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    THẠC SĨ How to maximize part-time students ’ involvement in English speaking lessons at Hai Phong Foreign Languages Centre

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  6. How to maximize part-time students ’ involvement in English speaking lessons at Hai Phong Foreign Languages Centre

    Introduction

    1. Rationale of the study
    It can not be denied that English is very important nowadays. It is considered to be a very significant and necessary tool used in many fields such as science, technology, diplomacy and so on. It is seen as a means to bridge the gap and promote mutual understanding and cooperation among countries in the world.
    In Vietnam, at present, the role of English has been more and more increasingly crucial because of the fact that Vietnam has succeeded in becoming an official member of WTO since 2006.
    Being aware of the great significance of English, more and more people desire to master it in hope of making English an useful means to serve their own purposes.
    For the above mentioned reasons, English has been taught not only in Universities, Colleges but also at Foreign Languages Centres.
    As a teacher of English at Hai Phong Foreign Languages Centre - Hai Phong University where a great number of learners come to learn and hope to have a good command of English. As for them, the four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing are very important but speaking skill is given the top priority among the four. “Speaking in a second or foreign language has often been viewed as the most demanding of the four skills.” (Bailey, Kathleen M. & Savage, Lance, 1994:vii). Bygate, Martin also shares the same opinion as of Bailey M. & Savage Lance when he states “Speaking is, however, a skill with deservers attention every bit as much as literary skill, in both first and second languages.” (1987:vii). For the reason that speaking is the direct communication helping learners achieve their goals of learning and working. With students, they can pass oral examinations at Universities or FLC easily, and those who work with foreign partners wish to use English effectively to negotiate and gain contracts as well as attract investment from foreign companies.
    However, it is not as easy as that because to help students do what they need requires teachers a great effort. Unlike schools or universities, learners at HP FLC are all of ages and walks of life. They themselves are aware of importance of the four skills, especially speaking skill, however, not every time they can do as they expect. In fact, there is a large number of students who may be good at reading, writing but find it difficult to speak in English. I often encourage my students to talk in English in class but they keep silent during the lessons. Some explain that they want to talk but they don’t know what to say. Some are in poor participation in speaking activities in the classroom. Perhaps, there is a variety of reasons for their poor participation, including large classes, lack of ideas and so on. In the opinion of Bygate, Martin, one of the basic problems in foreign language teaching is to prepare learners to be able to use the language. How this preparation is done, and how successful it is depends very much on how we as teachers understand our aims. (1987:3).
    Being the importance of teaching speaking to students, the researcher wishes to do a research on “How to maximize part-time students’ involvement in English speaking lessons?” to help teachers and students better in their teaching and study.

    2. Aims of the study
    Also, in the opinion of Bygate, Martin (1987) development in language teaching must depend partly on our ability to understand the effects of our methodology.
    However, it is not possible to understand all the consequences of everything that we as a teacher do in the classroom.
    Therefore, the study was an attempt to:
    - Investigate the current English speaking teaching and learning at HP FLC.
    - Identify learners’ difficulties in English oral activities in speaking lessons.
    - Find out appropriate solutions to making the speaking lesson more interesting to the learners so that they can get involved better in classroom speaking activities.
    - Make some suggestions for the teachers at HP FLC in hope of assisting them with improvement of their teaching speaking skills.

    3. Scope of the study
    With the purpose of helping learners at Intermediate level at HP FLC to critically and effectively take part in speaking lessons, the researcher intends to give a brief overview of current English speaking teaching and learning situations at HP FLC, identify learners’ problems in oral activities and find out appropriate solutions to the problems.

    4. Methods of the study
    The quantitative method is used in the study. The data collected for the study is from the Intermediate-level learners and the teachers at HP FLC– HPU.
    The former is from 80 non - major Intermediate learners at HP FLC – HPU. (See the Appendix 1)
    The latter is from 15 teachers teaching intermediate learners at the same centre (See Appendix 2)
    Survey questionnaires are used to collect data and evidence for the study.
    In order to make the study more reliable, the researcher also carried out an observation by attending some English speaking lessons at HP FLC.

    5. Research Question
    What should teachers do to maximize learners’ involvement in English speaking lessons?

    6. Significance of the study
    The study hopes to contribute a small part to help teachers improve their teaching speaking skills so that they can give a great assistance to learners with better involvement in English speaking lessons.

    7. Design of the study
    This minor thesis consists of three parts:
    Part one, Introduction, presents the rationale of the study, the aims of the study, scope of the study, methods of the study, research question, significance of the study and design of the study.
    Part two, Development, includes five following chapters.
    Chapter 1, Literature Review, introduces Nature of language skills, Nature of speaking skills and Teaching speaking skills.
    Chapter 2, An overview of Teaching and Learning at HP FLC- HPU, provides information, including teachers’ background, students’ background and resources and materials.
    Chapter 3, Methodology, presents subject of the study, Instrument, Procedure and Method.
    Chapter 4, Data Analysis and Interpretation, focuses on analysis about, learners’ activities toward speaking skills, factors that make them reluctant to speak, current teaching methods applied to teaching speaking. Also at the same time, the chapter provides an analysis on difficulties faced by teachers of teaching speaking lessons and their activities toward reluctant students in speaking lessons.
    Chapter 5, Finding and Recommendation discover factors affecting both learners and teachers during speaking lessons. Basing on these factors, the researcher would like to make some suggestions to help teachers maximize their learners’ involvement in speaking lessons.
    Part three, Conclusion, summarizes the key issues of the study, and short comings exposed during the process of completing the study.

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