Tài liệu Skkn motivational ways of teaching vocabulary

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MOTIVATIONAL WAYS OF TEACHING VOCABULARY PART A: INTRODUCTION I. Why was the research paper written? Nowadays English has become an international language, so learning English becomes more and more important. English helps us not to be out of date and erase the big hole of being far from many countries all over the world. If we have English, we have a key to open the door of the world and go ahead without hesitation. Like any other languages, vocabulary is the basic core for learners to master. It is the most important factor for all people to speak and write. It is the basic element for people to communicate. Without using words we can not understand what opposite people want to deliver and of course do not know how to send messages to them. In teaching any languages, vocabulary becomes a very necessary part that all teachers should pay attention to. In this seminar on methodology, I specially and straightly focus on motivational ways of teaching vocabulary in teaching English. Wilkin ( 1972) wrote that: “ …while without grammar, very little can be conveyed, without vocabulary nothing can be conveyed…” (p. 111- 112). This means even we do not master grammar, or just hold a poor grammatical point, we can communicate; but if we do not have vocabulary, we cannot express anything in many situations. Thus, we all agree that vocabulary is very necessary in the process of learning and teaching English. 1 MOTIVATIONAL WAYS OF TEACHING VOCABULARY However, most of students do not like to learn English. One of their reasons is that they can not remember the words. Of course there are some lazy students who never review their lessons or learn the words after classes so they can not hold them or even there are some do not want to learn English because they think it is too hard for them. We, English teachers, also have to ask ourselves the questions why they are lazy or why they do not want to learn. All students admit that if they like the subject they will try their best to achieve good results. In contrast, they will ignore it or even hate it if they feel it is a boring and odd thing to pay the attention. As an English teacher in a remote and mountainous area, I really hope that the result of this subject will be higher and higher. I have tried to apply many ways to help my students love English by showing them how important English is and learning English is very interesting. The first thing of all is helping them learn vocabulary with motivational ways in order that they can master the most important factor of English and also the base to approach skills like reading, speaking, listening and writing. II. What is the actual situation of teaching and learning English?, and who is the study for? Most students know that English plays an important role in life and also in their study because they have to take the tests which all school do to estimate their quantification to let them move higher or not. Of course there are many students want to achieve English but that is not very easy for them because they do not realize the interest in learning. They think English is a huge pile and complex chain of knowledge and sometimes, a boring subject. 2 MOTIVATIONAL WAYS OF TEACHING VOCABULARY Besides, many teachers do not access the new ways of teaching. They follow the traditional teaching methods and hold students in a hole which is called “ passive”. They just take all from the text books and have no ideas to make their lessons more interesting and help students understand the lessons easily. What students should do is that just sitting, listening, doing some exercises in the textbook and may be having a valuable chance to be invited to stand up and say some comments. That is one of the reasons why students consider English so boring, complex and too difficult to learn. Therefore, they fail from the first step: learning vocabulary. So, in my opinion, this research will help me as well as other teachers have some new interesting ways of teaching which motivate the students to learn vocabulary. III. How is the research paper organized? This research paper has four parts: Part A: Introduction Part B: Development of motivating students to learn vocabulary by using songs and writing journals. Part C: Demonstration of some typical examples teaching vocabulary by using songs and writing journals. Part D: The results and the effect of the study application Part E: Conclusion 3 MOTIVATIONAL WAYS OF TEACHING VOCABULARY Although I gave a lot of effort as well as much time to write this research paper, I really know that there are something wrong and I can hardly find them myself. I will frankly appreciate criticisms and suggestions from the respectable professors, the fellow-teachers, the readers to whom I will be much grateful if they take the troubles to correct me constructively and help me have a better research paper for the next time. 4 MOTIVATIONAL WAYS OF TEACHING VOCABULARY PART B: DEVELOPMENT OF MOTIVATIONAL WAYS TO TEACH VOCABULARY I. Theoretical background motivational ways of teaching vocabulary. 1.Definition of vocabulary 5 MOTIVATIONAL WAYS OF TEACHING VOCABULARY In this research, I am going to focus on motivational ways of teaching vocabulary, so first of all, I want to define what vocabulary is. You may think that vocabulary is the words of a language, which is how most people define vocabulary, and that is correct because vocabulary does deal with words. Yet vocabulary is much more than just a single words. Recent vocabulary studies draw on an understanding of lexis, which in English, refer to all the words in language, the entire vocabulary of a language “ (Barcroft, Sunderman, & Schmitt, 2001, p. 571). So it will probably not surprise to say that vocabulary also includes lexical chunks, phrases of two or more words, such as Good morning and Nice to meet you, which research suggests children and adults learn as single lexical units. Phrases like these involve more than one word but have clear, formulaic usage and make up a significant portion of spoken or written English language usage. Also called formulaic sequences ( Alali & Schimitt, 2012), they are central to English vocabulary learning and therefore worth teachers’ attention as we teach vocabulary. So vocabulary can be defined as the words of a language, including single items and phrases or chunks of several words which convey a particular meaning, the way individual words do. Vocabulary addresses single lexical items- words with special meanings- but it also includes lexical phrases or chunks. 2.The importance of vocabulary 6 MOTIVATIONAL WAYS OF TEACHING VOCABULARY In order to progress in a foreign language, students need to be able to understand what they are hearing and reading. That is, the input must be comprehensible in order for it to be useful and meaningful to the students and help with acquisition (Krashen, 1982), but if students do not understand a sizable portion of the vocabulary in the language that they are reading or hearing, then this language is not comprehensible and therefore cannot be useful for acquisition. Many argue that vocabulary is one of the most important-if not the most important components in learning a foreign language, and foreign language curricula must reflect this. In general, without vocabulary, people can hardly communicate with each other. Much more than grammar, vocabulary is the key for students to receive and send messages in communication. And , it is also the best friend for students to get high marks in their tests and examinations. So we can see clearly that vocabulary is very important in the process of teaching and learning English. What we should do is to help students have best ways which are suitable to them to learn vocabulary and besides, teach them vocabulary in interesting methods. 3.Definition of motivation 7 MOTIVATIONAL WAYS OF TEACHING VOCABULARY Motivation has been defined in various ways and by different authors. Gareth Jones, Jennifer George and Charles Hill (2000: 427) define motivation as “psychological forces that determine the direction of a person’s behaviour [...], a person’s level of effort, and a person’s level of persistence in the face of obstacles”. David Myers (1996: 297) defines motivation as “a need or desire that serves to energize behaviour and to direct it towards a goal.” Frank Hawkins (1993: 132-133) defines it as “what drives or induces a person to behave in a particular fashion [...] the internal force which initiates, directs, sustains and terminates all important activities. It influences the level of performance, the efficiency achieved and the time spent on an activity.” All of the definitions refer to stimuli that trigger the motivational process. Hawkins identifies also the properties of motivation such as it being an internal process with different roles in influencing behaviours (such as directing, initiating, sustaining or terminating it), and with different degrees of expression at the level of intensity, quality and speed in which the behaviour is carried out. All of the above definitions are true, one could even summarize and create a general definition saying that motivation is what drives us to perform an action. 8 MOTIVATIONAL WAYS OF TEACHING VOCABULARY However, in this thesis one should also distinguish one more definition, concerning the foreign language learning process. Kyösti Julkunen (in 2001: 29) claims that “in the classroom context, motivation can be seen as a continuous interaction process between the learner and the environment. [...] Its main role is in controlling and directing an activity [...], coordinating various operations towards an object or goal, motivation transforms a number of separate reactions into significant action. Learners build object-directed means-end structures [...].” Motivation is vital in language learning process because it determines whether the action of foreign language acquisition is undertaken by the learner and to what extent he is ready to continue this intelectual effort. This is the reason why so many scientists and researchers have devoted such a great deal of attention to motivation. Moreover, there are many ways that we can use to motivate the students to learn vocabulary but here, I just mention to the most effective ones: using songs and writing journals. II. Using songs and writing journal in teaching vocabulary 1. Using songs to motivate the students to learn vocabulary 1.1 Why songs are used as a motivational way of teaching vocabulary? 9 MOTIVATIONAL WAYS OF TEACHING VOCABULARY Jeremy Harmer (2001: 242-45) names music “a powerful stimulus” for language learning. He classifies the song as one of the tools for teaching vocabulary. It is a versatile technique, as it enables the teacher to present the words graphically (printed song lyrics), verbally (listening to the song) and contextually (song lyrics) at the same time. The song can change the students’ mood and it can positively influence their motivation for vocabulary learning. As Harmer (2001:242) states, “it can make a satisfactory connection between the world of leisure and the world of learning.” Students memorize vocabulary more willingly that is linked to real life situations, their own experience and interests, so they remember it for a longer period of time if not for a lifetime. Of course, the song can also be used for practicing correct pronunciation, accent and intonation, as well as the grammar structures. Some scientists, like Dee Dickinson (1993) or Robert Zatorre (in Jensen 1998: 35-36), support the thesis that the influence of music on both hemispheres of the brain is undeniable, thus the text combined with music has probably better effect on the students’ minds and their language acquisition process than the text alone. Some experiments have been taken in the field of vocabulary acquisition through the song. Suzanne Medina (1993: 1-8) conducted an experiment on elementary school. There were four experimental groups. The first one listened to the spoken version of the story with the pictures used to illustrate the main ideas of the story, the second group also listened to the spoken version of the story but without illustrations. The third group listened to the sung version of the story with the illustrations shown and the fourth group listened to the sung version of the story without pictures. 10 MOTIVATIONAL WAYS OF TEACHING VOCABULARY There were some pre-tests and two posttests to measure the amount of vocabulary acquired by the students. The results of the experiment showed that the combination of the sung version and the pictures was the most effective one. This experiment supports the idea that songs can be beneficial in terms of vocabulary acquisition and retrieval. Don Campbell (1997: 21-24) states that music enhances memory, reasoning, spatial imagination and logical thinking. This is partly because under the influence of music, which increases the level of catecholamine and serotonin, neurotransmitters are involved in the learning processes. Music enhances and strengthens the process of remembering because it stimulates the limbic system, which is the emotional centre in the brain closely linked with learning. Music helps to integrate internal rhythm and external cognitive activity and balances the emotional processes. The song is a very specific kind of expression because it is an inseparable combination of music and language. The song plays a major role in teaching foreign languages. It allows students to develop all language skills and understand the purpose of learning. It has a great potential as a teaching resource in the process of learning and teaching foreign languages. The song has the greatest value when it becomes an integral part of the learning processes, when it is used regularly and frequently, not only for fun but also to facilitate learning the language. By the effective use of the song one should understand using it on many different levels, including the song as a whole (music and lyrics), only the content of the song (only lyrics) or a part of the story selected for the purpose of the lesson, or even just the theme music. 11 MOTIVATIONAL WAYS OF TEACHING VOCABULARY According to Komorowska (1978: 46) songs, when used regularly, can help to reduce or even completely eliminate some of the negative factors hindering mastering of the language. Songs to a greater extent than other traditional teaching techniques, arouse the students’ interest because of their difference from traditional teaching techniques. Komorowska (2001: 98) states that songs influence the students’ motivation. She also notices that the students’ activity is no longer so highly dependent on external motivation (marks) when the songs are used. Songs motivate students and create a feeling of success in a different way than marks. Jan Wierszyłowski (1970: 37) believes that nothing is as motivating as success. This is one of the factors that develops, maintains and promotes motivation in the best way. Students learn willingly when they see the fulfillment of their hopes and their self-esteem is strengthened. Songs allow students to experience a sense of success. When singing with understanding the lyrics, even the weaker students can experience the feeling of success. From this follows a conclusion that the song has a great potential as a teaching resource in the process of learning and teaching a foreign language, especially vocabulary. Another thing worth mentioning is the influence of songs on the students’ memory. Some research on human memory, described by Jan Wierszyłowski (1970: 19), shows that students remember best what truly interests them. 1.2 What kind of songs should be chosen to teach vocabulary? There is also another thing to consider, it is the song selection. Teachers should choose songs carefully to have a desirable effect. When choosing an appropriate song, one should remember to especially consider the level of 12 MOTIVATIONAL WAYS OF TEACHING VOCABULARY language proficiency of the students and their age. Teachers should decide whether it should be a rock song, a pop song or something else. Besides, the content of the songs must be clear and easy to understand. That is terrible if students listen to the songs but they do not understand what it is. And, teachers also should remember to choose the songs suitable to the students. For example, the songs about the friendship, family or love can be acceptable, but teachers can not let students listen to the songs which can lead students to do something wrong like fighting or affect students’ spirit negatively. Teachers should use the songs which are interesting and humorous and sometimes meaningful to life or especially should choose ones have good contents to help students try their best to learn or to become good people. One more thing teachers should pay attention to when choosing songs to teach vocabulary is that those songs must not be very hard for students. If they listen to the song which has many difficult words or unfamiliar to them, they will feed up with the song immediately. As the result, the activity is odd and meaningless. 1.3 Some activities using songs to motivate students to learn vocabulary: 1.3.1 Gap- filling: 13 MOTIVATIONAL WAYS OF TEACHING VOCABULARY Students will be given hand- outs prepared by the teachers in advance. The hand- outs contain some blanks that students will listen to the song and write down the missing words. In this kind of activity, first of all, I usually ask students to tell me which part of speech are needed in the blanks. This helps students to know the place of words in the context and master more about the words they are learning, if it is a noun, a verb, an adjective or an adverb… Teachers should let students listen to the first time, just to listen to get the content of the song. With the second time, students will fill in the blanks. And for the third time, students and teachers will check if they have got the right words. 1.3.2 Getting the words from the songs: Teachers write down some words related to the lessons from the songs. They are the new words that teachers need to teach. Then teachers play the songs. Students listen and stay stop if they hear the words. 1.3.3 Choosing the words that have the same meaning or opposite meaning with the given ones: After students listen to the song and get some words, they need to do more exercises related to those words. This will help students remember the words for a long time and know what are their synonyms and what are their antonyms. 1.3.4 Checking the spelling: 14 MOTIVATIONAL WAYS OF TEACHING VOCABULARY One more exercise that teachers can use to teach vocabulary to students is correcting the spelling of the words. For example, teachers write down some words containing both the correct and the wrong spelling ones and students’ task is to find out the incorrect ones and give their right words. 1.4 The sources to find out the songs: Teachers can find the songs to teach students from many sources as books, newspapers, magazines, disks, radio and especially, internet. The internet is considered the best source because teachers can save a lot of time and money. 2. Developing students’ vocabulary by writing journal. 2.1 What is journal writing? Journal writing is a learning tool based on the ideas that students write to learn. Students use the journals to write about topics of personal interest, to note their observations, to imagine, to wonder and to connect new information with things they already know. 2.2 What is its purpose? 15 MOTIVATIONAL WAYS OF TEACHING VOCABULARY Using journals fosters learning in many ways. Students who use journals are actively engaged in their own learning and have the opportunity to clarify and reflect upon their thinking. When students write in journals, they can record such things as ideas and feelings, special words and expressions they have heard, interesting things that have happened to them or information about interesting people. Journal writing offers students opportunities to write without fear often associated with marking. So, writing journals is very helpful in process of teaching and learning vocabulary. I usually ask my students to write journals everyday to have a deep understanding about the words they have learnt. They can use the words to express their feelings, like, love or hate. Or just very simple, they can write about what happened to them in a day, what they want to eat, what their favourite colour is… Sometimes, my students also gave me some ideas about the way I taught in the lass. They gave me advice or their secret. They share with me their habits, their hobbies. Those things are very valuable in a teacher’s career. Based on them, teachers can have many information about their students, know that what they expect from the teacher, what their strong or weak points are to help them develop their English and maybe help them in other parts of life. Therefore, teachers will consider if they need to change their methods of teaching to suit to their students. 2.3 When should students write their journals? 16 MOTIVATIONAL WAYS OF TEACHING VOCABULARY Some teachers want their students write their journals for five minutes at the end of the class but I totally disagree with this. I think that it is not a suitable time for students and they do not want to be forced to do this. Everybody does the work more effectively if they feel they like it and they are pleased to do. So do the students in this case. The suitable place for them to do this is at home and the time is in their free time. They see writing journals their favourite homework. 2.4 Language students use when writing their journals? 17 MOTIVATIONAL WAYS OF TEACHING VOCABULARY When students write journals, I usually ask them not to use Vietnamese because I want them to practice thinking in English. We all know that translating is not good in learning language because they can be stuck between the mother language and the target one. Gradually, they have to spend much time thinking in their mother language and then again much time will be wasted on how to translate it into the target one. So, my students just write what they think and if they do not know how to express in English, they can draw pictures to illustrate their ideas. It is an acceptable way in teaching and learning English. 2.5 How to give feedback to students’ journal writing? One more thing to remember when teachers ask students to write journals is that teachers should collect the journals every week and read them. Students will think that they have a person to confined and what more is they write them responsibly. Feedback is considered very important because it is also an element to cheer students up. 18 MOTIVATIONAL WAYS OF TEACHING VOCABULARY Moreover, journal writing is a completely non- threatening place for students to practice their English, especially their vocabulary. Because of this point, teachers should not pay much attention to their mistakes. Do not correct what they are not right. But teacher can do this with the students who are willing and pleased to receive the correction from teachers. In the first days of writing, there are a lot of mistakes but later, they will develop their vocabulary so much. Some students told me they then had many words because they usually wrote journals. They had not care much about the objects in the house or some names of foods or vegetable… before they wrote journals. When writing journals, they needed to know them to tell teachers what they had eaten or bought or helped their mothers… Those things help me have the motivation to try my best to teach English despite spending much time to read and reply all the journals and keep students writing journals year after year. 19 MOTIVATIONAL WAYS OF TEACHING VOCABULARY PART C: DEMONSTRATION SOME TYPICAL EXAMPLES USING SONGS AND WRITING JOURNALS IN TEACHING ENGLISH VOCABULARY 20
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