Real situation of using powerpoint for teaching and learning vocabulary at a rural secondary school in vinh long

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CAN THO UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF SOCIAL SCIENCES AND HUMANITIES ENGLISH DEPARTMENT REAL SITUATION OF USING POWERPOINT FOR TEACHING AND LEARNING VOCABULARY AT A RURAL SECONDARY SCHOOL IN VINH LONG B.A. Thesis Field of study: Teaching and learning EFL Supervisor: Huỳnh Chí Minh Huyên, M.A Student: Phan Nhâ ̣t Tân Code: 7107005 Class: NN1054A3 Course: 36 Can Tho, December 2013 DECLARATION I hereby certify that this study ―REAL SITUATION OF USING POWERPOINT FOR TEACHING AND LEARNING VOCABULARY AT A RURAL SECONDARY SCHOOL IN VINH LONG‖ is my own work, except where due reference is made in the text of the study. Supervisor Student M.A Huynh Chi Minh Huyen Phan Nhat Tan i ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to express my deepest gratitude to many of people without whose support and encouragement this thesis would not have been completed. Firstly, I would like to show my special thanks to my supervisor, Ms. Huynh Chi Minh Huyen, who is devoted much of her time giving me great support and careful guidance throughout the thesis. I am deeply thankful to her for invaluable advice and ideas of the research topic. Secondly, I am particularly grateful to the teachers of English as well all teachers and students at My Thuan secondary school who have helpfully participated as the informants of the study, without whose cooperation, this thesis would hardly be conducted. Thirdly, I would also like to express my acknowledge to the principal, Mr. Tran Van Hieu and my old teacher, Ms Tran Thi My Phuong who created every condition for me to survey the research at My Thuan secondary school. Fourthly, I wish to thank my friends. They often encourage and support me during the time I was involved in this research. Finally, I would like to express my deep gratitude to my parents and my relatives for their wholehearted support and inspiration. They tried to create the most convenient conditions for me to finish this thesis. Without their support, I would not have accomplished my study. All the best, Can Tho, November 25th, 2013 Phan Nhat Tan ii TABLE OF CONTENTS Contents ..................................................................................................... Page iii Acknowledgements ........................................................................................ ii List of Tables and Figures .............................................................................. ix Abstract .........................................................................................................viii Chapter 1 INTRODUCTION ..................................................................... 1 1.1 Statement of the problem ......................................................................... 2 1.2 Background information .......................................................................... 3 1.2.1 The situation of using IT in education in the world ......................................3 1.2.2 The situation of using technology in education in Vietnam .........................5 1.3 Aims of the research ................................................................................ 6 1.4 Significance of the research .................................................................... 6 1.5 Research organization .............................................................................. 7 Chapter 2 LITERATURE REVIEW ......................................................... 8 2.1. Definition of Technical Terms ................................................................ 8 2.1.1 Vocabulary ............................................................................................ 8 2.1.1.1 Definition of vocabulary and the role of vocabulary in teaching ESL .................8 2.1.1.2 Aspects of vocabulary knowledge ..............................................................9 2.1.2. Introduction about PowerPoint......................................................................9 2.1.3 PowerPoint implications in education and in teaching vocabulary ............. 9 2.1.3.1 Critical ideas when applying PowerPoint in education .............................9 2.1.3.1.1 Critical ideas in around the world ..........................................................10 2.1.3.1.2 Critical ideas in Vietnam ........................................................................12 2.1.3.2 Pedagogical principles that were recommended in designing PowerPoint aided lessons .................................................................13 iii 2.1.3.2.1 Text ................................................................................................. 14 2.1.3.2.2 Font ................................................................................................ 14 2.1.3.2.3 Colors ............................................................................................. 15 2.1.3.2.4 PowerPoint effect uses ................................................................... 16 2.1.3.2.5 Graphics ......................................................................................... 17 2.2. Review of the related literatures ............................................................ 17 2.2.1 Lim‘s study (2010) ............................................................................... 17 2.2.2 Dinh‘s (2009) work .............................................................................. 18 2.2.3 Ta‘s (2011) research ............................................................................. 19 2.3 Summary and indications ........................................................................ 20 2.4 Research questions .................................................................................. 20 Chapter 3 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY ............................................ 21 3.1 Research design ....................................................................................... 21 3.1.1 Design of the study............................................................................... 21 3.1.2 Question Designing ......................................................................................21 3.2 Secondary school settings ....................................................................... 22 3.3.Participants .............................................................................................. 23 3.3.1. The teachers ........................................................................................ 23 3.3.2 The students ......................................................................................... 24 3.4 The research instruments ........................................................................ 24 3.5 The procedure of the research ................................................................. 24 Chapter 4 RESULTS, DISCUSSIONS, CONCLUSIONS ...................... 26 4.1. Results 4.1.1 Research question 1‘s results ............................................................... 26 4.1.2 Research question 2‘s results ............................................................... 35 4.1.3 Research question 3‘s results ............................................................... 37 4.1.4 Research question 4‘s results ............................................................... 40 iv 4.1.5 Research question 5‘s results ............................................................... 42 4.2 Discussion ............................................................................................... 43 4.2.1. The frequency of using PowerPoint in My Thuan secondary school ..........43 4.2.2. The unequal in the number of PowerPoint aided lessons followed by among teachers and among classes....................................................43 4.2.3 The difficulties that English teachers at My Thuan secondary school had to face and some suggest solutions ......................................................44 4.3 Conclusion........................................................................................................45 Chapter 5 LIMITATIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH ................................................................. 46 5.1 Limitations .............................................................................................. 46 5.2 Suggestions for further research .......................................................................46 Appendices…………………………………………………………………i References………………………………………………………………….ixx v LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS ASEAN : Association of South-East Asian Nations EFL : English as a Foreign Language IT : Information Technology USA : The United States vi LIST OF TABLES Table 3.1.2 Five categories of question items 23 Table 3.5 The brief procedure of the research 26 Table 4.1.1.1 The distribution of PowerPoint enhanced lessons per teacher by the school year 28 Table 4.1.1.2a. The frequencies of using PowerPoint in vocabulary lessons by grade and by school year 31 Table 4.1.1.2b. The ratio of PowerPoint heightening vocabulary lessons among grades followed by school year 31 Table 4.1.1.2c Table of teachers and classes they taught from 2010 to 2013 32 Table 4.1.1.3 The classes and the time having PowerPoint implementations 34 Table 4.1.1.3 The rate of the number of students having opportunities studied vocabulary with the help of PowerPoint program per the total students in this school from 2010 to 2013 34 Table 4.1.3 The reliability of the questionnaire 41 Table 4.1.4 Frequency Statistics Test 42 Table 4.1.5 Statistics 43 vii LIST OF FIGURES Figure 4.1.1.1 Number of enhanced- PowerPoint classes according to school year 28 Figure 4.1.1.2 Bar chart of periods‘ number with PowerPoint implications by grade in the period 2010 – 2011 33 Figure 4.1.1.3 Rate of students studying with PowerPoint per Total in school year 2010 – 2011, 2011-2012, 2012- 2013 35 viii ABSTRACT Nowadays, vocabulary is widely recognized as one of the key components necessary for second language proficiency. Many researches were carried out to find out the most effective methods for teaching and learning vocabulary. Therefore, when the idea of applying Microsoft PowerPoint software in teaching in general and in English, especially vocabulary, occurred, teaching vocabulary with the help of PowerPoint software promptly has become the prominent trend that is being carried out more and more in most the schools in Vietnam. The aim of this study is to describe the real situation of using PowerPoint applications in a specific school in Vietnam. To conduct this study, the researcher interviewed seven teachers about the frequency and the difficulties that they had to meet during using PowerPoint program to enhance their vocabulary lessons. One hundred thirty six students at My Thuan secondary school also were participated in this study by completing the questionnaire to find out the students‘ attitudes towards PowerPoint enhanced vocabulary lessons. While the data from interviews were taken notes to analyze, the data from the questionnaire, after collecting, was computed with SPSS software. The results showed that (1) English teachers at here did not frequently apply PowerPoint in their English lessons, (2) the limited of the IT abilities and the lack of facilities were the most difficulties that English teachers had to face ,(3) Interviewed teachers made use of some of PowerPoint benefits when they enhance it in their vocabulary lessons, (4) students had the positive attitudes towards PowerPoint enhanced lessons, and (5) both teachers and students in this study desired to teaching and learning vocabulary with the help of PowerPoint more. Key words: PowerPoint, vocabulary, IT, real situation. ix CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION This chapter provides a brief introduction to this study including reasons for conducting the thesis and outline the structure of the thesis. 1.1 Statement of the problem Over the last thirty years, technology has developed considerably and gained many impressive achievements. The technology and its implications have affected all our lives, whether working in commercial business, in researching, or personal entertainment and so on. Particularly, educational fields also have been influenced in various ways. Technology has been brought benefits into the classrooms. Using technology in a meaningful way to facilitate exploration and collaboration is another critical aspect of engaging learning environments. Computer networks organized to facilitate file-sharing, e-mail, and electronic bulletin boards allow students and teachers to share work and communicate easily. Connections to the Internet and software that supports real-time communication, such as collaborative writing, videoconferencing, and shared whiteboards make learning authentic, immediate, and relevant. Multimedia authoring products and simulation design tools also are critical to these learning environments (Mhairi, 2002). With these applications above, using technology in teaching and learning all the school subjects, especially, English subject, was a prominent trend and was attracted an interest of a lot educators in Vietnam. Being determined as one of key subjects, which are necessary for students in the future, teaching and learning English was always in noteworthy care of the government and the society in Vietnam. To carry out this aim, new textbooks – compiled by Ministry of Education and Training - were published. These textbooks focused on training basic skills in learning English: listening- speaking- readingwriting and grammar knowledge. However, there is an important thing which we cannot ignore when we teach these skills to students, in particular those who are studying in secondary schools. That is equipping vocabulary knowledge. Vocabulary- which is all the words that somebody knows about a language- is a 1 basic component of any language. This crucial role of vocabulary was described in Wilkins‘ words ―Without grammar very little can be conveyed, without vocabulary nothing can be conveyed‖ (1972), or like what McCarthy emphasized in his study in 1990 when he claimed that vocabulary is requisite to other essential skills of a language. If someone does not have enough vocabulary knowledge, they cannot understand completely what they hear or read. Furthermore, it is difficult for them to express exactly their own ideas. Thus, teaching and learning vocabulary is the central point of educating foreign language like English. That also was the reason why English teachers always try to find out a better way to enhance the effects in teaching and learning English, especially in teaching and learning vocabulary. The method of heightening technology - notably, PowerPoint software – in vocabulary lessons in recent years has been considered as one of the best new approaches to improve the quality of teaching and learning process because of its outstanding advantages. However, this new approach is not perfect. Although the using PowerPoint program in teaching English new words - in general, using implications of technology in education – has many benefits that was proved by a lot of studies, there are some drawbacks which often parallel to. Until now, there are a lot of different views of professors and educators about the advantages and the disadvantages of PowerPoint software. It is obvious to us that the ways how to promote the benefits as well as reduce to the minimum of the drawback of this Microsoft presentation program depend virtually on the conditions when we applying and the way how we use it. This issue existed not only in the developing countries, but also in the developed countries – where technology was well- progressed and was used in education for a long time. Notably, in Vietnam, the country is still in the difficult areas of Asia. To carry out the mission modernizing in education is a complicated works. The intensification of using technology in the classrooms was performed for over ten years ago; nevertheless, there were still many problems. Specifically, exploiting PowerPoint applications in teaching vocabulary lesson only began to be popular in a few years ago, so many insufficient issues also happened. The precision of the theories of educational experts about the good aspects and the bad ones of using PowerPoint 2 still is a big question in real situation. In particular, with schools in remote areas, the applying PowerPoint is not easy job and maybe, causing the unexpected problems. It raised the questions about the feasibility of applying PowerPoint for teaching English vocabulary in specific case and about the exactly gap between policies and reality. Due to these above reasons the researcher want to do a research about the applying of PowerPoint in the real situation, specifically, in My Thuan secondary school – the school in remote area of Vinh Long province. 1.2 Background information PowerPoint is the software which run on computers. Besides that, to begin using PowerPoint software, at first the users have to having skilled in IT. Therefore, the development of IT is the precondition of development PowerPoint. In other words, both IT and PowerPoint went abreast. Using IT also is in education regarding as using PowerPoint in education. 1.2.1 The situation of using IT in education in the world From the day when Professor Anbe and his colleagues of Havert University invented the first computer in 1944 until now, computers have been used widespread and had a deep influence on the development of all the fields in our society. Most of developed country in the world such as Japan, USA, Germany, England e.g., in education, applied the teaching and learning method which used the achievements of computer science very soon. It affirmed the effects of the lessons with having the supports of IT. There are two tendencies when IT was brought into schools: becoming an independent subject and using computers as teaching devices. It was addressed in some following typical developed countries: The United State: this country was the first country that took the initiative in the IT Revolution and pioneered the use of technology in all human‘s aspects; education also is one of them. The United State made a sharp progress and left behind all of its opponent countries. Two lessons were learnt from the example of the USA: first, American people had been giving the highest support for Education and Training with the achievements of IT. Second, the government of the USA attached special importance to encourage expanding IT, especially the Internet. 3 EU (European Union): Leading countries in this group are England, German, France, Switzerland. Their top priority was given to IT revolution to conduct the plan ―Whole Europe on the aim of information technology society‖. As a result, carrying out this purpose made the economy and IT of Europe be on the top of the world. Japan: In this developed country, the role of IT in education was contemplated as the essential component leading to success. All teachers and staff working in schools had to attend a training course about IT every three years. The levels of the skills when applying IT in teaching was regarded as the required standard to promote in education. In applying software in teaching, hundreds of teaching program was produced each year. In 2008, nearly 6000 teaching software appeared, and about 800 one in there was encouraged to using in the classrooms. Malaysia: This country is known as the ―neighbor‖ country with Vietnam. Both our country and Malaysia is the member of ASEAN. However, in recent years, Malaysia has passed Vietnam in fields of economy and education. These impressive results were come thanks to excellent policies that Malaysian government enforced in IT. + First, they executed the policies to equip knowledge and skills of IT for all students. + Next, regarding IT as one of important subjects to teach in schools, they also used IT as an imperious tool to heighten the quality of educational manages. Malaysian education in period 2002 – 2012 focused on integrating IT in the classrooms. They developed equipping knowledge and skills of computers for all teachers, students and educational managers as well. + Finally, all schools in Malaysia applied popularly teaching software. They developed and applied over 1500 teaching software. The quality of the teaching software was censored carefully. Each teaching software had instructions for use enclosed and the available models for teachers to practice easily. Teaching software was expanded in all the subjects for all of students‘ levels in schools. From 1999, Malaysian government implemented the example of building Smart 4 School plan for nearly one hundred schools. Every class in this plan equipped 7 computers (on average 5 students could use one computer in class under the guide of their teachers). These above policies made level of IT of this country has grew sharply. Thus, they helped the country obtain many IT‘s achievements. 1.2.2 The situation of using technology in education in Vietnam In Viet Nam, at the first time, when the idea of applying IT in education was launched, there were many Vietnamese people thought that it was not necessary. They believed that education still has been well-developed and has trained many talents for the country without the support of IT. But thanks to a lot of positive results in science researches both inside and outside the country about the effects when using achievements of IT for educating, notably the method using PowerPoint in teaching and learning English vocabulary, has been attended. That has been demonstrated by actions of the government in recent years. Our government has enacted many policies issued to encourage teachers to use IT in the classroom. First of all, on October 17, 2000, the Ministry of Politics declared in the instructions No 55-CT/TW ―Furthering and Developing IT to Support the cause of Industrialization and Modernization‖ which emphasized the importance of IT. One year later, Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) issued the instructions ―Enhancing teaching, training and applying IT in Education‘ in the phases 2001-2005 and 2008-2012. In addition, the school year 2008-2009 has been named ―The School Year of Information Technology Applications‖. This is an official note about the necessary of bringing technology into the classrooms. Also in the same year, 2008, the plan ―Foreign languages Teaching and Learning for Vietnamese Citizenship 2008-2020‖ was ratified by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, with the overall target by the year 2020. The majority of Vietnamese youths, who will graduate from tertiary educational establishments, can use foreign languages fluently in other to serve the cause of industrialization and modernization of the country. According to this plan, one of the important solutions to get this target is enhancing the achievements of IT for teaching and learning English in schools. In the school year of 2009 – 2010, the Ministry of 5 Education and Training has guided to accomplish the tasks about applying educational technology which whereby computers are widely used in high schools and the teachers are encouraged to plan the lessons, lectures, as well as documents for applying educational technology in teaching. 1.3 Aims of the research The purpose of this thesis is to obtain four following research aims: + To examine the frequency of using PowerPoint program in teaching and learning English vocabulary in My Thuan secondary school. + To find out the difficulties English teachers had to face when they use PowerPoint implications for their vocabulary lectures. + To ascertain the effects when teachers at here used PowerPoint software‘s implications with the theories. + To explore students‘ attitudes about the applying PowerPoint in learning English vocabulary. + To investigate the intentions of teachers and student in this school whether apply more PowerPoint – enhanced vocabulary lessons or not. 1.4 Significance of the research This present study described the real situation of heightening PowerPoint into the classrooms. Moreover, teachers and students‘ attitudes and beliefs in PowerPoint enhanced vocabulary lessons also were investigated. The detailed analysis of the findings would provide adequate and comprehensive understanding about using PowerPoint implementations in English vocabulary classes. The results of the study would be also expected to be valuable for English secondary school teachers to get insight into PowerPoint and its implications. More specifically, the survey on English teachers in My Thuan secondary school would highlight some issues as follow. First, this study described the detail problems of using PowerPoint aided English classes in fact. Therefore, English secondary teachers would learn from this experience about the way to apply PowerPoint and the difficulties they could meet during compiling PowerPoint enhanced lessons. 6 Second, this study would significantly contribute to studies on PowerPoint applications into English classes in Vinh Long, particularly in My Thuan secondary school, in the aspects of English teachers and students‘ attitudes and beliefs. Next, the findings of the study might help English teachers bridge the gaps between the potential and the practice of PowerPoint in terms of the importance of PowerPoint and its applications. As a result, the study might encourage English teachers to become familiar with using PowerPoint implementations in English vocabulary lessons. Lastly, the research may raise awareness of PowerPoint among secondary teachers in My Thuan secondary school, as well as in other schools in Vinh Long. From the findings, English teachers would be insightful into PowerPoint software and start enhancing PowerPoint in the right direction in their classrooms. 1.5 Organization of the thesis This research paper reported in this thesis includes five chapters: (1) Introduction, (2) Literature review, (3) Research method, (4) Results, Discussions, Conclusions and (5) Limitations, and Recommendations for further study. Chapter One is Introduction. It introduces the rationale, the aims, the significance and the organization of the study. Chapter Two is Literature Review. In this chapter, it is a review of the literature on the concepts of vocabulary and its related terms, introducing PowerPoint, analyzing some critical ideas on this presentation software and the way how to design it pedagogically. Chapter Three is Research Methodology. In chapter 3, the research methodology in which the research questions, the research design, the settings, the participants, the research instruments are introduced. Chapter Four is the Results, Discussions and Conclusions of the thesis. This chapter shows the results to answer 5 research questions, discussions of the findings and conclusions. Chapter Five is the last chapter that consists of Limitations of the study and Suggestions for further research. 7 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW 2.1. Definition of Technical Terms 2.1.1 Vocabulary 2.1.1.1 Definition of vocabulary and the role of vocabulary in teaching ESL According to Richards, in his study in 2000, his conclusion about definition of vocabulary was a set of lexemes including single words, compound words and idioms that each person use to communicate with the others. Besides that, we can define vocabulary draw on an understanding of lexis, which in English refers to all the words in a language, the entire vocabulary in a language‖, according to recent researches of Barcroft, Sunderman, & Schmitt in 2011. So this view means when you learn vocabulary, you are not only pay attention to each single word, but also learn lexical chunks, phrases of two or more words. Vocabulary is central to English language teaching because without sufficient vocabulary students cannot understand others or express their own ideas. A sin what Lewis supposed in 1993 ―Lexis (vocabulary) is the core or heart of language‖. Particularly as students develop greater fluency and expression in English; it is significant for them to acquire more productive vocabulary knowledge and to develop their own personal vocabulary learning strategies. Students often instinctively recognize the importance of vocabulary to their language learning. As Schmitt (2010) noted, ―learners carry around dictionaries and not grammar books‖. It means that if the learner does not have the words to express his or her ideas, mastering grammatical rules or pronunciation does not help. Thus, teaching vocabulary helps students understand and communicate with others in English. These above researches pointed out the important role of vocabulary in language. However, sin other to know clearly about a vocabulary item is not a simple process 8 which means we had to know much more than simply memorizing the word meaning and word form. 2.1.1.2 Aspects of vocabulary knowledge Aspects of vocabulary knowledge can be defined in various ways, but three significant aspects teachers need to be aware of and focus on are form, meaning, and use. According to Nation (2001), the form of a word involves its pronunciation (spoken form), spelling (written form), and any word parts that make up this particular item (such as a prefix, root, and suffix). Nation (2001) stated that meaning encompasses the way that form and meaning work together, in other words, the concept and what items it refers to, and the associations that come to mind when people think about a specific word or expression. Use, Nation noted, involves the grammatical functions of the word or phrase, collocations that normally go with it, and finally any constraints on its use, in terms of frequency, level, and so forth. For form, meaning, and use, Nation (2001) declared there is both a receptive and productive dimension, so knowing these three aspects for each word or phrase actually involves. 2.1.2 Introduction about PowerPoint The advent and development process: In 1984, Bob Gaskin and his colleagues at Berkeley University invented the program called ―Presenter‖. 3 years later, the first version of this program was released and renamed to ―PowerPoint‖ due to the problems of trademark. In August of the same year, Microsoft Corporation has bought the program with the price 14 million dollars. Since 1990, PowerPoint has had full name "Microsoft Office PowerPoint" and become one of the standard applications of the Microsoft Office beside Word, Excel, Access, FrontPage and Outlook- which has been developed further through later versions up to now. 2.1.3. PowerPoint implications in education and in teaching vocabulary 2.1.3.1 Critical ideas when applying PowerPoint in education: Having a long time survival and being used in a lot of fields in the life, including teaching and learning activities, PowerPoint partially confirmed the value of itself. 9 However, there were many different ideas about the effects of applying this software in educating compared to those when we do in traditional way with blackboard, chalks, hand-made cards and pictures, about the advantages of this method, about the disadvantages of it and its reasons… 2.1.3.1.1 Critical ideas in around the world Negative Critiques: According to Tufte - the professor emeritus of political science, statistics, and computer science at Yale University, he expressed his view of PowerPoint in his book The cognitive of PowerPoint ―Watching a PowerPoint presentation is like viewing a school play—it is loud, slow and simple.‖ (The cognitive of PowerPoint, 2003). Tufte also expressed the opinion that PowerPoint only gave the support to the presenters instead of listeners in his other book ―PowerPoint is evil‖. In his opinion, the slides to present only are arranged in a certain order, so listeners cannot relate or see back them again like the speech which has enclosure printed documents. The contents of slides with charts and graphs also are monotony. They do not give complete explanation to the listeners. Sharing the same view, University of Toronto management professor David Beatty thought PowerPoint in the negative way when he compared overusing PowerPoint with a disease, like the AIDS of management, though Beatty admitted the development and popularity of PowerPoint. In 2003, Clive Thompson also wrote in his article in The New York Times: ―If you have nothing to say, maybe you need just the right tool – like PowerPoint to help you not say it.‖ Moreover, the expression "death by PowerPoint" for describing poor presentations has become popular. This expression was used to describe the presentations which are too long and so boring due to the depending of bad presenters on this program- what those presenters do is just reading all text appearing on the screen. Positive Critiques: Beside some negative comments on abuse of using this program in presentations, most of researchers have admitted outstanding usages of PowerPoint for educating. 10
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