Skkn some ways to improve the weak students’ listening skill- grade 10th

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Some ways to improve the weak students’ listening skill - Grade 10 th Teacher :Ly Thi Thanh Tam TITLE: SOME SOMEWAYS WAYSTO TOIMPROVE IMPROVETHE THEWEAK WEAK TH STUDENTS’ LISTENING SKILLGRADE 10 STUDENTS’ LISTENING SKILL- GRADE 10TH The problem of teaching listening A new series of English textbooks for students have been used in schools in VietNam for some years and there has been a lot of feedback from teachers who have used them. One of the problems they face is that they are not satisfied with their teaching of listening. Although they have been trying to find ways to make their listening activities more effective, the results they obtain are not as good as what they want. Some conclusions have been made to explain the situation. Many teachers stated that the new textbooks which contain a large amount of knowledge, hinder the students’ learning. Others stated that they have many weak students who lack vocabulary, grammatical knowledge and have poor pronunciation, reduce classroom learning potential learning environment. Sometimes the problem originates from the teachers themselves. Many teachers think that if they teach in a class with many weak students, they can’t spend a lot of time teaching listening. They do not use all of activities they had designed when writing lesson plans because if they do, the weak students can’t keep up. What we should do to help develop listening skills in weak English language students. A. Issues relating to the language learners After finding out that our teachers used the listening techniques they were trained in the workshop, but not successfully in every language class, we looked into other issues relating to language learning which have been discovered so far. 1. Psychology Page 1 Some ways to improve the weak students’ listening skill - Grade 10 th Teacher :Ly Thi Thanh Tam We should take into account the psychology of learning habits and skills. Certain psychological factors should be considered such as memory. We should consider their mental condition, their ability. 2. Motivation and learning - Students learn well if they are well-motivated. We can motivate even unmotivated students. 3. Learning styles - Visual learners learn through seeing. - Auditory learners learn through listening. - Tactile/Kinaesthetic learners learn through moving, doing and touching. 4. Types of Multiple Intelligence - Visual/Spatial Intelligence: ability to perceive the visual. - Verbal/Linguistic Intelligence: ability to use words and language. - Logical/Mathematical Intelligence: ability to use reason, logic and numbers. - Bodily/Kinaesthetic Intelligence: ability to control body movements and handle objects skilfully. - Musical/Rhythmic Intelligence: ability to produce and appreciate music. - Interpersonal Intelligence: ability to relate and understand others. - Intrapersonal Intelligence: ability to self-reflect and be aware of one’s inner state of being. It is believed that each person has at least 3 or 4 types of intelligence. So we cannot think that weak learners are unintelligent people. 5. Weak students Weak students are the students who usually lack basic knowledge or skills, have difficulty in comprehension. Some teachers say that in the classroom the weak students often lack concentration. They are easily confused so in the classroom the teacher should give clear, step by step, instructions. The teacher should anticipate that weak students may need extra help, extra explanations. Page 2 Some ways to improve the weak students’ listening skill - Grade 10 th Teacher :Ly Thi Thanh Tam B. What we do to help weak students in Listening. 1. At the pre-listening stage: have more time at the pre-listening stage by shortening the post-listening stage. At this stage, we carefully prepare the lesson reading the tapescripts and using The Teaching Listening Checklist. The following activities can be used based on the content of each lesson: - Revise and teach vocabulary. - Revise and teach grammatical structure. - Create a gap-filling task or other tasks based on the tapescript. - Train listening skills. - Train microskills for listening. - Give some listening tips. 2. At the while-listening stage: - Remember to tell the aim of listening before you let the students listen to the tape. - Write a very easy question so that the students can answer after the first listening. (to encourage them to listen, to make them have a feeling of success). - Write more additional questions to the listening tasks to make them easy for the students. - Ask the students to guess before they listen to the tape. (Do not say what they guess is wrong or right, ask why they guess so if necessary). - Be flexible when getting the students to listen to the tape. Read the listening text if you find it helpful to your students. - Instruct students how to make the answers while listening ( short answers or main ideas) SOLVE THE PROBLEM - In the Tieng Anh 10 textbook in VietNam, activities in the three stages are ready for the teachers to use. The problem is that many students are still weak at learning English, particularly, listening. Sometimes they are fed up with listening activities Page 3 Some ways to improve the weak students’ listening skill - Grade 10 th Teacher :Ly Thi Thanh Tam because they are forced to listen to stories or conversations from the cassette players, and grasp nothing. Sometimes they feel happy in listening activities, because they just pretend to do some activities the teacher asks them to do, pretend to listen to the tape carefully, finish one or two tasks in the textbook and wait for the answers to the tasks the teacher tell them or someone of their classmates who is lucky to get the teacher’s book. - So as to teach weak students effectively, I have designed some units of the 10 th form textbook such as : Unit 1, unit 3, unit 6, unit 10 and unit 12 A. Unit 1: A DAY IN THE LIFE OF …. I. Warm-up - Students look at the pictures and answer the question. What are their jobs? Picture 1 Picture 2 Picture 3 Picture 4  Picture 1: He is a taxi driver  Picture 2: He is a cyclo driver Page 4 Some ways to improve the weak students’ listening skill - Grade 10 th Teacher :Ly Thi Thanh Tam  Picture 3: He is a bus driver  Picture 4: He is a pilot II. Pre- listening 1. Revise vocabulary: get up, old man, a lady, fellows, school pupils, take a short rest. Use the pictures in the textbook to help the students to find out the Vietnamese equivalence. 2. Help the students to find out the Vietnamese equivalence of other English words given in the task: district, routine, office, pedal, purchase, drop, ride, park, food stall, passenger. Note: After the two above activities, students can obtain more words needed for listening to do the task. 3. Ask the students to pay attention to some clues: + The time: five thirty, six, after, twelve. + The words: first passenger, next passenger, third passengers. 3.a. Ask the students to use the given words to complete the spaces in the following sentences (The sentences are extracted from the listening text): work get up park food stall ride off a. I …… at five thirty in the morning. b. At about ten thirty I ……. toward Nguyen Thi Minh Khai School. c. I start ….. at six. d. At twelve I have lunch at a …….. near Ben Thanh Market. e. After lunch, I ……. my cyclo under a tree. 3.b. Tell the students that the above sentence belongs to a paragraph about the daily routine of a cyclo driver, but they are not in their correct order. Ask the students to put them. (You can use Vietnamese for the instruction if you find it helpful and you want to save the time in case your students do not understand the instruction in English). 4. Ask the students to put the following sentences in their correct order (The sentences are extracted from the listening text): Page 5 Some ways to improve the weak students’ listening skill - Grade 10 th Teacher :Ly Thi Thanh Tam a. My next passenger is a lady who does shopping there every two days. b. My third passengers are two school pupils, a girl and a boy. c. My first passenger is usually an old man. Note: The activities 3.b and 4 serve to help the students to be familiar with the ordering task. 5. Ask one student to mime what a cyclo driver does everyday. Note: This activity will change the atmosphere in the classroom because it is funny and it helps the tactile learners to show themselves. Activities 1, 2 is for visual learners or students having verbal intelligence. Activities 3.b and 4 are for students having logical intelligence. III. While listening - Ask the students to listen to the tape for the first time and answer the following questions: The listening text is about …… . A. a cyclo driver B. a bus driver C. a taxi driver - For the second or third, or fourth listening the teacher should help the students to finish the listening task in the textbook. IV. After listening Ask students to retell the story to the class from the outline a cyclo driver Mr Lam start work at passengers an old man a lady two school pupils have lunch a food stall twelve after lunch a short rest Page 6 under a tree Some ways to improve the weak students’ listening skill - Grade 10 th Teacher :Ly Thi Thanh Tam B. Unit 3: PEOPLE’S BACKGROUND I. Warm - up: Look at the pictures and present their ideas Picture 1 Picture 2 Picture 3 Picture 4 T models: Picture 1 : He is swimming Student : Picture 2 : They are playing basketball Student: Picture 3 : She is reading Student: Picture 4: They are watching TV II. Before listening - Revise vocabulary: different, free time = spare time, join = attend = take part in = participate in - Helps the students to find out the Vietnamese equivalence of other English words given in the task: Page 7 Some ways to improve the weak students’ listening skill - Grade 10 th Teacher :Ly Thi Thanh Tam  The Olympic champion  A general education  Teacher’s diploma - Help the students to recognize the differences between  18 , 80( main stress “eighteen and eighty”)  15, 50 (fifteen and fifty) Note: After the above activities, students can obtain more words needed for listening to do the task. II. While listening I have made a little alter to have students prepare the lesson plans carefully in class, exploit the transcript and develop further their language skills A. Listening and decide whether statements are True( T) or False( F) 1. In 1995 Sally took part in the star Sports Club 2. There are five peope in her family 3. She has lots of spare time. 4. She likes both sports and reading 5. She wants to become a writer. B. Listen to the conversation again, and fill in the blank. 1. Sally got a ______ education at _______school 2. She lives in Manchester with her _______ 3. She likes ______ _____ - basketball and swimming 4. She likes to read love storties- ______ books 5. She wants to get her _____________ III. After listening: Ask students to work in pairs and make a conversation about Sally’s background 1. Sally – the Olympic champion – when did she join the star sports club? 2. where does she live? 3. Who does she live with? 4. What does she like when she has free time? 5. What kind of books does Sally like? 6. What does she want to become in the future? C. UNIT 6: AN EXCURSION I. Warm – up: Choose a pupil to use gestures to express while other students guess and present their ideas.  Taking photographs , pictures  Singing  sleeping Page 8 Some ways to improve the weak students’ listening skill - Grade 10 th Teacher :Ly Thi Thanh Tam  Laughing  Dancing  Fishing II. Pre- listening: - Teach some important vocabulary in the listening period: pack up, pay a visit to - ask the students to guess the meanings of the words or phrases 1. Match the words or phrases in A with their meanings in B: A 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Glorious (a) Assemble (v) Destination (n) Left – overs (n) Delicious (a) Spacious (a) Sleep soundly B a. a place to which a person is going to b. the rest c. be in deep sleep d. large, have a lot of space e. beautiful, shining f. gather g. tasty Answers: 1. e,2. f, 3. a, 4. b, 5. g, 6. d,7. c III. While listening: I have designed the order of the tasks to suit the weak students Task 1: Task 2: Answer the questions - T has students give short answers while listening Ex 1: what was the weather like that day?  very nice ( instead of “ The weather was very nice) Ex 2: How was the garden?  beautiful (instead of “ The garden was beautiful”) 1. Was the Botanic Garden far from the school? 2. Why could some of the students sleep soundly? 3. What did the students do in the garden? Expected answers: 1. Yes, it was 2. Because it was so peaceful and quiet 3. took pictures, played games, talked, sang, danced Task3: listen again and fill in the blanks with the exact words you hear IV. After - listening - Ask students to work in groups of three to four and map out the plan for the picnic this weekend - To help weak students to complete the exercises easily, t should supply the materials:  Destination: Page 9 Some ways to improve the weak students’ listening skill - Grade 10 th       Teacher :Ly Thi Thanh Tam Means of transport: How many How long Who with: What activities: Bring any food? D. UNIT 9: UNDERSEA WORLD I. Warm- up. T has students present their own ideas Food People keep hunting whales for Oil Leather Other products II. Pre – listening: - Help the students to recognize the differences between  13 , 30 ( main stress “thirteen and thirty”)  15, 50 (fifteen and fifty) Help the students to find out the Vietnamese equivalence of other English words given in the task:  Long, in length, weigh, in weight, krill, mammal, blue whale, whaling, migrate, the International whaling commision.  Note: After the above activities, students can obtain more words needed for listening to do the task. III. While - listening - Because my students are not good at listening, I’ve designed the task 1 into 3 questions (instead of 5 questions) - Ask students to guess before they listen to the tape. 1. Listen to some information about whales and decide whether the following statements are true (T) or false (F). 1. The whale is the third largest animal that has ever lived on Earth. Page 10 Some ways to improve the weak students’ listening skill - Grade 10 th Teacher :Ly Thi Thanh Tam 2. Whales are said to be the most intelligent animals in the oceans. 3. Some whales are known to move into warm waters to give birth. 2. Listen again and then answer the following questions. 1. What is the length and weight of the blue whale? 2. Why do whales like to feed in the cold oceans? 3. According to the listening passage, what are the good feeding grounds for whales? 4. What is the main reason for the decrease in whale populations? 5. What have conversation groups asked the International Whaling Commission to do? Note: - Before listening, T lets students read the questions and has them pay attention to main ideas Cues:  The length and weigtht  Why to feed in the cold ocean  What- good feeding grounds  What main reason – decrease whale population  What – groups asked to do  What happen – didn’t take any measures to protect - T ask the students to make short answers or present main ideas  Ex: 30 metres in length / 30 metres long  Ex: Heavy hunting  Ex: To disappear forever IV. After – listening: - T asks students to base on these guidelines to make a short talk about whales 30 metres long _____ weigh 200 tons Whales the largest animal _______ the most intelligent animals krills ____________ their favourite food Heavy hunting presure Stop most whaling Page 11 Whale populations decrease quickly take measures to protect whales Some ways to improve the weak students’ listening skill - Grade 10 th Teacher :Ly Thi Thanh Tam Prevent whales from disappearing forever E. UNIT 12: MUSIC I. Warm-up - T has the students guess: Which of these songs were written by Van Cao? 1. Suoi Mo 2. Truong Ca Song Lo 3. Ha Noi Mua Thu 4. Lang Toi 5. Tien Quan Ca 6. Tinh Ca II. Pre - listening - Helps the students to find out the Vietnamese equivalence of other English words given in the task: be proud of, hard and solem 1. Match the words or phrases in A with their meanings in B: A B 1. Sweet a. full of energy and enthusiasm 2. gentle b. expressing strong emotion in an 3. Solemn imaginative way 4. Rousing c. serious 5. Lyrical d. doing things in a quiet way 6. National anthem e. having a pleasant sound 7. Rural f. connected with the countryside g. the official song of a nation that is sung on special occasions Note: After the above activities, students can obtain more words needed for listening to do the task. III. While –listening - So as to help the weak students to improve their listening skill effectively, I have desinged the tasks from easy to difficult 1. Listen and choose the best answer - T has students read and guess the answers before listening to the tape 1. To quang Hung, the best Vietnamese musician of all times is ____________ a. Hoang Viet b. Van Cao c. Trinh Cong Son 2. What does Quang Hung want to do when he listens to Tien Quan Ca? a. He wants to stand up b. He wants to stand up and sing beautifully c. He wants to stand up and sing out as loudly as possible Page 12 Some ways to improve the weak students’ listening skill - Grade 10 th Teacher :Ly Thi Thanh Tam 3. The songs written by Van Cao about rural life in Vietnam are ____________ a. sweet and gentle b. very lyrical c. all are correct 4. What is the name of the radio program? a. It’s “ My Favourite Musician” b. It’s “ My Favourite Singer” c. It’s “ The Famous Person” Expected answers: 1. b, 2. c, 3. c, 4. a 2. Listen again and answer the questions. - T asks the students to read the questions and guess the answers - T has the students to make the short answers while listening Questions: 1. How many people in the conversation? Who are they? => Quang Hung and Lan Huong 2. Which song by Van Cao does Quang Hung like most? => Tien Quan Ca 3. Why does Quang Hung like it? => Because it’s hard and solemn. It makes him feel great and proud of country IV. After- listening - For weak students, T gives the cues to help students to discuss the ideas - T has students work in groups and then the leaders of the groups report the members’ opinions Quang Hung’s Person who Person who Reasons ideas agrees disagrees The best Vietnam musician of all time is “Tien Quan Ca” is hard and solemn His songs about rural life in VN are sweet. Gentle and very lyrical  After having applied the reseach, I have the students do some 20 minute tests and I get the specific results Page 13 Some ways to improve the weak students’ listening skill - Grade 10 th Teacher :Ly Thi Thanh Tam RESEARCH RESULT Class quantity THE FIRST TEST 10A10 45 5hs Good students – 11,1 % 25 Average students–55,6% 15 Poor students – 33,3% 10 Good students - 22,2% 10A8 45 30 Average students – 66,7% 5 Poor students – 11,1% THE THIRD TEST 10 Good students-22,2% 27 Average students-60 % 8 Poor students - 17,8% 15 Good students-33,3% 30 Average students 66,7% Conclusion Our way of teaching listening is that we change our attitudes towards the students’ ability in listening, prepare the lesson plans carefully in class, exploit the transcript, try our best to lead the listening lessons in a flexible way and study other issues in relation to teaching and learning such as motivation, psychology and learning styles. You, certainly, have your own difficulties in teaching listening and you have your own way of teaching listening and helping your students to listen in English. But one more thing I would like to say is that do not think or say about your difficulties in teaching listening. When you think you have difficulties, you cannot do anything because everything will be difficult for you. Identify the difficulties you have and your students have and find the way to overcome those. Bien Hoa city, May 25th, 2012 Thank you very much Teacher LY THI THANH TAM Page 14 Some ways to improve the weak students’ listening skill - Grade 10 th Teacher :Ly Thi Thanh Tam References - In – service teacher training materials by MOET of Viet Nam. - Introduction to TESOL – Teaching Listening.htm. - A Profile of the Slow Learner – Teacher Education Project (U.S.A). - English Now – Issue 9, November 2004. - Listening in Action, Michael Rost, Prentice - Hall, 1991. - Mac Yin Mee (University of Malaysia) – Teaching Listening: An overview. The English Teacher. Vol XIX July, 1990. - Adrian Tennant – Listening matters: Process Listening. OnestopEnglish. - Miriam Greif - “Weak Learners” in High School – Must they read? - Designing English Lesson Plan 10 (Chu Quang Bình)- Hanoi Publisher Page 15
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