An investigation into ctu’s english speaking anxiety and preferable feedback strategies

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CAN THO UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF SOCIAL SCIENCES AND HUMANITIES ENGLISH DEPARTMENT AN INVESTIGATION INTO CTU’S ENGLISH SPEAKING ANXIETY AND PREFERABLE FEEDBACK STRATEGIES B.A. Thesis Supervisor: Nguyễn Hải Quân, M.A Student: Nguyễn PhúcTứ Code: 7107051 Class: NN1054A4 Course: 36 Cantho, 2013 42 43 DECLARATION The thesis entitled “The study of corrective feedback strategies that minimize foreign language speaking” is conducted under the supervision of M.A. NguyễnHảiQuân, an instructor of English at English Department, Can Tho University. I declare that the information reported in the current paper is the result ofmy own work, except where due to reference is made. The thesis has not been accepted for any degree and is not concurrently submitted to any candidature for any other degree or diploma. CanTho, December, 2013 Supervisor Signature NguyễnHảiQuân NguyễnPhúcTứ 44 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to show my deepest appreciation to my supervisor, Mr. Nguyen Hai Quan, who has given me valuable advice and guidance. I cannot imagine how the present study would be without hissupervision and constant help. I always consider it as an honor to work with him. I would like to share a credit with my friends who have always supported me throughout the dissertation. I would like to show my gratitude to the English Department and the School of Social Sciences and Humanity for giving me a chance to conduct this research. Last but not least, I am grateful for the assistance ofcourse 37. Without their participation as respondents for the research questionnaire, the present dissertation would have been impossible. TABLE OF CONTENTS Declaration ..................................................................................................page i Acknowledgement .............................................................................................. ii Table of Contents .............................................................................................. iii List ofFigures and Tables .................................................................................. vi List of Abbreviations ........................................................................................ vii 45 Abstract ........................................................................................................... viii CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION ..................................................... 1 1.1 Background and context ..................................................................... 1 1.2 Statement of the problem ................................................................... 3 1.3 Significance of the study .................................................................... 3 1.4 Purposes of the study ......................................................................... 3 1.5 Organization of the study ................................................................... 4 CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW ................................................. 5 2.1 Foreign Language Anxiety ................................................................. 5 2.2 Components of Foreign Language Anxiety ........................................ 6 2.3 Sources of Foreign Language Anxiety................................................ 6 2.4 Effects of Foreign Language Anxiety ................................................. 7 2.5 Foreign Language Anxiety and Oral Performances ............................ 8 2.6 Corrective Feedback .......................................................................... 9 2.7 Types of Corrective Feedback .......................................................... 10 2.8 Frequency of Corrective Feedback versus Learners‟ Uptake ............ 11 2.9 Effects of Corrective Feedback ........................................................ 13 2.10 The Correlation of Corrective Feedback and Foreign Language Anxiety .......................................................................................... 15 2.11 Summary ........................................................................................ 16 2.12 Research Questions ........................................................................ 18 CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGY ................................................................. 19 3.1 Research Design .............................................................................. 19 3.2 Participants ...................................................................................... 19 3.3 Instrument ........................................................................................ 20 46 3.4 Summary of the Questionnaire ........................................................ 22 3.5 Procedures ....................................................................................... 22 3.6 Data Analysis ................................................................................... 23 CHAPTER 4: FINDINGS .............................................................................. 24 4.1 The Questionnaire ............................................................................ 24 4.2 Potential Sources of Foreign Language Anxiety ............................... 24 4.3 Perceptions of students towards the impact of different types of Corrective Feedback on Students‟ FLA ................................................................. 27 CHAPTER 5: DISCUSSION, LIMITATIONS AND IMPLICATIONS ..... 31 5.1 Discussion........................................................................................ 31 5.1.1Potential sources of Foreign Language Speaking Anxiety among Senior English-majored students in CTU ............................ 31 5.1.2 Types of Error Feedback strategies that can help Students overcome their anxiety ........................................................ 34 5.2 Limitations ....................................................................................... 35 5.3 Implications and Conclusion ............................................................ 36 REFERENCES ............................................................................................... 38 APPENDICES ................................................................................................ 42 Appendix 1: Questionnaire (English version) ......................................... 42 Appendix 2: Questionnaire (Vietnamese version) .................................. 44 Appendix 3: The Output ........................................................................ 47 47 LIST OF FIGURES AND TABLES Table 1: Suzuki‟s distribution for the corrective feedback ............................... 12 Table 2: Lyster and Ranta‟s Distribution for the Corrective Feedback ............. 12 Figure 1: Current Situation of Foreign Language Anxiety among Participants .. 25 Figure 2: Means of Sources of Anxiety among Third-year Englishmajored Students in CTU ................................................................. 26 Figure 3: Potential Sources of Foreign Language Anxiety ............................... 27 Figure 4: Attitude of participants towards Corrective Feedback ....................... 28 Figure 5: Perceptions and Preferences of Students on 6 Corrective Feedback Types ................................................................................................ 38 Figure 6: Preference of Students on Six Different Kinds of Feedback .............. 39 48 LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS FLA: Foreign Language Anxiety FLCAS: Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale CF: Corrective Feedback ESL: English as a Second Language 49 ABSTRACT Both foreign language anxiety and corrective feedback can be considered as affective variables that may influence students‟ foreign language acquisition. Despite the vast research on both fields, separately; little is known about the impact of each corrective feedback type on students‟ foreign language anxiety. The present research aims to identify potential sources of foreign language anxiety in English communication classes. Subsequently, suggestions on types of feedback that teachers should use to help students minimize their anxiety are made. A descriptive quantitative design is adopted to satisfy the objectives of the present research. A questionnaire was designed to survey 128 third-year English-majored students in Cantho University about their attitude and perceptions towards foreign language anxiety and corrective feedback in speaking classes. The results found that foreign language speaking anxiety can arise from 6 potential sources: (1) learner – instructor interactions; (2) learner beliefs about English pronunciation; (3) oral presentations; (4) unexpected questions from teachers; (5) self-perceived ability; and (6) fear of negative evaluation. The findings also pointed out that students prefer their teachers to use metalinguistic clues and recast while giving corrective feedback, while elicitation and recast are regarded as 2 least preferred corrective feedback strategies. The research suggests that teacher should be aware of their pivotal role in provoking and manipulating the foreign language anxiety. Especially, the provision of corrective feedback should be considered in order to help students minimize the anxiety and promote their language acquisition. 50 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION This chapter gives the background information of foreign language anxiety and corrective feedback. Objectives and organization of the study are, subsequently, provided 1.1 Background and context “It is indisputable that English plays a very important role as a global language. In many countries, it has been argued that having English proficiency is like possessing an Aladdin‟s lamp, as it can bring material prosperity by ensuring access to education, international business, science and technology” (Kachru, 1990; Hamid, 2009; as cited in Tran, 2012). In the context of Vietnam, English has increasingly played an important role in education, economy and technology. The new policy from the central Government and Ministry of Education and Training recently (MOET) requiring schools to start English programs in primary schools has demonstrated more concern forward English ability. This project also required newly graduates from English-majored program to obtain level 5 in the European Common Framework (equivalent to level C1). In addition, most companies demand their applicants to have either national or international English certificates, for example, IELTS, TOEFL, or TOEIC as initial qualifications. All of these prove that the ability to communicate English accurately and fluently has become one of the most desirable goals for students, especially, for those who major in English. Among skills and language aspects, speaking tends to be the most prominent and susceptible to judgments from conversers. This implies that for those students who graduate from English – majored program, the ability to communicate confidently and effectively has become one of the priorities. However, I have noticed that many of my fellow classmates who are in the senior year of English-studies major are still struggling with speaking English. 51 They hardly volunteer or participate actively in class, which may be a symptom of Foreign Language Anxiety (FLA). However,FLA can be manipulated and controlled when students have proper knowledge and understanding about the phenomenon. FLAis claimed to be a “complex and multidimensional phenomenon” (Young, 1991). The term “Foreign Language Anxiety” was first developed by Horwitz, Horwitz and Cope (1986) who asserted that anxiety arisen from language classroom is distinctive and different from other kinds of anxiety. The study of Horwitz et al has been the basis for numerousstudies into the field of language anxiety. FLA has been seen to have debilitating effects on English proficiency in 3 steps of language learning: input, processing and output (MacInTyre& Gardner, 1991b, 1994a, 1994b; Bailey, Onwuegbuzie, &Daley, 2000; as cited in Tran,Moni, &Baldauf, 2012) In language learning, speaking is considered as the most anxiety-provoking (Krashen, 2002). Students who are highly anxious tend to use fewer communication units and simpler grammatical structures than their low-anxiety counterparts (Phillips, as cited in Toth, 2012). FLA can provoke from several sources: (1) personal and interpersonal anxieties; (2) learner beliefs about language learning; (3) instructor beliefs about language teaching; (4) instructor-learner interactions; (5) classroom procedures; and (6) language testing (Young, 1991). As one of the major sources, teachers, their behaviors, as well as their attitude obviously play a substantial role in constructing and controlling FLA. This study will focus on the impact ofteacher‟s corrective feedback onFLA,particularly, kinds of error correction strategies that should be used in order to encourage students to overcome their anxiety. Corrective feedback (CF) is the reaction of competent speakers to the erroneous utterances of others. This study examines the teacher reactions to their student‟s error. CF can be classified into 6 kinds: (1) recast; (2) repetition; (3) metalinguistic clues; (4) explicit correction; (5) clarification request and (6) elicitation (Lyster&Ranta, 1997). Whether the CF is beneficial or detrimental to students‟ learning is still controversial. Most of the studies have claimed that CF is facilitative for L2 acquisition. However, some researchers have the contrary voice. Truscott 52 (1999)debates that oral grammar correction isineffective and teachers should consider abandoning it (as cited in Russell &Spada, 2006) The investigation into the impact of CF on FLA still has been generalized and remained unclear. According to the previous studies,the relationship between FLA and CF is twofold. First, FLA can evoke from overcorrection and teacher‟s attitude. Second, FLA itself can help raise affective filters that can prevent learners from comprehending the CF. There is not much attention paid to the influence of each type of CF into FLA. The present study will focus on the impact of different CF strategies on FLA. 1.2 Statement of the problem There are an abundant number of research studiesinto both FLA and CF,separately. However, the impact of specific types of CF onFLA has not received much attention; thus there is a need to identify the types of CF which facilitates language acquisition, particularly, helps reduce the FLA and encourage students to improve their speaking skill.The proposed study was conducted to fill in the gap in the knowledge of language anxiety. 1.3 Significance of the study Giving CF is an integral part of education, especially in language learning. To avoid error fossilization, different types of CF were given to language learners by teachers without fully understanding and consciousness. From the early days of studies into the field of FLA, CF has been seen as one of the major sources of FLA. However, the influence of different types of CF on FLA still remains ambiguous. The present study should be conducted to shed light on the unclear part of the field. 1.4 Purposes of the study The purposes of the study are twofold. First, the study intends to discover the present state of FLA and investigate the potential sources of FLA among third-year Englishmajored students in CTU in communication classes. Second, the proposed study aims to investigate the impact of 6 types of teachers‟ CF on Students‟ FLA, from which 53 suggestions on types of feedback that teachers should use to minimize the anxiety will be made 1.5 Organization of the study The present study consists of 5 chapters: (1) Introduction; (2) Literature Review; (3) Methodology; (4) Findings and (5) Discussion The first chapter (chapter 1: Introduction) introduces the field of the study and identify the focus of the proposed study. The literature review (chapter 2) provides theoretical backgroundof FLA phenomenon, CF strategies and the previous claims of the effects of CF on FLA. Methodology issues including methods and procedures for data collection are presented in chapter 3. Chapter 4 discusses the relevant results and findings from the data analysis. Finally, answers for the research questions and adetailed analysiswill be presented and discussed in chapter 5. Chapter 5 also covers the limitations and proposes the potential implications for further research. CHAPTER 2 54 LITERATURE REVIEW As mentioned in the introduction, there has been a great deal of research into Foreign Language Anxiety and corrective feedback, separately. Therefore, this chapter will provide theoretical background of two fields. Then, correlation of FLA and CF will be discussed based on the previous studies. 2.1 Foreign Language Anxiety Anxiety can be classified into 3 types: state anxiety, trait anxiety and situation specific anxiety. State anxiety is the immediate response to particular moment, while trait anxiety is related relatively to personality. Trait anxiety “represents the tendency to react in anxious manner” (MacInTyre, 1995), which means it occurs in a wide range of situations. FLA belongs neither to state nor trait anxiety. It is assumed to be classified into situation-specific anxiety (MacIntyreand Gardner1991b; Horwitz, 2001, as cited in Woodrow, 2006) in which a trait “recurs in specific situations” (Spielberger; Anton and Bedell, 1976, as cited in Woodrow, 2006), specifically, in foreign language classrooms. According to Tran (2012), the concept of FLA as a unique kind of anxiety was first originated from Horwitz, Horwitz and Cope (1986). Due to their theoretical contribution to the field, they are very prominent in this extent. Horwitz et al (1986) describe FLA as “a distinct complex construct of self-perceptions, beliefs, feelings, and behaviors related to classroom language learning arising from the uniqueness of language learning process”. FLA is also assumed to be social anxiety, because it “stems primarily from the social and communicative aspects of language learning” (MacInTyre&Gadner, 1989, 1991b, as cited in MacInTyre, 1995). The social anxiety can be described as “(1) feeling of tension and discomfort, (2) negative self evaluations, and (3) a tendency to withdraw in the presence of others” (Schwarzer, 1986, as cited in MacInTyre, 1995). Gadner and MacInTyre(1999)also clarifiesFLA as anxious feelings and negative sentimental responses. 55 2.2 Components of Foreign Language Anxiety Horwitz et al (1986) have drawn the relationship between FLA and its 3 components: (1) communication apprehension, (2) testanxiety and (3) fear of negative evaluation 2.2.1 Communication apprehension Communication apprehension is related to the fear of interacting with other people. Mccroskey (1977) has defined “Communication apprehension as fear or anxiety associated with either real or anticipated communication with other person or persons”. In other words, students fail to understand the input and to perform the output of the target language(Horwitz et al, 1986). 2.2.2 Test Anxiety It is considered as a performance anxiety deriving from “the fear of failure”. Sufferers also put themselves under pressure of having a perfect test without any errors or mistakes. Horwitzet al (1986)claimed that the most anxiety-provoking factor is through oral test. 2.2.3 Fear of negative evaluation Students who suffer from this kind of anxiety will feel anxious in evaluative situations. Specifically, instructors and peers are two potential sources causing fear of negative evaluation in language classrooms. This type of anxiety not only occurs while taking test, but it may also appear in any social situations such as job-interviews or English speaking activities in class 2.3 Sources of Foreign Language Anxiety Young (1991) investigated 6 possible sources of FLA: (1) personal and interpersonal anxieties; (2) learner beliefs about language learning; (3) instructor beliefs about language teaching; (4) instructor-learner interactions; (5) classroom procedures; and (6) language testing. Similarly but more specifically, Subasi(2010) carried out research to investigate the main sources of Turkish EFL students‟ Anxiety in oral language classrooms. The data collected from the interview proved that the anxiety can stem from (1) self-assessment in their target language; (2) negative evaluation 56 from classmates; (3) fear of less competent with fluent English speaking students in class; (4)lack of vocabulary; (5)teaching procedures; and (6) teacher‟s attitude. 2.4 Effects of Foreign Language Anxiety FLA can impact on the information-processing of 3 stages of language learning: input, processing and output (MacIntyre& Gardner, 1991b, 1994a, 1994b;Bailey, Onwuegbuzie, & Daley, 2000; as cited in Tran, Moni,&Baldauf, 2012). According to MacInTyre (1991), students can both be beneficial and detrimental from FLA. Facilitating anxiety can help students improve their performance by increasing the effort. In contrast, students suffering from high anxiety cannot fully counteract with effort. At this stage, the negative effects will hinder learner‟s performance, which is regarded as debilitating anxiety.FLA obviously influences the performance and achievement of second language students. However, it is confusing whether FLAis debilitating or facilitating (Chan&Wu, 2004). Previous studies mainly focus on the negative impact of FLA on ESL learners. FLA is proved that it does have significantly detrimental influences on target language performance and achievements. Negative impacts of FLA can be divided into 3 types: (1) physical; (2) psychological and (3) social Physical symptoms can include, for example, rapid heartbeat, muscle tension, dry mouth, and excessive perspiration. Psychological symptoms can include embarrassment, feelings of helplessness, fear, going blank, and poor memory recall and retention among others. Negative social behavior may be manifested in such ways as inappropriate silence, unwillingness to participate, absenteeism, and withdrawal from the course. These effects can lead to poor performance and low achievement (Bailey, Daley&Onwuegbuzie, 1999, as cited in Andrade & Williams, 2009) In contrast to the debilitating effects, a certain degree of anxiety can also contribute positive effects to language learning. MacInTyre (1999) has claimed that the low level of anxiety will promote learners to create effort in order to compensate for the “cognitive interference”. 57 Briefly, whether FLA is beneficial or detrimental depends on the amount of anxiety. A certain degree of anxiety can push the effort from students. In contrast, overwhelming anxiety will impede students‟ performance. 2.5 Foreign language Anxiety and Oral Performances Speaking is considered to be the most anxiety-provoking activity. According to Sacco (1992), the result collected from beginning-leveled students in French classes reported that "for nearly every student ... speaking was the highest anxiety-causing activity" (as cited in Krashen, 2002). Students regarded “speaking” as the most anxiety-provoking when they were asked about what factors of foreign language classes they found the most anxious (Krashen, as cited in Krashen, 2002) To evaluate speaking performance, Young (1991) established in-person interviews. The findings propose that the higher anxiety-level learners suffer from, the lower oral proficiency they perform (as cited in Huang, 2010). In a study of FLA and oral performance, Toth (2012) presents the previous studies that stated: Anxiety can negatively influence both quantity and quality of the output. Phillips (1992) found that the high anxious students use fewer communication unitsand simplergrammatical structures than their low-anxiety counterparts (as cited in Toth, 2012). Similarly, MacInTyre (1994) proved that the fluency, grammatical complexity and accent of high anxiety level sufferers are underestimated. Suffering high-level anxiety, learners tend to make more errors, are less likely to recognize their inaccuracy and they have to code-switch more frequently than low-anxious sufferers (Gregerson, 2003) To verify the relationship between high anxious and low anxious students in oral performance, Toth (2012) identified 8 most anxious students and 8 least anxious students for the research through E. K. Horwitz; M. B, Hotwitz and J. Cope‟s (1986) Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale (FLCAS). The age of participants ranges from 18 to 22, and they had spent an average of 9.5 years studying English. Participants, initially, had face-to-face conversations with a native interviewer in a semi-formal, 10-15 minutes long conversation. They were required to (1) exchange personal information, then (2) express their viewpoint upon an arguable matter, finally depict an ambiguous picture. The interviewer evaluated each oral performance 58 through 4 criteria: (1) overall proficiency, (2) task performance, (3) interaction skill, and (4) depth of answer. The result collected later showed that the high anxious group was low-rated in 4 aspects, especially in (1) overall proficiency and (4) depth of answer. 2.6 Corrective feedback Corrective feedback (CF) is regarded as an inseparable part of pedagogics. It can be seen as the reactions of competent speakers responding to the erroneous utterances of others. According to Lyster&Ranta (1997), CF can be viewed in different disguisesas: Negative evidence by linguists (e.g., White, 1989), as repair by discourse analysts (e.g., Kasper, 1985), as negative feedback by psychologists (e.g., Annett, 1969), as CF by second language teachers (e.g., Fanselow, 1977), and as focus-on-form in more recent work in classroom second language acquisition (SLA) (e.g., Lightbown&Spada, 1990; Long, 1991). The different labels also reflect different research concerns and different approaches to data collection (Schachter, 1991) According to El Tatawy (2006), the most common terms used in identifying error and providing feedback areCF, negative evidence, and negative feedback. Lightbown and Spada (1999) defined CF as: Any indication to the learners that their use of the target language is incorrect. This includes various responses that the learners receive. When a language learner says, „He go to school everyday‟, corrective feedback can be explicit, for example, „no, you should say goes, not go‟ or implicit „yes he goes to school every day‟, and may or may not include metalinguistic information, for example, „Don‟t forget to make the verb agree with the subject‟ (as cited in ElTatawy, 2006) Long(1996) has classified feedback into 2 categories: positive evidence and negative evidence. Positive evidence suggests learners what is grammatical and accurate, while negative evidence helps learners realize what is wrong in their utterances (as cited in 59 Kim, 2005). Based on that, CF is considered as a type of negative evidence, which draws learner‟s attention to their errors. 2.7 Types of Corrective Feedback Lyster and Ranta (1997) have classified CF into 5 main types: (1) explicit correction; (2) recast; (3) clarification request; (4)metalinguistic feedback (5) elicitation; and (6) repetition (1) Explicit correction: the correct form is provided after the teacher directly indicates that the student‟s output is wrong. S: I go to the hospital yesterday. T: the tense you used is wrong, you should say “I went to the hospital yesterday” instead (2) Clarification request: teachers either use phrases, for examples, “Sorry?” or “I don‟t understand” or raise their tone in order to signal their students that the utterances contained some mistakes. Repetition or reformulation is required. S: I watched TV yesterday T: Sorry? (3) Recast: without indicating that the studentshave made errors, the teacher reformulates the student‟ erroneous utterances into the correct form. S: I watched [wɔt∫id]TV last night T: I watched [wɔt∫] TV last night (4) Metalinguistics clues: without indicating that the student‟s utterance is incorrect, the teacher provides comments or information related to the formation of the student‟s output. S: She happy T: you need the verb “to be” now 60 (5) Elicitation: the teacher attempts to elicit the correct form from students by either asking additional questions related to the errors or pausing to allow students to complete the teacher‟s unfinished utterances. S: I go to school by bike [bik] T: by ….? S: He watches TV yesterday T: What tense should you use? (6) Repetition: the teacher repeats the incorrect utterance of students by raising their tone slowly to draw the student‟s attention S: I like listen to music T: like listen? Subsequently, Lyster and Saito (2010) categorize them into 2 broad terms: reformulations and prompts (as cited in Ranta& Saito, 2010). Reformulations (recast and explicit correction) provide learners the correct form of the erroneous output, while prompts (repetition, clarification request, elicitation and metalinguistic clues) require self-corrections from the learners. CF can also be categorized into explicit or implicit feedback. Implicit feedback includes recasts, clarification requests, elicitation and repetition. On the contrary, explicit correction and metalinguistic refer to explicit feedback. 2.8 Frequency of Corrective feedback versus learners’ uptake Inspired by Lyster and Ranta (1997), Suzuki (2004)established a research investigating the relationship of CF and learner‟s uptake. 21-hour interactions between 3 ESL teachers and 31 adult ESL learners were audio-taped. The result was compared to Lyster and Ranta‟swork (1997). Table 1. Suzuki’s Distribution for the Corrective Feedback Corrective feedback type Teacher 1 Teacher 2 61 Teacher 3 Total
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