables for
analysis. (See Appendix 3)
3.2.3. Materials
The videos used as materials for the students’ presentations were selected
according to the students’ favourite themes. They are mostly about common and
famous Vietnamese and English proverbs and Oscar-winning animated short films.
To ensure the suitability, the videos contain English at pre-Intermediate and
Intermediate levels with both British and American accents. The students
summarized the content of the videos at home or in class, shared them with their
classmates, and finally showed their point of view or impressions on the chosen
video. The time for each individual presentation and group presentation is 3 and 7
minutes respectively. After the presentation finished, the videos were showed to the

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whole class for a thorough understanding. Both individual and group presentation
were collected and analysed.
3.3. Research Methods
Golafshni (2003, p. 600) argues that to enjoy details of both numbers and
words in a naturalistic-oriented research, such methods as interview and observation
are dominant. Sharing the same view with Winter (2000), as stated in Golafshani
(2003), who agrees that qualitative researchers should involve and play a role in the
research, Patton (2001), as stated in Golafshani (2003), affirms that researchers’
involvement is important because the real world situations are likely to change and
accordingly the researchers are there to record the process during the course of
change. Based on Golafshani’s argument, the researcher used observation,
Evaluation Sheet, and interview to find such evidences to address the two research
questions.
3.3.1. Observation

Observation is a favoured and dominant method used in qualitative research.
Pratt (2006) concludes that there are three main ways of observations: participant
observation, non-participant observation, and systematic observation. In this paper,
only non-participant observation is discussed because it suits the researcher’s
context most. The author claims that in this method, the researcher only plays a role
as researcher and observes targeted situations. The researcher may stand at the back
of the classroom or behind the scene as long as his or her presence causes the least
disturbance possible by using ‘fly on the wall’ technique. This method requires less
effort and helps the researcher avoid being ‘going native’ or being biased. Pratt
(2006) also agrees that once the researcher set up the observed subject, the task
becomes much easier because the researcher only needs to note down as many bits
of information as possible via taking notes, recording tape, filming. These bits
benefit the researcher in such a way that recorded courses of action can be analysed
in detail later. However, in analyzing such information the researcher is required to
put effort in watching, noting down, coding the targeted details carefully. Patton and
Cochran (2002) share the view that observation is vital to fully understand how
complex a situation is. The two authors state that data gained from observation

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